Understanding Dynamics of Life—Exception and Exemption

In the continuing series on Law of Exemption and Exception, we look at the changing dynamics Isaac had to face, and adapt to, to succeed.

Text: Genesis 26:6-17

Lessons of life

1. You can’t step into the same river twice.

By the time you step in again the dynamics have changed; the ”waters” you stepped into would have moved on. Every new day brings new opportunities and opposition.

In the passage above, it was after God gave Isaac a comprehensive insurance that he invested. He had been planting in that land but famine had changed the dynamics.

Always make sure you hear from God before you go into any venture. Even when you hear from God, sometimes, you have to do proper consultations and analysis before you make any investments or commitments.

I carry more 200 students every day with buses. Sometime ago, gasoline was 87 Naira per liter. It is now 143/145 Naira per liter. The waters have changed.

I was able to pay Naira into my children’s ATM accounts for them to withdraw money for their upkeep abroad. The economic situation has placed new restrictions.

2. Even though God gave Isaac the divine insurance and assurance against molestation there was an exception.

There is no immunity against jealousy. Abimelech’s assurance against molestation did not cover jealousy. Exceptional grace attracts exceptional jealousy. Be careful especially when there is so much lack around you (in your success).

3. They told Isaac to move away from them and he did.

a. Select your battles.

You don’t fight every fight.

Don’t get into a fight you have no chance of winning or that will consume a lot of resources and energy without any tangible results.

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b. Always have an exit plan.

Isaac moved away from hostilities, but he had plans to dig new wells. He did not determine his next move instantaneously. He had planned ahead just in case.

As a pastor, what if your church sacks you after 20 years of service? A bank, a few years ago, sacked 700 workers in a month; how many of them had a plan B?

A rat that has only one hole is very unsafe. It must have an exit plan.

3. Isaac still became richer than his enemies who told him to move on.

Men of exceptional grace don’t fight over church offices and positions. Exceptionally rich people don’t fight over family land. Abraham told Lot to go to the left and he will go to the right.

If you must do well, avoid church politics and family disputes.

Select your fights. Some are not worth it.

God bless you richly.

Make plans to attend Word and Wisdom Conference on 1st of October, 2018, at Petra Christian Academy.

Law of Exemption—Stopping Recurring Negativity

In the continuing series on Law of Exemption and Exception, we look at some recurring challenges that plagued Abraham and his descendants.

Text: Genesis 26:6-11

So Isaac stayed in Gerar. When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “The men of this place might kill me on account of Rebekah, because she is beautiful.” When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah. So Abimelek summoned Isaac and said, “She is really your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac answered him, “Because I thought I might lose my life on account of her.” Then Abimelek said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the men might well have slept with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” So Abimelek gave orders to all the people: “Anyone who harms this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.”


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Lessons of Life


1. Abraham had problems with kings (Pharaoh and Abimelech) desiring to take his wife from him because of her beauty. Isaac had the same problem with King Abimelech, either the same king or his descendant. As a result they both lied.

2. Their wives Sarah and Rebekah were both barren. However, unlike Abraham, who only exercised faith, Isaac prayed for his wife. He addressed the situation.

My mother and my father were both AS genotype. My wife’s parents were both AS genotype. My wife and I are both AS. Thank God, though, we don’t have children with sickle cell disease amongst our children. However, our children must not take the risks of their parents in order to address the issue. Some recurring challenges and problems can be addressed not only by prayers, but also by taking right and decisive decisions in the positive direction.

My prayer is that just as God made it that Isaac’s wife was not taken like that of his father, God will put a stop to any recurring negative history in your family this year. My prayer is that God will also give you wisdom to make wise decisions that will end any recurring negative history in your life and family.

You have exceptional and ‘exemptional’ grace this year in Jesus name. Amen.

Remember every law has an exception and exemption. You are that person.

Please make plans to attend our Word and Wisdom Conference on the 1st of October by 10 a.m. at Petra Christian Academy, Ughelli.

God Bless You.

Law of Exemption—Separation

In the continuing series on Law of Exemption and Exception, we look at the exceptional life of Abram.

Text: Genesis 13-15


Lessons of Life

1. Abram lived a life of obedience to God

2. He was physically and mentally separated from his people, who were idolatrous.

3. He rejected the gifts of the King of Sodom.

4. He exercised faith in God.

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Separation is a divine call for all believers—separation from the system of this world even though we live among them and do business with them. We must separate ourselves from the people and places that will not glorify God. We must stand out in our work places and ministries as people of integrity. We must do our businesses with distinction and integrity. People should be able to trust us. Learning to separate yourself from the crowd gets you, through, to the crown.

The truth of the matter is that there are more good people in Nigeria than out-rightly evil people.

