Dennis E. Odiaka
Let me share portions of text in the subject of prosperity from a book I published earlier. It would rejuvenate and get you thinking again about how well you ought to be prospering in Christ, by God, our Father. This is understanding that prosperity is not just about your bank account balance or how rich you are, but about how much is in your heavenly bank of righteousness account, because you believe, obey, and continue to place your trust in God, our Father (Rom 4:3).
Here it goes: “You may have heard that riches possess a tendency to be fleeting and wealth ephemeral. The fact is that many of God’s children have tasted sudden riches, which suddenly transitioned to sudden poverty (a state of mind and money). There are also very few individuals who have prospered gradually and consistently continue to delight in the permanence of that prosperity. Nevertheless, many wallows in abject poverty” …because they would not believe and put their trust in God.
Does this speak well of God, our Father who we know is very wealthy (Psa 50:10); because His children would not continue to trust Him enough to live and reflect His image and possessions? I continued to say that… “It is unfortunate, but a colossal number of His children are materially and spiritually poor. Is this deliberate? Not on God’s part. I know that. Is this normal? Definitely not. I also know that. Does God desire a change, that is, to your prosperity? Absolutely yes. What about you?”
Yes, what about you? Are you prospering as you should? You should know that “The fundamental key to your [prosperity and] success hinges on whom you know, whether here on earth or up there in heaven if you believe. It is not just about the people you know, but who they are, how well they matter, what kind of connections they have, and even how famous they are.” Jesus is the most famous person in heaven and on earth. How well do you know, need, or connect with him for your prosperity?
God our Father, loves you dearly; you can prosper by your continued faith in Him.
This is clearly a tough question to answer since many say that “every marriage is different, and so there is no one solution that fits all.” It is difficult to contend such reasoning; when everyone believes their case is unique as their situation is different, and that’s where the problem lies. Yet the bible says “there is no uncommon human adversity that has never been experienced, but our Faithful God will show you how to escape, exit, or end such adversity” (1Cor 10:13).
Marriage is a human natural experience of a divine supernatural dimension. It is a “type and shadow” of the real-life producing and preserving bond among members of God’s family; that is, the Father Son and Holy Spirit. Marriage is the fruitful unit of human existence that was designed to replicate the blessed unity of divine spirituality. It is for 2 to reveal 3; as its purpose is to produce and nurture natural family life into spiritual family living (1Cor 15:45).
How can something so purposeful and beautiful develop difficulty? Marriages become difficult when we ignore or eliminate the spiritual dimension. Regardless, our Faithful God and Father, whose family you are supposed to reveal through your marriage, knows how to get you out of a marriage jam. His ever-winning strategy is to make a way of escape and exit from or end the adversity (1Cor 10:13). The way or door to escape and end the difficulty in marriages is a person.
The person is Jesus. He is the way and door you can enter in and go out from (Jn 10:9; 14:6). Loved and trusted by God, the Father, He tells us to listen to him (Mat 17:5). You can enter marriage through Jesus and escape the difficulties through Him. Since marriage is about natural family life and spiritual family living, you can enter into real life, if you are not born-again and saved (Jn 3:3-7). If you are saved you can escape the difficulties of living by ending all adversities through Jesus (Mat 11:28-30).
Would you rather escape the difficulties of marriage or let it destroy your liveliness in Christ?
Who do people say that you are? Do they say you are what you behave? Can they be right, if what they see you manifest does not match the behavior you think you display? We exhibit all kinds of positive or negative, mundane or spiritual behavior. From emotional to willful to attitudinal behaviors, all have strong, mild, or weak effects on our friends, family, or even foes.
However, bad behaviors can be changed to good, ugly ones can become prettier, and even good ones can upgrade to better ones. Whatever the kind of behavior, it goes without saying that improvement is always needful. So, what is the best way to improve one’s behavior? Is it to modify or minimize? To modify simply means to change, alter, or transform. It is to repent; change one's mind about his or her current behavior so to be transformed entirely, in righteousness (Mat 3:2).
