Good Things Do Happen — Prophet Tony Mathias

A Church member who was a businessman dreaded his frequent business trips away from his loving family because he viewed ‘pornography’ secretly in his hotel room. He tried his best to break this habit but he couldn’t stop. This led to guilt and condemnation. He finally broke this dreadful habit when he got a revelation that he is as righteous as Jesus by God’s grace which he received at salvation.

Good Things Happen
To Those Who Believe the Good News!

Romans 5:17 –“…those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life by Jesus Christ.” – This is the ‘Gospel of Grace’ which is God’s power to bring salvation, deliverance, preservation, healing, health to all who believe.” Romans 1:16.

The First Secret: ‘Secret to Freedom from Bondage’
Romans 6:14; 1 Corinthians 15:34

When you know you are Righteous and have abundance of Grace.

“Sin will not have dominion…you are not under the law but under grace.” This happens when you: “Awake to righteousness.” [Then you sin not].

The Second Secret: ‘Secret to the Supernatural’
‘Hear the good news- all your sins are forgiven because of the Cross.’

Apostle Paul preached forgiveness people got healed as they listened. The man lame from birth leaped & walked the first time in his life! A person deaf in one ear got healed while hearing this message! Good things happen to those who fully depend on the grace of God. The more we hear good news the more miracles & breakthroughs we see. When you believe you’re forgiven and made righteous: You will be Healed, Prospered and Blessed!

Good Things Happen
To Those Who Believe God Loves Them!

Psalms 103: 1-5 – “…Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits: Who forgives all…who heals all your diseases” – Forgiveness comes before healing. Once you know you are forgiven of all your sins, healing follows!

Many suffer guilt and condemnation which destroys life and perpetuates the cycle of sin resulting in sickness – The good news? – His grace, righteousness and blood has set you absolutely free from sin.

The power to overcome sin is found in the gift of ‘no condemnation.’ And you are given this gift!

Jesus says to the woman caught in adultery. “Neither do I condemn you…go sin no more.”

The Third Secret: “Secret to be filled with the fullness of God”
When you know God loves you.

Paul prayed for the Church of Ephesus the most spiritual Church of his time. He prayed that they would understand ‘the width, length, breadth, depth and height of the love of Christ,’ well portrayed by the Cross of Jesus Christ. He prayed that they would be filled with the fullness of God.

When you know God loves you, you will be filled with the fullness of God!

The Fourth Secret: “Secret of Abundance”
When you know God loves you – think big and ask big.

He went on to say: “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding…” Ephesians 3:20. God becomes big in your life when you know his love.

Think and ask big. God still exceeds your demands because He loves you.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world….” He loved you so much that he did not withhold his only Son whom he loved for you.

That is why “good things happen even to bad people.” Jesus received all our ‘bad’ and we took all his ‘good.’ This is the gospel of Jesus Christ based on grace.

God has accepted you in the Beloved. He is well pleased with you because you are in Christ. You are God’s beloved Child and he says to you: ‘You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

Once you know you’re God’s beloved despite your sinning and failing

– Satan’s attacks against you will fail.
– Sin will not dominate you
– Temptation will not succeed
– Sickness will fade away
– Your giants will come tumbling down
– There will be no room for sin & sickness, no room for gloom
– You will prosper in every way
– You are highly blessed and highly favored!

Remember:
Good things happen to those who believe the Good News!
Good things happen to those who believe God loves them!

The Four secrets revealed to you are:

1. ‘Secret to Freedom from Bondage’
When you know you are Righteous and have an abundance of Grace.

2. ‘Secret to the Supernatural’
When you hear and believe the good news that all your sins are forgiven because of the Cross of Jesus Christ.’

3. “Secret to be filled with the fullness of God
When you know God loves you.

4. “Secret of Abundance” When you know God loves you
You are God’s favorite!

God loves you!
Begin to say this week many times:
God loves me and witness the miraculous!

Birthing Your Prophetic Destiny — Prophet Tony Mathias

There are some who have had prophetic words over their lives and yet they have not come to pass for several years. You may be one of those. Although you may have had them confirmed from the mouth of two or three witnesses yet in desperation you may have said the Prophet was wrong. You may have said, “I’ve heard everything the Bible has said about healing, but I still haven’t received the promise of God in a miracle.” So you gave up on believing the word of the Lord and the revelation.

Why is this so? And how can you birth the prophetic word given to you, see your prophetic promises fulfilled and release your destiny?

Matthew 16:13-17 Simon Peter had a revelation from heaven. He said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father in heaven.”

You too may also have received divine inspiration like Peter-a prophetic word, a vision, an illumined scripture from God. Maybe a prophet called you out and prophesied over you or God spoke to you through television, radio or a dream.

God may have revealed something we would accomplish for him, something we would become or something we would see Him do in our lifetime.

Matthew 16 Jesus said to Peter: “I say to you Peter, ‘on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.‘” This was a specific [rhema] word to Peter.

