How to Increase in Grace (1)

How to Increase in Grace (1)

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
– 2 Peter 1:2

Grace. That beautiful word. How sweet it sounds in the ear, how melodious it is in the mouth. It does not just sound good in the mouth and the ear, it is also pleasant in meaning. It is pleasing to receive, it is nice to ascribe. Grace.

It is an often-used word that never becomes redundant. Almost everyone who is aware and achieving appreciates its essence. Nobody is too big or too good for grace, neither is anyone too small for it or unworthy of it. The apostle needs it, the archbishop needs it; the clergy needs it, the laity needs it; the adult needs it, the young ones needs it; the saint needs it as much as the sinner. Grace.

Often times, it is the distinguishing factor between the achiever and the struggler; it separates the high flyer and the low-performer. Without it, anything will be laborious, with it, things become easy. Grace.

It is commonly described as “unmerited favour.” How true. But its manifestation is not restricted to favour alone. Depending on the peculiar circumstance or need, grace could be strength, capacity, supplies, encouragement, inspiration, deliverance, healing, etc to whoever it is endowed with at a point in time. Grace.

By divine providence, everyone has a measure of grace. But there is a difference in the degree of grace that each individual enjoys. We do not all have the same measure of grace. That is why different individuals with the same training or calling, using the same resources, will not always turn in the same results. One or two of them will achieve greater success than others. That is grace at work, setting some apart from the rest. Grace.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Get Out of Entrapment and Desperate Situation (2)

How to Get Out of Entrapment and Desperate Situation (2)

But Jeroboam caused an ambush to go around behind them; so they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the LORD, and the priests sounded the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 2 Chronicles 13:13-15

Secondly, the priests among them sounded the trumpets in praise. They did not sing tunes of distress; the praise instruments of God are not meant for that purpose. They blasted the trumpets in praise. Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face/midst of troubles you are saying that He remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand; hence your giving Him your attention and not the problem that is threatening to wipe you out. There is no how you will accord God such honour and He will not honour you back by wrecking a mighty deliverance for you.

Lastly, the men of Judah let out a shout. They did not cower or give up the fight. They let out a shout of defiance and got ready to battle. Having prayed and praised, they were assured of divine partnership and were ready to face anything. So their shout was literally saying, “Bring it on!”

They did not need to fight the battle themselves, as they had done enough for God to unleash terror on their enemies and caused a great rout that left 500,000 of Israel’s pompous army dead, while the rest scampered across the wilderness for dear life. Thus the terrifying challenge that was about to swallow up the people of God became another milestone of victory for them and a testimony to God’s faithfulness.

God is still in the business of wrecking deliverance and rescuing His people today. The Bible says He is a “very present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). The problem is that we usually accord our problem more attention than we give God and we focus more on ourselves – bemoaning what will become of us – than we engage Him on our issues.

Having read this, you should change the order of your attention henceforth and accord God prior thinking, not your problem. He is ever ready to save.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Get Out of Entrapments and Desperate Situations (1)

How to Get Out of Entrapments and Desperate Situations (1)

But Jeroboam caused an ambush to go around behind them; so they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the LORD, and the priests sounded the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 2 Chronicles 13:13-15

The passage above presents us with three classic principles for getting out of danger and desperate or life-threatening situations. Jeroboam, king of the majority nine tribes of Israel with his 800,000 army had come up against the minority tribes of three in Judah which God had reserved for David’s descendants. Numerically, the men of Judah were outnumbered by ratio two-to-one by Israel. To make matter worse, before Judah could even set out to battle, the enemies had surrounded them front and back and were ready to pounce on them and finish them off. What Judah did in that dire moment is the focus of our meditation today and a possible principle we can apply when we find ourselves in similar circumstances.

Firstly, the men of Judah cried out to the LORD in prayer. When they sighted their adversaries in front and behind them, they did not start to wail in self-pity, bemoaning their lot for coming out that day and expecting a certain death. No, they cried out to God for help. The Bible says the name of the LORD is a strong tower into which the righteous run and are safe from peril (Proverbs 18:10). That was what Judah did. By calling upon God, they activated His fortress and opened up His strong tower for their refuge. When you find yourself in similar situation, will you pray or moan?

