Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1 :13 (New International Version)
I just couldn’t help but give more than a cursory look to the scripture above. Today I trust God to lead us in a logical discourse ‘on being born not of natural descent’.
A lot is attached to our natural descent. Our lineage as it is sometimes rendered. A genetic tree is perhaps common. Many have gone to extreme lengths to find out their origin. For those who know, it is jealously guarded and lifted like a trophy. I remember back in school days, it was sacrilegious for just about anyone to address you by your surname unless during a roll call. It was the easiest way to start a fight back then. It sounded like you just insulted a whole generation. If you must do so it is with a whole lot of courtesy.
The bible however is emphatic in addressing the new birth by first telling us what not to ascribe it to. While our natural birth into this world could be viewed from such an angle, we shouldn’t think the same of our new birth. We are not just part of a long line of people. Our existence and our role are not defined by such – Acts 17:29. We are not just called to live and make sure things don’t get messed up at our end. Our targets and goals ought not to be limited to our natural descent.
God says we are different. We are children ‘not of a natural descent’.
Our heritage is now heavenly. Which means our outlook should be heavenly, our limitations also heavenly, our motivations heavenly – Col 3:1 – 4
So glorious that the bible says we are surrounded by witnesses who testify to this truth
– Heb 12:1 – 2
As long as we dwell on the physical, we would not manifest in line with the huge deposit God has placed in us. Rom 8:5 – 9
Every child of God without exception is blessed to be a blessing – Eph 1:3, 1ST Pet 2:9. We are a sign and a wonder to our generation.
It is so vital scriptures state that the whole of creation is waiting for you and I to manifest in line with what God has deposited within us – Rom 8:16 – 19. It is not for some select few. Only angels are permitted to be spectators here – 1ST Pet. 1:12. We ought to live out this reality.
Are you still viewing yourself from the scope of your natural descent? Our family is like this or my family is like that. My people don’t usually… And so on and so forth. Reassess rather who you are gazing on.
We are called of God. We are birthed of God. My limitation is that of God.
Col 3:1 – 3 puts it succinctly ‘If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God’.
Having this armamentarium, I realise nothing shall be called impossible. I don’t wish away my existence because of some temporal challenges or trials but realise I was made for such a time as this.
I AM A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD. THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS!
– Dr. Bolaji Akanni
(All scriptures quoted from the King James version (KJV) unless otherwise stated)
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is sit sown at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. II Timothy 2:4
Truth is if you have nothing worth dying for, you really have nothing worth living for.
The life of a soldier is such a one that perfectly exemplifies that; it requires total commitment till the point of death. Indeed, if you desire a thing so desperately, your passion must exceed the price you may need to pay to acquire it. Now wonder the death and resurrection of Christ is so aptly described as ‘the passion of Christ’.
Furthermore, a man enlisted indicates he has bought into the vision and substance of his master. He is no longer his own. He has been bought.
Let these words of Jesus – “nevertheless not my will but thine will be done” (Luke 22:42) be our stay and comfort as we deploy ourselves to the master’s work.
– gideon gbeja
Procrastination is such a thief of purpose. What has been laid upon our heart let us do quickly. It is so easy to push of things till the next hour but before you realize it the next hour becomes the next year. Let us learn to work while it is day making the most of time and purpose and not allowing that evil attitude cause us to count losses.
You would be wondering why I should be saying this but I really ought to have shared this article a while back but nearly lost it no thanks to my yielding to the temptation of “it should be set by tomorrow”.
Here is the article, which has been a blessing to me; I hope it would minister to you as well.
God’s word knows no boundaries. It has no walls. It has no off limits sign. God’s word is living and active. We must learn to separate God’s word from the things around us especially the circumstance or the situation we find ourselves in.
Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost said, “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer,even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.”
The truth is the situation we find ourselves is not a testimony to the efficacy of God’s word in our lives. God’s word is true all by itself. Had the children of Israel understood this they would have been of more cheerful countenance when they saw the giants in the promise land. Because they would have been looking to Jehovah – their deliverer. We’ve mentioned here that at a time when it was impossible medically for Sarah’s womb to give a child Abraham yet believed because he considered the one who had given the promise.
“And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.”
