“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” – (2 Tim 3:1-5).
During one of his missionary journeys the Apostle Paul met a slave girl with a gift of prophecy. Sensing a business opportunity her owners had twisted this gift into a cash bonanza. “Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling” (Acts 16:16). Unfortunately for the schemers the girl became aware that Paul and Silas were men of God. So, she kept taunting them. “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved” (vv 17). Feeling harassed,“Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her” (vv 18).
The desire to profit from the Gospel of Jesus did not start today nor is it about to end. During the ministry of Jesus he came across merchants who had turned the house of God into a forex bureau and livestock market (Mathew 21:12). One of the triggers of the Reformation was the habit of the Catholic Church to ask for indulgences. For a fee people could pay for the dead whose souls it was believed were hanging in purgatory. The money would then be used by the clergy to lavish themselves with all sorts of luxuries.
Times have not changed. Every other day we come across those turning the things of God to materially profit from them. We have heard those who sell “miracle trees”, miracle rings”, miracle oil” etc. For a fee we hear of purveyors who promise to send back spells of misfortune rather than winning evil over to Christ.
As followers of Christ we should be on guard of such. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them” (Mathew 7:15).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, knowing we live in the last days where wolves seeking to profit from your word are masquerading as messengers of light, we pray for the spirit of discernment to hold on to the truth of the Gospel of your kingdom, this we pray in Jesus’s name.
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02/03/2024 - 03/03/2024 All day
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!