“On this rock” means on this rock of revelation, of being able to hear what your Father in heaven is saying, I shall build, My church.” Revelation activates destiny!

In the same passage, Jesus goes on to say, “Peter, I’ve given you the keys to the kingdom.The keys are the prophetic word or revelation you receive. It is the key to your destiny. You can use this key to unlock heaven and lose things in heaven so what God said about you in heaven can come to pass on the earth. With that prophetic destiny key, you can build and plant or uproot and pull down every opposition to its fulfillment. Jeremiah 1:10.

When God gives you a revelation, you are called to build, plant, loose, birth and bring to pass that word by working with the Holy Ghost. At the same time, you may have to pull down some things in the spirit that oppose the fulfillment of your word.

We need to know how to properly use these keys which have been handed to us through visions, dreams or words from the Lord.

Many times we have not walked in the fulfillment of what God said about us, not because of the prophet, God or the devil, but because of ourselves. We have a responsibility to birth prophetic promises that are given to us. When God speaks something about you, He is releasing a potential. What we do with it can determine our destiny.

When God says something about you, He is speaking out and releasing your potential. Many Christians don’t realize that most prophetic words, or their timing, are conditional upon us taking certain steps of obedience.

Daniel had a revelation while he was reading the book of Jeremiah. God breathed on the scripture and revealed to him that he was about to come out of Babylonian captivity after 70 years. Daniel began to fast and pray. Daniel 10 about what God said – he didn’t just take God’s spoken word for granted. He realized that God wanted him to be involved in the word.

Like Daniel, we need to birth prophetic words of God spoken to us and bring to pass what is potential. They are designed to stir up and cause destiny to come alive in us so we will get passionate about what God about us. We need to fast and pray over the prophetic word given to us.

Daniel kept praying and after 21 days Gabriel the archangel showed up and told him that God had heard his prayer on the very first day but it took 21 days for the answer to come because of opposition in heaven called the Prince of Persia. The enemy didn’t want him to receive what God wanted him to have immediately so there was a delay in the spirit.

What are the roadblocks to your destiny?It may be an opposition set up in heaven against your destiny.

So how do we hasten the word of the Lord?

  • Pray with Fasting
  • Prophetic Decree – proclaim or declare by faith the word given to you
  • Release angels to go and get what God has for you – angels should be sent out to battle the forces of the enemy trying to keep us from our destiny

Kingdom Principle Of Generosity — Shilpa Kathavate

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Lord Loves a Generous Giver

2 Corinthians 9:7
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Lord’s Generosity
2 Corinthians 9:10

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Luke 11:13
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Isaiah 40:29
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Ephesians 3:20 -21
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

How should we be Generous?

Luke 6:30
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

2 Corinthians 8:12
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

Matthew 5:41-42
And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

Giving to those in need

Leviticus 25:35–37
“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger, and he shall live with you.

Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.”

 

  • God commanded the Israelites to be generous and merciful to each other
  • A brother’s need was not to be capitalized on for personal gain.
  • If money was loaned to a fellow Israelite, interest was not to be charged
  • Because the Israelites were delivered from Egypt & received God’s generosity, they were to show impartial generosity to each other

Giving Sufficiently & Maintaining Generous Ears

Deuteronomy 15:7–8
If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be.

Proverbs 21:13
“Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.”

  • Do not shut your ears/hands or harden your hearts to the cry of the poor
  • Lend him sufficiently for his need
  • Lord Jesus said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

The Generous will Prosper

Proverbs 11:25
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Luke 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Psalm 112:5
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.

Proverbs 22:9
“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.”

Proverbs 19:17
“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”

Matthew 10:42 God keeps track of our giving

“And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

God’s Promise to the Generous

Psalms 41:1-3
“Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the Lord delivers him; the Lord protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies.

The Lord sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health.”

God responds to the kindness and generosity of his people with protection, health, and abundance.


Biblical examples of Generous People

  • Generous people often give more than they are asked to give

In Exodus 36:1-7 we see God’s people bringing more than enough to meet the need — to the point that Moses must tell them to stop!

  • Generous people give in response to a great cause

In 2 Corinthians 8-9, we see the Corinthian church giving faithfully to help a community of people whom they have never met!

  • Generous people give out of their substance & poverty, whether large/small -Jesus’ enthusiasm about generosity

In Luke 21:1-4 Jesus compares the widow’s mite to the rich man’s gifts — demonstrating that the gifts of all are needed and used in God’s economy

  • True generosity doesn’t come from our excess; it comes from sacrificial hearts
  • The beauty of this passage is in Jesus’ enthusiasm to point out this woman’s magnanimity out to the disciples
  • To think that God gets this excited when we’re open-handed is pretty inspiring
  • Generous people give more than just their money

In Luke 10:25-37 Jesus tells the classic story of the Good Samaritan — one who gave time, resources, and skill to meet the need of a man who had been left for dead at the side of the road

The Samaritan makes himself vulnerable and available — the very definition of hospitality.

