If you plant in love, you will reap love because there is no giving in truth without receiving. What do you have? We are expected to give to God everything He has given us – I mean, all our substance – our time, strength, loyalty, money and every good thing the Lord has given us – and we shall receive, in return, an abundant blessing. Let us not love in words alone but also in deed and truth. When we love in deed, we are planting seeds that would return unto us a harvest of whatever love we expressed. God expects our best because He gives us His best (John 3:16). God has a Son. He planted Him in the earth to produce a family. Today, millions are born again through this Seed.
When we give, it makes us like unto God, who gives to all and receives from none. We should know that whatever blessing God has given us is meant to be replanted for a bigger harvest. We always reap the same kind of seed we plant, just as we always reap more than we plant:
☑️ Love for God’s sake and be loved.
☑️ Help for God’s sake and be helped.
☑️ Be kind for God’s sake and receive kindness.
☑️ Show mercy for God’s sake and receive mercy.
☑️ Give and receive more of whatever you give.
☑️ Sow and reap more of whatever you plant.
Do you want to speak? Pause a minute and think about what your usual conversations have been like! What is the subject of most of your discussions? The words spoken earlier or yesterday – did they edify, bless and save? Is your speech profitable to others? Do you talk too much and not give opportunity for others to speak? Do your words build others up or pull them down? Is there any benefit people derive from them? Above all, do our words glorify God? If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that much of our conversation, prayer, fasting, preaching and teaching is nothing more than empty talk.
Our Lord Jesus Christ has warned against speaking idle words – I mean, words that do not edify or build others up because for every idle word a man speaks, he shall be accountable. In Matthew 12:30-34, we are told that God takes notice of every word we say, even that which we ourselves do not notice. Vain and idle talk is a product of a vain and idle heart; they are unprofitable and not pleasing to God Almighty.
Remember, God has entrusted us with a treasury. The heart is the treasury; the words are the things brought out of the treasury (Matthew 12:35). It is the character of a good man that he has a good treasure in his heart and from there he brings forth good things. Love, kindness, good affection, tenderness, wisdom of utterance, power to counsel and good knowledge are all good treasures hidden in the heart; the law of God has written them there, ready for use as occasion demands.
Many people know about God but do not know God. There is a difference between knowing about God and knowing God. John 3:27 says, “A man can receive nothing, except it is given from above.”
There has been a great mix-up in the church. It is the erroneous assumption that spiritual truths can be intellectually perceived. This has affected our preaching, our praying, our singing and our activities. It is possible to grow up in a Church but not know God at all because God is not known by external things. In John 16, it is perfectly plain that the Spirit of God is the One who reveals God to us. Remember this: You only know Jesus as far as the Holy Spirit is pleased to reveal Him to you.
◾️You can know about Christ dying for you.
◾️You can be a publisher of the Bible.
◾️You can head this or that religious organisation.
◾️You can be the Founder or General Overseer – and still never know God at all – because only by the Holy Ghost can we know God.
You can read your New Testament and still never find Christ in it. You can be convinced that He is the Son of God and still never find Christ. The Holy Ghost reveals Christ. If you are reasoned into Christianity, some wise fellow can reason you out of it – unless you know the Holy Spirit, because knowing Jesus is knowing the Holy Spirit.
God chooses grace rather than works (Ephesians 2:8). He chooses grace because He knows we are weak. He knows our limitations. He knows our shortcomings. If the Lord had chosen works rather than grace, no one would merit His mercy because our righteousness is like a filthy rag before Him. What we call our good works are like filthy rags before Him (Isaiah 64:6). In other words, man is undeserving of God’s mercy. In Romans 3:10, the Bible says no one is righteous, not even one. If we are to come to His presence, we must acknowledge our position as sinners in need of redemption. In Luke 5:8, Peter, on seeing Jesus, fell on his knees saying, “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinner.” By this, he acknowledged his position as one undeserving of the Lord’s presence.
