Monday, May 30, 2011

The first foundation on which to build our farming career

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

We will see that Jesus is the Word of God and all our efforts to be excellent farmers must be built on the Foundation of Jesus and His Word. Jesus said that He only does what His Father does, and that He has sent us the Holy Spirit to help us and to teach us and to apply His Word to life.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.(John 14: 6)

For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3: 11)

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy (pre-eminence). For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." (Colossians 1: 15-20 )

"There is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." (Colossians 3: 11)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men." (John 1: 1-3)

“ I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” (John28: 8)

“But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14: 26)

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16 - 17)

"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2: 6)

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." (Romans 8: 18-22 )

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." (Isaiah 55: 10-12)

The saved and unsaved, and all things seen and unseen are in the Kingdom of God. God created everything and has given all authority in heaven and on earth to His Son the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.

We see that the Father has given Jesus the pre-eminence in all of creation and all things hold together in Him. Without Jesus everything would fall apart and there would be total chaos. On the earth there is turmoil, suffering and decay because of man’s rebellion and disobedience, so the Father sent Jesus to reconcile to Himself all things, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.

We see that Jesus is all and in all! He is in every particle in the universe, even in the unsaved people. Jesus has given them life, and without Him they would be spiritually dead or would not exist at all. Sadly because of the Fall of man, there is corruption in the universe.

The whole of creation is groaning for the sons of God to be revealed. Through faith in the finished work of the resurrected Christ, we have been accepted and adopted as the sons of God, and as His sons, we are co-heirs with Jesus, seated with Him in the heavenly realms, ruling and reigning with Him.

So we believers are the sons and daughters of the Father, and when we are revealed, even the mountains and hills will burst into song and the trees will clap their hands. Whether this is only going to happen when Jesus comes back, I am not sure, but it does indicate how important we, as God’s sons and daughters, are in God’s plan for the rebuilding and restoration of our nations.

The point here is that we will never reach the full potential we have as farmers or teachers, unless we build our whole farming and teaching careers on the Lord Jesus Christ, who reconciles and integrates everything.

If we put Jesus first and obey Him, we will lead the way and be salt and light to the world. “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.(Deuteronomy 28:13) We pray that God’s people called by His name will turn back to Him in Unity and Wholeheartedness. May we farmers model this turning from our ways to God’s Ways, firstly to God’s people, who then take it in a focussed and united model to the world.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Some Foundational Farming Practices

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

One of the Foundational Scriptures that Foundations for Farming is based on is Proverbs 3: 5-6, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

To acknowledge God in all our ways definitely requires us to trust Him, because He tells us in Isaiah 55:8- 9 that, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”.

God’s ways and thoughts are different to ours, and He wants us not to lean on our understanding or be wise in our own eyes or even our own logic. This means we have to consciously trust Him and ask Him to help us to think and act differently to our own ways and to the ways things are traditionally done in the world. If God’s thoughts are different to ours, it must mean that His values and priorities are also very different to ours.

The Good News Version puts Romans 12: 2, “Do not conform to the standards of this world, but allow God to transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know God’s will, and what is pleasing to Him and is perfect.”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Founding Principles: Africa needs to make a profit

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

In Africa, if our poor people are getting poorer and our national economies are not performing, it must mean that we are producing very little and we are spending more than we are receiving and thus we are loosing wealth. It stands to reason that if we are not making profits it is very difficult to increase production because it takes capital (the fruit from profits) in order to expand our production enterprises. These principles apply at the smallest producer level all the way up through the large corporate levels to the national government level. Africa cannot develop until we are making a profit at all levels of production of the resources God has given us.
The alternatives
The only alternatives to making a profit are the ‘begging bowl’, or even more sadly ‘theft’, both of which cause greater poverty in the wider community. If we think that loans are the answer, these are pointless if we are not making profits with which to pay them back. Begging and theft both take the view that we must ‘get to receive’, but remember from our previous session that we must ‘give to receive’. This is God’s way. If we constantly expect to receive without being willing to give whether it means financially or simply in energy and effort, then we will not receive and the result is deeper poverty.

How do we make a profit?
The simple answer is that we need to ensure that we conduct our business in such a way that we will make a profit.

Proverbs 14:23 says, ‘All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.’
Can we be immensely brave and say that perhaps Africa is so poor because we are a people who are not willing to give by expending the necessary effort to work hard to turn a profit. We are wallowing in self-pity, which leads us to make excuses and blame everyone else for our distress. We must stand up and take responsibility, confessing our lack of faithfulness and ask God to lead us into His ways to make a profit.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Founding Principles: The Parable of the Talents - Giving Unselfishly

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Give unselfishly
In the Parable of the Talents we looked at last week, how did the servants gain more talents? They did so by working. Working always requires that we give. The servants would have had to give thought to how they would make more money, give energy in making sure their plan was executed, give money into buying inputs so that they could receive output, give effort into making sure that whatever enterprise they chose was maintained and progressed and the list of giving goes on.

