Behold The Lamb of God.

I believe someone needs to read this, and I pray that you will receive it.“Some people have said that if Christ came back today, He would not be crucified but would be given a glorious reception. Christ does come to us every day in the form of Bibles that we do not read, in the form of churches that we do not attend, in the form of human need that we pass by.” – Excerpt from BGEA Devotional.We are constantly waiting on Christ to intervene, show himself, manifest, etc. “I need you Jesus” has become an empty cliché because, when he does present himself, we choose other things. He is daily offering intervention, salvation, redemption, and rest, to us. We just fail to behold Him.

“Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Many saw Jesus whom they knew from childhood; but few beheld him as the lamb of God for their salvation.

This Weekend He came in a whisper. Some obeyed and went to church, others decided they didn’t feel like it. He came in church. Some beheld Him through his word and were changed, others went back unchanged. He comes through the many messages from group meetings and media ministries. Some have beheld Him and are rising strong! Others are still oppressed. Some behold him as they daily read His word and pray to transform their minds. Others reject the prompting and never have time to read or pray. Hence, they continue in the same cycles and poor decision making mindsets. But if you are willing, you can behold Him.

Every thing you needed for your salvation and deliverance and empowerment was presented to you today. Why? Because The Lord said, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, NOW is the time of God’s favor; TODAY is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Even through this post, Christ is coming to you. He is always here, but we must decide to behold HIM.

If tomorrow we end the day as ensnared as we were yesterday, then it is because we rejected Christ when He came to us today; and He did come.

So I urge you, “TODAY, as you have heard God’s voice, do not harden your heart in rebellion” (Hebrews 3:15), for it was for that reason that the isrealites vexed Him and did not enter His rest, though the Lord himself was right in their midst the entire time [read Hebrews 2:7-19].

Behold the lamb of God and obey his voice, and you will be saved from that person, situation, or thing that is besetting in your life.
 
By NADEGE FORLU
www.benaiahwatch.com

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When The Hand Of God Is In The Scattering.

All of us will admit that, at some point in life, we have experienced what we thought were setbacks, disappointments, rejections, oppositions, and betrayals. These instances might have caused us to redefine casual, business, and intimate relationships with others. But recently, as I was having my introvertive moment, ☺️ a thought crossed my mind; “Why are people most likely to feel betrayed or wronged when another person’s decision does not favor their personal plans or goals, even if it betters that other person’s life?”
 

One thing I am learning is that, while it is true that betrayals happen in life, some of our perceived disappointments are as a result of our own self-centered expectations. If we are willing, we will accept that sometimes the Lord is the orchestrator of the scattering, even the scattering of good things. But we are often too consumed by our own ambitions to consider anything else.

If we only look at situations through the eyes of our ambitions, we will always miss the bigger picture. We may end up destroying potentially fruitful relationships, prolonging stagnation, praying amist, or holding animosity against people whom God wanted to be lifelong destiny helpers or friends. But if we would look at every situation through the lense of the Kingdom of God, then we would be open to the bigger picture. We would remember that God’s ways are not ours, and His thoughts are higher than ours, and His Kingdom is wider than our wildest dreams, and we would better interpret life’s situations.

The Lord directs all His Children according to his Kingdom’s purposes, not according to our Individual ambitions. Therefore, one man’s personal ambition should never define or determine another man’s purpose in life, and should never attempt to regulate how and when The Lord leads another one of his son or daughter.

I am not disregarding the place of accountability here. What I am saying, for example, is that everyone must not serve MY cause in order to be in the perfect will of God for their lives. Everyone must not belong to MY organization/church/group in order to be a passionate pursuer of the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Again, His kingdom is SOO much bigger than any individual group anywhere. So, it will behoove us all to, “get over ourselves” if we are truly about the kingdom of God. Why? Because the works of the kingdom are about serving others; something we will not be able to do if we are wrapped up in our own agendas.

Again, the Holy Spirit will lead us, ALL OF US who are His, to one day redefine our relationships with our children, parents, siblings, churches, strangers, jobs, etc., so that His kingdom will be expanded throughout the Earth and reach as Many as possible. Children will grow up, become Independent, and leave their parent’s homes. Sons will leave their siblings and marry, regular members will be called into different ministries and go off to plant new churches, start new businesses, or join different fellowships. People will change professions and get new jobs/bosses, strangers will become spouses, etc. These are not acts of betrayal; they are not setbacks or disappointments; rather, these should be causes to celebrate our fellow brethren for allowing God to shift them into his will for their lives. However, how many of us will admit that many of our disappointments and offenses against others have been around such events? We were not always happy when others decided to follow God and made decisions that had nothing to do with us or our personal agendas and desires? Some of us are still waiting for God to judge or punish someone for disappointing us, not knowing that God might very well have been the one calling that person to shift.

