Today’s Scripture: John 9:1-3
Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”
A chaplain was speaking to a soldier in a bed in a hospital. “You have lost an arm in the great cause,” he said. “No,” said the soldier with a smile. “I didn’t lose it–I gave it.”
The ability to redefine a situation is vital to developing and keeping a positive attitude. This is often referred to as framing. Framing is a term made popular by the social sciences. It explains how individuals or groups perceive and communicate their situations and reality. Consider how the soldier, in our preceding anecdote, redefined the situation. What seemed obvious to everyone was that he had lost an arm. To keep this perspective is to give grounds for self pity and sadness.
But by carefully redefining the situation, insisting that he did not lose his arm but gave it away for a noble cause, he created an environment that nourished his self-esteem and allowed for self-fulfilment. This was the same thing Jesus did in our opening scripture. He redefined the situation. He changed the narrative from who sinned or who did not, and redirected it to the Almighty God who was able to salvage that which seemed impossible. So instead of preserving an atmosphere of guilt and sorrow, He introduced an environment of faith and possibilities, and of course a miracle followed. And a miracle is what will follow in your situation too, in Jesus’ name. Redefine the situation.
The only thing the Israelites could make of the situation was that Goliath, the giant, was too big to defeat. And so they were paralysed by fear. But David, redefining the situation, saw an uncircumcised Philistine that would definitely be struck down, and he was energised by faith. So here is one practical way to alter your attitude about people and situations – redefine it. Take it away from the realm of doubt, fear and bitterness and into the realm of faith, hope and love. Alter your attitude by redefining your reality. Stick to God’s definition (His Word) alone. Let the Word of God remain your primary focus. Redefine your temporary situations to fit into its unchanging reality. Victory is assured. You are coming out winning on the other side. Redefine your situation, change your perception. Change your attitude. Claim your victory, in Jesus’ name.
Memorise & Meditate:
“When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, there is lifting up….” Job 22:29a (KJV)
Prayer & Confession:
Give me the wisdom, Lord, to redefine my realities. I refuse to perceive reality from the perception of the world or what seems obvious about my situation; I choose instead to perceive it from the perspective of Your Word. My attitude is renewed. My victory is assured, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s Scripture: Matthew 25:24-25
Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
Two shoe salesmen arrived on an island. The first one looked around and saw that the natives wore no shoes. He thought, “Why would they send me here? There’s no market for shoes here!” The second one looked around and saw that the natives wore no shoes, and thought, “Wow! Everybody needs shoes – and the whole market is mine.”
Two salesmen. Same circumstances. Different attitudes. Different results. The world as we know it is strewn with opportunities. Even in the worst of conditions, there are opportunities to make a difference in our lives and for others. But it takes the right attitude to see and to seize it. The master in Jesus’ parable handed out different talents to three servants. The talents, little as they seemed, held great opportunities for increase. Two servants saw an opportunity for multiplication, applied themselves accordingly, and got great results. The other servant who could only see how little his talent was, folded his arms in bitterness, and lost even that which he had.
Today, the global economy has serious problems. The political situation, in almost every part of the world, is less than ideal. But in spite of all these obvious challenges, opportunities abound, and we can see and seize them with the right attitude. Remember, an attitude is a way of thinking and feeling that affects our behaviour. If you think everything is failing and falling, you will act like everything is failing and falling, and you will fail and fall eventually. But if you think that in every situation, no matter how dire, there is a silver lining, you will find and seize the opportunities inherent in every facet of your life.
The truth is, at every moment in time there are opportunities to go from good to better, and opportunities to go from seemingly bad to good. After all, the Bible did say all things are working together for your good (Romans 8:28). So why not step back from the negative situations of your life today (lack, sickness, poverty, failure, hopelessness etc.) and take a second look at your circumstances?
Ask yourself what opportunities they present; opportunities to grow in character, establish a new business, advance your career, help another, or to save a soul? Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see. Make this a habit, and you will leave a trail of mined opportunities on your path. I believe the Lord will help you in this regard. You will go from glory to glory. Each episode in your life will provide platforms for ascending into God’s ordained plan for your life. You will see and seize opportunities everywhere you find yourself, because you will go through life with a positive attitude, in Jesus’ name.
