Serving as a missionary is perhaps one of the most difficult part of Ministry. Having served in the city as a pastor, and serving now as a missionary, I can tell the difference!
In the city, you are in the midst of fairly civilized people, if they are not. You have people who understand ministry and ministers; a mixture of people which includes those that will accuse the minister and those that will defend him. It is not always so in a small community in the outskirts of the city, where most are unlearned and under exposed! They only want to accuse you! It is tough!
The journey started when the Lord asked me to relieve a woman of her duty in the school. For discretion, I will call her Judith.
My wife and I, to the glory of God, run a school where Judith worked with us as a teacher.
She and her family had joined us in Church. She used to come sweep and arrange the Church on service days, yet would not come till toward the end of the message; if she manages to come. Every month end, the Church gave her a stipend to assist her.
We took Judith and her family as part of ours: not just as Church family but as our own family. We opened our doors completely to them; even gave our keys to them!
The bonding was there to the extent we exchanged meals, the children stayed with us a couple of days when their parents traveled.
Though not a qualified teacher, my wife picked her as she had no job, to come assist in the school as a way of further helping her: at the end of every month she would earn a salary. We believe there is a lot of confidence in what you earn than in what you are given.
My wife groomed her and constantly monitored both her and what she taught the children; for she was given the kindergarten class.
In Church, she was not frequent, but we believed God to touch her as He touched the children. The eldest, a boy, in the secondary school, learnt to play the drums and the second, a girl, God groomed and blessed with the gift of leading praise. Apart from the eldest, the rest of Judith’s children schooled with us.
Their father, we will for this writing call Benjamin, used to drive a commercial bus, but was not making ends meet.
We were thrilled when he had a job prospect with a motor company (whose name I will not give for discretion). However he needed a surety! Due to the relationship, he came to me when no one was willing to help.
….. continued in https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/journey-through-hell-2/
Gideon had the presence of God, but did not know it!
“If God be with us ……. “ he said. (Judges 6:13)
Today, many have the presence of God so mighty in their life, yet they do not know and consequently do not follow His leading! God gives grace – His power, ability and presence – to the humble.(James 4:6).
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” – James 4:6 KJV
Gideon was exceptionally humble! He claimed to be from a poor and insignificant family in Manasseh, whereas his family was notable and influential! His father erected the altar to Baal where the people of the city went to for sacrifice and worship. They were well known in the city. But like Moses, Gideon did not regard the wealth of his family as something to be proud of. Even he had servants…., yet said he was the least! He was unique, an original! He never followed people’s opinions. Though he listened to them, he allowed the inner voice of Spirit to lead him. He valued himself.
(3) PLACE VALUE ON YOURSELF!
I placed value on myself. I knew I could not compare with the others in terms of being in vogue fashion-wise, yet I believed in myself. Believed in yourself. People won’t believe in you until you first believe in yourself. If you wait for people to value you, you will amount to nothing and come to nothing. Gideon had to be encouraged to place a value on himself. The Prodigal son learnt the hard way and re-valued himself. No one told him he was worth more than pigs; but pulled himself off their realm. If he hadn’t, no one would have related to him. That was were circumstances placed him, because he cooperated with the circumstances. But after he discovered himself and took charge of his life, he was not only accepted in the realm of men, he was celebrated. You too can be celebrated!
Place a value on yourself before expecting others to have a regard for you.
A person without self-esteem is like a man in a coma. He could be the richest man on earth, however until he regains consciousness, he has no control over his riches. A bad self-image of yourself denies you of your God given entitlements. You are a book read by others!
“Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.” -2 Corinthians 3:2 KJV
Like one would dump a boring book, even your friends would forsake you as in the case of the prodigal son. Your true friends are those who remain with you when you show your true worth.
A low self-esteem is contrary to the word of God in 2 Corinthians 3:18 which says you ought to change from glory to glory. The least you can ever get is “glory!” And that is your starting point! God has put so much in you, and He expects much from you. But a low self -worth will make you live below capacity and your input or investment in the Kingdom of God fall short of expectation.. According to Romans 12:3, God has given you a level of faith. Grow it, don’t hide it!
Someone said, “the way you are dressed is the way you are addressed.”
When you stop whining in self-pity and place a value on yourself, you will value your decisions and stand by them; taking full responsibility for those decisions whether they turn out good or bad. That is a mark of maturity, a mark of a leader; that is true beauty!