To minimize is simply to abate, reduce, or lessen. It is to decrease oneself in righteousness (Jn 3:30), so to minimize the influence and toxicity of one’s behavior in the overall scheme of righteous living. These two concepts came from John the Baptist (Mat 3:1-2; Jn 3:27-30), who preached repentance as the way to ‘modify’ contrary behavior, and then demonstrated ‘minimization’ as the way to eliminate opposing behavioral influences.
Sometimes we think we are doing right by our behavior, but remember Jesus said none is good but God (Mat 19:17). While ‘modification’ is best suited for those who do not know and love God our Father, ‘minimization’ is for those who love and obey Him, but are letting undesirable behaviors such as anxiety, anger, fear, ignorance, faithlessness, church absenteeism, and others get in the way of a righteous lifestyle. Which will serve you better: modification or minimization? God our Father loves you and wants to find you behaving and living right in His Son Jesus (Act 17:23).
I started by modifying, now I am minimizing; what will you do?
Are you having a conflict in your life? A conflict of ideas, ideals, or identity; or it is of relationship, responsibility, or religion? Given that ‘conflict’ is simply a difference of opinion that results in the manifestation of incompatible behavior between two or more persons, who would yield their opinions to yours? Resolving conflicts is a desirable skill that we all deserve to have, but who gives you what you truly deserve, anyway?
Don’t we all deserve to be heard and our opinions get considered, in the least? Don’t we have the right possess the earth and all blessings in heaven (Eph 1:3), including the grace of Jesus Christ that grants the desires of our hearts (Job 6:8; Psa 2:8, 21:2; Php 4:19)? Yet sin and death are constantly crouching (Gen 4:7, Luk 22:31) at our doors trying to bequeath to us what we do not deserve, …or maybe deserve?
I used to teach conflict resolution techniques, as a management professor; and there are four outcomes for managing or negotiating every conflict. There is the loose-loose outcome, in which all parties involved in a conflict, loose. Such is the case where someone denies the counsel, or is ashamed, of Jesus by living an ungodly lifestyle. In return, Jesus is ashamed of, or denies, that person’s request before His Father in Heaven (Mat 10:33). There is also the loose-win, 3rd party intervention, and then the win-win situation in which all parties gain.
The way to transition life conflicts from dysfunctional to functional; so that the intrapersonal or interpersonal confrontations begin to produce win-win results is not to love your opinions or even your life. Rather, overcome or win over sin and death, sickness and disease, and all kinds of opposing conflicts by living in the lifestyle of Jesus; faithfully demonstrating His grace towards you (Rev 12:11). God, our Heavenly Father loves you and does not want you in any negative, dysfunctional conflict.
If you must be in a conflict, then make the outcome a win-win.
They are everywhere; books, blogs, and motivational speakers. On the bookshelves, over the internet, and at conferences. They are telling you that the only way you can move on is to forgive yourself. They capture their opinions and ideologies in best-seller books, magazines, and internet articles and sell them to you as “10 Ways to Forgive Yourself,” or “12 Steps to Forgiving Yourself and Letting go of the Past.”
To believe in, and attempt to forgive yourself is an absolute denial of the truth and doctrine of Christ. In itself, it is just plain idolatry, self-worship, or trust in oneself to deliver oneself from oneself. First, if you have hurt yourself or done anything horrible to anyone or God; that in itself is a sin. Next, you must know that forgiveness is not something you can do for yourself (Mar 2:10, Luk 23:34), and it is not about what you did to yourself in the past.
Forgiveness, is about what you can give or do for others, as has been given or done for you, now and for a better Godly life, in the future Mat (6:12-15). So, to say that a sinful you can cleanse your sins by forgiving yourself is all wrong and misleading, because only a righteousness person like Jesus can remove unrighteousness from anyone who sins like you and me (Eph 1:7, 1Jn 1:7-9). So, do you still want to forgive yourself (Mar 2:10)?
Before replying, you must know that’ forgiveness’ means to ‘send’ grace ahead to an offender or debtor. It is to ‘lift off’ the offense and taint of sin from them. So that they can respond, be reconciled, and relate to God our Father, in purity (Mat 18:27, Eph 4:32, 2Cor 2:7-10). Can you send grace to yourself? Can you cleanse yourself from unrighteousness? God, our heavenly father loves you eternally and wants to forgive you of all your sins because He can and will. To ask for forgiveness is humble; it is a lifestyle (1Jn 1:9).
