Mary’s Treasure

Town: Le Bib

Consist of 66 Local Governments

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Everyone was looking at her funny, she had done the unthinkable, especially in this depressed economy.

No doubt business was booming; she had sold more pieces than she had done in forever. People around town were trooping into her store, some to ask about her prices, others to buy her wares and some, to confirm if she was real.

She once found it annoying, but after the third week, she had decided to take all the curiosity visits to her store as amusing rather than annoying. She was going to get an assistant, no doubt. She had better things to do with her newfound treasure than to mope around her store.

Mary moved to Le Bib town some years ago, and though it boasts of 66 estates, it was a rather small town. Everybody knew something about everybody in the city. She and her sister were famous for their tempers rather than their wares. Afterall, she spearheaded the guilt trip to her brother’s friend when her brother was ill and dying. You see, she had always known there was more than meets the eye of her brother’s friend. The one people whispered and called the ‘roamer’.

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Mary was a lot of things, but proud wasn’t one of them. She was gorgeous, a little flighty and had good taste. Recently, she had discovered there was more to life than being pretty, excellent dining and luxury purchases. Mary had found the secret of life. She had come to realise that she was experiencing history. Her brother’s friend, the roamer, had done more than raise her brother from the dead…he had raised her as well.

Mary cast her mind back to the day she became the talk of the town. She had reflected on what her life was before she took time out to know her brother, Lazarus’s friend. She had the sense to admit it privately; she was a train wreck waiting to happen. The more she listened to what her brother’s friend had to say, the more she understood that she was made for more. At first, her sister, Martha thought it was just a crush. She tried to nip it in the bud but later wisened up (after being scolded of course), that her baby sister, Mary had caught on something.

That fateful evening, the urgency was more than it ever was. Mary needed to show her unadulterated love to her brother’s friend – Jesus. She had searched the house for something genuine and expensive to give. The truth is, she had a lot of “expensive” gifts, she said a little prayer. One for boldness to present the gift and another for the best gift to give one who had turned her life around.

While turning the sign of her store signalling, she was closed for business; Mary smiled as she recalled how she all but floated into Simeon’s house in Bethany. With the singleness of mind she broke her heirloom, her most expensive possession. The alabaster treasure box containing all her scented life’s savings at the feet of her master and wiped his feet with her hair mixed with tears. At that point, that worshipping moment; it was Mary and her master. Not Mary of Le bib town and her brother’s friend. There was no need to keep such an expensive treasure. Jesus, her new found treasure deserved all she had and much more. Knowing Him had brought flavour to her life.

Even now, people thought her act of worship as a waste…Judas was quite vocal about it. They weren’t there; they didn’t know the depth of love and thoughtful care Jesus had shown her. She understood her gift to Him, what she couldn’t understand was the urgency to give that unique gift.

That was until He mentioned a burial rite, followed closely by His highly publicised crucifixion. She had other perfumes. She had plans to drag her sister once they had the chance, to complete the burial rites of the one who gave her life meaning.

Mary, the Mary had found her treasure in Jesus, there was no use for earthly treasure. What’s your earthly treasure? Break it at the Master’s feet. That’s your soulful act of worship.

This June, my fellow Jesus Army of Writers have been challenged to create contents based on Bible Characters, Bible  stories, parables, promises or scriptures. I chose one woman who’s act of worship trended, was grossly misunderstood but will always be mentioned with Jesus. She’s one of  my favourite Bible characters. I hope you learn one or two things. My account is from John’s version of events.

 

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A Slice of God’s Beauty

It’s the last day of the world’s official love of month.

It’s been a very interesting month overall, a month where God showed me the beauty of trusting in Him.

  • In the month of February, I fell flat and God picked me up.
  • In this same month of February I saw the powerful effect of daily positive confessions
  • In the month of February, I saw fear, tasted it – it tasted like metal. I cried to God in fear knowing that my faith in Him is all I needed to be sorted- and sort me He did!

