Building People. Spreading Hope.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Speak Your Mind

Words are powerful carrier of the expression of our hearts. Words can build or words can kill. It’s not only what we say but how and when we say things can make or break a person. Our words have eternal impact.

Loving words keep a family together. Having a family is like running a bus station. People are going in all different directions. When we take time to sit down and talk together as a family, we’re adding value to each other. Most of our conversation can be mundane. If we want to see our family to thrive then we have to speak positive words of affirmation to each other. Some of us are good with words, it comes naturally but others of us have to grow in this area. People are not mind-readers. We can be very thankful and appreciative of our family but unless we verbalize our feelings, they’ll never know. We have to tell our loved ones, “I love you. I appreciate what you do for our family. I couldn’t have married a better person than you!” Some of my friends are excellent at this. Throughout the day they send messages to their spouse even on Facebook, expressing their love for each other. Thumbs up!

Our children are a product of many things. One of the most powerful influences that shape them positively for life is our words of approval and affirmation. As parents we have to give them many directives, repeatedly if you have teenagers like mine. One of the things I always make sure is that my expression of love, like, appreciation and approval of them supersedes any other conversation every day. Every time they finish a chore, I try to acknowledge and thank them. We say, “I love you” to each other all day long. They are growing up knowing that the underlying current in our household is one of love, respect, honor and appreciation. We must discipline, correct and set boundaries but let’s not bring them down with words of condemnation and criticism. Instead of harping on them what else they’re not doing right let us shower our children with positive words of approval and encouragement. Catch them doing something right and go on bragging about it. Children, like adults have the tendency to live up to or down to what they hear. Speak highly about your children – both at home and in public.

I go to a certain store to send money to our missionaries in the field every month. At the customer service sits a lady who is extremely rude. Once I had to call in the manager on her. Every time I went there it was like pulling teeth out. I have no idea why a grumpy person like her is stationed at the customer service. Her service or dis-service bothered me for months but then I changed my tactics. I began to greet her even when she didn’t greet me back. I began to appreciate her for dealing with all the difficult customers. I started vocalizing (by faith) what an amazing job she does! Slowly but surely, her attitude began to change. She started acknowledging me. She’s still a grump but my words are starting to take an effect on her. When you’re dealing with a difficult boss or at the grocery store or in traffic, bless them. I tell people at my bank or post office that I’m praying for them and I do – sometimes right there standing at the counter! Speak your mind and appreciate them for something – anything and you’ll see how they blossom.

One of the most powerful things we can do with our words is to share the Good News of Jesus with people we meet. We assume they know but they don’t. When you speak hope, healing and salvation to them, they too will become followers of Jesus. This is why I’m leaving the comfort of my home, family and luxury of America today to go back to the poverty, filth and masses of hopeless people in India and Nepal. My daughter Sabrina (14) and I are going to speak our minds about the love of God to over 5,000 lives. Will you pray for us? When you partner with us, you become a soul-winner. Our acts of service become expression of your love for our God.

Friend, let’s speak our minds. Tell your spouse how much you love them. Speak healing words of encouragement to those going through grief and tough times. Approve and admire your children more than you admonish them. Spread a little love and encouragement at work. Our words are more forceful than nuclear bombs. It can kill or heal a soul. Let’s use our words to impact eternity. I’m going to miss you these next few weeks. Know that you’re approved, loved and appreciated. I love you!

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV).

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Your Harvest is Ready

The changing weather in Texas is very welcomed by all. Going from scorching heat to a pleasant weather is a long-waited relief. Everywhere you go there’s a sense of celebration. It is the harvest season!

Often what goes on in the natural is a picture of what’s going on in the spiritual realm. Just as in the natural it is the harvest season, I believe many of our friends are about to enter into your season of harvest. You’re going to throw aside the rags of lack, mediocrity and needs and embrace the abundance God has prepared for you. This is your time. You’ll reap the blessings of all the hard labor you’ve put into planting and nurturing your seed. Your harvest is ready!

Long time ago, I lived in the beautiful country of Nepal. Its people are very poor and the main livelihood is agriculture. I will never forget the joy, celebration and excitement during the harvest season. The whole family is out in the field. There’s a sense of celebration. They may be living off the bottom of the barrel but they know that their harvest is coming and everything will be alright. You too my friend, is about to enter into your season of harvest.

