There is someone reading this today who feels like they’re in a place that’s almost where God would have them. Is this you? You’ve done all you can do, said all you can say, cried all you can cry, prayed all you can pray, believed all you can believe, recited all of the scripture that you know and have started over again. You’ve heard people tell you just hang in there, tomorrow is another day, trouble don’t last always, He’ll never put more on you than you can bear and here’s the kicker, you’ve got to dig deep. I have a word for you today– “you’ve got to dig deep”. If you know that where you are is not where God intends for you to be, then you must keep digging. If you’ve “almost” reached your goal, you’re “close” to getting back on top, you’re “close” to getting your life together, you’re “close” to the next level, and you’re still looking for a miracle, then keep digging.
There are two scriptural references on why you must keep digging. Genesis chapter 26 repeats incident after incident that parallels the life of Abraham. These vignettes remind us that Abraham’s struggles were also Isaac’s struggles and that Abraham’s God has now become Isaac’s God. Here we see Isaac digging past his flesh. He sees a famine in the land, but he hears God telling him to stay in this barren land. He’s living in not enough, but he has a vision of more than enough. Isaac had to dig past his flesh in order not to do what was usual and customary and that was to go back to Egypt. Isaac had to dig past his flesh in order not to do what was popular. Isaac had to dig past his flesh in order not to take the easy way out.
When you are digging your way out, you have to have confidence in the Lord and respect His power. In Proverbs 14 verse 26 we learn that we have a strong and clear confidence in the Lord when we fear him; when we serve and obey him; when we reverently serve him. This means our behavior should be an example of our belief. We must keep digging to show God that we trust him to bring us through our situation.
I know there are some of us tired of digging. However, God would have us to understand that sometimes we need to stay where we are and just keep digging. Isaac had to trust that the promise God had made to his father Abraham still held true for him. We must know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He didn’t bring us this far to leave us. Just keep digging.
Dig into God’s word and don’t let fear, being tired or being troubled stop you from your goal.
When we reverently fear our Father, then we don’t have fear of the future– We’ve not been given the spirit of fear but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.
We can dig and not get tired – They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint.
We can dig despite the trouble that swirls around us- God is a very present help in the time of trouble.
Whatever you do, whatever you are going through on your journey this morning, JUST KEEP DIGGING!
“26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.” – Proverbs 14:26–27
Christmas (old English: cristesmaesse, meaning “Christ’s mass”) is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus and a widely observed holiday, celebrated generally on December 25 by millions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the advent season and initiate the twelve days of Christmastide. Christmas is a civil holiday in many of the world’s nation, is celebrated by an increasing number of non-Christians, and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.
The popular celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas having a mix of pre-Christian, Christian and secular themes and origins. Popular modern customs of the holiday included gift giving, Christmas music and caroling, an exchange of Christmas cards, church celebrations, a special meal and the display of various Christmas decorations including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistle toe and holly. In addition, several closely and often interchangeable figures known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas and christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their body of traditions and lore.
One of the most celebratory customs in various countries associated with Christmas is church celebrations, over the years, The Gospel Faith Mission Int’l has always been celebrating Christmas with a retreat which include various activities. This year retreat of The Gospel Faith Mission Int’l, Moferere district was a superb one as the deputy general overseer of the mission, Prof. S.O. Ewuola grace the occasion, and was also the guest speaker.
The deputy general overseer lectured a family series teaching titled “WINNING THE BATTLE AT THE HOME FRONT”
WINNING THE BATTLE AT THE HOME FRONT
There is potential danger or trouble in every home, whether you like it or not, they are there. There is no way you can run away from them, the sources and channel for them are actively open. Your salvation cannot prevent it, your labour for God cannot avert it, your commitment to God cannot remove it, your holiness cannot revert it, they are there by the fact of the community you were born into. They are there by the fact of the society you live in. they are there by the circumstances of your birth, by the fact of your educational positioning, by the fact of your economy solvency etc, there is no way you run away from them, you cannot faith them away, you cannot wish them away, you cannot pray them off. Your holiness cannot take away problems from the home, you cannot prevent troubles.
