INCREASE YOUR CAPACITY TO RECEIVE
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back… – Isaiah 54:2
God has many blessings in store for you! He has favor in your future like you’ve never imagined. He wants to take you places that you’ve never even dreamed. But in order for us to partake of all of these blessings, we have to increase our capacity to receive.
Think about this: if you have a one-gallon bucket, and someone has fifty gallons to give you, the problem is not with the supply. The problem is that you don’t have the capacity to receive the fifty gallons. But if you get rid of that small container and get something larger, then you will be able to receive more. It’s the same way with God. If we think we’ve reached our limits, the problem isn’t that God doesn’t have the resources or the ability; the problem is that our container is too small. We have to enlarge our vision and make room for the new things God has for us. Our attitude should be, “Yes, the economy is down, but I know God is still on the throne. I know wherever I go, His goodness and mercy follow me.”
When you have that kind of attitude, you increase your capacity to receive. When you increase your capacity to receive, get ready to live the abundant life He has for you!
NOTHING IS TOO HARD FOR GOD …
Jeremiah 32:17 – ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.
Our minds tend to see our problems as big or small. Even when we pray for the sick, we say things like, “You have a headache? No problem. Let’s pray for your healing.” But when it is cancer, we say, “Oh, let’s tell the senior pastor about it. It would be better if he prayed for you.” We think of headaches as small problems and cancers as big ones.
But that is not the way God thinks. There is nothing too hard for Him who made the heavens and the earth! With God, there is no such thing as a “big” problem. In fact, the “bigger” the problem, the “easier” it is for Him! In the feeding of the 5,000, it took only five loaves to feed the multitude. (Matthew 14:15–21) But in the feeding of the smaller multitude of 4,000, it took seven loaves. (Matthew 15:32–38)
In man’s scheme of things, it should take more loaves to feed more people. But this is not so with God. It took fewer loaves to feed more people. This is God’s way of telling us that the “bigger” the problem, the “easier” it is for Him. I am not saying that small problems are hard for God. But it is so encouraging to think that it is “easier” for God to heal cancers than headaches!
Imagine coming to God with a big problem. “So, what is your problem, son?” God asks. You say, “Father, it is a huge financial debt—not thousands but millions!” He says, “Easy. It is already cancelled.”
In another scenario, God asks, “So, what is your problem, son?” You say, “Father, I have lost my job and I can’t find a new one. I am already in my fifties and I don’t have the necessary qualifications.” He says, “No problem. Consider yourself employed. And in this new job, you won’t just have a job, you will have a position.”
Beloved, with God, it is never a problem because there is nothing too hard for Him!
TURN IT OFF
Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. —Mark 6:31
When our kids were young, we took a trip to northern Wisconsin to visit my grandparents. They didn’t get very good reception on their television, but TV wasn’t much of a priority with them. After I had seen our son Scott fiddling with the TV set for a while, he asked with frustration, “What do you do if you can get only one channel and you don’t like what’s on that one?”
“Try turning it off, ” I said with a smile. Not exactly the advice he was hoping for. It’s even more difficult to do now, especially when there are so many devices that entertain, inform, and distract us.
Sometimes we do need to just turn it all off and rest our minds for a little while; we simply need to “unplug.” Jesus often drew aside for a time—especially when He wanted to take time to pray (Matt. 14:13). He encouraged the disciples to step away as well—even for a brief time (Mark6:31). That kind of solitude and time for reflection is beneficial for each of us. In those moments we are able to draw near to God.
Follow the example and wisdom of Christ. Get away by yourself and “rest a while.” It will be good for your body, mind, and spirit.
Turning down the volume of life allows you to listen carefully to God.
DAD, EQUIP YOUR KIDS FOR THE REAL WORLD! (2)
‘…I am your spiritual father through the Gospel; that is why I implore you to follow [my] footsteps.’ 1 Corinthians 4:15PHPS
Dad, do these three things for your kids:
(1) Alert them to the dangers of having a sense of entitlement. Yes, they need parents who express unconditional love for them. But some of us think our kids can do no wrong—even when they do! Consequently they grow up having unrealistic expectations and a distorted view of how life works. Everybody gets a scorecard in life, and it records both our wins and our losses. Let your kids know that we all make mistakes. Failing to recognise that just makes them self–deceived and sets them up for heartache. Children learn from failure how to deal with disappointment; it prepares them for later life when things don’t go their way.
