Four Candles

Four Candles

The Four Candles burned slowly. Their ambience was so soft you could hear them speak…

The first candle said, “I Am Peace, but these days, nobody wants to keep me lit.”

Then Peace’s flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

The second candle says, “I Am Faith, but these days, I am no longer indispensable.”

Then Faith’s flame slowly diminishes and goes out completely.

Sadly the third candle spoke, “I Am Love and I haven’t the strength to stay lit any longer. People put me aside and don’t understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them.”

And waiting no longer, Love goes out completely.

Suddenly…

A child enters the room and sees the three candles no longer burning.

The child begins to cry, “Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the end.”

Then the Fourth Candle spoke gently to the little boy, “Don’t be afraid, for I Am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles.”

With Shining eyes the child took the Candle of Hope and lit the other three candles.

Never let the Flame of Hope go out of your life.

With Hope, no matter how bad things look and are…Peace, Faith and Love can Shine Brightly in our lives.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.Hebrews 3:13

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Lessons in Companionship from A Lizard

Lessons in Companionship from A Lizard

Lessons in Companionship from A Lizard

While renovating his house, a Japanese man broke open the wall.

Japanese houses normally have a hollow space between the wooden walls. When tearing down the walls, he found that there was a lizard stuck there because a nail from outside had been hammered into one of its feet. He saw this, felt pity and at the same time curiosity. On checking the nail, it appeared it was nailed five years ago when the house was built.

What happened?

The lizard had survived in such a static position for five years! In a dark wall partition for five years without moving, it is impossible and mind-boggling. He wondered how this lizard had survived for five years without moving a single inch since its foot was impaled! So he stopped his work and observed the lizard, to see what it has been doing and how it has been feeding.

Not long afterwards, there appeared another lizard, with food in its mouth.

‘Ah!’ He was stunned and touched deeply.

For the lizard that was impaled by the nail, another lizard had been feeding it for the past five years. The second lizard has been doing that faithfully and untiringly every day for five long years, without giving up hope on its partner. Imagine what a small creature can do.
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This is a lesson in companionship. Never abandon your loved ones. Don’t turn your back on people because they are in difficulty. Don’t see yourself as more intelligent or the best. You may be a bit luckier today but life is uncertain and situations can change tomorrow. A Moment of negligence may break the very heart which loved you against all odds.

Remember, it takes a moment to break, but an entire lifetime to make. God created space within our fingers so that we can hold hands. So be there for somebody today.

Author Unknown

Meditation: Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; – Romans 12:10

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Purpose: Anointed to Do Good

Purpose: Anointed to Do Good

Purpose: Anointed to Do Good

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
– Acts 10:38

There are two missions of Jesus captured above: doing good and healing those oppressed by the devil. Our meditation today will be focused on the first one.

No doubt, if one was to describe the life of Jesus Christ, based on all our meditations in the past few months about His purpose and mission on earth, benevolence is an apt word to sum up His personality and activities. The intensity of His engagements with people and the effects He had on their lives when He was physically present were phenomenal. Now 1,990 years after His physical departure from Earth, the impacts He has had in the lives of innumerable people across different ages and climes on a daily basis were even more mind-blowing.

The interesting thing about His good works is that they are not static or one-off. The Bible says He “went about doing” them. That means He did not discriminate where His benevolence would be focused; His acts of kindness were without bias and were extended to the Jews, the Samaritans, the Greeks, the Romans, the Syro-Phoenicians, and other nationalities. He taught them, healed them, delivered them, fed them, raised their dead, and restored their sights, among other things.

His good work was also not a one-off, as He continued to minister to people day and night even at personal inconveniences, such that when He was urged to eat at one time, He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (John 4:34).

The charge to do good is a universal calling. Jesus only came to show us how best to do it. Through His personal examples, He modelled to us the right spirit with which to do it as well as the commitment, the passion, the focus, the compassion, and the consistency needed to make an appreciable impact.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Purpose: Exalted to Give Repentance and Forgiveness

Purpose: Exalted to Give Repentance and Forgiveness

Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
– Acts 5:31

Jesus, having completed His assignments on earth, was exalted and placed on the highest pedestal in heaven – the right hand of God. He was also entrusted with all power to do and undo in heaven and on earth. That power includes the ability to give repentance and forgiveness.

