“…And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35b).
Giving is an act of presenting voluntarily without expecting compensations. It is guided by a motive rooted in simple thankfulness for the grace God has bestowed on the giver which surely comes with some blessings. Below are some benefits of giving:
Giving delights God: God is always very pleased when praises and thanksgivings are ascribed to him by the less privileged when they received gifts from generous givers (2 Corinthians 9:11-12). God is glorified in our giving. Generous givers reflect the nature and character of God, and this is partly why God loves cheerful givers (2 Corinthians 9:7). Giving also delights Him because it blesses His mankind, solving human problems such as hunger, homelessness, nakedness, diseases, etc. “And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God” (Hebrews 13:16, NLT). Giving to His work also advances His Kingdom.
Giving destroys the power of greed: The human nature is inherently selfish and greedy. Generous and regular giving could be painful to the flesh and break the selfish streak of the human nature. It makes us die to the flesh, and makes us more God-like. Giving in God’s economy is counted as good works that delivers divine promises in this world and the world to come (2 Corinthians 9:9, 1 Timothy 6:17-19).
Giving trusts in God’s provision: Many people don’t give often because of the fear that they will run out of resources and supply. But great givers trust in divine provision. They believe in what is written in Luke 6:38 – “Give and it shall be given to you.” It takes faith and courage in God to believe the divine principle that he who scatters shall yet increase and the generous man shall be prosperous and enriched (Proverbs 11:24-25). This divine principle does not make sense to the natural and rational mind. Faith in God expressed for divine provision pleases Him.
Giving brings satisfaction and health: The Bible, talking about the generous man, says those who refresh others will in turn be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25). There is great fulfillment in being a blessing to others and helping to relieve their challenges. Covetousness and greed on the other hand can bring a curse (Proverbs 11:24b, 26). John D. Rockefeller, at 53 years old, was the world’s richest man. At this age, he developed a strange and unyielding sickness. His doctors even announced that he could only live up to a year based on their prognosis of his ailment. The gloomy assessment of his condition changed him so much that he began to give tons of his money to churches, schools, hospitals, etc. Later on, he miraculously became healed of that terrible ailment and lived for another 40 plus years, eventually dying at 97 years old. When we touch God’s mankind with our generosity, we also touch heaven.
Giving provokes divine intervention: Giving is a gracious act that qualifies the giver for divine intervention. A real story was told of Dorcas in Acts 9:36-43 who was a generous giver. She was also fond of making and giving clothes to widows. This woman suddenly died. However, because of her renowned good deeds, her church in Joppa refused to accept the verdict. They sent for Apostle Peter who was in a neighboring city to come and pray for her. And the apostle eventually raised her from death. Many other examples abound in the Bible of divine intervention provoked by giving (Malachi 3:10-12).
CONCLUSION: God does not judge us based on what we give but on what we could have given (Mark 12:41-44). Receive grace to be generous and to have faith for divine provision. The blessing of giving is ours in Jesus’ name. Have a blessed month in Jesus’ name.
“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17, NKJV)
Supernatural joy is a deep-seated, positive, pleasurable emotion in the soul that is produced by the Holy Spirit. The atmosphere in heaven is joyful; having supernatural joy is having a foretaste of heaven on earth. On the other hand, the atmosphere in hell is sorrowful, and being sorrowful makes people attractive to Satan and his cohorts. Below are further insights about supernatural joy:
Supernatural joy is produced by the Holy Spirit: Irrespective of one’s circumstances, one can have joy. The book of Philippians, which speaks so much about supernatural joy, was written while Apostle Paul, its author, was in jail in Rome. The same Apostle praised God with Silas in a Philippian jail after been severely beaten and mortally wounded and bound up in chains (Acts 16:20-30). This joy is produced by the Holy Spirit and whenever the Spirit is in demonstration there will be great joy (Acts 8:5-8). Non-Christians cannot have this joy since they don’t have the Holy Spirit resident in them. They have happiness which is temporary and dependent on good occurrences in their lives.
Supernatural joy is access to our divine inheritances: Salvation in Christ is a total package with inherent blessings such as healing, deliverance from satanic influences and oppression, divine favor, divine guidance, peace, answered prayers, etc. And a key to access these benefits is supernatural joy. The Bible says with joy we draw waters out of the wells of salvation. The New Living Translation says that with joy we drink deeply from the fountain of salvation (Isaiah 12:3).
Supernatural joy torments the forces of darkness: A joyful Christian is like an inflated balloon; as you hit it, it bounces. The ability of the balloon to bounce comes from the air in it. The strength of Christians to frustrate and torment the devil is the supernatural joy resident in them (Nehemiah 8:10). The truth is that the enemy has no weapon to quench the joy the Holy Spirit produces in the believer. Every time we are joyful, the enemy is sorrowful; when we are sorrowful, he is happy and attracted to us. Supernatural joy torments and frustrates the host of hell and keeps them away from the believer. We should stop allowing the enemy and life’s circumstances to deflate our joy and strength.
