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A DOUBLE PORTION

In many sermons and conversations, I have heard people talk about a double portion/anointing, and today I also want to share my thoughts on this subject. The concept of the double portion comes from following scripture which will be the foundation for this blog, “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me” (2 Kings 2:9), and it centers around the relationship of Elijah and his successor Elisha who lived during the ninth century B.C.

In 1 Kings 19:16 God informed Elijah that he should anoint Elisha, the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah to succeed him as a prophet to the ten-tribe kingdom of Israel. In verses 19-21 we see him finding Elisha the son of Shaphat in northern Israel plowing his father’s field near the ancient town of Abelmeholah, and passing by him Elijah cast his mantle upon him.

Elisha responded by slewing a yoke of oxen and used the yoke as firewood to cook the oxen. He then gave the flesh of the oxen to the people to eat, arose, went after Elijah, and ministered unto him. Though the scriptures do not reveal much about the time Elisha was with Elijah, scholars believed that for ten to twelve years Elisha was Elijah’s close attendant, waiting on him, pouring water on his hands, learning, receiving mentorship and guidance until Elijah was taken up into heaven.by a whirlwind in a fiery chariot.

From the only two chapters (1 Kings 19 and 2 Kings 2) that shares the story of Elijah and Elisha being together, I have drawn some conclusions concerning the transference of a double portion/anointing. These are:
1.God uses people who are workers. When Elijah found Elisha, he was busy working in the field.
2.To ascertain whether you would want a similar anointing that is on a person you must spend time with that person. You need to get to know them. This may require you leaving your family, friends, and way of life. This may require you going from the familiar to the unknown, and all of this needs to be done willingly.
3.Do whatever labor is necessary. For years Elisha was the errand boy and servant of Elijah. He no doubt did menial tasks, those things that people do not enjoy doing, however, being a servant made him eligible to be a leader.
4.Get as much teaching as you can while the person is with you. Elisha knew that Elijah was going to leave him and he determined to be with him as long as he was able.
5.Don’t permit the words of others to distract or divert you from your assignment. As Elijah and Elisha journeyed from Gilgal to Jordan, they met with several companies of prophets who said these discouraging words to Elisha, “Knowest thou that the Lord will take thy master from thy head today?” Elisha answered, “Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.” Sometimes you have to shut out the chatter of others and keep moving
6.Don’t expect others to join you. This is your assignment. The company of prophets did not join Elisha while he traveled along with Elijah.
7.On their last day together at three different locations (Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho) Elijah told Elisha, “Tarry, here, I pray thee.” In the Hebrew “tarry” means to sit down and consider, or to sit down in judgment. Elijah did not take Elisha’s companionship for granted he wanted him to sit down and make a conscious decision whether or not he should continue with him. You must count the cost and decide to commit to the end.
8.Know what you want. When asked Elisha told Elijah, “I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.”
9.After you received the double portion/anointing, it is time to do the work. Elisha did not spend time grieving over Elijah’s departure, but he immediately went back to Jericho and there addressed a problem of the water and barren land, and he continued for the next sixty-five years in the work of the ministry prophesizing to kings and people and performing miracles throughout the nation.

I pray that this blog encourages you on today and give you food for thought concerning how to receive a double portion/anointing.

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IS HE YOUR GOD

Genesis 28:13 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.

On last week I used the above scripture in my blog, “FAITHFUL TO THE FAITHLESS” and on this week I am going to use this scripture again.
As I said on last week in this scripture God talked to Jacob for the first time and acknowledged He had a relationship with his father and grandfather but not with Jacob. He told Jacob He was going to bless him but Jacob’s told God He had to prove himself to him prior to him making a commitment and it took over twenty years for Jacob to do so.

Also, as I said in my last blog God is faithful to us even when we don’t respond to Him positively. God waited on Jacob but He may not wait that long for others. I personally knew people who said they would give their lives to God when they became older but their lives were cut short without them ever making that commitment. Many have been deceived into thinking their lives without God is alright, they don’t understand that having a relationship with God is profitable and brings a lasting reward.