Ignore the books, blogs, and motivational speakers and ask the Son of God to forgive you.
On the 3rd Sunday of June, every year, people in most countries acknowledge, honor, and celebrate fathers and fatherly bonds for their influence in our societies. Other countries celebrate their Father’s Day earlier or later in the year. This is a good thing because we are commanded by the God of Heaven to honor our fathers and mothers, and this is the first commandment of God with a promise.
God our Heavenly Father, the creator of all earthly fathers, promises that if you obey this command; to honor your father, you will have good health and live a long life (Exo 20:12; Eph 6:2-3). On the contrary, it is established in Scripture that anyone who dishonors their father (Pro 20:20; Mat 15:4) should have their lamp put out; that is to die. This is hard to say, but it is scripture, and it is a reality.
The right questions to ask here is who is your “father” and what is his “honor”? You will agree that a father is not anyone who can make a child with a female or woman. A Father is a real man who loves and lives for his children affectionately and benevolently; providing, protecting, and promoting them (1Pet 5:7). It is so that children can continue to abide in their love and life. Just as we faithfully abide in the love of God and in the living doctrine of Christ, His Son, our brother (2Jn 1:9).
Unfortunately, God is not Father to all. Though He is the Creator of all, and all are His offspring (Act 17:28), not all are His children; because God’s Children are those who do not sin, but do righteousness (1Jn 3:9-10). And children who honor their fathers, are those who respect, esteem and obey them. It is honorable to celebrate fathers, but it is a healthy lifestyle, to honor God, our Heavenly Father; when we love and live by the doctrine of His Son, Jesus and by the influence of His Holy Spirit.
Who is your Father, who influences you, and whom will you honor?
They say that ‘repetition is the key to learning.’ Is it because learning is hard, or because repetition helps with retention, and so makes learning a little more fun? They also say the ‘repetition is the mother of all learning.’ This, I do not quite understand, because we can still learn stuff without the need to repeat them. For example, they also said that ‘’experience is the best teacher or …teacher of all things.”
Some people disagree that ‘experience is not always the best teacher.' So, that leaves us with ‘repetition,' as the key and one thing everyone agrees that helps us master learning. Little wonder why we remember our preschool nursery rhymes even after so many years of learning them by repetition. So, what is the wisdom in ‘repetition?’
I believe that the wisdom in repetition stems from God, our Heavenly Father. He told Joshua to meditate on (murmur, speak, talk, study, utter) His Word, in pleasure or anger, repeatedly day and night, so he can do what the word says (Jos 1:8) to become very successful and prosperous (Psa 1:1-3). Look around and observe that everything in life and the Kingdom is about repetition. Eternity is simply an everlasting repetition of moments. Time and seasons repeat themselves.
Consider the four beasts with six wings and eyes everywhere, that repeats ‘’Holy, Holy Holy…” from the beginning of eternity and will continue for eternity (Rev 4:8). Repetition of His word for every (good or not so good) situation in your life is the key to learning that God, our Heavenly Father loves you, cares about you, wants you to succeed, and be prosperous. Are you feeling good? Give thanks repeatedly. Are you sick or broken hearted? Confess that you are healed (1Pet 2:24), repeatedly.
Like nursery rhymes, speak and live the wisdom of God, repeatedly if you want to be successful.
It is not exactly a silly question to ask. Though most of us can see, we just do not see as clearly as we ought to. The reason may be a biological condition, which blurs or distorts our world view without any medical aid, such as wearing glasses. However, the outcome of receiving such aid reminds me of jubilant expressions comparable to Jonny Nash’s 1972 song; “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way; Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) Sun-Shiny day.”
It also reminds me of the blind man that Jesus healed twice. Jesus asked if he saw anything after spitting on his eyes. The man said he saw a world of “people that look and walk around like trees…” (Mar 8:24-25). Obviously, this man could not see clearly; his vision was blurred as his world view was distorted. Then Jesus touched him again, to restore the right world view and he started to see clearly.
