As I looked around, I realized people have lost sense of truth and faithfulness, No-one have the heart to help another. How many of us still share what is called information? How many of us share what’s called joy, finances, love, in fact how many of us even save sacred time for our very friends? Very few, if not, not many. You see, the goal in life is to change the world by changing the mind of people. What better control is that? If we could transform the way we think, and be more like God, then life would be filled with much peace and joy. Today, I beseech you, give a helping hand, lend a shoulder to cry on, in fact instead of buying yourself or your child that new toy or bracelet, purchase something nice for an homeless child or an adult.’
For I was in fact kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.”
The Oxford Dictionary describes a Dungeon as a strong underground prison cell especially in a castle.
Have you been thrown in a Dugeon?
Have you placed yourself in a Mental Dungeon?
Many asked, ‘Lord why me, why did you allow such a painful, traumatic experience in my life?’ ‘Why did you allow some one to abuse me, to rob me of my innocense, to murder my securities and anything i have ever felt i had controlled over?’
As inhumanely as this sounds, our Dungeons were not created to scare us or to kill us. It was created so we may experience the difference of lost and found, dark and light, imprisonment and freedom. When we are thrown unexpectedly in a Dungeon, it is natural that we may want to ask the why’s.
But sometimes we are sent to a place of lost so we may be found and to a place of darkness so we may see the light in such a way that only an encounter with God can change our perspectives.
And sometimes, it is hard to take in the why’s. But it is circumstances like this that really causes us to change our questions.
Sometimes it is when we are thrown in the Dungeon, that our questions automatically change from why’s to HOW’s. Because in a moment of desperation for freedom our only question or focus is, ‘How can we get out of this dungeon.’
As sad and lonely as it sounds, Dungeons are never seen as good, they are always dark, scary, and lonely but if we pay attention, if we really go deep and look, we will see that a key dangles before us as we reside in our Dungeons.
Sometimes we dont even know what that key is for. Until we really take that leap of faith and use that key to open the first door we see we may never know what lies on the other side, we may never get the other answers to our How’s.
Sometimes, the situation causes us to look back on our journey, and ask the why’s.
Why me? Why this? Why now?
But its hard to say this, and again it may sounds inhumane but…..
Why not you? Why not now? Why not this?
I am very sorry but i cannot help but asked, ‘Why not rather than why?’
Sometimes, the questions we asked weigh us down. Like a sheep who leaves his master and believes the life he lives, he is responsible for his own grooming.
This is why i believe, when we see God as the Shepherd, and we are the sheep, mighty God…..then we will understand that our responsibility is to just be sheep; we get lost, we get hurt, we get trapped, we get weighed down, we get abused, we get thrown off course with our own built up of wool. And it is never our responsibility to free ourselves, to heal ourselves or to save ourselves. Thats too much for us to do as Sheep with finite minds.
God who is infinite, who is our shepherd, is responsible for going after us, to save us, rescue us, trim us, dress us, find us etc.
So when we ask, ‘How?’
We create that atmosphere for God to be our SHEPHERD.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the Pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock and driven them away, and have NOT VISITED THEM: Behold i will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
Many Pastor’s today have become so tied to the affairs of this World and have settled for the structure of the secular corporate operations.
Pastors have you forgotten your Shepherdness?
Why have you forgotten to visit your sheep?
Why have you launched into being a marketplace junky for all sheep to gather instead at your preaching centre? Isn’t this the way of the Corporate world where all workers and consumers go to the market place for what they have need of?
Dear Pastors, i implore you, get back to attending to your flock. Be not conform to the things of this world. Do not allow yourselves to get lost in the busyness of Administrative duties, Clergy duties, Political duties etc and have forgotten the real meaning of being a SHEPHERD.
A shepherd tends to his flock, a shepherd goes after his sheep. A shepherd knows when his sheep is hurting, when his sheep is hungry and when his sheep is lost.
In Jeremiah 23:2 it says, ‘ Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them behold i will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
Visitation is such an important tool in retaining and receiving new members of any local church. It is a spiritually driven tool which God declared as vital for all Shepherds to use.
There are so many reasons, why a Shepherd’s visitation is so important to the building up of the body of Christ.
Some of these reasons are and are not limited to the listings here:
A visit makes a sheep a loyal member of your church
To neglect the emotional and spiritual needs of a sheep is a sin
The Church will only grow through direct contact of visitation.
It allows new persons and old members to feel accepted, respected, genuinely loved and appreciated
Biggest one is, every member’s expectations are to receive a visit
The more you visit, the more that member grows
And aslo, different pastors and leaders are expected to visit as it shows one vision and a firm foundation.
I know it is quite difficult but when the office of a Shepherd was given it was not given to you as an easy mantle of clothing to wear. It is indeed a heavy cloak that is expected to be worn right and at all times according to the will of God.
Every Pastor must be at that place they can discern when a sheep is in trouble or when a sheep needs medicine. Do not wait for the sheep to come to you at all times with an existing problem but you approach that sheep as you recognize the need at hand.
This shows that proper leadership is demonstrated and a heighten level of trust will be formed between Shepherd and Sheep.
