Building People. Spreading Hope.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Flourishing Finish


“God will bring you to a flourishing finish” (Philippians 1:6 MSG). 
We all go through disappointments, loss, or betrayal but God never ends with a negative. It is natural to become discouraged, bitter, or even angry at God and people. However, if we keep the right attitude and don’t give up, He has promised to bring us to a flourishing finish.
The marathon was the final event of the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. The stadium was packed and the crowds erupted at the sight of the first athlete crossing the finishing line.
Way back behind everyone else, was John Stephen Akhwari of Tanzania, cramping up due to the high altitude of the city. In the middle of the race, there was jockeying for a position between some runners and he fell to the ground injuring his knee and shoulder. However, he continued running. An hour later, when Akhwari entered the stadium, all but a small crowd remained.

Akhwari was the last among the 57 competitors of the 75 that started the race. When he was asked on the television camera why he continued running, he replied, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me to finish the race.”

In the same way, we’re all sent to finish the race. At one time, you believed that you could do something great. You believed to be healthy. You believed to fall in love and live happily ever after. You believed that you could start a business. You believed that you would go on that mission trip. But life happened and you have been knocked down a few times. You have not seen the fulfillment of your dream yet. Don’t resign to your fate and believed the “never” lies.

Friend, just like John Stephen Akhwari, God didn’t send you to planet earth to live a mediocre, unfulfilled, and unfished race. He put you here for a purpose. He didn’t create you to drag through life frustrated and unrewarded. He made you in His own image. He put seeds of greatness in you. You’re born to do great things. The sooner you embrace God’s plan, the faster you’ll begin to experience the miracles happening all around you.
In the last moments of Jesus’ life on earth, he needed his disciples to stand by Him. Yet, Peter denied Jesus three times. It was the ultimate betrayal! Later, Peter felt miserable. He abandoned the call of God and went back to fishing.
Today you may be sitting on the sideline, living a life of regret. Your thoughts hijack your mind thinking, “What could have been, or should have been, if I hadn’t made those wrong choices.”
There’s good news for you my friend. God knows all our faults and failures and yet, He loves us unconditionally. He doesn’t give us what we deserve; He has a flourishing finish waiting for us.
This is what happened to Peter (John 21). After Jesus rose from the dead, He found Peter and the other disciples fishing on the sea. They had toiled all night and caught nothing. At the instruction of Jesus, they cast their nets and they hauled the greatest catch. When Peter got to the shore, Jesus met him. Instead of displeasure, rebuke, or disappointment, Jesus restored Peter and invited him to a barbeque breakfast of fish and toast.

Today, you may be down, defeated, and discouraged but don’t give up. Like Akhwari, you’re sent to finish the race. No matter what your failure may have been, God waits to welcome you back. He wants to restore you and make you twice as successful as you’ve ever been. He wants to heal you. He wants to bring love into your life. He wants to restore your losses and give you double for your trouble. There’s a flourishing finish waiting for you. God will finish what He has started. Now do your part. Like Peter, Jesus is calling, “Follow me!” Will you? I know you will. I love you and I’m praying for you!
Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org
 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Be Kind and Considerate


“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).

Since childhood, we’ve been taught to be kind and considerate. We all want others to be kind to us but it’s hard to initiate these virtues. When we’re kind and considerate, we’re doing more than good deeds. We’re representing Christ and planting seeds for ourselves and our children.

A few weeks ago, I was running errands at the post office. As I entered the door, I saw an elderly lady carrying several boxes in her arms. I offered to hold the door open for her. After she put down her packages, she was about to go out and get some more from her car when I offered to help her.

Her whole back seat was full of packages for her kids and grandkids. After I put them down in the front of the clerk’s desk, we both stood in the line. She said, “Thank you.” I said, “Now you have to tell me a story.” She said, “What story?” I said, “Tell me something God has done for you that glorifies Him.” She said, “God miraculously healed my husband!” My eyes got real big as I said, “Tell me more.”

She said, “My husband was on a plane and he had been having a heart attack. He was breathing heavily and the passenger next to him complained to him. So he went and sat in the toilet the rest of the flight. After he got off the plane, he was rushed to the hospital and spent three months in the intensive care unit. God finally healed him.” 


I was so excited and asked her if I could pray for her husband. She said, “Sure.” Right there, standing in the post office line, I prayed a brief prayer of blessing over her and a healthy long life for her husband. When I said “amen” several others standing in the line joined in.