So one fine evening, I had time to breathe, and I saw the beauty and the splendour do God’s wonders. I wondered, how many times have I hurried through life without thinking about God’s faithfulness, God’s capability, God’s generosity and the light and life that comes from His word.

Pause, ask yourself, have I insulted God by thinking my situation was/is bigger than God? If you are like me, if you have gotten carried away by the magnitude of your current situation – it’s the 28th of February, the last day of this unique month. Take a break and hand all your situation – good, bad and ugly to God, He’d sort you out.

God cares and He answers when you call. He is only one call away to save the day.

Enjoy this view, I call it, a slice of God’s beauty.

What’s your style?

Another Valentine’s Day is here and here’s a throw back to last year’s message (it’s still relevant). So this #WednesdMusings is on intimacy 😍😍😍

I hope it blessed you as it did me:

Which will you prefer when you are with your significant other?

Would you prefer a dining hall style feeding, where everyone is there eating, not everybody knows why they are there, people are eating their way through the food pile, random conversations. All these taking away the attention of your significant other, infact your significant other doesn’t the get the aloneness he craves with you- the “gbo gbo ero” kind of style.

Or would you prefer a private dining room, a table for two, candlelit dinner, with no pretence, no hiding, good food, lovely drink and great conversation, where your significant other know they’ve got you all for themselves?

Which would you choose?

Click here to read Table for two

…and that’s how you conquer fear

You know fear and faith are like mirror images, the real one and then the reflection 🙆🏽‍♀️how do you mean?

So I’m trying something out this February called – Wednesday musings.

The popular definition of faith is that it’s the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen; it is putting all your eggs in God’s basket and counting your blessings before they hatch. Now fear, is like faith’s alter ego, it is false experience appearing real! 😁 it’s false because you are basing your reaction on incomplete information.

My sister gave me the most disturbing news about my Sammy Gold Chains (my niece), she told me she was playing/pestering the mobile heater and then it sparked, the spark came in contact with her eyes! That “little” accident scared me, I immediately asked about her, and my sister said she’s fine. The lesson in this inside gist? She didn’t run away or stay away from the heater (which packed up by the way), rather, she confronted the heater- she’s fearless!

This got me thinking, when we are scarred by past experiences, do we stay away from it, out of caution or out of fear? Looking back, I’m thinking to myself, heck-no, I’m not going to that heater or any form of heater again. With this decision I’d lose out on the blessed warmth it brings on cold days.

That’s the wrong approach. Jesus said we should approach life and the kingdom of God with faith and humility as simple as a child.

So you have been heartbroken, don’t write off men- face them with Faith that God’s got you. Have you been betrayed or used, don’t write off people, be nice, still be nice to people with God as your niceness supplier. Have you failed, don’t stop trying, face the exams with faith- God’s got you. Have you been defrauded, don’t stop investing, keep investing with God as your adviser.

The devil, yes he roams, LIKE a roaring lion, chanting all your fears to appear real, speaking discouragement, pointing accusing fingers at you, emphasis on LIKE! You have one truth he can never be- you have Jesus, THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH! So don’t cower in fear, just like my Sammy gold chains, confront your fear, roar with the truth that’s in the word of God and the authority that comes from the blood of Jesus!

This post isn’t a lecture, it could be a wake up call though.

Face your fear, not alone but with Jesus! One with God is a majority…and that’s how you conquer fear!

The ever present help

It’s okay to say Happy new year right? January kept dragging like 31months 😁

Welcome to a month of love, guess who can teach you about love? It’s the HolySpirit who gives you an understanding of the depth of God’s love for us.

Have you ever felt the need to escape from a place, have you ever felt like you should disappear? Have you ever felt you need an intervention? Guess what! You carry your intervention with you every day of your life.

You see, as a believer, you carry God’s spirit aka the HolySpirit. The HolySpirit is real and is the ever present help in times of need. Every single moment in your life is a time of need. As human beings we always have a need for something:

  • The need to succeed
  • The need to make a difference
  • The need to make money
  • The need to fall in love
  • The need to achieve your goals
  • The need to be who you are called to be
  • The need to stay off sin
  • The need to be a worshipper

The HolySpirit is God’s daily gift to help you in your need. For every time you are breathing in air and exhaling air you have a form of need and the HolySpirit is there to ensure you are not “helpless-in-need”.