For those that take the salvation message lightly I suggest reading the words of Jesus found in Luke 13: 24-28. Jesus cautioned the crowd with these words, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.”

This is the period of grace that has been extended with an invitation for whosoever will. However, this period will one day be over and those that have not accepted and committed their life to God will find the door shut. A denial of access will be given to anyone attempting to enter the kingdom of God illegitimately.

As we celebrated the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ this Easter Sunday, let’s not let His suffering and dying be for naught. If you haven’t given your life to God, and if you haven’t made the commitment to serve Him wholeheartedly how about doing so right now. Let it be said if the question is asked, “Is He your God” you can say, “Yes, He is my God too.”

FAITHFUL TO THE FAITHLESS

God is merciful, gracious and kind to us. He is loving and He invites everyone to be part of His kingdom. He allows us the opportunity to choose and serve Him and even when we resist Him, He still lovingly takes care and watch over us.

A good example of His love can be seen in the life of Jacob who was a twin born to Isaac and Rebekah. In Jacob’s early years he was known to be a trickster, a liar and a manipulator. The bible records his first encounter with God in Genesis 28 when he is on his way Padanaram. God said to him “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” Please note that God tells Jacob He is the God of his father and grandfather; Jacob was not included in this connection for he did not have a relationship with God. Despite the lack of relationship God talks to Jacob and tells him about his future and the divine protection that he will receive. Jacob’s response was not the kind I expected but rather he responded giving God a contingency. He said, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”

Between Genesis 29 and 31 twenty years goes by, Jacob gets married, has 11 sons and 1 daughter and has lived these years in Pandanaram working for his father-in-law Laban. During these years God blesses Jacob and remains faithful to him despite the minimal interaction Jacob has with Him.

In Genesis 31 God told Jacob, “Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee,” and in Genesis 35 Jacob has returned home and God says to him, “Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.” When Jacob gets to Bethel God once again appears to him, blesses him, reiterates those things that he told him twenty years ago and He changes Jacob’s name to Israel.

During all the years Jacob was away, God remained faithful to the faithless. In the many perilous situations in which Jacob found himself, God delivered him. Additionally, God prospered him and blessed him even without any acknowledgement or gratitude from Jacob.

On today I don’t want to be found in the category that Jacob was in: faithless. Neither do I want my interaction with God to be one-sided. I want to bless Him and love Him as He loves me. I want to communicate with Him daily and receive His guidance. I want Him to consider me a faithful servant and I want Him to be pleased with me and as I close this blog I pray that you feel the same as I do.

A LITTLE SPACE IN TIME

On this week I was listening to a video by Pastor Joshua Kuteesa from Shiloh City Church, Mukuno, Uganda on “Numbering Your Days” and it reminded me that I needed to be diligently working for the Kingdom of God and it inspired me to write this blog.

Many of us take life for granted and we assume that when we leave our homes and families in the morning that we will safely return home at the end of the day with all being well. Unfortunately, as we listen to the news reports at the end of the day we can see this is not the case for many. Unexpected accidents and medical issues resulting in death daily adds names to the dearly departed. Also, many of us feel that thinking or talking about death is morbid; therefore, we avoid all thoughts and conversation on this topic. However, one thing in this life of which we all can be assured, whether we are fearful of death or not, we will all one-day die. Hopefully, knowing this believers are wise in how they spend their time on earth.

It is a fact that God dwells in eternity and man starts his life in time before he transitions into eternity. Also, while on earth God gives humans an opportunity to decide where they will reside in eternity. Understanding these facts and scriptures found throughout the bible such as James 4:14 which states, “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away,” it behooves us to spend the time we have on earth with purpose.

In John 9:4 Jesus informed his disciples “The night cometh, when no man can work,” which again informs us that there will be a time when we become unproductive. So, I encourage you on today in the little space in time that you have on earth to act wisely and serve God with all of your heart, soul and strength.

