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.

The Centurion’s Encounter with the Lord

The story of the centurion can be found in the book of Luke 7:1-10. The centurion was a man in authority whose servant was sick and at the point of death. So he sent elders of the Jews to Jesus so that they could plead with Him to come and heal his servant. The elders did just that and Jesus responded to their plea and went with them. Jesus was not very far from the house when the centurion sent friends to Jesus telling Him that “He should only say a word and his servant will be healed. This is a very brief summary of the encounter of Jesus and the centurion. So much can be learned from this story, however, this is what I want us to see in the context of the relational attribute of the Lord.

He is responsive to our call for Him. Being the man of authority that He is, He does not consider Himself too important and unwilling to respond to us when we call on Him. As you relate with Him, one thing you will discover is that He is with you always and this time in the person of the Holy Spirit. Unlike the centurion who had to send elders to plead with Jesus on His behalf, we do not have to go through that process. The process has been simplified for us. The word promises us this in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave us nor forsake us. The dispensation in which we live requires that the Holy Spirit in us communes with us if we permit Him to.

Here is my guarantee to you as a son and daughter of the most high God who has accepted Jesus as Lord. There is never a time when the Spirit of God is never with you. My encouragement to you is that you should maintain a constant flow of communication with Him any day, anytime. Freely present your requests to Him as well. There is no procedure. Amen.

Another relational attribute we learn about the Lord here is that although praise worthy, He seeks opportunities to praise us. Listen to what He said to the crowd about the centurion in verse 9 – When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned to the crowd and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel”.
This is very significant because Jesus did not only recognize and keep the thought to Himself, he praised the centurion publicly.
Responsiveness and praise (in this case public praise) are two very important relational attributes that we can learn from the Lord and also apply to our daily relationships. When in relationship, learn to speak well about the people you are relating with when you are with them and also in their absence. Also, learn to be responsive. How timely you are in your response matters a lot. Do not be the type who is noted for never responding in a timely manner. Your timeliness to respond is also a reflection of your character of excellence. Amen.

So far, we have seen an extended list of the relational attributes of the Father. We trust that your understanding about the Lord as concerns relationship has been enlightened.  We hope that you will not only be a hearer of the word but also a doer. When you do, in this case, seek to develop a relationship with the Him and make it your lifestyle, you will enjoy the fellowship. Amen.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Prophet John’s Encounter With the Lord

Matthew 3:13-15 (NLT)
Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.

This is Prophet John’s first encounter with Jesus, at the Jordan River. We see them having a conversation and we can learn so much about the relational attribute of the Lord as we study these verses.
1)   The purpose of their conversation was to get to a place of mutual agreement. John did not want to baptize Jesus because he deemed himself lower than Jesus. Yet Jesus said John should let it be so for now. So, we learn from here that when it comes to our relationship with the Lord, there is always room for a healthy conversation such that we can all come to a place of agreement. And this is really how the Lord relates with us. He does not impose on us; neither does he agree with everything we say. When He disagrees with us on any aspect, He has a way of carefully guiding us back to the truth. That is exactly what He did with the Prophet John. In this dispensation, our relationship is with the Spirit of God. In John 16:13a Jesus tells us that the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth.  The key here is that He will “guide us” not “impose” on us.
2)   Mutual respect is also an aspect seen in their conversation. Although Lord, Jesus will not do that which has been assigned for us to do. We are told in verse 13 that Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. There is a sea in Galilee yet Jesus respectfully went to the Jordan River. There was nothing Jesus could not do for himself however, He still did not trespass when it came to authority and assignment. Amen.
3)   This leads us to the aspect of respect of boundaries. Jesus did not do what He ought not to do and He did not permit John to not do what He ought to do. Meaning, Jesus did not baptize Prophet John like he wanted and Jesus did not accept Prophet John’s refusal to baptize Him. Amen. Respect of boundaries. Everyone diligently completed their assignment.
4)   There was no abuse of power. Jesus the Lord has all power to do anything yet He did not take advantage of His power. Rather, he had respect for the process. He operated with example showing us that the kingdom is systemic. Amen.
This was Prophet John’s encounter. The relational attributes of the Lord that He encountered as seen in this portion of scripture were mutual agreement, mutual respect, respect of boundaries and zero abuse of power. Again, what are your experiences as you relate with the Father? Please share with us. Amen.

Apostle Paul’s Encounter With The Lord

When we began this series, one thing we did mention was that it is not very feasible to talk about all the relational attributes of the Father within a short period of time. However, as we attempt to stir you in the right direction when it comes to His relational attributes, there are so many aspects of Him that you will come to discover in your relationship with Him that will highlight an aspect of Him that you may not have known. Summarily, you will get to know Him not only through what you have been told but through your experiences with Him. Amen.