  • Generous people give even when it doesn’t make sense

In Genesis 45 Joseph responding graciously and generously to his family, even when logic would tell him not to

  • Generous people give to help others, even when they differ from one another

We see it in Luke 7:1-10 as a Gentile builds a Jewish synagogue! Who could have predicted such a donor for such a cause?

  • Generous people give to see the impossible become possible

A little boy offered Jesus his meager lunch in Matthew 14:14-21

He only had a few loaves and fishes, and Jesus had 5,000 mouths to feed But gifts in God’s hands can be & often are divinely multiplied to meet the demands of greater works

  • Generous people give as a byproduct of their own personal transformation

The story of Zacchaeus, in Luke 19 is the story of a transformed giver- a tax collector moved by Jesus’ call to come back to God’s ways transforms from “collector of money” to “giver of money”!

  • Generous people give when others will not

In Philippians 4:15-16  the apostle Paul laments the lack of response from the churches he’s encountered.

Even when he was ministering to others, far away, in Thessalonica, the Philippians were giving to his ministry!

Secret Of Transformation — Prophet Tony Mathias

RENEWING THE MIND
God is a Spirit. He made you in His likeness and image. So you are a spirit too. You have a ‘soul’ [mind] and you live in a physical body. John 3: 3-6; 4:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; When you are born again, God lives in your spirit, which becomes brand new. You are then able to fellowship, communicate and live in friendship with God spiritually.

Your spirit becomes God-conscious. Your physical body and mind are the same as before. Being in contact with the physical world they make you world-conscious and self-conscious.

The mind thinks in a worldly way, rejecting what the Spirit says Romans 8:6-7; For example, it continues to think negatively, be depressed, gossip, have fear… Even Christians are known to live in this way. A major reason: – they lack knowledge of God’s Word, or even if they know they are unable to walk in it. And we will find out why. If the soul [mind] is poor your whole life will be poor. If your soul prospers, your whole life will prosper; One who has a prosperous soul is quick to repent, believe and forgive. He has a positive mind, led by the Spirit. 3 John 2; Romans 8: 14; Romans 12:1-2; He thinks in line with God’s Word. Old ways of thinking have been swept away. He is disciplined, holy generous and so on.

The secret of a victorious Christian living is to renew our mind by changing the way we think, by thinking in line with God’s Word. Therefore we need to keep reading God’s Word, meditating on it and obeying it daily. Then we will be able to renew our minds and be transformed!

REJECTION AND LONELINESS
Satan has devised many weapons to destroy you. One of them is the self-destructive weapon of Rejection & Loneliness. When you are overcome with this weapon, you lose your peace, joy, and happiness, get discouraged, wallow in self-pity, get depressed, sick, fall an easy prey to temptation and worst still, reject God your only help.

Newspapers, magazines, films are full of stories of revenge, murder, suicide victims trying to deal with rejection and loneliness in their own ways. Satan has many friends who help him; parents, teachers, lovers, friends, and people we depend on, society…they hold this weapon in their hands

Someone wrote this letter:
God do you understand the pain of my rejection and loneliness? Where are you when I need you the most? I am lonely, afraid and insecure. Those I trusted most deserted me. Can I count on you Lord? Will you desert me? Is there an answer, a hope for me? Oh God help me! I’m confused.

God Replies:
Those the Father has given me I will never reject John 6: 37 – Though others may reject and desert you, I will not! I willingly accept those who trust me. I did not condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery though others did. I reject the sin but not the sinner. I freely forgive those who ask me to. I will never forget you I have carved you on the palms of my hand…do not be afraid for I am with you.” Isaiah 49:15-16; 41: 10
I am with you night and day. I love you and I will never leave you. Yes, I understand your suffering, pain of rejection and loneliness. I suffered too. I was despised and rejected by others. You are not alone. Haven’t you read the scriptures? He came unto his own and his own received him not. John 1:11 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief: and we turned our backs on him. Isaiah 53:3 Moses said –My own people won’t listen to me anymore…Exodus 6:12.. Cheer up! There is hope!

You are an over-comer, you can overcome rejection and loneliness. Don’t deal with it all by yourself. I’ll show you the way. Here is the solution. Don’t turn away from God. He takes care of you. He heals your broken heart “Give all your worries and cares to God he cares about what happens to you.” 1 Peter 5:7 “He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3. Don’t turn away from others; Go where you are assigned. Get Involved in the local church – “take care of traveling teachers, missionaries” “care for orphans and widows in their troubles” and there are many other things you can do. 3 John 1:5; James 1:27.

Sharpen Your Axe — Prophet Tony Mathias

Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe”

This is what I plan to do with this teaching – To show that you are God’s battle Axe [skills, talents, abilities, gifts, resources].