The HolySpirit is as real as you want Him to be.

Here’s a flashback to when I was serving in Access bank, as a youth corper I was placed in the bulk room. I recall my first day there I asked the HolySpirit to be with me, that we were serving together- best decision ever. Whenever I am trying to balance my cash, and I have a shortage or an overage I beckon on the HolySpirit, He’d pin point to me where I must have missed it, where I might have packed 500naira notes with a bundle of 200naira notes. It was so detailed that he’d tell me the exact bundle and packet the error is. Sometimes probably when the money has been moved by the cash team, he’d tell me outrightly that the bundle for my imbalance has been moved and he’d tell me to prepare to pay, but God still makes provision for the payment through one customers “take money for lunch” act.

How real is your relationship with the HolySpirit?

  • Need help with your prayer, He’d help you with that.
  • Need help with worship He’d help you to be the best way to reach the father- afteral no one can know you better than you.

The HolySpirit knows how to reach the big guy because He is part of the tripartite.

Say this short prayer: <
olySpirit I need you, you are welcome to my life, be as real as real can be. Let it beyond the tongues-speaking but let me have a palpable daily experience with you in Jesus name (amen)

Wet Wood 

She was having a really rough day, Webster could use her day to explain what it meant to have a rough day…it was that bad.

As she stood under the shower pondering on her day and how everything turned out the way it did, all she could do was smile a watery smile, yes she thought to herself- how did I get to this point, I was having a blissful time here on earth before everything fell like a pack of cards.
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She woke up with a start- “Superfriend” by Mary Mary was in its second verse, meaning she was only responding to the very last ring of the alarm clock, judging by the song playing, she slept off all the other three notifications.- it was 5:20am.

There was no light, rain was falling, the driver won’t be in today….she had to turn on the gen, have a cold bath and board a bus to Lagos Island…she was lucky to do all three, she checked her watch, it was 6:15amit’s official, I am late, she sighed.
She knew breakfast was not part of today’s plan, seemed like all her stakeholders had a meeting and planned to use today to send reminders of what she hadn’t delivered to…she sighed, what a day- it’s only 12:20pm and I am exhausted, she thought to herself.
Glancing up to rest her eyes, she winced when she checked the time – it was 3:12pm. What happened here, this looked like a never-ending day.
She finally got up from her chair, hungry, tired, angry and sleepy at about 10:30pm. She hustled to get a bus home, the Uber guy said he wasn’t going to her area and so cancelled the trip. Getting home all that was on her mind was a warm bath and a welcoming mattress.
You see, this had been her routine for the past 3months, she felt caged in the job she loved, trapped in the life she lived.
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It wasn’t always like that, she used to have time for her quiet time, time to talk about her soul’s lover, time to write about an unimprovable love in which she was the recipient, time to give wisecracks when interacting with her best friend, time to read the love letters from her lover, seek advice from her Father.
She had time for all that and more; it was a thing of the past now. She was a shadow of herself.
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I am so tired, there’s no more strength in me. I feel so empty, is it worth it at the end? Those were the thoughts going on in her head as the water from the cold shower washed her tears of exhaustion.