Memorise & Meditate:
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
Prayer & Confession:
Open my eyes, Lord, to see the opportunities that abound around me. I refuse to allow a negative attitude keep me in a position of lack, bitterness and anger. I choose a positive attitude. I will see and seize opportunities, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s Scripture: 1 Timothy 4:16
Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you
Viktor Frankl, the bestselling author and renowned psychology professor, had been on the brink of death and back. Frankl was a survivor of the Holocaust. Like many others, he was taken from his home and subjected to absolutely dehumanising conditions. Once, he was brought into a Nazi court trial stark naked, stripped of his clothes, his identity and his dignity. But he survived these ordeals and went on to become a respected voice in the world. Asked how he managed to hold up through it all he said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances is to choose one’s way.”
Indeed, our attitude is the greatest asset we have. The good news is, we can choose it. External forces or circumstances can attempt to influence our attitude, but they cannot choose it for us. No matter how far up we have gone, we can go higher by keeping a good attitude. Likewise, no matter how far beneath we have fallen, we can rise to better heights with the right attitude. This was what William James understood when he said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
One simple definition of attitude is: a settled way of thinking or feeling typically reflected in a person’s behaviour. It is agreed that our actions determine the results we get out of life. What we must also keep in view is that our actions are the direct results of how we think and feel. This is why we need to constantly re-evaluate our attitude. It is often the bridge between where we are and where we desire to be. Self awareness is important in this regard. We must be conscious of our habits of mind and how they influence our feelings and actions.
We can borrow a leaf from Paul’s advice to Timothy as seen in our opening scripture: take heed to yourself and to your doctrine. In other words, pay attention to your behaviour and the principles that influence it; pay attention to your attitude. It is by continuing in a good attitude that we will find deliverance for ourselves in every area of life and be of significance to the world around us. So today, pay attention to your attitude. Everything depends on it. Your circumstances are not the determinant of your success or failure, your attitude is. We must take out time, now and again, to review how in line with the Bible our thinking and behaviour is. The Holy Spirit will help you in this regard, even as you call on Him today, in Jesus’ name.
Memorise & Meditate:
“Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right.” Proverbs 20:11
Prayer & Confession:
Help me, Father, to keep the right attitude at all times. Help me to take my eyes away from my circumstances and work on my attitude. Work in me to will and to do according to Your good pleasure, Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s scripture: 1 Timothy 4:8a
For bodily exercise profits a little…
The book, God in My Corner, tells the inspiring story of George Foreman, a two time heavy weight boxing champion of the world. At the age 45, he became the oldest man to win the title. According to Foreman, his comeback attempt required him to get rid of some excess ‘George’. In the years he was out of boxing, his weight had blown up from 220 to 315 pounds. Getting back to the exercise regimen wasn’t so easy and he thought he looked ridiculous to everyone who saw him working out. Nobody, except his wife, believed the overweight George could reclaim the title. But he persisted with his workouts, and eventually worked his weight down to 229 pounds. The flab was fun to put on, but difficult to put off. Not only was his championship hopes imperiled by years of not exercising and bad diet, his health was equally so. George persisted, kept fit, won the battle over his health, and got his title back.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, our eating and physical habits are the two most important personal health factors. We cannot afford to be careless with either. God’s power and Word at work in us is not a license to live careless lives. We have a role to play in keeping healthy and that includes rest, exercise and a good diet. The truth is, an unhealthy eating habit and a near lack of physical exercise have the potential to adversely affect our overall well being.
These are not luxuries, they are necessities. Several medical conditions are attributable to a lack of discipline in fostering healthy diets and lifestyle. Medical researchers conclude that regular exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease, some type of cancers and type 2 diabetes.
There is a proliferation of information on and off line on how we can keep our diet balanced and healthy. We would do ourselves a world of good to avail ourselves of them and find the discipline to adhere to them. We can’t just go on eating without any recourse to our health.
