Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dealing With Bitterness and Unresolved Emotional Wounds

Hello,

No one wants to be bitter.  It sneaks up on us.  Bitterness is unforgiveness fermented.    The more we hold onto past hurts the more we become drunk on our pain and the experience can rob us of the joy we can find in anything. Bitterness occurs when we feel someone has taken something from us that we are powerless to get back.  We hold on to the hurt in an attempt to remind ourselves and others of the injustice we’ve experienced in the hopes that someone will save us and restore what we’ve lost.  Unfortunately, bitterness only makes our sense of the injustice grow.  It does nothing to heal the wound caused by the injustice.  In fact, it causes the wound to become infected with anger.

Bitterness:  Wrath’s Little Sister


Bitterness is wrath’s little sister.  Where anger can be just and moral if it propels us to seek solutions for the wrongs we have experienced or witness, wrath is a deadly sin because it becomes anger that feeds on itself and adds to wreckage caused by the original wound.  Bitterness does this too, but instead of burning down the house with everything we value still inside, bitterness is quieter, slowly poisoning our life until we lose it one joy at a time.

Here are some things you can do to begin to overcome bitterness.

1.  Forgive

Forgiveness does not mean pretending everything is “OK.”  It doesn’t mean forgetting the hurt either.  According to St. Augustine, forgiveness is simply the act of surrendering our desire for revenge; that is, our desire to hurt someone for having hurt us.   Forgiveness is the gift we give ourselves that enables us to stop picking at the scab and start making a plan for healing.

2. Make a plan

Forgiveness allows you to free up the energy you need to begin healing the wound. If the person who hurt you is willing to work with you, begin mapping out exactly what changes or effort you would need to see from that person to let you know that it is safe to reconcile.  If you are on your own, focus your energy on making a plan for how will you strive to regain as much of what was lost/taken from you as possible.  The more you strive to find alternative ways to recoup your losses, the less bitter you will feel even if the hurt persists.   It can be tempting to give into feelings that “there’s nothing I can do”   but resist the temptation.  In fact, if you feel this way and can’t think of solutions, talk to a professional to check your math before deciding that you just need to grieve your loss.  If, after consultation, you find that there really is nothing you can do to reclaim what was lost or taken from you, focus your energy on developing new goals that will help you reconstruct a compelling future.  The book, The Life God Wants You to Have:  Discovering the Divine Plan When Human Plans Fail can be a tremendous help for figuring out what God is calling you to work toward in the next chapter of your life.

3.  Stop Dwelling and Retelling

When we are hurt, we have a tendency to turn the painful events over and over in our head or tell anyone who will listen about our pain–even over and over again.  It is fine to talk to people we think can help us heal the hurt, facilitate reconciliation or help us rebuild our lives, but other than that, we should do what we can to stop dwelling on the story of our injury ourselves and stop speaking of it so freely to others.  When we are tempted to “dwell or retell” the best course of action is to refocus on what we can do–TODAY–to take at least some small step toward refining or actualizing the plan we’ve developed in Step 2.  The more you are focused on solutions, the less you will experience the sense of powerlessness that comes from ruminating on the hurt

4.  Seek Grace

It can be next to impossible to heal some wounds without God’s grace.  Bitterness causes us to shun God’s grace in favor of obsessing over the wound.  If you are holding on to bitterness I encourage you to take it to confession.  Please don’t be insulted by the suggestion.  I know that you are the victim and you have a right to your pain.  Still, holding on to anything except God’s love, mercy and healing grace separates from God and the life he wants us to have. Confession can open your heart to receive the healing that God wants to give you.   It can help you surrender the pain and powerlessness and begin to discover new options.  Stop hoarding your hurt.  Make your desire for healing official by taking your tendency to dwell in the powerlessness to the confessional and seek the grace to leave it there.

5.  When All Has Failed, Then Seek Professional Help

If the bitterness won’t let go even after you’ve tried all of the above, it’s time to seek professional help.  Working with a professional can help you see possibilities that your pain has blinded you to and give you new tools to heal the wounds that are holding you back.   If you have a faithful professional in your area that you have worked with before, it may be time to reconnect.  If not, I would invite you to contact me through the The Classic Life Institute to learn more about this. Trust me when I say I have been there and I know what it feels like.  Healing is possible with the right resources.

Hebrews 12:5 says, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  You don’t have to be bitter or consumed by feelings of powerlessness and sadness.  Take action today to cooperate with the grace that God is giving you to break free of the bonds of bitterness.  You can discover that with God’s help, there is so much more to life than pain.

Never Forget, You are in the Refiner's Hands !!

I Love You
Jay


Feel Free to Join Us for Service on Sundays by 11am @ The Refiner's House International Church - Southampton City Centre: Venue: Coxford Community Centre  Olive Rd, Southampton SO16 6AG. Where we are raising men and women of Class in Disposition, Prowess and Divine Presence. Teaching you all that concerns life and godliness. Service begins on the 26th of June 2016.

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Enjoy the Day, the Message, and Most Importantly, Your Life!

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

UNLEARN in-order to RELEARN - Apostle J D Kosita-Madu


One of the most difficult things in life is to "unlearn" in order to "relearn" so as to progress.

About thirteen or more years ago, within two days Tobi Adegoke taught me the basic chords on a piano. I learned quickly to play on C, F and A but for some reason, I couldn't grasp how to recognize the key I wanted to play on without transposing.

