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DEALING WITH ANGER 2

EPHESIANS 4:26, GALATIANS 5:22-23

“For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

Arguably, one of the most famous scriptures about anger is the one cited in Paul’s epistle to the brethren at the Church in Ephesus “Be angry and do not sin…” Unfortunately, this has been used as an excuse to display an inappropriate amount of anger oftentimes. Anger is an emotion, and just like the other emotions, it is often a pointer to something else. The problem sometimes is that we assign the role of leadership to our emotions, so they dictate the course of our actions. Instead of letting our anger overrule and take charge, we must examine what our anger is truly about.

Our memory verse today tells us that the anger of man doesn’t work the righteousness of God. A candid example would be Jonah in the Bible. He was so upset when the people of Nineveh repented that he said he wanted to die (Jonah 4). The question God asked him was, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?” (Jonah 4:4). I believe that this is what sifts human anger from that which is acceptable by God. We first must be sure that we are upset about the right thing. Even when we are upset about the right thing, we must respond correctly. We ought to remember that self-control is a fruit of the Spirit and is available to us. Even when we are upset, we should remain kind and patient as these are great virtues from the Spirit of God. We can be angry and not sin when we allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I ask for the grace to get angry for the right reasons and, even then, to respond in a way that glorifies You. Amen

GOD’S GOOD GIFT

LUKE 11:9-13, EPHESIANS 5:18

“If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!” Luke.11.13 (AMP)

 The Holy Spirit is the gift of God to the believer. Our Lord Jesus Christ compared the giving of earthly parents to that of our heavenly Father. Parents will endeavour to give what their children ask especially if they have the resources to do so. Even in their evil state, parents know how to give good gifts; gifts that are to the advantage of their children.

Our heavenly Father is the essence of goodness. He is good and gives good gifts. If earthly parents can give good gifts, how much more will our heavenly Father give? He will give much more; much more in every sense of the word. Dear child of God, have you earnestly asked to be filled with the Spirit? Have you yearned for the good gift of the Spirit’s fullness? Ask in faith and see the Father fill and use you beyond your wildest dreams. He is more willing to fill you with His Spirit than you are willing to be filled. He is actively seeking vessels to fill and use for His glory. Being filled by the Holy Spirit is to your advantage. Jesus said it is better that the Holy Spirit comes than for Him (Jesus) to remain here. Ask in earnest for this good gift of the Father. There is more in God! Have you asked of Him today?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the good gift of Your Spirit. I present my vessel for filling today.

GREAT LEADERS PURSUE WISDOM

 2 CHRONICLES 1:7-12.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore, get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7.

 So, many people occupy leadership positions for different reasons. Because some are entrusted with leadership through affiliations and connections, they tend to take things for granted. Others make the necessary sacrifices to get into leadership positions just to make money or become popular. To these groups of people, leadership is not about the people but about the gains and perks.

The principal quest of Solomon was for wisdom to lead. It wasn’t about the riches, honour, or fame. He yearned for the principal thing that every leader should seek; wisdom! Wisdom to lead is the difference between the ordinary/bad leader and the great leader. Money and power are not the principal requirements in leadership. These may come but they shouldn’t be the focus. Most nations of the world are in disarray because they have leaders whose ultimate quest is money and power. Believers in different levels of leadership should shine the light of leadership marked  with wisdom. We have access to the wisdom of the Lord and are encouraged to ask if we lack it. Let us build our Homes, Communities, Organizations, Churches and Ministries, etc, armed with the wisdom that our Lord abundantly supplies. “A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense.” (Proverbs 24:3 NLT).

PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for your wisdom that is given to me liberally. My spheres of influence and leadership will be marked by wisdom. Amen 

HELP FROM GOD

 2 CHRONICLES 14:9-15

So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me? Hebrews 13:6

Not too long after King Asa ascended the throne, he was confronted with a war. He had an army of five hundred and eighty thousand (580,000) men against the one million (1,000,000) strong army of the Ethiopians that came against him. King Asa knew the odds were stacked against him in this battle but he cried out to the Lord for help. We must understand the implications of what he did. He removed his eyes from the skills of his men. He looked up to God for help in his disadvantaged position. Today, you can cry out to God for help and He will come to your rescue. Asa said, “LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power, help us.” Beloved, know that it is nothing with God to help you. His help is not dependent on numbers. The numbers may be against you, but if God helps you; victory is sure. Your power and ability may be inferior compared to what you are facing but God’s help changes the equation in your favour.