Previously, we talked about the importance of having a relationship with Jesus by making Him Lord of your life because when you do, you begin enjoying a deeper and intimate relationship with the Father. Discovering Him better through your relationship with His Son. Amen.
So, let’s continue this series by examining how He related to men and women in the Bible through His son. And also examine the aspects of His relational attribute that stood out in their relationship.

We will begin by looking at Saul who was later named Paul. His first encounter with Jesus is recorded in Acts 9:1-9. I will read for you Acts 9:3-5 (NKJV)
As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.  Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

For anyone who knows the details of this story well, you will agree with me that it was indeed a life-transforming encounter for Saul. So transforming that even His name changed. So, the question is this, what are some of the relational attributes of the Lord seen in this encounter.

1)     We see the mercy of the Lord being demonstrated herein that the Lord had every reason to punish Saul for threatening and murdering the Christians. As a matter of fact, Saul was on a mission to threaten and murder more Christians when He had an encounter with the Lord. Yet, the Lord was merciful to Saul; it was in the power of the Lord to punish Saul for what he was about to do and the many bad things he had done but the Lord did not do so. Rather, He was merciful. Amen.
2)     We see the patience of the Lord also demonstrated as He answered every question asked by Saul. In verse 5 Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” In verse 6 Saul asked, “What do you want me to do?”
3)     We see that the Lord is a restorer. The Lord told Him to Arise and go into the city and he will be told what to do. As the story goes, Paul’s restoration began and today we are beneficiaries of the great work He did. Amen.

So, in the context of relationship, we see a few relational attributes of the Lord (merciful. Patient and restorer). Amen. This was Paul’s experience. What are your experiences as you relate with Him? Are there certain aspects of His character that have stood out to you as you relate with Him? Please feel free to share with us what those experiences are. We will be glad to know. Amen.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Apostle Peter’s Encounter with The Lord

The Apostle Peter authored the book of 1st Peter and 2nd Peter. He was amongst the first group of disciples who followed Jesus. When He first encountered Jesus, this is what the Bible has to tell us in John 1:41-42 (NIV).
Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”).

From this point on, he was called Peter. Other translations will still refer to him as Simon Peter, however, Jesus said he will be called “Peter”. This is Peter’s encounter with the Lord gradually unfolding. Amen. In the context of appreciating the relational attribute of the Lord, we see that one attribute that stands out between Peter and the Lord is that of confidence. Peter grew to a place where he was so confident in the Lord. This confidence began manifesting itself right after his encounter with Jesus as “Messiah” (Christ). Peter began by effortlessly accepting a name change and secondly, he left behind everything he had worked to follow Jesus. Amen.

When we genuinely encounter Jesus as the Messiah (Christ), we experience transformation and a name change. Remember this was the case with Saul who was later called Paul after his encounter with the Lord. The significance of the name change is beyond a physical change but a spiritual change. It is noteworthy that the genuine encounter always precedes the name change and this name change which might not always be physical, have a tendency of changing our destiny. It has the potential of causing us to effortlessly leave behind the things we once held so dearly to for the sake of the kingdom.

Another situation that reveals the confidence Peter had in the Lord is recorded in Matthew 14:22-33 where Peter walked on water. Verse 28 is the verse of interest here. Peter said, “Lord if it is you, tell me to come on the water”. We see another situation where confidence was being emphasized. Peter was willing to walk on water for as long as it was the Lord. That is why when his focus shifted from the Lord to the wind, he began sinking. I believe that if Peter maintained His attention on the Lord, he should have continually walked on water until he met the Lord.
So, when it comes to the relational attribute of our Lord, one more thing we learn about Him is that He is reliable; He is trustworthy; He is someone you can put your confidence in.

Apostle John’s Encounter with the Lord

When you read the books of the bible written by the apostles of Jesus, you realize that John was the only one who referred to himself in his writings as “the one whom Jesus loved” or “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. Have you noticed that? It was not the case with Matthew, Mark and Luke.
So, there must have been something or an experience that the Apostle John had with the Lord which made their relationship so unique. Amen.  The Apostle John seemed to have had an in-depth understanding of the love of God. The Apostle John authored the book of John, 1st, 2nd and 3rd John and the book of Revelation. A common theme that runs through most of his books was the subject of love. The Lord’s love for him stood out so much that he could not help but refer to himself as the “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and also talk about the love of God as he taught the body of Christ. Amen.

I will read to you a portion of the scripture which talks about the last supper. This is John reporting the event and He says this in John 13:23 (NKJV)
Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.

We see here that John understood the Lord’s love for him such that he did not only talk about it but he demonstrated his confidence in the Lord’s love by leaning on His bossom, knowing that he will not be rejected. Amen.
 This is just one example yet very powerful. Love was a relational attribute that stood out in the relationship between the Lord and John. I will ask you this question again “which relational attribute of the Lord are you practically experiencing?


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