Only two things can prevent them; the first is if you do not have a home, or you do not come from one or you do not live in one. The second one is if you do not live with some people, if you are a hermit.
- A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household………..matt. 10:36
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ADDRESSING THIS TOPIC
- Whether you like it or not, there are enemies within, there are enemies without.
- Enemies within (at the home front) are more dangerous than the enemies without.
- You cannot avoid it.
- Enemies within and without can be in collusion.
- You are product of your environment.
- The undoing of some people is due to unsettled family problems.
EXAMPLES OF TROUBLES IN FAMILIES
- Sarah and Hagar……….Gen 16.
- Esau and Jacob……………….Gen. 25
- Leah and Rachael……………….Gen. 29
- Hannah and Peninnah………..1 Sam. 1
SOURCES OF DANGER IDENTIFIED
- Wealth- Gen. 13 vs. 2 and 5 tells us that Abraham and Lot were rich.
- Togetherness vs. 6- living together, doing business together
- Professional struggle- competition for grazing land for their cattle vs. 7
- Housing or residential accommodation- competition by the herdsmen for tent space v7.
- Professional insecurity
- Social inequality
PRESENT DAY ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF PROBLEMS
- Demonic sources
- Non-demonic sources
- Foreseen Destiny
- Care-free attitude
- Uncontrolled or improperly handled discussions, arguments and emotions
- Sex denial between spouses
- Poor handling of home disagreements
POTENTIAL STRENGTH OF THE DANGER
- Hatred…………………………………………………….Matt. 5:43-45
- Fighting……………………………………………………Gen. 13:7
- Full-scale war
- Keep the devil out
HOW ABRAHAM HANDLED HIS TROUBLE IN THE HOME
- Plea for peace
- Identity relationship
- Suggested separation
- Sacrificial offer-you choose first
- Demonstrate love and concern
- Demonstrate maturity
- Access divine wisdom
- Show humility
- Demonstrate contentment and patience
QUALITIES THAT CAN TERMINATE YOUR TROUBLES BEFORE THEY GROW UP
- Brotherly love and concern
- Maturity and Initiative
- Divine Wisdom
- Contentment and Patience
YOU CAN WIN YOUR OWN BATTLE
Battles from the home front vary very widely in
– Origin, source and cause
– The casual agent and/or link agents
But they have the same goal:
– To steal
– To kill
– To destroy
(a) Keep the devil out of it
(b) Take fast decisive action
Suggested Handling Procedure
(i) Acquire genuine salvation
(ii) Do a thorough situation analysis
(iii) Soak the issue generously in prayer
(iv) Act with divine wisdom……where and when God leads, it’s the best path. where He does not, be wise and use His word.
(v) Set your priorities right
(vi) Be prepared to give and take
(vii) Rationalize properly there is nothing too great to lose as long s it does not compromise your life,spirituality,jeopardize the word of God and does not implicate you in sin or lead you to sin
(viii) Avoid unnecessary criticism but be generous with praise and appreciation
(ix) Be wise
(x) Be patient, Be sincere. Lay all the cards on the table. Act in love
(xi) Be sensitive and vigilant.
– Olaoluwa Stephen
From Akure,reporting for HBN news.
Learning new stuff is hard work! As a matter of fact, it may be the hardest thing in life – learning. Sometimes learning new things means having to unlearn old stuff. It’s a huge challenge. As a matter of fact, it requires emotional work, mental stretching, sometimes considerable financial investment, and sometimes the sacrifice seems to outweigh the long term benefit. With all said, there are some things that are just worth learning. The risk of not learning it weighs far greater than the alternative. This is the reality of life. In many cases, the question is, are you willing to take the risk and invest the sweat equity to make it happen?
