Tipping Over

Tipping Over

Tipping Over

The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit. He quoted 1 Samuel 16:7 “’The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’ These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same materials, and can hold the same amount. But they are different,” he explained.

Then he upset one and it oozed out honey. He turned over the other, and vinegar spilt out. “When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, they looked alike. The difference was within, and could not be seen. When they were upset, their contents were revealed. Until we are upset we put on a good front. But when we are upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, for “out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45)”

What if someone tipped you over today? What would flow out? Would you reveal the “honey” of grace and patience, or the “vinegar” of anger and sarcasm?

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8)

Have a terrific day knowing that the one who upsets you may just be looking for some honey.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. – Ephesians 4:29

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Purpose: Called to Facilitate

Purpose: Called to Facilitate

For even the Son of Man…come to…give His life a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45

Here is another purpose of Jesus Christ – He came to give His life as a ransom for others, so that they might be free to become, fulfil destiny, or accomplish their goals. There are people created for this same purpose as well. They are called facilitators; they make things happen for others.

People like this are willing to pay the ultimate price to ensure that someone else fulfils his or her dream, not minding the loss to themselves in the process. They would rather expend all they have to see someone else achieve greatness than spend such on themselves.

The individuals called to this purpose are selflessness personified. A number of women, particularly mothers, are called to this purpose. In fact, it is more common among women than men. Many women are ready to give their all in order to see their children, husband, or a relative succeed in life. These women may not make much name for themselves, but they derive fulfilment from seeing their beneficiary becoming someone in life. They are the quintessential case of somewhere around a successful man, there is a woman.

History is replete with examples of people like this who put themselves on the line and offered what was dear to them in order for another person, or a group of persons, to achieve their objectives. If you are naturally burdened by the condition of another or a group of persons and you are willing to give all it takes to help such person(s) accomplish her goals even at personal loss to yourself, perhaps, you are called to be a facilitator.

This is a very unselfish calling, as there is usually no direct benefit accruing to you on the surface; it’s all pain and no gain, no fame, no name, and no reward except for the fulfilment of seeing another person succeeding.

If you are so called, don’t despair at the thought of going unrewarded, because human recognition can only take you to a point; and that does not mean that men will not recognise you. But the reward of God, which you will certainly get, is guaranteed for being the hand through which God guides another to his/her destiny.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Purpose: Created to Serve

Purpose: Created to Serve

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…”
Mark 10:45

Here is another purpose of Jesus Christ, from His own mouth – He came to serve. Now, isn’t that a contrast to the first purpose we meditated on in this series? Then, we saw that He came to lead. Now, we are reading Him saying that He also came, NOT TO BE SERVED, but to serve.

This establishes two things: Firstly, even as we have established at the outset and is unfolding in subsequent editions, all the purposes of mankind are encapsulated in Jesus. Secondly, Jesus was created to lead and to serve. That means there is no leadership without service; the two go hand in hand. But, considering this in a literary sense, Jesus came to serve, and so are many of us today.

Although, this may not sound palatable, very few people are called to lead – maybe, using the 80/20 rule, about 20% of humanity are called to lead; while the rest people in the 80% bracket are meant to fulfil their own calling by supporting and serving them in various capacities.

On the other hand, leadership is also contextual; as one may be called to lead in certain places and still function as a subordinate or follower in another context. An example of this is in a church setting where the overseer is usually the leader. But there could be heads of government, heads of organisations and dignitaries in other setup attending that church, who are leaders of people in their own right. In the church, these people are subject to the pastor; but, in their own calling, people are subject to them.

Meanwhile, there are people who are at home receiving orders from others and being told what to do. There are people who would feel extremely frustrated when put in a pole position with the responsibility of leading and directing others. There are people who derive great joy working behind the scene as part of a leader’s support system, making him look great to the world. If any of these describes you, perhaps, you are called to serve.

Now, this is not a thing of shame; it is a blessed calling (Acts 20:35). The key is to be true to yourself and do your best to fulfil your calling, because God will not bless you or demand accountability from you based on the title of your calling, but on account of what you do with it.

