Category Archives: Teaching

When God Gives You A Warning.

When God Gives You A Warning.

Colossians 4:17
And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

Years ago brother Fred was on fire for God. He always talked about how we would do great things for God and the kingdom. He was someone you would love to hang out with if you had a hunger and thirst for the things of God. Influencing and impacting the world for Christ was his passion, everything else was secondary. He was involved in some small business supplying items to a large company. In the process of time the company began to give him bigger contracts and with this came more opportunity to travel the world and make more money. It was like the heavens opened on him and the money poured into his business. Soon he spent more time in foreign countries, pursuing his business and meeting new contacts. The money grew. Then I noticed that he stopped talking about his personal involvement in ministry. He stopped talking about how he wanted to impact the world for Jesus. Now that he was actually going round the world, something he had prayed for for years, he had lost the zeal to pursue the vision. He said he wanted to ‘make more money and give it to the church’, as if God was indigent needed his money to run the affairs of the kingdom. He attended church to pray for his business, not to pray concerning the dying fire in his soul. He had money but he had lost the zeal to pursue the ministry God gave him.

Let us look at some lessons from our text.

1. Paul said he should ‘take heed’.

Paul singles out a man named Archippus and sent him a warning. If it wasn’t so important Paul wouldn’t have mentioned it in his letter to the Colosians.
What does this mean? It means to be careful, to watch your step, to evaluate your actions and make sure you are doing the right thing, you are going in the right direction, you are pursuing the right thing. Why did Paul tell him to be careful? It was because this was a serious matter and if he made a mistake it would be detrimental to his relationship with The Lord.

Archippus, take heed.

You should substitute your name for Archippus. Be careful because if you are not careful you will make a big mistake with your life. There are different kinds of mistakes in life. Some mistakes can be corrected. Some are difficult to correct but you can still manage and struggle to live with the consequences of your wrong, unfortunate choices. But some mistakes cannot be corrected and are impossible to live with. If you make such mistakes you have essentially thrown your life away, you have abrogated your destiny, you have shot yourself in the foot, you have used your own hands to destroy your life.

Paul was telling Archippus that he had only one opportunity to do this, and if he missed it there was no way to fix it. Paul was saying, ‘You cannot do this again. If you miss it, if you miss this opportunity to pursue and fulfil your calling, you would have essentially wasted your life. I don’t want you to waste your life, so be careful.’ Continue reading

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When God Moves You Out Of Your Comfort Zone (Part One)

 

Deuteronomy 32:11-12
As an eagle stirs up her nest,
flutters over her young,
spreads abroad her wings, takes them,
bears them on her wings:
So the Lord alone did lead him,
and there was no strange god with him.

 

When an eagle wants to train its eaglets to fly, it stirs up its nest. The eagle brings the young eaglets out of the nest, picks them up, flies to a high point and releases them in the air. The eaglets experience free fall. It is at this point that they learn to flutter their wings and they become stronger. The eagle repeats this process until the eaglets learn how to fly. An eaglet will never learn to fly until it is pushed out of the nest, which is its comfort zone.

In the same way, when The Lord wants you to pursue a new assignment, when He wants to take you to a higher level in life, when He wants you to unleash your potential, He pushes you out of your comfort zone and brings you into a new situation in which you are compelled to use the abilities that have been lying dormant, untouched, unutilized within you. The Lord may give you an instruction to resign from your comfortable job  and start a business or expand an existing one; launch a ministry; pursue a new career when all you want to do is relax and enjoy the success of your current career; or relocate to a foreign country and start afresh.  In such situations you are like the eaglet pushed out of it’s nest or dropped by the eagle into free fall: you are compelled to flap your ‘wings’ and fly. Continue reading

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When God Shuts A Door

When God Shuts a door.

Revelation 3:7
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.

Samuel Akins worked in a bank for fifteen years until there was a change in management and he was laid off. After searching for another job for months he came to the realisation that his skill-set was useful in the banking industry and the banks had no vacancy for a man at his level. After he bemoaned his situation for a few more months he started praying and asking The Lord what to do with his life, that was when Lord stirred up an idea He had given him some years earlier which was to venture into real estate development. When The Lord gave him that idea he was comfortable in the bank and refused to explore it. But after months of joblessness and dwindling financial resources he was desperate for solutions to his situation, so he pursued and developed that idea. Today the company he launched about ten years ago have built impressive estates in various cities in Nigeria. In an interview he ascribed his success to ‘the door God shut by being laid off at his bank.’ He said if that hadn’t happened he wouldn’t have ventured out to launch his company which has brought him immense success and emotional satisfaction.

God opens doors and shuts doors in order to establish his kingdom and effect His will, plan and purpose in our lives.
No one likes to talk about shut doors. We all want The Lord to open new doors for us, and keep on opening them, not shut the ones that are already open to us. Continue reading

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When God Moves On.