Some of our co-workers in India work among the slum dwellers. They minister to the poorest of the poor who spend all their day looking through the garbage or doing menial jobs. Their ambition is to find something – in the trash. Our evangelists are faithful to share the Gospel with them. By the grace of God a large number of slum-dwellers have come to know the Lord. Their prayer to God has been for a better life. You know, there’s a special place in God’s heart for the poor. One day the slum-believers got news that the government was going to widen the road and their little shacks were going to be demolished. They’re in total despair! But they prayed and trusted the Lord for their safety and protection. Not many days from the “bad news” they got another report. The local government was going to give them substantial amount of money so each of them can have their brick and mortar house. They also promised one government job (steady income) for each family for the rest of their lives for the inconvenience of having to move away from their “homes.” What looked like a disaster for the slum-dwelling believers became a huge blessing from the Lord.

You may be facing a financial challenge. Some of you’re going through a health issue. Others of you are staring at a problem that’s not going away. The legal problem seems to be going against you. Friend, I’ve got good news for you. You’re about to enter into a season of harvest. God is going to wipe away your tears and cause you dance for joy. He is going to make your crooked path straight. He will make a river in the desert. God is going to release abundance upon you in such measure that it will thrust you years ahead. Get ready for your harvest. When it comes, you’ll be stunned at the goodness of God. Start praising Him now!

This is what happened to the children of Israel in bondage. They’re grinding stones, making bricks and God saw their misery. Something about our struggles that touches the Father heart of God. You know the story. He raised Moses to deliver His people out of bondage into the Promised Land. When they left, they didn’t just leave empty handed. Their captors handed them all their treasures. When you’re in peace with God and obedient to His commands, He will cause even your enemies to be good to you. It was the greatest exploits in history!

Friend, you’re precious to God. He knows your situation. He cares about you greatly. He is your heavenly Father. This is your season of harvest. Do not fret. Do not worry. Welcome the season of harvest. Just like the farmers in Nepal and the slum-dwellers in India, God will turn your mourning into dancing. Like the Israelites, He will vindicate you. There’s a sweet sense of change in the air. Get ready for your season of harvest. When it comes it will change everything in your life.

“You know the saying, 'Four months between planting and harvest.' But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest” (John 4:35 NLT).

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Dress for Success

A lot of books have been written about dressing for success. Our appearance makes people decide how they’re going to treat us. How we dress has an impact on how successful we’re going to be.

We have to pay attention to what we wear. However, today we’ll discuss dressing for success with our inner attitudes. In order to help us remember this lesson we’re going to discuss the acronym D-R-E-S-S.

Have Determination. Everybody wants to be successful but very few people have determination. It is not enough to have a wish-bone but we must have a backbone in our pursuit of happiness. If we give up easily then our strength is too small. In order to be successful, we have to have bulldog tenacity. Once you get hold of the vision, you must hang tight to it. Anyone can start but only those are rewarded who finish the race. If we want to have success, we have to be determined.

Take some Risk. Insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result. Don’t just stay with what’s comfortable. Good is the worst enemy of the best! Stretch yourself to the new level. Take some risk. Don’t do anything foolish. Process it with your spouse and people who have your best interest at heart. Faith is all about taking risk and trusting in God’s ability to deliver. Everyone paints picture of Peter drowning in the water but he is the only man in history who walked on the water with Jesus! Make those cold calls. Do your due diligence. Take corresponding actions. Develop a communication system to be in touch with your patrons. Invest in educating yourself. Associate with the wise. A ship is safe in the dock but its greatest potential is unleashed when it sails in the vast ocean. You too will fly high in life if you step out of your comfort zone and take some risk.

No more Excuses. The Bible says, The lazy person claims, "There's a lion on the road! Yes, I'm sure there's a lion out there" (Proverbs 26:13 NLT)! Yes, there will be challenges on your way to success but God has equipped you to overcome them. Quit saying, “This is too hard. It is not working!” Your life will follow your mouth. Get in the game. Have a “can do” attitude. “I've lived long life, Cadmos, but the glory and the memory of men will always belong to the ones who follow their great visions.” – Old Ptolemy speaking of Alexander the Great.

