Today, persons worldwide are celebrating Christmas for different reasons. Some are celebrating it because it is just another holiday while others celebrate viewing it as an escape from the pressures of work—even for a short time. Many persons do not know the true significance of Christmas.
Christmas is a time of remembering the birth of Christ. It was on this day that Jesus was born for the sole purpose of saving the world; hence, the name Christmas is deriving from the name Christ. Therefore, since Christmas was named in honor of Christ, then the day belongs to Jesus Christ.
However, with the world knowing that the day belongs to Jesus Christ they have put Him out of it by calling Christmas Xmas. The reason for this is that the devil has somehow succeeded in removing the true meaning of Christmas (which is Christ).
Xmas was never God’s intended way of celebrating Christmas. This was Satan’s plan and to the distaste of many, this demonic plan is succeeding today because we allow it to. Over the years, Satan has sold many people a lie and today he is still accomplishing the same feat.
Many persons celebrate Christmas by honoring “Santa Clause.” However, the truth must be told,—THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUSE. Santa Clause is another trick orchestrated by Satan who is the father of lies to put Christ out of Christmas.
We must teach our children the meaning of Christmas. Let them know that Santa Clause is a myth and that he never existed. Teach them that God sent His Son on the day of Christmas and Jesus was born on Christmas day. Teach them how to celebrate Christmas because Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.
Christmas is a time when we all should be remembering the goodness of God in first sending His Son to die for our sins and secondly for His other manifold daily goodness to us. However, instead of honoring the day with Christ in the center, many persons use Christmas as a time to revel in the flesh and to satisfy their desires in ungodly ways.
Persons must be willing to share with others in whatever ways they can since on the day of Christmas God shared His only Son with us, hence, we too must follow His example and do the same. We must reach out especially to those who are less fortunate than ourselves are because on the day of Christmas God reached out to us whom were in a very unfortunate situation because we were dead in our trespasses and sins.
Apart from reaching out to others on Christmas day, we must also give worship to the One who gave us Christmas—meaning God. We can do this by attending Church service and joining with others in worship and celebration.
I praise God not for the benefit of God, but for my own. My praises to God causes an atmosphere of God’s presence to surround me. The Word of God says that God gives us a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Is. 61:3). Note what the Scripture here is saying. It is saying heaviness is not a natural thing but that it is a spirit or a demon that is the root cause for being heavy. Heaviness is associated with depression. When one is depressed, there is despair, sadness, gloominess, misery, hopelessness, melancholy and dejection. These will attack the spirit of an individual thus driving other negative forces such as suicide, bad temper, drug addiction, alcoholic addiction and restless nights. The strategy that God gives me for all these negative symptoms is ‘the garment of praise.’ As I praise God, I am clothing myself with His praise and thus there will be a change first on the inside of me, which will eventually show on the outside.
Praising God will defeat the devil. Satan at times tries to get at me in various ways, namely through temptations, fellow human beings or sickness. The Word of God says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Ja. 4: 7). Because I am living a life of continual praise unto God, I am able to resist Satan. Praise will confuse the devil thus making him powerless. Even the youngest of Christians has the power to stop Satan in his tracks because of praising God. Psalm 8:2 says, “Out of the mouths of babes and suckling hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” The word strength stands for praise and the words enemy and avenger are referring to the devil. Jesus in the New Testament referring to Psalms 8:2 said these words, “Yes, have ye never read, out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise (Mt. 21:16). In other words, because of the power of my praise ascending to God, Satan cannot work his diabolical schemes against my life. I am reminded of the Scripture, which says, “Let the saints be joyful in glory. Let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two-edged sword in their hand…” (Ps. 149:5-6).
Praising God will cause my needs to be met. We all have needs and maybe this is how God created us. If God created us without needs, we would have no need for Him in our lives. Our needs drive us closer to God. As I praise God, He causes an open heaven to be above me. This is what I call supernatural favor. Everywhere I go, supernatural favor follows me, and thus my everyday needs are met rapidly. In the Word of God, it is said that the people of Israel went into battle by singing the praises of God, “And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambush against the children of Amon, Moab and Mount Seir, which were come against Judah and they were smitten” (2 Chr. 31:20). God met the needs of His people Judah because they praised Him. It is also recorded in the Acts of the Apostles that as Paul and Silas sang praises unto God, the prison doors were opened (And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang, praises unto God and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened and every man’s band was loosed Acts 16:25-26). Whenever I praise God, the prison doors of poverty, lack, insecurity and other things that the devil has placed into my life will burst open thus freeing me to live a life of peace, prosperity and acceptance.
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It is never easy to cope with life when we are going through the worse. Nevertheless, we have to endure the trials we often meet. Sometimes when we are faced with hard and difficult circumstances, we often turn to friends, family members or counselors such as our pastor and maybe a psychiatrist.
In the Bible, there are instances where God told His servants to be strong and courageous while they are going through difficult times. Take for example Joshua, one of the leaders of the Israelites that left Egypt. Moses was dead and the reign of leadership transferred to Joshua his trained subordinate.
Now Joshua was face with the difficult task of bringing the people into the Promise Land; therefore, God comforted his heart by saying these words to him:
“Be strong and of a good courage…” (Jos.1:6 KJV).
“Only be thou strong and very courageous” (Jos. 1:7 KJV).
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest” (Jos.1:9 KJV).
