John 3:16 Arrow For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life ^DREAM interpretation ministry

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
The Word For Today-A Daily Update

Trust God He knows what He’s doing

Radical commitment (1)

‘Crucified with Christ…I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.’

Galatians 2:20 NIV
Many people today want to get as much as they can for themselves while giving as little in return as possible. They want to be there for their friends in the good times, but absent in the not-so-good ones. Sadly, national statistics confirm this lack of commitment. The marriage rate is down while the divorce rate is up. Involvement in ministry and worthy causes that help the needy are all down. Why? Because people don’t want to put themselves on the line, or be pinned down by responsibility. We often view opportunities to serve others as obligations, therefore we avoid them. We’re a sound bite generation with a short attention span, accustomed to fifteen-second advertisements and fast food. We want our sermons simple, entertaining, and ‘feel-good’. Yes, radical commitment is rare – but it’s what God requires of you. Commitment means your promise is binding whether it’s convenient or not. Let’s look at a few examples. Commitment to marriage. Marriage, as God sees it, isn’t a fifty-fifty arrangement. It’s a mutual agreement to give 100 per cent of ourselves. It’s a lifetime covenant between you and your spouse: ‘for better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health; until parted by death.’ And that covenant is a lot easier to live up to when both partners have learned, like Paul, to say, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.’ That means dying to self-interest is the key to great relationships.

Isaiah 9-10, Galatians 2
Prophet Ebankole

[Image: 728x90.gif]

Radical commitment (2)


‘Give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and
follow me.’
Luke 9:23 NLT
Here are three Bible examples of radical commitment: 1) Commitment on the job. In the past, employers appreciated their workers, and workers valued their employers and their jobs.

Today’s workplace is often adversarial, with employees criticising their bosses and doing the minimum required to get by, while many bosses have become increasingly demanding, taking their workers for granted.

This isn’t God’s way. His way calls for mutual commitment between management and labour. Paul says: ‘Obey your earthly masters…always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ.

Don’t just do what you have to do to get by…work heartily…keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God’ (Ephesians 6:5-8 MSG). 2) Commitment at church. Many Christians have adopted a cafeteria-style approach towards church.

We pick what we like and leave what we don’t. But membership in Christ’s church involves a covenant relationship with a body of believers who watch over, cherish, and pray for one other, and fulfil the great commission together (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-31). 3) Commitment to Christ.

Christ is not looking for wishy-washy, ‘lukewarm’ followers (see Revelation 3:16). He told the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.’ That means you no longer follow your own wishes and will, you follow Christ and His will. That’s radical commitment, and you are called to it.

Isaiah 11-13, Galatians 3
Prophet Ebankole

[Image: 728x90.gif]

Guidelines for parenting (1)


‘Do not withhold correction from a child.’
Proverbs 23:13 NKJV

When it comes to discipline, your primary concern should never be your own comfort, but the ‘soul’ [mind, will and emotions] of your child! Discipline, or the lack thereof, can set off a good or bad chain reaction.

If your children don’t respect authority in the home, they won’t respect it in the school, the government, the church, or ultimately even heaven itself.

It’s just a small step from rebelling against the parents God gave them, to rebelling against the God who gave them their parents. And discipline should begin sooner rather than later.

When a child is old enough to be told to do what’s right and they choose to do what’s wrong – that child is ready to be disciplined.

The Bible doesn’t specify an age limit in its definition of the word ‘child’. Just because your child is old enough to drive, shave, and date, doesn’t mean they’re beyond correction.

They may be too old for a time-out or for confiscating toys, but there are other, more effective ways to discipline an adolescent or teenager.

If you read the book of Proverbs carefully, you’ll find that Solomon was talking to a son who was old enough to join a street gang, be tempted by sexual sin, patronise prostitutes, go into debt, and get drunk.

He wasn’t necessarily talking about primary school children. Bottom line: as long as your children are under your roof, they are under your jurisdiction, and you will give an account to God for how you used – or didn’t use – your authority.

Isaiah 14-16, Galatians 4
Prophet Ebankole

[Image: 728x90.gif]

Guidelines for parenting (2)


‘Discipline your children; you’ll be glad you did.'
Proverbs 29:17 MSG

Several years ago, sociologists and child psychologists made an interesting discovery. Contemporary thought assumed that putting fences around playgrounds made children feel restricted in their recreation.

And based on that theory it was decided to remove the fences so children wouldn’t feel confined. To the astonishment of the experts, the opposite effect occurred. Researchers found that children became more inhibited in their activities.