Our lessons became "epileptic" (my fault entirely), and before I realized it, my teacher had to leave for South Africa to study.
So, I got comfortable playing basic chords on transpose, even writing and turning out hit songs playing that way.
Time has elapsed, I have tried to build on the little I know but whenever I hit a brick wall, I quickly resort to transposing.

Transposing is a function that allows a performer to quickly change the home key of a keyboard at the press of a button. Not a very professional way of doing things.

I have sought help but two factors get in the way. No one has been able to teach it so easily like my first teacher and I just can't get transposing out of my system.
As at this moment, I am still there and it saddens me that I cannot strike those chords and notes I hear in my head.

So, I decided to ask my new keyboardist in Church to help me....to teach me (yes I am paying)... We have just had our first session and he asked me to play all that I know...I did and after a few minutes of thinking he says to me "Papa, you have to unlearn all you think you know. All you need to retain are those basics but from this moment Sir, FORGET that the transpose function exists".

Well, the suggestion is daunting... How will I survive without transposing? My new teacher doesn't want to hear "trans" not to talk of "posing". I panicked..so my playing days are over...or at least for some time I CANNOT POSE for those who don't know anything about my deficiency but THINK that I am a guru.

I sit right now in my study thinking how many of us need to unlearn that which we KNOW about walking with God.

We need to unlearn the doctrines and practices that have characterized our walk all these years.
We need to unlearn the interpretation of many scriptures that we have run with for years.

Some of us have gotten to that point where we know that though onlookers may think we have it all together like my wife thinks I am a wonderful keyboardist, but we know that there is something more out there. We know we haven't scratched the surface...We have been " transposing" all this while.

Hebrews 5:12-14
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil."

It is time to seek help. Listen, I play enough to hold down a one hour praise and worship session in my local assembly but I KNOW that I dare not mount the keyboard at a major concert and I really would love to.

I also have plans of buying a grand piano which I intend to play when leading worship myself at Church, but grand pianos do not have the transpose function. It is for MATURED "players".
This is why thirteen years after my first lessons, I seek to mature.

Apart from getting myself a new teacher, I have rediscovered all the books and manuals I bought at the recommendation of my first teacher which I must confess, I never read beyond when he left the country.

My message is simple: If you have noticed that you're not satisfied with how things are, seek change. Seek growth by looking for teachers to move you from the LAW to GRACE.
More importantly, be WILLING to UNLEARN. Your initial teachers and influences were not wrong but they taught you according to your WILLINGNESS and CAPACITY to grasp at that time.

No matter how much you think you know, you can still unlearn some things in order to relearn and grow. Seek teachers to HELP you GROW from Grace to Grace.

Ephesians 4:11-14
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes."

Anointed teachers will help us STOP TRANSPOSING in spiritual matters and GROW UP.
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

I am off to practice without transposing.

Apostle J D Kosita-Madu.

JD Kosita-Madu is the senior Pastor & Founder of Trinity Worship Centre International also known as TWCI Beautiful Life Community located at 9a Geodetic Road, beside Shell Rumuobiokani, River State, Nigeria. He is a prolific Pastor and Apostle of Jesus Christ and also serves as the rector of Sterling Faith School Of Ministry And Christian leadership.

He is married to Pastor Evelyn Kosita-madu and together they are sold out for Christ.

To contact Apostle JD Kosita-Madu, Feel free to write pastorjay@twci.org
or info@twci.org . Follow him on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/apostlejdkm
If you are in Port-Hacourt Nigeria, visit them @ Trinity Worship Centre International(TWCI) ,9A Geodetic Road, beside Shell IA, Rumuobiokani, PortHarcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Dont Trust The Menu


Matthew 7:15, “Be on your guard against false prophets; they come to you looking like sheep on the OUTSIDE, but on the INSIDE they are really like wild wolves.” (GNT)

So Louise, Robbie and I went to see the movie BatmanVSuperman. It was a good movie and we stopped by for lunch at a very popular restaurant, (name withheld out of respect). They advertised a certain Burger which seemed to have a taste of heaven from what was written on the menu. Oh well, when it was served, I hated it. The menu promised one thing but what was inside was something altogether different!

That’s an experience every one of us has had when we reached for something, based on what it was supposed to give us, only to be disappointed when we found out what was really inside. That deception is, in fact, the very nature of sin! And that’s why we end up with scars and messes we never knew we were going to be a part of. That food menu lied about the plate content! It was deceptive, it was a counterfeit!

The word ‘deceptive’, is defined as “giving an impression different from the true one; to deliberately mislead into believing something false.” Its Old French Origin “deceivre”, from Latin “decipere” means “to ensnare, to cheat.”

The word “counterfeit”, is defined as “to make in exact imitation of something valuable with the intention to deceive or defraud; a forgery.” Its Old French Origin “contrefait” means “made in opposition.”

And that’s exactly what sin does. Sin deceives us, it gives us an impression different from its true one; it deliberately misleads us into believing something false; it ensnares and cheats us; it imitates something valuable or worthwhile, when its true intention was to deceive and defraud us; it’s a forgery to its appearance; it is opposition to what is real and true.