Today, make a commitment to mind your diet. As Paul said, bodily exercise does have profit, do not neglect it. Keep in shape. Try walking or jogging regularly, get a treadmill if you can afford it. The Lord will give you wisdom and grace to do this effectively, in Jesus’ name.
Meditate and Memorize:
“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12: 11
Lord Jesus, I thank You for the finished work of the cross and for the power that sets me free from sickness. I ask that Your precious Holy Spirit strengthens me in my resolve to be disciplined with eating and physical habits. I make a fresh commitment today to exercise and to eating right, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Nomthi, while exhorting the congregation on the promise for this week in 1 Corinthians 15:58, said declaring God’s word irrespective of the situation always confuses the devil. “You put the devil under your feet each time you confess the word of God and say positive things regardless of the situation,” she said.
She encouraged all to go into the new week unshaken and immovable but to be steadfast and confess the word of God. “Whenever the devil expects negative words and reactions from you, always remember to respond with the word of God and confess positive things,” she enjoined.
Pastor Taiwo Odukoya @Sunday Service
Pastor Taiwo at the March 26 Sunday service emphasised the need for children of God to be conscious of His glory and live a life pleasing to Him. According to him, whatever a believer does that (more…)
1) Exodus 31:3
Let us pray for every sphere of our national life, particularly the education sector. Commit the minister, vice chancellors, principals, teachers and all other officials in the sector into God’s able hand. Ask for wisdom, understanding and the fear of God for them. Also ask for a new direction in the sector.
2) Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:10
Let us pray for the Church; ask for the grace to stay focused and fulfill God’s purpose, particularly in these unpredictable times.
3) Daniel 11:32b; Job 5:22
Let us pray for ourselves and our families; ask for a deeper understanding of the covenant in the knowledge of God.
Today’s scripture: Mark 6:30-31
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all that they had done and taught. Then because so many people were coming and going, that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them; ‘come with me by yourselves to a place and get some rest.”
According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens, a man noticed Aesop, the great storyteller, playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activities. Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening up its strings and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, “Now answer the riddle if you can; tell us what the unstrung bows implies.” The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained “if you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.
Indeed man is a lot like that. Every now and again, we all need to take out time to rest in order to be more effective and to tackle our tasks with renewed strength. This is of paramount importance to our overall well being. Research has shown that stress, which is often the absence of sufficient rest, can lead to a poor immune system. The body being so tired often reduces in its capacity to fight off diseases and infections.
More amazing however is that God, the absolute Creator, made us and fashioned our body in such a way as to protect itself. Our white blood cells are constantly working according to the wisdom of God, warding off infections, but we have our roles to play in making sure that they are not overly strained due to a lack of rest. Even Jesus bided his disciples to take some time off all other activities and simply rest.
Today, so many things seem to strive for our attention, deadlines from work, demands from family, social engagements, religious commitments, and all of this coupled with the endless stream of emails, tweets, and Facebook promptings calling for our attention. Rest therefore becomes an activity that we must intentionally strive at. As Christians, God expects us to be deliberate about hitting the refresh button. It would be unwise to burn out. Yes, He has given us health in Christ Jesus, but also the responsibility of wisdom, to rest our bodies. The Bible is replete with examples of this. We must take time to rest from our work; physically and mentally.
Cast your body on a bed or couch periodically, and cast your cares on the Lord permanently. He will give you rest, in Jesus’ name.
Meditate and Memorize:
“Come unto me all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11: 28
Father I thank You for grace to labour and the grace to rest. I thank You because You give me the wisdom to know when to press on and when to stay back to replenish. Today, I come to you just as I am, and I ask for your yoke which is light and for Your peace that has the capacity to truly sooth my mind and body in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s scripture: 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price; therefore honour God with your body.”