Supernatural joy is commanded: The Apostle Paul, writing in a Roman jail and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, commanded the church in Philippi (and also the church at large) to rejoice and rejoice again (Philippians 4:4). It was a command, and not a suggestion. Failure to comply with an instruction in Scripture is sin. Furthermore, we are also commanded to rejoice in hope and anticipation of what God will do in the future for us (Romans 12:12). We rejoice because Christ’s work, on our behalf, makes us victorious, overcomers and possessor of all things.
Supernatural joy brings harvest: The prophet Habakkuk said that though his crops might fail and the desired harvest or anticipated good outcomes might be elusive, he will still rejoice in the Lord (Habakkuk 3:17-18). This prophet knew something many Christians nowadays don’t know, that is joy always precedes the harvest, and not joy coming after the harvest. The divine order is that the harvest always comes after rejoicing (Psalm 37:4). The natural order is that rejoicing comes after harvest and good outcomes. Begin to engage the divine order of rejoicing in faith now, and watch as things take a turn for the better in your life and circumstances.
CONCLUSION: To activate and possess supernatural joy, one must be born again and be filled with the Holy Spirit, who produces the fruit of such joy in the believer. The Psalmist said I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure (Psalm 119:162, NLT). Have a joy-filled month in Jesus’ name.
“They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried out and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 34:5-6).
Hebrews 12:2 tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. The JB Phillips version of the Bible calls Jesus as the source and goal of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). We are to build upon this Rock called Jesus because He is the only anchor that holds in the storm. All other anchors, no matter how strong and secure they may look, will not hold during intense storms of life. As we focus on the written word of God, the Living Word (i.e. Jesus) will manifest in our lives.
Are you hopeless and dejected as a result of someone/somethings you lost? In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which has caused the destruction of about one hundred thousand homes and loss of life in an unprecedented flood in South Eastern Texas, many lives and hopes have been shattered. But it doesn’t matter how thick the darkness or how long the night may be, the sun will shine again and the dawn will also break. Jesus called Himself the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16). As we look to Him, the hopelessness of this season will soon give way to a new dawn and new beginning, and the Bright and Morning Star will shine on us again.
Are you discouraged, depressed and disillusioned? Discouragement is common to all. Literally, all the great men and women mentioned in the Bible were discouraged or depressed at some point in time. But what marked them out and made them obtain divine promises was their ability to shake off discouragement by fixing their gaze on God. David said, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God; I will praise Him again, My Savior and My God” (Psalm 43:5, NLT). This advice from David is priceless and timeless!
Are you struggling with harmful habits and destructive sins? If you sincerely desire to be delivered, look to Jesus who came with a ministry of no condemnation and reconciliation (John 8:10-11; John 3:17). Do not give in to the lies of the accuser that you are unworthy to approach God. The blood of Jesus is the basis of your merit to approaching God. Jesus came to heal the spiritually, physically, emotionally and financially infirmed. It is those who are sick who are in need of a physician. Keep going to Him regardless of you; He is the Great Physician, and as you cooperate with Him by taking the medication of His word, the bonds and chains of addiction will be destroyed.
Are you being rejected and despised? The world is a wicked place with so much injustices and unfairness. You may have been rejected and despised by those who are meant to love and cater for you. Leah, the wife of patriarch Jacob, was despised by her husband, but her sister Rachel was the favored wife. But God fights for those who have been despised and rejected by men. The Bible says, “When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb but Rachel was barren” (Genesis 29:31). Jacob favored Rachel above Leah, but God favored Leah above Rachel. I will rather be despised by men and gain the favor of God than vice versa. Keep looking to Jesus and He will fight your cause and bring you justice.
Are you broke, suffering financial hardship and cannot make ends meet? David said the righteous cannot be forsaken. Many times the righteous are so absorbed and concerned about their needs that they forget the sufficiency of God. They fuss and worry like Gentiles who do not know God. The birds of the field, Jesus said, don’t care about where the next supply will come from; all they know is that the supply will somehow come. It’s time to up our faith in the sufficiency of God. It’s time to focus more on the all-sufficient God than on our needs.
CONCLUSION: As you look to Him this new month, you will radiate His glory and will not be ashamed in Jesus’ name.
“And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come” – Mark 4:29 (NLT).