“My strength is made perfect in your weakness”
startled she looked around, wondering who spoke? Who could have entered the bathroom at this time of the night?
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
This time around she was sure no one but here was in the bathroom – at this point, she remembered how God called and spoke to Samuel and knew that God was ministering to her through His words pushed by the HolySpirit.
You see, she knew she was too tired to pray, too spiritually exhausted like the 5 foolish virgins who were low on oil, she needed help because her fire for God was low.
As she laid down thinking of the help she needed from God to revive the fire, the HolySpirit was interceding for her as it was promised in the bible –
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27. 
She could feel her strength coming back, it started her dispelling the false truth the devil made her believe- she was loved, she was remembered and she was forgiven. She recalled ever so vividly how she felt when she embraced God’s truth, she cried as she slowly sang songs of worship to her lover…it felt like forever, it felt so good.
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I waited and waited and waited for GOD. At last he looked; finally, he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to GOD. – ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭40:1-3‬ ‭MSG‬‬
Slowly but surely the HolySpirit is perfecting His work in her, her wet wood is constantly being dried by the fire of God’s word, she can smell the smoke, the fire is what’s next, her life is about to be set on fire by God and she’s eager for the fire to consume her.
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No need to wonder why I am so sure, she, that wet wood was me – Taemytayo! When you notice your fire is burning out, remember it’s not your will, it’s God’s grace that keeps the fire burning.
  wet wood

Dear Temi

Happy Independence! Welcome to adulthood! You’re on your final lap, you should finish school very soon. Happy birthday to you Temitayo, my 10 years younger self.

It’s been a very hectic year for you, you barely slept in the room you were assigned. You shuffled between class, library, Akintunde Ojo library and fellowship. You were keen on making your parents proud – believe me, you made them proud and you still make them proud.

It’s your birthday and you have no clue about what’s next in life. You want that cool job in KPMG, Mckenzie, PWC, you resent banking. Ironically, your 10 years older self is a bank worker. You are about to begin this awesome journey of self-discovery that’s going to change the way you process things, scary – yes, but worth it at the end. By the way, I am still on that journey.

All the talent you have right now is singing, loud unapologetic sounds of praise to God. You have more to offer Temitayo, you were made for more. Let me add, while you are excited about your final year project, 10 years from now, you wouldn’t be actively working with your treasured Economics degree. Like I said, you were made for more.

Ask yourself, why you serve God. Is it because of the fear of hell, is it because it’s what the good daughter should do? What have you done with the precious gift of the HolySpirit? Are you having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof?

Temi, don’t be scared of tomorrow, it will take care of itself in the most beautiful way, always remember Matthew 6:34 MSG:

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Hold fast to this scripture, you will need it next year- 2009.

Temitayo, you will soon find out how much God loves you, you will rekindle your love for the HolySpirit and discover the evangelist in you through a new gift. Once you find it, never lose it. You are too major to God to feel minor and act anyhow. Temitayo, you are worth more than rubies, you are loved by the creator you are Invaluable.

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I had time to talk to my closest friends and reflect on my life, where I am and where I was a decade ago, fresh into my final year and I have God to thank. Taking a verse from one of my best Jonathan Butler song – Falling in love with Jesus was the best thing I’ve ever done.

I am far from perfect, I could be really lazy (physically and spiritually), I may have my unguarded down times of how I am still single, I may be spiritually frustrated that I still don’t have the gift of dreams but there’s one thing that keeps me going…it’s the realisation that God loves me!

It took me decades to understand this truth, I want you to accept this truth with a childlike simplicity – your God, your Father, your Comforter, Odin din Lion of the tribe of Judah, loves you and that love is unending.

My life lesson in this one year is to let go and let God.

Happy birthday to me, happy new year people and thanks for reading.

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Misunderstood

When people think about me, they think about me in a very limited way; they think about me with their very limited minds, with the selfishness of their flesh and within the space of time as they know it. They think about me but with limitation of their existence.

I am the reason there’s a world, I am the reason there’s hope, I am the reason there’s peace, I am the reason there’s life. I am the only reason the world didn’t end from the beginning.

I have been at the centre of everything, I intervened when your mother Eve got tempted and your father Adam messed up. I prevailed when your brother Abel cried out after he was killed by his kin – the plant groomer/farmer. Samson groaned for strength. I understood that, though he messed up, he needed to finish his in-laws – those Philistines. I was there and I gave Him his strength. Yes, Delilah’s people had it coming for them.

David your cousin fell several times, but he understood me – that’s rare, and he reaped the benefits. It was refreshing to have someone understand me – it’s endearing to know he deliberately sought to understand me. This is why, though he stumbled in the beginning, he slew giants and broke records.