It’s much like the commercials you see about smoking and drinking. Everyone in the ads appear to be having such a great time. They’re happy, smiling, laughing, partying, dancing, and living life to the fullest with utter, and complete joy…or so it seems (for the time being). Because if you watch the other commercials about smoking and drinking, you see the contents of the faulty looking container. The drinking commercials show cars flipped upside down, a child’s bicycle laying in blood on the ground where they were run over, you see the pain and anguish of loved ones looking at the remains of a car that their loved one was once in, but had to be cut out of. The smoking commercials, show you the black lungs, the respirators, the person with a hole in their throat, the person who suffered a heart attack at 38, the person who says, ‘I can only go as far as my oxygen tank lets me.’ Amazingly, both commercials have the same focus (smoking and drinking), however, one shows the container, but the other shows the real contents. And so it is with sin.

Like the drinking and smoking commercials, sin only shows you the container, never the content…that you often don’t see revealed, until it’s far too late.

James 1:13-15, “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.” (MSG)

Sin is much like smoking and drinking. There’s a conception (pregnancy), then a baby, then the baby grows to adulthood, and then there’s death. Sin, smoking and drinking are the very same. They take their time. They’re in no hurry at all to kill you right away. But when the full effects finally grow to maturity, then it takes you out prematurely!

However, Scripture warns us of 2 things: One, we are not ignorant of the enemy’s devices and two, in the midst of any temptation, there is always a way out!

2 Corinthians 2:11, “This is so that we won’t be taken advantage of by Satan, because WE ARE WELL AWARE OF HIS SCHEMES.” (CEB);

1 Corinthians 10:13, “NO temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide THE WAY OUT AS WELL, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].” (AMP)

Back to James 1:13-15, “…THE TEMPTATION TO GIVE IN TO EVIL COMES FROM US AND ONLY US. WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THE LEERING, SEDUCING FLARE-UP OF OUR OWN LUST…” In other words, we have no one to blame, we have no justification, we can make no excuses, we can point no fingers. Giving In To Temptation Is a Conscious, Deliberate Decision WE Make On OUR OWN! We can’t say we knew no better, because 2 Corinthians 2:11 lets us know that, “…WE ARE WELL AWARE OF HIS SCHEMES.” And 1 Corinthians 10:13, informs us that, “…NO TEMPTATION [REGARDLESS OF ITS SOURCE] HAS OVERTAKEN OR ENTICED YOU THAT IS NOT COMMON TO HUMAN EXPERIENCE [NOR IS ANY TEMPTATION UNUSUAL OR BEYOND HUMAN RESISTANCE]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and HE WILL NOT LET YOU BE TEMPTED BEYOND YOUR ABILITY [TO RESIST], but along with the temptation HE [has in the past and is now and] will [ALWAYS] PROVIDE THE WAY OUT AS WELL, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].” (AMP)

Today, is a good day to pray this short, yet effective prayer: “Lord in the midst of any temptation, grant me the discernment to see Your way of escape and the wisdom to take it!”

Don’t let Sin seduce you with its appearance of good! Don’t be fooled by the container, and be killed by the content! Neither Satan nor Sin are in any hurry to trap you! Like the effects of smoking and drinking, it damages and destroys your life slowly and secretly.

Pay attention to this Scripture: 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.” (AMP) That word “prowl” is defined as “to move about stealthily or restlessly as if in search of prey.” “Stealthily” is defined as “cautious and surreptitious action or movement; designed to make detection by radar”. “Surreptitious” is defined as “done secretly or furtively” And “furtively” is defined as “characterized by evasive secrecy” Its Latin Origin “furtivus”, from “furtum” means “theft.”

And that’s just like Satan and Sin, they move about stealthily, very cautious, surreptitiously in action and movement detecting by radar their prey to devour. And it’s not done in a big way either, nor is it done quickly. But the enemy prowls, he takes his time, he roams the territory until it’s a vulnerable, opportune time to attack and annihilate! Don’t let it happen to you! Satan and Sin move furtively, very secretively like a thief. Most thieves who simply want to steal (anything, regardless of its value) don’t have a plan. They just see something and take it. But when real thieves go after something (of Value), they have a plan. They map it out. They take their time. They come up with back-up plans, a plan b-z, in case a doesn’t make it! They scope out an area or person. They pick all the right people to help them accomplish their goal. And Satan and Sin are no different. They aren’t looking to snatch you overnight. Because of your Value, they’re scheming and planning, and picking out just the right people to use against you. Like a lion, he’s roaming, waiting, watching, plotting and planning his ultimate theft! And it’s all because you are of such Value!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “…you are not your own [property]…YOU WERE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE [YOU WERE ACTUALLY PURCHASED WITH THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS AND MADE HIS OWN]. So then, honor and glorify God with your body.” (AMP)

You, my friend, are so valuable that it took the Blood and Life of the Son of God just to purchase you! And you thought you had no value?! Why do you think the devil is prowling around your life?! He knows who you are, what you’ll become and who you belong to! He knows your worth and your value (even when you under-estimate it yourself)! And most important, he knows you are the PROPERTY OF GOD! You see, some thieves will steal a £100 bracelet from Hammonds’s, and then there are those thieves that take their precious time to steal a Diamond that’s rare and valuable, because the work is worth what they’ll attain! Can you imagine the sheer joy Satan would have if he can steal YOU? Someone who was purchased with the Blood and Life of Jesus?! Again, I say, don’t be fooled by the menu , the containts might kill you…and it will take its time doing so!