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 unto you.”

If you give unselfishly, you will receive. This truth is not only understood by Christians but is understood and practiced by many Muslims, Hindus, agnostics and atheists alike. Just like the principle that ‘if you are faithful with little God will add to you,’ the principle of ‘giving’ is also a universal truth because the Lord “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”. (Matthew 5:45).

Successful farming requires giving
We realise that we cannot keep taking from the land without giving back to it. If we simply take from the land, never being willing to give extra effort, or put money into supplying the nutrients which we have extracted back into the soil, then we cannot expect to receive. When we give extra effort ensuring that very high standards are maintained, then we are able to reap a bountiful crop. If we are lazy and unwillingly to give this effort, standards will drop and so will yields. We must give, so that God can multiply what we have given back to us.

May this wonderful truth of giving to receive not start and end in any consumerist, ‘prosperity,’ selfish motives and attitudes. May it will be rooted and established in the love of God. Our great emphasis should be more on ‘what can I give, rather than what can I get’. This unselfish attitude comes from an understanding of Christ’s wonderful sacrificial love for us that enables us to have a pure motive of wanting to emulate His unselfishness as a gesture of our love and gratitude to Him.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Founding Principles: The Parable of The talents - faithfulness

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For on one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

While sitting on the Mount of Olives Jesus told his disciples the parable of the talents about a master and his servants. The master was going away for a while so entrusted his property to his servants. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents and to another one talent. The servants that were given five talents and two talents immediately put the money to work and by the time the master returned they had doubled their money. However, the servant who was given one talent just dug a hole in the ground and hid the money. When the master returned was very pleased with the first two servants and gave them extra responsibilities in his Kingdom. However, the master was very angry that the third servant had done nothing with what he had been given and took the his one talent and gave it to the servant who had ten, saying “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Africa has been unfaithful
From the story we see that if we are faithful with little, God will add to us; but if we are unfaithful with little God will take away from us. From the statistics that we saw earlier in this series we cannot feed ourselves from the abundant resources that God has given us. Do you not think that perhaps this is because we are not being faithful with the first things God has given us: our soil, rainfall, sunlight, heat units, seed and manpower?

Farming: the first job we are given to do
We see in Genesis 2:15 that the first job Adam was given to do was to work the garden and take care of it. Even after the fall in Genesis 3:23 Adam is told to work the ground. We believe that farming is a crucial enterprise that must be done faithfully before a nation can be developed. In the Parable of the Talents we saw that once the servants were faithful with the talents, they were put in charge of many things, including cities. God is a supreme master-builder and he doesn’t build a house from the windowsills or lintels upwards, but builds from strong foundations. Can we be honest and say that much of the poverty in Africa is because she is not faithfully attending to this first and basic job that she has been given?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Founding Principles: Jesus is our hope

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For one one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Jesus is our hope and example of fruitfulness, unselfishness and humility

In the previous two blogs, we have looked at how we as humans are bent towards disobedience to God’s good advice on how to live and our destructive actions are reflected in the state of our continent.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

The problems in Africa are associated with the spiritual realm. So much destruction and fear is rooted in ancestral worship and witchcraft. Therefore, true transformation and the eradication of hunger, poverty and suffering will never be overcome by the wealth and the wisdom of the world, but only by Jesus.

Where Satan came to bring our destruction, Jesus came to rescue us from this and bring us life! Jesus has made a way for us to be saved, where all we need to do is simply believe that He has made this way for us. We should also believe that God is truly good. Everything that he plans and purposes for us is ultimately for our good. When we believe that God is good, it becomes much easier to trust him and obey what he says because we know that it will lead to life and goodness. This does not mean that we will not have difficulty, but it will always lead to a higher good.

Once we come to faith in Jesus and experience His grace, it becomes much easier to be obedient and faithful. Faithfulness is knowing what God says and wills for us and willingly obeying it.

John 15:5: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

If we are faithful (remain in the vine and not decide to detach ourselves and rebel) we will bear fruit. Instead of our lives being marked by death and destruction, we will be fruitful and propagate life.

Jesus freely redeems us as a result of His death on the cross and then a life begins where we learn to turn from our selfishness and pride and like Jesus take up our crosses in humility and unselfishness. Humility and unselfishness are crucial elements of Foundations for Farming. The restoration of a whole continent cannot happen if we continue in a counter vein of pride and selfishness.