You must, very early in life, realize that if you have excellent skills and services, special education, or provide solutions to problems etc., you can set your standards and people will have to respect your faith. As a young medical director of a 40-bed hospital at 27 years, I told my boss I would not do abortions and he respected my decision.

2014 saw me preach in a Governor’s house; when the wife of the Governor gave me money, I returned the money she gave to me even though I was broke then.

No matter how long a lion lives among dogs it would not eat human excrement.

Some parents refuse to register their children in our school for the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) because they know we will not do exam malpractice. That does not bother me; I have a name to defend and protect as a pastor and someone that respects education. We get to reject a lot of students who are not fit for the applied classes during admission, even when the parents are eager to pay. We might not grow rapidly but we will grow steadily and we will get there.

Be a unique Nigerian the remainder of the Year.

Noah was exceptional in his generation and was exempted from the flood.

As you obey God disaster will be far from you

Please make plans to attend our Word and Wisdom Conference on the 1st of October by 10 a.m. at Petra Christian Academy, Ughelli.

God Bless You.

Apoki’s Law of Grace and Results—Exemption and Exception

In the previous post on Law and Exemption, we’ve been considering Isaac’s prosperity in strange lands and in difficult periods. We continue on that with the Law of Grace and Results.

Text: Genesis 26:12-13

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy.


Lessons of life

1. It must be noted that Isaac planted before he reaped.

Many Christians want to get rich just by repeatedly shouting loud amens to the prophetic utterances of preachers, and then go back to fold their hands, or return to their routine jobs.

The truth of life is that you must have reasonable input before output. If you don’t read for your studies, you will fail, even if your head, eyes, pen, and paper are soaked in anointing oil and you take your bath with anointed water. If you don’t invest you hardly get rich except in the Nigerian polity. Many of the rich pastors you see who prophesy to you have investments. And they are also investing in the lives of their children, including me ooooh . . .

2. Grace is neutral or even useless until effort is applied.

A hundredfold grace has to be multiplied by the number of hectares Isaac cultivated. If he cultivated one hectare the grace of a hundred fold will work on that hectare only.

Capture

  • where G = grace,
  • E = effort,
  • S = strategy,
  • C = constraints or challenges,
  • and R = Results.

Grace multiplied by efforts and strategy, divided by challenges or constraints equals results. However, the more challenges encountered, the more grace is released for results. That’s the Apoki’s Law of Grace and Results.

One recurrent theme in my messages about grace is that you need to work hard into some; you simply can’t walk or stumble into them.

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3. Isaac must have worked a great deal and was a great strategist and thinker.

Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel  and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.

In the passage above, Genesis 24:62-65, Isaac’s new wife met him in the field meditating.

May God’s exceptional and multiplicative grace come upon you this year.

May you get grace to put in more efforts in your endeavours this year.

May your mind conceptualize and actualize great ideas this year.

God’s grace for exception and exemption will make you overcome the challenges of your life.

The grace to break new grounds will be your portion in Jesus’ name, amen.

God Bless You.

Law of Exception and Exemption—Isaac in Gerar

In the first post on law of exception and exemption we saw some people who were exempted from some certain kingdom laws either because of their determination to survive, doggedness of character, or grace.

In this post we’ll be looking at certain periods in Isaac’s life. Isaac in the land of Gerar is like the Church of God in a hostile world.

Text: Genesis 26:1, 12-14

Now there was a famine in the land—besides the previous famine in Abraham’s time—and Isaac went to Abimelek king of the Philistines in Gerar. 

 

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.

There are some questions we must answer after reading the passages above.

  1. Where did Isaac get seeds from to plant?
  2. How did he get land to plant?
  3. Why did the famine not affect his farm?
  4. How did he acquire livestock and servants?

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Answers

1. Isaac was a frugal man.

He had a large grain reserve from his previous harvests. He was not like Nigeria as a country that squandered her oil windfall. Learn to save for the proverbial rainy day or the rainless days as in this case. He also did not throw little seeds away. He was frugal in times of abundance and in little times.

Be very frugal this year. Those of you working in oil companies, banks, and political offices must learn to save.

2. Isaac must have been buying land in the days prior to the famine when there was abundance.

Dear young man or woman reading this, I beg you in the name of God, acquire real estate. Isaac must have bought new lands during the famine during the economic melt down. Properties are cheaper during periods like this that we are in right now in Nigeria. Get set to buy properties. You are also never too old to start acquiring landed properties.

3. Cheap labour

With the famine, there was scarcity of money and food; subsequently, labour was cheaper. Isaac could therefore acquire more servants to cultivate more lands.

