‘…There was a man who had two sons.’ Luke 15:11 NIV
The real star in the Parable of the Prodigal Son is the father. He had two boys. One was rebellious, the other was religious. But he loved each of them. And because they were his family he refused to give up on them. While the younger brother was away wallowing in sin, the older brother was at home wallowing in self-righteousness. One was guilty of the sins of the flesh (the obvious ones); the other was guilty of the sins of the spirit (the not-so-obvious ones). Only when the younger brother lost everything did he discover that living in submission to his father’s rule was the safest, most fulfilling place you could be. Only when the older brother discovered the difference between rule-keeping and relationship was he able to understand his father’s words, ‘…Everything I have is yours’ (Luke 15:31 NIV). One was a miserable rule keeper; the other was a miserable rule breaker. (Which are you?) The problem was neither boy really knew the heart of their father because they were self-centred. But that changed when they discovered that he loved them in spite of their flaws, and planned to bless them.
Understand this: you can read the Bible, go to church, keep all the rules – and not really know God’s faithfulness, His love and His plan for you. Until you really know God, you’ll have no anchor in life; you’ll be tossed to and fro by every circumstance, emotion and temptation. But when you know Whose you are, you’ll begin to understand who you are, what you’re supposed to do, and where you’re supposed to be.
Jer 18-21, Matt 24:37-51, Ps 69:19-36, Pro 8:30-31
UNSTERSTANDING THE WONDERS OF KINGDOM STEWARDSHIP (ZEAL OF THE LORD)
What is zeal? Zeal is the intense, tireless, passionate devotion for a course. The zeal of the Lord is an unquenchaple fire that continues to burn in the soul. One thing we fail to know is that “Your love is intertwined with the love of God” and once you recieve Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal saviour, you are called into the ministry of reconcillation”
PROVES OF THE ZEAL OF THE LORD;
1) Desire for revelation (Psalm 42:1&2,63:1)
2) Passion for the word of God (Psalm. 119: 136 & 139)
3) Desire for revival (Isaiah 64:1 – 12, 63:15)
4) Denial to sin (Psalm 51:1-17)
5) Desire to stand in God and pray (1 Timothy 2:1-8)
GAINS FROM SOUL WINNING
1) Long life (Mathew 5:3, Psalm 41:1)
2) Prosperity (Psalm 112:1-3)
3) Crown of righteousness (2 Timothy 4:5)
N.B “Your prayer as a righteous person in Christ can change this world”.
‘…The most precious treasure a man can find.’ Proverbs 31:10 CEV
Erma Bombeck wrote:
‘When God was creating mothers, on His sixth day of overtime the angel said, “You’re fiddling around a lot on this one.” God replied, “Have you seen the specs on this order? She’s to have 18,000 replaceable moving parts, run on black coffee and leftovers, have a kiss that cures anything from broken legs to disappointed love affairs…and six pairs of hands!” “Six pairs of hands? No way!” the angel said. God said, “And the challenging bit is the three pairs of eyes mothers need. One pair that sees through doors, another in back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t be able to see, another in front for looking at a child who’s goofed and saying, ‘I understand, and I love you’, without speaking.” The angel said, “Lord, take a break. Tomorrow…” “I can’t,” God said. “I’m close to creating something so like Myself. Already she can heal herself when she’s sick, feed a family on a pound of minced beef, and get a nine year-old to stand under a shower!” Touching her, the angel said, “She’s too soft!” “But so tough!” God replied. “You can’t imagine what this mother can endure.” “Can it think?” asked the angel. “Not only think, it reasons and compromises,” God said. Running his finger across the mother’s cheek, the angel said, “There’s a leak!” “It’s not a leak,” God said. “It’s a tear.” “What’s it for?” asked the angel. “It’s for joy, sadness, pain, disappointment, loneliness and pride.” The angel declared, “Lord, You’re a Genius!”.’
Just a columnist’s fictional story, but well worth pondering. Thanks, Mum!
Gal 5:22, Luke 2:8-20, Pro 3:13-18, Ps 119:161-168 (Fruit of the Spirit: Peace)
‘…His own received Him not.’ John 1:11 KJV
Sometimes the word ‘no’ simply means ‘not now, but ask again’. So don’t let rejection stop you. Only when you see failure as final, are you finally a failure. Take a look at your past experiences. You encountered rejection in school and on the playground. Not everybody liked you, but you made it anyway, right? Jesus experienced more rejection than anybody who ever lived. ‘He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.’ Did He quit? No, He went on to others, to those who discerned His value. ‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God’ (John 1:12 NKJV).
Someone needs what you have; it is absolutely necessary to their success. Most great salespeople know that 14 out of 15 people will say no. So they hurry and make their presentations to as many as possible, in order to reach that one who will say yes. Jesus said, ‘Whoever will not receive you…shake off the dust from your feet’ (Matthew 10:14 NKJV). When you encounter rejection, shake it off and move on. Sooner or later you will succeed if you don’t quit. Don’t personalise it; because someone rejects what you have to offer doesn’t mean they’re rejecting you. Paul writes: ‘For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries’ (1 Corinthians 16:9 NKJV).
Opportunity and opposition – they go together like macaroni and cheese. Life is not going to hand you success on a silver platter; you’ve got to overcome adversity and outlast the opposition in order to walk through the door. And only two things are required: your faith and God’s favour.
Jer 14-17, Matt 24:29-36, Ps 69:1-18, Pro 8:27-29
‘…God…calls those things which do not exist as though they did.’ Romans 4:17 NKJV
You must believe what God says about you, over what everyone else says! Stop listening to those who claim you’ll never amount to anything. You might’ve had a bad childhood, or a failed marriage or career. ‘…Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before [you]‘ (Philippians 3:13 KJV). The Bible doesn’t say that we call those things which are not as though they are. Nor does it say others have the power to speak things which are not as though they are over your life. No, it is God, through His Word, Who speaks into existence His will for your life. And you should be glad about that. You wouldn’t want anybody else to have power to determine your destiny.
Our responsibility is to line up our will with God’s will. When we do, He empowers us to accomplish what normally would be humanly impossible. The Bible says, ‘…The just shall live by faith’ (Romans 1:17 KJV). Your faith is more important than your performance. Yes, when God decrees something, we get to participate in it. But in every case, it’s God who performs it. The thing you’re worried about performing, God says will be done through His power. Will you experience delays and disappointments? Yes, but ultimately you won’t be denied, for God has decreed it.
You say, ‘But what about all my unanswered questions or all the loose ends that need to be tied up?’ It’s ‘a done deal’ as far as God’s concerned. ‘All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’ (Romans 8:28 NKJV). Relax; God is working it out for you.
Jer 10-13, Matt 24:15-28, Ps 38:13-22, Pro 8:24-26
‘…All…were astonished at the catch of fish…’ Luke 5:9 NIV
‘…He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because You say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch… Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they…left everything and followed Him’ (Luke 5:4-11 NIV).
Here are seven life-changing truths you need to learn: (1) Jesus will come to where you work and help you; (2) When what you are doing is not working, He will show you a better way; (3) Even though it may not make sense at the moment, do what He tells you; (4) The success He has in mind for you is greater than anything you can envision for yourself; (5) Your existing systems may not be able to handle what He has in mind, so be willing to change how you do things; (6) When you experience His goodness, you’ll fall at His feet and acknowledge Him as your Lord; (7) When you realise what He has in mind for you, you’ll leave everything and follow Him.
Jer 7-9, Matt 24:1-14, Ps 38:1-12, Pro 8:22-23