Truth is, you may be looking at a temptation right now, or maybe you’re even giving into it right now; a temptation that looks promising on the outside. But God is sending you a warning right now to let you know the heartache and the hurt that’s on the inside. Sin conceals its ugliness and it conceals its destruction until you’ve already talked with the serpent, bitten the fruit and been banished from the garden!

The temptation that looks good to you right now may say “pleasure” on the container – do this because it will feel good. Or maybe the package says “love” – do this and you’ll get some love. The promise may be “relief” – a chance to escape from some hurt, or maybe it says “significance” – do this and you’ll get ahead, you’ll feel important.

But see, God believes in “truth-in-packaging.” He clearly reveals what sin really offers in James 1:15, “After desire has conceived” (that’s the part where the container really looks inviting) “it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” That, of course, is not on the container!

Which makes me think of the Federal Trade Commission in America. It states on its website: “Truth In Advertising – When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence. The Federal Trade Commission enforces these truth-in-advertising laws, and it applies the same standards no matter where an ad appears – in newspapers and magazines, online, in the mail, or on billboards or buses. The FTC looks especially closely at advertising claims that can affect consumers’ health or their pocketbooks – claims about food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, alcohol, and tobacco and on conduct related to high-tech products and the Internet. The FTC also monitors and writes reports about ad industry practices regarding the marketing of alcohol and tobacco. When the FTC finds a case of fraud perpetrated on consumers, the agency files actions in federal district court for immediate and permanent orders to stop scams; prevent fraudsters from perpetrating scams in the future; freeze their assets; and get compensation for victims.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if that were the case with Satan and Sin? Where there had to be truth-in-advertising, or they would have to pay us for victimizing us through false and misleading claims? But people of God, that is not the case! Satan and Sin can look as inviting and appealing as a restaurant menu or the images advertising meals on TV and billboards…HOWEVER, the meal on the plate might not be suitable for you! And there is  penalty to be paid because the holy scriptures teaches us, we are well aware, and able to resist! So, before you puff your next cigarette, draw on your next joint (weed or whatever) sip your next drink putting you on the lane of over your limit, say that lie, share that rumor/gossip, meet at that hotel for that marathon sex romp, return that email, voicemail, text or compliment, know that you will pay a heavy price for devaluing the property of God!

First, sin fascinates you, then sin assassinates you! It kills your self-respect, it kills people’s trust in you, it kills your close relationships, it kills your freedom, it kills your closeness to God, and before long, it will kill you! Short Benefit – Long Consequences! A sinful way to get something you need or want is never worth it and ultimately never delivers.

It’s a prison on the inside, that looks like a penthouse on the outside! You don’t know that you’re hooked until the cell door slams behind you!

The thrill of sin lasts a short time; the bill for sin lasts a long time!

There’s a little good stuff and a whole lot of guilt; a rush that’s brief and wreckage that can last a lifetime!

Don’t fall for those lies on sin’s package! Check its real contents, as exposed graphically in the Bible!

2 Timothy 3:5, “Having a FORM of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (KJV);

“holding to a FORM of [OUTWARD] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them.” (AMP);

“They will LOOK LIKE they are religious but deny God’s power. Avoid people like this.” (CEB);

“They will go on PRETENDING to be devoted to God, but they will refuse to let that “devotion” change the way they live. Stay away from these people!” (ERV);

“having the APPEARANCE of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (ESV);

“and will ACT as if they serve God but will not have his power. Stay away from those people.” (NCV);

“They will do things to make it LOOK AS IF they are Christians. But they will not receive the power that is for a Christian. Keep away from such people.” (NLV)

Sounds a lot like false-advertising to me! Much like Satan and Sin, they only have a, “form, look like, pretend, appear, act and look as if”. The container is misleading, the contents are dangerous! Don’t be fooled by what’s on the outside, use wisdom and search the inside!

Now, if you’ve already opened sin’s package, just get out while you can! If you’re looking at a compromise that God calls sin, run the other way, while you still can! You haven’t got time for the pain, for the scars, for the slavery, for the shame. Do it God’s way, even if it’s harder, even if it takes longer. Remember, it’s the narrow road that leads to life. It’s the wide road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

No More Falling For Satan and Sins men Appearance! Now That You KNOW What the Contents Are And Their Capability to Kill You, Keep Your Spoon Out of There! It’s crap and a trap.

Don’t be like the Scribes and Pharisees, focusing on the CLEAN OUTER APPEARANCE…when INWARDLY, IT’S A FILTHY MESS! (Matthew 23:25-26, “Woe to you, [self-righteous] scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of extortion and robbery and self-indulgence (unrestrained greed).  You [spiritually] blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the plate [examine and change your inner self to conform to God’s precepts], so that the outside [your public life and deeds] may be clean also.” (AMP)

Don’t Let the menu Fool You, the food clearly will not do you good. ! They are a Mere Counterfeit! Use Discernment So That You Be Not Deceived!