Asa also said, “For we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God” God helped Asa and God will help you too. Rely and rest on God! Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you. When the storms rise against you, when problems crop up like weeds in the rainy season, when sickness ravages your body, when your heart is overwhelmed, when people rise against you, when you are wearied and weakened by struggles; always remember that God is your helper. Call on His name and see how He comes to your aid. He will never leave or forsake you. Today, cry out to the Lord and say, “God help me!”

PRAYER: Earnestly pray and seek God’s help concerning the situations that are against you. Believe and thank Him for the help.

DON’T FORGET YOUR SOURCE

2 CHRONICLES 16:1-10

When your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Eqypt, from the house of bondage. Deuteronomy 8:14

 In our previous meditation, we saw how King Asa cried to God for help concerning a difficult situation. The sad reality is that he later removed his eyes and heart from God. When Baasha king of Israel came up against him, he resorted to the arms of flesh. The same person who absolutely depended on God in the early days of his reign now relied on man. Asa’s heart was lifted up and he forgot God. He forgot the source of his successes and victories. He relied on the king of Syria for help. The scriptures declare a curse on anyone who depends on man for help.

We may want to criticize Asa for this but we sometimes do the same thing: When we fail to trust God with all our heart and start relying on fleshly schemes and ungodly alliances to pull through; when the lure of easy fixes pushes us to indulge in little compromises in order to achieve an end; when we forget the Lord who helped us in times past and seek shortcuts outside God’s plan and will. The Lord will always show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him. It is foolish to go for human help when we can have God’s help. Let us train our hearts to be totally dependent on God. Leaning on our understanding could be dangerous in the long term. May we never forget the Lord who is our source when we are seemingly settled in life.

PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to always rely on You at all times and in all situations. Amen.

KINGDOM PRIORITIES

 MATTHEW 5:23-24, 6:33, 7:3-5.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33.

There is the possibility of putting the cart before the horse in spiritual matters if we are not careful. This is why attention must be given to establishing the right priorities. Jesus made use of the word “First” in pointing us to some of the priorities in the kingdom of God. These things are to be done first before the other issues raised are considered. The Lord Jesus talked about the earnest seeking of God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness. This is the highest or first priority of the believer. The heart that prioritizes this is guaranteed heaven’s care and supply.

The second first for our consideration today is our relationship with our brothers and sisters. The Lord admonishes us to put that before our gifts or offerings in the Church assembly. Our gifts to the Lord are not as important as “following peace with all men.” You can’t present an acceptable gift where strife and quarrel exist. Making peace must come before giving gifts. The third first is self-examination and correction. This must come before ‘helping’ others to remove the speck in their eyes. Don’t point the finger at others when you have the same or a worse problem. The big deal is to remove the planks in your eyes. It is fraudulent to condemn others for their sins because you are better at hiding yours. Are your priorities right according to the standard of God’s kingdom? What are the areas you have to work on based on today’s meditation?

 PRAYER: Pray for wisdom and grace to put first things first.

DEALING WITH ANGER 1

EPH. 4:26-27, COL. 4:6, PRO. 15:1, 18, 16:32

A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. Proverbs 29:11

 Knowing that we have been translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God, we ought to appreciate that the lifestyles in these kingdoms differ in so many ways. Anger can be seen as a strong feeling of displeasure, hostility or antagonism towards someone or something. Generally, as humans, we get emotional when people displease us, but as believers, the way we react to this issue matters.  This is why the Bible says “Be angry but sin not” We must always remember that our emotional state doesn’t validate our actions but God’s word is what should determine our actions. When we persist in anger, we give the devil a stronghold in our lives.

As a rule, it is better to be silent when angry, because you may utter words that are damaging in the heat of emotion. We must rule over our emotions as believers because the Spirit of God within us works self-control in our spirits. The Lord will help you today if you ask him to concerning this matter. The Holy Spirit is ever present to help you.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, please help me manage my emotions and my actions so that they reflect the life of Christ.

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