Jesus came to be our example of humility and unselfishness and as we live like him, we find light and life. What would your family, community or city look like if the daily actions of the people in it were driven by humility and unselfishness?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Founding Principles: Africa: the situation

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Africa is blessed. The second largest continent on earth, Africa is said to hold 30% of the world’s natural resources! It has 60% of the world's diamonds, 40% of the world's phosphate and 30% of the worlds cobalt resource and an abundance of oil, gold, copper, wood and tropical fruit. Although much of Africa is covered by desert regions, much of Sub-Saharan Africa has medium agricultural potential through to prime agricultural land.

Yet Africa is poor and hungry. The combined Gross Domestic Product of all African countries was 2.5% of the total GDP of the world in 2008, and 2.3% of the world GDP in 2009, similar to that of Mexico! Ironically, the areas in Africa which have good agricultural land potential are the very nations which are struggling the most in the world to feed their populations. In Sub-Saharan Africa, maize yields have stagnated and continue to stay low despite yields in the United States and other continents increasing.

What is our problem? Looking at these facts and figures, it is clear that Africa is not a fruitful continent and is not fulfilling its God given potential. The result is that poverty continues to ravage the continent, despite decades and billions of US dollars in aid. If we are concerned about poverty as Jesus was, we must turn to God for solutions to this problem. We cannot stand by and allow for the decimation of such a rich continent and its beautiful people. Can we be brave enough to admit that there is a problem and seek God for the answers?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The founding principles: The cause of poverty

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For on one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Christ Jesus."

What would happen if a man asked God how to be a better farmer? What if that same man went on to ask why Africa is the poorest continent and why it is getting poorer?

This is precisely what Brian Oldreive did. He discovered that the answers to these questions lay in the hearts and minds of men and women. He also found out that poverty is a result of destructive relationships between humans and between humans and the environment. Being a Christian, he found that the Bible sheds light on the source of this problem.

In the creation account in Genesis, we see God as a loving creator who delights in making the whole world. Man, represented by Adam and Eve, is the pinnacle of His creation. God gives one instruction: that they should not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they will die. Eve knows this but Satan, being the great deceiver, entices her not to believe God thus setting the whole human race on a course towards destruction. Ultimately, Eve believes Satan over God and rebels, leading her to disobey the command. This disobedience leads to the destruction of every relationship - between God and humans, between man and woman, and between humans and the environment.

Being parents of the human race, Adam and Eve have set us all on this same course. Every one of us is bent towards disbelief and rebellion towards God and His word. Our disobedience affects every area of our lives and we can think of times when we have been selfish and caused pain to others, even our loved ones.
We don’t have to look too hard to find pain and destruction caused by human selfishness and a broken relationship with the land. Wars rage over resources and inequality is rife.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

God's Blessing On Family Life pt 3

In the psalm, we see God’s blessing spreading out to society. That is the significance of “the prosperity of Jerusalem” (vs5). No person is an island. We are all in relationship with others and our personal and family well-being is bound up with the good of God’s people and of the community.

God’s blessing is not limited to one generation. It is not only for all the days of my life. It also reaches to “children’s children (vs6) and so far into the future. Praise God for the amazing, wonderful richness of his blessing. How blessed are all who fear the Lord and walk in His ways!

Yes. A family that honours God will be a blessing in its community.
Yes. Family flourishes when people honour God.

Shalom. May God’s people enjoy His peace and His wholeness.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Foundations for Farming Testimony

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

A former gold panner, Makesure Muchenge, has become one of the best conservation agriculture trainers in Africa. Many Non Governmental Organisations dream of having such stories from their development programmes. However, Makesure wasn’t the product of a programme, but his success was the result of a relationship. Specifically, Makesure was befriended by former Zimbabwean commercial farmer, Boet Pretorious. When the two first met, Makesure was living a destructive lifestyle, spending what little money he had on alcohol, rather than caring for his family or investing in his livelihood. Boet, a Christian dedicated to training the poor in Africa to feed themselves using Foundations for Farming, loved and mentored Makesure and helped him turn his life around.

Since those early days, there has been real transformation in Makesure’s life. He no longer struggles with drunkenness and is producing enough as a farmer to provide for his family's needs as well as others in his community. In fact, Makesure has gone on to win a farming award and been offered some of Zimbabwe's prime land as a prize. However, Makesure turned down this offer of land to continue helping his community. Rarely do you hear of “rags to riches” stories about rural Zimbabwe. It is rarer still to hear of a farmer rejecting a sure way to more riches to stay and help his or her community for no gain.

