Sunday, April 29, 2018

Revealing A lifestyle of Excellence - The Benefits of Godly Counsel

There are life transforming benefits in godly advice (counsel). This can be seen in the life of Jethro as he counseled Moses. Jethro observed a situation Moses was encountering and these can be seen in Exodus 18:13-27.
In summary, when each person whom Moses was leading had a problem (s), they will come to him for judgment. Moses led thousands, so were the problems he judged in order to make known the statutes of God. Jethro observed Moses’ leadership style and identified a problem with it, then decided to intervene with a word of counsel.

Now, let’s pick up from Exodus 18:19-22 (NKJV) as Jethro gives counsel to Moses. It reads...

Exodus 18:19-22 (NKJV)
Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.  And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover, you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.
Emphasis Mine

Jethro’s counsel was simple – Teach these people the way of God, select from amongst them godly men and set them as leaders over groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties, tens and let them judge and address the smaller issues and only bring to you the bigger issues. Jethro was simply saying that Moses should delegate. Amen.

So much can be learned from these scriptures about the benefits of Godly counsel.
-        Godly counsel will cause you to see in yourself hidden potentials and cause you to tap into those potentials. Until this point, Moses shouldered all the judgment responsibilities. After the counsel from Jethro, he found in himself a teacher; one who could communicate God’s word to the people and build them up to a place where they too could lead.

Exodus 18:20 (NKJV)
And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.
Emphasis Mine

-        Godly counsel will cause you to see the strength of others.
Exodus 18:25-26 (NKJV)
And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.
-        Godly counsel will cause you steward resources efficiently.
In this case, human resources were being wasted. However, after counsel was received, the resources were better managed.

Moses did as advised and the outcome of his leadership was effective.

In conclusion, the godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray 
(Proverbs 12:26 (NLT)).

Revealing A lifestyle of Excellence - The Power of Godly First Impression

A lifestyle of excellence should be the preferred lifestyle for a child of God. Together, let’s take a closer look at the life of Jethro in scriptures. The scripture begins by referring to him as Reuel (Exodus 2:18) and later as Jethro (Exodus 18).
The Hebrew meaning of Reuel is “friend of God”; “one who is intimate with God”.
The Hebrew meaning of Jethro is “Pre-eminence”; “Excellence”; “Abundance”; “Overflowing”.

Now, let’s study 3 verses together about this character as we reveal Godly first impression.

Exodus 2:16 (NIV)
Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock.
Emphasis Mine

This verse communicates to us that he was a Priest of Midian, He was a family man and a father of seven daughters and generally a responsible man because he owned flocks.

Exodus 2:18 (NIV)
When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, “Why have you returned so early today?”
Emphasis Mine

In this verse, we understand that he was one who was a friend of God. By this statement “Why have you returned so early today?”, we see a man who is vigilant to the functioning of his home and the activities surrounding it. A man who cares and pays attention to details.

Exodus 2:20 (NIV)
“And where is he?” Reuel asked his daughters. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
Emphasis Mine

This question and statement convey quite a lot about Reuel’s character. “Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat.”
We see a man who shows concern for others, a man who is hospitable and someone who seeks opportunities to express gratitude. Amen.

Let’s summarize the outstanding qualities of Reuel together.
-A Priest of Midian.
-A father of seven daughters
-A family man
-A responsible owner of flocks
-A man who is vigilant to the functioning of his home and the activities surrounding it
-A man who cares and pays attention to details.
-A man who shows concern for others
- A man who is hospitable
- A man who seeks opportunities to express gratitude

Why is this significant?
A godly first impression positively influences; it conveys a life lived on purpose; reflects God’s glory. Amen.
The first time we are introduced to Reuel, a minimum of 9 outstanding qualities are observed. If scriptures never mention him in another chapter, you will agree with me that Reuel lived an excellent lifestyle.
Here are my questions to you.
Are you living a life of substance? Are you living a quality lifestyle or better still, a lifestyle of excellence? If you are a male listening to these recording, what is it about Reuel’s life that you can learn, add to your life and make your life better?

