“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need, and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Corinthians 9:6,8 NLT).
The word God gave us in our local church this new year 2022 is ABUNDANCE. And for us to experience the abundance (or harvest) God is bringing, it is imperative to revisit seed sowing. God has woven in creation the law of seedtime and harvest (Genesis 8:22). Proper sowing will always bring in a harvest. Below are some points to note:
Sow intentionally: The harvest is in the seed, but for the harvest to be realized the seed must be planted. Every farmer is intentional about the seeds they plant. If they want to harvest apples, they plant apple seeds. The seed creates the future. God wanted many children, and He sowed Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son to reap a harvest of children. We sow what we want to reap. We sow what we desire but lack at the present time. Every seed reproduces after its kind. What do you desire in 2022 that you presently lack? Be intentional and sow the requisite seeds for the harvest you intend.
Sow strategically: No farmer scatters seeds on the ground haphazardly. There’s always a plan or course of action when farmers sow. A course of action they take is to plant seeds in rows. They do this to weed and plough in between of the rows for the purpose of aeration and to conserve moisture which helps the seeds planted to grow. Farmers engage different courses of action in order to get a bumper harvest. The Holy Spirit is a Master Strategist. In order to get breakthroughs and bumper harvests this year, He will instruct us to sow seeds that will culminate into great results. I pray we are graced to obey promptly and fully in Jesus’ name.
Sow bountifully: Our text says the one who plants generously will reap generously. The story of the woman with the costly perfume who poured same on Jesus is told in the gospels. The cologne is said to be worth a whole year of a laborers wage! Jesus said of her, “I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed” (Mark 14:9, NLT). This woman through her generous gift (and honor bestowed) on Jesus earned for herself an enviable and commendable destiny.
Sow with expectations and patience: Every farmer plant seeds with expectation. They match their expectation with patience. The Bible tells us to consider farmers who patiently wait for the rains to fall on their farmlands and wait for the first sign of their harvest (James 5:7). Also, the type of seed farmers plant determines how much waiting and patience they must exercise. A farmer who plants corn seeds will wait a few months for harvest, whereas the farmer who plants cocoa seeds will have to wait for years before the harvest. The common denominator amongst the farmers is that they are willing to wait for the harvest. The Bible says though the vision (harvest) tarries, wait for it for it shall surely come and will not tarry. Receive grace for expectation and patience.
Sow continuously: “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6, NKJV). Solomon, in this verse is recommending for us to become serial sowers. The result of continuous sowing is back-to-back blessings. The Prophet Amos captures this succinctly in Amos chapter 9, verse 13, “the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed”.
CONCLUSION: Some of the necessary seeds to plant this year are thanksgiving, the word of God, service to God and mankind, holy living, love and forgiveness, mercy, prayers and intercession, obedience, money, etc. Receive grace in this year of abundance to do the expedient and the needful. A blessed 2022 to you in Jesus’ name.
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalms 56:3).
There are real and imagined fears. David confronting Goliath in the Valley of Elah is an example of real fear. However, many of the fears that confront us are imagined fears. These are fears our minds conjure due to things we hear, see or our past experiences. Imagined fears are False Evidence Appearing Real (acronym for FEAR). Below are some reasons why we must fight our fears:
Fear is a spirit: The Bible talks about the spirit of fear in 2 Timothy 1:7. Our natural fear, if not checked, can open the door to demonic spirits that peddle and spread fear to mankind. The Bible tells us in 1 John, Chapter 4, verse 18 that fear has torments. The tormentor that accompanies unchecked fears are demonic spirits. Terrorists (indwelt by demonic spirits) propagate fear all over the world; they rule and govern by terror and mental assault.
Fear is a stopper: The Israelites on getting to the border of the Promised Land refused to enter. Ten out of the twelve spies sent by Moses came back with a damning report of the land, and the whole nation refused to proceed and take the land promised to them by God. It was the fear of the giants they saw in the land that stopped them from going forward. Many have been stopped (and being stopped) from actualizing destinies and fulfilling God’s plans because of fear.
