Monday, October 12, 2020

Dreams, Visions, The Still Small Voice & Miracles- God is in control

God’s ways of speaking to His children are quite amazing and also amusing sometimes. Have you ever felt speaking to you through bumper stickers/ stickers pasted on vehicles? Well, I have had the grace to get His advice in this manner on quite a few occasions.

Several years back when one of my uncles’ died and the funeral was taking place, I was very worried about my now widowed aunt as they had no children and she was not keeping very well. After the funeral, my mind kept musing over the unfortunate condition of my aunt and the more I thought about it, the more sad I became. It so happened that I had to travel to another place after the funeral and as I got into a cab with these thoughts running wild in my mind, I saw this sticker pasted on the inner side of the front glass and I knew for sure that God was speaking to me. The words just jumped at me and gave immediate peace. The sticker said, “Relax! God is in control.”

Quite amazing! I mean God is so powerful that He can just speak to us through even the most insignificant of things.

Recently stormy winds hit the area where we live and the electricity was disrupted because of trees having fallen over the electric cables. Lack of electricity, I guess is a major problem for us who have been used to its availability since the time we were born. And not having it for a couple of days was just too upsetting for me. So as I traveled back from my Clinic, I was just speaking to the Lord and telling Him of my woes of not having electricity and the resulting difficulties. Suddenly another vehicle overtook my car and God just spoke to me from a sticker on the back of that car. It read, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” God was just saying, “Whatever be the circumstances son, rejoice in me.”

I believe God is always speaking to His children. If only our ears and minds were tuned into His loving voice, we would hear Him more often.

For God speaks once, yes twice, though man pays no attention.  (Job 33:14)

365 Blessings Devotionals- October 12

As they make music they will sing, "All my fountains are in you." (Psalm 87:7) 

People may promise us many things but they may not fulfill those promises. Every believer should understand that all their blessings come from Christ. He is their fountain that never dries up. 

In the KJV Bible we read the same as....all my springs are in thee. (Psalm 87:7b) 

If all the money that people promised through e-mails were to come true, we would have ranked somewhere near Bill Gates in terms of riches. 

God has promised us that "He will never leave us nor forsake us." 

When in a precarious situation, having to sacrifice his son Isaac and being asked where the sacrificial animal was, Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. (Genesis 22:8)

And after God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, seeing his obedience, God provided a ram for the sacrifice.

So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." (Genesis 22:14)

Our trust should be in the Lord and no one else. He will provide us with what we need because He is a good father. God may use human channels to provide us with what we need, but these human channels are not the fountain; the fountain is Christ and as the Bible says,

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19) 

So let us hold on to the promises of God rather than the promises of men.

Friday, October 9, 2020

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Dreams, Visions, The Still Small Voice & Miracles- You are not a quitter

One Sunday I was invited to attend a Bible College Worship and deliver a message from the Word Of God, but when I woke up that morning, I felt very sick in my stomach. I had griping pain and loose motions. Usually I fast on Sunday mornings and eat food only after the worship, but this time I couldn’t help it, so I took some medicines for the ailment. As the time drew near for me to travel to the venue, I had a fear in my mind whether I could really make it to the venue and preach because my stomach was in a bad condition. I was praying and praising God for this problem to go away but there was no relief. In between a thought came to my mind that I should perhaps call my hosts and tell them that I wouldn’t be coming, but this program had been arranged a long while ago and a last minute cancellation could mean problems for the college authorities. So I just kept praying and hoping that God would heal and everything would be OK.

I had prepared my message, but contemplating on whether I should cancel my trip that morning, it just came to my mind to pick a book from the shelf and read a bit. It was a true life story of Harold Morris, the author of “Twice Pardoned” (a great read). This book was called “Beyond The Barriers” and I just opened it casually to a page and I was just stunned at the words that leapt in my face the moment I opened the book. It was God speaking to me directly in my situation. Here is what it said.

“One thing I know about you is that you are not a quitter, you can surely do it.”

I did not check what was really happening in the book or who was saying to whom, but God here was directly speaking to me. I was so over whelmed with tears of joy flowing down my cheeks. God had spoken and I didn’t need any more assurances. That morning as I traveled and as I attended the Bible College worship, I just kept thanking God for His love and care for me and my family.

