Archive for the ‘Sacrifice’ Category

April 20, 2016

MOCKERY

Dag Heward-Mills

READ: Nehemiah 4:1-7

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psalm 1:1
 

Mockery is a painful, difficult thing to experience. To insulate ourselves from mockery, we build a cocoon around our lives. Mockers and scoffers are part of the community which God has sent us to. Mockery comes from a spirit that tries to shut us up and keep us silent.

Satan knows you fear embarrassment. ‘When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble — burned as they are?” Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building — if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”’ (Nehemiah 4:1-3, NIV). We unconsciously keep away from anything that ridicules us. The devil loves to ridicule us. If I had allowed intimidation to work on me, I would not be in the ministry today.

Satan keeps you away from new things through the fear of ridicule. Ridicule is a barrier you must cross. The devil is a bully and he knows your weak areas. Anytime you attempt to go into an area of ministry, he reminds you of your own weakness in that area. When it is time for you to become a pastor, he’ll remind you about all your deficiencies and why you do not qualify.

Credit: Dag Heward-Mills

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April 5, 2016

CONTRAST

Dag Heward-Mills

READ: Matthew 25:1-13

But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Matthew 25:4
 

The five wise virgins were in the perfect will of God but the five foolish virgins were not in the perfect will of God. On the outside the five foolish virgins looked exactly the same as the five wise virgins but they were very different people. At the end of this parable we see the two groups of virgins going in different directions.

The perfect will of God and the imperfect will of God may be close and parallel but they are very different. When you are in the imperfect will of God you will end up in a different place from those who are in the perfect will of God.

The two women at the mill looked like they were both in the perfect will of God. In the end, one of them was left behind and the other was taken to Heaven. How could that be? Although they looked the same, they were actually very different. Such is the mysterious will of God. It looks similar to the imperfect will of God but is indeed very different.

“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left” (Matthew 24:40-41).

“I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left” (Luke 17:34).

Credit: Dag Heward-Mills

April 4, 2016

GOD LEADS

Dag Heward-Mills

READ: Philippians 4:10-14

I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity…

Philippians 4:12,NASB
 

Paul the apostle is one of the great examples of a minister who managed to follow the Lord. He was fresh till the end and the anointing never diminished. Right up till the end of his ministry he lived under the guidance of the Lord. When you are following the Lord, it may seem as though you are erratic in not following a particular pattern. I can understand this because following God is not the same as following a rigid formula. God is not a formula, God is not a computer program!

Paul received different instructions from the Lord. At one time, he said he had been instructed by God to be full and to abound. In other words, he was to enjoy prosperity and blessings. In the same breath, he said, he had been instructed by the Lord to abase and to endure hunger. Both instructions came from God. It is not a good thing to be in need. The tree of good and evil will always guide you away from things that will bring you into need. But this was God’s will and direction to Paul. At other times, he had the exact opposite direction from the Lord.

Twenty-one days of fasting is a tradition of our church. I once ended up breaking my good tradition and going to South America instead of fasting for twenty-one days with the church. On that trip, all the doors to South American countries flung open. I suddenly had a ministry in the Spanish speaking world of Latin America which God had prepared for me.

Like Paul, I was receiving an instruction to do something quite contrary to what I had done previously.

Credit: Dag Heward-Mills

She Slept With Her Snake And Then The Vet Told Her Something Shocking

This is a true story about a woman from India who lived in the Middle Ages and had a pet snake, python, which she loved so much. The snake was 4 meters long and looked healthy. However, one day her unusual pet just stopped eating.

This lack of appetite in the snake continued over a few weeks. The desperate woman tried everything she could and offered anything that a snake would like to strangle and eat. Nothing worked, and finally the woman took her loving pet to the veterinarian as a last resort.

The vet listened to the woman carefully and asked, “Does your snake sleep with you at night, wrap around you closely and spread out throughout its length?”

The woman was surprised and with a lot of hope she said, “Yes! Yes! It does it every day and it makes me so sad because I see something asking of me, and I cannot help it feel better.”

Then, the vet said something shocking and most unexpected. “Madam, your pet is not sick; it is just preparing to eat you.” Yes, the python wasn’t sick but it has been preparing to eat her instead!

“Every time, it is creeping and “hugging” you, wrapping around your body, it is checking size to weigh how a great meal you are and how it must be prepared before the attack. And yes, it does not eat, in order to have enough space to digest you more easily,” the vet said.

This story comes with a moral – Even people close to you, whom you are very affectionate with, can, have mean intentions. You need to identify the snake around you and their true intent. Hugs and kisses are not always honest.

Don’t fear the enemy that attacks you, but the fake friend that hugs you.

No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.
Hebrews 5:4, NIV

March 31, 2016

CALLED

Dag Heward-Mills

READ: Hebrews 5:1-10

No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.
Hebrews 5:4, NIV
 
Entrance to ministry must be through the call of God. The door to ministry is the call of God.

“And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron” (Hebrews 5:4).

If you do not have a divine call, you are not supposed to be in the ministry. You must have a personal conviction of a call which sets you apart for the ministry.

Your call to ministry is the foundation of your ministry. It defines everything that you will ever do in the ministry.

The door to ministry is different from the door to other professions. Your entrance to the medical profession is by graduating from a medical school. The entrance to the legal profession is by graduating from a law school. The entrance to the accounting profession is by obtaining an accountancy certificate. However, the entrance to ministry is not by acquiring a certificate from any school, including a Bible school. The entrance to ministry is by receiving and obeying a divine call.

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count your worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

March 21, 2016

DIFFERENCE

Dag Heward-Mills

READ: Acts 8:26-39

…Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
Acts 8:30-31
 
Asking questions and seeking clarification may seem like a little thing but it is that which has made a difference between different groups of people on earth. People have searched for big differences to explain the disparity between groups of people. They have tried to measure brain size, intelligence and IQ. They always came up with a blank because the big things are the same.

God made us all the same and equally capable. It is little differences that make the big difference. Today, some people want to know whether there is water and life on Mars whilst others cannot find water on earth to flush their toilets. Have you noticed how some groups on the planet seek to study and to understand lions, leopards, antelopes, worms, flies, birds, sharks, whales and snakes? Other groups of people just kill them when they come across them. These little differences cause the disparity that you see in people.

In the ministry, the large differences between ministers and churches is also caused by this very thing. Some people never ask, “Why is this person able to have a big church? How were you able to do this? Is it the anointing? If it is the anointing how can I also have the anointing? How did you get that anointing?” Sadly, many ministers do not seek clarification. Many ministers do not ask questions. They just assume that they know. They just assume that there are negative reasons for people’s success. Because of this, big differences develop between ministers with the same kind of divine call.