There are three separate times in the first chapter of the Book of Joshua did God encourage him to be strong and courageous. Today, the Lord is also saying the same words to us, “Be strong and very courageous.”
I do not care how many giants out there facing us, the word of the Lord is the same to us, “Be strong and very courageous.” In the natural, the giant Goliath outclassed young David in strength and stature. Yet, David had to be strong and very courageous in battle and this attitude caused him to be victorious.
Our giants might be in the area of finances, family, business and unemployment as well as many other things. Nevertheless, the Word of the Lord to us is to be strong and very courageous. It means we must stare the problem straight into the eyes and be determined to overcome it.
Elijah had to be strong and courageous on Mount Carmel when he came up against the prophets of Baal. Daniel had to be strong and courageous when he was in the lion’s den. The three Hebrew boys had to be strong and courageous in the fire.
God did not make any of us His children into weaklings. Instead, He gave us of His Spirit to empower us to do great things in His name. Back in the Old Testament, the saints like Joshua, David and others did not have the infilling of the Holy Spirit the way we have today, yet they did mighty things in the name of the Lord God of Israel.
When situations present themselves in the negative, our duty is to be strong and courageous and God will do the rest. He did it for Joshua, David, Elijah, Daniel, the three Hebrew boys and many others in the Old Testament; therefore, I cannot see why He will not do the same for us as today as well.
These are the days when we should be doing exploits for our God and not be running away from the fight. Instead, like David, we should run toward the Goliaths in our lives and execute a deathblow, one that will never allow it to rise up again and threaten us.
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There are choices we might make in our lives that sometimes will affect us either for the good or for the bad. These choices may be in different areas of our lives such as finances, marriage, family, school or college attending, the type of friends we keep etc. However, as we are fully realizing, that not all choices are the best for us.
To find the best choices for us to enter into, it is better to first consult God and not make the wrong move and later be sorry. The most important choice we can ever make in life is to decide which God we will serve, if it is the Lord God of Israel or the god of this world who is Satan.
These are the words of Joshua:
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose ye this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers serve when ye were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Jos. 25:15 KJV).
There comes a time in each one of us is life when we have to decide whether we will give our lives to God or continue serving the devil. You see friend, we were all born and shaped in iniquity, and in sin did our mother conceive us, yet because of the wonderful love of God He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us so that we can have eternal life and escape from the clutches of Satan. Still, many people today are making the wrong choice and remaining a slave to Satan. Those people will one day end up in hell if they do not turn to Jesus, and be washed in His blood.
Elijah once met the people and Baal’s prophets on Mount Carmel and issued a decree that they should decide whom they would serve.
And Elijah came unto the people and said, How long shall ye be between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him (1 Kings 18:21 KJV).
For too long you have served Baal. Now it is time to turn to the true and living God. He has made a way for you to reach Him and this is through the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus came and died a horrible death on the cross for all humanity. The least we can do is appreciate what He did for us by choosing Him above His enemy the devil.
Why continue to live a life of sin when we can live in victory and gain eternal life? Heaven awaits the blood washed saint but hell is the eternal home for sinners that reject the love of God. I urge you today, accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and escape eternal damnation in hell.
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A branch cannot grow without the support of the vine, which dig its roots deep into the earth’s foundation. Even so, we of our own selves cannot mature spiritually without the stable support of Jesus who is the Vine. It is the vine of the tree that allow the branches to bear delicious and edible fruits; even so, Jesus keeps us bearing the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and temperance.
I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman (Jn. 15:1KJV).
Jesus is the Vine but the Father is the Husbandman. A husbandman is the same as a gardener or vinedresser. It is his responsibility to nourish the vine or tree by giving it plenty of water and sunshine.
God the Father is the Husbandman that sees to it that the Vine gets plenty of all three, water, sunshine and fertilizer. He waters the Vine with His Blessed Holy Spirit and shines His light down to make sure that the Vine grows strong. Once the Vine grows strong, then the branches will be strong and firm.
I am the Vine, ye are the branches. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me (Jn. 15:5 KJV).
Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. Once we are attached to the Vine, we are sure to produce the right kind of fruits. A branch cannot bear fruit when severed from the tree. It is the same with Jesus and us. We cannot bear fruits on our own without the life of Jesus who is the Vine flowing through us. Without our association with Jesus the Vine, then we cannot be productive branches bearing the fruit of the Spirit and bringing the life of God to a dying world.
Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit (Jn. 15:1-2 KJV).
If we are not bearing the fruit of the Spirit, the Father will cut us off from the Vine. Once we are cut off from the nourishing Vine, we then become good for nothing branches that men will gather and cast into the fire (Jn. 15:6). That word “fire” means hell. What Jesus is here saying is that if we do not bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, like all sinners we will end up in hell — even though we were once saved.
Some people think that prophesying, healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching the gospel and casting out demons as well as other works of the kingdom will automatically qualify them for heaven. However, those people are wrong. They will instead end up in a horrible place call hell.
Look at the words of Jesus:
Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew thee: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7:22-23 KJV).
If we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, then the Father will begin to purge us so that we can bear more for His kingdom. Purging is usually a painful experience, yet we all have to go through the process if we are to bear more fruit.
Our purging might come in many different ways such as our close friends may turn against us, family members might ill-treat us, a child may become rebellious and people may begin to dislike us as well as many other different ways. All these trials are designed by God to test and increase our love for others.