He is waiting to use you: He can only do so to the extent you are sharp and cutting edge. No one, not even God Himself will sharpen your axe for you. You have to do it for yourself. And when that is done you will be able to complete the work God gave you.

Two key scriptures I have selected here are: Jeremiah 51:20 & Ecclesiastes 10:10.
NLT Jeremiah 51:20 “You are my battle-axe and sword says the LORD. “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.” Ecclesiastes 10:10

If you don’t sharpen your axe, it will be harder to use. If you’re smart, you’ll know what to do.

A young strong and energetic wood-cutter was employed by a timber merchant. His assignment was to pull down trees. Given a good salary, good work-conditions and a strong axe he was determined to do his best. The First Day he brought down 15 trees and was congratulated by his boss- “Congratulations,” said the boss. “Carry on the good your work you are doing!”

The Second Day he worked harder remembering the encouraging words of his boss but was able to pull down only 10 trees despite his hard work.

The Third Day was even worse – He brought down just 7 trees though he worked much harder this time. Day after day lesser trees were brought down – He wondered why? He said to himself: “Am I losing my strength?” Plucking up courage – He approached his boss and apologized, saying: -“I do not understand what is going on. Day by day I am bringing down lesser number of trees though I work harder each day

The Boss replied: “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”

“Sharpen? – I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been so busy trying to cut trees…” A boxing match may last ten minutes. But preparation time for the event in sharpening boxing skills may take weeks. Preparation is the key ingredient to success

You Are God’s Battle-Axe Jeremiah 51:20

“You are my battle-ax and sword says the LORD. “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.”

What a privilege and honor to be God’s Battle-Axe! Are You God’s Battle Axe? This world is a battlefield. God is calling us to spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood….” Because we are His battle axe to destroy the kingdom of darkness and establish the Kingdom of God in the hearts of man, we must be a sharp battle axe in the Lord’s hand. *

Signs Of A Dull Axe – Ecclesiastes 10:10 “If you don’t sharpen your axe it is harder to use; if you’re smart, you’ll know what to do.” It is pathetic to see one begin and end as a clerk in an organization. Perhaps he has little vision and motivation for arriving at the top. It is false security to only feel fulfilled at work, comfortable with colleagues, boss, and the company. Such people would never think of pushing themselves out of their comfort zone? One imminent danger! Complacency can derail your career.

If you are not cutting-edge, God cannot use you mightily. He will use you in proportion – The job you handle may include management of the home, finance, business, working in an establishment and so on. But wherever you are, you will portray signs of a sharp or dull axe. A dull rusty axe will show a mediocre person not willing to do his best; not interested in updating his field and industry; not seizing his God-given opportunities; no zeal; complacency, content to live life the way it is, non-repentant, no vision, no goals, no zeal for the Kingdom of God. Most never update, never improve their skills. They think what they have learned is good enough – not so! Good is the enemy of better. They become dull of hearing Hebrews 5:11 when they refuse to renew their minds holding on to their own mindsets and not taking on the mindset of the Lord.

Those that are dull of hearing are un-teachable, because they have no desire to listen and that can lead to hardness of heart. [Pharaoh had a hardened heart, he was un-teachable]. They must rise from doing good to doing better. It is our attitude [mindset] that determines our altitude. Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success. Many are busybodies who have forgotten the value of rest – they become burnouts or misfits. They need to rest in-between: Even the Lord himself went to sleep in the boat – Jesus “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” Mark 6:31

Psalmist says: “Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10. 

Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…”

John Milton: “They also serve who only stand and wait!”

William Henry Davies: “What is this life so full of care we have no time to stand and stare”

Work became toilsome after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world. Sin and disobedience to God’s Word, make the “axe” dull and rusty. Therefore we must hide God’s Word in us Psalms 119:11.

Satan’s goal is that we lose our cutting edge and become ineffective witnesses for our Lord Jesus. He makes efforts to keep us constantly busy with other things and even in our secular work – so that we do not have intimacy with God. But God, on the other hand, has a way of sharpening dull Christians if we only return to where we lost our cutting edge reach out and reclaim it!

*Does Your Axe Need Sharpening? Do you feel you have lost your cutting – edge? Has your axe become dull?

You once had a great desire to read Christian books, attend seminars and conferences, hear Christian videotapes, attend gospel crusades, intercede, fast and pray meditate and evangelize and win souls, but it does not seem so now. Has more of the world come in? Has zeal for the house of the Lord diminished?

Are you a spectator at Church and not a participant? Have you made it a practice to keep sinning? Are you a busybody? [No time for God] Then you need to sharpen your axe.

*How to Sharpen Your Axe?

Acknowledge Lordship of Jesus Christ “Acknowledge Jesus Christ in your heart as Lord. If anyone asks why you do so, be ready to tell him, gently and respectfully.” 1 Peter 3:15. Take time to cultivate relationship, friendship and intimacy with God. Acknowledge God’s Word “For the word of God is active and alive sharper than…” Hebrews 4:12 Take time to cultivate intimacy with his Word.