They tended to huddle towards the middle of the playground and exhibited signs of insecurity. Interestingly, when the fences were replaced, the children once more played with great enthusiasm and freedom.

What’s the lesson here? We all need boundaries – something to define the limits of safety and security. Whereas the ‘experts’ theorised that boundaries restrict creativity, children on the playground proved that we need a clear understanding of what’s safe and acceptable in order for ingenuity and inventiveness to flourish.

That means your children will flourish and you’ll function better as a parent when guidelines are clearly communicated, and the consequences for not following them are completely understood.

There’s a humorous story of a father who gave his sixteen-year-old son his first car. Before handing him the keys, he said, ‘This is a magic car, Son.’ ‘Really?’ the boy replied. ‘Yeah,’ answered his dad. ‘One speeding ticket – and it will disappear!’ And if you buy a car for your child, it should be a ‘magic’ car too. Bottom line: God sets the rules for success in life, and He rewards those who honour them.

In the words of Scripture: ‘Study this Book of Instruction continually…obey everything written in it…then will you prosper and succeed in all you do’ (Joshua 1:8 NLT).

Isaiah 17-19, Galatians 5
Prophet Ebankole

[Image: 728x90.gif]

Guidelines for parenting (3)

‘Train up a child…[and in keeping with his individual gift or bent].’
Proverbs 22:6 AMPC

The UCB Word for Today - 13 SEPT 2020

The Bible says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.’ The truth of the matter is that while certain universal principles apply to all children, no two are alike, and it’s a mistake to treat them as if they were.

In fact, here are two of the most common blunders you can make as a parent:
1) Trying to mould your child into what you used to be.

Just because you were a star athlete in school doesn’t mean your children will want to follow in your footsteps. And just because you got straight A’s in school doesn’t necessarily mean your children are capable of a set of top results.

While you should never tolerate or reward laziness, you need to accept that not all children are equally gifted athletically or intellectually.

2) Trying to make them into what you want them to be. Don’t try to relive your life through your kids.

You had your chance, and just because you didn’t make the grade in your chosen profession doesn’t mean you should force your son or daughter in that direction. The Bible says, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent],’ not necessarily the way you would go, or want him or her to go.

There are three hallmarks of healthy self-esteem you should continually strive to teach your children:

1) Know who you are;
2) Like who you are;
3) Be who you are.

Luke 17:20-37, Psalms 94-96

Find your place in the body of Christ (1)

‘He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others.’
1 Corinthians 12:25 CEV

The UCB Word for Today - 14 SEPT 2020

When it comes to finding a church home, your options are unlimited. Traditional, contemporary, you name it – you can probably find it!

But your individual place in the body of Christ is another matter entirely; that’s not determined by you, but by God. The Bible says, ‘By one Spirit we are all baptised into one body’ (v. 13 NKJV). When you accept Jesus as your Saviour you become a member of His redeemed family and a ‘miracle of placement’ takes place in you.

It isn’t a choice you get to make; it’s God’s choice – and it determines your spiritual identity. Paul says: ‘Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body…The old labels we…used to identify ourselves – labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free – are no longer useful.

We need something larger, more comprehensive’ (v. 13 MSG). That means anybody anywhere in the world who names Jesus as their Saviour and Lord is more connected to you than your hand is to your wrist.

And you have a role to play in relation to each and every one of them. God not only placed you in His body, He determined your unique role when He arranged ‘the parts…just as he wanted them to be’ (v. 18 NIV).

He also gave you certain ‘gifts’, and He expects you to use them to fulfil His purposes (see Romans 12:6-8). When you ask God to show you your gifts, He will.

And when He does, you must take every opportunity to use them for His glory.

Isaiah 20-22, Galatians 6

Find your place in the body of Christ (2)


‘God has placed the parts in the body…just as he wanted them to be.’

1 Corinthians 12:18 NIV

Do you feel like joining a different church where people are ‘more like you’? A team of missionaries to Kenya were being driven across the plains to their destination by a Masai tribal escort.

En route their attention became riveted on the herds of wildebeests and zebras migrating together. Their escort explained why two massive herds of such different species would travel together.

He said that while wildebeests have poor eyesight, they have a keen sense of smell, whereas zebras have good eyesight and a poor sense of smell. So together they were less vulnerable to attack because their differences compensated for their weaknesses.

Paul writes, ‘If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?’ (v. 17 NIV).

