GLEANINGS..."A weekly Devotional" by Gbile Akanni
- 26th Jan., 2015
- 3rd March, 2014
- 17th Feb.,, 2014
TIMELY WARNING - 1
"A MAN ‘S REQUEST...A WARNING FOR ME!"
The way the Lord Jesus Christ responded to one man’s request in the scriptures has raised very serious issues for me as a person. I have had to ask several questions, but as I study again and again, I find that Jesus knew what He was doing and He never makes mistakes. There is no statement that the Lord Jesus Christ makes unadvisedly, or carelessly. When He says something, He says it with eternity in view. Just as this one.
"And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:16-21 KJV
People normally came to Jesus with different purposes and I don’t think this man should be blame because any man who came to Jesus, with any need had his need met, no matter what the need was.
When the blind man came to Jesus, He said, “What do you want me to do for you?” The man said, “I want to see,” and Jesus gave him sight. When the ten lepers met Jesus and pleaded for mercy, they received their healing. When the woman with the issue of blood came into the congregation and decided that if she could touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, all her twelve years issue of blood would finish, she came and touched the hem of His garment and was healed.
But this particular man’s problem was not leprosy, he was not sick. The problem which he had was legitimate to bring to Jesus. After all, Jesus says, “ask anything that you will and I will do it.” So I do not think that his request was wrong. His late father left a lot of inheritance for them. He must have written a will but this man’s elder brother refused to release what belong to him. Years must have passed but the situation remained the same.
Others could have gone to witch doctors to look for something to injure the elder brother and get the inheritance; but this man did not do that. He went to Jesus. Some others could have gone to a prophet or prophetess. I wish you know why some people go to white garment or spiritist churches. It is not necessary that they are sick. Some of them go there for help maybe because somebody is sitting on their father’s land which belong to them; and when they requested saying, “Look, this is our father’s land. Look at the beacon”, the man says, “Go and do your worst! If you don’t take time, we will bury you here.” So such a person runs for help anywhere he could get it.
This man said, “I have Jesus, I will take my problem to Him. I will meet Jesus over the matter.” Luckily for him Jesus was coming to town. He got himself ready and said, “Let me meet Jesus over this matter. I will tell Him, because the hearts of Kings are in the hands of the Lord. There is nobody God cannot control. God will speak to my elder brother.” The man you cannot handle, the Yoruba proverb says, you could send God to him.
This is what this man decided to do. He came and said, “Master, speak to my brother. I know you are the One who speaks to a man and he obeys.” God could go and wake a man in the night and say, “What are you doing sitting on the inheritance that belongs to your brother?” And he will wake up and do something about it.
When you take a case to court and the judges are bribed, you may not get justice. This man took the matter to Jesus, and that was where I was confused and it set me searching the scriptures because, I expected Jesus to always defend the defenseless. He will always fight for the lonely man. He will always stand up and fight for the underprivileged. So, I expected Jesus to have said, “Okay, I will speak to your brother.” But to my surprise, the Lord Jesus Christ raised a very serious question which rather hit my heart with a serious note of warning and left me wondering why Jesus handled this man’s matter this way.
"And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?"
Luke 12:14 KJV
It was as if Jesus was saying: “Who told you that what I came to give you, the treasure I came to administer to you was this kind of thing? Who made me judge and a divider over you?”
I so much wished that Jesus had kept quiet on that, I would have said, may be the man made his request at a wrong time. I would have relaxed and prayed to God, to teach me how to make my request at the right time, at the right place and in the right manner. But the Lord went forward and said more than what the man asked. Those are the issues burning my heart, which, you may also need to think about.
What are my requests? How will Jesus react to them? Are they looking so legitimate to me, but frightening to the Lord? Please dear Lord, give me light, as I wait on you over this matter; for:
"Sometimes what seems right is really a road to death."
Proverbs 16:25 – CEV
Gleanings 16: from the Canticles
"My beloved is mine, and I am his."
"My beloved is mine, and I am his. He is the one who grazes his flock among the lilies."
Son 2:16 GW
Thank you for loving me. Redemption has brought me into adoption.
My beloved is mine. O Lord what a thought to contemplate. My beloved is mine. O Lord, you are mine. You are my possession. You are my own to own. You belong to me. Thank You for this light on my soul today. You are mine. You made this offer to Abraham in Gen.15:1-2, but he seemed not to know the full blessedness of this offer. He rather opted for a baby. He left You as his possession and grabbed Ishmael of Hagar. It became but leanness in his soul. It became the bane of his life for many years. O Lord, I accept this offer with all my heart today. It is my utmost joy to so own you and be possessed of you in all my life. Let me know this daily in reality. Let me be so definite about this in all my consideration. Help me to walk in this reality. My beloved is mine.
He is mine. He is mine in every respect. He is mine in life and even in death. His wisdom and knowledge of things is mine. His glory is actually mine. His victory is my victory. His holiness is mine. His credit is mine. His standing is mine. His seat in the heavenlies is also mine. O Lord, You are mine. All that thou art is mine. What a boldness I need to claim Thee as mine. Not to shrink or falter from this glorious inheritance. Yes, You are mine. Alleluia!