What actions were borne out of me is basically because I exist. I have been in existence before time itself, I have the advantage of hindsight and foresight. Enuch and I had something real going on, Elijah understood me and knew how to appeal to me. Those strategic Hebrew boys, your cousins – they understood my essence and look how beautifully they turned out.

I am selfless. I am the feather, I am the whip, I am the prosecutor, I am the defender, I am time. The world exists because I do, I am often…Misunderstood! 

You deserve something timeless, true, limitless, selfless, real…you deserve Me!

I am love, I am God, I think about you every time and I want you to carry this consciousness everywhere you go.

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! – 1John 4:7-11

Being Christ-like

We are back! This second Friday in August I have my lovely friend, and perhaps my oldest fried- Chimamaka Ellen Duru write about being a Vessel of Honour. I have known since when I was 10years old and it’s been a pleasure all through, she is a woman after God’s heart. Her story reminded me of why we were called Christians in the first place, they were seen as Christ-like even in the workplace. The full story will make this post quite lengthy, It is lengthy and I had initially planned to break it into two but there’s no need to break such beautiful story- the essence of it may be lost. I pray this message blesses you as it did me.

So, I’ll like to begin by saying a huge thank you to Tayo (whom I’ve known since before we were 10 years old – major throwback to our days as children’s church ushers)! Amazing how we’ve been serving the Lord since we were little – we bless Jesus for Godly beginnings! #wink

For a large part of my life, I was never big on talking about my faith – rather I would say that people should be able to see God in me – through my works. Since I decided on my terms, God decided to take me through school; dealing with me on my character and how to make Him famous in the workplace.

Now, I wear my many hues as my stripes. LOL! As a fresh graduate, I had the opportunity to work with a reputable telecoms company during my National Youth Service Corps in the North. I started work and soon after everyone would tease me about my faith – saying I carried Jesus on my head – because I wouldn’t go clubbing with them; wouldn’t drink alcohol which was a norm every Friday at the office; dressed conservatively though elegant and classy.. #wink; wouldn’t flirt unduly with potential customers to close deals and had standards/principles on relationships different from others including those who also identified as Christians. I was weird and I lived in the consciousness of it at work. I was different and bold for Jesus – so much so that people will come ask me questions on my view on issues just for laughs and to have peace; I would have lunch alone. Yes – it was that bad!

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And so; the temptations began!

My direct line manager was a lady who seemed alright at first but as we got into the swing of things; I soon realized that working with her was going to be “worse than a roller coaster on a freak show”. My boss would have me do all her tasks then take the glory for it; blame me for her mistakes; set me up for “awkward moments” with senior management and then laugh about it, and then just send me on the weirdest errands! She was really mean to me, but somehow I never lost it – even colleagues couldn’t understand how I took it all in stride; everyone was waiting for a day I would fall out with her as had everyone in the office including support staff. In fact, I would have been over- justified to fall out with her! LOL!

I remember one peculiar event where she had a miscarriage while at work and no one responded to drive her to the hospital; not even pool car drivers and I had to go and lobby one of the drivers as my pally and almost kneel down for him to take her to the hospital. Even while at the hospital no one really checked on her – I stayed through the D&C; used my funds to buy the things she required and helped clean her up afterwards; so much so that my housemate had to come over to help me and then finally left the hospital at almost midnight in a town where 6:30 pm was my own personally imposed curfew for safety reasons. Even afterwards, she tossed me a “thanks for the other day” line, withheld my last pay at the end of service year and even tried severally to make me look incompetent; but God’s grace for excellence in my life shone through.

In another scenario, God gave me strength and wisdom to exclude myself from a particular transaction with a corporate client. I didn’t know the details but I knew something about it didn’t sit well with me – thank you Holy Spirit! In summary, the transaction was fraudulent which ended up getting my boss & some colleagues investigated by the EFCC and taken into custody about two years after. As if that wasn’t enough; the client turned out to be an estranged senior friend of my parents so I would have just tainted my family name for nothing!