Our job is to depend on the Vine to continuously nourish and make us strong so we can produce the right kind of fruits that will bring glory to Him. Only by clinging to Jesus the Vine can we ever hope to live a successful Christian life and thus not end up in hell.
Some people today does not believe in the Word of God. These people will say that the Word of God is not the true word from the Lord. Others may say that the Word of God was written to trick people into accepting the Christian principles. However, regardless of what people will say about God’s word, the Word of God will live on forever. In this article are reasons why we must believe in the Bible.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Ps. 119:105 KJV).
In the time of David, a lantern would be tied to the feet of persons who had to travel from one spot to the next in darkness. The light given off by the lantern would let the person see where he or she must place the next step. God’s word will guide us through dark places. Even when we are going through the valley of the shadow of death, the Word of God will let us see ahead. We need the Word of God to guide us continuously. Without the application of the Word of God to our lives, we will loose our way and end up going around in circles in the wilderness. This is why David says,
“The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple (Ps. 119:130 KJV).
The Word of God is inspiration from God and given to man who wrote it. If we do not read God’s word, we will not know what the Lord requires of us. Obedience to the Word of God will bring us life eternal.
The law of Thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver (Ps. 119:72 KJV).
We must prize God’s word above material things. If we do not do this, we may find ourselves guilty of idolatry.
The Word of God must have a special place in our hearts. We must love God’s laws and never leave from them. As I close this article, I leave with you these words from the Scriptures:
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of Hosts” (Jer. 15:16 KJV).
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Many of us have a problem loving those who did us wrong. Yet, according to God’s standard, our love in this way is shallow. We must do well to remember that the second greatest commandment God gave is for us to love our neighbors as ourselves and this includes our enemies as well.
Our enemies are placed into our lives by the divine will of God. Why are our enemies placed into our lives by God? The reason God placed our enemies into our lives is that He wants us to grow in love. Our enemies are the best people God is able to use to cause us to grow in love.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake (Matt. 5:11 KJV).
Whenever people do us evil because we are Christians, we are told by the Lord Jesus to rejoice. We must rejoice because we will be rewarded in heaven someday if we keep the faith and do not retaliate in the wrong way.
Ye have heard that it was said; Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you (Matt. 5: 43-44 KJV).
Each time our enemies curse us we must retaliate by lovingly blessing them in the name of the Lord. God gave our enemies to us to help to put us on a higher level in the Spirit; however, we sometimes take their threats and curses in a wrong way thinking that they have the victory over us when in fact we are the ones that have the victory over them.
Because our enemies are helping us without realizing it, we must reward them by praying for them. When we pray for them we should not pray negative prayers such as “destroy them Lord, or curse the works of their hands Lord.” Neither should we pray, “let them get sick Lord” and so on. No! Instead, we should pray positive prayers on their behalf. We should pray prayers such as, “Lord, bless the works of their hands, and prosper them Lord.” Whenever we pray positive prayers for our enemies, our heavenly Father will reward us greatly.
Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as lieth in you live peaceable with all men (Rom. 12: 17-18 KJV).
Never must we try to get back at our enemies for how they are treating us. Instead, we must forgive and reward them by praying and blessing them because they are helping and not destroying us. While our enemies may be dealing evil against us, we should always try to live in peace with them.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, saith the Lord (Rom. 12: 19 KJV).
Whenever we pray for and bless our enemies instead of cursing them, we are giving God the legal right to deal with them on our behalf. However, if we hold resentment and do not forgive them, then God cannot judge them on our behalf because He cannot work in resentment, malice and un-forgiveness.
As I close this article, I leave these verses of Scriptures with you:
Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12: 20-21 KJV).
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We all have to go through storms in our lives. None of us is exempted from persecutions, trials, tests, and tribulations. As Christians, we all are tested in many ways. Whether it is in family, finances, social environment, or maybe it is in our spiritual walk with God, we all have to go through times of storms in our lives.
Storms are allowed by God to enter into our lives to get our attention sometimes as well as to allow us to enter into His perfect will. Some storms the Lord may send to us to prove us as well as to chasten us. At other times, the Lord will send a storm into our lives to show us how powerful He is.
In this article, I will show from Scriptures the different reasons why God sends a storm into our lives.
Now it came to pass on a certain day, that He went into a ship with His disciples: and He said unto them. “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched forth. But as they sailed He fell asleep, and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him, and awoke Him saying, “Master, Master, we perish.” Then He arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging water, and they ceased, and there was a calm. And He said unto them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke. 8:22-25 KJV).
Jesus gave a command by saying: “Let us go to the other side of the lake.” However, as they were in the boat trying to get to the other side, a storm arose. We may be asking this question just about now, “Why did the storm arose after Jesus gave the command to go to the other side of the lake?”
Reader, sometimes even though the Lord may give us a command to do something, we are still bound to meet up on obstacles. God allows obstacles in our way to increase our faith in Him as well as to make us more tenacious in the Spirit among other reasons.
In this case the Lord wanted to build the disciples faith because He asked them, “Where is your faith?” How can we as Christians grow in faith unless we come up on some form of obstacle (storm) to test us? It is as we get past the obstacles that our faith will be increased, after all, faith without works is dead.
Are you being hindered by obstacles now while you are trying to obey the Lord by doing His will? The Lord Jesus is asking you this same question: “Where is your faith?”