"And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours."
Luk 15:31 NKJV
This was your offer to the older son, when he got mixed up and disillusioned at the joy in the Father’s heart over the return of the prodigal son. How soothing and assuring it is for me to know and hear you re-echo to my heart… “And all that I have is yours”. All that the Father has is mine. He has offered Himself freely and completely for me to own, to have and to hold.
"My beloved is mine, and I am his. He is the one who grazes his flock among the lilies."
The other side of the coin is equally pungent… “And I am His”. I am so glad, I belong to Jesus. It is a privilege to be yours and to have your seal of ownership over me. I am not an orphan. No one can molest me and go without the challenge of Him who owns me. Thank You Lord that I am Yours. Love lifted me out of hopelessness and made me yours. Redemption would have been enough for me but you have also adopted me and made me your son. Glory! Alleluia!! I wish to also say, “All that I am, all that I ever hope to be and all that will ever come out of me is yours and yours completely”. I am unreservedly yours!
"He is the one who grazes his flock among the lilies."
O Lord, I long for this grazing again. You are the one who grazes your flock among the lilies. I long to be led to the lilies, where I can just be allowed into the very succulent pasture and at the same time drink from thy bowels of love. Give me a drink today from thy wells. There is a well that could never quench my thirst. I have drunk very many times from it and went away dry. Today, I look for the well that never shall run dry. A drink from it will become in me a spring of life. I also just want to drink and then carry within my belly a well of life such that others could draw from and get refreshed on their journey to eternity. Grant this to your servant and your friend today in Jesus name.
But here is another thought! The lilies are not just pastures, they are the children of my Father, who themselves are being brought together in this day and age, in growing intimacy with the Lord himself. They are tender and loving. Grazing among the lilies is a height of fellowship among the brethren. What a place to graze from. Lord, I long for the fellowship of the saints in these days. I must not approach ministry from the ground of what to do and what to achieve. It must come from a touch of love. It must be what I can supply to the growth of this one or what I can show him or her of the love of the Saviour. It must come from the heart of compassion. It must be a grazing among the lilies.
There is a yearning in verse 17,
"When the day brings a cooling breeze and the shadows flee, turn around, my beloved. Run like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains that separate us! "
Son 2:17 GW
It is the yearning for fellowship and for reconnection. It is a cry for a rushing back into Your presence and it is a desire to come into the arms of love. The shadow of the night seems to veil your lovely face. Sometime it covers your beauty from the eyes of my heart. The refreshing of a new day must bridge the gap that the Mountains of Bether have created.
The mountains of Bether are the mountains that separate us. Whatever those mountains are, be it the mountains of unbelief, the hills of doubt, or the mountains of trials and temptations, they seek to create a gulf and a gulley between us. O Lord, run like a gazelle or a young stag over the objects of our separation. I also want to fly across the hills and come, but I do know that unless you come to pick me up, I will always fall back into the valleys. Come and grant me the wings of the Eagle that I may fly away with you. I want a fore taste of that now even before you come at rapture for all of us in thy Church on earth. Come and pick me up over the mountains of Bether, the mountains that separate us.
While the mountains stand betwixt us, it cast shadows of gloom and darkness of the night. It covers thy beautiful face from my view. It exaggerates the problems as if you are not able to handle them in thy grace. O Lord, come over the mountains and pick me up and let us fly together into thy very loft up above. This is my one desire today. Grant it dear Lord in Jesus name.
Gleanings 15: from the Canticles
"Dealing with foxes and internal spoilers."
"Catch for us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vineyards; For our vineyards are in blossom."
Son 2:15 WEB
Catch the foxes, the little foxes, before they ruin our vineyard in bloom. GNB
Catch for us the foxes...
There are little foxes, imperceptible and tiny. They are the spoilers that destroy the vineyards from within. They are the enemy from the very inside. They eat up my relationship with you with little or no notice. They work their destruction without any fanfare. They do not look like anything to pursue. They even look like part of the plants. Yet, they are focused on their purpose. Their vision is to destroy and to bring decay to the vineyards when they are blooming. Lord, help me to catch the little foxes that seek to spoil the vines.
The first wisdom I am hearing you release to my heart here is that I must locate and localise the little foxes and lay hold of them. I must identify the foxes within the vines. I need to set trap for the foxes and bring it out for what they are lest they spoil all that God is doing in my life and all He desires to do through me in his Church at this time. Little foxes! They do not appear bogus. They do not appear imposing. They appear so little that it will pass without notice. O Lord, help me to catch the little foxes within my bosom, lest they spoil what You are doing in my life.