We finished our transactions at the post office and I was walking to my car when I heard, “Excuse me. Excuse me.” I turned around and there was another lady walking towards me. I was taken aback but I turned around and started walking towards her. She said, “I’m sorry to bother you but I heard you pray for the lady in the post office line. My husband has just had a heart attack. Would you please pray for him?” I said, “Yes ma’am.” I talked to her about how Jesus is still alive and he loves to heal and save people. Sheepishly, she said, “I know I should be in church but I haven’t in a long time.” I said, “Don’t worry. Jesus heals people even if we’re not church-goers.” Standing in the middle of the parking lot, I laid my hands on her shoulders and prayed for her husband. She was so relieved and promised that they’ll be in church the next Sunday.

We were just about to finish up our conversation when a young lady driving by stopped near us. She rolled down her window and shouted, “Hey, I just love what you did inside the post office and are now doing out here!”

Why am I telling you this elaborate story? I believe opportunities to be kind to others are all around us. If we’re not always in such hurry and focusing on our own agendas, we’ll find many people who are desperate for a touch from God. You may not be able to do anything big but can you open the door for an elderly lady? Will you be bold enough to pray in public? When you do, you’ll create a chain of events that will touch many lives.

Jesus was a champion at showing kindness to people. He made time for people. He was approachable. Even the children felt safe around him. He not only did mighty miracles but he had time to talk to ordinary folks like the Samaritan woman by the well. He made time to have dinner with the sinners and tax-collectors of his day.

Mark Twain said, “Kindness is the language in which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” This week, my challenge for you is to have an open heart. In traffic, let the person slip in front of you. Let go of a pet peeve with your child or spouse. Don’t join in the office gossip. If the boss is unreasonable, let it go. Forgive someone even if he/she hasn’t said sorry. One of the greatest inheritances you can ever leave your children is to teach them to be kind. Being considerate to others will take your children further in life than any formal education. Show them by example. This is the holiday season folks. Let’s be a little kinder and considerate to people whom God brings in our path.

Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org


Monday, November 30, 2015

Love God and Love People


"'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, 'Love your neighbor as yourself'" (Luke 10:27 NLT).

Christianity is at a crossroad. Some people are repelled by it while others are willing to give up their lives to follow Christ. In many instances, it may look like we’re on our back foot but the Bible assures us that His government and peace will have unlimited growth.

For centuries, Christians, leaders, and churches have tried to invent and reinvent the message of Christ. There’s nothing wrong discovering and growing in the knowledge of our infinite God; however, Jesus, the founder of our faith, gave us two basic commands.

The essence of Christianity is to love God and love people. 

Recently, I was visiting my brother’s family. They were returning from a worship concert when they stopped at a red light, a homeless man approached them. When they gave him a leather bag filled with medicine, toothbrush, cash, food, tracts, stationary, T-shirt, flashlight, and other basic necessities; the homeless man was dumbfounded. The first words that came out of his mouth were, “What the hell is that?” He couldn’t believe the kindness of total strangers!

I believe this is where Christianity is losing its flavor. We’ve become too private, intellectual, cynical, and judgmental of each other. People have taken advantage of us, so now we’re filtering our responses through our past experiences. This is not the best reflection of our faith.

Here’s the key: if you love God you will love people and vice versa!

In the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10), Jesus spoke about a wounded man who was bypassed by a priest and a Levite. Their reasoning may have been along the lines of he’s not part of our church, culture or faith therefore; he doesn’t qualify for our help. What if God treated us according to His high standards? Jesus crossed every creed, color, social, racial, and cultural barriers to reach people and so should we as His disciples.

Jesus taught us to love people – ALL people. It’s easier said than done but when this is our intent, the love of God has the power to transform society.

Recently, a 22-year-old Egyptian Christian woman lived out her faith in deed. Her former husband (from another faith) divorced her. After several years, she got married to a young Christian man and they had two beautiful children together. She was pregnant with their third when they decided to visit their former church to fellowship with other believers. In the city, they’re spotted by her former family members. They kidnapped her and pressed her to renounce her faith. When she refused to deny Christ, her own sister beheaded her in order to “teach a lesson” to other women who chose to follow Christianity. What would be our response in such situation?

God forbid that we have to face such brutal fate. However, there are million little ways we can impact others with the love of Christ. The scripture says, “The goodness of God leads people to repentance” (Romans 2:4).

Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

A couple of months ago, my friend was driving home in her pickup truck when she saw a bunch of men working under the scorching sun. She was moved with compassion but didn’t have any water in her truck. She went home and brought back ice-cold water for the men working on the street. She didn’t have to preach that day because she was the Gospel.

Our action towards our fellow men is a direct reflection of our love for God.

Friend, if we want to encounter God in supernatural ways, it’s not good enough to dress in our Sunday best, clap our hands, and sing, “I love you Lord.” We have to live intentionally and love the crying, sighing, and dying people God brings on our path. Loving God means to reflect the same love Jesus showed us. When we unite in loving people, we’ll see a new move of the Holy Spirit sweeping through our nation like never before. Let us love God and Love people!

Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Come Let Us Give Thanks


“Give thanks in all circumstances,1 for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:18 NIV).

Thanksgiving is a wonderful tradition celebrated in the United States. It’s a time of reflection and thanksgiving for all of the great things God has done in our lives. The commercialization of this great day has eroded a lot of its original meaning. However, it is still one of the most powerful traditions in American culture.

Thanksgiving, or giving of thanks, is a recurring theme in the Bible. One of the first mentions of thanksgiving is recorded in Genesis chapter 14. There, priest-king Melchizedek brought an abundant supply of food and wine to Abram (later renamed Abraham), along with Abram’s 318-member team of warriors to express their extraordinary victory against the king of Sodom, Gomorrah, Zeboyim, and the king of Bela.

“Melchizedek the king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:18-19).

Centuries later, after liberating the Hebrew people from 400 years of slavery, the Lord instituted two yearly thanksgiving holidays that celebrated the two harvest seasons.

While it is easy to celebrate thanksgiving when everything is going right in our lives, it is not so spontaneous or easy when we’re fighting a hardship, legal battle, prolonged sickness or even the loss of a loved one. It is hard to do but it can be done.

Horatio G. Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family — a wife, Anna, and five children. Their young son died from pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God, in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once again.

On Nov. 21, 1873, the French oceanliner, Ville du Havre, was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later.

About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Within 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children.

A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot rescued Mrs. Spafford. Upon her safe arrival in Wales, Anna wired her husband a message saying, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down. Overwhelmed and in great distress, Mr. Spafford penned the words to a timeless hymn:

It is Well with My Soul
When peace like a river attendeth my way | When sorrows like sea billows roll | Whatever my lot | Thou hast taught me to say I It is well, it is well with my soul |

Friend, if grieving Spafford can write such a powerful song of gratitude in such great distress, we all can find something to thank God for. Here’s the key: Don’t let something that was once a miracle become ordinary.

The more we talk about God’s goodness in the past, the more we draw in His blessings in the future! There are three areas you can always find something to thank God for. First, celebrate what God has done in the past. Second, be grateful for what God is doing in your life right now. Third, thank God for what He is about to do and the glorious future we have with Him in eternity. Remember the time you found love in your life. Thank God for the day your children were born. Thank Him for healing you from that dreaded disease. Remember, the many incidences of how God saved your life from accidents and calamities. Once you start counting your blessings there’s no stopping. This Thanksgiving, let us not only make it about food, fun, and family but let us give thanks unto our Lord who has done great things! Happy Thanksgiving!

Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org


Sunday, November 22, 2015

God Will Provide for Your Financial Needs


"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT).

Worry is a universal problem; especially, during the holiday season. There’s nothing wrong with having passing thoughts or concerns but when worry dominates our mind, we’re missing out on God’s best for the present.

Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. He was one of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and of the 20th century; renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral detail and sonority, and his photographic memory.

Once, shortly before a major concert in front of a packed audience, a member of Arturo Toscanini's orchestra approached the great conductor with an expression of complete terror on his face. "Maestro," the musician fretted, "my instrument is not working properly. I cannot reach the note of E-flat. Whatever will I do? We are to begin in a few moments." 
 
Toscanini looked at the man with utter amazement. Then he smiled kindly and placed an arm around his shoulders. "My friend," the maestro replied, "do not worry about it. The note E-flat does not appear anywhere in the music that you will be playing this evening."

How many times have we done the same?

Erma Bombeck said, “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

Worry keeps us busy but doesn’t solve any problems. The measure of our ability to enjoy life greatly depends on our aptitude to deal with worry. If you’re prone to worrying, you can get over it simply by training and channeling our focus to do what we can with what we have.