2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test and evaluate yourselves to see whether you are in the faith and living your lives as [committed] believers. Examine yourselves [not me]! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test and are rejected as COUNTERFEIT?” (AMP);

Galatians 1:7, “which is really not another [gospel]; but there are [obviously] some [people masquerading as teachers] who are disturbing and confusing you [with a misleading, COUNTERFEIT teaching] and want to distort the gospel of Christ [twisting it into something which it absolutely is not].” (AMP);

2 Thessalonians 2:9, “The coming of the [Antichrist, the lawless] one is through the activity of Satan, [attended] with great power [all kinds of COUNTERFEIT miracles] and [DECEPTIVE] signs and FALSE wonders [all of them lies]” (AMP);

2 Timothy 3:8, “These people oppose the truth in the same way that Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. Their minds are corrupt and their faith is COUNTERFEIT.” (AMP)

Never forget you are in the Refiner’s Hands !!!

What’s Coming Is Better Than What’s Been!

 Blessings
Jay

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Your Pain Is For Their Gain

Life has been tougher than you can imagine in the past few months. I and my wife Louise have been going through turbulent times in our personal life, ministry and all that concerns us within the past few years. The heat of troubles increased within the last 10 months and yes; we are not ashamed to talk about it because we are not part of the hypocritical clan that act like everything is smooth and slippery in their life. By reason of these challenges, we needed some sort of pampering. 

So my wife got invited to a medieval birthday party by a childhood friend, it was a breath of fresh air. We needed the time out and it was definitely going to be a blessed time for us. However, we had a problem, we didn’t have the necessary finances needed to attend this party but the good Lord whom we serve had it all figured. He sent a prophet who was a sister to give us a certain amount of money and it came with a card that read “FROM JESUS CHRIST”. What could be sweeter? Problem solved. We packed up, got our costumes and we left for the party. It was the most mind blowing event ever!!! After partying like it’s the year 1509, we jumped on a train back to our good ole city of Southampton and we went to sleep. Then, my wife had a dream. I will try to remember and narrate the dream correctly.

In this dream, she had a severe back pain. She called on her mom to take a closer look and see if there is a hole in her back. Her mom saw something that looked like a branch or root and out of this branch came a rectangle shaped box with a bow on it; something like a gift box, and then a beautiful multi-colored flower emerged out of this box. Louise (my wife ) went ewwwwww, what is that ? I can’t believe that came out of my back, but the flower was plucked and given to someone instead as a gift.

She woke up the next morning and narrated this mysterious dream to me and then I said, “You think that some things bring shame but they actually bring glory, happiness and encouragement to others “
 Our wounds are our credentials.

Which brought to mind for me 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. It’s about finding meaning in your pain; maybe even the pain you’re going through right now. Here’s what the text says, “What a wonderful God we have—He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.” (TLB)

So you go through a hurting time. You know how the pain feels. You reach out to God for whatever resources He can give you to get through it and you start to experience God’s greatness, God’s grace, God’s resources. And now you’re qualified by those experiences to help other hurting people. You can tell them in a very personal way the difference Jesus makes in a hurting time. And truth is, they’ll listen. You know why? Because you’ve been there.

It’s almost ironic. The worst things that happen to you in your life teach you the most about your God, and they give you the best chance you’ll ever have to tell people about Jesus Christ. Day after day you’re with people who, just under the surface, are carrying so much pain, a lot of scars. And they won’t listen to just anyone. But they will listen to someone who’s been through a deep valley too; maybe someone like you.

Truth is, no one wants to share their pain with someone who they don’t believe can relate. I don’t wanna spend my time talking to someone who is clueless about the things I am going through. You need to have some sort of experiential knowledge about my situation for you to have the solution or you can direct me to someone who knows what I am going through.  It’s like leaving your 3 bedroom house, and going to the shelter and telling a woman with 2 kids on a cot that “you understand”. When in fact, at home, your children are tucked away nice, cozy, comfortable and safe in their own separate bedrooms. It’s hard to share with someone the pain of a marriage heading for divorce, when every time you see them with their spouse, they are as happy as ever. Who wants to tell someone they don’t have enough change to get on the bus, while that person hops in a brand new car saying, “it’ll get better”. You want to talk to someone who can understand, who can relate, someone who can personally identify, someone who gets where you’re coming from, because they just left there themselves. Which is why we have to be so careful about trying to avoid every pain, ache, moment of suffering and affliction. Because at the end of the day, someone, somewhere, needs something you have to offer, and they will more readily receive it through your pain than through your joy.
 
Which is why for me I love ministering in relationships (I can relate because I have seen a fair share of stuff ..believe me); I love ministering to those suffering spiritually (I can relate); those confused as leaders in the society or in the body of Christ (I can relate); those trying to heal from the scars of gangs, abandonment, rape, abortion, and addiction (I can relate); those feeling abandoned, rejected, left out, overlooked, under-estimated (I can relate); those suicidal and depressed (I can relate) and many other situations of which the list is endless. If you ever want to find out where your strengths are in ministering to others, just locate the places of pain and areas of temptations where you can relate.

Your pain can become your credentials to answer hurting lives with the love of  the master that you’ve experienced in your darkest hour. They might be close to someone who’s had an uneventful journey. But they’ll listen to someone whose bus has rolled and who carries some of the scars and the damage. Those are pretty hard earned credentials, ones you’d have never chosen to have. But they are credentials God can use mightily in a hurting world. He uses wounded messengers to become agents of His healing. Which is why you should stop trying to get out of every painful event. Believe it or not, but God can bless you and use you to bless others, even while you’re still in the midst of personal pain!