That reminds you of those zebras and wildebeests, doesn’t it? When we join a club, we usually choose to be with people who are more or less like us.

But membership in Christ’s body throws us together with people who are as different from us as a hand is from a nose. And while those differences can rub you the wrong way at times, they are differences God designed to benefit you.

Zebras and wildebeests don’t have to like each other, but their survival and success depend on getting along together.

Your spiritual growth doesn’t depend on agreeing with everybody, but it does depend on loving them enough to live together agreeably!

Isaiah 23-25, Ephesians 1
Prophet Ebankole

[Image: 728x90.gif]

Try to have realistic expectations


‘We all stumble in many things.’
James 3:2 NKJV

Striving to do better is a good thing, but try to have realistic expectations. Everything in life isn’t black or white; there are grey areas and some ‘in-betweens’. Everything can’t be perfect all the time, and everything isn’t horrible all the time.

Deciding to skip a meeting or social event because you’re running five minutes late or have a blemish on your face, or cancelling an entire trip because a flight is delayed, or feeling like a terrible human being over one innocent mistake, is sometimes referred to as ‘polarising’. This leads to frustration and negativity.

To maintain your joy in life, you must accept that you won’t be perfect all the time, and neither will the people or things around you.

When you expect perfection from life, you tend to expect the same from other people. And that kind of unrealistic thinking not only meets with a great deal of disappointment when your expectations aren’t met, it puts unbearable pressure on the people you care about and can eventually destroy those relationships.

Why not give people a break and stop demanding something from them that they have no ability to give you? The apostle James said we all stumble, fall, and offend in many things.

So if we all make mistakes – and we do – learn to accept that it’s just part of the human experience, and relax! Question: in what specific ways do you need to be more accepting of the ‘imperfect areas’ in your own life, or in the way someone else’s imperfect areas affect you? And before you answer, think about this: ‘Love is patient, love is kind’ (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV).

Isaiah 26-27, Ephesians 2
Prophet Ebankole

[Image: 728x90.gif]

You can’t always trust your feelings


‘The human heart is the most deceitful of all things.’
Jeremiah 17:9 NLT

We all know well-intentioned people, who, when you ask them to do something, you’re not sure they will follow through.

As nice as they are, they’re unreliable. Your feelings are like that; much of the time you can’t count on them because they’re not attuned to what’s best for you. They’re more interested in having their own way.

For example, our feelings can get us excited about going shopping when we don’t have the money to spend. They entice us to eat cheesecake when we’re trying to avoid extra calories.

They lead us to stay up late at night working or watching TV, when we know we need to get up early the next day. In short, our feelings are fickle. They change like the wind.

Yet it’s amazing how much power we give them in our lives. As believers, we have something wiser and more dependable to rely on than our feelings, and that’s the Word of God.

When we feel strongly about something, it’s not always easy to determine whether or not we’re in agreement with God about it. Jeremiah tells us, ‘The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows…it? But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives’ (vv. 9-10 NLT).

And He does it through His Word, which ‘is sharper than any two-edged sword…exposing…sifting…analysing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart’ (Hebrews 4:12 AMPC). Here’s the score: if you’re truly interested in rising above your feelings, you’ll let the Word of God be the determining factor in all your decisions.

Isaiah 28-29, Ephesians 3
Prophet Ebankole

[Image: 728x90.gif]

Keep building up your faith

‘But without faith it is impossible to please Him.’
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

We usually think of faith in terms of getting answers to our prayers and receiving from God the things that He alone can provide.

And that’s okay. But there’s a more important reason for building up your faith. Faith is about pleasing God! ‘Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.’ What pleases God? Your faith! What displeases God? Your lack of faith! In the past, Christians sometimes described praying passionately as ‘storming the gates of heaven’. It was a sincere sentiment, but it wasn’t completely accurate.

The battle isn’t between you and heaven! You have a red-carpet welcome to approach God at any time. ‘Let us…come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV).

If there’s a battle, it’s between you and the forces of hell (see Ephesians 6:12-18). Why are our prayers sometimes not effective? The Bible says, ‘The word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it’ (Hebrews 4:2 NKJV). Yes, God is moved by your needs, but He responds to your faith. That is why nothing is more important than building up your faith.

And how do you do that? ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 NKJV). It works like this: get into God’s Word, get God’s Word into you, pray, and things will begin to change for the better in your life.

Isaiah 30-31, Ephesians 4
Prophet Ebankole

[Image: 728x90.gif]