A recent survey by Readers Digest from 16 countries around the world showed money, family, health, and the state of the world as top concerns in 16 different countries around the world.

Money tops the worry list because it applies to us daily. Money is not the most important thing in life but it touches everything important in our lives. It is an age-old problem that has plagued mankind. Listen to what Jesus said about our daily needs:

“So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:31-33 NLT).  

While the promise is clear that God will take care of us, too many of us worry about our finances more than we ought to. Don’t just look at what you have but what God has reserved for you. Your paycheck is not your source. Don’t put your trust in your bank balance, stocks, or investments. Saving and living frugally are Godly principles but don’t put your faith in them. Make God your Source and you’ll never have to fret about money again.

With every bill, there’s a provision attached to it!

Once the tax-collectors came to Peter to collect what was owed. They didn’t have the money. Jesus told Peter, “Go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours" (Matthew 17:38 NIV). Friend, God knows what you need and how to get it to you. You’re insured!

Corrie ten Boom, who suffered inhumanely in a German concentration camp said, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
 
I wonder how different our lives would be if we stopped worrying about things we cannot control and started focusing on the things we can. Let today be the beginning of a worry-free life. God has you in the palm of His Hands. You’re a hand-picked child of the Most High and a privileged member of His family. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will provide. I pray and declare that you’ll have more than enough and plenty left over to bless the world.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You’re a Magnet for God’s Blessings


“Truly, goodness and gracious love will pursue me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6 ISV).

We just got back from a mission trip to India and Nepal. Because of your prayers, love and support, we were able to reach over 60,000 people. We give God all the glory!

We literally met tens of thousands of people during our time there. Everywhere we went, God’s people asked us to pray for their problems. We did and prayers were answered.

One of the most common problems we heard was, “I’ve been walking right, doing right, and honoring God but still I’ve not seen any breakthroughs.” I’ve heard this statement many times in my life. Today, let us look at how to become a magnet for God’s blessings.

Let me start by saying this: if you’re walking in integrity, God will bless you. When you honor God with your life, you don’t have to look for the blessings because they will find you! No one can take a blessing that has your name on it.

Don’t be discouraged because your healing has not manifested yet. Let us not quit because your financial problems still exist. Do not despair if your loved one is not yet serving God. God knows what you need and how to get it to you.

This is what happened to a young lady on our recent trip to Nepal. Reshma is 19 years old. She is a new Christian and on fire for God. When she heard through someone that we were having a meeting, she decided to come in spite of having no transportation due to the oil shortage in the country. She came to the meeting very discouraged and despondent because she didn’t get selected for a medical scholarship. As she listened to our message, God gave her new hope and inspiration. We were able to comfort and connect with her after the meeting and now we’re looking at finding a scholarship for this young lady.

What happened? Reshma was in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing. She was seeking God first worshipping Him. She wasn’t seeking a blessing, the blessing found her!

God will do the same for you. I’ve found three principles that will unleash God’s blessings upon your life.

First, DECIDE what you want. Too many God-loving people are drifting through life because they never identified what is it that they want. Jesus often asked people, “What do you want me to do for you?” Frequently, the needs were too obvious but still He took the time to ask this question. Why is that? I believe God wants us to decide what we want. If we want a spoonful of blessing, we’ll get just that. But if we dare to ask for big things, it will not bankrupt heaven. Today, I want you to be specific in your prayers and make sure to ask God for some BIG things. God can do in a split second what you can do on your own in a lifetime.

Second, DECLARE what you want. You cannot have a poor mouth and expect to live a rich life. Do not sabotage your blessing by speaking words contrary to God’s Word. Wake up every morning and say, “I’m blessed. I’m confident. I’m secure. I’m healed. I’m highly favored. I have the mind of Christ. Something good will happen to me today.” The Bible says, “You will also decree a thing, and it will be established for you” (Job 22:28 NAS).

Third, EXPECT God’s blessings to find you. Most people give up on their dreams because it hasn’t happened in their timetable. Don’t let that be you. If God was to pull back the curtains and show you what He’s about to pour down on you, you would be amazed. Friend, you’ve come too far to turn back now. Healing is yours. Prosperity is yours. Peace and joy are yours. Goodness and mercy and forgiveness are yours. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. You’re about to enter into your Promised Land. Be specific and call in your blessing throughout the day. Expect good things to happen to you and your loved ones and begin to thank God for the miracles He has done in the past. When you do these things, you’ll be amazed how God’s blessings will chase you down. Like a magnet, the blessed life will follow you around. I love you and I’m praying for you!

Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Loving People to Jesus


“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples" (John 13:35 NLT).

The world has become more cynical, suspicious, and void of loving one another. We’re constantly doubting, trying to second guess people’s intentions, and putting up our walls. I believe that God wants us to love one another.

Most churches have stopped teaching people to love one another. For the most part, churches are filled with “recycled Christians.” The messages from the pulpits are mostly geared to sedate the congregation and keep them from leaving. The aggressive (not obnoxious) brand of Christianity has disappeared and we’re operating on the back foot defensive position. This may sustain us for a while but we cannot win games operating from our defensive position.

Yesterday I was shopping with a visiting pastor from India. I took him to a nice store to buy him some new clothes. While shopping, I came across a tall, dark, and handsome young man trying out a suit. He looked unsure of himself. He was alone so I told him that the jacket looked a bit too tight. He went and found another one. I was just chitchatting with him while shopping around. When I asked him what the occasion for the new jacket was, he said, “I’m getting married!” I was so happy for him and congratulated him.

When we were done shopping and were checking out, I felt impressed upon my heart to bless this young man by paying for his wedding suit. My first thought was, “Get behind me Satan!” Deep in my heart I knew that the enemy would never inspire me spend hundreds of dollars to help a stranger. Thankfully this time, I was sensitive enough to obey the Holy Spirit.

I called the young man, who by now had picked up a nice suit for his big day, to the counter. I asked, “What is your name?” He said, “Ibrahim.” He greeted me with a Muslim greeting and whispered, “I’m a Muslim.” I gave him a big hug and said, “That’s ok. I’m a follower of Jesus.” I said, “Listen, I want you to know that Jesus loves you and I love you. I’m so proud of you and the new life you’re about to start together with your beautiful girl!” He promptly pulled out his wallet to proudly show me the picture of his beautiful fiancĂ©. I said, “Ibrahim, I love you brother. I’d like to buy you this suit for your special day.” He was shocked!
 
All he could say was, “I’m floored! I’m floored!” I said, “It’s no big deal I love you and Jesus has an amazing future for your family!” He choked up and had tears in his eyes. Before we left, I prayed for him right there in the middle of the store asking Jesus to come into Ibrahim’s heart. An hour later I got a text from Ibrahim saying, “I forgot to tell you the day I’m getting married is the day of my birthday turning 30 years old. What you did for me means a lot Mr. Anderson.” He invited me to his wedding to be a part of their celebration. Ibrahim is infected by God’s love and he will never be the same again. Would you please pray for Ibrahim?

Why am I telling you this story? You see, I believe God is always bringing people into our lives —lives that we can touch and win for our Lord Jesus Christ. If we are sensitive enough to recognize God’s purpose and love on people instead of criticizing them and pointing fingers at them, we’ll live in a whole new world.

Jesus demonstrated the art of loving people. He was the only perfect Man but He never condemned anyone. He simply loved on people and the power of God’s love did the rest. Remember the Samaritan women at the well (John 4)? Jesus knew all about her lifestyle but instead of condemning her, He gently circled her in with His love. As a result, not only did she accept the Messiah but she brought the whole town to Jesus! You too can do the same.

Christianity is at its best when it’s shared!

Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Friends, let us love people not only with our lip-service but through deeds as well. Don’t just be a consumer Christian. Let’s not go to church and warm the pews for decades. Let us get in the game and be on the offensive. If our lives are not producing fruits unto Jesus, we’ve lost our first love. Today, I’m encouraging us to tear down the walls. Let us love, trust, and believe in people. Reach out and start a dialog with your neighbor. Invite a co-worker to church. Pray with someone who is going through a rough patch. Be kind to a total stranger. When we love people, the Holy Spirit will draw them unto Jesus. I love you and I believe in you!

Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Turn Up Your Expectation


"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him" (I Corinthians 2:9 NLT).

Expectation is a powerful motivator. Every living being should expect that something better will come along. When we’re expecting something new, we can endure extreme circumstances. If we want to live a large life, then we must have consistent and high expectations.