And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when He went forth to land, there met Him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and wore no clothes, neither abode in any houses but the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said: “What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech Thee; torment me not.” (Luke 8:26-28 KJV).
Sometimes when the Lord tells us to do some things, we will meet up on demons in our way. However, we must like the Lord Jesus deal with the devils by rebuking them and continue on our way to fulfill the Master’s will. We are in a war and Satan will not admit his defeat at the cross, hence, he will do anything to hinder us from accomplishing God’s will.
The Scriptures in Luke 8:26-28: the Lord is teaching us never to allow the devil to stop us from doing His will. We have power over Satan and his demons. We must stay tenacious in the Spirit and not faint in the time of adversity.
And straightway Jesus constrained His disciples to get into a ship, and to go before Him unto the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves for the wind was contrary (Matt. 14:22, 24 KJV).
Again, we see Jesus giving His disciples a command to go to the other side; however, as they obeyed the Master, there arose a tempest because the wind was contrary.
So many times situations had become contrary against us as we are walking and living the Christian life. This is because God did not promise any of us a bed of roses. Jesus says: “Take up your cross daily and follow Me.” The cross signifies persecution. Oh, yes. As we serve the Lord, we should expect persecution because there must be winds that will come our way that are contrary against us.
Whenever something is contrary to us, means that it is indifferent to us, and opposes us by working against us. Contrary winds will blow against us while obeying the Lord such as, ungodly men may rise up against us, we may suffer financial setbacks, friends may turn against us, as well as we may lose a loved one due to death in the family etc. The Word of God says: “Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12 KJV).
And on the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea (Matt. 14:25 KJV).
When contrary winds are testing us, the Lord Jesus will turn up unexpected and uninvited. He will come to us in the night and in our darkest hour. Why is this so? This is because we belong to Him and He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us.
And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a spirit”; and they cried out for fear (Matt. 14:26 KJV).
Just like the disciples who did not expect to see Him coming to them walking on the sea because they had left Him behind on the shore, so the Lord will come to us in our dire need, and He may come to us in ways we do not expect Him to.
But straightway, Jesus spake unto them saying, “Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid” (Matt: 14:27 KJV)
Oh, how the voice of the Lord Jesus must have soothed and removed all fears from the hearts of the disciples only they can tell.
No matter what contrary winds may be blowing against us, the Lord Jesus will remove all fears from our hearts with His soothing voice. It was while Elijah was hiding in the cave that he heard the still small voice of God speaking to him and immediately all his fears were gone (1 Kings 19:12).
Let us look at the life of Jonah for a while. Most of us know the story of Jonah, but we might miss the lesson God is trying to teach us. God spoke to Jonah to go to preach His word to the people who were living in idolatry and wickedness. Jonah refused to go by trying to run away from God by taking a ship to Tarshish instead.
But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken (Jonah 1:4 KJV).
Because of Jonah’s disobedience to God, the Lord sent out a storm to get him back on the right track.
Therefore, so it is with us at times also. Because of our disobedience to God, the Lord will send storms in our lives to get our attention and to put us back in right fellowship with Him. Storms at times sent by God at the right moment will work for our good.
Let us look at this Scripture:
Before I was afflicted, I went astray: but now have I kept Thy word (Ps. 119:67 KJV).
A storm can come in the form of affliction in our lives. The psalmist say before he was afflicted, he went astray. Whenever we go astray from the presence of God, the Lord may send a storm in the form of affliction in our lives to chasten (discipline) us and thus to bring us back to Him. The Word of God says: “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth” (Heb. 12:6 KJV). The storm of affliction will teach us to stay obedient to God by keeping His word.
As I close this article, I leave with you additional words from the psalmist:
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes (Ps. 119:71 KJV).
The Lord Jesus is returning soon. He said in His word, “Behold I come quickly.” Many are saying that the Lord will not return because they have been hearing that He is coming for a long time and to date He has not yet made His appearance. Some have even failed to make proper preparations for the Master’s return. It does not matter whether we believe He is returning or not, His promise is still the same, “Behold I come quickly.” God does not see time the way we see time because God dwells in eternity. A thousand years is as one day with the Lord and a day is as a thousand years.
In the Book of Mathew chapter 25, Jesus told a parable concerning ten virgins, five were wise and five were foolish.
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps and went forth to meet the Bridegroom” (Jesus. Bracket mine). And five were wise and five were foolish (Matt. 25:1 KJV).
Within the church of Jesus Christ, there are true Christians (wise virgins) and there are deceiving and hypocritical Christians (foolish virgins) who have a form of godliness but are denying the power within.
“They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps” (Matt. 25:3-4 KJV). The oil is the anointing of the Holy Spirit of God and of course, the vessel is our life. The foolish virgins took no oil (anointing) in their vessels (lives).
As we await the return of our Bridegroom Jesus Christ, we must constantly be in dependence upon the Holy Spirit to guide and prepare us for the Master’s return to earth. We must not seek to do things in our own strength. By doing things in our own strength, we make ourselves ineffective witnesses for Christ. We can do nothing without the help of the Blessed Holy Ghost operating in us. Jesus called the Holy Spirit “The Helper.” The wise virgins were not careless. They took oil in their vessels. The wise virgins did not take anything for granted. They were in total dependency upon the Blessed Holy Ghost.
“While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept” (Matt. 25:5 KJV).