(2) Teach them the truth about death—yours and theirs. The Bible says, ‘…it is appointed unto men once to die…’ (Hebrews 9:27 KJV) Let them know that death is universally ordained because of the sin of humanity. Tell them that life, however long, is a gift to be maximised, and Heaven is a family reunion not to be missed. The death of a friend or loved one can be an opportunity to diminish their fears and equip them to handle loss, grief and recovery.
(3) Show them why you married their mother. It’s the most formative relationship in their early lives; one that will influence who they ultimately become, their choice of a partner, and their future happiness. When they see you loving their mother, treating her like a queen, and giving her consideration and honour, they’ll admire, appreciate, and emulate their awesome dad!
IT’S WHAT WE DO
Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge. —Proverbs 14:26
My father was critically injured when he took a bullet in the leg as a second lieutenant leading his men on Hill 609 in North Africa during World War II. Dad was never again 100 percent physically. I was born several years after this, and when I was young I didn’t even know he had been wounded. I found out later when someone told me. Although he felt constant pain in his leg, my dad never complained about it, and he never used it as an excuse for not providing for our family.
My parents loved the Savior and raised us to love, trust, and serve Him. Through good times and bad, they simply trusted God, worked hard, and loved us unconditionally. Proverbs 14:26 says that “Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge” (niv). My dad did that for our family. No matter what difficulties he faced, he provided a safe place for us spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
We parents can provide a safe haven for our families with the help of our perfect heavenly Father, whose love for His children is deep and eternal.
The Father’s love knows no limit.
WATCH WHAT JESUS DOES
Luke 1:37 – “For with God nothing will be impossible.”
You may have heard from friends or seen in Christian books the popular question, “What would Jesus do?” It is a question Christians are taught to ask themselves when faced with a problem.
But when you ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?” in any situation, it is subject to your own interpretation and theology. For example, if you are from a church that doesn’t believe that Jesus heals today, you may think that this is how Jesus would pray for the sick, “O Father, give him patience to endure his sufferings,” and proceed to pray that way for a sick person. So when you try to think of what Jesus would do, you are going back to your flesh!
Maybe the reminder should be, “Watch what Jesus does”. When I preach, I watch what Jesus is doing or leading me to do. If He prompts me to say or do something, I say or do it. I know that I am not in the pulpit to manifest Pastor Prince or his flesh, but to manifest Jesus Christ, with whom nothing is impossible!
‘One Sunday service, prompted by God, I shared with the congregation that He wanted to restore lost items. The following week, a church member wrote, “Last Sunday, Pastor you mentioned that the Lord would help us recover lost items. I knew that the word was for me. My diamond bracelet and ring had been missing for weeks…Praise God, when I returned home that day, my maid placed the lost items in my hands. She found them at 10.30 that morning while I was still worshiping in church.”
‘On another occasion, I was praying for a wheelchair-bound lady when I felt God telling me to pull her up from her wheelchair. Boy, was I glad that before I realized what I was doing, she was standing up on her feet unaided! Now, if I had taken some time to think—“My goodness, what am I doing?”—my thinking could have obstructed my obedience to God’s prompting.
So when you are led to talk to someone, watch what Jesus does. When you pray for your child, watch what Jesus does. When you confess God’s Word into your situation, watch what Jesus does! Keep your eyes on Jesus, with whom nothing is impossible!
RECEIVE THE GIFT OF SALVATION ….
Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. – Mark 10:21-27
Notice that the scripture makes special mention of Jesus loving this rich young ruler. This is stated after this young man said he had kept all of God’s commands, which was not the truth. Jesus was showing him that he had broken the very first commandment that states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3), and also the tenth commandment that says, “Thou shalt not covet…” (Ex. 20:17). Jesus’ tough answer of “sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor” was not intended to hurt this young man. It was said from a heart of love and intended for his own good. This man’s money had become his god and it had to be dethroned before Jesus could become Lord.
The one thing this young man lacked was faith in Jesus as his Savior. This young ruler was trusting in his goodness and not in the salvation that Jesus offered as a gift. Millions of people are making the same mistake today. They trust in themselves instead of God.
Jesus only came to save sinners. Unless an individual acknowledges that he is a sinner, he cannot be saved. Because the whole world is guilty before God, He has provided one way of salvation for everyone. In the same way that everyone is guilty, everyone also has been justified freely by God’s grace.
That does not mean everyone is saved. Everyone has had the sacrificial offering of Jesus made for their sins by grace but grace alone doesn’t save.
We have to put faith in what God has provided for us by grace. Although the price has been paid for the sins of the whole world, only those who receive it by faith will benefit from the salvation that Jesus offers.