Many people find it hard to expect anything big from God because they think they’re going to offend God by asking for too much. Others feel they don’t deserve anything good. Truth is, our lives often directly reflect our expectations.

We have a cat named Rue. She’s one of the four kittens my children rescued from the snowy weather. Now, Rue is almost two years old. Every morning when I get up, I make myself a cup of tea. Without fail, Rue comes up to me rubbing against my legs, expecting to get a treat by crying with her pathetic voice. I love Rue’s attitude of faith. Every single morning she gets up expecting! There have been times when I didn’t want to give her anything but was moved by her expectation; I’ve been compelled to give her treats. Like Rue, it will do us all good if we wake up each morning with expectancy.

God often meets us at the point of our expectation.

Often we lower our expectations in life because of a major setback or a series of setbacks we experience. I don’t want to minimize your experience but unless we learn to shake off our negative experiences, we won’t be able to enjoy all that God has in store for us.

A negative experience can be your best teacher or it can be your worst enemy. How we deal with a negative experience will determine the quality of life we’ll enjoy.

Successful people know how to put a negative experience behind them quickly and move forward with positive expectations in life.

In 2 Kings chapter 4, there’s a famous story about the Prophet Elisha, a widow, and her two boys. After the death of her husband, the poor widow almost starved to death. When Elisha asked for something to eat, she obeyed and fed the man of God. In a gesture of gratitude, the Prophet asked the widow to borrow as many jars as she could from her neighbors. In a miraculous act of God’s power, the small jar of oil that she had kept pouring out oil and filling containers of various size. Here’s what I want you to see. The oil from the jar kept flowing until the widow’s son couldn’t find another vessel to pour oil into. In today’s context, we can say the oil ran out at the same moment the expectation was gone. The oil continued to flow up to the point there was an expectation of a miracle from God.

In the same way, could it be that our miracles have clogged up because of our lack of expectations? Needless to say, people will disappoint you. Even those who you love and are close to you will let you down at times. But if we learn to put our hopes and expectations in God, He will never let us down. Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that moment” (Matthew 8:13 NIV).

Get up each morning expecting something special from God. When you stand in front of the bathroom mirror, say out loud, “Something goooood is going to happen to me today!” Expect people to be good to you. Expect your children to excel in life. Expect the lights to stay green and the traffic to open up for you until you cross. At work, expect your boss to like you. Expect preferential treatment. Expect customers to flock to you. Expect your business to prosper. Expect the healing to spring forth today. Expect your strained marriage to be turned around. Expect each and every day to be miraculous. Your life will directly correlate to the expectations of your heart. So why expect small things when you can have big things and become a blessing to others? Turn up your expectation – that’s all you’re going to get! I pray and declare that you’ll achieve every goal, every purpose, and every dream God put in your heart. Something goooood is going to happen to you today!

Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org


Saturday, July 11, 2015

When Nothing Seems to be Happening


“So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up” (Galatians 6:9 NLT)

None of us like to wait. We want fast, if not immediate, results. Many people struggle when they do the right thing and don’t see the desired result. If a drought lasts for a long time, it can easily squeeze the life out of us. The good news is that everything can change instantly.

One touch of God’s favor blowing in your direction can do more for you than what you can do on your own in a lifetime. The challenge is to stay hopeful in trusting God when things are going slow.

Just because you don’t see any progress doesn’t mean there isn’t any. If God was to pull back the curtains and let you take a peek at what’s happening in the background, you would be amazed. Many people quit just before the major breakthrough is about to take place.

What to do when nothing seems to be happening?

Pass the discouragement test. One of the main things you have to battle is mental fatigue. When we begin to lose hope, it’s hard to stay pumped up. No matter how dark it looks, you have to have an internal dialogue and belief that things are going to change today.

We can learn a lot from a farmer. If he decides to gather a barn full of corn, he doesn’t just hope, pray, and expect the corn to appear miraculously. He does what he has to. A farmer prepares the ground, plants the seeds, waters, nurtures, and waits for the right time to harvest the corn. He doesn’t go back the day after and dig out the seed because it has not produced yet. He’s confident in the seed, the soil, and the law of sowing and reaping. He’s secure that his labor will bring forth much fruit.

In the same way, when you’re in a slow season, keep putting seeds on the ground faithfully – make those follow up calls, take your family to church, stand believing for your healing, attend the local chamber of commerce, and keep working on the marriage. Keep doing what you know. If you do the right thing long enough, you will reap your reward. 