We have all been hearing and saying that Jesus is returning soon but He has not yet made His appearance. This is because the Bridegroom is tarrying. The Word of God says that while Jesus is taking His time to come, they all slept. Sleep can be a good thin as well as a bad thing. We all need sleep. This is how God made our bodies. However, if we over sleep we stand the chance of displeasing the Lord in this area.
Jesus, while in the Garden took with Him Peter, James and John and commanded them to watch and to pray. The word watch as used in this context means to be vigilant, militant, sober and ready. In other words, Jesus was trying to teach His disciples to be vigilant, militant, sober and ready in prayer. When He returned the first time to them, He found them fast asleep. Jesus rebuked them for their laziness and then returned to His place of prayer. When He returned the second time, He found them asleep again. He pleaded with them to remain awake and to pray while He returned to His place of prayer.
It is very evident that the disciples displeased the Lord because they did not stay awake and pray. The Word of God says, “Love not sleep lest thou come to poverty. Open thine eyes and thou shalt be satisfied with bread” (Pr. 20:13 KJV).
Many of God’s people are spiritually asleep. Let us not like Peter, James and John in the Garden be found spiritually asleep when the Lord Jesus returns to take His people home to heaven. However, let us be always militant, vigilant sober and ready at His return.
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him” (Matt. 25:6 KJV).
Jesus will return at any time. The word midnight means: “When the world is going through its darkest and worst times and when we least expect Him to return.”
Let us with open hearts be ready for our Master’s return to take us home to heaven. If he should come and we are not ready because we are not living right, then our own sins will be upon our own heads. Seek Jesus today and let Him be the Lord and Master of your life.
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In the Bible, the oil is used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. In most cases when the anointing oil is poured on the head of a person, he or she is considered to be separated for the work of the ministry.
Today, the anointing oil is used to anoint the sick, the demon possessed, and to bring breakthrough for the people.
“Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Sam. 16:13 KJV).
There are times when we may be unable to do much in our own strength. When the anointing oil is poured on us, we will be anointed to do great things in God. It was after the anointing oil was poured on the head of David that he fought against a lion and a bear and defeated them both. In the fullness of time, he fought against Goliath the champion of the Philistines and defeated him.
The anointing oil may be poured on an individual for service. Saul was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be king over Israel. David was also anointed by the same prophet to be king over Israel in Saul’s stead. This explains why the anointing oil is usually used in ordaining ministers of God for the work of the ministry.
“But my horn shalt thou exalt as the horn of a unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil” (Ps. 92:10 KJV).
We must daily seek the anointing oil of the in-filling of the Holy Spirit because each day brings with it new challenges.
The Holy Spirit will not anoint an unclean vessel. If we live unholy lives, we will hinder the moving of the Spirit. Before the followers of Jesus were anointed in the upper room, the Scriptures said that they were in prayer and fasting, and in one mind. I believe during this time in the upper room before the Holy Spirit was poured out that there was much soul-searching being done by these brethren. Confession of sins were taking place in the upper room before the Holy Spirit came and anointed them. All these things were necessary for them to be qualified for the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
How about you reader? Do you want to be anointed with the anointing oil of the Holy Spirit? If your answer is yes, then be aware that your vessel must be made ready before you can experience the power of the anointing oil. Your garment must be washed in the blood of the Lamb. It is only as we are cleansed that we will experience the anointing oil of the Blessed Holy Spirit.
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Throughout the Bible, we have seen the call of God on the lives of individuals. In every generation, God has chosen a representative who would represent Him in the generation that they were living in. It does not matter how evil that generation had become, God would always find a man to relay His instructions to, and that man would represent Him.
Although God would call a person to represent Him in his generation, God would always prepare that person before actually using him. The preparation of God may be done in different ways. One of the first ways that God prepares an individual for service is through suffering.
The first man God called to represent Him in his generation was Noah. After God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, God decided to curse the earth by sending a huge rainfall upon the earth, which would destroy man and every living creature. However, Noah found grace in the sight of God because he was a just man and he walked with God.
For many years, Noah preached to the people about the coming wrath of God, but he was constantly mocked. I believe that during the time Noah was being mocked for his preaching, it was God’s way of preparation for Noah to accomplish the purpose of God.
Then there was Abraham. God told his servant Abraham to leave his kindred and to go to a land that He would give unto him. Abraham obeyed and in the end, God blessed him. I believe Abraham’s tests came when he had to leave all and go to a far a way country that he did not know about.
Then there was David. God called David as a young boy while tending his father’s sheep. Because the call of God was so strong on the life of David, he became mighty and won many victories in the name of Jehovah his God.
The call of God was also upon the life of Moses. The name Moses means, “Drawn from the river.” After the birth of Moses, Pharaoh tried to kill all male Israelite babies in Egypt. The mother of Moses Jochebed, saved his life by placing him into a basket made of bulrushes, and making it water tight by daubing it with bitumen and pitch. Then she put the young child in it and placed it into the river. Pharaoh’s daughter who at the time was taking a bath in the river saw the basket and rescued the child. She later adopted Moses and called him her son.
The enemy could not destroy the baby Moses because the call of God was on his life. The same applies to us also. The devil, our archenemy cannot destroy us because the call of God is on our life. He may try to wreck our life, he may try to make our life miserable, he may try at a number of ways to destroy us, but he cannot kill us because the call of God is on our life.