Live a purpose-driven life. Make it your goal to abound in Christ-like qualities every day of your life. Amen!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Companionship – Prayer For You

We are grateful to you for teaching us this season about companionship, on
-The various ways on how to keep company with the Word
-How to purposefully choose our companions
-And how to Walk with the Wise

Father, now we know how to approach our companionships from a godly perspective. We receive the grace to continually maintain this godly approach to companionships because our desire is to succeed. Relationship is your idea and we now understand that unless we do relationships according to your principles and standards, we risk not benefiting from our relationships.

As we learn these truths from your Word, we will help others by teaching them likewise. We desire to see everyone in the kingdom flourish even in their relationships.
Thank you, Father, for all that you do for us, in us and through us. Thank you. We are humbled. We are grateful.

In Jesus Name. Amen.

Walk with the Wise – Be Led

-Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in and out of companionship relationships because that is the godly way. Depend on Him to teach you about the seasons of your life and how to approach each season. Permit Him to lead you to the next book to read, to the next show to watch, to the next message to listen, to the next person to visit, to the next topic to study on, Amen!
-Always live conscious of the fact that relationship is God’s idea and unless it is done according to His design, we will not experience the full benefits.
-Be confident that you are not being deprived and you will not be deprived of what is yours.
-Do not fear missing out on anything. Remember that your Father loves you and has your best interest.
-Settle it with you that His principles are final and His promises are sure.
-Purpose to build your life and companionships on the foundation of His principles. Amen.
-Do not waver! Stay on course! Amen.

Walk with the Wise – Seek Help and Guidance

-Your success in any and every companionship relationship is only possible when you have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of your life.
-When you do, you receive a wonderful gift, the person of the Holy Spirit. The Bible refers to Him as the Helper (John 14:26).

-As you begin walking with the Holy Spirit, you can be confident that when you seek help from Him, He will help you. When you seek guidance from Him, He will guide you.
-You may need help building up your identity through the Word because this will help you know who you are, help shape your values and open up your eyes to new possibilities about life. A desire to fit in any and every circle is one reason why most people wound up in with the wrong company.

-Before engaging yourself or your family into companionship relationships, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. First, find out from Him if you should pursue or not. He will respond to you because He speaks.

-Above all, enjoy life even as you make quality decisions in your companionship relationships and remember to show yourself friendly.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Walk With The Wise – Greatness and Wise Companionship Are Inseparable!

Let’s reiterate a few sentences…
The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
I am a companion of all those who fear You, And of those who keep Your precepts.

Greatness and wise companionship are inseparable because, throughout scriptures, the greatness of every man or woman of God can be traced to their companionship.  You will eventually reflect the character of the people and things you keep company with. Throughout Jesus Christ ministry here on earth, he chose and kept company. He demonstrated the perfect example of how companionship should be done. He ministered to many yet kept company with a handful of people. That alone teaches us that we can minister to many and not necessarily keep company with all of them.

-Jesus did and said only what his Father commanded him to do and say
-Nehemiah kept company with people who believed in the vision God had given him in order to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. It took the right companions in order to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in 52 days.
-Moses had an assignment to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt and he was accompanied by Aaron.
-Elijah and Elisha, a great companion as well. Elisha benefited from the double portion of the anointing because he kept company with Elijah.
-Paul on missionary journeys kept company with Barnabas, Luke, Timothy and more in order to remain productive.
-Naomi and Ruth; Ruth purposed in her heart to keep company with Naomi. She was determined to make Naomi’s people and Naomi’s God, her God.
-Mordecai and Esther; Mordecai brought up Esther (his cousin) in the ways of the Lord and the tenacity in her character can be traced to her upbringing.
-Jethro and Moses; Moses’ leadership style changed for good just by his association with his father – in – law Jethro.
The list is endless.

Choose your companions knowledgeably.
Choose your companions wisely.
Choose your companions purposefully.
Choose your companions with your vision in mind.

Walk With The Wise - Do not Be Deceived

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NASB)
 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
Emphasis Mine

Other translations use the phrase “ruins good morals” or “destroys good morals”.
Two things stand out here;
-Deception - You could choose to deceive yourself or you could choose to allow others to deceive you.
-Influence - In this context, bad has an influence over good.

The Greek word for corrupt in this verse means to experience moral deterioration or moving down from a high level or to waste away. Amen!