The Bible shows you how – Seek his Kingdom and his Righteousness Matthew 6:33.

We need to judicially read and understand worldviews so that in that context we are able to reply according to God’s Word the reason for our hope in this hopeless world.

Be His Mouthpiece When the Word of God is rich in us, we will be a sharp axe in His hands.

We need to be His mouth-piece as ministers of reconciliation, while we seek his Kingdom and righteousness Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Matthew 6:33

The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: Isaiah 50:4

We are God’s Battle-Axe in his hands. We must ensure we are cutting-edge and not dull so that he can profitably use us in the battlefield.

If we don’t sharpen our axe [ourselves] it will be harder to use.

Complacency will not only derail our career but also calling, place and function in the Body of Christ which is an organism rather than an organization.

Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success. We are always in need of sharpening.

We sharpen our axe by:

  • Acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Lord [He owns us]
  • Acknowledging God’s Word
  • Seeking God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness
  • Becoming His mouth-piece

Nuggets of Wisdom (From A Man Named AGUR) — Rachel Mathias

Agur the son of Jakeh is a Bible Character found in the Book of Proverbs Chapter 30, better known as Agur Bin Jakeh. The word Agur means ‘one who is brave in pursuit of wisdom’.

We can glean several prized nuggets from this chapter in verses 5 to 9 such as:
God’s Word is true and flawless, all else a falsehood. God always keeps His promises. We are not to add to His Words. He understood what it meant to live a life of contentment and the paradox of poverty and riches – wherein asking for poverty might lead to stealing or speaking evil against God or asking for riches that might lead to being full of himself and denying God. So he asked neither for poverty nor for riches but only for his daily bread.

Agur understood the significance of the Book of Proverbs which displays the need for God’s Wisdom to be found only in God’s Word that teaches you how to live well; the need to be open to hearing God, receiving His Wisdom through His Word recorded in the Bible.

We are told in 2 Chronicles 1:7, 10, how God was willing to give Solomon whatever he asked for and how Solomon opted for ‘wisdom and knowledge’ to govern and lead His people rather than riches, fame, honor, long life, and victory. Not – surprisingly, he received what he asked inclusive of great wealth (vs 12).

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7. We need to start with wisdom, add to it knowledge, and we will get true understanding.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus I come before you today with a humble heart bowing down before you in worship. I ask you to fill me with the spirit of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of Your Word.

Oh, how I long to be in Your presence. Speak to me words of wisdom through Your Word. Lord help me to be both hearer and doer of Your Word. Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom help me obey Your Word in fear and reverence; that Your Word would guide me to live a holy and peaceful life in Christ Jesus. Amen!

Keys to Overcoming Discouragement — Dr. Jonathan D’Souza

Definition of Discouragement: ‘a loss of confidence, or enthusiasm, or dispiritedness’.

I am certain that every individual has faced some form of discouragement during this wonderful journey called life. Discouragement can drain you of all motivation and make you give up on your dreams/goals. We live in a time where true success needs perseverance. Let’s take the story of the famous scientist Thomas Edison (the inventor of the incandescent light bulb).

In a 1910 biography, Edison’s friend and associate Walter S. Mallory said:

Thomas Edison 10,000 ways something won't work‘’Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’ Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results! Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work!

Persistence is an outdated concept in our daily routine that is ‘instant-oriented’. Instant coffee, 2 min noodles, next day delivery etc. However, discouragement is the biggest killer of persistence.

overcome discouragementLet’s see a lovely example from the Holy Bible in Haggai 2:1-9. Here is a prophetic word given by God through His prophet Haggai to His people involved in the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. The foundation of the temple was laid approximately 15 years before, but the project was shelved. In response to Haggai’s word, the leader and people commenced rebuilding of the Temple. In Haggai 2:1-9 we discover that God encourages his discouraged people to persevere in His work.

What touched me personally while reading this passage is that God—the Almighty, Lord of Hosts, all Powerful One—cares about His people being discouraged. What an understanding God!

There are 5 major causes of discouragement:

1. Loss of initial enthusiasm
Whenever we launch a project, we begin at 100%. But as time passes, that excitement dies down. This is evident in every aspect of our lives, be it a school assignment, an office project, even ministry work.

We can try and visualize how the Temple could have looked. Imagine the walls being constructed, tiles being set in place, gold decorations being arranged, but the finishing touches were simply missing. Maybe the gold available at the time was insufficient. Perhaps the number of laborers thinned down as the years passed by leaving the construction rubble aside.

2. Delays can discourage us
The Bible rightly says in Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” People who love multi-tasking hate delays. In fact, delays affect our entire schedule and push a project way beyond its stipulated time. The Jewish Temple was huge and the material requirements would have definitely met with unexpected delays.

3. Opposition from outside (Criticism)
Haggai 2:5 mentions God’s message to His people “Do Not Fear!”. Ever wondered why God is telling His people not to fear.