Reaching our children and successive generations is one of those realities that are worth the risk. Not learning how to ‘reach’ our young people has the risk of successive generations not having the metal toughness to handle what life delivers. Not reaching our children runs the risk of being ignorant about the realness of God, the handiwork of God, and even the unfailing love of God. Not reaching our ‘blessings from God’ runs the absolute risk that integrity, moral living would be diminished, righteous standards would be lowered and erased, and common sense (however you define it) would be desecrated. All hopes of a civil society, powerful families, ethical government, neighborly love, and genuine concern of people would all but become figments of our imagination.
And while none of us would disagree with these strong suppositions, we approach them as if they are impossible feats and inconceivable destinations. Our government has had enough panels and written reports to fill not only the Library of Congress, but every local library that exists. Many youth leaders at local ministries and para-church organizations have been dismissed because the assumption has been that they aren’t reaching enough young people. Our educational institutions have politicked and debated the issue for years with similar results. There are glimmers of hope to all of these challenges. The Word of God offers us hope.
Deuteronomy seems to paint a picture for us that our children are not only reachable, but when we reach them, they can handle all of the prosperity, success, freedom, and great lifestyles that will be afforded to them. It wouldn’t make sense for one generation to work to build great opportunity that the following generation destroys. So God invites His children, “Love GOD, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! (6) Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you (7) and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. (8) Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; (9) inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates” (Message).
It becomes clear that if we approach our lives in this way, rearing our children with this perspective, and shift our resources (time and dollars) to this paradigm, the results that we get from the investment in our children become incalculable.
These verses beg the question “Is this hard to do?” I don’t think it is. It’s not an overnight feat easy to be done, but it’s not a reality that escapes our lifestyles. We are admonished to:
1. Love God with all you’ve got.
2. Make God’s Word visible in every place you can.
3. Teach and provide understanding of God’s Word to your children
4. Be diligent to make sure every area of your life is synchronized with the authority of God’s Word.
So, what we clearly see now is that reaching our children isn’t as hard as the idea of obeying God. Here’s where we must learn something new. It is hard work, there are risks involved, but we must resolve simply to obey God, like our very lives depend on it. Indeed, our children’s lives do.
“5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” – Dueteronomy 6:5-9
One day Jesus is looking within some leaves and could not find any fruit on a fig tree, for the fruit appears the same time as the leaves do on a fig tree. Jesus then SPOKE to the fig tree out loud, for The Bible tells us that the disciples heard Him. Next Jesus and the disciples go to the temple and then in the evening they leave the City. The Bible then tells us, “In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” 22 “HAVE FAITH IN GOD,” Jesus answered. 23 “I tell you the truth, if anyone SAYS to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and DOES NOT DOUBT IN HIS HEART BUT BELIEVES that what he SAYS will happen, it WILL BE…
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Zechariah 9: 9-10 Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
God revealed to Israel that the Messiah would reign with glory and power, this will take place when Jesus Christ returns to conquer all his enemies and establish his universal rule, humbly he came the first time but that will not be true when he returns.
John 12:13-16 took palm branches and went down the road to meet Him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the…
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Have you ever been in a relationship and something happened that resulted in you causing the other party hurt and pain? You apologize, and though they are hurting, they say that they accept your apology. You all try to move on from that place of pain, but then every time you turn around they are reminding you about “the time you hurt them.”
Or perhaps they just act differently towards you because their mouth said they forgave you, but their heart just hadn’t grabbed hold of the forgiveness yet. So you find yourself in this constant battle to prove that you are really sorry.
Fortunately for us, we serve a forgiving and gracious God who really means it when He forgives us. He isn’t keeping score, and He won’t keep throwing your past sin back in your face. Even when we don’t deserve His forgiveness, He forgives us. So you…
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There are a lot of activities that we do now that we won’t do in heaven. You will never evangelize anyone in heaven. You will never share the gospel or give out a tract in heaven. You will not pray in heaven; there will be no need for prayer as we know it now. There’ll be no need for discipleship in heaven. What’s the one activity we do now that we will do in heaven? Worship. We will be doing that forever. In fact, you can sort of look at the present as a time of practice!
The English word “worship” means to ascribe worth to something. We worship God for who He is, because He is worthy. “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8).
We worship God not only based on His character but His conduct…
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