Be Sympathetic. In the run chase to success many people trample others to get what they want. Don’t sacrifice your family and loved ones at the altar of your success. It’s not worth it. Have a tender heart. Help the people God brings in your path right now. Be sympathetic to other people’s needs and wants. Your success is directly tied up to the measure you help others. The famous Zig Zigler said, You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

Say Sorry. Nobody is perfect. You will make mistakes. The greatest in life are those who take ownership for their mistakes, turn away from them and move forward. When you make a mistake, simply say, “I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” No buts… ifs… and because…

Dress for success! You’re born to do great things. God made you to leave a mark on this planet. You’re destined to win. You have what it takes. You are born to fly. Get your inner dialogues right. You cannot have a poor mouth and live a rich life. Have faith in God. Take some risks. Help others along the way. Every day when you wake up, dress for success with your inner attitudes. You and God are a winning team! I believe in you and am praying for you.

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it” (Colossians 3:12-14 The Message).

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Have a Heart of Compassion

The longer we live the easier it gets to either harden our hearts or soften our attitude towards people. Part of the way God made us by design is to have compassion for others.

We don’t see it behind the facade people put on but deep inside, people go through hurt, lack, loneliness and misery. If we’re to be like Jesus, we’ve to live as a healer. The only way we can know about people’s innermost struggles and anguish is to have a heart of compassion.

Recently I was having a meeting with a young person I’d just met. I wanted to learn more about him. He is in his mid-twenties. The man works hard and loves his young bride. They’d moved here from another city in search of jobs. As we talked, I learned that they’re struggling financially. I dug a little deeper and found out that this Sunday is the wife’s birthday. The young man loves his wife dearly but he didn’t have enough money to take his bride out for a nice evening. I asked him, “How much money do you have in your pocket?” He told me that he had received $40 from selling his own blood just before he came to see me so that he could give his wife a nice birthday. I couldn’t hold back my tears. Looking at him you’d never guess that the young man is struggling financially. Usually I never carry cash in my pocket but that day I had a couple of hundred dollars in my pocket that I was able to help him with. Friend, let’s have a heart of compassion like our Lord Jesus. Church, let’s stop playing games and help those in need. Our churches will explode in spite of persecution as we see in Asia when we learn to genuinely meet the needs of the people. Don’t showcase the pastor or the worship team or the multi-million dollar facilities. Meet the needs of the hurting people and Jesus will be present in every meeting!

History confirms Jesus as one of the greatest person ever lived. One of the things that make Jesus so amazing is his compassion for people. Having a tender heart is a key to getting God’s blessing and favor in our own lives. The Bible says we’re liars if we say we love God whom we cannot see and not love our fellowmen all around us. C. S. Lewis said, “The more often we feel without acting the less we’ll be able to act and in the long run the less we’ll be able to feel.” If you don’t have a heart of compassion, you’ve lost everything! I love helping people. It keeps my own heart tender towards God. If I don’t help the people, God will still bring others to help them but I’ll miss out on the blessings. I’m greedy with God’s blessings!

Today, I was shopping for a guitar for our worship team in a music store. The store was busy. A young associate passing by asked me, “Can I help you?” I said, “Sure.” He was very kind and we struck up a conversation. He started mentioning Christians worship groups like Hillsong and such. I asked him, “Do you play in the worship team?” He said, “Yes, I used to play for my church when I used to go to college.” I asked, “Where do you go to church now?” He replied, “Oh, I don’t.” A little more probing revealed that his parents were missionaries. But he got hurt by the church and other Christians. I took time to hear his story right there in the store. I encouraged him and told him to not give up on God. I got his phone number and told him I was going to invite him out to lunch and have him play music for the Lord again. He was very encouraged and said, “I’ve never met a real Christian like you. You gave me a lot to think about.” I left the store knowing that God will turn this man around for His glory. How did it all start? A little bit of compassion goes a long way!

Friend, don’t get hard and callous toward people. Live with a tender heart. Reach out and help others. In turn, God will bless you more. The only Jesus some people will see is you. The only prayer some people will hear is yours. The only time people will feel God’s touch is when you touch others. This Wednesday I’m returning to India and Nepal. Our goal is to touch 5,000 lives. You can make a difference. Nothing is too big or too small. Please help if you can and share this post with others. Love your spouse and your family. Love the people God brings in your path. Having a heart of compassion will draw in God’s favor in your own life.

