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In 2014, the University of Texas in Austin invited Admiral William H. McRaven from the Navy Seals to give a speech at their commencement ceremony. Admiral William started his speech with seemingly strange advice for a bunch of graduates, but his words later turned into a best selling book and the most watched youtube video of its time. The Navy Seals retiree starts by advising the Class of 2014 graduates to make sure ‘they always make their beds’. He continued his speech by saying:

If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also enforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you can’t do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a made bed – a bed that you made. A made bed gives you hope that tomorrow will be better.

Seemingly small things such as making your bed, cutting your nails before they trap dirt, inputting your tasks or upcoming plans in your calendar not to forget or to simply honor your plans made with a friend – go a long way and preserve someone’s word giving it value in the communities they belong to.

Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well. 1 Corinthians 10:23MSG

If you consider the entirety of the instructions given unto both the New and Old Testament believer, his/ her ultimate responsibility is to uphold every one of them with the single intent to not bring reproach to the Gospel. In our theme scripture, Paul writes to the church in Galatia and tells them of a truth that all things indeed are permitted but not all things are beneficial. He also emphasizes that all things are permitted but not all of them edify. What Paul is saying is that some things surely have nothing wrong to them on the outside, but that as born again individuals, it is our responsibility not to give ourselves to just anything because it is permissible. It is important to learn early on to separate the precious from the vile (Jeremiah 15:19), the permissible from the beneficial and the lawful from the expedient (1 Cor 10:23).

Discipline in the small things

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. Luke 1:3 KJV

Most believers overlook the fact that God’s ability to act in their life is fully dependent on the positioning of the heart. The heart has to be positioned in such a way that it can receive instructions from God. As Admiral William mentioned, making your bed is not for the purpose of being praised. It is the first task of the day that demonstrates your discipline, attention to detail and a reminder that you accomplished that first task well. Picture this, you’ve woken up in a rush, snooze your alarm too many times and you’re rushing to get ready to commute to work or school. Chances are your day is not going to go so well because you will be late for the first thing you ought to do in the morning. The rest of the day will continuously feel like you are just catching up with everything else because of running an hour or 30 minutes behind your schedule.

Now let’s shift this example toa person that rarely wakes up on time, makes their bed, neither does he/she arrange their closet and most times forgets where they have placed their keys. It would be almost impossible for the Spirit to instruct such a person because the majority of their time, their minds are too busy or all over the place to hear the still small voice through which God often instructs his own (1 Kings 19:11-13).

The above examples happen to many believers, some who even desire to be immersed in ministry but simply seem to be stuck. Perhaps they have an oration gift and have the grace to understand scripture and demystify the mysteries in the Word, perhaps they love Jesus by keeping and obeying his commandments, but they feel stuck and feel like they are hidden and hindered from unleashing their greatest potential as ministers.

You might be astonished to find out that your hindrance is tied to the lack of discipline of making your bed every morning, cleaning your crumbs from the table, washing the dish you have just used or switching off the light behind yourself when you leave a room. You cannot aspire to lead a church of one hundred or five hundred members when you can barely reconcile the excellence of Christ to your personal life. In the book of Matthew 25:21, we are told that one thing we should desire is to hear the Lord say: ‘well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with few things, I will make you ruler over big things. The Lord we serve is a patterned and principled God, and He can by no means be mocked.

In summary, enter the Lord’s joy. The few things alluded to is not necessarily your $500 salary at the moment when you’re hoping for $1000 in the next quarter. It’s in your ability to be well patterned in the things you do, that it leaves room for you to be still enough within your spirit to receive instruction, revelation and to be enlarged as per your capacity to receive.

On Subtle Submission to Idols

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matthew 6:22NIV

We live in a world that has enabled a culture of having an urge to give an opinion about literally anything. In ancient times, means of communication were so limited and expensive that people were content with receiving information about things that occurred a month or weeks ago as news whereas today, every single person with the ability to communicate well, owns a smartphone, and is active on social media is a self-published opinion leader or journalist. It does not matter if the information or opinion they circulate is accurate or true. If it is out there, it necessitates attention.

In our theme scripture, Jesus brings home a reality that if taken into consideration and obeyed to the letter, can save one’s life. Pornography is an addiction most often seen among children, young men and women and they were first exposed to this addiction through magazines, movies, shows on TV that have any forms of eroticism to it.

The innocent eye that saw it, cannot unsee it. It stirs a curiosity to see more, and by seeing more, the desire to experience what is being portrayed, and with the desire comes the practice which inevitably carries shame with it. The same applies with body standards, the concept that your body is not good enough because it does not look like the model’s on your doctor’s waiting room magazine that was found worth making the cover.

A lamp brings light in a dark room and permits you to see shapes, to see where you are going or even what you are doing. Jesus is the ultimate light and everyone that has accepted Him as his Lord and Savior becomes a light as well for they draw from the ultimate light. That is why Paul in2 Corinthians 6 asks us what fellowship then can light have with darkness? Bringing Jesus into your darkest secrets that brings shame is like switching on a light in a dark room. The darkness is overtaken by light and drives out the shame or guilt because it cannot stand the light. For the believer, this enforces the power of confession, shows repentance and then brings salvation.

You will often hear some believers tell you how when they became born again, they slowly began to feel a heaviness when they binged a show they used to like and others will tell you that social media has become harder to be on. Others will confess that some functions or events that they would previously feel comfortable in, have now become environments where they feel out of place. The non-believers around them begin to mock their decisions to pull away as those ‘extreme decisions’ Christians make.

The truth is, when you welcome Jesus in your life, choose a life of obedience to Him and keep His commandments, He promises that the Father and Him will come and make their dwelling in you (John 14:23) and this is not a promise in vain. You are not becoming a staunch Christian that is not ‘fun’, you are submitted to a greater authority that is in you and that is light, which in turn, expels all darkness that could have dwelt in the same body.

In closing His teaching, Jesus in verse 24 tells us that no one can serve two masters (v24) because you will love one and despise the other. You cannot love Godand still adhere to all the things that please men. The new authority over your life establishes new orders, patterns and principles that enable you to separate the precious from the vile or the permissible from the beneficial. He does so, not by pushing you around, but by gently working in you (Ephesians 3:20).

Admiral William closes his speech by saying this:

It is easy to blame your lot in life on some outside force, to stop trying because you believe fate is against you. It is easy to think that where you were raised, how your parents treated you, or what school you went to is all that determines your future. Nothing could be further from the truth. The common people and the great men and women are all defined by how they deal with life’s unfairness…

We cannot afford to make any excuses as to why the born again individuals’ message does not work for them. Necessity is laid upon us to bring the most excellent report to the Gospel of Jesus because the Word works, and it starts by our behavior and manners being the least reproachable possible – for it is no longer us who live, but Christ in us.

If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, and you feel that this is the perfect time, pray this prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I thank you because you died for my sins and you were raised for my glory. Today, I receive you as my Lord and Savior. I am born again. Amen.”

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