When God Moves On

Exodus 13:21-22
And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

The Lord led sister Tanya Hart to start a water bottling business. Through the years it grew and became successful. Tanya diversified from bottled water into real estate and expanded her business interests. About a year ago The Lord started talking to her about handing over her role in the business to her able business partners and entering politics. Her constituency needed better representation in the Senate and The Lord placed it on her heart to run for public office. In spite of the gentle push she received from the Holy Spirit and the words of prophecy given to her by complete strangers telling her that The Lord would have her in public office, Tanya made no attempt to go in the direction of God’s direction. She had so many projects lined up and entering politics would totally ruin her plans. She had acquired thirty acres of land to build a new estate. She had drawn up the plans and secured financing for the project. This was going to be her largest project and she wasn’t ready to give it up for anything else, no mater how strongly it was impressed upon her heart. The reality and truth of the present moment was that God had left the water bottling business and had moved on to something new. Tanya was stuck in her success, but God had moved on. Continue reading

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Money: Fear and Lies.

 

Every dictator knows that the way to wield absolute power over people is to instil enough fear in them and use it to manipulate, control and enslave them.
Someone said that fear is at the core of power.
If you want to have power over people, all you have to do is make them fearful and they will do anything for you.
Unfortunately such techniques are not only used in the secular world but are also employed by some preachers who are wolves in clever disguise, pretending to be shepherds in the Church.

Fear is used by these impostors to manipulate whole congregations to obey them and do whatever crazy thing they ask them to do without thinking. Fear is used to enslave people to their organisations.
Fear is the principal tool of extortion used by these power hungry wolves to steal from the ignorant and enrich themselves.

A leader who uses fear to manipulate people to follow him does not deserve to be followed, neither does he deserve a leadership position.

Human beings are plagued by various fears. These include the fear of failure, fear of poverty, fear of ill health, fear of shame, fear of loss and the fear of death. These fears plague everyone in different degrees. What the wolves in the church do is to stir up fears in your soul then turn around to tell you that they have the solution to those fears.

Take the fear of poverty for instance.
Poverty is not a spiritual problem. It is an economic issue. You overcome poverty when you offer value to the market place. It is not a spiritual disease or condition like some preachers say. You don’t need to be spiritual in any form or manner to make money. All you need is to understand and apply some economic laws and the situation of poverty will be reversed.

It was Adolf Hitler who said ‘People will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.’

Many American and African preachers have copied from Hitler’s play book on the manipulation and control of the masses and they employ his evil techniques on their gullible followers. They have come up with a lie so big that even some of the smartest people amongst us are deceived by their narrative. The lie is simple. They say if you give them money you will become rich, you will also retain the riches you already have, avoid financial disasters and generally do well in life. However if you don’t bring your money to them you will suffer and be visited with various calamities and unfathomable evil. They package success stories associated with people who apparently gave them money and became rich overnight. They conclude that if you don’t give them your money you will struggle financially.

I have heard a popular Nigerian preacher tell his congregation that ‘giving makes you rich.’ He goes on to tell his listeners that it is because they don’t give to him and his church that they struggle financially. This is a wicked lie deployed from hell against the Saints. This celebrity preacher has ridden on the back of this lie for decades and is now surrounded by material things which apparently proves that his heretic theories on money are correct. But a lie is a lie no matter how many people believe it to be true. A lie still remains a lie no matter how many private jets, buildings, businesses the proponents of this lie have acquired. Millions of people who don’t subscribe to Christian values are rich by applying basic economic principles to their work and life situation. They never had to ‘give to get rich’.

Like flies breed worms so ignorance breeds fear.
Where great fear exists, great ignorance sustains it. The fear of poverty is fuelled by ignorance. It is fuelled by the ignorance of economic laws which can be applied to break its vicious cycle. It is fuelled by the ignorance of how money works. Preachers capitalise on the ignorance of their gullible listeners and infuse their minds with lies. When you have no idea what the bible says, when you don’t understand the nature of God, you will become a victim of fear. What we don’t know, we mystify and when we mystify something it scares the living day lights out of us. Dubious preachers mystify money. It is a deliberate deceit to make people associate money with mystery and spirituality. I have heard some preachers say that ‘money is spiritual.’ This is also a lie designed to mystify money and make it look like the only way to make money is to follow some ‘spiritual process,’ and that process is always somehow connected to giving money to the preacher. But money is no way spiritual. Money is as natural, as earthly as it gets. Money is simply a reward for the value we bring to the market place. It is not a reward for some spiritual activity we engage in.

People driven by fear and superstition give to a church not because they love the Lord, but because they are ignorant and think it is the surest way to overcome poverty. They give because they want to either get rich or protect what they’ve got. They give not out of love for the cause of Jesus Christ, but because they want to secure material, financial and other temporal blessings in their lives. They give because their pastors threaten that if they don’t, they will be haunted by curses, beset by evil omens, be attacked by devourers and experience bad luck.

But is this true? Is this what Jesus Christ taught? Is this scripturally correct?

