Today I want to start by stating something that may sound like a cliché, especially for us believers.
That everything our God does is for a reason. Everything in His design has its own end. His commands, His deeds… everything that has its origin in God has an object, and a reason for being how and where it is. It’s supposed to exhibit something; to tend to something with a higher purpose. His deeds are ordained to answer to His original design for them. But our capacity for freewill often makes us miss out on this design.
And so for the next ten days, we’re going to look into this purpose, and more so with regards to the abundance that we’re launching into the deep for, this year. We need to know how we’re supposed to behave when we get to that level. Because God isn’t going to bless us for the mere sake of it or simply because we asked for it? There’s a purpose beyond our own interests. God expects something of us at that level?
And so to start off on our series this month which we’re calling the Test of Abundance, we’re going to look at a text we read last month on DAY 3 of Launching in to the Deep: Luke 5:4-7. And Luke says, towards the end of the text, that after they had launched into the deep as the Lord had commanded, they caught a great multitude of fish and called out to those in other ships. They beckoned unto them to join in and load the fish into their own boats. And this is where I want us to put our focus on because therein lies the perfect domino effect of a believers life. They needed a catch, and the Lord gave them a condition, a command to launch into the deep. And they obeyed and got their hearts desires.
But does it end there? No! Verse 7 carries a test. The Test of Abundance whose results are hinged on how they do in that test.
And Simon knows better than to keep everyone else from the limelight. He knows better than to hoard the blessings all to himself. He beckons the other ships to join in!
And this is where we fail most as believers. We pray for blessings, we pray for abundance, and the Lord is gracious enough to invite us into His secret places of abundance. He opens the seasons of abundance to us. But what do we do with it? We fail the test! We get excited. We become selfish. We forget how we were in the previous season and those who’re where we were back then. We want the limelight all to ourselves.
We want everybody to see how different things are for us that we forget there is a higher purpose for what God bestows upon us. We forget that everything that has its origin in God has a purpose. An original design to which we must subscribe.
And I want us to reflect and ask ourselves today; Are we failing the test? Are we missing out on the end goal of our blessings?
What is the purpose of what God is doing for us? May we learn to look beyond the edges of our own needs this year. To notice and beckon unto the next man or woman to join in on what the Lord is going to do for us this year.
The best gift of this holiday season is to spend time with the one you love. I know we all go an extra mile this season and use money to buy gifts but nothing beats spending quality time with those dear ones.
My childhood memories of this holiday season entails more of the things we did together as a family not necessarily the gifts I got. The tradition or let me call it the family norm of Maina’s Family was to receive a new outfit every Christmas. There was no feigning surprise or checking under a tree, to see if Santa brought you something. We knew the truth, Mum and Dad went shopping on Christmas eve and got the six of us what would be our next Sunday best for a whole year. Considering, the weight of matter, the choice was not easily made and so they would spend hours shopping. Looking back at how precise and accurate they were, I feel greatly indebted to them. On Christmas morning we would all dress up and attend the Christmas service. I loved Christmas service because it was the only service in a year we got driven to church as a family. All the other sundays we got up and walked to church for either Sunday school or those teens service and mum and Dad would drive to church later for second service with the baby. But Christmas Service was no separation it was a family service.
Now you know why at Glorious Power Church we do not hold sunday school or Tweens and Teens on Sundays but on Saturdays, so that no child will feel what we felt on Sundays. To me Sundays are family Days.
From the service things just got better, mum and dad allowed us to participate in the cooking and Christmas was always the day we ate more than we needed. From the era of record player to cassette player music and dance always crowned the day.
To the Maina’s Family it was not about the gifts it was always about having time together as a family. Last year I shared with you a tradition that mum introduced later on when God continued to bless us.
We learn from our parents mostly through observation and just like the other tradition we borrowed, we can borrow this one too.
During my years of youth and Teens ministry, the words used as the title of this article have been said more times as a form of a complaint. As a parent I understand we may not be able to be there 24/7 for the children but just like my parents did we can create special memories where they have our undivided attention.
As we give gifts let’s add time to the receiver. The gift of time is not only wonderful to children but to all people, your spouse, your friends, relatives, neighbors.
Merry Christmas and Remember to give not only gifts but Time.
Dear Friend, on May 26th 2020, I began the Daily Insights Podcast with the aim and purpose to inspire and share insights that empower us to continue serving the Purposes of God in our Generation. It has been a journey which began with 5 to 10 daily listeners on one platform. Over the months we have experienced growth not only in numbers of daily listeners but also in the distribution platforms. We are now available on 20 podcast Platforms 👏👏👏 for the glory of God. I urge you to team up with me in sharing the Daily Insights with your circles of friends. Here are the links of the Distribution platforms.
When I was a Sunday school teacher, I had a dream where I saw before my eyes a structure like a table that had the shape of Kenya, comprising very fertile soil that had terraces with many eggs lined up like in an incubator, waiting to hatch. One of the children in my Sunday school class was with me. A lady who stood next to me asked me, “Does this child know how to talk?” I responded in the negative. Pointing at the eggs she told me that even if the child doesn’t speak, she should be told all the prophecies about the revival God was saying would break out in Kenya because when they grow up they will remember.”