Fear is a killer: Apart from the fact that fear can kill dreams, potentials, self-esteem, etc. The popular adage says that cowards die many times before their death, the valiant never taste of death but once. Though the statement may sound like a metaphor, fear can kill. The Bible says in Luke 21:26 that because of the events of the end times, men’s heart will fail them from fear. We also know that because of mind-body connection, the body releases toxins and dangerous chemicals whenever the mind is full of fear, anxiety and worry. Many diseases are psychosomatic.
Fear can lead to perpetual bondage and captivity: When Abraham Lincoln declared the Emancipation Proclamation in the confederate states, many slaves remained in the captivity of their masters because of the fear of the unknown. They didn’t seize the opportunity of their freedom. The Israelites would have been kept in captivity for a long time when Goliath challenged them. His challenge was that if they had no one to fight and overcome him (Goliath), the Israelites will be slave to the Philistines for real (Ref: 1 Samuel 17:8-11).
Fear is a sin: It shows lack of confidence in God. As Christians we should not live our lives as though God isn’t on the throne. Faith pleases God and fear displeases Him. The fearful and unbelieving are amongst the categories of sinners in Revelation chapter 21, verse 8 that will be cast into the lake of fire. Fear makes us focus on what the devil is doing and shuts our eyes and memories to what God has done, what He is doing and what He is yet to do.
CONCLUSION: To fight our fears we must allow the love of God to penetrate deep into our souls (1 John 4:17-18). We must regularly believe and confess God’s word and promises. We are to live right and to take authority over demonic spirits. We are to torment fear like David tormented Goliath (a symbol of fear) and not the other way round. Scripture reference: 2 Timothy 1:7.
“Then God said, let us make man in Our image according to Our likeness, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27, NKJV).
Human beings are flesh and blood, but God is a Spirit (John 4:24). God doesn’t have a physical body like we humans, but He has a form. He has eyes (2 Chronicles 16:9), has feet (Isaiah 66:1), has hands (Deuteronomy 26:7-8), has a back part (Exodus 33:23), has ears (Isaiah 59:1-2), etc. After God formed man out of the dust of the earth, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life thereby transferring a part of Himself into man. Human beings are the zenith of God’s creation, created in His image and likeness. Below are some vital truths of how we share in the divine order:
1) Ability to relate: Animals associate while humans relate. Mere associating is a superficial way of relating; a relating that is limited to the mind. God is a Spirit and to worship Him must be in Spirit and in truth. God is looking for relationships that transcend just body and mind hence He created man in His image to be able to relate with Him spiritually. It is only those whose spirits have been recreated in Christ that can truly worship God. God is a relational God, always coming daily to meet Adam (the first man) in the cool of the day for fellowship. He made a helper for Adam because He affirmed that “it is not good for man to be alone.”
2) Ability to create: It is true that God didn’t finish the work of creation in the six days of creation. God created the raw materials of the earth and left the finished products to man. He created the vegetation, the trees and left creation of furniture, buildings, etc to man to complete. In essence, man is co-creator with God. The ability to create resides in him. There is something every man and woman is wired to produce and contribute to creation. I pray you discover and deploy yours in Jesus’ name.
3) Ability to lead: After God created the earth, He gave man dominion over the works of His hands. He leased the earth to mankind to oversee and superintend and He gave him the capability to function as the ruler of the earth. “The heaven, even the heavens are the Lord’s but the earth He has given to the children of men” (Psalm 115:16). We are to rule over the earth and its elements in cooperation with God. Unfortunately, after the fall of man, he lost part of this rulership power which was restored back after Christ resurrected from the grave.
4) Ability to imagine: God gave a renewed, enlightened and supersonic mind to Adam (the first man) at creation. Adam named all the animals at creation. He had such a robust and fertile imagination. Whatever name Adam deemed fit to call animals, so was it. This fertile and robust imagination was contaminated when Adam disobeyed, and contaminated mankind with the virus of sin. It is true whatever you can conceive and believe and act upon will become a reality with time in your life (Mark 9:23).