Jesus did not teach this. this is not scripturally correct. It is a well conceived lie designed to steal from the ignorant, the superstitious and the gullible. It is manipulation at its most insidious form.
It is quite shameful because the leaders who preach such lies should know better.
Giving in the New Testament is done willingly by the giver, without coercion of any kind. Giving is primarily an act of worship, not a means to secure temporal blessings. There are people who don’t subscribe to Christian values, yet they are very rich. Having money is not a function of your spirituality or your giving. It is a function of bringing value to the market place. The fallacy of the ‘give to get’ narrative is clearly seen by the fact that people who don’t subscribe to Christian beliefs are the richest on the planet. If the ‘give to get’ lie were true, Christians should be the wealthiest on the planet. But we are not. The kingdom of Christ is not in meat and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The Church of Christ should not be motivated by fear, but by love. Jesus said: ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments.’ John 14:15. The keeping of his commandment should be done out of love for him, not because we are afraid of something bad happening to us if we don’t comply. Love for The Lord is a more powerful motivating force than fear.
Love is the reason why we serve The Lord Jesus Christ, not fear. John says : ‘We love him because he first loved us.’ 1John 4:19.
Love is the reason why we obey him and do the things that please him.
Love is the reason why we lay down our lives for the cause of Christ and for the brethren.
It is the love of Christ that compels us, motivates us, moves us to action. Not fear.
It is the love of Christ that stirs us up to give our money, time and energy in service.
Without love being at the core of what we do, we would have wasted our lives at end of our journey. 1Corinthians 13. We shouldn’t desecrate the offerings of God turning our love gifts into bargaining tools or gambling chips by which we expect to win a jackpot. We should honour The Lord with our offerings from a heart of gratitude, knowing that there is nothing we can give to deserve God’s mercy, favour and goodness in our lives. It is when our free will offerings are given in love that they are acceptable, pleasing, received and rewarded by The Lord.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

If you are compelled by fear to give to a church or charity, you are in bondage. Each time you give under the influence of fear you will become more enslaved by it. Fear brings great torment to your soul. This is not how God operates. He never uses coercion, manipulation, intimidation or fear as motivation for us to do His will. If you are scared that if you don’t give ‘bad things will happen to you,’ you should resist the urge to give until that feeling of fear goes away. Never give under the influence of fear.

If you serve or give your time, energy and resources to a Christian organisation, let it be out of a heart motivated by love to serve and obey The Lord Jesus Christ. Let it never be because of fear.

1Timothy 4:8 says, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, of love and of a sound mind.

The Lord doesn’t reward offerings given in fear or motivated by covetousness. The Lord only rewards our free will offerings given in love.

Blessings.

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Eyes That See.

 

Has this ever happened to you?
You misplaced your car keys then you began to search for them. After a while of searching you finally found them on the dinning table, not hidden at all. It was as if someone or an angel found your keys and placed them on your dinning table so that you could find them there. However the truth is that your keys were right before you all that time you were searching for them but you couldn’t see them but you were probably distracted by other pressing issues on your mind.

Something similar happened to Hagar in Genesis 21.

After being driven out of Abraham’s house, Hagar and her son Ishmael trudged through the wilderness. Her feet sank deeper into the sand as they became heavy with exhaustion. She squeezed the last drops of water into the dry mouth of her son, left him under a shrub, sat by a rock a little way off so that she wouldn’t see him die, then she lifted up her voice and wept. That was when an angel appeared to her. Continue reading

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The Anatomy Of A Calling, Part 3- Overcoming Covetousness.

 

Judas was among the called. The master found him and called him. Judas dropped all he was doing and followed the master. We are not told what his profession was or else we would vilify all who belong to that profession. But it wasn’t his profession that was the issue. It was his soul.

Judas walked with The Lord but nothing he heard or saw in the master’s ministry made an impact on his life. He saw what the Lord Jesus was capable of; his power to heal, save and deliver, but it made zero impact on him. He was there when blind Bartemaeus cried out to The Lord for mercy and witnessed The Lord restore his sight. He followed The Lord on his way to the centurion’s house. The Lord stopped on the road and said someone had touched him. A woman ran out of the crowd and confessed that she had been sick for several years but when she touched the hem of his garment, she was instantly healed. But none of these miracles touched his heart in any way. No wonder Jesus cursed the great cities which saw his miracles yet remained antithetical to the gospel. Unless the Holy Spirit moves miracles in themselves cannot turn a hardened heart to Jesus.

Judas was in the ministry with Jesus but he was in it for what he could use the Master to get. He was in the ministry to enrich himself. He used his title as ‘an apostle of Jesus’ to scam as much money as he could from the multitudes. When Jesus sent them out to go and heal the sick in Luke 9, Judas probably used the opportunity to ‘raise some funds for the ministry.’ He wasn’t thinking about what to do to expand the kingdom but all he wanted was what he could use Jesus and the kingdom to accomplish for himself. Continue reading

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