THE FULFILLMENT OF THE WORD

Recently, I found myself scripture praying 2 Timothy 3:16-17 prior to ministering the Word and at the conclusion of the prayer asking God to let the Word work in the heart and the minds of the hearers. And now I once again feel an urging to write about the the Word. Since I knew I had written on this topic before, I reviewed past blogs and decided though I may say some of the things I blogged on in the past, it is worth repeating.

This well-known scripture penned by the Apostle Paul to his spiritual son Timothy states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I also love the way the Message Bible interprets these verses. It states, “Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.”

God moved on the writers of the Old and New testament to record events and information that He felt was pertinent for humanity. Additionally, no matter the age or time in which an individual may live this Word would provide them with the answers and direction that was needed for their lives.

If we allow it the Word will accomplish five things in our lives and these things are:
1. The Word gives us the laws, rules, and principles that when applied to our lives guarantees success.
2. When we are out of order and doing wrong the Word will reprimand us, check us, and get on us. We will feel convicted.
3. When we persist in doing the wrong thing, we will be punished. Prayerfully this punishment will lead to our rehabilitation.
4. The Word will give us the direction and answers to questions that effect our lives and world.
5. The Word builds us, equips us and makes us spiritual champions.

Today, I am so grateful that I have a God in my life that is always with me, provides me with the tools that I need to navigate through this world, corrects me when I need it and wants me to be successful. If you have not utilized the Word in your everyday life I encourage you to do so, for you are missing out on one of the greatest bestowal that God has given to mankind.

 

SELF-EXAMINATION

I watch a series on the television about a group that is involved in a competitive sport. The coach for this group always leads the group in prayer prior to a competition and often talks about their belief and trust in God on the show; however, the coach’s behavior on the show sometimes is not reflective of a person that acknowledges and trust God. This week as I pondered over what I saw it made me begin to examine my life to make sure I was measuring up to God’s desire and standards for my life.

Also, as I pondered and examined my life the words of Solomon found in Proverbs 3:5-8 came to my mind. This scripture states in the King James version, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones,” and in the Amplified Bible it reads, “Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil. It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts] And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.”

As you can see I highlighted the portion in the scriptures that stuck out in my mind and below you will find a few of the words I looked up in my Strong’s concordance. The Hebrew definitions of them are:
acknowledge = know, recognize, regard, respect, understand, be aware
way = a course of life, journey, mode of action, manner, conversation

I realized when I show regard and truly respect God I cannot pick and choose which scriptures I will follow but in every aspect of my life, God must be the focal point. My words and actions should be in alignment, they should be saying the same thing and those things that are questionable and would place a stain on my Christian lifestyle, I must avoid. Furthermore, doing these things will prove to be beneficial for my total being.

In closing, my prayer for you is that you also will take time to digest the words of Solomon and then heartily apply them to your life.

I AM THANKFUL

On this week I returned to America from a 10-day mission trip to Uganda. While there I had the privilege to visit churches in four areas: Nateete, Mukuno, Lugazi, and Zzana – Lufuka.

As it was last year when I returned to America from visiting Uganda, I came home extremely grateful and thankful to God for living at such a time as this and for living in America. Coming home I once again realized we have so many conveniences that are non-existent for the people in Uganda and we take so many things for granted.

We have decent places in which to live, we have in-door plumbing, we have electricity in our homes, we have washing machines and dryers, and we have stoves on which we can cook. We have beds on which to sleep, televisions, computers, and telephone services. We have medical insurances, doctors, hospitals and emergency rooms where we can receive medical care. We have cars, buses, traffic lights and paved streets. We have jobs that pay decent wages and we are not required to work every day. We have clothes, shoes and food to eat. Most of all if we lack any of the things I just stated we have resources, agencies, shelters and charitable organizations that will assist us in obtaining these things as needed.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the people in Uganda do not have the things that I mentioned; however, they have a desire and drive to do what they can to better their lives. Also, they appear to have a greater hunger for God than we who have so much do and they have inspired me. So, I am thankful to God for my life and to Uganda for the rewarding experience of meeting and ministering to the citizens of that land. They will continually be in my thoughts and prayers.