5) Ability to choose: Man is the only creation in God’s order that has a free choice. When God touches the lion, he bows and roars. When He touches the sheep, they bow and bleat and the list goes on. Man is the only created being that has the right of free choices and can therefore say Yes or No to his maker. God does not force man to do anything because He created him in His image and likeness. It is man’s prerogative to determine his destiny. He is free to choose light or darkness, righteousness or sin, heaven or hell, a life of relevance or pleasure, etc.
God created us simply to reflect His glory. He created us to extend the atmosphere of Heaven to earth. He made us in His image so that we can love Him and worship Him wholeheartedly. He created us so that we will partake with Him the fulfillment and joy of creation. How are you reflecting your Maker to your world? Jesus is the express image of the glory of God (Colossians 1:15-18). Accepting Him as Lord and Savior is critical to manifesting the glory of God.
Have a blessed new month in Jesus’ name.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25)
The Holy Spirit is God on earth, and the era we are in is the era of the Holy Spirit. He is the most important personality on earth, and He is present to complete the work of God before the rapture of the church. It is one thing to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, it is another thing to be constantly filled with the Spirit. Constant in-filling of the Spirit will lead to an overflow on the carrier; mighty works of miracles, signs, and wonders would be wrought through him/her. Maintaining a good measure of the Holy Spirit makes the believer a great witness of the gospel and Jesus Christ. Below are some ways on how to HOST the Spirit, viz:
Holiness: The characteristic feature of the Holy Spirit is holiness. That is the name He bears. To be in constant tune with Him calls for holiness in thought and in deed from the believer. To have the Holy Spirit express Himself in and through us regularly calls for ardent holiness from us. We are instructed to shun and jettison our old way of thinking and behaving and take on a new way of living which is powered by the Holy Spirit. Holiness is agreeing with the conduct of the Kingdom of God, imbibing the new conduct and acting out the behaviors of the Kingdom as listed in Galatians 5, verse 22 to 23. Two can only work together if they agree.
Overflowing Grace: To carry the presence of the Holy Spirit in a good measure is a work of grace (Zechariah 4:6). Grace is the working of the Holy Spirit in the believer changing his or her attitudes, affections and enabling the believer to please God (Philippians 2:13). For grace to flow in the believer like a river, joyfulness and thankfulness are critical and must be present. Grace in Latin language is the word “Gratia” which means thankfulness, gratitude, and favor. In Spanish, grace is gracias, and gracias is thank you. Grace and gratitude are like Siamese twins which cannot be separated. The Holy Spirit thrives where there is joy and thanksgiving. A believer who is full of thanksgiving and joy will be attractive to the Holy Spirit.
Sanctified Environment: Environment matters a lot. Some environment fosters the move of the Spirit, while others stifle it. In a worship environment where God is being exalted, the Holy Spirit finds such place very conducive to express Himself. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were instructed to keep the camp physically clean, they were given designated areas outside the camp to relieve themselves. They carried shovels to dig holes in the designated areas, and after relieving themselves they covered up the feces (Deuteronomy 23:12-14). Physical cleanliness matters to God. Cleanliness is next to godliness. As a new believer I was being oppressed in my sleep till the Holy Spirit pointed out to me some worldly reggae music in my possession as the point of contact for the demonic operations.
Trainability: Holiness is simply godly training and exercise in godliness and godly living. When we gave our lives to Christ, we were signed up automatically into the gym of the Holy Spirit. Many people have membership of physical gyms and never visit the place. Some go occasionally, and others go regularly. And others have trainers who assist them in the training. As believers we are required to allow the Holy Spirit to train us to godliness. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:8 Message translation, “Exercise daily in God – no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both for today and forever.”
CONCLUSION: It is a privilege for Christians to have the Holy Spirit resident in us. With every privilege, there are responsibilities. The points listed above are some of the responsibilities we are to bear to allow the Spirit expression in our lives. Our world is waiting for us to manifest the glory of God.