God’s word is not bound. Are you a student? Are you searching for a job? Are you married? Whoever you are God’s word over your life is not defined by the situation in your life or by your status. Way back in the university, I remember at times I made the mistake of viewing God through the glasses of the four walls of school. Prosperity for instance meant passing exams and having a meal on campus. Peace meant having good grades. Now that I am out of school it is so tempting to think peace is having a good job. But friends we should not think this way. God’s word is defined in itself. There is a peace in God which no one can fathom, which no career can satisfy.
God’s word is not bound dear friends. Take your eyes of yourself and that situation you are in and latch onto the Truth of His Word. I love that song we sang back in those days
God is bigger than all my problems
Bigger than anything
God is bigger than any mountain I can or cannot see
God is bigger than all my problems
Bigger than anything
God is bigger than any mountain I can or cannot see.
God’s Word is not limited, constrained by the things you go through. Hallelujah!
– Dr. bolaji akanni
When I was growing up, I was made to believe that it was God that provided money for people. And that you had to pray hard enough so that he will decide to bless you. So men prayed earnestly for years. Prayers like “open the windows of heaven” and songs of ‘showers of blessing” were very regular in church. When I however grew up and was taught of God I was surprised to realize I was already blessed and all I had to do was appropriate and “lay up treasures” by my seeds of faith and wait for the showers/harvest that was sure to follow. The scriptures cannot be broken. If you must receive you must give. If you want treasures that will endure and surpass every season you must lay it up.
So this is how we lay up our treasures
- GIVE TO THE CAUSE OF THE GOSPEL: our number one task on earth is to be ministers of reconciliation, to take the gospel to the uttermost part of the world. That cause is capital intensive. But a wise man will give to the gospel and receive a hundred fold blessing in return. Whether it’s in offerings, support to missionaries etc you must just ensure your money goes directly into the propagation of the gospel. When you give to support the gospel in whatever form you are paying directly into your heavenly purse and that purse does not fail or wax old. To crown it all up the interest it pays cannot be mathematically explained.
Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for God’s sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive a hundred fold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
- GIVE TO THE POOR: the ministry to the poor is very important and very good investment ground. Understand from today that it is very wrong not to have a budget for the poor. “And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God” (Lev 19:10 KJV). Always leave something for the poor. Job’s treasures failed not because he understood this well. Job 29:12-20 revealed that he was blessed, his roots spread out by the waters, his GLORY WAS FRESH and his bow was renewed because he gave to the poor. So if you haven’t found a safe investment yet, I recommend one to you. The poor will always be with us so we have every opportunity to lay up treasures for ourselves. Remember Jesus told the man in Mk.10:21 to sell whatever he had and give to the poor AND HE SHALL HAVE TREASURES IN HEAVEN. Why not put a smile on the face of a poor one today. They don’t need much. They only need the little you take for granted and the many things you no longer have need for.
- GIVE TO MINISTERS OF GOD: there is such a thing as a prophet’s reward. (Mat 10:41). When the disciples were sent out to preach the gospel in Matthew 10, they were told not to take anything along. Men were expected to bless them and in return they were to leave prosperity behind. “And when ye come into a house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace (prosperity) come upon it: but if it be not, worthy, let your peace (prosperity) return to you.’ (Mat 10:12-13 KJV)When you give to ministers you receive their blessings. Friends it is a little thing for someone who ministers things of eternal value to you to partake of your carnal possessions. “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (1Co 9:14 KJV) There is a portion that should always be set aside for the ministers. And those that labor in the teaching of God’s word deserve a double portion. When the flock of God is fed, ministers must eat of the milk the flock produces.
– emmanuel aladenusi
In recent weeks I have been continuously flooded with calls and enquiries about money. Various groups have requested to be taught how to either get money or access loans. To them the most important thing was just to get money. The truth however remains that even though we always prioritize money, spiritual understanding and wisdom is key to abundance and they must be taught FIRST.