Pastors, if you are reading this, especially during this season we are in, day by day, our time is being shortened. Start doing the basics. Get back to the basics, live according to the Shepherd’s mantle and do not conform to the ways of this world.
Your sheep is depending on you, like they are depending on Christ for you. Christ is the ultimate Shepherd but you were placed on this earth to demonstrate what Christ did for his sheep. He visited, he went after them, he redirected them. You were given the equipment to retain your members, to redirect lost members and to restructure your congregation. I encourage you tackle this in prayer, as i hear the Lord saying, ‘Get back to tending to my flock.’
Lord Jesus the ultimate Shepherd you are, because of you we shall not want because of this Lord we rely on you for our growth and for you to steer us on the path we must go. Lord strengthen your Shepherds you have planted in the lives of your sheep. Teach them how to return to basics in Jesus’ name Amen.
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
What have God told you to do?
Have you been waiting for more to get started?
Have you ever heard this business quote before, ‘Start with what you have?’
Well that quote derives from the scripture Luke 16:10. God wants to be able to trust you with his missions. God knows what you have need of and when you need it. So if you have not received it, it means you don’t have need of it. Because the Lord, Almighty will provide exceedingly all that you have ever requested or asked of him. This is why he is a God who is faithful and always on time.
Remember the story of Jesus and how he fed the 5000 multitude? Well imagine that much, 5000 people with that little, 5 loafs of bread and 5 Fish. Jesus Christ understood when his Father spoke, it means he was sent with a purpose so he knew he was given authority over every situation, even in little. What did he do? He blessed the little, he prayed and activated the instructions, he effectuated the mission, he took a faith step and moved. Jesus believed he could use what he had to fill the cracks, or to do the entire job because Yahweh said so and so God showed up just in time.
All Yahweh wants is our commitment and sacrifice to step fort in obedience of what he called us fort to do.
Will you step out in faith?
It could be a business, your education, a Ministry, Marriage, a Child or something as simple as Fasting etc.
Have Yahweh called you to it?
Will you trust him?
Will you allow him to trust you?
Stop the doubting, the fears, the guilt and the confusion for it is written; Be anxious for nothing but with prayer and supplication make our request be known to God. Phillippians 4:6
O’Lord wash me from all insecurities and lies. Teach me your truths in every circumstances, let the belt of truth grip my loins and that i will obey your every instructions in Jesus’ Holy name, Amen.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Even the Pulpit will be judged, even the Pulpit is the Church, even they too carry the potential to fall short of the Glory of God.
Many say, ‘The Pastors must always be like Christ and not do wrong because God placed them on earth for us to follow their examples.’
Might i say this? If we continue to view the Pastors on such a pedestal of Christ, we have set ourselves up to fall short. Christ-Like(Simply means that we can only do things or say things in like manner of Christ but still we carry the potentials to not get it right all the times.
Have you ever wondered why we cannot imitate any one person to its fullness? that is because we are who we are regardless of how hard we try to take on the image of someone else. Well it is the same for Christ, we are expected to be Christ-Like, so it is not only Pastors but Christians in general are expected to be Christ-Like.
1 Peter 5:1-5
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being EXAMPLES to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble
Yes the scripture said, Shepherds be examples to your flock. The thing is, the word of God was careful to state its principles, its laws, its requirements for the people of God to abide. It was also careful to make known that all these laws must not be done out of the mindset of COMPULSION but WILLINGNESS. Because God is such a gentle Leader, he never forces us to be this way or that way but he left his words and Holy Spirit to guide us including those he appoints as Leaders over us.
Regardless of the mantle a Pastor wears, they too must fight for their own salvation. Yes they too hurt others, they too disrespect others even in declaring the word of God out of a motive to tear down the God given efforts of others. Yes they too inflict such high level of pain, they too rape, they too abuse, they too tarnish your names, they too deceive you, they too try to block and rob you of what God wants to do in your lives.
I understand quite well and I can imagine the level of emotional bondage you face under their leadership. Might I say this, our sole duty as children of God is to effectively carry out our ministries that no man has to appoint you for because God already appointed you since his death and reign at Calvary: The Ministry of Prayer and the Ministry of word.
Jesus Christ left his word not only for those he placed in leadership but every person who accepts him and have given up their life to find life in him. Jesus Christ is the only perfect man that was ever made hence his appointment as leader was what it was as a result he was careful to demonstrate every possible struggles or trials we would face and in all these his weapon and truth was Prayer, the Ministry of Prayer. Jesus prayed even more than how he worked. He prayed before a situation even arise. He prayed for those who hurt him, deceive him, blocked him, denied him, stabbed him, killed him and persecuted him.
The truth is the more we focus our minds on the hurt and offenses caused by others, we poison our thoughts and activate our emotions to have control over us. Our emotions doesn’t bear senses of eyes and ears not even smell but only feeling. It pushes you to a place of foolish decisions and foolish faith. Yes.. you didnt know you had foolish faith? Yes! Remember the story of the 10 virgins? 5 exercised wise faith and 5 exercised foolish faith. This is why Jesus’ example to us is that we pray, is that we speak the word, is that we love and is that in all things we supplicate to the only true and wise God. Only the Spirit of God can enable us to give much grace to those who hurt us.