To acknowledge our position is to admit our weakness. When we come before Jesus in sincerity and humility of heart, He would receive us with compassion. I mean we would receive His favour. When we come to God in any form – He sees beyond our appearance (John 2:23-24). The Bible says Jesus knows all men – what man is made of, their nature, designs, secret plans, disposition and true character. If man gives out anything, Jesus knows whether the man is truly generous or merely wants to be seen. If man speaks, Jesus knows whether the intent is merely to flatter or whether he speaks what he truly believes in his heart. We know what men do but Jesus knows the designs of their heart. Therefore, let us approach God in sincerity and humility of heart.
– Prophet T.B. Joshua
Among the Biblical characters, Job stood out as one who knew the purpose of life. The vicissitudes of life did not affect his relationship with God. When the going was smooth with him, he saw Jesus as Lord and Saviour. His prosperity did not take his mind, time or loyalty off his Creator – the Giver of the blessing. When the goings became tough with him, Jesus remained Lord. He never despaired! Just as he saw his good times as the reason for believing God, he saw his hard times as a reason for believing God as well, because he knew the purpose of life was beyond the joy and pain we receive.
When we base our relationship with God on prosperity, we would have nothing to rest our belief on when the prosperity is taken away. When we base our relationship on the joy of life alone, satan would use it as a bait to tempt us. Bait is the thing that attracts one to receive harm or injury. Bait is food put on a hook or trap in order to catch a fish or an animal. It is the thing you cherish most that satan uses as a bait to tempt you – those things we love most.
Satan uses our weakness to tempt us – I mean, anything we love most becomes our point of weakness. For example, if you have a car you cherish so much, if anything happens to that car, you are likely to despair and complain, “Why me of all this?” That may affect your relationship with God. By the time satan knows that tempting you with something you love would separate you from the love of God, he would continue to tempt you with those things you love. That is why Apostle Paul said, “Have all these as if you have not”. That is, if you have money, you should not allow it to control you or to dictate your direction, but let the Giver of the money instead. Love God above all!
Just as Jesus Himself is the solution to the problems of all mankind, so He expects us to be a solution to someone in trouble. This was what He meant when He said to His disciples – in fact, all believers, ‘As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you’ (John 17:18; 20:21). In other words, Jesus was simply saying, “As the Father had commissioned me to be a solution to someone in trouble, so have I commissioned you a solution”.
You may say you are not properly placed to be of help to someone in dire need. Consider the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). He met someone who was in great need of a helper. Though he was not properly placed in monetary terms, he knew that what was in his hand at that point in time could be a solution to the problem at hand. He could not afford to look the other way even though other better-placed individuals had looked the other way as they passed the victim by. He knew he was commissioned to be a solution to someone in trouble. To him, providing a solution to someone in such circumstance was an assignment from God and he could not afford to fail God. What did he actually have in his hand? Certainly, he had no more than a keg of palm wine and a few coins – just his personal provision for his journey. It did not matter to him if he had to exhaust his personal provision for his own journey in the course of solving another’s problem. It also did not matter to him whose interest he had to serve, whether a Jew or Gentile, friend or foe. What was uppermost in his heart was the need to carry out his assignment as a commissioned solution provider.
The Samaritan had every reason to be excused from showing compassion on the wounded Jew. First, the Jews and people from Samaria were arch-enemies. Ordinarily, they would not see eye-to-eye. Second, he hadn’t the requisite resources to provide any fundamental solution to the badly wounded and dying Jew. Third, it was very probable that the robbers might come and attack him in the course of trying to help the robbery victim. But there was one compelling force, which encouraged him to defy all the odds against him – the need to help someone else in trouble. It did not also matter to him if the priests and Levites – the most likely people who should be moved to compassion – looked the other way or not. He knew that every man God created is a solution to some problem.
I am a solution to your problems, just as you are to mine. In other words, I am because you are and you are because I am. There are many people on the sickbed in the hospitals around you. Go there, visit them and show them your love and compassion. Who knows, that may be all that is needed for their recovery. Pray with them and pray for them. By doing this, you are not only helping to solve someone else’s problems, you may discover who you are thereby. You might have been sent to a person or a people. For example, Aaron was sent to a person while Moses was sent to a people. Aaron was a solution to Moses’ problem while Moses was a solution to the people of Israel’s problems. We are not equally gifted but no one is created without a gift and each gift is meant to meet a need (Exodus 31:1-10).
– Prophet TB Joshua
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