Sin of any kind puts one in bondage; thus inhibiting the performance and sabotaging the efforts of the sinner, making a hardworking individual look lazy and a smart person stupid. This is so because sin shields the sinner from God and the X factor that adds favour to labour.

Living with guilt-consciousness also hinders productivity and deflates joy. It robs the mind of the mental state needed to integrate socially. Sin and guilt can defeat the purpose of one’s life. That is the reason God gave Jesus the power to set humans free from the bondage of guilt and sin by offering repentance, on one hand, and forgiveness on the other.

It is an indescribable experience to live without the weight of guilt and sin. It frees you up to be all that God created you to be. It offers the peace of mind needed for creativity, productivity and achievements. Jesus is empowered to give us that experience.

Jesus is the One God has entrusted with the power to give repentance and forgiveness of sins. But He has also ceded some of the power to His followers while commissioning them to go preach the gospel, which will lead the hearers to repentance. He also said, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; and if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23).

In fulfilling the great commission of ministering Jesus to sinners, you are partnering with Him in offering them repentance and another chance; and by forgiving those who have hurt or offended you, you are demonstrating the divine power to release a fellow human, so that he can fulfil his/her destiny.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Purpose: Anointed to Influence

Purpose: Anointed to Influence

Purpose: Anointed to Influence

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
– Acts 4:13

One of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to model the ideal life to us with the aim of influencing us to live rightly and maximally. He came to help us to see real-life how we can live a godly, holy, righteous and pure life and still be successful. Through personal examples and teachings, He showed us how to operate and conduct ourselves in various circumstances.

He also modelled affection, care, kindness, compassion, boldness, justice, perspective, tact, discipline, work ethics, relationships, how to pray, how and when to speak, personal and social responsibility, among other things, to us. You should make it an obligation to read the gospels of Matthew to John to have firsthand knowledge of Jesus’ way of life. After that, you can proceed to read from the book of Acts to Revelation. This will further entrench your knowledge of the Lord and enhance your relationship with Him.

From the passage above, we see that at whatever level Jesus met you, He is bound to leave you a better person than you were. Peter and John met Him as “uneducated and untrained men,” but He left them a bold and articulate pair. Peter was particularly shifty and garrulous; two attributes that are not becoming of a leader. But, by the time Jesus was done with Him, he was an embodiment of wisdom, calmness, and grace. Paul met Jesus as a learned, but vitriolic young man; but he became enlightened and purposeful, without losing his trademark passion, only having it redirected in the right course. He was learned, but not enlightened; he had zeal, but for the wrong cause. He later wrote: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

Jesus is a game-changer any day. And He didn’t want us to imbibe His spirit alone; He also desires that we are living examples of the finest ideals wherever we are.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Purpose: Sent to Bless

Purpose: Sent to Bless

To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you…”
– Acts 3:26

This passage introduces another purpose of Jesus Christ to us, He was sent to bless us. In whatever way you look at it, Jesus has been a blessing. During His lifetime, innumerable people had solutions, healing, breakthrough, deliverance, turnaround, restoration, recovery of sight as well as many other positive interventions in their lives by virtue of their encounter with Him.

Even long after He had departed physically from the earth and ascended to heaven, His name continues to bless billions of lives across the ages and His power still ministers to people in various ways. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap; to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory’ (1 Samuel 2:8). Take it or leave it, from the beginning of times till date, no one like Him has ever lived. No one loves humanity more than Him; no one has blessed more people than Him; and no one has intervened in critical situations more than Him.

The mandate to bless is a universal calling. But, of course, there are people around, as there have always been, who take this calling more seriously than others. They have a compulsive desire to bless people and make a difference in their situations. To such people, their day would not complete without having extended a hand of kindness to someone else. The interesting thing about this is that it is the key to greatness. Being enamoured with it offers you more platforms and resources to do more. You don’t deplete by being a blessing to others, you can only increase.

The call to bless is not restricted to the rich alone, and no one is so impoverished that he cannot be a blessing. There is always something to do; a word of prayer, committed intercession, little gifts, sincere compliments, community service, words of encouragement, the list is endless. It is in the doing that increase is assured.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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