Remember this: Sometimes, the hand of God is not in the infrastructuring, the strategic planning, the hoarding of people for the sake of growth, or in our various ideas of success. Sometimes, instead, the hand of God is in the scattering. [Genesis 11:1-9]
 
By NADEGE FORLU
www.benaiahwatch.com

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Seven Keys to Effective Communication

Back in high school, I had an AP Physics professor who was probably one of the most brilliant men I had ever met. He was not just a teacher; he was also an inventor. I had heard from previous students that he gave field trips to his home because his home was a museum of his own inventions. He had received some recognition for his work and had several projects pending a patent. However, there came a time when students were petitioning for this professor to get FIRED! As brilliant as he was, he lacked effective communication skills with his students.  He simply did not know how to impart his knowledge, how to address students’ concerns, or how to resolve whether or not the students had grasped his teachings. One day, out of frustration from both sides, he had a heated argument with a student who was fed up with the class. This student was obviously failing but felt unresponsible for that. One of the most beneficial and advanced skills any human being can have is that of effective communication. Most of us believe that we are good communicators because we know how to talk; how to give a piece of our minds and release whatever is inside of us. However, talking does not equate communicating as listening does not equate comprehending. Others of us know better but have allowed ourselves to become familiar with others such that we neglect doing that which is right. So much can be said about communication, but this post will only focus on seven of many keys that will benefit married couples, friends, colleagues, or any relationship.

1 – LISTENING

This is a big one, maybe the MOST important one. I often tell my nephew who plays the drums that his ability to listen attentively is what will make him a better-than-the-average drummer; that he would make fewer mistakes if he would just listen to the new song for a few minutes, and listen to the choir leader’s instructions, before he starts playing. Listening is never a waste of time. Studies show that the average person listens for only 7 seconds before he starts thinking up a response. Meaning; he does not listen to understand but rather to speak. He only listens long enough to get something to comment on. This also means that the speaker only has 7 seconds to win the listener’s continued listening, to stir up an argument, or to lose his listener altogether. This knowledge is what marketers use to sell products; something known as the “critical 7 seconds.” With this approach, they rightly divide their words in order to quickly win over potential customers. If you start your response to someone with “that was a stupid idea,” you will lose that person to a fight. But if you start with “you made some great points,” or “I agree with you when you said ‘this and that’” or if you start by just repeating what the person said to let him Know that you actually understood him, before adding your objections, you will have a more productive conversations. Of course, you are not responsible for how well the other person has developed his own ability to remain focused when his idea is then objected.

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

Proverbs 12:25

The bible says, “be quick to listen and slow to speak” (James 1:19). Listening is how you will gather information about the person you are talking with: their personality, their reasoning, their level of understanding, details of their proposal, etc. Listening will help you know how and when to change your approach of delivery. When you know these things, you can better communicate with each individual person. It is through listening that a successful business man, for example, can communicate his product to thousands of people in different parts of the worlds, with different cultures and languages, and succeeds to convince all of them that they need his product. The person who listens more and talk less is most likely to put in the final word, and his idea will likely be the take-home.

“He who answers a matter before he hears it, this is folly and disgrace to him.”

Proverbs 18:13

2 – EMPATHY

This is the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes; to think, feel, and understand as the other person does. Empathy will help you to know how to use the information which you have received from the other person to best help her.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29

3 – CLARITY

It is not enough to be a genius if no one knows what on earth you are talking about. When I worked as a manager, I often reviewed the write-ups of my assistant before she would put them out. I sometimes found myself marking up her documents and sending them back to her for review because she omitted vital information, or used controversial words. One day, I pulled down a notice she had hung up and called her to my office. I told her to imagine that she had no background knowledge about the content of that letter. Then I asked her to read it to me. As she read it, her countenance slowly changed. As it was, that “friendly” notice was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Do not assume that everyone has the same educational level, background knowledge, or cultural understanding as you do. Clarify to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Mostly, do not get offended when someone does not understand you or asks you to clarify. It is better that they ask for clarity than that they walk away with the wrong conclusion.

4 – TIMING

They say timing is everything. That’s more profound than we often realize. The right thing said at the wrong time is the wrong thing, and the wrong thing said at the right time is still the wrong thing -if it is even possible to say the wrong thing at the right time- No one wants a bite of an unripened fruit. Mike Murdock says it this way; “Do not waste wisdom.” I say it this way; “do not throw a seed on unplowed grounds, it will not bear roots to grow and bring forth fruits.”

To everything there is a season, and A Time for every purpose under heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

I remember a few years ago when Wendy’s came out with a specialty sandwich. I personally like it, but it was not a national preference. I went back to order it and it was no longer on the menu. When I asked why,the cashier told me that it was a trial menu. Because it did not produce the desired profit, it was taken out. However, she did say that they would bring it back the following summer and test the results. I do not know how Fastfood restaurants operate; I can only hope that she gave me accurate information. It makes sense to not waste time and resources trying to sell something that does not yield a desired profit. Sometimes, it may take time for people to warm up to an idea, taste, agenda, or request. Know when to bring up certain topics in a meeting or with a spouse. Know when your desire is important vs when it is urgent vs emergent. Know when to hold back and when to push on a matter.

