"Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God" - 2 Corinthians 3:5 (NIV).
A certain Christian friend had an experience that led him to a better understanding of grace. His eldest son easily progressed through school, settled in a good job and married well. This followed with his second born, who went on to flourish in his job too and quickly started raising a good family. However, comes to the third born things took on a strange twist.
"After enrolling him in university," my friend once shared with me, "the boy quit! He adopted the habit of constant drinking, smoking and doing drugs. I did everything, barked, counselled, made promises," he went to share, "but to no effect! In fact I went back to university and paid all fees, and had him register again. But again he dropped out. He continued with his drinking and once was dropped back at our gate all bloodied after a bar fight!"
What do you do when you have done everything in your power and nothing yields results! This was a bright boy who had earlier skipped class to go to one of the best secondary school in the country. The parents had the capacity to pay for the best education. He had been raised in a loving Christian home and never wanting. And if not all, had those brothers already doing well with their families, to look up to.
Having done everything my friend stopped struggling with his son and surrendered him to God. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.."
Suddenly, having long let him free, the boy returns home. "I have come to the end of the road and want to go back to university!" He had eventually had a change of heart once no one was pushing him. Today, not only is he a graduate with a good job but like his brothers has started raising a good family!
"God brought me this situation," said my friend, "to teach me grace. If I had not had this experience I probably would have swelled with pride as a star Father. But I needed it for God to reveal to me it is not by might but by his Grace."
As believers there are certain situations where no amount of effort will bring the desired change. However, once we recognize that it is only by grace and not by our might, it is amazing then what God can do!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I surrender to you that situation where I have come to the end of the road that you take over, for your glory, this I pray in Jesus's name!
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23/02/2024 - 24/02/2024 All day
“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.