Romans 8:37, “Nay, IN ALL THESE THINGS we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” Did you catch that? We’re not more than conquerors because we conquered our pain and now we’re out of it. But we’re more than conquerors “…IN ALL THESE THINGS…” We can help someone OUT, even while we’re still IN! That’s what I call a powerful testimony! I love the way The Living Bible states it, “BUT DESPITE ALL THIS, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.” (TLB). In other words, it doesn’t even matter what I’m dealing with, because despite it all, I have overwhelming victory, even in the midst of it! And someone around you today needs you to know that, so when it’s rooted and ingrained in you, you can share the same mustard seed faith with them!
 
Great Pain, Serves a Great Purpose! Just ask Joseph! Genesis 50:19-21, “Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, YOU PLANNED EVIL AGAINST ME BUT GOD USED THOSE SAME PLANS FOR MY GOOD, as you see all around you right now—LIFE FOR MANY PEOPLE…” (MSG) God can use the same thing that hurt you, to help someone else. I love the way the translation puts it, God used the same plans! The evil his brothers meant for him, turned out for his good, and life for many! Never doubt that your pain has a purpose. Our Father is a loving parent to us His children. He does not cause us pain that serves no purpose. Which is why Psalm 119:71 is one of my absolute favorite Scriptures, because those things that helped me most, hurt me most first. But I’ve learned from God’s Word, that the bad, worked for my good.

“MY SUFFERING was GOOD FOR ME, because through it I learned Your statutes.” (CEB);
“It was GOOD THAT I HAD TO SUFFER in order to learn Your laws.” (GWT);
“It is GOOD FOR ME THAT I WAS TROUBLED, so that I might learn Your Law.” (NLV);
“The punishment You gave me WAS THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED TO ME, for it taught me to pay attention to Your laws. They are more valuable to me than millions in silver and gold!” (TLB);
“It is GOOD FOR ME that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” (KJV)

How amazing to know that my suffering was good for me; it was good that I had to suffer; my punishment was the best thing that could have happened to me; and it was good that I was afflicted. Sounds ironic, but my bad was for my good! Why? Because it was only then that I learned to pay attention to His statutes and laws. My affliction was my best teacher. After all, I didn’t learn until it began to teach. And it is likewise for someone near you today. They need you to share your mess ups, screw ups, missteps, mistakes, flaws, imperfections, bad decisions. They need you to share and show the vulnerability of unmasking your wounds and scars. They need someone just like you who can identify, so they can finally stop allowing their pain to keep them in hiding. 

Some people will only get free when you share the blessing from your bondage. Which is why you need to be like Lazarus. When Jesus called him, he came out of the grave, still wrapped in his dead man garments. And as bad as he must have looked and smelt, when Jesus called him to come out, he came out! Jesus could have had him come out right out of the garments, but no, He then spoke to those around Lazarus to loose him. There are people around you that will watch as your dead man clothes are being unraveled, and they will be encouraged to know that it’s more important for them to be a part of the miracle, than for you to come out looking like you never needed a miracle to begin with. It’s okay for people to know that you don’t cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘I’. 

It’s okay for people to know you don’t always feel strong, powerful, anointed, gifted. It’s okay for people to know that you don’t always smile and laugh and feel upbeat. It let’s them know you’re real. You hurt; you experience disappointment, let downs and pain…just like them. After all, it’s what Christ did.
John 1:14, “The Word became FLESH AND BLOOD, AND MOVED INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD. We saw the glory with our own eyes…” (MSG);
“And the Word (CHRIST) BECAME FLESH, AND LIVED AMONG US; and we [actually] saw His glory…” (AMP);
“The Word BECAME FLESH AND MADE HIS HOME AMONG US. We have seen His glory…” (CEB);
“The Word BECAME A HUMAN BEING AND LIVED HERE WITH US. We saw His true glory…” (CEV);
“CHRIST BECAME HUMAN FLESH AND LIVED AMONG US. We saw His shining-greatness…” (NLV)
Christ lived among us, made His home among us, became flesh and blood, and moved right into the neighborhood, so why are we avoiding people and their pain?! He didn’t. He spoke to hurting people, touched them, encouraged them, healed them, defended them, ate with them, and if all of that wasn’t enough, He let them touch Him in return. He loved us enough to be just as human as divine. He wasn’t so concerned with being Royal, as He was with being Relatable! I wonder what what happen if we, His church, would begin to share His same mindset.

Hebrews 4:14-16, “Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior].  For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.  Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].” (MSG)

He understands, He sympathizes, He knows, He can relate. Now it’s our turn to do the same. Understand, sympathize, know and relate. Truth is, if we are to finally be effective witnesses, we need to touch more than we talk. Stop saying what you think they need or want to hear; stop throwing clich├ęs at them; stop drowning them in Scripture showers. Sometimes a simple hug, shoulder or smile, can say more than any word in the dictionary. Today, determine to touch, and be touchable.