The prodigal son said “I will say to my father, I have sinned …..” He took responsibility for his actions. He did not try to pass the blame like Adam, and like many do today; blaming others instead of blaming themselves.
Believe in your self and take responsibility for your actions!
(4) PUT ACTION TO VALUE.
Gideon, recognising his worth in God, put an action in the knowledge. He gathered an army of 36,000 men and without fear or doubt, listened to God and sent home 35,700! Suggestions and advice could have been given him, yet he believed in the value God placed on him.
The prodigal son took an action after placing value on himself. I took an action of neatness.
No matter how “current” or expensive your dressing, you can never be fully confident when your clothes are dirty and rumpled. Cultivate the culture of neatness! Keep your finger nails clean, short and well manicured. If you wear your finger-nails long, give them some extra attention. What is the point in keeping long nail only to hide them under some table? Most men wash their hair everyday, I wash mine every other day, and I have a particular brand of hair cream I use. Groom your hair!
If you are a woman, do not stay too long before going to the hair salon. And whatever you do, don’t over-grease your hair, be it long or short! Be modest in your use of make-up. You certainly don’t want to look like a painted devil!
Your confidence will rise enhancing your value as you apply modesty in your appearance.
“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” – 1 Timothy 2:9 KJV
When you can afford it, buy a sweet smelling perfume, bless it and use it. It is not a sin!
Do not put up a false appearance by borrowing clothes to wear as sometimes this can bring you embarrassments. And do not go after things too expensive for you.
Be modest! Be strong! Be courageous!
Manifesting your beauty will give you a joy so priceless it cannot be bought with money.
But it starts with discovery; of who you are. What are the things you enjoy doing? Don’t despise those things, so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. What clothes bring out the best of you? Are they neat? And not offensive to the public? Wear them! They do not have to be in vogue, or expensive!
As an original, you become a leader because others who have not discovered themselves will begin to copy you.
Remember, there’s is a beauty in you that needs to be discovered.
Gideon was a young man completely empty. He was empty of pride, status, power, ambition, influence, achievement, ego, power, etc. He was completely empty of self! Yet the angel of the Lord called him “mighty man of valour”!
There was something in him that he never knew was there! The call was for him to look inward and discover the beauty hidden in him.
Jesus said “the Kingdom of heaven is within you”. There is something in us that is waiting to be discovered. Until this discovery is made you cannot look beautiful and admirable to your neighbours. Again Jesus said
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” – Matthew 22:39
You have to first discover the measure to which you love yourself and extend the same to others. You cannot love others when you have not discovered the depth of love in you. To love your neighbour as yourself, you need to do a personal discovery first. It has to be in you, resident in you. Till you master yourself, your beauty, your worth does not come out!
(1) DISCOVER YOURSELF
I discovered myself. That was how I became a pace-setter. I did not compete with any of the others as I knew I could not compare to them financially. While the others bought clothes that were in vogue and in magazines off supermarket rack, I went bending down for fairly used clothes at Yaba, Lagos. The clothes were neat, modest and fitting. I never allowed anyone to despise me for my mode of dressing. I was bright, smart and confident in my dressing, and carried myself as though my dressing was worth more than any other’s.
As write this, I remember a song by Dolly Parton, “the coat of many colours”, in which she told the story of a girl whose mother was so poor she couldn’t afford to buy her any clothes. She could only stitch pieces of different clothes together and the girl wore it proudly everywhere, even to school. Though others laughed at her, she knew every stitch of that dress was made in love.
Like that little girl, I wore my clothes proudly. And why not? It is the man, the carriage of the man, that makes the cloth, not the cloth making the man. Before long, I noticed that others were copying me! When I began parting my hair, a neighbour laughed at me, called me odd and old-fashioned. I ignored her. One month later, it was the in- thing!
(2) BE IN CHARGE!
I was responsible for my appearance! No one, no magazine and no situation dictated to me. I was lord and master of my dressing.
Until you charge, you are not in charge! In your life, you are first-class! Don’t surrender that first-class to the second-class of another person’s imagination.
The prodigal son almost missed it when he submitted his originality to the imagination and dictates of so called friends. They praised him, hailed him and he got swollen headed, lived their expectation, not his, and ended having the carpet pulled from under him!