Keep the right company. You should never hang around with naysayers. It will kill your spirit faster than the venom of a cobra. It is especially important while you’re waiting that you associate with faith-filled people. Anybody can tell you why it won’t work; you need to hear how God is going to turn things around. Feed on the positive. Overdose on God’s promises for your problem. Bad company corrupts good manners. The opposite is also true.

Lastly, have an attitude of gratitude. If God has done it once, He will do it again. Most criminals are repeat offenders. At times, that’s all they know. In some ways, they don’t know any better. They can’t help themselves. They know the system.

God is like a criminal. Ok, I better clarify that. Unlike doing wrong, God can only do what’s right. God has a track record of doing the best for you. That’s all He can do and will do.

God cannot but help you, bless you, empower you, open doors for you, and propel you to your next level of victory. You need to know how God's laws work by studying the Word.

Friend, you are His masterpiece. You are His pride and joy. You’re His fatal attraction. He’s fascinated and even intoxicated by you and your success. Don’t mix up the devil and God. The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy but Jesus has come to give us life and an abundance of it.
 
This is your time. This is your moment of favor and breakthrough. Tag, you’re it to receive God’s abundant favor, mercy, healing, and prosperity. Let’s get our hopes up. Let’s pitch our tent in the land of hope. Cast away the loss, the sadness, depression, discouragement, and disappointments. It’s a new day to experience God’s love and mercy. I pray and declare: you’re about to come into your promised land. I love you and I’m praying for you and your good success.
 
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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Don’t Shoot the Wounded

People do unpredictable things. We say, “What were you thinking?” We have all done some things we’re not very proud of. When people make a blunder, it is easy to point fingers and judge but the right thing to do is to forgive, love, and restore them.

Recently, I got a call from a friend informing me how Billy Graham’s grandson had succumbed to some indiscretion. He wasn’t just informing but reminding me to show mercy. I agreed.

That’s exactly the attitude of Jesus. The Bible says, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world” (John 3:17 NIV).

Once, an adulterous woman was brought to Jesus. The religious fanatics of the day threw her at the feet of Jesus claiming that they had caught her in the act. What a religious duty to look through the keyhole! I always wonder why they didn’t catch the man.

I see the dust rise. This young woman had gone astray. It could have been your daughter, my daughter. Jesus was the only person qualified to judge her but He wouldn’t. He said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!"

If you want to be like Jesus, quit throwing stones at people!

Celebrity or not we’re all under the clutches of sin. By the way, there’s no celebrity Christian or VIP sinner in God’s eyes. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

As long as we’re here on earth, none of us are immune to sin. Let's not judge people simply because their sin is different than ours. God doesn’t see any difference.

Some say, “But these are leaders in a position of influence and authority!” So what? If we’ve not prayed for a person to walk uprightly before God, we have no right to judge them.

Whenever I’m tempted to point fingers at others, I’m reminded of the terrible mistakes I’ve made over the course of my life. I sinned deliberately. I knew better. But against all good judgment, I failed. How grateful I am for God’s mercy and people’s forgiveness.

9-year-old Kim Phuc suffered terrible burns by the napalm bomb dropped into her village during the Vietnam War. As she ran for her life, naked, photographer Nick Ut shot a picture of her that decorated the covers of every magazine and newspaper in the U.S. Phuc spent more than a year in hospitals. After dozens of reconstructive surgeries, Kim survived. Now 52, she lives just outside Toronto, a wife, mother and the subject of the iconic picture in 1972.

Kim could not find peace. She wanted to disappear. She even wished for death. She thought if she died she wouldn't have to suffer mentally, physically, and emotionally. She began to seek answers, studying different religious texts. At 19, she became a Christian, and she credits her faith for helping her embrace life again.

"When I became Christian, I have a wonderful connection -- the relationship between me, and Jesus, and God. And from that point," she says, "I learned to forgive."

Clearly, if anyone should have difficulty forgiving, it would be Kim. But she allowed God’s forgiveness and mercy to flow towards her assailants. What was humanly impossible was made possible through God.

Let us not be so quick to judge. Let us not drag people through the mud when they make a grave mistake. Christian army is the only army that kills its wounded. Where is the compassion? Beware! We too are susceptible to fall into temptation. Instead of pointing fingers, let us pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Don’t shoot the wounded. Let us show mercy and restore the fallen!

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1 NIV).

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