WHEN YOUR PRAYERS ARE NOT ANSWERED

In my life I have prayed prayers and they have not been answered in the way I wanted them to be and I am sure that this has happened to everyone that has experienced life on this earth. This our reality.

Sometimes this unanswered prayer resulted in a painful lost and the grief that was experienced appeared overwhelming. In the midst of this situation also came questions of “why.” As I previously stated this is a common experience of humans that live on earth. This is an experience that happens on a daily basis; so, what can we do about it. My answer was to find comfort in the Word. Scriptures flooded my mind and I took solace in them. So. Let me share some of them with you on today in hopes that they will also comfort you and provide direction during your times of unanswered prayers.

First and foremost is to know that God is thinking of you as stated in Psalm 139:7, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!”

Secondly, God’s ways of doing things are different than ours as found in Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

Additionally, despite our disappointments God does a plan for our life as stated in Psalms 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”

Finally, in this life we receive and we lose but we are admonished to remain consistent in our blessing, thanking and praising of God as declared in these scriptures.
“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job1:21b
“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1Thessalonians 5:18

I pray this has helped you on today; be encouraged and strengthened in the Lord.

 

 

 

THE FATE OF A CHILD ABUSER

I have had a concern about the abuse of children and how it effects them in their lives, and I have prayed about it. Also, while praying I often wonder about the child that is being abused at that moment. I wonder how many children are battered, locked up, caged, and wanting to die because of the pain and anguish they are experiencing. I have wondered how many adults are still suffering inner emotional turmoil because of the abuse they experienced when they were growing-up. Consequently, I know there are children, teens and adults who reject and have difficulty believing in God because they cannot understand how He would permit them to suffer at the hands of an abuser.
I’ve prayed and ask God for His thoughts on these matters and He led me to the scripture where Jesus addressed the treatment of children in the gospel of Matthew 18:6-7. Below I have those verses using the King James Version, The Living Bible and The Message Bible
“But whoso shall offend (cause) one of these little ones which believe in me (on me to stumble), it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” KJV
“But if any of you causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose his faith, [a] it would be better for you to have a rock tied to your neck and be thrown into the sea. Woe upon the world for all its evils. [b] Temptation to do wrong is inevitable, but woe to the man who does the tempting.” TLB
“But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to you if you do.” Message Bible
After reading and researching the verses I understand that the abuser of children be it physical, mental, emotional, or sexual abuse will one day have to give an account to God for their actions for He does not take their deviant act lightly; especially if they have not confessed this sin and asked for forgiveness.
Also, I pray that these abused children who may now be adults are able to forgive their abusers. I pray that God will heal them and make them completely whole. I pray for a support system and a safe haven for these battered souls, but most of all I thank God that He is going to administer justice to these offenders.

FIND LIFE

Proverbs 8:35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord

Psalms103:15-17 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.

Job14:1-2 Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.

1 Peter1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

I started this blog with the above scriptures to remind you that our life is fleeting. When I was young we had a saying “Here today, gone tomorrow” but with age I have come to realize we are here this second and can be gone in the next one. I have learned we need to be about our Father’s business so that our life on this earth can count for something.

Many of us are thinking about the New Year and those things that we would like to see accomplished. However, in the midst of this I would like us to remember to prioritize not only our thinking and planning but also our actions.

Many of us have plans for our lives that are not in concert with God’s chosen plan for us. We charge ahead with these plans but God is not in them; therefore, many of us experience failure or a brief moment of success which causes us to become frustrated and angry. The good news is: this does not have to be our experience in 2018.

So, my prayer for everyone is stated in the first scripture above which is us finding God or experience His presence in everything we do in 2018 for then we will have His favor which will provide us with that which money cannot buy nor our personal success obtain.

May God richly bless you, give you peace, prosper your way and order your footsteps in 2018.