Through it all, God taught me the following which has reverberated in so many occasions within my career journey:

i. The workplace is the true test of your faith and your work should be as unto the Lord because it is service and worship to Him. Colossians 3:23-25 (MSG)

ii. In working as unto the Lord, EXCELLENCE should be your default setting – do it so well that even the Lord would say, “Well done my good and faithful servant”. That way, even if your managers or colleagues try to discredit you; you have both spiritual and physical grounds to stand before your High Priest & Advocate to ask Him to step in.

iii. LOVE – I know you think, “Love, at work?” Yes, ma’am!! Jesus says to show his love to all men (& women) – our Heavenly Father isn’t sexist! LOL! So, show love to everyone everywhere you go irrespective of their attitude, designation/level, tribe/race, gender/ sexual orientation, background, etc. Ask Him how, and He’ll teach you – in my case, it was patience and continuous respect for the designated authority over me at the time. 1 Peter 2:13-17 (MSG)

iv. Never work with reward in mind. Your salary is a contractual agreement between you and your employer, so please note that’s not what I’m referring to – I mean don’t do things for “eye-service”; let it be wholehearted service – as all we do are seeds we’ll harvest immediately or later in our lives. Ephesians 6:6 (AMP)

v. Pray about everything including that naughty boss; the leading of the Lord and involve Him in the most “logical” decisions including when to resign or stay even in the midst of “unfair” treatment.

Prayer enforces God’s will here on earth, enables you to draw strength for your journey and keeps you in alignment with God’s will for your life so you don’t miss your season by being emotionally led!

In looking back over the years; I can make my boast in the Lord that irrespective of the length of time I’ve worked anywhere – I have left a legacy of Jesus’ love, won hearts for Jesus and can reach out to peers and senior colleagues cordially years after; all to HIS glory!

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 (AMP)

 

Available Vessels

If I thought the month of June was good, then July was a great month of learning 😊and August is looking promising too. I started the series #VesselUntoHonour and it’s been a great month of learning. I remember going to my knees several times and talking to my Father based on the messages my writers passed. I hope you learnt a thing or two about being #VesselsUntoHonour to the ultimate potter. The series continues this month and I’d like you to pay attention to these writers, should I say their messages makes you have this sit and think moments. 

The series has been moved to only Fridays, starting from next week though, so I will be back to my blogging posts 💃🏿💃🏿💃🏿thanks for always stopping by.

Remember I mentioned July was a great month of learning; I want to share this with you. July 27-29 were my best days in the month of July thanks to the program- Mantle of Deborah – Fire of God, it was awesome.

God doesn’t choose a vessel and decide it will be noble and another not noble, God uses/picks available noble vessels, the decision to be noble and otherwise is entirely dependent on you – Pastor Chingtok 

This got me thinking, what sort of vessel will I be when God wants one- a noble vessel fit for the master’s use or will I be a cracked, unsure 😐 vessel? 

Let’s take a trip to the love letters (the Bible), each vessel used was available:

  1. Rebecca (Genesis 24): she was helpful by the well when Abraham’s servant was wife shopping for Isaac. The lesson learnt from here is to see every time as an opportunity to minister, don’t ever be caught unawares. Be kind to people, show love at all times you just might be the answer to someone’s prayers.
  2. Joshua & Gideon: what courageous men, others saw themselves as grasshoppers they saw a land flowing with milk and honour. In doing this it showed that they knew their God – Daniel 11:32… and God used them to do exploits. Do you know your God intimately, can you boast of God’s ability or you do this ? 
  3. Rahab: that Jericho wall prostitute is part of the linage of grace all because she hid those does spies, what are you doing to help out, it’s the Christ like way, you should helpout where possible. 
  4. Peter: this young man was so into tune with Jesus that when He was asked who Jesus Christ is, he is got it without prior knowledge. Who are you?

God is always in need of vessels, will you be available when a noble vessel is sought? Ponder of this thought.

Remember, He uses the available.