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38 ESV).

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Don’t Lose Your Brand

Brand is the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers. When we think about a brand, it stands out in our mind from the masses. Our brand is our identity.

Airplanes are made to fly. Ships sail and cars drive. No matter how big, fancy and powerful they are its useless unless they perform to do what they’re made for. People spend millions trying to secure their brand. What is your brand? What do people think of when they think about you?

When people think of me I want them to think of two things – inspiration and world missions. I do a lot of things but empowering people with the Word of God and bringing the Gospel to the nations are the focus of my life. Being in the ministry, kind people offer me all sorts of opportunities because they’re trying to help our organization. I appreciate their offer but kindly I have to turn them down. I’ve learnt this principle in life: every opportunity is not for me. I must be true to the vision God gave me and that is inspiration and world missions.

If we’re to be successful in life, we have to find and cultivate our brand. In order to be effective, you cannot be a master of all. You may do many things but don’t let your brand be so broad that people can’t think of one thing that you stand for. People and businesses that thrive are those who understand and cultivate their brand.

U2 is my favorite band in the world. I love their music. I’ve been a fan of this Irish band since they became famous with their hit “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” After thirty years, they’re still writing outstanding music and fans like me are following them. If you didn’t know, U2’s front man Bono does a lot of humanitarian work, especially in Africa. He’s also a political activist. He challenges rich nations to forgive foreign debts of the poor countries. They do a lot of inspiring things but their staple is still churning good music. That is the number one reason why they’re still in business and thriving. What’s your brand? What brings out the best in you?

I find people who have great ideas and vision but they never take the time to hone down their trade. They offer multiple services and lack laser focus in their vision. It’s okay to have multiple source of income but don’t juggle two or three businesses until you’re successful at one. You only have a limited energy and resources every day. Everything you do takes your time, effort and energy. If you’re spreading yourself too thin, you won’t have the time to develop anything and you’ll miss out.

When Jesus got started in the ministry, John sent his disciples to check Him out. He wasn’t critical but John wanted to know what Jesus was about? So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. (Luke 7:22 NIV). Jesus was saying, “I’m the Savior, Healer and the Deliverer of mankind!”

Friend, what is your brand? Have you strayed from the original vision God gave you? Are your fingers in too many pies? Do the people think of any one thing when they think about you? Are you spread too thin? Every opportunity that comes along your way is NOT for you. Focus on the one thing God has gifted you with. Don’t be a Jack of all trades. Be a master of one thing and all Jacks will gather around you! Whatever you focus on will grow. As you become successful in one thing, you’ll be amazed how every other area of your life will also start to flourish. Stick to your brand. Go back to the basics. Do what you’re best at and you’ll rise to the top. Don’t lose your brand! I’m praying for you.

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 ESV).

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Monday, September 16, 2013

God Is Speeding Things Up

We all know the laws of nature. You plant a seed, water and nurture it and in the process of time you reap a harvest. God also has rules and laws but there are times when He loves to speed up things in our favor.

You may be in a place in life where everything has gone flat. Nothing seems to be working. Your health is not well. You still can’t find a job. The promotion you’ve been waiting for is taking forever. No matter what your circumstances may look like, today I want to remind you that God is speeding things up. Your health is about to spring forth. Your biggest sales commission is about to come in. God is breathing His favor into your strained relationship.

Our God is a miracle working God. He is not limited by natural laws. Once, the Israelites were fighting against the Amorites at Gibeon. It was an intense battle. Joshua the leader of Israel prayed that the sun will stand still and it didn’t move for almost a day until the nation took vengeance on their armies. (Joshua 10). Now modern science is confirming that they’ve found the missing day from what God did in the Bible. Friend, God is not limited by laws of nature. He doesn’t always calculate two plus two equals four. He can go from 2, 4, 8, 16 to 160, 420 and any number He pleases. God knows how to speed things up in your favor.

