John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven” (John 3:27 NKJV).
It’s the beginning of the year, and as such, people are making resolutions for the New Year. Some of these resolutions may relate to a healthy lifestyle for this year. For others, their resolution will have to do with forsaking bad habit, improving their finances, family life or becoming a better Christian. The plain truth is, realization of any resolution we make comes with a prize; because, it might not be easy to fulfill them. Actually, in most cases, some of us will break our resolutions by the end of the first two or three weeks into the year. All because, either other external forces may interfere to thwart our plans or, we may not have the tenacity of purpose to motivate ourselves to follow through what we intend to achieve.
This might have been the case when some of John the Baptist’s disciples became discouraged when they saw that the main goal of their mission was being subverted by Jesus and his disciples. John’s disciples saw a drop in the attendance of those who were coming to him to be baptized. Their frustration heightened when they complained to John by telling him; “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified—behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him” (John 3:26 NKJV)! In response, John said; “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven” (John 3:27).
From John’s response, we can deduce two principles. The first is that, our human efforts could be severely crippled or limited. And this means that, at one point or another in our lives, we may need an external higher power to help us achieve our goals. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus; and so, he knew that, the power and anointing on Jesus far outweighs his. He (John) knew that, Jesus is the Son of God; and has come directly from his Father, who has given him greater authority and anointing more than anyone else.
The second deduction from John’s response is the principle of giving and receiving. No matter who we are, directly or indirectly, at a point in our lives, we’ve all received from, or given to someone before. Similarly, we all depend on God who is the giver of all good things. Our dependency on him becomes visible anytime we freely receive from him the air we breathe, the water we drink, our good health, peace and joy which enable us to function as humans. Above all, we have to remember that, God has given us his Son Jesus as a gift for the propitiation of our sins; so that, anyone who receives him is reconciled with him (God).
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, many of those who were sick received their healing from him. The disciples were able to cast out evil spirits because, they also received power from him. As well, they received their “education,” wisdom and encouragement from him. These and many other things they received from Jesus equipped them for their ministries later on. From the parable of the Talents, we read that, each of the three servants received some talents. The first one received five talents; the second received two and the third received one from their master before he travelled (Matthew 25:14-30). Through hard work, the first two servants doubled their talents while the third, because of laziness, dug hole and hid his. On arrival back home, the master praised and rewarded those servants who were industrious; but condemned the lazy servant.
Saints, we just welcomed the year 2020. I believe each one of us have plans we want to accomplish in this year; and possibly this decade. The reality is, many of us may get frustrated and give up when we realize things are not turning the way we planned. Some of us will be disappointed when we notice that we’re pursuing wrong goals. Still, some of us will use our human efforts to push through our goals; only to find out that we’ve toiled for nothing; because, what we thought is gold is only a mirage.
My prayer is that, we will remind ourselves of the words of John the Baptist; “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven” (John 3:27 NKJV); and invite God to be part of our plans. As we work hard to achieve these goals for the future, let’s also make room to receive that which God has in store for us. For, it is only him who can direct our paths to achieve success in this world of uncertainties.
On behalf of my wife and family, my Board, staff and the entire members of Disciples Revival Church, I wish all of you A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!
The entire Disciples Revival Church Family is undertaking a special spiritual exercise dubbed "Daniel's Fasting." This is a TWENTY-ONE DAY PRAYER AND FASTING Programme as we prepare ourselves for the year 2020.
We encourage you to join us if you can. We will be praying for the needs of people. Do not hesitate to send in your prayer request by going to our website at www.disciplesrevivalchurch.org and click on the prayer request page.
The Theme is: GOD, SHOW US YOUR GLORY!
My two new books titled: 1) Christianity As A Way of Life: Reflections on the Epistle of James. And
2) Jesus And The Seven Churches of Revelation.
were launched on Sunday November 24th 2019; and it was a huge success. Thank you for your prayers. These books will help you as study materials for your personal spiritual growth, small group, Sunday School or the whole congregation.
My other books titled: Understanding Love: Biblical & Cultural Perspectives, and African Spirituality: Did Africans Know God Before the Arrival of the Missionaries could be purchased from Amazon.com ; www.charlesmantey.com, email me at: cbmantey.com or www.shidaanikei.com.
We will be grateful if you are able to support us financially to continue spreading the gospel in Africa and other parts of the world. You may send your donations by E-Transfer or through our website at www.disciplesrevivalchurhch.org and click on the donation page.
Do check us out on social media for more study materials. Like us on Facebook at disciplesrevivalchurchtoronto or Twitter: @disciplesrevive find us on YouTube as well.
Rev. Dr. & Rev. (Mrs.) Charles & Faustina Mantey
Disciples Revival Church
30 Gordon Mackay Road
Toronto, Ontario M9N 2V6. Canada
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