What do we get out of this? What is the point of needing to see clearly if you already have a 20/20 vision or at least use recommended eye glasses? The point is that God our Father and Creator made the seeing eyes (Pro 20:12), to clearly see His light; since the light of your body is the eye. So, if your body is not full of light, who is Jesus the Son of God (Jn 1:4, 8:12), then there are obstacles in your way (Luk 11:34). Probably, the dark clouds or unrighteousness, broken heartedness, pain, and sickness, fear or even sin has your world view distorted, and there is a need for Jesus’ touch.
Maybe He had touched you before when you made Him your Lord and Savior. Alternatively, maybe you have refused to let Him touch you with His gracious salvation. Today, let Him touch you afresh; to dry up the rain of sickness or scarcity in your world. Let Him touch your eyes, to light up your body with His grace and life. Let His touch cause you to see clearly as God, our Father sees you; the apple of His eyes (Psa 17:8; Zec 2:8), and let Him protect your sight and vision by the power of His Holy Spirit.
And, it’s gonna be a bright sunny day.
Change is a good thing. Yes, it is. I remember working as a customer service specialist for a telephone company. Top management always used to tell us to ‘embrace change’ when they want to minimize resistance; sometimes due to unpopular policy or procedural changes. Of course, change is good when it is good to change. However, how do we know when the future outcome of change is good?
We do not, we simply just grudgingly yield and accept ‘corporate’ leadership’s ideas as right. At least that is what top management would have employees do, even when employers could be wrong. Nevertheless, change is a good thing. Anyone who is not changing is not growing; is not developing rightly; is not maturing; and will never die. This is not a good thing because the only person with an everlasting life who cannot ‘change,’ and so can never die is God (Mal 3:6; 1Ti 1:17).
So why do we say that change is a good thing, and so to embrace it, if it eventually leads to death? We say so because there are two types of ‘change;’ the change of variability, and the change of constancy. The former is for mortality, and the latter is for immortality. Our God and Father, His Son and Holy Spirit are immortal, so do not change (1Ti 6:16-17; Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8; Jam 1:17). However, we do. And, if we must become like them; have their kind of life, living like them without sickness or scarcity, we can do so only by embracing and not resisting change.
The Bible says “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality…” to win over sin and death (1co 15:53-54). The lifestyle idea of transitioning from variability to constancy has no equal. Personally, I am worn-out by the vacillation and double-mindedness (Jas 1:8, 4:8) we manifest daily, in this divine call to love and life. Are you not? God, our Father, loves you eternally; so, embrace change, and change for the better, living as one who is acquiring immortality (Rom 2:7; 2Ti 1:10).
Need help to change? I can help!
I am thinking about how to bless you today, with merciful, graceful, kind and encouraging words from God, our Father. I am trying to think what God is thinking about you, and for several hours I have been drawing a blank. Oh no! this is not what they call writer's block. Believe me, I have many, many things to write about, but I want to receive His true blessings so that I can bless you rightfully by God our Heavenly Father.
How possible is it to think God’s thoughts, when His thoughts are so deep and profound (Psa 92:5)? Who can search or even map His mind (Rom 11:33)? However, only He can search and know your thoughts; though they are vain and self-centered (Psa 94:11, 139:23; 1Cor 3:20; Jas 2:3-4). Nonetheless, His thought towards you are precious; His attitude, so exemplary (Psa 139:17). They are so unlike our thoughts or attitude towards each other, which many times is prejudiced (Isa 55:8-9; Mat 15:19; Jas 2:4).
I am thinking about you because God, our Heavenly Father is thinking about you; and He impresses His thoughts on me so that I can share with you. I do not know what you are thinking, but He does, and He wants to bless you, by establishing your thoughts or plans, if you let him (Pro 16:3). He only knows His specific thoughts and plans for you, but we know they are “thoughts of peace and prosperity, and not of evil or lack; to give you the outcome you expect” (Jer 29:11).
God, our Heavenly Father loves you without pre- or post-conditions. He wants to establish you in His love. That is why He granted you mercy when He sent Jesus His Son to the cross for you. His grace has been released to help you accomplish your sanctified thoughts, as His goodness supplies your needs, so that His Holy Spirit governs your lifestyle, while you give Him the Glory He deserves. He is the “I Am” who is thinking about you.
I am just a messenger sent to remind you to pray, seek, and find Him (Jer 29:13-14).