In Luke 12. Jesus was surrounded by two groups. His disciples on one side and an innumerable multitude on the other. He however turned to His disciples FIRST OF ALL and began to teach spiritual lessons. The crowd had patience for sometime before a man interrupted. (Luke 12:13) “And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me”. Let’s draw 3 lessons from this man:
- THE NATURE OF THE HUMAN HEART. It has always amazed me that Jesus was talking deep spiritual truths to his disciples and was even just saying that “the HOLYGHOST shall teach………..” but that was of no importance to the man. What he wanted was a way to acquire wealth and not all the “spirit talk”. That’s true of many today. We are bored by spiritual truths and excited by money talks.
- THE LESSON FOR THE MULTITUDE. Jesus however corrected that; i. Beware! Your life quality is not a function of what you have and what you have physically does not qualify or disqualify you. ii a man that is not FIRST RICH TOWARDS GOD is foolish.
- THE LESSON FOR THE DISCIPLES. And Jesus turned back and addressed his disciples saying “I warn you not to think and act like this. Your life is much more than money! Money!
Money! I take care of things that are by far inferior to you. How much more you. I understand perfectly well that you need money to acquire those things the multitude worry about constantly. But Fear not, it is the Fathers GOOD pleasure to give you those things. BUT THE KEY IS HAVING TREASURES IN HEAVEN THAT FAILETH NOT.
Treasures that fail not. Eternal and continuous flow of resources. How do you get that?
You lay it up. 1 Tim. 6:19 “laying up in store for themselves a good foundation for the time to come that they might lay hold of eternal (continuous) life”. Luke 12:33. “…Provide For Yourselves bags which wax not old…treasures in the heavens that faileth not” You don’t stumble on wealth, you don’t go about looking or asking for it, you lay it up for yourself. And you must lay it up in heaven. How do you lay up treasures in heaven?
To be continued …
– emmanuel aladenusi
How You Must Not Read the Bible – 2 Bible Reading: I John 1
As a teacher of God’s word, most times when I pick up my bible to read, I remember the difference between a water tank and a water pipe, and this has helped me a lot in my spiritual growth. What do I mean? A water tank is a vessel for storing water while a water pipe is a tube that just allows large volumes of water to pass through it but only stores water in drops and droplets. One reason why many believers, especially pastors and teachers are not growing spiritually is because they act as water pipes whenever they read their bibles. Their focus is on how to dish out the doctrine to other believers in Christian meetings. Whenever they pick up their bibles, they utter a prayer that is similar to – “Lord, give me a word for your people”. They never receive a word for their own lives. They are like mere pipes. Many words pass through them but they don’t retain any. You get close to them and you are confused because you cannot match their words with their deeds. I have handled my bible as though I was a pipe so many times. Occasionally, I still do so and I know it is a dangerous spot to stay.
Notwithstanding, I am particularly thrilled by the sequence of the effect bible reading should have in our lives. I deduced it from I John 1:1-2 (GW) which reads “The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. Weobserved and touched it … We are reporting to you about this eternal life”. I love the way John listed how they handled the word. First, they heard it, saw it, and later they experienced it (observed and touched it) in their lives. Thereafter, they reported their experience to us. They reported it after they had heard, seen and observed it. Many of us are reporters of the word without being observers of the same word. Being a reporter alone cannot make you grow spiritually. You have to be an observer of the word. You have to consciously ensure that you experience and live out all you read in the bible that pertains to you. What belongs to you potentially by the acceptance of Jesus should become yours experientially, and then you will be able to distribute it effectively. That reminds me of a water tank, it can store volumes of water and also distribute to others.
In addition, you will experience spiritual growth if you humble yourself when you read the bible. Matt 23:12 says “… whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted”. Many believers are not growing spiritually because they approach the bible with a proud outlook. When they pick up their bibles, you see them saying “oh, I know this already” or “My Pastor said this”. Some are just flipping through the bible in order to rubber stamp what Pastor said. They esteem their ideas and Pastor’s statement above whatever they read. They find it difficult to make adjustments in their lives and accept what the bibles says if it contradicts their personal philosophies. I Tim 6:3-4 “Whoever teaches false doctrine and doesn’t agree with the accurate words of our Lord Jesus Christ … is a proud person”. Do you always agree with the word of Jesus? Are you a proud reader of the bible?
In our next edition, we will discuss some of the right motives to have when reading the bible so that you can be sure it will lead to your spiritual growth.
– tope aladenusi