The Word of God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jer. 1:5 AMP). Before we were born, God knew us, and God chose the destiny we must follow. We are not here by accident. God knew us before the foundation of the world. Before we were born, God has written a bestseller on our lives in heaven and today we are living out this bestseller here on earth.
It does not matter what situation you may find yourself into presently. God has chosen you for a task and before you die and leave this earth, the task that God has chosen you for will be accomplished. However, before the purpose of God can be accomplished in your life, you must make yourself available to Him.
You may ask, “How do I make myself available to God?” You must make yourself available to God by first spending quality time in prayer and in prayerful meditation in the Word of God. Without prayer and the reading of the Word of God, you will not be able to hear the gentle voice of the Master speaking to you.
Another way by which God will prepare you for His purpose is by giving you a series of tests. God may test you in different ways. He tested the people of Israel by allowing them to go hungry and thirsty for a while in the wilderness. He tested Abraham by commanding Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice unto Him.
We must not be afraid of the test of God. It is in this way that God nurtures and prepares us for answering the call that He has placed upon our lives.
Being good is not enough for one to go to heaven. For one to go to heaven, he or she must first repent of his or her sins, accept Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior and wash in the blood of the Lamb. This is the only way into heaven. There is no other way.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are all as filthy rags… (Isaiah 64:6 KJV).
It does not matter what good we do because the Lord looks at all our righteousness (or good works) as filthy rags before Him. However, if we accept the Lord Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior and do righteous works such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick, visiting those who are in prison, sheltering the homeless and just doing good works in general, then this is acceptable to God and our salvation is secure. Without Jesus in our lives, then our good works are in vain.
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me (Jn. 14:16 KJV).
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the only way into heaven. There is no other way. Buddha cannot save us. Neither can Confucius save us. Only by being washed in the blood of the Lamb can we be saved.
In John chapter 10, Jesus calls Himself the Door (…I am the Door: by Me, if any man enters in he shall be saved… (Jn. 10:9 KJV)). A door is design to give entrance into a room. Jesus is our Door into heaven. Without Him, we will not be able to go to heaven—no, not even with our good works.
One night a man name Nicodemus came to see Jesus by night. This man wanted to know how to get into heaven. I guess Nicodemus was a good man by nature too. I guess he feed the poor, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless and visit the prisoners.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3 KJV).
To be born again means to accept the Lord Jesus who is the Door. Therefore, what the Lord is saying is that there are two births. These are namely being born of the womb and being born a second time through the means of salvation.
Once we are born the second time into salvation by accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we are entitled to become citizens of heaven. During the conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus continued to expound to him the ways of God.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through Him might be saved (Jn. 3:14-17 KJV).
Jesus came and died for our sins thus fulfilling the will of the Father. For as the Scriptures has said, that all of us has sinned and come short of the glory of God. For us to get back in right standing with God the Father a price had to be paid and it was paid in the person of Jesus Christ.
Accept Jesus today for the forgiveness of your sins. Live for Him and your place will be sure in heaven. Refuse Him and you will spend the rest of Eternity in Hell.
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Jesus’ death on the cross was not coincidental. No! It was the perfect will of the Father that Jesus died on the cross to save humanity from sin. It all began in the Garden of Eden the day that Adam and Eve sinned by taking the forbidden fruit and eating it. When Adam ate the fruit, what he did was committed high treason and sold out to Satan. Thus, God the Father had to reclaim back what Adam gave to the devil. Therefore, God executed a plan to redeem humanity from the clutches of Satan.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise His heel (Gen. 2:15 KJV)
The woman referred in the above scripture was no other than Mary the mother of Jesus. The Seed that God mentioned is Jesus Christ. The Word of God said, “…she was found with child from the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 1:18 KJV).
When Jesus was on Earth, He continuously ministered to the people by healing them of their sicknesses and delivering them from satanic powers, known as demons. In addition, He taught the people holiness as well as how to please His Father; thus, He turned them away from sin. In other words, Jesus was causing havoc to the devil’s stronghold, thus bruising his head. However, the greatest bruise that Jesus inflicted on Satan was at the cross.
Satan thought he had defeated Jesus by placing Him on a cross, but instead he suffered defeat. On that same cross, Jesus bruised the devil’s head. Satan from that moment had an incurable wound in his head that caused him tremendous pain — even until today. However, in doing so, Jesus suffered a bruise to His heel. In other words, Jesus had to go through the brutality and pain that the cross gave Him.
As Jesus was suffering for the sins of all mankind on the cross He cried out, IT IS FINISHED” (Jn. 19:30).
These last words of Jesus were not of that of an incoherent or a dying man. These words “IT IS FINISHED” were spoken in victory. The work that Jesus came to Earth to do was now over. He had succeeded and the devil was defeated. All that Satan had stolen from Adam would now be returned.
Due to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, two things happened. The first was that the veil of the temple ripped in two (and behold the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom (Matt. 27: 51 KJV)).
The temple represents God’s dwelling place. In the Old Testament, God ordained priests and gave strict orders that only they should enter into a certain part of the temple known as “The Holy of Holl
ies.” The veil was what separated the rest of the temple from the Holy of Holies and no other but the priests were supposed to enter through it.
The death of Jesus on the cross finally gave everyone who trusted in Him (not only priests) to enter into the holy presence of God the Father.