Many delude themselves about their calling, holding that they are meant to lead others; whereas they are better suited serving a leader whose assignment resonates with their own inclination. Most people in this situation end up doing nothing and leaving no imprint whatsoever anywhere. That will not be your portion.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Purpose: Created to Preach

Purpose: Created to Preach

But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.”
– Mark 1:38

Preaching is one of the missions of Jesus Christ on earth. Likewise, some of us are sent to preach the gospel. There are people who can be called born preachers, as every encounter they found themselves is an opportunity to charge and exhort others, never missing a chance to sow a seed of the word.

If you are the type who loves sharing your knowledge to inspire and impart others; perhaps, you might have been called to preach. Being a preacher means you must be versed in the word of God. Otherwise, you will be found wanting in your calling and will end up propagating heresies and dogma. A panoramic knowledge of the Holy Bible is the major resource you need to preach – in addition to a life of constant prayer and fasting.

As a preacher, you must also have a persuasive mien and cultivate good communication skills in order to keep your audience engaged and interested in what you are saying. Jesus did this with flourish; He was always punctuating His sermons with parables and miracles.

You also need wisdom, because people will come and seek your counsel on all sorts of issues, even in areas you are not specialized in. The modern day preacher is a potpourri consultant of sorts, handling various issues on relationships, business, career, marriage, parenting, et cetera (But, those are even the preachers who are perceived to know their onions). To be able to resolve all these issues, you need wisdom; and that is where the word of God comes in handy; it is the source of wisdom. The counsel of God concerning all matters has been documented in the Holy Bible for your reference. To fulfil your calling to preach, you must make the Bible your companion.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Purpose: Called to the Backslidden

Purpose: Called to the Backslidden

But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Matthew 15:24

We saw few days ago the calling of Jesus to the Gentiles so that they could be saved and become part of the commonwealth of Israel. Another assignment He came to execute is seen in our reference scripture above – He was sent to the lost sheep of Israel.

The Bible already redefines the descendants of Abraham as those who believe in Jesus (Romans 4; Galatians 3). This is referring to Christians.

But, having confessed Jesus as Lord does not mean one is forever saved. The transitional nature of salvation requires that one continues to work out his/her salvation in thoughts, in speech, in attitude, in conducts, and in action. If one does not take heed to these, there is a tendency to stray from the Way.

Straying in this regard does not nullify one’s status as a believer, it only means one would not enjoy the full benefits of the redeemed. And if such a person persists in his/her waywardness, he/she would be giving satan a good ground to stake a claim for his/her soul.

It is so that this does not happen that Jesus was sent to this category of people as well – the lost sheep of Israel. Note that these are not the same people as those who have not believed and received Jesus as their Lord. The lost sheep of Israel are those who are already believers but have backslidden. Jesus was sent to bring them back into the fold. Some of us are called for this same purpose too.

Are you more inclined to work on believers who are either struggling in their Christian life, are at the brink of backsliding, or who have already gone astray? That could be an indication to your calling. While no believer should neglect the universal commission to reach out to the unsaved, it is also important that those who have been saved are not lost to the wiles of satan and the pressures of life.

If you are naturally disposed to doing all you could to encourage struggling or backslidden believers to remain in the faith, you are very important in the divine scheme of things, as you are partnering with Jesus to retain His flock.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Lord, Thank You

Lord, Thank You

Lord, thank you for this sink of dirty dishes; we have plenty of food to eat.

Thank you for this pile of dirty, stinky laundry; we have plenty of nice clothes to wear.

And I would like to thank you, Lord, for those unmade beds; they were so warm and comfortable last night. I know that many have no bed.

My thanks to you, Lord, for this bathroom, complete with all the splattered mirrors, soggy, grimy towels and dirty lavatory; they are so convenient.

Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly; it has served us faithfully for many years. It is full of cold drinks and enough leftovers for two or three meals.

Thank you, Lord, for this oven that absolutely must be cleaned today. It has baked so many things over the years.

The whole family is grateful for that tall grass that needs mowing, the lawn that needs raking; we all enjoy the yard.

Thank you, Lord, even for that slamming screen door. My kids are healthy and able to run and play.

Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says You have richly blessed my family. I shall do them cheerfully and I shall do them gratefully.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. – Habakkuk 3:17-18

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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