The Answer is in You!

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Joseph had a problem.

He was falsely accused of rape and sent to prison. There were no witnesses and it was his word against Potiphar’s wife’s word. Not only did Joseph have a problem, but he was surrounded by men in prison who also had problems. It didn’t look like anyone could help him get out of his situation.

One day, Joseph noticed the sad countenances of two men. The answer presented itself to the problem. The men didn’t know what was hidden in Joseph and Joseph didn’t know what was hidden in the butler, but they were about to help one another. If Joseph had focused only on himself and his problems, he would have never seen their faces.

To these men, Joseph probably didn’t look like he could help them, but don’t make the mistake of overlooking people because of what they look like. You will never know what’s in a package if you never open it.

The baker and butler told him their problem. They had a dream and were unable to interpret it, but Joseph knew the meaning of the dream. After the dreams came to pass, the butler was released and went back to work. Joseph told him not to forget about him once he was released, but the butler did. Two years passed and Joseph was still in prison, but one day Pharaoh had a dream. He called for all the magicians and wise men, but none of them could interpret his dream. Although the butler forgot about Joseph, he could never forget what Joseph did for him. He told Pharaoh about the man he met in prison who interpreted his dream. Pharaoh then sent for him.

Joseph didn’t know how to get out of his situation, but the moment he solved their problems, he no longer had a problem. The moment he met their needs, his need was met.

You have what someone needs and someone has what you need, but the secret in getting is giving.

You are God’s gift and inside of you is the answer to someone’s problem. Take what God has given you and give it to someone else and when you give, it will be given to you good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. 

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Go!

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Temple taxes were due and according to Mark 6:8, the disciples were commanded not to take money in their purses on their journey so Peter didn’t have money, but Jesus knew where the money was. First, Jesus told Peter to ‘go’ to the sea. To get what you need, you have to know where to go. Next, Jesus told him to cast a hook. Now Peter knew how to fish. He was a professional fisherman, but Jesus taught him how to catch fish a different way. Nets were always mentioned in the bible when fishing. In fact, that’s what Peter left when he followed Jesus, but to get something he never had, he had to do something he never did. If Peter had used a net, he would have caught a lot of fish, which means he would have had to try and figure out which fish had money in its mouth and God doesn’t want His children to be confused or uncertain about anything. Just like God commanded the ravens to feed Elijah, He commanded the fish to swallow a coin and to go to the place where Peter would be fishing. When Peter opened the fish’s mouth, he only got what he needed for that day. This is proof that God will give you your daily bread. The last thing Jesus told Peter was to take and give. He didn’t tell him to take and spend or take and squander. God provides seed for sowing, not for eating (2 Cor 9:10). God gave His first and only Son (Seed) and in return He received many sons. When we give our first, we will get a return also. It won’t always be in the form of money. It may be a family member receiving healing, protection of your children or a loved one receiving salvation, but there will be a return.

Notice that Jesus didn’t pay the tax for Peter. Neither did the money fall from the sky. Peter had to do something and then God provided what He needed. Peter used his gift (fishing) and his gift made room.

God doesn’t want you worrying about how your bills are going to get paid. Seek God because HE knows where the money is. There are hidden riches in secret places (Isaiah 45:3).

Every miracle comes with instructions, but you must follow the instructions in order to receive the miracle. Like Peter, you will find money, but you must follow the first command and ‘go’.

You’re Just in the Middle

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When we receive a word from the Lord, we receive it with joy, but we forget that tribulation and persecution will come because of the word. It’s easy to get excited in the beginning and excited about the end of a thing, but what are you doing in the middle?

 Jesus gave the disciples instructions to go into the ship and go to the other side. The disciples obeyed and everything was going well until the ship was in the midst (middle) of the sea. No one knew that when the word came, the wind would come also. What happened to the disciples is what happens to every believer in Christ. When God is for you, everything that is against you getting to the other side will come, but God always sends His word first to prepare us for the wind that is coming.

 The disciples were toiling and rowing and Jesus saw them struggling. All they were doing was what Jesus told them to do yet they felt like they were getting nowhere. The Helper came to them walking on the sea, but they were so distracted by the wind that they didn’t even recognize the Word. When the disciples willingly received the Word, the ship immediately was at land (John 6:21).  

 The quicker you accept, receive and do the word God gave you, the quicker you will make it to the other side.

 Jesus gave Peter one word – ‘Come’. The moment Peter stopped doing what the Word told him to do, he sank. The Word was before him, but all Peter could see and hear was the wind. God wants you to believe the Word, not the wind. When you stop acting on the word, it is because you stopped believing the word. Don’t walk by what you see and be careful what you listen to. Attend only to your Father’s words.

 You are not alone on this journey because the word of God is in you. Don’t give up because it seems hard and don’t focus on how long you have been on the ship. The race is not given to the swift so learn to endure and be fully persuaded that you will get there.

 You are so close. Don’t stop rowing now. You are just in the middle.

Reference scriptures: Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-51; John 6:16-21

Don’t Settle At the Gate

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In 2 Kings 7:3, there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate. The scriptures didn’t state how long they settled at the gate. What I do know is that these men could have entered the gate at any time. There was no one there to stop them. A famine was in the land and they had two choices: die in their condition OR go through the gate and ‘possibly’ die. The only thing that was holding them back was fear, but once they decided to do something they had never done before, they realized that things were better on the other side. 

I do believe in the power of prayer, but some of our situations don’t need prayer – it needs a decision. Today, make up your mind about what it is that you want and MOVE! You will never know what your life could be like if you settle at the gate.

Don’t Give Up

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In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus told his disciples a parable to illustrate the need to always pray and not give up.

There was a widow who had been wronged by her adversary. She didn’t pray against her adversary and she wasn’t seeking revenge. All she wanted was justice. She needed help, but it seemed like the odds were against her. First of all, she was a woman and at that time women were not supposed to plead their case in court. Secondly, her husband died and there was no mention of a son. Lastly, she had no money, which meant she couldn’t afford an attorney, but she didn’t allow any of these things to keep her from going to court and asking for help. She teaches us that you can’t be afraid to ask for what you want.

The judge was an unjust man. He didn’t care who she was or if she was poor. He didn’t care about her and he didn’t care about God. The bible says that for a while he would not try her case, but she refused to be discouraged and give up. The reason she kept going back to the judge was because she believed that she would receive. Too often, we give up before we get our answer. When people stop praying, it’s because they stopped believing. Don’t stop praying because nothing has happened yet. Even in the delay, you must believe that God heard you and that you already have what you prayed for. God doesn’t have a hearing problem. We just have a believing problem. Be honest with God and ask Him to help your unbelief.

God wants us to come to Him the same way the widow continually went to the judge. Don’t take ‘No’ for an answer. The promises of God are ‘Yes’ and Amen. When the judge saw this widow’s faith, he had to honor her request. She didn’t have money, but she had faith. The woman with the issue of blood initially had money, but no faith. She spent all her money trying to get her healing. In the end, she got her healing, but it was by faith. Everything you are asking God for can only be received by your faith. Faith will get you what you couldn’t get on your own.

 If this widow’s faith could move an unjust judge to work on her behalf, how much more will your faith move a just Judge? God wants to see your faith. You are asking God for things, but God is watching to see how bad you want it. Show Him your faith.

This widow could have sat around and feel sorry for herself, but instead she got up every day and she spoke until something happened. Don’t mourn any longer over what was done to you in the past. This is the year that God will vindicate His people speedily. Plead your case before God and He will settle it. Whatever the thief stole in 2013, he will repay sevenfold in 2014. God is going to make every wrong right and you will see total restoration this year.