The second thing was that Jesus’ death gave us authority over the devil. Today, many of God’s people are praying for the sick and seeing them healed as well as casting out demons from out of demonic oppressed individuals.
The words “IT IS FINISHED marked the beginning of a new dawn for mankind throughout all the ages. Satan will never forget those words for as long as he is around. This is the reason why he continuously hides the cross from those people that he has in his power. However, when they turn to Jesus they will begin to see the light and appreciate what the Master did for them on Calvary.
If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, it means that you are still under the influence of Satan and he will never leave you alone. However, if you turn your life over to Christ He will break the stronghold that Satan has over you and set you free. If you have a history of alcoholism and cannot break from the habit, then give Jesus Christ a chance in your life. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He will break the pattern of alcohol abuse from your life. If you are an adulterer or fornicator the Lord can deliver you from your sins.
To each sinner I ask you to prayer this prayer with me: “Dear Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. I have been rebellious against Father, You and the Holy Ghost. I ask you to forgive me of my sins and come into my heart. Be Lord and Master of my life. Guide me with Your mighty hand. Please give me a new beginning Lord, this I pray in Your name Lord Jesus. Amen.
And Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host… (Gen 32:1-2).
God Almighty places angels in our lives. Each one of us has at least one angel watching over us. Angels are very powerful beings. It took only 1 angel to slay 145 thousand of Assyria’s finest warriors.
The Word of God says, “Then the angel of the Lord went forth and smote in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning behold they were all dead corpses” (Is. 37:36).
Angels are given to us by God to aid us here on earth.
“Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb. 1:14).
Angels protect us constantly. We need not fear what man or the devil may try to do to us. To activate angels to work on our behalf, when we pray we must pray the Word of God. As we pray the word of God, angels will hearken to the Scriptures because they only obey God’s voice. In other words, when we are praying about a need we must pray like this, “Lord, you said in your word so and so on and so on…” God says He places His word above His name. When we pray the Word of God, angels will hearken to God’s word. They will believe it is God speaking because they do not know God’s voice different form His word. The Word of God says, “Bless the Lord, ye His angels that excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word” (Ps. 103:20).
There are more angels available to us than the devil’s demons. Some of s may have heard testimonies about angels delivering someone. Those testimonies are real and not to be taken lightly.
The angel of the Lord delivered Simon Peter from prison by opening the doors of the prison and leading him out into the street. The angel of the Lord appeared to Joshua while he was about to attack Jericho and introduced himself as “The captain of the Lord’s army.” God sent His angels and shut the mouth of the lions so that they could not harm His servant Daniel.
Today, angels are at our service because they are sent by God to aid us. We need not worry about what Satan might do to us because we have many secret agents known as angels working on our behalf.
Many years ago while the Israelites were living in the land of Egypt, and serving their taskmasters the Egyptians, God caused the Passover to be established among them. The Passover was meant for judgment to the Egyptians, but to the God’s chosen people the Israelites, the Passover meant deliverance.
It was this night of the Passover that Pharoah’s power over the Israelites was finally broken. It was this very night that God caused the Destroyer to pass over Israel, thus not harming any of them except their enemies the Egyptians.
God said to Moses, “Your Lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year; you shall take it from the sheep or the goats. And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assemble of the congregation of the Israelites [each] kill [his] lamb in the evening. They shall take of the blood and put it on the two side posts and on the lintel [above the door space] of the houses in which they shall eat [the Passover Lamb]. And you shall eat it thus: [as fully prepared for a journey] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand: and you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night and I will smite all the firstborn of the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment [proving their helplessness]. I am the Lord. The blood shall be for a token or sign to you upon [the doorposts of] the houses where you are, [that] when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall be upon you to destroy you when I smite thelandofEgypt” (Ex. 12:5-7, 11-13 AMP).
Because of the blood of the Passover Lamb, no harm could come to the Israelites, because God says, “when I see the blood, I will pass over you…”
The Passover Lamb is none other than the broken body of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Passover Lamb. If our lives are covered under the blood of Jesus, then no harm or plague will come to us, because God says, “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”
Reader, if your life is not covered over by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then the Destroyer (Satan) will harm you. If you have not accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and washed in His blood, Satan will have access to harm you. Only by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and allowing His blood to wash and cleanse you from all sins will you escape the power of the devil.
Jesus says, “come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve your souls]” (Mt. 11:28 AMP).
Turn to Jesus now. He is knocking at the door of your heart. Open your heart to Him.
If you are not yet a Christian, and would like to become one, then please pray this simple prayer with me, “dear Lord. I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse and wash me in your blood Jesus. I open my heart to you. Come into my heart Lord Jesus. This prayer I pray, in your name Jesus. Amen.”
If you have just prayed this prayer, then you must join a Bible believing church and be taught God’s word. You must also spend time in prayer daily and study the Word of God.
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Man sinned against God by partaking of the forbidden fruit of the tree that God placed in the midst of the garden. Because of the sin of Adam, all of humankind came under the control of sin and of the devil. The Word of God says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12 KJV). Because of the sin of Adam, humanity was doomed to die. The Word of God says, “The wages of sin is death…” (Rom.6:23 KJV).
In the Old Testament, God would require a sacrifice for sin. Animals and birds were usually sacrificed for the forgiveness of the sins of the people. Jesus came and sacrificed Himself on the cross thus ending all other sacrifices.