Corinth was clearly a difficult city to maintain the standards of Christian values. Largely populated due in part to its commercial trade and prosperity, Corinth was known for indulgence and immorality. Many of the residents worshipped the goddess of love-Aphrodite. Admittedly, the 21st century finds us living in a social environment very similar to that of Corinth. With the rising moral decline, the prevailing culture among our youths is that of sensual obsession. In the business world, advertising strategies are suggestive of sexual adventures; in the fashion industry, the growing trend is the vogue in less fabric and more body exposure; the youths are encouraged by the society to practice safe sex rather than the age old moral code of abstinence.
However, the truth is that the children of God have different obligations if indeed we will enjoy God’s best. Our body is the habitation of the living God and we must live consciously of the fact that we are hosts to the Spirit of God. We must maintain God’s standard of holiness to live in the fullness of all He has promised, health inclusive. This is not saying we will fall sick if we sin, it is only saying we cannot maximally live out our full potential as Christians if we do not allow the Holy Ghost to thrive within us, if we stifle His gentle and holy presence with sin. Holiness is to our ultimate advantage. It is who we are. God is only calling us to live up to our identity. He longs to manifest His power through us. And the interesting thing is, His commandments are not burdensome. David said, your word I have hidden in my heart that I may not sin against you. so how do we live a holy life? By hiding the Word of God in our hearts. It is through the Word He cleanses us.
Sickness and the Holy Spirit cannot co-habit our bodies at the same time. We are the temple of the living God. Strive not to allow anything that defiles God’s temple, not sin, not sickness. Keep sin out, and the Holy Ghost will flourish, we will live in the fullness of God’s power. The grace of God will keep you. The Word of God will preserve you holy unto the Lord. You are a walking, living, breathing temple. Do not let any unwholesome word proceed from your mouth. Get rid of all bitterness, anger, malice and slander. Keep yourself unspotted from the world. You will not grieve the Spirit. You will walk in His power, in Jesus’ name.
Meditate and Memorize:
“Who Himself bare our sins in His own body on a tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Father I thank You for sanctifying me fit for Your habitation. Today, I ask for the grace to live a holy life and to walk fully pleasing unto You, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Sin has no dominion over me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s scripture: Luke 13:11-13
“And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to him and said ‘woman; you are loosed from your infirmity.’, and He laid his hands on her and immediately she became straight and glorified God.”
“One morning the children were all gathered around the breakfast table, and my wife said ‘Harold and Ernest are very sick this morning, before we have breakfast, we will pray for them. Immediately, the power of God fell upon my wife and me and as we laid our hands on these two children, they were both instantly healed. As we saw the miraculous healing wrought before us, we were both filled with intense Joy. The Lord was always so good in proving Himself as our family physician.”
The story above is a paragraph from the biography of Smith Wigglesworth, a leading 19th century evangelist, and underscores the power of the laying on of hands in faith. It is important to note that we are not only direct beneficiaries of God’s healing power, which keeps us in health; we are also dispensers of the same. The Bible makes it clear in Mark 16, that these signs shall follow those who believe “… they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” The question is, do you believe? You have power to heal the sick. Many Christians from Peter and John at the Beautiful Gate to Wigglesworth, and until now, have continued to prove this truth. We are not without power. As He is so are we in this world. We only need to believe and rise up to take our place. Sickness should not thrive in our homes. We can lay our hands on our loved ones and command them to be healed, in Jesus’ name and the Lord working with us will not fail to confirm His Word with signs and wonders.
We have inherited a name that is higher than any other. At the name of Jesus demons bow and sicknesses flee. Put the devil to flight everywhere you find him, in your home and in your community. You can stand in faith for your family, relations and even strangers. You can lay your hands on the sick and they will recover. Do not let sin or lethargy rob you of your confidence. Keep yourself immersed in the water of the Word of God, cultivate a relationship with the Spirit and take your place in Christ Jesus. God will keep you and yours in health in Jesus’ name.
Meditate and Memorize:
“And these signs will follow those who believe; In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18
Father I thank You because of the power and authority You have bequeathed to me in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ. By this power I can stand in Faith and boldly declare the righteousness of God here on earth. I lay hands on the sick and they recover, I rebuke devils and they obey. I take absolute authority over my environment in Jesus’ name. Amen.