3 Wisdom Lessons from the House of Mourning

Mourning“It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2 KJV).

Many times we learn the hard lessons from our defeats and failures, than from our triumphs and successes. Yeah! Countless times, we learn a lot in our sober moments, in those seasons of pain and anguish, than in our spirited moments.

Last weekend saw a host of funeral services and interments in my little town of Effiduase in Koforidua, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. As I heard the continuous scream of the motor hearses that strolled our streets, these lessons were dropped into my spirit by the Holy Spirit:

1] There is an end to man. In the place of mourning, one sees the fate of all men; that the creature called Man never abides on our earth forever—as there is a time of birth, there is also a time of death (Ecclesiastes 3:2). Therefore, all men have to put this certain truth to heart and live their lives accordingly.

However, after death, one thing is most certain, THE JUDGMENT: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV).

In this regard, it behooves us to live our lives on Earth in a way that would please our Eternal Judge, our Lord Jesus Christ. We must fulfill our God-given purpose, and prepare to meet Him (Amos 4:12). We must finish His assignment, so we would not be ashamed when we meet Him face-to-face in the Day of Judgment (2 Timothy 4:7).

The great prophet of old, Moses, once asked God to “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12 KJV).

The fact that we are not going to be here forever must make us humble as we go about our daily activities. “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am” (Psalm 39:4 KJV). This was the heartfelt pray of King David in recognition of this truth.

2] Man is not to be feared. There is a limit to man. Since there is an end to man, he can’t torment any person on Earth forever. A day comes when he can no more inflict oppression on people. Therefore, he is not to be feared.

Jesus, in his teachings, warned his disciples whom to fear: “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12:5 KJV). Christ warned his followers to fear God, and not man.

The Psalmist said, “Verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity” (Psalm 39:5 KJV). Never be afraid of man because “the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25 KJV). The Preacher said in Ecclesiastes 12:13: “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

The fear of man has made many trod paths of unrighteousness, just to please people. Yes! And the fear of man has made a lot of people live in mediocrity, especially in Africa, where successful people are always under attack.

The King David knew his source of security and strength when he said: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 KJV). “The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?” (Psalm 118:6 KJV).

Always remember when you are attempted to be afraid of the evil schemes of wicked men in these times of uncertainty that “the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25 KJV).

3] Never rely on, or put your trust in man. Since man does not have the ultimate power to his existence on Earth, man can’t be wholly trusted. You can’t rely on mortal man to meet your needs. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” (Psalm 146:3-5 KJV).

It is certain that the day he dies, all his good intentions about his promised help to you go with him into the grave—from which he could offer you no assistant. That is why we should rather trust and depend on God to meet our needs. The LORD reigns forever. It is He who can touch men to offer assistance to you even if they are unwilling. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1 KJV). His ways are awesome.

Unquestionably, the frailty of man should make us think twice when we conceive the idea of putting our trust in our fellow man. The Scriptures say: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (Jeremiah 17:5-7).

In the house of mourning, so many lessons are available to the wise in heart. These are but a few. We should keep these lessons to heart, and should be conscious of the fact that history keeps repeating itself, but mostly to people who fail to learn from its lessons.

God bless you!

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Bridging the Mind Gap: Why Me?

BETTER PLANS“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 KJV).

It is hard for us when, at times, our hopes seem to have been dashed, and we appear to be all alone—alone in our confusion, distress and in our mess. God promised to be with us when we go through the waters and fire. He said through the Prophet Isaiah that: “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:2 KJV).

And yeah! He is true to His promise. We saw Him with Moses and all of Israel through the waters of the Red Sea, and with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the flames of fire. Even David was assured of His presence when he went through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4).

But one would ask why He forsook Christ on the cross at the height of his pain and anguish. “Why me?” is the most thinkable and likely question we would ask in such times of great despair. Jesus felt alone on the cross, as it is with us some times when we feel God has forsaken us, and seemed distant from us.

Why does He look on as we go through those?

There are times for the greater glory, and for the sake of the greater blessing, He has to make us endure hardness. He leaves us to go through the pain, the confusion, the anguish and distress to fulfill His ultimate purpose of glorifying us—of making us fit to handle greater blessings. That’s who He is! For the greater cause, He allows the lesser to have its way.

God’s plans are wonderful, and we can’t fathom the depth of His knowledge and understanding. The Apostle Paul wrote, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Romans 11:33-34 KJV).

We may not understand His ways, but we must trust Him, in full assurance of a greater blessing even in our pain, and those difficult moments, as Christ did. Jesus after questioning why he had been forsaken didn’t leave it there. He moved on to trust Him enough to give Him his spirit for preservation when he said: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46 KJV). Once, Job said in his affliction: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15 KJV).

It is only Him who can fill the gap between our expectations, and our disappointments in those hard times when we feel dejected. Only God can fill those gaps between our understanding of uncertainty, truth and reality from eternal perspective. Truly, His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thought. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 KJV).

We must learn to trust Him, even in times of our great disappointments, knowing that He has allowed them for a greater cause. Yeah! That He’s allowed whatever thing it is, for a greater blessing which would be made manifest in the process of time, as and when it pleases Him to reveal to us.