Thanks to God, he discovered and became in charge of himself after the friends had left! (Luke 15:11-32)
“And when he came to himself ………” – Luke 15:17 KJV
This was the time he made the decision not to allow others rule his life. See the end; not only was he restored, he was given a ring, which signifies authority. Something his brother did not receive.
What about Jacob? He became unique after he wrestled with God, and lived no more by other people’s imagination. Not only was his name changed, he became a nation!
Discover yourself, and be in charge! Are you short, tall, fat or slim? What shape of face do you have; oval, flat, round, square? Do you have high-cheek bones? What is your skin type; oily, dry, etc.
Your beauty is in your hands. Discover yourself and be in charge!
……… to be continued.
We start exercising with the most preached, yet the most misunderstood message. LOVE. It is the easiest message to preach but the most difficult to practice.
Love is the central point of Jesus’ teaching, and the high point of chapters 13, 14, 15 and 16 of the book of John. A teaching that was not given to the multitude but to the core disciples.
In Matthew 5, as Jesus began His ministry, He gave the sermon on the mount to his core disciples.
“And seeing the multitudes, He went up into a mountain: and when He was set, his disciples came unto him: And He opened his mouth, and taught them.” – Matthew 5:1-2
Again at the closing of His earthly Ministry, He washed the feet of the core disciples (John 13), and in a teaching that covers four chapters, opens to them more about living in the spirit.
He told them of His going away, yet would be with them wherever they were. He talked about the Comforter, the promised Holy Spirit, and about the Father.
This was when Philip asked Him to show them the Father.
In answer, Jesus tells them about the Spirit connection between the Father and Himself, and how it shall be so between them (person to person), the Father and Himself.
All these He summarized possible by a commandment. The commandment to love.
Love is the climax of Christianity and the climax of spirit-life.
That is the reason Paul said “if I can move mountains but have no love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13)
Love is given as a commandment; as a commission, an order, a word of instruction authoritatively given, a mandate that must be carried out.
Love is not an option for Christians but a command!
“These things I command you, that ye love one another.” – John 15:17
Even to people who see us as their enemy, we are commanded to show love!
Someone takes your coat, you do not only have to show him love, you give him your cloak too!
Another insults you, disgraces you in public and takes your blanket; give him your bed too!
The person comes back to you thirsty; give him water to drink!
“It sounds crazy, why should I give drinking water to my sworn enemy?”
Its not your choice! Its a command.!
When I come visiting I prove my love. No! Visitation does not prove love. One can visit with anger and hatred in the heart. Visitation is no love!
When I give gifts I prove my love. Again no! I can give you every beautiful thing in the this world, yet not love! Many have given gifts for the purpose of blinding and gagging the recipient. No, giving gifts is not love!
“Well, I feed the poor.” Sorry, but that is not love either! “Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” – (Proverbs 23:7b)
I have seen men who fed others with the intention of destroying them. No, feeding others is not love!
Some fast and pray for others and call it love. Again I say no! The fact you prayed and fasted for someone and another knows disqualifies it from being love. Many have fasted and prayed for others, to prove spiritually superior or to keep them around! No, fasting and praying for others is not love!
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Love is not an outward show! Something done for others, for some to see! No!
Love is an inside demonstration: a thing of the heart done WITHOUT A GAIN TO SELF!
Love is not caring about yourself while laying your life down for other.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13
Love gives. Yes! It gives, not just things. It gives itself!
It does not give its “body”, but its very being; its very life.
Love gives itself for another!
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16
God gave His all, His very being. In human terms, God gave His posterity, His future.
Made in His image and likeness, we should be like Him.
Let’s exercise our senses to love without pretence, and with all sincerity; for God our Father is Love.
Jesus talked about the net cast into the sea and open to every kind of fish.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.” – Matthew 13:47-48
He likens the net to the Kingdom of heaven which is open to every body on earth, irrespective of their nationality, tribe, tongue, sex or race. A Kingdom to which many are called but few are chosen.
The rejected fishes were good and edible but not to specification.
He likens the chosen fish to the believer who meets a certain standard.
This believer has a rich store of knowledge, is able to seat down and by maturity and use of his senses, separates the old teachings from the new.
These are teachers.
A teacher is a matured person in the Kingdom, not a neophite.
Paul said matured believers ought to be teachers through word and character.
“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for He is a babe.”- Hebrew 5:12-13
“…… a babe”, not matured!
It takes maturity which comes by experiencing or tasting the Word of God to discern between good and evil.