Consider this. Why does a seemingly smooth activity within the Church or in work suddenly turn messed up? Why everything that is moving in the right direction has people falling out, afflictions coming by and roadblocks that suddenly seem huge (like a mountain)? Because, for every work of God, satan will try and bring obstruction.

4. Opposition from within (pessimism, comparison, and faulty expectations) Ezra 3:11-13
The youngsters celebrated the building of the new Temple. But the old timers, people who had seen the past glory of Solomon’s Temple, wept when they say that the temple of the present day was nothing like the past.

In church ministry and like any other task, the greatest hurt is felt when opposition comes from within. People may not intend to hurt you, but it just happens. Like it did in the temple.

Pessimism, comparison, and faulty expectation are like three musketeers that go hand-in-hand. Imagine when you go tell someone who is serving in ministry ‘hey, you know what, that church or that person is very anointed.’ However, what you are implying (even though it is not intentional) is ‘Hey..you know that this church or you, as an individual, lack anointing or you need to be doing something differently’. Imagine, what sort of encouragement you are giving the pastor or the serving team members?

5. Mistaken perspective (wrong view) of success. Haggai 2:7-9
People were expecting the Temple to have all the gold and silver they could put in. A grand memorial, an extravagant place of worship, a monument to the Lord! Seeing things through the human perspective can be really demoralizing. There was nothing in the present situation that made the builders of the Temple see the objective in sight.

We need to have God’s perspective of a situation. Do you know, this is the very temple in which Jesus (the promised Messiah) set foot after many years (over 500 years later).

The true measure of success is in the light of eternity.

What is really touching to see in the passage of Haggai 2:1-9, is how our Lord understands and feels the discouragement of His people. It is not that He criticizes them but rather provides His encouragement.

Here are the 5 Keys to overcoming discouragement:

Key#1 Be Strong! (Haggai 2:4a)
People become weak when they turn their focus off the Lord and instead look to the slow, disappointing progress at hand. Think how much our attitude affects our ability to persevere. The Lord asks His people to be strong!
What does He mean by this?

2 Corinthians 3:5 says “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God”. The Lord asks us to find strength in Him. Through His strength, we can achieve anything.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength”. All we need to do is place our faith in Him.

Let’s recount the story of the 12 spies who went to look at Canaan land. Only Joshua and Caleb came back with a positive report. That is because they didn’t rely on their own might but on the strength of the Lord. That is the first key to overcoming disappointment.

Key#2 Work! (Haggai 2:4b)
While having the right perspective and being strong is good, it isn’t sufficient by itself. In Haggai 2:4, the Lord advises His people to be strong and work. James 2:22 says “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?”. Joshua and Caleb had to be strong, not just by believing but also by putting their faith into practice. They had to go into the land and physically fight off the giants.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

When you ask for God’s strength, you start out believing that you already have it. By putting your faith into action, you are allowing God’s divine strength to work through you. By this alone, people will see and marvel that it is not the hand of man, but the Hand of the Lord on your life.

Key#3 His Presence will be with You
God’s presence is sufficient for us. Haggai 2:4-5 says that the Lord of Hosts (Lord of the armies) is with us. Even Prophet Moses recognized the significance of the Lord’s presence. In Exodus 33:15 Moses said to the Lord “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” God’s presence assures victory in every situation in our lives.

Key#4 God reminds us of His Promises (Haggai 2:5)
God refers to the promise He made with the nation of Israel when He brought them out of Egypt. A God who honors His promises, He reminds the people of the promise He has made. We are fortunate that we worship an unchanging, loving and merciful God who doesn’t change and forget His promises.

In fact, the Lord has made a better covenant with us now. Hebrews 8:6 says “But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Jesus has sealed this New Covenant with His own precious blood and given us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as promised in John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever”.

All we need to do is remember what God has promised us. That will give our lives purpose and the power to pursue our projects.

Key#5 God encourages us through His prophecies
The prophecies mentioned in Haggai were not to just show the future but also to strengthen, encourage and uplift the faith of His people. Haggai 2:6-8 is directly quoted in the New Testament in Hebrews 12:26-27 as a reminder of the supreme Power and Authority of God. When He says that silver and gold are His, the Lord is saying that He is capable of bringing in all the wealth that is necessary to rebuild the temple.

Finally, in verse 9 of Haggai chapter 2 God speaks that He will give peace. A quick reference to the fulfilment of these prophecies can be seen in Ephesians 2:17 “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.” and Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

My dear friends…brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, be encouraged in your work for Him, knowing that your work for the Lord is not in vain.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Stay Blessed!