Chandni was demon possessed for years. She had suffered much and spent all their possessions on doctors and hospital bills. As there are many in the villages of India, Chandni’s husband was a witchdoctor but he couldn’t even heal her. Just about that time our Bible School students began to evangelize her village. She came to the first meeting. As the students preached, her faith began to grow. She accepted Jesus in her heart. Every week she attended our worship meetings. This continued for six months and then one day Chandni was completely set free. As a result, her whole family including 124 others came to know the Lord. Chandni’s son is the pastor now and last April I had the privilege of ministering in their village! Friend, God is no respecter of person. What He did for Chandni, He will do for you. No matter how long it has been, He is going to speed up your healing and deliverance.

God anointed David when he was only seventeen years old. Yet it took him years to see a breakthrough in his life. David didn’t get discouraged; he used that time to write songs and psalms that we read today. One day he met the giant of his life named Goliath. The whole Israeli army was scared to death but God gave David supernatural favor to kill Goliath. The very challenge that looked like a mountain against him became his trump card of victory. Could it be that the problem you’re facing today is your stepping stone for something great? Our God knows how to speed up things. He sees your tears, obedience and faithfulness. He will not forget you. He’s poised to reward you beyond your wildest dreams.

Friend, our God is supernatural. He’s anything but ordinary. When you’re down to nothing, He’s up to something. He is working the most when nothing seems to be working. He knows what you need and how to get it to you. If He can make the sun stand still for a day, He can cause your problems go away. If He can deliver Chandni from demon spirits, He can set you free from your struggles. If God can use an adversary to set David up as a king then He knows how to promote you in front of your enemies. God is stepping on the gas. Your healing has been dispatched. Peace and joy are yours. God is fighting your battle. You’ll win the legal challenge. Your children will be saved and they’ll serve God. Hope in God. God is speeding things up. Your victory is closer than you think!

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (Philippians 1:6 NLT).

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Claim Your Benefit Package

I know some people who go to work just for the perks and benefits they get from their job. They don’t mind putting time, effort and energy because they know that they can draw from the benefits that await them.

Many Christians go through life without ever claiming their “benefit package” from God. When we become followers of Christ, we don’t have to struggle through life, living on crumbs. God has promised to provide all sorts of benefits for those who love God and bless His name – that’s YOU!

Today, we’ll look at a handful of benefits God offers to His children. Unlike the worldly benefits that are fleeting away more and more, God’s benefits are ever so strong and we can always depend on them.

In Psalm 103 King David reminds us not to forget our benefit package. The first benefit is to have our sins forgiven. Millions of Christians do not understand the depth of God’s unfathomable mercy. Many believers keep begging God to forgive them for sin #819, committed in 1973! In reality, God forgives us the very first time we repent and ask for His mercy. The biggest button on God’s computer is the delete button. When God’s hits the delete button, our sins are not just covered but they’re blotted out. His mercy and forgiveness eradicate our sins. Let’s bless His name for exterminating our sins forever.

A major benefit Jesus offers to His followers is health and healing. The Bible says, Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted(Isaiah 53:4). Notice, it doesn’t say, we’re going to, maybe or hope one day. It says we were healed. Past tense! It is by faith, we receive our healing. No matter how long or what sickness you’re dealing with, Christ has already paid the price for our sickness. Many Christians believe that God stopped doing miracles of healing today. On the contrary, there has never been more healing in history than there are today. It is the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus still heals when doctors and medical science have given up. Health and healing from our God is far superior to any healthcare package our government can provide. If you’re sick, claim your healthcare benefits!

The third in the benefit package is redemption from destruction. That includes body, mind, spirit and soul. Many today are trapped in destructive behaviors. Alcohol, addictions, sex, drugs and violence are enemy’s traps to keep us bound. Jesus said, “The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NIV). The Scripture says, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (I John 3:8). Friend, if you’re struggling with a bad habit, addiction or a vice, claim your benefit package today. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. God is not mad at you; He is madly in love with you. He wants to give you a brand new heart and a brand new start today. He redeems us from destruction!

Last but not the least on our discussion is God’s goodness. He has promised to satisfy our mouth with good things and with loving kindness and tender mercies. That means God will not only give us what we work for but He will also bless us with what we do not deserve. He will provide for our every need. He cares about the smallest details of our lives. He wants to prove Himself as a loving Father who knows how to take good care of His children. God’s “benefit package” covers it all!