Because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, our redemption was bought and paid for by His blood. He Who knew no sin became sin for us all. The Word of God says, “And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby…” (Eph. 2:16 KJV).
Before Jesus died on the cross, we were at enmity with God. This means that we were at hostility with God. However, thanks be to Jesus for coming and dying on the cross so that all hostilities with God could cease, and we can now live in peace with the heavenly Father. The Word of God says, “For He is our peace, Who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity…” (Eph. 2:14-15 KJV).
While Jesus was on earth, He called to Him a man named Judas Iscariot and made him one of His disciples. Satan later used Judas to betray the Lord Jesus into the hands of the chief priests who later crucified Him. I thank God for Judas because without Judas, Jesus would not have gone to the cross, and if Jesus had not gone to the cross, there would be no remission of sin. Without the cross, we would still be at enmity with the Father. God’s word says that the Lord knew each of us before the foundation of the earth. If this statement is true, then Jesus knew that Judas would be the one to betray Him into the hands of the people, and yet He made Judas one of His close associates. I believe that Judas was created for the purpose of betraying our Lord.
The cross is God’s way of reconciling us back to Him while also it is the payment in full to the devil for our purchased redemption.
Jesus died and shed His blood on the cross for our sins for, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin” (Heb. 9:22).
Are you weary, cumbersome, and heavy laden in sin? If the answer is yes, then go to the foot of the cross and confess your sins unto Him Who died for you. You do not have to carry your sins around with you. Give them to Jesus at the foot of the cross. He is willing to take them upon Himself so you can be free before the Father. Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come to him, and I will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20 KJV).
For us to be a friend to someone, means that we must watch out for that person’s welfare at all times. We must let no harm come to the one we call a friend of ours. We must see to it that no one has anything bad to say to the person that we call our friend, while we on the other hand must always be true to him or to her.
God called Abraham His friend. “And the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God” (Ja. 2:23 KJV). This means that God would stick with Abraham in the thick and thin of things. God will always be there for Abraham as a protector, thus no harm would befall him.
Just like Abraham, it is good for us to be called a friend of God. When God calls us His friend, we are always protected and shielded by Him. As our friend, God will not let us pass through ‘the valley of the shadow of death’ all alone. No! He will always be there for us. He will always be watching our backs.
One day Aaron and Miriam spoke out against Moses and this displeased the Lord greatly. These were the words of God to them concerning Moses, “With Him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” (Nu. 12:8 KJV). God our Friend will defend us against accusations.
Some so-called friends may desert us when we really need them at our side. This is not so with our God. Our God is a faithful friend. Some so-called friends may break their promises to us, but this is not so with our God either because the Lord is a promise keeping God. Some friends may turn against us at times, but the Lord will do no such thing because the Word of God says, “A friend loveth at all times…” (Pr. 17:17 KJV).
Jesus said to His disciples, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (St.Jn. 15:13 KJV). This is what true friendship is. A true friend is always willing to lay down His life for his friends. Jesus proved to be a true friend by submitting Himself to the brutality of the cross. He suffered the shame of ridicule and the rejection of His Father for you and me because He took us to be His friends.
A true friend is one whom encourages. If someone who is supposed to be a close friend to us is not encouraging toward us but instead is disrespectful and harsh, then it is better to disassociate ourselves from such a one. A true friend will always be looking out for our best interest. He or she will be willing to bring out the best in us always. The Scriptures says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Pr. 27:17 KJV). There are times the Lord will encourage us in our daily walk with Him. This is because He is sharpening our countenance.
A true friend is one who enjoys spending time with us as their friend. If we want God to be our Friend, we must enjoy spending quality time with Him in prayer and praise daily. True friends will share their secrets with one another. As we spend time with God in prayer, we will begin to tell Him the deepest secrets of our heart and He in turn will pour out His love and affection upon us.
The worshipful and reverential fear of God is not in the world the same way it was a long time ago. I dare to say, it is not even inside of the church anymore. Nowadays, people have their own personal agendas. Many do not care whether they please God or not, just as long as they satisfy themselves.
I often wondered why so many persons go to God for help when they are in a crisis, and yet they are not serving Him with their whole heart. They only turn to God because either He is there, or because they realize that, the problem they are enduring will take much more than human effort. Either way, God is being taken for, as we would often say inJamaica— a poppy-show.
Then, there are those who do evil things and expect God to wave a magic wand and bless them regardless. These people are more deceived than all the others who seem to be trying to take God for granted.
The Word of God says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7 KV). Be warned reader: whatsoever we shall do in this life, is what will return upon us. This is a universal law, which affects everyone. God is not to be mocked: if we serve God faithfully, we will in turn experience the faithfulness of God in our lives, and if we serve Him unjustly, we in turn will receive our unjust reward at the hands of God.
The Word of God continues, “For he that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:8 KJV). If we serve the Lord hypocritically and not in righteousness: we are sowing to the flesh, and hence, we end up warring against the Spirit of God that is within us.
We must be very careful how we treat others around us. If we mistreat them, there is always someone waiting for us down the road that will eventually mistreat us.
We must begin to sow the right kind of seeds. If we sow the seed of goodness in other’s lives, we in turn will reap the good of others.
“And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9 KJV).
The word season means time. God is a God of time. Our time or due season may not come when we want it to, but be assured it will come; sometimes when we least expect it.
God is not mocked. Whatsoever we do in our natural lives, we will reap back into our own bosoms.