4. Isaac had deeper wells

The wells Isaac dug were much deeper than those of the natives who depended on rainfall and windfall—”I’m waiting to hammer” or “I must hit it big” mindset. This is also the mindset of the salary earner. You can’t survive economic collapse on a fixed salary.

The well Jacob gave to Joseph in John 4 was 138 feet deep when it was excavated in 1945. Jesus also drank from that well. That was more than 1800 years later because Joseph was born in 1774 BC.

5. Grace

Isaac reaped a hundred fold because grace came upon his seeds and they became graciously-modified species, not genetically-modified. God pumped water into his well from below. And the dew of heaven watered his seeds at night from above.

6. Attention to details

Note that Isaac was a good record keeper, hence he knew the percentage increase. Most Christians don’t keep records and they don’t pay attention to details. There is no great man or woman who doesn’t pay attention to little details.

7. Posterity and legacy

Just like the picture in this post Isaac had a long term view.

This is your season of greatness. You will prosper in the midst of famine and hostility.

God Bless You.

Law of Exception and Exemption

Text: Ruth 3

Warning: This series of posts is only for mature, bone-cracking, Kingdom citizens.

The Chapter of Ruth, above, relates the encounter between Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor.

T. R. Noble does a beautiful summary of the Book of Ruth in Love Story of Devotion and Redemption.

Lessons


1. For every kingdom law, there are exemptions.

2. For every law there are some exempted people. Enoch and Elijah did not die.

3. When God sees a very determined person, He operates the law of Prerogative of mercy. Rahab’s section of the Wall of Jericho did not collapse, when she maximized a moment. And if your mind can handle it, God did not hold any sin against Tamar, even though I do not recommend her actions.

4. You cannot cage and predict God to act in a particular way; He is sovereign.

5. Exceptional situations sometimes require exceptional actions.

6. It was Ruth that proposed marriage to Boaz with the approval of Naomi. Why? Leave that until we reach heaven.

Field at Sunset

Prayers and Prophecies


1. God will wake the Boaz that is meant to help you from slumber. Your delay is over. Remember from the passage above that he was tired and drunk.

2. Your proposal will break protocol without causing offence; and it will be granted to you.

3. An urgency will enter the mind of your helper. He/she will not rest until your case is handled.

4. There was a man not good enough for Ruth’s destiny that was bypassed so that Boaz, who is not next (according to law), could marry her.

I prophesy that anything, any person, or any office not good enough for you will avoid you as you avoid them in Jesus name, amen.

I have not had my things the normal way in life; they have been exceptional.

I’m exceptional because I accepted an exceptional Saviour. My wife is of AS genotype and I am AS, too; but we have four children and no sicklers.

God Bless You.

The Transactional Mindset

Text: Genesis 26:12-14

 Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the Lord blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.

When God blessed Isaac with grains, if he started giving them out to people for free, he would have ended up poor with the people.

If the wise virgins gave out their oil they when they were asked, they and the foolish ones would have ended up in darkness together.

God blessed Ishmael with a well in the desert.

How did he become rich?

Do you think he drank only water from the well and became rich?

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HARD LESSONS OF LIFE


  • Jesus said, love your neighbor as yourself, not necessarily more than yourself.

There are times you need to put people beyond yourself and there are times when you need to put yourself first, else you and the people get to suffer.

  • Give and it shall be given unto you is not only talking about offerings.

That was why Elisha asked the woman that was married to the Prophet in 2 Kings 4:2, “What have you of sale value (AMP)?”

When you give services, solutions, skills, intellect, products, etc. people in turn shall give unto your blossom more than you gave. That is profit.

  • Interaction with the world should be distinguished between philanthropy and business.

It is better to give from your profit to charity than to give the investment capital and then kill the business.

  • Sow seeds not the trees.

It is true that the widow gave her last meal to Elijah, that is the exception; it does not happen every day. You don’t to see ravens feed people every day.

  • The miraculous is too periodic and exceptional to be a basis for day-to-day living.

That Jesus multiplied bread and fish did not prevent the sale of fish and bread in the city the next day.

The present oil glut will not affect Norway like Nigeria. They had invested over the years the money from their oil windfall. We squandered our own on luxuries.

There is no record that Isaac reaped a hundred fold again. He managed that exceptional miracle exceptionally well.

These are hard facts of life. We are gradually preaching our people into speculative and hedonistic Christianity based on obscurantism.

Please don’t be angry with me. Many of the preachers you admire have businesses, including me.

Many of us have squandered opportunities and resources.

God will give you fresh opportunities again. I ask that He gives you the wisdom to manage them well.

He will also give you the wisdom not to eat your blessings raw.

You will do profitable transactions with them.

You will bless humanity from the profit from your life in Jesus’ name.