Pastors and leaders this is not to justify your lawlessness. However it is to plant seeds of knowledge, grace and healing to those you have hurt. It is a sin when the flock that Christ have entrusted to you have gone astray because of your evil and wicked desires. What leader have you become, have you forgotten who should be your leader? Have you forgotten the mantle you wear can easily be taken from you? Have you forgotten a Pseudo ministry, a pseudo life cannot be hidden in the dark from God? God have appointed people to measure you and your ministries, don’t you remember what happened to Saul, when he became knotted in himself that he lost sight of who appointed him?
But God wants you to know, it is not too late, he wants you to also remember David, he killed, he deceived, he betrayed, he robbed, he blocked, he lusted, jealousy became his crown yet he humbled himself and supplicated at the corrections of God through whom God appointed to measure him.
Will you turn your eyes in humility and contrition back to God your leader?
Will you visit those you hurt and seek forgiveness?
Will you destroy Pseudo and get back to having a real ministry, the ministry God had purposed you to have?
Would you start praying more than you perform your duties.
Will you start feeding your flock with nutritional food again?
Dear Pastors, it is okay to let go of self, to release yourselves from the bondage of I Must to the chains of I AM WILLING?
Dear congregation will you stop destroying your Leaders appointments and anointing?
Dear congregation will you forgive, will you love?
Dear Church will you remember your groom, will you remember your position of a bride?
Lord, the only groom who deserves many brides. God get the church back to a place of readiness at the time of your coming. Lord i pray for a heart that is transparent and seeks after you whole heartedly, Lord i pray this for even the Pastors, leaders and church members who are too locked in their own selfish ways. Take back your church God to a position of prayer and word. In Jesus’s name Amen
And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed.
Wow! What would you have done?
Have you ever been cheated out of an inheritance, something that belongs to you?
Have you ever been persecuted, betrayed, deceived, abused for what belongs to you?
Not only were you abused, persecuted, lied to and betrayed but you were denied and pushed aside, you were left EMPTY HANDED with nothing to bounce back on.
Let us take this to another level. Are you the daughter or son, who never got the attention you needed, never got the love that your other siblings received, never got the legacy or the socalled good life your brothers or sisters had? Have you ever just sat and wondered, ‘why me?’
I cannot help but to think on this scripture a little deeper. The Vineyard owner sent different slaves to the tenants but the tenants abused them physically and sent them away empty handed. Then the Vineyard owner came up with a grand plan, ‘Why not send my only beloved son, wonder what they would do?’
To my surprise, the tenants decided, ‘Hey, listen, we could take over this vineyard, we could be in total control, let us not abused the son but let us kill him.’
When i looked at this story, the only thing i could think of is Jesus Christ. The world is owned by God, you may look at the vineyard as the world. The people of God are in the world but not of the world, so God entrusted the world to us, to bear fruit and to multiple. We are the tenants. And just like the tenants, we have become so ungrateful and so greedy, we nolonger remember our purpose, why were we in the world.
Then the only true servants of God, who are chained to the will of God, Peter, Paul, John Matthew, Stephen etc you may consider them slaves of God. These were brutally beaten, abused as they deliver the gospel to the world and as they expected to receive a blessing from the world, even their own pushed them aside, cursed them and sent them away empty handed.
Are you empty handed?
Then with all this cruelty, God thought to himself, ‘Let me see what they will do to my beloved Son, Jesus Christ.’ As God wasn’t surprised so was the Vineyard owner. The world decided to kill Jesus so that he will nolonger be a threat to the kingdom of darkness, so that satan may rule the world, so that the world will have total control over the fruit of the land.
The stone that the builder refuse will become the CHIEF corner STONE.
Were you refused?
Were you rejected, neglected, abandoned?
Were you DENIED?
Were you left EMPTY HANDED?
Well Christ was not left empty handed just so he could carry all the sins of the world in his hands that was pierced, upon his feet that was pierced, upon his head that was bruised, upon his shoulders that was burdened, upon his side that was pierced. Jesus Christ knew he had to die to save you and me. He knew it was the will of God that noone will perish who believes upon the name of Jesus Christ.
For the world, the tenants, Jesus Christ did it for you too and its not too late to say, ‘Here am I Lord, forgive me, mold me, restore me use me for your Glory! ‘Let me be the slaves who were beaten for what they believe, beaten for the blessings or the fruit they thought they would have received.’
Do you want to transform your life?
When you believe you are empty handed and there is nothing left in you to hope on or to believe in. Know that Jesus Christ placed His Holy Spirit upon your hands that you may perform miraculous acts, ones not even you could fatom.
Walk in his Spirit daily that when you approach tenants, you will be bold and confident that your God have made you the CHIEF CORNER STONE THAT THE BUILDER REFUSED.
In your journal, write down all the persons who rejected you
For 5 consecutive days, pray fervently for God to release your heart from those who denied you.
Lord Jesus, as your will is done, so let it be on earth as in Heaven. I honor you Lord with everything in me. I hand over my hands to you Lord, so that i would never feel as though i am empty handed. In Jesus’ name Amen.