Around the year 2012, God had given a prophecy that Kenya will be the lighthouse of Africa and the springboard of revival to the whole world. God wanted the children to be informed of these great plans as they would also be involved in the revival that would run for the next 20 years. As represented by the incubated eggs, the children are the future of the church and God wants them to be molded in godly ways by their parents because there is no time to repeat to them when they are grown the things God taught their parents. The eggs also showed the revival that was about to hatch in kenya as prophesied. The bible fully supports this as in the scripture below: 13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
(Mark 10:13-16 NIV Bible)
Our small church in the village in the 20s would hold missions in the church or attend conferences in other churches that would invite us to minister a whole week in which we would hold morning devotional prayers, go for door to door evangelism , hold open air crusades and hold revival services in the evening from seven to nine. As our church didn’t have many members, we always allowed the children to carry out various tasks and even sing in the services. We would also go with them for outside missions.
Later, God opened for us international doors of evangelism. The first one was in Rwanda but we had planned to leave behind the children because of the high cost of travel and other logistics like acquiring the passports. Amazingly, through revelations, God insisted that He wanted them onboard. We had no choice but to obey our master. We carried eight children, one of them barely a year old. God loves children and this became clear to us when we travelled in a bus that was half full from Nairobi to Kampala Uganda. The children played in the back cabin of the bus and it looked like we had hired the bus. We involved them in the Rwanda mission and they were really joyous.
While we were there the women marveled at our going with children to every service and they opened up to us that they never carried their children to church. In fact the only children in those services were from our side. They had always thought children a bother and therefore would always leave them at home. They promised to be taking children with them to church and for sure they kept their word because when our pastor visited the church later, she found many children in the church service. That’s when it dawned on us why God had wanted us to go with the children. Their presence would prove to the church that children are useful in the house of God. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”
(Matthew 21:15-16 NIV Bible)
God wants children to be part and parcel of the church ministry. One time I had the mandate to program the leaders of church and fellowship service. Sometimes I would lack someone willing to conduct the service or prayers and I would end up taking double or multiple roles. One time God impressed upon me that any time an adult declined to lead in the service, I should call upon a child to do it. God always released His grace at such times and the child in question would do a good job and therefore get motivated.
Another time we went to Uganda for a mission and again God required we carry the children. We managed to get fare from Kenya to Uganda but were left with nothing for the return fare. The very last day of mission was on a Sunday and still we hadn’t garnered any money for bus fare back to Kenya. Then a miracle happened during the Sunday service! The Sunday school from Kenya was presenting and one by the name Vickie struggled to release herself from the aunt. She was at the age of crawling. The struggle was so fervent that the aunt surrendered and the child crawled to the altar. She stood up holding onto one of the other bigger children, cried for the microphone and as the others sang, she too mumbled only God knows what. This action excited the church so much that they started blessing the Sunday school group with lots of money that they threw to the altar. That’s the money we used for fare back to Kenya; provided by God through a child. I don’t want to imagine what would have happened had we left the children behind. Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
(Mark 9:36-37 NIV Bible)
In another instance, some children from a neighbor in our plot would visit my son in our house but sometimes I would send them away because they were violent and had vulgar language, of course picked from the mother who had a habit of insulting them. God warned me against sending them away and required I teach them that fighting and insulting are bad. When I did this, I would come from work and the children would run to me saying, “Mama Edmund, umuthi nii ndinarumana” ‘Edmund’s mother, I didn’t insult anybody at all today. The mother would also hear such testimonies from the children and she too stopped the insults and later got born again. We should receive all children especially our children’s friends, and if any has a wayward behavior, we should try to correct it as well as pray for them and their families.
Moreover, a child namely Victor was always last in academic performance in my son’s class. Their teacher employed a strategy where she marched the bright with the low performers. My son was marched with Victor. When my son told me this, I was struck by the name Victor and wondered how your name can pronounce victory yet you be last in performance. We prayed for Victor with my son because we realized his intellect had been stolen by the devil, the greatest thief of all thieves. After sometimes as my son continued supporting Victor in studies, Victor’s performance shot up to an extent that in one paper, he defeated my son who was always top of the class. The Lord had delivered him from intelligence snatchers. God cares about our children’s performance in school.
During this period of the Covid 19 pandemic, I dreamt having gone to my friend’s home and marveled at seeing her children’s complexion turned yellowish. I was shocked when she told me that since Covid 19 broke out, five months down the line, the children had remained indoors. I told her that is very wrong because they needed vitamin D for the strength of their bones. I advised her to be taking them for a walk outside every now and then. In other words, God is concerned with how we bring up our children; it should be healthy in all aspects.
God really cares for children and they are always in the deep of His heart. He expects us to not only love and hold them with tender care but also involve them in relevant events in the kingdom of God. Peoples’ Problems is my Business