TODAY’S DEVOTION (WEDNESDAY 25thOctober 2023)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?
Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 298TH DAY OF OUR YEAR OF SIGNS AND WONDERS.
This is the day the LORD has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it.
I want to share another landmark story of my life today, as we uncover something that will make our lives more beautiful on earth, and help us to fulfill our divine destinies. Do not forget, as believers, life is all about pursuing why we are here on earth; Paul would call it, what the LORD Jesus assign to us.
To fulfill our destinies or carry out our God given assignments under God, we will need to embrace so many things. One of it is love for even the unlovable. Though very costly a times, that must be embraced.
There is so much today in the mouths of most of us preachers, and the hearts and experiences of many, that is making it impossible for us to operate in love. We are in a season of the spread of hate and the ignorance of what love really is, and that is not good.
For instance, people have called the love of rebuking and correcting someone, an expression of hate. Others have called resisting parasitic relationship a no show of love. While some others call sex love.
Most in Church, call the expression of hate for enemies that we demonstrate through prayers, “warfare.” In fact, there is a plague of not knowing spreading in our age and time. It has really affected how we see so many things.
We have made our needs the center of our lives, hence becoming so ignorant of things we should know. It is what you make the center of your life that will determine your level of knowledge in life.
If you make Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit the center of your life, you will be ahead of your generation in knowledge. But if you make your needs the center of your life, you will be ignorant, selfish, self-centered, self-righteous, and finally self-destruct.
THAT HAS BECOME THE BANE OF MANY TODAY.
What I want to share is not new to those who have been feeding on this platform for years. It happened on the 25thday of June 2001. It was one of the worst things to have ever happened to me; it was the death of my biological father. Though I did not feel the pain then when it happened.
In fact, I never cared because of what we went through growing up and the ignorance of my heart. The pain came when I grew in knowledge. Sometimes the pain of the terrible things we do will never come as of the time we did them, because of the ignorance of our hearts. But as we grow in knowledge, we will begin to feel the pain, and come into a season of regrets and repentance.
In the school of reformation, revival, regrets and repentance, a lot happens when blindness is no more.
June this year, marked the 22nd anniversary of his death. The only thing that is precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of the righteous. Because it is not a death but a home coming! But the death of someone who has no intimate knowledge or true relationship with Jesus Christ, is an abomination in the sight of GOD!
In other words, something that God cannot behold because a part of his image is lost forever.
It was on a Monday. I didn’t know how Heaven felt; perhaps hell must have shouted in wild jubilation. I didn’t know how Heaven felt because I was travelling with the “fall down and die gospel” (as I now know) hence was cut off from vital communication of Heaven.
God will never talk to you about anyone you hate. Only hell will be talking to you as God concerning anyone you hate. That was why Jesus instructed the disciples not to go preach to the Samaritans. The hated them, hence attempting to call down fire in Luke 9 to consume them.
You will always wish those you hate the worst, hence becoming unfit to be used of God to minister to them.
So, like I said, the Jews hated the Samaritans in Jesus’ day,hence the disciples were told not to go preach to them because they will not make any impact on their lives.
YOU CANNOT IMPACT WHO YOU HATE!
God will never give you a message for a people you hate; neither will he send you to them. Hate has a way of cutting us off from certain communications of Heaven for those we should have loved with the love of the LORD.
So, what happened to me that season will remain ever green in my memory.
I just finished a City-Wide gospel Crusade meeting that day, where I was the guest speaker but did not know that my father; the man whose seed I am, had passed away that same day.
I just hope I am wrong, but to the best of my knowledge He died without Christ. He died that way because the hate within me, did not let me preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to him few months earlier when the LORD brought him to me.
I never even knew the LORD brought him then to be reaped into the Kingdom. I did not connect that because of the disposition of my heart. I only knew that years later.
Heaven had revealed his death to me few months earlier; before he came to see us in Abuja then, and because I was angry with him for going away when we were kids, and for all we suffered, I did not give the vision or his visitthe required prophetic attention.
Sadly, my hate for him was actually cooked with the flames of the-fall-down-and-die and enemy killing gospel that shaped my perspective then. It did not allow me to be the son of God I was supposed to be and reap his soul into the kingdom, since he was at the end of his days on earth.
So, I couldn’t even open my mouth to preach the gospel to him.
The rest is now history! What am I sharing with you this morning? You will need to cultivate love for even the unlovable to fulfil your destiny as a son of God.
I could not fulfil my destiny as the one designed by heaven to save my household because of hate for my father. Divine destiny is all about saving people from eternal damnation and the activities of hell.
I painfully grew up to understand that, if I do not add love for even my enemies to my destiny, it will not be fulfilled in God’s design.
A MAJOR HIGHLIGHT IN OUR DEVOTIONAL TEXT TODAY SAYS;
“..I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you?”
The body of Christ today has become very guilty of breaking this golden rule of the kingdom of God. We do not know how to separate the real enemy we are all called to deal with, from the Pseudo enemies we are creating by ourselves for ourselves.
So many of us spend our days or nights asking God to kill those who we should be talking to about Jesus Christ.
We want members of our households that we should be preaching and demonstrating Christ to, killed by God. We have been taught to pray what is called dangerous prayers and now operate the same page with Satan; the killing page.
We forget that the thief comes not, but to kill, to steal, and to destroy. And that the Son of God we all claim to belong to, came to give life, and life more abundantly. So, we cannot therefore be giving death instead of life.
What is the message this morning? The message is simple!
If we will fulfil our destiny, especially these perilous times, we must train our hearts and submit to God (who is love), and trust Him to impart our hearts with ability to love even the unlovable.
If we do not add love for even our enemies to our divine destinies, it will not be fulfilled, especially in God’s design!
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURES AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR THE DAY;
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
“If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.” Matthew 5:38-43 NKJV
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:9-21 NKJV