The dictionary meaning of harvest is the act or process of gathering agricultural crops. It is reaping what one has sown. Generally, the harvest is the blessing that one has believed for, sown or worked towards. Too many times in church circles, much more focus is centered on sowing or planting seeds with little or no attention given to the concept of reaping. Every farmer will readily agree that harvest times are very serious times indeed; it is a time of hard work and diligence for the farmer just like the sowing season. The Bible says he who gathers in summer is wise, but the one who sleeps during harvest is a disgrace (Proverbs 10:5, NLT). Below are some truths on how to REAP:
Reaping isn’t automatic: This is so because there are seed destroyers that can destroy the seed sown or reduce the yield of the harvest (Malachi 3:10-11). In Judges 6:1-10, the Bible narrates how the Midianites oppressed the Israelites. After Israel had sown, the Midianites would come and destroy their produce, and as a result Israel became very impoverished. Seed destroyers such as doubts, satanic attacks, ungratefulness, habitual sins, lack of prayers and positive confession, slothfulness etc, can hinder reaping or reduce the yield of the harvest. Scripture reference: Matthew 13:18-23
Engage your tongue appropriately: Our opening Bible text tells us that when the grain is ripe, the farmer gets his sickle for harvest. A sickle is an agricultural equipment for harvesting. Our tongue is our sickle for harvesting the seeds we have sown. The Bible says a man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth. The power of death and life resides in the tongue (Proverbs 18:20-21). The power of attorney God gave to Adam at creation that made him call things forth and name things was restored to every believer in Christ. The Bible also says we should continually refresh God with the fruit of our lips by extolling and exalting Him all the time (Hebrews 13:15). As we use our tongue appropriately, our harvests will be delivered.
Align with God: The prophet Haggai was sent to the people of Judah to tell them to consider their ways. This people had sown much but brought in little. They were dissatisfied and had little results to show (Haggai 1: 3-11). The simple reason was that they ignored God’s interest and pursued their own dreams and interests. God is the Lord of the harvest and Decider of all things. Proper alignment and agreement with Him guarantees bumper harvest. It is wisdom to pursue divine interests over and above our personal interests.
Plant good seeds continuously: The day a farmer stops sowing seeds or stop planning to plant is the day he ceases to be a farmer. The life of a farmer revolves around sowing and reaping. As long as the earth remains seedtime and harvest shall not cease (Genesis 8:22). The Bible teaches that we should sow in the morning and evening, so that our good seeds will compensate for the seeds that go bad (Ecclesiastes 11:6). Also continuous sowing is instructed because God actually increases and multiplies the seed sown, causing a bumper harvest to occur (2 Corinthians 9:10).
CONCLUSION: I join my faith with yours in this new month to call in all our harvests already ripen in the field in Jesus’ name. Have a blessed month!
“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” (Luke 16:11, NKJV).
True riches are riches of heaven; it is what heaven bestows or gives. The above-cited Scripture makes a distinction between true riches and worldly wealth. It implies that if you have not been faithful with your earthly wealth, true riches of heaven will not be given to you. Below are some facts about true riches:
True riches are riches money cannot buy: Examples of true riches are the anointing of the Holy Spirit on the Christian, good health, ability to get prayers answered, gifts of the Spirit, talents and abilities, divine favor, honor that heaven bestows, eternal life, divine wisdom, ability to hear the voice of God, understanding of the Scriptures, long life, a good name, generational blessings, and the list goes on. True riches are blessings we cannot purchase with money.
True riches are divine revelation: It is having access to divine ideas and mysteries. Divine revelation is the difference between where you are now and where you want to be. Abraham became great because he kept on accessing the mind of God about his future. He had faith to believe God for a child at 99 years because of the things revealed to him (Genesis 15:1-6). Divine revelation is the trade secret of the individual Christian. The more revelation you have, the more the impact you will make.
True riches are generational blessings: Levi, third generation after Abraham, was said to be in the loins of Abraham, his great grandfather, when Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek. This deed of faith of Abraham qualified Levi to receive tithes as a priest (Hebrews 7:8-10). Levi was blessed because of Abraham. True riches are generational; it is leaving a legacy of faith, righteousness and greatness for succeeding generations.
True riches are secure: Whatever heaven bestows, it is able to keep. Satan testified about Job, “Have you not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?….” (Job 1:10). Heaven built a hedge around Job’s possessions. Satan could not touch Job’s health, possession and family, until heaven permitted it. Worldly wealth on the other hand can be easily lost; it can develop wings and fly away (Proverbs 23:5). In the US, it is often said that everyone is just one sickness away from bankruptcy.
True riches are heavenly rewards: These are rewards that transcend the terrestrial to the celestial. There is a celestial reward for every kingdom investment made in this terrestrial realm. For every soul won, for every kingdom program funded, for every disciple raised, there will be a heavenly reward. When we aim at heavenly rewards in all endeavors, earthly blessings will not elude us (Matthew 6:33). We are to focus on eternity while we live in history. Salvation is free, but getting rewards in heaven is costly.
CONCLUSION: True riches according to our opening text are entrusted. You have to be found trustworthy to access true riches, and the key requirement is being faithful in money matters (Luke 16:10-12). Jesus wanted to give the rich young ruler true riches, but he was too attached to his worldly wealth that he lost a golden chance to lay hold on eternal blessings (Mark 10:17-22). How attached are you to worldly riches? How faithful are you with tithes and offerings? Have a blessed month!