I need to know this very firmly that what spoiled great works are not great mistakes. They are not big issues. If it were, most men will avoid them. The foxes are little and almost inconsequential in outlook, but the consequences of their damage is colossal. What brought great men on their backs were not big stumbling blocks, they were little foxes. They destroy not by power but by a definite strategy of introducing decay into the entire basket of their lives. What a wisdom I must learn of you today! "One rotten apple will spoil a basket full”. Wisdom is more powerful than weapons, yet one mistake can destroy all the good you have done. Eccl.9:18(CEV)
"Dead flies can make a whole bottle of perfume stink, and a little stupidity can cancel out the greatest wisdom."
Eccl.10:1 ( GNB)
If the foxes are very visible, many would have shouted and cried for help, but they are always so little that it does not raise any alarm. It does not appear as an emergency. This is the cry of my own heart today. Do not allow me to spoil this vineyard due to the negligence of what I may regard as so little in my life.
Moses finally could not make the Promised Land because of the little anger he allowed to remain within his own vines. It was nothing to cry about while the vine was not yet blooming. Little foxes are not a threat until the time of bloom in the vineyard. Little foxes are not a matter until when the vineyard is blooming. It is at the time of revival that this foxes find expression. Lord, check me out again at this point. Help me to know what it is that is dormant in my life today, but will revive and become so active with the coming revival. Weeds look dry when there is no rain, but as soon as the heavens open and showers of blessing flow from up above, the weeds also gets revived and draws on the nutrients of revival to grow. It actually grows faster than the real crop. Lord, help me to uproot these foxes at this time now in Jesus name.
No one noticed any foxes in the life of Gideon, while he was struggling to thresh the wine in the winepress of his father. It all seemed he had no problem with greed for honour. But when God had brought him into victory all round, he secretly longed for a monument for his personal memorial. He made a calf of gold like Aaron of old and it soon spoiled the revival for which he laboured.
The instruction to my heart this day is 'Catch for us the foxes ' I am so touched with the fact that you have identified with me. It is both my interest and your own interest. It is "for us" and that "us" is You and me. It is so assuring that these foxes concerns You as well as myself. Lord, I want to respond to You in this matter. I must not spoil this vineyard that is both Yours and mine. I am involved, just as You are. I must recognize that this life is no more my private property. You have invested into me and it cannot be handled as if it is my own exclusively. Lord, I can see that it is "for us". It is also for the Church. It is a big cheat on the Body of Christ if I should allow my life to be spoilt by these little foxes. It would have wasted their allocation of grace kept in my charge for this generation.
Help me to walk with this sense of responsibility. It is "for us" and not for me alone. I cannot go anywhere I like anymore because I carry in my bosom the valuable resources meant for several men in this generation. Catch for us the foxes!
"... for our vines have tender grapes."
The vines are corporately owned. This is yet another matter of your love for me. I have been brought into partnership with you in the things in which you have brought me to serve you in. Not just a worker but a shareholder. You have given me a share with You. I have been made a joint heir with you in all these things that God is placing in your hands, my Lord and Master Jesus. I must walk in this light. Thank You for this opportunity to belong to You and to be a co-sharer with You in your inheritance.
The very place where the little foxes like to hide is in the heart. It is the same place the best affection for the Lord must be hatched, yet the little foxes have chosen it to be their nest. I must arise with all diligence today to guard my heart and to check it night and day to be sure the foxes have not dug their holes within. God’s dear servant of blessed memory, F.B. Meyer had this to say in one of his devotional commentary, and I have found it of a tremendous help to my soul and I have quoted it here without any alteration:
"IN MOST of the old castles there is an inner keep, which is protected, not only by mighty walls and bastions, but by the portcullis at the gate, and sentries at every approach, who challenged every one that passed in and out. So the heart is continually approached by good and evil, by the frivolities and vanities of the world and the insidious suggestions of the flesh. It is like an inn or hostelry, with constant arrivals and departures. Passengers throng in and out, some of them with evil intent, hoping to find conspirators, or to light fires that will spread until the whole being is swept with passion, consuming in an hour the fabric of years to ashes.
We need, therefore, to be constantly on the watch; we must keep our heart above all else that we guard, for out of it are the issues of life (R.V. marg.). Our Lord says that "out of the heart of man come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, thefts," etc. The devil and the world without would be less to be feared, if there were not such strong tendencies to evil within--many of them inherited from long lines of ancestors, who, alas! pass down to us the worst features of their characters equally with the best.
Keep it Clean. Just as the eye of the body is perpetually washed with tear-water, so let us ask that the precious blood of Christ may cleanse away any speck of impurity. Remember how delicate a thing the heart is, and how susceptible to the dust of an evil thought, which would instantly prevent it becoming the organ of spiritual vision. Sursum Corda! Lift up your hearts! We lift them up unto the Lord!"
Make me sensitive O Lord, not just to great and bogus things but to little foxes that spoil the vine. I must keep on the watch for the creeping tiny things that seek little crevices into my heart and into my affairs. As the vineyards blossom, I must expect the strange stream of these destroyers, whose appetite is for the tender grapes. Imperceptible little dead flies must not spoil this ointment for me and for the household for which I hold these things in trust. Help me to end well in Jesus name.
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