I didn’t have many problems with my tummy after the words that God had spoken to me through the book that morning. I could preach well to the students at the Bible College that morning and it was a good day for me and my family.

Praise God that He speaks to us and comforts us in our times of distress.

Blessed be the LORD, because he has heard the voice of my petitions. (Psalm 28:6)

365 Blessings Devotionals- October 9

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. (John 1:16) 

It's great when we experience one blessing after another coming from the Lord.

The Bible says, " He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:32) 

Salvation, healing, deliverance, peace, hope & joy; all these and much more because of the sacrifice of Jesus. And there's much more to come. 

In the 2nd book of Corinthians we read,

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9) 

Wonderful heavenly blessings await all those who have put their trust in Jesus and are living for Him. Things that cannot be even imagined by the human mind. Inventions and discoveries that have taken place till today can never even come close to the great heavenly blessings that await the believer in Jesus Christ.

Revelation Ch.21 gives us a glimpse of eternity.

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:2-4)

God says,

I am making everything new!" (Revelation 21:5)

It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. (Revelation 21:6)

He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. (Revelation 21:7)


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Dreams, Visions, The Still Small Voice & Miracles- The girl's cry

I have been noticing the cries of a little girl every morning as her father leaves for work. They stay in a flat on the floor above mine and every morning she calls out “Papa” several times as her Dad leaves the flat, enters the elevator and comes down to exit the building and walk away to work. This morning as I stood at the entrance of the building, I could hear her shrill voice crying out “Papa” repeatedly even as the guy was in the elevator and coming down.

As soon as he stepped out and heard her cry, he shouted back...What’s it baby....I’ll be back soon...Promise. And she in turn cried back....Don’t be late....I’ll be waiting.....Promise, he shouted back. Then she became quiet.

Do we long for Jesus in the same manner? Do we love to be with him day in and day out? Are we waiting expectantly for his return? He says.........

Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work. (Revelation 22:12)

365 Blessings Devotional- October 7

Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. (Proverbs 15:17) 

Have you ever sat at the dinner table loaded with the best of foods and felt like not eating because of a strained relationship with whom you are living with- wife, husband, children, parents? Your favorite dish is on the table, but you don't feel like eating because of grief! 

In some homes, when there is a fight, one or the other member usually says, “I don't feel like eating tonight." No amount of persuasion can change their hearts because they have lost their appetite because of a lack of love. 

The writer of this proverb is basically saying that love is an essential ingredient even while we are at the dinner table. Satisfaction does not only come from the things that are on the dinner table, but from the joy of sharing and caring while we partake of the food. 

There are some families where everyone eats separately and go about their businesses, whether it be work or school or college. Other than family prayer, eating together at breakfast or dinner can be a time where one can share the joys of being together as a family. Can we find the time? It's always possible if we want to. 

The writer of Proverbs also pens:

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. (Proverbs 17:1)

How true.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Dreams, Visions, The Still Small Voice & Miracles- A wake up call

“Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” The watchman said, “The morning comes, and also the night.” (Isaiah 21:11, 12)

The winter mornings were very cold that December. Still I ventured out on to the terrace of the house where we stayed, pulled up a chair and eased myself into it wrapping myself in a warm blanket to keep the chill away. It was 5am and the stars were not yet gone and a slight fog was around. Praying didn’t seem easy that morning with the cold atmosphere and as it sometimes happens in my life, I began wondering whether this was so important so early when I could get another hour of sleep.

Half praying, half pondering over things, I was startled to hear a voice distinctly call out from the lane nearby, “Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?” As I turned my head and looked, I could see a man riding his bicycle on the lane nearby and disappearing into the fog. But before his figure faded into the fog, he answered the question that he had himself asked, saying – “Morning is coming, but also the night”

I remembered this verse from Isaiah 21. This small incident invigorated my spiritual life for many months. Unmistakably it was God’s way of speaking and affirming the truth. Perhaps He had sent an angel to give me a wakeup call.

Firstly, He had made me a watchman for the city. To watch and pray; whether it was warm or cold or rainy; I was not to forget my duty. Secondly, as Jesus told His disciples in the Gospel of John, Ch.9, v. 4.