Remember, Doubting Thomas didn’t believe until he saw the wounds. You know some people are like that. I have seen proof of that ever since I moved to England. In Nigeria where I come from, the people are so faithful that they don’t necessarily need you to go through it to talk about it. Just show them way. However, in England, people trust you as a trusted authority in a particular field when they know you have been THROUGH IT YOURSELF. Most folks are like doubting Thomas that want to touch the wound before they believe. The pain you’ve been through may never make much sense to you until you see Jesus and He shows you the grand design of which that pain is a part. But until then, offer that pain to Him as credentials to make a difference for Him to other wounded people. To actually, maybe, even help them change their eternity by finding your Jesus. His wounded rescuer – that’s you! Thomas needed to put his hands in His side, and there are some people out there that need to put their hand in yours. They need to know your pain, they need to know you understand and can relate. They need to know you’re real. They need to know that as bad as it is right now, you are their living proof that it doesn’t get perfect, but it does get better.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (MSG); The Amplified Bible says it like this, “For our momentary, light distress [this passing trouble] is producing for us an eternal weight of glory [a fullness] beyond all measure [surpassing all comparisons, a transcendent splendor and an endless blessedness]!” (AMP).

They need to know it won’t be like this always. They need to know this trouble will pass; they need to know it’s just a momentary, light distress; they need to know that this is really just small potatoes! And you my friend, are the one to tell them that! Let them know, that you personally know, God can do some awesome things in the midst of pain!

Psalm 30:5, 11, “…The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter…You did it: You changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about You. God, my God, I can’t thank You enough.” (MSG)

You are the one to inform them that they will not cry always, and that their mourning clothes are not permanent. God has a time limit on all things, and therefore, their pain is not indefinite. They will laugh again, they will dance again, they will sing again. You are their proof. Remember, your wounds are your credentials that qualify you to help heal.

Finally, allow the proclamation of Isaiah 61:1-5 to be on your lips today, as you minister healing through your wounds to those who are hurting, and need you! You’ll show your scars like I and my wife Louise with bruises, scars, bandages, crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and of course pain. Showing up and showing them that none of it stopped you from sharing it with them!

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has chosen me to bring good news to poor people. He has sent me to heal those with a sad heart. He has sent me to tell those who are being held and those in prison that they can go free.  He has sent me to tell about the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day our God will bring punishment. He has sent me to comfort all who are filled with sorrow.  To those who have sorrow in Zion I will give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. I will give them the oil of joy instead of sorrow, and a spirit of praise instead of a spirit of no hope. Then they will be called oaks that are right with God, planted by the Lord, that He may be honored.” (NLV)
Right now, Allow Your Perceived Disgrace, Your Shame, Your Past Failures, Your Hurt to Help Someone Else Heal, Be Full of Grace, Be Glorified, Succeed and be Helped!

Never Forget, You are in the Refiner's Hands and his name is Jesus Christ !!

In the Lord's love and grace,
Jay Ikwan, Snr.
The Refiner's House International
www.jayikwan.com
Email: info@jayikwan.com


Thank you to my precious wife , Prophetess Louise Ikwan for inspiring me with her story and hence creating a way for me to share this with you. If you have been blessed by this teaching, Follow me on Twitter: @JayIkwan, LIKE MY page On Facebook at: www.facebook.com/JayIkwan or you can feel free to Contact me using the Contact Forms or the information on the Contact Page. As Always, Share With Others, and Share Your Feedback by commenting below.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Your Work vs Your Job - Destiny vs Conformity


Today am writing about something that 90% of you will not have the patience to finish reading or the stomach to digest but I am here to challenge you and push you into greatness.

There is a difference between BUSY-NESS and BUSINESS. A life's work/assignment and a Job.

Many people do not know the difference between the two. This is one of the reasons why many are trapped in the cycle of minimum wage, hardship & extreme debt ! We complain and nag about the government and etc everyday. The "I need a JOB" mindset is a cycle that has been en-grafted into our system by society as soon as we we were born but this is not in accordance to God's divine purpose for the creation of man.

I am not in anyway promoting laziness because I know that most of you are already saying "Here he goes again with his controversy". The Bible makes it abundantly clear that God created man and that He created him for His glory (see Isaiah 43:7). Therefore, the ultimate purpose of man, according to the blueprint of life ( The Scriptures), is simply to glorify God in every area of our life.

The word Glory means "magnificence" or "great beauty". If you are created to glorify God, then the work of your hands should make you magnificent, greatly beautiful and show forth how magnificent GOD is. It should show DIVINITY at work in you ! Your work should make you "god-like". People should see you working and see GOD. They should see something not of this world but something supernatural.

Do you remember what happens when the late Michael Jackson stands on stage, about to perform and doesnt say a word ? People start dropping and fainting for nothing. That is Magnificence and Glory. He was doing something only him could do best and in that manner within that time.

Does your present "JOB" give you and people that effect of magnificence ? Do people say...OH YOU ARE THE BEST ? YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL !!! HOW COME YOU ARE SO AMAZING AT THIS ? YOU ARE SO GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO ? YOU ARE SO GIFTED, YOU ARE SO TALENTED ? YOU ARE A GENUIS ? Do you hear that often while you are doing what you do for living ? Think about it.

If your present job humiliates you, makes you feel like rubbish, makes you feel like you are wasting time, like you are in the wrong place, empty and you are there just because of the money ? The truth of the matter is YOU MIGHT JUST BE BUSY DOING NOTHING ! In Igbo Language, just another efulefu. Sorry..