Secondly, the priests among them sounded the trumpets in praise. They did not sing tunes of distress; the praise instruments of God are never used for that purpose. They blasted the trumpets in praise. Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face or midst of troubles you are saying that God remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand…Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face or midst of troubles you are saying that God remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand…

We’ll continue tomorrow.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Slow Dance

Slow Dance

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round

Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

 

You better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

 

Do you run through each day on the fly

When you ask “How are you?” do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores running through your head?

 

You’d better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

 

Ever told your child, We’ll do it tomorrow

And in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, Let a good friendship die

‘Cause you never had time to call and say “Hi”?

 

You’d better slow down

Don’t dance so fast

Time is short

The music won’t last

 

When you run so fast to get somewhere

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift thrown away.

 

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.

— Author Unknown

Meditation: And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” – Luke 10:41-42

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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Understanding Purpose (6)

Understanding Purpose (6)

…walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.
– Ephesians 4:1

The second category of purpose is situational purpose. It is both general and specific. General in the sense that it is applicable in many settings; specific because the manner you fulfil it in one place may not be the same way you will achieve it in another.

This is the kind of purpose that relates to specific callings. We all have multiple callings with attendant roles in different contexts: as husband, wife, parent, child, student, leader, worker, member of a community, citizen of a country, member of a church, politician, and so on. These are all callings with different roles attached to them. And, in performing such roles, you are either fulfilling purpose or neglecting it.

God does not make mistakes. And nothing happens without either His knowledge; His contrivance, in the event such happening is from Him; or His permission where such is an act of the devil. “Known to God from eternity are all His works” (Acts 15:18). Nothing catches God by surprise; absolutely nothing.

So, wherever you find yourself, God knew even before you were born that you would be there. He knew you were going to marry that man/woman; He was also in the know about the identity of your child, parents, or siblings. He knows you are where you presently work or worship. He positions you in places for a reason – so that you could execute a specific mission there.

Let’s use the instance of where you work; God put you there for a reason greater than your job description or paycheque. He put you there for a noble reason, to add value to the firm and make a difference in the lives of fellow humans such as your co-workers and/or outsiders whom you meet in the course of your work. And in fulfilling your duties or playing your roles, you are fulfilling purpose, a situational purpose.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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One Good Reason To Hang On (5)

One Good Reason To Hang On (5)

 I would have been without hope if I had not believed that I would see the loving-kindness of the Lord in the land of the living. – Psalm 27:13 (NLV)

This passage gives you another reason to be optimistic in the face of a critical challenge that is threatening to tear your world apart or destroy all you have laboured for. If any man knew what it meant to be afflicted with myriads of problems, it was David. Declared an enemy of state when the reigning king, Saul, turned against him and launched a massive manhunt for his head, David took to the wilderness and became a fugitive. Harassed, pursued and severally betrayed, he was always on the move without a permanent base. He suffered all these for no offense, except that he was favoured by God to become king.

Nevertheless, he maintained an upbeat attitude about his predicament. He made the most of the negative situation, fostering goodwill among the people he mingled with in the course of his flight as well as building a followership of loyalists and a formidable army whose exploits later saw to it that he had successful war campaigns and was never defeated in battle.

David was able to do all these because he adopted a long-term perspective, as seen in the reference passage; at the height of his problems, he did not give up hope because he was convinced that he would still experience God’s goodness, not as a dead man but while he was still alive!

David’s example is a good reference for us that the best is yet to come. No matter the situation you find yourself at the moment, it is important to note that tough times indeed never last. So your present challenge does not have the capacity to get the better of you, unless you allow it to. It will not outlast you; you will be the one to outlive it and even see through many more challenges besides in the process of your becoming a better person on all fronts.

Don’t lose hope, because you will soon see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. And that is a good enough reason to cheer up and hang on.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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