Friend, don’t get God mixed up with the devil. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy; God gives us abundant life. Claim your benefit package today. The premium has been paid in full now is the time to cash it in. Bless the Lord, O my souls, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. His benefit package has you covered!

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 KJV).

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vision Brings Provision

If we want to achieve anything in life, we must have a vision for it. A vision is a mental image of something, inspired by God, energized by the Holy Spirit to bring out an idea into existence. Our dreams may vary but all of us can have a vision.

A vision is a powerful force in our lives. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18 KJV). Many people breathe but they don’t have life because they never started or have given up on the vision God put in their hearts. When we lose the passion for life we become insignificant. This is why we need to strive to be around people who are visionaries and going places in life.

Most of you know, my vision is to reach the unreached in Asia with the Gospel. I love talking, dreaming and helping people who have no hope. Recently, I’ve had trouble in my house with the disposal under the kitchen sink. One of my electric sockets in the front porch was also not working. When I called an acquaintance for repair he gave a quote for a hefty sum. I was not happy to hear that so I prayed for God’s help. The same afternoon, I got a call from a friend. He is a professional who knows how to repair appliances. He came by my house and fixed both the problems in less than a minute. I saved a few hundred dollars. The next day, I got a call from a pastor from India who was visiting Dallas. I knew exactly what I was to do with the money I’d saved. I took him to dinner and put the money I’d saved in repair cost in his hand. He was very grateful and greatly encouraged by the Lord. Friend, don’t just look at what you have in your hands. When we have a vision, God will bring the provision.  

In 1965, Fredrick Smith was in college. He wrote a term paper in his economics class. His big idea was a delivery service that would use a hub and spokes concept to handle the routing of parcels. He only managed to score a “C” on term paper. Soon Smith’s vision became a reality. In 1971, upon his return from the Vietnam War, he started Federal Express and the rest is history. Today Fed Ex delivers over 2.3 million packages every day worldwide!

What is so great about Smith’s vision is it began only with a concept. The delivery service took off because he had a vision for something big. The most powerful thing in the world is our imagination. When we dream visions with ideas inspired by the Holy Spirit, we too can change the world with our inventions, gifts and talents. Today, I want us to entertain the thought that you have world-changing idea that God wants to use for the advancement of His Kingdom on earth. If you can envision it, He will help you to fulfill it.

People come up to me all the time that have a vision to evangelize the world with Build International Ministries. They have a family, work, business but they also love God to partner with us in bringing the Good News of Jesus to the nations. Over the last twenty seven years, God sent hundreds of people to win tens of thousands of souls for the Lord.

Friend, I don’t know what is your vision for your life. It may be a great marriage. It may be to see your children do well in life. Your vision may be to be physically fit. Others of you have great dreams to see your business succeed. No matter how big or small your idea is never cease to have a vision for your life. Never underestimate your impact on our world. God has breathed his life into you. You’re about to give birth to a dream that has been put burning in you. No matter how long it has been, don’t abort the vision God gave to you. Others may not understand you but God does. Make plans, speak the vision and take corresponding action to see your vision come to pass. Your vision will bring the provision.

“I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions” (Joel 2:28).

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Friday, September 13, 2013

The Blessings of Abraham

A lot of Christians miss out in the abundant life because they never take the time to find out what God has promised for them in the Bible. We base our theology on what we learnt at Sunday school or what the preacher says. But the Bible is God’s will left for us to claim all sorts of inheritance.

I heard a story of a man who was taking a voyage across the ocean. He had pulled together all his resources to buy a ticket for this trip. During his whole journey he’d sit outside the fancy glass window and watch the people inside enjoying great meals, laughing and having fun. How he wished he could afford the luxury people were enjoying! Disheartened, every meal time he’d sit on the bench outside and eat his cheese and crackers that he’d brought with him. One day just before the ship was about to dock an employee noticed the traveler and asked, “Sir, why don’t you go inside and enjoy our gourmet cuisine prepared just for you?” The traveler replied with an embarrassing voice, “That’s ok. I can’t afford the expensive dining.” Stunned at his replied the worker said, “But sir! Our exquisite food is included in your ticket!”