The Rudder Of Life — Prophet Tony Mathias

shiprudder“Think of a ship: big as it is and driven by such strong winds, it can be steered by a very small rudder, and it goes wherever the pilot wants it to go. So it is with the tongue: small as it is, it can boast about great things.’” James 3:4-5

When a ship sets sail, the captain plots out its course makes adjustments to ensure it is moving in the predetermined destination and steers it steadily towards it, checking from time to time, adjusting the helm to go around storms, navigate currents and so on, focused at his destination rather than the situation at hand. If he keeps changing course repeatedly, he may go around in circles getting nowhere.

In the same way, we can arrive at our desired goals when we line up our thoughts, words, actions and habits, towards our God-given destination. We need to cultivate good habits that keep us on the right course and discard haphazard ways. For example, people speak positively expecting good things to happen then negate the same when confronted with stormy situations. They lose track of their destination and run around in circles like a footballer who has no goalpost. They forget they have the power to turn their lives around the storm and pass through into the sunshine.
Your mouth is the rudder of your life. Life and death are in the power of the tongue Proverbs 18:21. We give birth to what we speak consistently – good or bad life or death.

God has given you the power to declare and decree life in your situation even though you may be in dire situations. Make positive vocal faith declarations decree and declare in line with His Word! As you continue to speak the blessing and keep the ship of your life on steady-course, storm clouds will speedily exit. Decrees and declarations are powerful prayers to manifest heaven on earth.

Job 22:28 – “You will also declare a thing and it will be established for you; so light will shine on your ways”
Let us choose to be an optimist rather than a pessimist, asking God for help to do what He called us to do; for wisdom and understanding to complete our assigned work successfully and be a blessing to our world; when we speak God’s Word that Word does not return void. Declare we are a royal priesthood, that we are blessed and highly favored because we belong to Him. 1 Peter 2:9

We as believers need to reign in life as kings manifesting our kingly anointing by decreeing blessings over our spouses, children, ministry, business and every other realm of life. In the beginning, God created the heavens by the word of His mouth Psalms 33:6. He spoke forth what He had seen in His mind and they came into existence – the earth, heavenly bodies, animals, vegetation, and humans.

As He is so are we in this world, co-creators 1 John 4:17. Our tongue is the implement of creation and creativity. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21. We can choose to use your tongue to bring life not death, to bless and not curse. 1 John 4:17. When you bless, blessings will return. When you curse, curses will return. Have you ever thought of the magnitude of returns? Luke 6:38. Therefore be cautious and choose to bless!

Let us consider two words of importance: Declare and Decree.decreeanddeclare

Declare in the natural realm would mean show, reveal, make known, announce openly or officially, account for. For example: – a customs officer asking an international traveler what he is carrying: “Do you have anything to declare?”
In the spiritual sense declarations spoken into the atmosphere, make known what we already possess. For example, we can declare our righteousness, salvation…

Decree in the natural realm would mean to give an official order – a criminal sentenced to prison cannot ignore that sentence backed by the authority of the court order.

Decrees In the spiritual sense can cause a manifestation of supernatural truths in the natural realm. They manifest heaven on earth – fulfilling Matthew 6:10. ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.’

For example, we could decree:

  • Healing when we are sick 1 Peter 2:24.
  • Provision and abundance when we lack Philippians 4:19.
  • Peace in turmoil Philippians 4:7.

When we decree in faith, God’s provision and blessings for us, peace and unity in our family and so on, any opposition would be quelled and have no effect on the same. Decreeing our own vision can create confusion but decreeing His will, will establish His purpose in our lives without creating confusion. It is of great importance to orally decree with scriptures, by doing so God’s purposes are released into our lives without creating confusion. The Israelites missed the Promised Land the Jews missed their Messiah by working contrary to His will.
Believe in the Lord your God and you will be established…2 Chronicles 20:20.

When we decree, “I am blessed” in line with Psalms 112:1, we are established in the blessing, separated, cut off from the enemy’s plans against it which suffer destruction.

When we decree, “My children are strong and full of integrity” in line with Psalms 112:2 they are established in strength and integrity, separated, cut off from their weakness, dishonesty and unrighteousness.

When we decree, “My home overflows with wealth” in line with Psalms 112:3, we are established in wealth, separated cut off from lack and poverty and those spirits executing the same are destroyed.

When we decree, we release God’s blessings, establish His will, destroy the enemy’s plans, bring judgment on the enemy, have power to alter our destiny Proverbs 13:3; Hosea 8:7

Remember decree is to issue an order, declare is to show. The tongue is the rudder!

So begin to decree and declare today!

Activate His Power — Prophet Tony Mathias

1 Samuel 17:46,48. “This very day, will the Lord will put you in my power; I will defeat you and cut off your head. And I will give the bodies of the Philistine soldiers to the birds and the animals to eat. Then the whole world will know Israel’s God…Goliath started walking towards David again and David ran quickly towards the Philistine battle line to fight him.”