I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day. The night is coming, when no one can work.

Thirdly it was God’s assurance that He is with us through the thick and thin of it all, day in and day out.

Dear friend, If God has chosen you as a watchman to watch and pray over your city, do not backtrack. Remember, there are several precious souls at stake.

Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel. Therefore hear the word from my mouth, and warn them from me.  (Ezekiel 3:17)

365 Blessings- October 6

"Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns." (Genesis 49:21)

About Naphtali Moses said: "Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the Lord and is full of his blessing; he will inherit southward to the lake." (Deuteronomy 33:23) 

How great it is to be abounding with favor of the Lord.

In the book of Esther we read of the King thrice telling Esther: 

"What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you." (Esther 5:3) 

As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, "Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted." (Esther 5:6) 

and as they were drinking wine on that second day, the king again asked, "Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted." (Esther 7:2) 

Esther had found favor in the kings eyes, so he wanted to give her whatever she asked for. 

And to those who believe in Jesus and are living for him, Jesus says,

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32)




Monday, October 5, 2020

Dreams, Visions, The still small voice & miracles- 4 Lepers

A pastor friend of mine had to find a house on rent urgently as he and his family had been asked to vacate the rented house that they were living in as soon as possible. He had been praying fervently about the matter and searching for a house in different places for the same, but to no avail.

I too joined in the hunt and for several days searched and enquired of houses that were to be rented. It had almost been a week and the pastor had to vacate the house that he stayed in now, the next morning.

Early next morning I had to go to the market to buy groceries and as I drove my car towards the market, I was telling the Lord how my master friend needed a miracle that day. It was then that I saw them- 4 lepers walking together and in a moment the Lord spoke to me & reminded me of the 4 lepers during the great famine of 7 years when Elisha was prophet in Israel.

Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate. They said to one another, “Why do we sit here until we die? If we say, ‘We will enter into the city,’ then the famine is in the city, and we will die there. If we sit still here, we also die. Now therefore come, and let’s surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they save us alive, we will live; and if they kill us, we will only die.” They rose up in the twilight, to go to the camp of the Syrians. When they had come to the outermost part of the camp of the Syrians, behold, no man was there. For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians to hear the sound of chariots, and the sound of horses, even the noise of a great army; and they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us.” Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their donkeys, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. When these lepers came to the outermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold, and clothing, and went and hid it. Then they came back, and entered into another tent, and carried things from there also, and went and hid them. Then they said to one another, “We aren’t doing right. Today is a day of good news, and we keep silent. If we wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let’s go and tell the king’s household.”                     (2 Kings 7:3-9)

What the Holy Spirit was impressing me was that ‘this was a day of good news’ (verse 9 above). At once I knew that my pastor friends’ prayer had been answered.

Surely enough later that day one of the patients who came to consult me in my clinic told me (without me asking him) that his brother’s house was available for rent should someone whom I knew needed it.

I smiled when he said that and soon my friend had the rented house that he needed so urgently. This was another occasion that the Lord had spoken to me clearly and performed a much needed miracle. Praise the Lord.

By awesome deeds of righteousness, you answer us, God of our salvation. You who are the hope of all the ends of the earth, of those who are far away on the sea. (Psalm 65:5)

365 Blessings- October 5

Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing - grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God. (Joel 2:14) 

The prophet Joel is telling Judah here that perhaps with fasting and weeping they can touch the heart of God and He may leave a blessing on them even though they had committed great iniquities. 

He addressed the nation:

'Even now,' declares the LORD, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.' Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 2:12, 13) 

The specific sin that is mentioned in this book is - Drunkenness. It suggests a self-indulgent lifestyle pursued by those who value material things more than spiritual. 

Do we as believers also value material things more than spiritual? Are our prayers always focused on the material than the spiritual? I think we can assess ourselves. Measure the amount of things that we pray for as "Material" & "Spiritual" and put the percentage on paper. Most of us will be amazed. Material scores very high. God help us.

Here’s an exhortation from the Apostle Paul for all of us:

Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:15-20)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. (Ephesians 5:8-11)