I meet many Christians around the world who are missing out on the “meal” Christ paid for us on the cross. Our benefits include salvation, health, peace, joy, favor, protection, prosperity, influence and much more! The problem is we don’t read the “will” to find out what our Big Brother has left us. When we search the scriptures we’ll find that God has promised us abundant, overflowing life. He has invited us to sit at His banqueting table and enjoy the provision He made for us. Let’s get rid of our cheese and crackers and step into His banqueting table.

This is what our father in faith Abraham did. The Bible indicates that Abraham came from an idol-worshipping family. But he left home in obedience to God’s instruction. He didn’t know what his future held but Abraham trusted God with it. One characteristic’s of Abraham’s life was that He was obedient to God. When God was testing Him and asked him to offer his only son Isaac on to the altar he didn’t flinch. Abraham was obedient unto sacrificing his own son. Is there any wonder that God blessed him and made him to be the father of many nations? I believe we’re the modern day Abraham that God wants to bless as we obey Christ with our lives.

Among the blessings of Abraham was wealth and riches. God blessed Abraham’s obedience so much that he was known as one of the richest men in the region! Abraham had influence. The Scripture describes Abraham dealing with kings. Our father in faith had some faults. He lied about his wife being his sister. He was a coward when it came to defend his own wife. But in spite of his weaknesses, he had a heart after God. He honored God to the best of his ability. His relationship with God was amicable. He believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. God was so pleased with Abraham that He cut a covenant with him. Abraham lived a good old age and full of years. If we live obedient to God’s Word, make personal sacrifices and live a God-honoring life, we too will be blessed.
The Bible talks about the blessings of Abraham coming upon us through the Cross. When Jesus died for us He cut a better covenant with us who keep His commands. Through Christ, we have salvation, healing, peace, joy, prosperity and the whole truck load of blessings. The devil doesn’t want you to find out that we have an inheritance through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has left us His “will” so that we don’t have to live through life on cheese and crackers. There’s healing waiting for you. Peace, joy and restoration are in store for you. Prosperity and promotions are yours to possess. Whatever you need, God has made a provision for you. Christ became curse for us so that the blessings of Abraham can come upon us. Enjoy the blessing and share it with others whom God brings in your path.

“[Christ paid the price] so that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to all the people of the world through Jesus Christ and we would receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:14 God’s Word).

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Mercies Every Morning

Life can be overwhelming at times. We go through unusual difficulties, trials and tribulations. It is not easy not to keep a good attitude. During these trying times, God has promised to show us new mercies every morning.

A friend of mine is going through a very tough time right now. Her husband is having some health issues and she has to be the care taker. We’re praying for his healing but at times she feels depleted. I told her what I’m telling you today. Don’t let your circumstances overwhelm you. God has new mercies every morning. When we rely on His mercy, we will find hope and see our lives beyond the problems.

In the Bible, Jesus got news that his friend Lazarus was sick. He was ministering out of town. When Jesus heard the news, He said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son maybe glorified through it” (John 11:4 NIV). Then He did the unthinkable! He remained in the same village where He was for another two days. He carried on His ministry. When Jesus finally reached Lazarus, he’d already been dead for four days and buried in the tomb. When the commotions settled, Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave and the rest is history!

Friend, no matter what you’re facing know that nothing is hidden from our God. He is a merciful God. He has a solution to your problem before it ever began. Our job is to remain calm and tap into His mercy that is new every day. Like my friend going through the ordeal with her husband, you may not feel like you’re going to make it another day. Don’t think too far ahead. Make the most of this day. Depend on God’s grace today. He has promised to give us new mercy every day. When you feel like you can’t go on another day, God will pour out His mercy for another day. The situation you’re facing is not to overwhelm you but so that “God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

Surfing was her life. When Bethany was thirteen years old, surfing off of the island of Kauai in Hawaii she was attacked by fourteen-foot long tiger shark. The horrifying attack left Bethany with one arm. She lost sixty percent of her blood. Miraculously, her life was spared. She had multiple surgeries. Most people thought that her dream to become a professional surfer was over. Most people but not Bethany! She knew God’s mercies were new every morning and she relied on them heavily. By God’s grace and fearless courage, she returned to the water after a month. She continued to pursue her dream of becoming a professional surfer. Two years later, in 2007 she placed second in the World Junior Championship. If you haven’t watched it yet, be inspired by the movie Soul Surfer featuring Bethany Hamilton. Last month she got married and now lives a fulfilled life. Bethany inspires millions around the world!

