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07/12/2021 03:00 - 08/12/2021 02:00

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed” - Psalm 20:4 (NIV).

In Africa there are many cultures where bridal negotiations are still taken very seriously. A bridal party goes well armed with a renowned go between speaker who once on the scene quickly gets to the task of persuading the family to release their daughter. A stiff price is set and hot bargaining ensues. There are cases where these negotiations have lasted into the night with either party not eager to cease ground. Meanwhile, the fiancé and his betrothed are helplessly tied down somewhere, with little they can do to influence negotiations. Maybe a sudden stroke of luck ultimately causes the family to relent and surrender their daughter! Whenever that finally comes  the feeling of victory is unanimous.

The idea of a party going to a distant land to fetch a wife is a long tradition. When Abraham was up in years he picked up his most able servant whom he sent back to his native land  for an apparent bridal-go-get mission. Unlike the kwanjula ( introduction) parties you hear of, this servant was sent alone, with a few items. But then he knew much better. Just as he got to town he paused and did one decisive thing. “Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master” (Genesis 24: 12- 14).

To cut the long story short, when eventually he was ushered into the presence of the girl he had zeroed in, Rebekah, the parents, Laban and Bethuel answered, “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or the other. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has directed” (vv 50- 51). No doubt this has been recorded as one of the fastest bridal negotiations ever in history.

There is a saying that when the Lord is into something then there is no need for sweat. All it took here was a servant’s prayer. There was no long bridal negotiation meeting lasting deep into the night. The Lord had gone ahead of Abraham’s servant and opened the way ahead of him. And may this be your prayer and blessing too!

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and  earth, today I pray you go ahead of me in this mission that appears complicated but with you ahead only victory awaits, this I pray in Jesus’s name!

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    “The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them” – (Deuteronomy 28:2).

    Every now and then one chances upon someone despising the importance of being enterprising. To some being enterprising can be equated to the love of money and it’s pitfalls (1 Tim 6:10). Others see it as being overtly worldly. Yet, far from it, being enterprising is clearly an avenue God has given believers to raise resources for their well-being and promotion of the rich Gospel.

    The Bible is full of enterprising characters who were used mightily of God. Abraham was apparently a good rancher that he “become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold” (Gen 13:2). Job was hated by Satan who sought to destroy him because “He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area” (Job 1:3).

    The Lord Jesus Christ was born and raised in the house of Joseph, the carpenter (Mathew 13:55). Carpenters do not create works of beauty to donate for free. To prosper they must run sustainable enterprises which pay taxes and make profit. The Apostle Paul would often rely on enterprising people to support him in his ministry. One of his worthy converts “was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God (Acts 16:14).

    Though Paul was a law don once he went to the mission field, other than cling to his titles by burdening his hosts he often dabbled in tent making to support himself. In Corinth he teamed up with an amazing couple, Priscilla and Aquila, and “because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them” (Acts 18:3). This couple run a successful tent making business that enabled them support mission work.

    And then of course, there is the noble woman of character, as told in Proverbs 31, who “selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings.. She sees that her trading is profitable…She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes (vv 13-25).

    When the body of believers is filled with such enterprising people it generates resources important to sustain God’s work. Further, the work of God is then supported without being dependent on sources that might compromise the mission, as sometimes we see! Be enterprising!

    Prayer for today: Lord father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, you who has given us the gift of enterprise, today I pray to use this gift to take care of my needs and support the expansion of your kingdom on earth, this I pray in Jesus’ Name.