-        Meaning that corruption is a process; it does not happen in one day.
-        It could happen one idea at a time. Our heavenly Father is patient so too is the devil.
-        For as long as the enemy gets you on a path that will lead you downhill, he will patiently present one idea at a time until he achieves his goal.
-        That is why we will use this opportunity to reiterate that we should not engage in companionship relationships casually. All it takes is one wrong information in order to begin experiencing moral deterioration.

·       Do not deceive yourself into thinking that the things you hear, see or say unintentionally do not affect you either. Our words have power and our minds capture faster than we think. So, establish your routine - daily, weekly, biweekly, frequently;
-To consistently re-evaluate / or take inventory of your life. It is your life, you have authority to do so.
- Re-establish boundaries; the boundaries of yesterday may not as effective today.
-Be aware of distractions; purposefully avoid placing yourself in compromising situations.
-Establish or re-establish personal values and standards.
-Then remember to communicate the changes with those closest to you so that you all live with understanding.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Walk With The Wise

Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Proverbs 13:20 (AMP)
He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise,
But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.

Let’s establish this together. According to scripture, a fool is someone who says in their heart, there is no God (Psalms 14:1).

The scripture communicates many things;

·       Power of Influence
-Note that it says when you walk with the wise, you become “wise”, not “wiser”. By implication, prior to keeping company with the wise, you were unwise. Your choice of a wise companion is so powerful such that it changes your level.
-When it comes to changing levels from being wise to wiser, you need instruction.

Provers 9:9 (NLT)
Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more.
-It will profit you to walk with the wise. Amen!

·       Power Of Choice and Outcome
-This verse communicates options and consequences; “companion of the wise which leads to being wise” and “companion of fools which leads to suffering harm”.
-We continue to say this; companionship is a choice and always will be.

·       Power of Destiny
-Your choice will eventually determine where you end.
-You have the power to determine the direction of your life.
-Do not abandon the direction of your life to another person.

·       Power of Impartiality
-The scripture says “whoever”; it is not for a select few.
-Meaning, we have equal opportunities. So we cannot base the outcome of our lives to chance, but rather to our choices.
-Choose correctly.

Companionship is Seasonal & Godly

·       We ought to get to a place whereby we settle it within us that companionship is seasonal and godly. Seasonal because, changes will be experienced that will require adjustments, new skills, new approaches, etc. Godly because, it is relationship based and "relationship" is God’s idea and design and in order for us to succeed, we ought to be spirit led even in our companionship relationships. Amen!

Previously, we had examined the separation of John Mark from Paul and Barnabas. And later, the separation of Paul and Barnabas. When we get to a place where we live in the reality that companionships are seasonal and godly as we have seen in scriptures many times, we will keep a godly attitude even as we move on knowing that for as long as seasons remain, the Lord might cause our paths to meet again for a different assignment. Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark worked together during a missionary journey and were later separated.

Then came another season whereby Paul and John Mark had to work together. We know this because Paul refers to John Mark as his coworker in his epistle to Philemon as recorded in Philemon 1:24.
This same John Mark is also referred to as a helpful person by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:11(NIV). Paul, speaking to Timothy his son in the Lord says, “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry (2 Timothy 4:11 NIV).

In conclusion, we will say this, as you get wiser in your companionship relationships, carefully make decisions. Always remember the following;

- do not discredit a person just because you do not get along with the person during a particular season. Paul did not discredit Barnabas neither did Barnabas discredit Paul.
- disapprove of the character or behavior that the person portrays which is not godly, however, do your best to not get into disagreements with the person. When John Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas, Paul referring to that incident said to Barnabas, he did not think it wise to go on a trip to visit the believers with John Mark. Paul disapproved of John Mark’s character yet, he did not get into any disagreements with John Mark.
- do not compromise your values and standards just to accommodate mediocrity from another person. Paul was not going to stoop for disloyalty, lack of integrity and lack of purpose and focus from any source. Paul had values and standards and he stood for what he believed despite the odds.
- accept the fact that you might and will be misunderstood for maintaining very exceptional standards and an excellent spirit, however, keep praying for others so that their eyes might open up to the reality of how to do relationships better. Amen!
- the people who show sign of immaturity today may later grow up to have exceptional values and do exploits in the kingdom. John Mark is the author of the book of Mark (New Testament). Amen!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Directions Are Guaranteed

We are introduced to Elijah who told King Ahab;

1 Kings 17:1 (NKJV)
…As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.”
Emphasis Mine

1 Kings 17:2 (NKJV)
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
Emphasis Mine

1 Kings 17:8 (NKJV)
Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying,
Emphasis Mine

On 3 different occasions, the word of the Lord is mentioned and in every season, the purpose of the word that came was specific

In the first verse, the word of God spoken was a declaration over a situation. In verse 2 and 8, the word of the Lord that came were specific instructions for Elijah. In all 3 verses, the word of God changed the direction of activities for the season. Amen!