David confronts the Goliath the giant champion of the Philistines with boldness by vocalizing his faith thereby activating the anointing he received from Prophet Samuel 1 Samuel 17:46. The anointing broke his bondage of fear to boldly confront the giant and make him a winner.

faithinactionWe who belong to Jesus have received the anointing 1 John 2:27. And we can activate the same by speaking faith-filled words. We have received the gift of righteousness and it is written that the righteous shall live by his faith Habakkuk 2:4. And we are supposed to walk by faith and not by sight all the time. This life consists of ‘faith-in-actions.’ Vocalizing our faith words is faith-in-action which releases anointing for miracles.

And how do we vocalize our faith?

We need to boast of His ability Ephesians 3:20 being conscious of His greatness within us 1 John 4:4, testifying what He has done in and through us Psalms 22:22 and act on our faith. Our words locate us.

We need to declare [speak] faith-filled [scriptural] words like:

  • The Greater One lives in me.
  • I am more than a conqueror.
  • His power is at work in me today, to bless and transform lives.
  • I am blessed and highly favored and so on.

Find scriptures on faith, decree and declare them.

Be blessed!

Open Doors No Man Can Shut — Prophet Tony Mathias

walking-through-open-doorWhile approaching the entrance of a mall, glass doors that were shut opened on their own. I stood at that spot and the doors remained open. It got me thinking. If I had stayed a few feet away, those glass doors would remain shut.

Revelation 3:8. “See I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.” God has opened for us doors that were shut and locked which remain open, because His favor rests on us. All we need to do is walk by faith and not by sight as we approach these doors in our lives. As God’s children, it is our birthright to walk in God’s favor.

The key is confession – “What you say is what you get.” Doors open when you always believe and confess that you’re walking in the favor of God. In fact, your positive confession is your faith in action. Favor is God’s grace, His free gift making room for you Proverbs 18:16. Grace is God doing for you what you cannot do. Eg. “By grace ye are saved” – we couldn’t save ourselves, God’s grace did it. By walking in God’s favor, you have special privileges.
talkingaboutproblems
Many are not walking in the favor of God because of negative confession; dwelling in the past rehearsing hurtful feelings, mistakes, failures, wrong relationships and so on. That is why many are sick, depressed insecure. They have not understood the power of repentance and forgiveness to wipe out unpleasant memories. Christianity is based on the law of forgiveness and an empty tomb.

All of us have had some bad past – disappointments, failures, mistakes, wrong relationships, missed opportunities, sin, guilt, and sadness. If we dwell on it, it will repeat itself; we will be robbed of our present enjoyment and future fulfillment. We will lose self-confidence. We will never dream big. We will never start anything new or give up half way. We will get bitter instead of better, sick depressed unhappy and others will get sick of us. We will doubt God and his power.

forgetthethingsofthepastTherefore God says – “Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18-19 – When God determines your future He does not consult your past. Yesterday is history, tomorrow mystery, let not today be pastry!

Jacob deceived others [that was the meaning of his name] and got deceived by others. Genesis 32. God gave him an overhaul changed his name to ‘Israel’ which means ‘Over-comer.’ He did not dwell on his past. He obeyed God and changed his name thereby changing his world. The utterance of his new name changed made him an over-comer – dishonest to honest, lying to truthfulness.

Zacchaeus a greedy tax collector welcomed Jesus the Word of God at his house with genuine repentance Luke 19 – did not go back to his past; turned from cheater to benefactor [generous]; sinner to saint launched into his future as bishop.

Mary Magdalene a well-known prostitute, the last to leave the cross the first to announce the resurrection; changed her future dishonor to honor; sinner to saint by forsaking her past by embracing the Living Word [Christ] – Matthew 27 & 28.

Abraham Lincoln lost several elections but kept trying; born in poverty; did not look to his past; traveled from rags to riches, poverty to affluence ended as President of USA.

What God has done for us He will do for you? Do not dwell on your past. It is all under the Blood! God can turn your mess into a miracle, give you a new beginning. Arise shine…

Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not His benefits.”

There are a number of benefits of walking in the favor of God: Lay hold of His promises.

God’s favor brings wealth. He can even give you favor in purchase of land. Deuteronomy 8:7-9, 33:23; Psalms 24:1

God’s favor can bring promotion and recognition – Joseph had problems yet rose from pit to the palace by the favor of God 1 Samuel 16. God’s favor can bring you recognition and promotion despite problems.

For many memory of the past ruins their future. Don’t let your thinking of the past ruin your future whether poverty, insecurities, old mindset, or whatever. It is like driving a car forward with the foot on the brake. You need to ordain you good future, by the words of your mouth – if you take pains to find it in His Word. Say what God says. He says: The plans I have for you are for good and not for evil to give you a good future Jeremiah 29:11.

God wants us to stop dwelling on our past for He is doing new things. What then can we do?

A] Close the door to your past: Learn from it and then forget it.
Believe declare and act like you’re free – and you will!

B] Launch through the open door the future God has for you.
Find and complete God’s assignment for you by Communing with Him and Confirming it.

Be encouraged – The Door God that has opened for you no man can shut!