Our heart is like a net that grabs all forms of teachings; good and bad, edifying teachings and destructive teachings.
Our heart is like that tree of knowledge capable of good and evil which God asked man to stay away from.
The heart indeed is not so smart!
Experience, maturity, calls for us to sit down and sort out the old teachings that served in their time from the new and better teachings which came by divine revelation: a message of the hour, of now, of Faith.
For example, Jesus said He chose us to bear fruit and if our fruit remain we shall ask anything of the Father in His Name and He may give it to us. We have been told concerning this that fruit bearing refers to the souls we win! No!
This is a distraction from the real fruit! And it is a major contribution to the moral decay in church! No single one of us has the power to keep a soul! God will not hold us responsible for souls that did not remain! Every soul must answer, and be responsible for itself. True, we should encourage one another to keeping faith in God, yet salvation is a personal race! God holds us responsible when we fail to warn them of the consequences of indulging in sin, and of ultimate judgement!
Paul could not retain all the souls he won to Christianity. Even Demas, an evangelist under Paul, could not be retained! Non of us can retain a soul.
What then is the fruit we are expected to bear?
This can be developed only through exercising the senses with the Word of God.
In Matthew 3, Jesus likens man to a tree. Isaiah agrees. ( Isaiah 61:3)
“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” – Matthew 3:8-10
You are a tree!
The kind of tree you are determines the fruit you bear! We are known by our fruit, not our seed!
In Christ, God empowers us to bear fruit. But we have to initiate the process. God will not force us against our will. This is implied in Romans chapter one; if we fail to meet our initial part: “retain Him”, He would leave us to ourselves and not help us.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. – Romans 1:28
He rather “prunes” us to bring forth much fruit when our zeal, determination and trust are in Him.
“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” – John 15:2
We need to have the hunger ( Matthew 5:6), not a wish, but the burning desire that would drive us to exercising our senses with the Word of God and put our body under subjection to the Word.
Jesus chose you to make a difference, to make an impact in your home, your job, your business, your neighbourhood. Do the right thing whether your employer is there or not.
Be “filled with the fruits of righteousness” – Philippians 1:11
“…..abounding in fruit in every good work” – Colossians 1:10
Make an impact through your character!
In Christ, when we begin to work on our character, exercising our senses with the Word of God, He steps in to help us. There has to be a genuine interest. Not a wish, but a sincere desire. The desire that can stand the purging fire, the strain and rigours of exercise.
There is no good in man. Without God’s help we cannot bear good fruit.
Spiritual exercise is not only good for our spiritual health, it helps keep us raptureable; in shape.
If we stop exercising we go out of shape.
Moses was trained by God in the wilderness for forty years. A mighty man in word, an orator ( Acts 7:22). He became a stammerer because of training. Deposits of Egypt: pride, self, arrogance, and all, were burnt out of him. He bore the fruit of being the meekest man on earth.
But he lost it when he stopped exercising. When you start don’t stop!
The process of purging is a very painful process. Even trees cry out when cut!
Jesus learnt obedience through the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:7-8). He was hundred percent God and hundred percent man, meaning He felt pain like you and I. What He went through in training helped form His character. Though God’s son, He had to go through it Himself.
So let’s go to the gym of the Spirit and exercise; “work out” our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).
Work out and keep working out your salvation!
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” – Revelation 22:20
I had quite a struggle before putting up this write-up. No, not the struggle of what to write or of how, but of “WHY THIS” should be pressed.
Ignorance kills; even kills spiritual giants.
We, the Church, have in a sense been sleeping when it comes to the issue of pre-rapture signs.
Wait! Don’t shut me down! Give me just a few moments.
It is possible so many things are going on that you do not know about!
For instance, do you know the first and second world wars were planned? And that everything turned out as planned? Do you know that the third world war was also planned the same time the first and second were? And that things are gradually unfolding as it was planned?
The reason for this write-up is to remind and sensitize the Church of the nearness of the rapture because the Church would not be here on earth when the third world war finally breaks out. The Holy Spirit would have taken the Ransomed of the Lord out of harm’s way.
How ready are you? Or still playing Church?
Consider this and know that time is up!
In 1871, an American General named, Albert Pike, who had been enticed into the Illuminati by Guisepe Mazzini, completes his military blueprint for three world wars and various revolutions throughout the world. Some say he predicted three world wars but no, he created the blueprint!