Elijah declared that there will be no rain as surely as God lives after which the Lord instructed Elijah on where to go right after the drought was declared. Then, when the brook dried up, the word of the Lord came to Elijah again instructing him to go the village of Zarephath.
As we read this chapter, many things come to light;
1)     Selflessness – Elijah comes across as someone who understands that His life is not his own. Meaning, his very existence was for God. Elijah was so dependent on God to a place where he only moved from one point to the other based on the word. Unless we develop a selfless attitude, it will be impossible to abandon the direction of our lives to God. Amen!
2)     Focus – It takes a certain level of spiritual attentiveness and alertness to hear the voice of the Father. We can agree that Elijah remained focused evidenced by his attentiveness and alertness to spiritual matters. When God spoke, he heard and acted immediately. Also, at no point was Elijah confused neither is it recorded that he panicked because of the unfavorable conditions surrounding him at the time. Therefore, his obedience to God was not dependent how favorable or not the conditions were, around him.
3)     Trust - His trust in God was expressed through his obedience to God’s word/ and instruction for the season. In verse 5, the Bible says “So Elijah did as the Lord told him…”,  In verse 10, after the instruction from God to Elijah, the Bible records “So he went to Zarephath…”. Amen! So he trusted God consistently.

It is best for you to allow the seasons of your life to be determined by God’s word. That is the lifestyle of the Godly. Let go of control over your life. Surrender your entire being to his leadership and direction and you would not regret it.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Purposefully Choose Your Companions - The Requirements

Acts 13:13 (NKJV)
 Now when Paul and his party set sail from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia; and John, departing from them, returned to Jerusalem.

We are not told why John Mark made this decision, however, it is clear that prior to this occasion, he kept company with Paul and Barnabas and at this point, he chose to go a separate way from them.

Acts 15:36-41 (NKJV)
Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark.  But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.  And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Emphasis Mine

Quite a lot could be learned from these scriptures about companionship. Amen!

·       Companionship requires decision making by the people involved.
-John Mark made a decision to go his separate way for reasons untold.
- Paul made a decision to not go with John Mark to the city although Barnabas wanted John Mark to go with them. This affected Paul and Barnabas’ relationship.
-As a result, Paul and Barnabas made a decision to go separate ways. Barnabas took John Mark and went to Cyprus while Paul chose Silas and went through Syria and Cilicia.
So, we see that a series of companionship decisions were made within these few verses.

·       Companionship is seasonal.
-We are not told why John Mark left Paul and Barnabas. However, for a season he served with them.
-Also, Paul and Barnabas served together for a season before going separate ways.
-Their separation led to a dawning of a new season for Paul and Silas. Subsequently, Paul and Silas were joined by Timothy and Luke.

·       Companionship requires agreement.
Acts 15: 37-39 (NLT)
Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus.
Emphasis Mine

Amos 3:3 (NLT)
Can two people walk together
    without agreeing on the direction?
Emphasis Mine

·       Companionship should be purpose-driven.
Acts 15:38 (NIV)
but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
Emphasis Mine

This scripture insinuates that the purpose of their companionship was to work together. Paul, being purpose driven, did not think it wise to keep company with someone who did not seem to respect the reason for their companionship.

·       Companionship requires wisdom.
Acts 15:38 (NIV)
but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
Emphasis Mine

·       Companionship requires loyalty.
Acts 15:38 (NIV)
but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
Emphasis Mine

The fact that Paul and Barnabas were deserted by John Mark suggests that they were abandoned. Possibly, John Mark was not loyal to this course.

·       Companionship requires communication and unity.
Acts 15:36 (NIV)
Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.”
Emphasis Mine

Paul communicated with Barnabas. And there was a sense of unity of purpose in their companionship. 


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