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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Perseverance

I usually record my daily audio messages on a recorder and then transfer it to my laptop for editing and mixing. Recently I recorded an audio message with perseverance as the theme  and accidentally deleted it while transferring it from my recorder to my laptop. I wondered for a while as to what was to be done, whether I should re-record it or not, whether to skip sending the message that day or record it at a later date and while contemplating these things, I heard the still small voice in me say, "Persevere". I was not very enthusiastic when I heard that but gave in to the voice and redid the whole message.

Perseverance (persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success) pays off on the long run and especially in Christian ministry, one needs to persevere, because that's the path our Savior chose to walk. He persevered despite adversaries and adversities and achieved the goal that his Father had set for him to achieve- Salvation for mankind.

Christian ministry has its ups and downs, the mountains and the valleys experiences, (not as projected on TV with some preaching only blessings or the mountain experiences). The valley experiences bring discouragement, depression and frustration and it can last a while, but as ministers we need to persevere to achieve whatever goal God Almighty has set for each of us to achieve. The Holy Spirit of God, as our Counsellor, will help us in this matter.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1, 2)


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Friday, August 19, 2016

Grumbling

There are times when I complain and grumble while I speak to God. It happened sometime back when I was passing through difficult times as someone related to us as a family was troubling us much with his words and deeds. As a family, we had been praying to God for easing the situation but to no avail. Thus the grumbling for God's delay in answering our prayers.

The grumbling was while I traveled back home after my morning session at the clinic. That afternoon as I took a short nap, I saw a dream in which I was in my consulting room and a patient who stood near me suddenly collapsed and fell to the ground. As the dream ended, I was frantically calling for help from the support staff. When I woke up, I prayed fervently that nothing I saw in the dream may actually happen at my work place.

When I reached the clinic, a patient who was waiting to see me came in and told me that he had suffered an allergic reaction to some medications I had prescribed the previous day. At night, he had to be taken to the emergency unit of the local hospital and was given injections and medicines to get rid of the allergy. He said he had endured a difficult night, but was better now. I remembered the dream while he spoke to me and prayed another prayer in my mind.

I examined him for any lingering allergy and seeing that he was good, I sent him away assuring him that he would do fine.

The dream, the problem the patient endured and me...............what was all this about?

It was just God telling me to stop grumbling........He had been working faithfully while I was sleeping well the previous night....the problem could have been worse with the patient as I saw in the dream, but the restraining hand of God was helping me as well as the patient.

Sometimes we grumble, as the Israelites did in the wilderness, though we experience God's faithfulness day in and day out. They had the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire everyday and the manna too, yet they grumbled.

We must realize that God is continually working on behalf of his children whether we see it or not.
As Jesus said, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." (John 5:17)

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Luck

In a dream that I saw sometime back, I and my younger daughter are attending a lucky draw (which we hardly ever do) with many exciting prizes to be won. We wait expectantly for our numbers to be called, but other numbers are called and the winners boast about the trophies and prizes they receive saying that luck favored them. This goes on for sometime and then we look at each other and walk away from the place coming to a realization and speaking to each other, that what people speak of as luck is not for us and that as believers in Jesus Christ everything that we get in our lives is given by God either as wages for the jobs or work that we do or as good gifts from our merciful Father in heaven.

James writes in his epistle,
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

Some Christians justify their stance of playing games of chances frittering away their money and time, by quoting a verse from Ecclesiastes which says,
"I returned and saw under the sun that: "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all." (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

 But as believers in Jesus Christ, we must realize that for us, every blessing that we receive, whether monetary or otherwise is a gift from our loving Heavenly Father because we have put our trust in his son Jesus Christ. Luck has nothing to do with anything that you may even win in a thing that the world calls a lucky draw.

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