The first world war is to be fought for the purpose of destroying the Tsar in Russia, as promised by Nathan Mayer Rothschild in 1815. The Tsar is to be replaced with communism which is to be used to attack religions, predominantly Christianity. The differences between the British and German empires are to be used to forment this war.
The second world war is to be used to forment the controversy between facism and political zionism with the slaughter of Jews in Germany a lynchpin in bringing hatred against the German people. This is designed to destroy fascism (which the Rothschilds created) and increase the power of political zionism. This war is also designed to increase the power of communism to the level that it equalled that of united Christendom.
The third world war is to be played out by stirring up hatred of the Muslim world for the purposes of playing the Islamic world and the political zionists off against one another. Whilst this is going on, the remaining nations would be forced to fight themselves into a state of mental, physical, spiritual and economic exhaustion.
On August 15th of this year, 1871, Albert Pike writes a letter (now catalogued in the British Museum) to Guiseppe Mazzini in which he states the following,
“We shall unleash the nihilists and the atheists and we shall provoke a great social cataclysm which in all its horror will show clearly to all nations the effect of absolute atheism; the origins of savagery and of most bloody turmoil.”
Modern day terrorism which started in the Middle East as a religious disaffection and intolerance of certain people, grew stealthily to a religious war between Islam and other religions especially Christianity, according to plan!
Growing further, it has taken an international dimension and with the recent twist, the inclusion of Mosques as targets to attack, the war has taken a completely different turn!
It has gone beyond religion!
Some other thing, a malevolent and sinister intelligence is seeking to emerge!
Its disciples, “the nihilists and the atheist”, under the Illuminati, are preparing the ground for his emergence!
Even now, “He that letteth”, the Holy Spirit, is slowly letting!
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.” – 2 Thess. 2:7
“WILL LET”, He is already letting!
Watch the entertainment industry! They have unleashed the “great social cataclysm”, “which in all its horror”, do show “all nations the effect of absolute atheism”!
No prayer would prevent it!
It is not an issue of prayer, but of standing right with the Lord, of making straight His path! The Scripture must be fulfilled!
Before the Messenger of hell finally emerges to unleash madness however, the Trumpet shall sound and the Church, the Ransomed of the Lord, carried by the Holy Spirit, would be taken out of harm’s way.
“Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” – Matthew18:7
Are you ready?
Jesus, is coming any time now.
Are you ready?
The Bride would make herself ready.
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you ready?
Consider, and be ready, for there is no more time!
A Sculptor went to the wood market to buy a log of wood. There, he saw different sizes and colours of wood, yet he stayed long wondering from wood to wood, stall to stall. The log dealers conducted him round the market as he scrutinized each log to the amazement of the dealers. Still, he would not make up his mind which to buy. One by one they left him, disappointed to have wasted so much time on him. They concluded that he was not a serious customer and was not worth paying attention to.
However the Sculptor had something in mind; he knew what he was looking for and of all the log in the market, he could see only one with the pattern.
The dealers noticed he kept returning to a particular log. They could not see what he saw in the wood because as far as they were concerned, the logs were the same.
Presently, the Sculptor returned to the log. He stared hard and long at it; going round it in deep study. The years of experience had trained his eyes toward recognizing at a glance, the pattern on wood that matches the design in his mind. He could actually see the image in his mind on the wood!
Uninterested, the owner of the log turned his face away, looking for a potential customer. Certainly, this man is not serious, he thought, until the Sculptor beckoned on him.
Back at his studio, he went to work chiselling over the contours of the wood, his trained eyes seeing the design on the wood come to life, depicting the picture in his mind. At last the work was completed. It was a breath-taking master-piece.
We are the Wood, the Holy Spirit is the Sculptor. He knows God’s mind for us individually: His gifts and callings; God’s plan and design put in us before the foundation of the world.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” -1 Cor. 2:10-12
He alone knows where to chisel us. And He does, here and there, in the path we should go so that the beauty and aroma of God in us may be revealed.
“……but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” – John 21:18b
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Rom. 8:14
He connects us to God.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of his.” – Rom. 8:9
He makes us know our heavenly inheritance.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” -1 Cor. 2:12
He teaches us and comforts us.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:26
He prays in us according to the will of God.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Rom. 8:26-27
It takes the Holy Spirit to bring out or manifest the god in us as the Sculptor reveals the unseen beauty in the log.
Like the Wood, let’s learn to give Him the preeminence.