Remember, God’s mercies are new every day. No matter what you’re facing, God has an escape plan for you. You have the strength, courage and determination to go through what you have to go through. He will never bring you to this test unless He made a provision for you to pass the test. God is not nervous, twiddling His thumbs not knowing how to bring about deliverance to our problems. His mercies are new every morning. This trial that you’re facing is to glorify His Son.

Friend, you’re not alone. You’re not helpless. God is in complete control. He has not forsaken you. He will never leave you. Don’t panic. Don’t despair. Help is on its way. This setback is to set you up so that you can experience the glory of God. Like Lazarus, God will raise you up from the dead situation. Like Bethany Hamilton, He will satisfy you with life and laughter once again. When you feel like giving up, remember that His mercies are new every morning.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Being Patient in a Slow Season

If we had it our way, we would like to know what business deal will close, what relationship will work out or what career path is going to be most fruitful. Waiting around to find things out is not our strength. Yet, most of life is waiting.

If we are to enjoy life, we have to learn to be patient in slow seasons. I’ve learnt that when nothing seems to be happening is when God is working the most. Just because we don’t see movement doesn’t mean things are at a standstill. God requires we look at life with our sixth sense called faith. The Bible says, Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV).

One of the requirements of faith is trusting on God’s timing. We may go for years without seeing much result but then you meet someone that changes everything. You meet the person of your dream. You get the business connection you’ve been looking for. You get a promotion at your work. You get the loan for your dream home. You are healed from the sickness you’re fighting for so long. You get to make your first missions trip with Build International Ministries. God’s sudden moment of favor will trust you years ahead.

I can recount many occasions of God’s favor in my life. When I was one year old, my mother died. But God had already prepared an orphanage for me. When I finished high school, He had a place for me in one of the most prestigious colleges in India. When I graduated from college, he led me to the ministry. These were not just lucky breaks but God was orchestrating my whole life in the midst of what looked like a chaos. I’ve learnt that God is always looking at our best interest.

When we learn to trust God’s timing, we don’t have to feel like we’re getting behind or held back from our destiny. If we’re going to enjoy life, we’ll have to accept and blossom where we’re planted! When we’re busy producing with what we have, God will entrust us with more. We all want to move forward with our lives but when things are slow; we can use our time to sharpen our knowledge or learn a new skill. We can prepare ourselves for the promotion that’s round the corner.

I read an intriguing report on the locusts. They look ugly. These insects have a thick body and small, straight wings. They don’t have the most aerodynamic bodies. They’re comfortable being locusts with their imperfect body and wings. But they have a keen sense of understanding of the time. Locusts don’t sit around singing the blues, moping around, complaining when the right wind conditions will come. They wait patiently for the perfect timing to leap in the air. When they catch the right wind conditions they can travel for miles. Like the locusts, we need to wait for our time and ride the wind of God’s favor. You may not have the right connections, education or the know-how. Doctors may have given up on your case. Your loved ones may act like they’ll never get saved. Don’t be anxious. Stay tuned to the Holy Spirit and jump when the opportunity presents itself. In case you’re wondering, the opportunity to catch God’s wind of favor is NOW! You’ve waited your whole life to prepare for this season. Now is your moment of favor. Today is the day of your salvation.

Friend, you’re not running behind or one second late. If God is directing your steps, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. You may find it hard to believe but God has a purpose in what you’re facing today. He is more interested in changing us than changing our circumstances. Our scenery will change when we change. God has amazing things in store for you. Adjust your wind-sail attitude so it can guide you to your desired destination. Trust in God’s timing. God’s wind of favor is blowing in your direction. Say with me, “I can hear the wind of God’s favor blowing in my direction. This is my time to cease the opportunity. I’ll become everything God created me to be.” Friend, if you have the right attitude while waiting, like the locusts, you’ll go further than you’ve ever imagined! Smile, you’re on God’s perfect schedule.

“My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me” (Psalm 31:15 NIV).

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