Your work is what you were sent here on earth to do, the problem you were designed to solve.Everybody is a problem solver. There is a specific role you are to play in the universe. You were sent here to complete a part of creation according to the prototype you meet, just like Adam was given the work of taking care of the first garden, naming the animals and etc.

Do you know that you will not find a scripture about "HAVING A JOB" but the bible always talks about the "WORKS" of our hands ? Why was the bible careful about not mentioning or referring to "us having jobs" or using the "JOB" term no matter how you translate it; but rather emphasized on the work of our hands ? I will help you. The answer is because you HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED to live and survive here on earth. You are just caught up with the system. A job makes you work for  human masters that you were not sent to and the bible says clearly in Colossians 3:23 that whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

In most cases, Your Lifes work might be to work with someone else as an employee or to partner with someone else. In cases like that, you are fulfilling your lifes work and its not just a job. Its destiny for you.That is why we must be led by the spirit to know where God wants us to be and do.

2nd Thessalonians 3:10 also says "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." Pay attention to the word.."WORK". It didnt say if any should not have a job. No, It didnt.

So WHO LIED TO YOU THAT YOU NEED A JOB ? WHAT YOU NEED IS WORK TO DO ? It sounds like an oxymoron but it is not and I pray the Holy Spirit opens your eyes.

Lets dive into the business world, How many billionaires, thrillionaires and business heavyweights with mega influence in their sectors got to their level with a 9 to 5 job that they were doing just because they wanted to look busy and responsible ?

[ silence ]
[ silence ]

I thought so too !!!

Now look at the once that stepped out and did something only them had the guts to do. The likes of Bill Gates with Microsoft in the United States, Amancio Orteg with Zara in Spain, Warren Buffett with Berkshire Hathaway in the United States, Carlos Slim Helu, Jeff Bezos. These men are billionares in Dollars and they are not stressing. I tell you now that you probably work harder than them but they just work SMARTER than you !

You are busy doing nothing but they are busy doing something. The Number 51 richest man in the world is from my birth country Nigeria. His name is Aliko Dangote and he sells sugar, cement and flour. He is worth 15.4 Billion United States Dollars as at today. He sells almost every edible thing in Nigeria and if you give him the chance, he will trap air in a bag and put the Dangote logo on it; then sell it to you.

We are complaining about benefits, the government and etc, these men are smiling to and fro the bank. Do you live in a different planet ? Now I know that it is not all about the money, it comes with joy, peace, true contentment. However, you cannot seperate financial prosperity from your work when you discover and start putting effort into your life's work instead of wasting your time on a job that is nothing but a surival jacket.

When you are engaged in your life's work, you feel fulfilled, you experience the peace which no one understands, you experience true contentment, joy and above all you prosper materially too.

Psalm 90:17
May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.


Proverbs 12:11
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.


Are you chasing a fantasy ? Well, Taking a job just for money is chasing a fantasy. It is like a dog chasing its own tail and the scripture says you have no sense. I release sense into your system now in the name of Jesus Christ ! Amen.

IF YOU ARE TO LAZY TO DISCOVER YOUR LIFE'S WORK, YOU WILL END UP WITH A JOB (FORCED LABOUR). Proverbs 12:24 "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor."

In the book of Genesis 2:15, what God gave man was work to do, not a job. "Genesis 2:15
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

Interestingly, we are able to glorify God because He gave us glory first. David writes in Psalm 8:4–5, “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than elohim and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet.” (This is also repeated in Hebrews 2:6–8.) This verse reveals part of the purpose that God has given man: dominion over the earth.

God does not expect you to give him something you dont have. If he expects something from you, be rest assured that you have it. You are just not seeing it. That is why he has already given you gifts that makes you full of GLORY & HONOUR and he expects you to use them. Your gift should be a vital part of the work of your hands. It will show forth your glory and give you honour. The bible says in Proverbs 18:16 "A man's gift makes room for him And brings him before great men."

When you do that which you were specially designed to do, Doors will open !You will stand before kings.

Keep doing the wrong things and you will keep running in circles with mediocre grumpy men and women.

This can only be properly fulfilled through a right relationship with God. Do you have a right relationship with God ?  We were created to bring Him glory. God has unique plans and purposes for each person . Read (Jeremiah 29:11). You can google it.

If you have a right relationship with God and you do not know what your lifes work is ? SEEK HIS FACE TODAY and let him speak to you. It maybe the most stupid decision in the eyes of men but if you make that decision, your life will change. If you do not know how to do this, send me an email: info@jayikwan.com and I will show you the way. Remember Proverbs 13:20 "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm."

 
If you already know what your life's work is and you are busy wasting time for some reason. You have no one to blame but you. Why not trust God today and take that step of faith ? Break out of the norm and watch God show off in your life. Psalm 37:3 "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and truly you shall be fed."

My heart desire is that after you have read this, you will discover your life's work and experience a 360degree turn around in your life. If you need help in doing this, do not hesistate to contact me.

 
Never Forget, You are in the Refiner's Hands and his name is Jesus Christ !!

I love you
Jay Ikwan,Snr
The Refiner's House International
www.jayikwan.com

Email: info@jayikwan.com


Follow me on Twitter: @JayIkwan, LIKE MY page On Facebook at: www.facebook.com/JayIkwan or you can feel free to Contact me using the Contact Forms or the information on the Contact Page. As Always, Share With Others, and Share Your Feedback by commenting below