“A Word Fitly Spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Proverbs 25:11

5 – HUMILITY

The ability to accept correction /objection is a direct evidence of humility. It proves that you have not become an idol to yourself; that you understand that you are also prune to mistakes, that you neither always have the answers nor always have the right answers. Hence, the ability to accept criticism of your ideas without translating it to criticism of your person is very profound in maintaining a calm and effective communication. People who easily get offended during conversations are those who have not come to this understanding. If someone says, “I don’t agree with the method of that proposal, or “I don’t think that is the best thing to do at this time,” they hear, “you are stupid.” They may reply with “are you calling me an idiot? are you calling me a liar?” And before you know it, chairs and fists are flying across the room, or they may only become more argumentative and refuse to budge on the issue until their opinion is accepted. This is because they equate the accepting of their ideas to acceptance of their person. Humility will help you to separate the two.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14

6 – FOCUS

Avoid unnecessary sarcasm, ideas, or arguments that do not directly contribute to the purpose of the conversation. It is ok to go on a tangent to enhance the conversation. However, when the purpose of such is to belittle, castigate, or silence the other party… well, that become immaturity. When you sense a drifting away from the set agenda, quickly turn the wheels back and stay on track. Remember: you have the right to relinquish your right to have the last word or to win an argument. It takes much discipline, maturity, and humility to remain focused

“Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; an argument an exchange of ignorance.

Robert Quillen

7 – RESPECT  

You can respect someone and still disagree with his or her ideas. Engaged body language, eye contact, letting the other finish his/her statement, and NOT fidgeting with your cell phone or other gadgets will make the other party feel respected.

One of the greatest frustrations of this generation is trying to have a conversation with someone who is scrolling through his or her phone. In fact, just having a cell phone in your hand or on the table can make someone feel second place. They may believe that your attention to them is determined by what happens on your phone. Please; put your phone off or on silence and out of sight, and give the other your undivided attention. That speaks; “I respect you and your need to express your ideas or feelings, and I am all ears.”

On that note, please engage conversations, whether at work with colleagues or at home with your spouse and children, with an open mind and a cleared conscience. Come with this in mind towards the other person: “Whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is anything worthy of praise, I will think on those things.” Philippians 4:8
 
By NADEGE FORLU
www.benaiahwatch.com

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You might be worshiping an idol, and not even know it.

Our crave for motivation, affirmation, recognition, and approval, might be altering the messages promoted by many western Christians. You’ve heard it: “have faith in yourself, you are important, you are beautiful, know your worth, you deserve better, don’t be among people who don’t make you happy…” These could be good concepts, to some extent, but are being stretched to cultivate the increase of self-idolatry and self-worship. The Word of God stands, in spite of us, not because of us. That is why even heaven and Earth can pass away, but The Word remains forever. No situation we go through will ever change the statutes of God. It is important, therefore, that we be careful of the thinking that it’s always all about us; what we are going through; how others do or do not treat us; if we feel that someone else deserves our respect; whether or not our self-worth is recognized…etc. it’s really not all about us. The kingdom is bigger than our Independent mood swings. Be careful when someone is always promoting “situations”, personal strengths, personal appearance, self-worth, finding self, and believing in self. When they say, “be you, Do you, and don’t care what anyone thinks,” in the name of encouragement, empowerment, or motivation. Our trust should be in JESUS CHRIST. Our help comes, not from ourselves, but from JESUS CHRIST. It is JESUS CHRIST who gives us the strength to make wealth. It is in JESUS CHRIST that we can even live and move and have our being/existence (Acts 17:28). Meaning; the very essence of any good success is life in JESUS CHRIST. In fact, God says, “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.”
“Flesh” includes our own selves. You cannot lift up your hands in surrender and beat on your chest at the same time. The greatest prophets in the Bible said; “He [JESUS CHRIST] must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less” John 3:30. And again, “I have been crucified with Christ. NO LONGER I THAT LIVES (as in, “I’m dead. I no longer exists,” ). It is CHRIST that lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). That is, “Faith in the Son of God,” JESUS CHRIST; not faith in ‘myself.’ Hear what Jesus is still saying to His disciples: “If anyone would come after me, let him –>>DENY HIMSELF<<– and TAKE UP HIS CROSS and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 16:24-25). It’s good to feel beautiful, but SO WHAT if we are not told that? It’s good to be rich, but SO WHAT if we are not? It’s good to be accepted, but SO WHAT if man rejects us? It’s good to be treated like royalty, but SO WHAT if we are treated like rubbish? was not Christ himself spat upon, slapped, and rejected by the same ones he died for? And he was God! He said they will treat his people in the same way, for His namesake (Luke 15:18-25). It may be nice to get what we “deserve,” but SO WHAT if we get less? ( Although what we really deserved was the cruel punishment Jesus got on the cross, and it was nothing to be desired.) The fact that we might go through stuff doesn’t make God any less holy or righteous or true, and He will not require any less of a godly and humble character from us, and He will not share his glory with any man.

“For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To Him, Alone be ALL the glory, FOREVER! Amen.” Romans 11:3

I challenge us all to revisit the Words in RED and determine if the Jesus in our messages sound anything like the Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible. Then, I pray, may we die to ourselves so that Christ would finally be glorified through us.

“All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen” Jude 1:25.
 
By NADEGE FORLU
www.benaiahwatch.com

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