Stay blessed, Beloved of God!

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More Oil Is What We Need!

More Oil“Let thy garments be always white; and let not thy head lack oil” (Ecclesiastes 9:8 ASV).

Many times we fail to recognize what we really need. We go after our “presumed needs” that do not satisfy, and that do not bring us the very fulfilment we desperately seek. On numerous occasions, we fail to accurately diagnose the extent of our problems and the help we truly need to resolve them.

The opening verse of this text are the words of the Preacher to his people; the words of the wisest king, Solomon, to his folks, after a thorough study of human life under the heaven. He came to recognize that, oil (the anointing) is what makes the difference, after one has kept a clean garment (a righteous life). Yes! That’s what he found was needed. That was the difference maker in the lives of the people he searched under the heaven.

In the Gospels, we find an occasion where our Lord Jesus broke the laws of economics by feeding about five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6:33-44; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:1-13). The day was far spent and these men were hungry. He had taught them matters concerning the kingdom of God; he had healed the sick, and now these people needed something for their stomach.

“His disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed: send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat” (Mark 6:35-36 KJV). This was a valid assessment by his disciples, after analysing the situation and judging with their eyes what they thought was the solution to the problem they had with the multitude.

But Jesus knew the people would faint on their way, and so that wasn’t a favourable choice. Therefore, he would not let them go owing to his compassion for them. When he asked his disciples to get them some food to eat,“Philip answered him, ‘Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him,‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?’” (John 6:7-9 NKJV).

Philip had checked their treasury and found the money wasn’t enough. And Andrew had spotted a boy with some bread and fish, but that was nothing compared to the resource he thought they needed at that moment. However, Jesus Christ, the Anointed One, knew about the anointing and what it can do. He had once spoken about the oil of God upon him, when he said: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” (Luke 4:18-19 NKJV).

Jesus knew the value of the oil of God in matters like what they had met, and He knew that, that was exactly what was needed—that the problem was not a lack of finances or other resources but the oil of God. He knew the anointing could multiply the limited to make of it, the limitless; as Elisha did with the oil of the widow in 1 Kings 4:1-7. So Christ took the few loaves of bread and the dispised fish and handed over them to the Almighty, lifting them up to Him in thanksgiving. These anointed loaves of bread and fish became a wonder. The oil of God made the difference.

We must come to terms with the value of the oil of God, and our great need of it when faced with challenges that defy logic. The Prophet Isaiah said, under the Spirit of Prophecy that: “It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.” (Isaiah 10:27 NJKV). More oil is what we need to break the yokes of the enemy and set: God’s people at liberty to fulfil their purpose. More anointing of the Holy Spirit of God is what we need to produce the extraordinary, in spite of our financial constraints and limited resources.

Sure! That’s what we need. Let’s ask God to anoint our heads with fresh oil, with fresh anointing of His Holy Spirit. And let’s seek to grow in this grace. Jesus walked on the earth as how a man heavily anointed by God would walk. That’s the life God desired for man when He created Adam, and He still wishes that we live and flow in this grace (His anointing) as we live our lives after the pattern of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Beloved of God, let your head never lack the anointing of the Holy Spirit! God bless you!!

 

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Why Elijah Fled From Jezebel: One Reason Many People Ignore

GLET Media (Ghana)

Unmanaged StressElijah was one of the greatest prophets of old. He called on God to send fire from Heaven to consume a burnt sacrifice in a bid to turn the heart of God’s people back to Him after they had strayed to idolatry. God sent fire from Heaven in such a dramatic manner to prove to all that He is God and that there is none like Him. This was a grand contest with the prophets of Baal. But after this victory, Elijah fled for his life when Jezebel (wife of the King, Ahab) threatened to behead him; just as he, Elijah, had earlier done to all prophets of Baal after his victory.

Why did this great prophet of the Old Testament run from this woman who threatened his life? Why couldn’t he stand as he had done to the prophets of Baal, and called fire from heaven?

It is recorded…

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The Fastest Way to Reach Your Desired Destination

Fastest way to destination“Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. But He said to them, ‘It is I; do not be afraid.’ Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.” (John 6:18-21 NKJV)

The disciples of Jesus were heading for Capernaum but they encountered a storm that threatened their very lives. However, Jesus came to them in the midst of their troubles to rescue them, and to ensure that they safely reached their destination. When He approached them, they willingly received Him into their troubled boat, and they were immediately at the land where they were going.

It is sad that many children of God aren’t reaching their destination. They are at sea, battling contrary winds. They are not reaching their full potential. They are living far below God’s standard, simply because they have willingly ignored Jesus, and have kept Him out of their lives. They have shut their ears to His calls to enter their boat—their lives. He is knocking on the doors of their hearts but they aren’t opening their doors to Him. And so they are failing to live up to God’s ordained purpose for them. It is saddening; but that’s it. It is very simple, and yet very true.

In John 15:5, He said, “…without me you can do nothing.” (NKJV). Truly, we must concede that we can’t do it without Him, and humbly receive Him into our troubled boats—into our lives. That is the surest and fastest way to reach our destination, and to live up to our God-given potential and purpose.

Be blessed, as you heed His calls to enter your life!

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