The key to Makesure's success has been following the Foundations for Farming methodology of minimal tillage and no burning but using mulching, crop rotation and high management instead, Makesure insists however that his successful farming enterprise is more a result of his relationship with Boet, which has changed his heart and attitude to life. Having understood and felt the love and grace of God from a white, former commercial farmer, Makesure says he decided to also become a Christian. Learning to be faithful with what he has been given and loving those around him have also inspired Makesure to be a great farmer who uses his profits to help his community.

Foundations for Farming has seen many lives, besides Makesure's, transformed through its teaching and relationships with farmers.

Friday, May 6, 2011

God's Blessing on Family Life pt 2

The Psalm is an observation on life in general rather than an absolute promise. It is like many sayings in Proverbs. For example, Proverbs 26:27 says, “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it”. This means that if you set a trap for others you are likely to be caught in a trap yourself. It is not a promise that anyone who digs a hole will fall into it! What the psalmist has seen by the Spirit of God is that generally speaking people who follow and obey God enjoy strong family life. That is a wonderful blessing. It should not surprise us because God is for family and He loves to bless His children.

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table” (vs3). In the Old Testament, wine and olive oil are two symbols of God’s blessing. “Wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine” (Psalm 106:15: see also Deuteronomy 8:8 and Hosea 2:22). A beloved wife is compared to a vine, which gives abundantly in joy and fruitfulness and yet also needs support. Children will grow to be olive trees, which speak of flourishing life and lasting fruit. It is a lovely picture but it does not just happen.

Read verse 1 again to discover what kind of person it is who enjoys such a wonderful family. It is the person who fears the Lord and walks in his ways. It is a person who loves and follows God. Good family life does not stand alone. It flows from a life of listening to God, obeying him and following his ways. This psalm is saying that family flourishes when God is honoured.

The Lord's Upside-down Kingdom

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

When Jesus came to earth he refused to be a political Messiah, because He knew that the pride and the self-sufficiency of the Kings, the governors, the rich, the powerful and the highly educated would not listen to Him or apply His Kingdom principles, which are so different to the world’s and also often contradict our logical understanding. Instead He lived a life of great humility and unselfishness, and listened to and obeyed everything that His Father told Him. What an amazingly beautiful example He set for us to follow. He began by choosing twelve very ordinary people, and taught and modelled Himself to them, and then told them to go and make disciples of all nations.

Many of the Champions of Foundations for Farming are farmers or people who also have Jesus’ humble and unselfish heart for the poor. Some of these Champions and Trainers have little formal education, and it is very significant that we have been called to some of the very weakest and poorest people on earth. We have seen that these weakest of the weak are the ones that the Lord has chosen to use for the whole miracle of the rebuilding of a very weak and poor continent, which we pray will one day be a discipleship model for the ‘stronger’ and ‘wiser’ continents of this world.

We have seen members of our Government in Zimbabwe, who for many years have been vigorously opposed to Foundations for Farming, have recently seen the amazing accumulation of consistent success that so many of our very poor disciples have achieved on their little plots. The models of these ‘foolish’ ones have confounded these national Ministers and these same Ministers have now asked us to teach Foundations for Farming to all the Government extension officers, and have asked us to help draw up a curriculum for all agricultural colleges and institutions as well as for all schools in the nation. The Lord seems poised for the miracle to begin in earnest.

We praise God for the privilege of being appointed by Him for this purpose, and may we always keep in mind this wonderful scripture from 1 Corinthians 1: 26- 31, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

The Lord will rebuild Africa from the bottom and not the top, and He will receive all the glory!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Rebuilding of the Nations

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

The Hope we have for the Rebuilding of the Nations:

This miracle came from the Godly character of Nehemiah and his amazing obedience and adherence to the Isaiah 58 blueprint. This should give us great encouragement. The miracle also happened because Nehemiah managed to take God’s plan to the people and they unified and all agreed on the plan wholeheartedly. And then he managed to get them to all focus on the task for a season.

Brian exhorts us all to share this vision for the rebuilding of our nations and continent. The excellence and the time scale for the completion will directly depend on the degree of Unity of Purpose and our Wholehearted Focus that the Lord will help us to achieve. What also brings great hope is that if we do it Faithfully with what we have, and with a Joyfully Giving spirit, God will supernaturally add to us as we have seen so many times in Foundations for Farming over all these years. It is like seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…

Finally we should remind ourselves that Nehemiah began by weeping over the ruins because of the shame and dishonour that the ruination brought to God. So may we as saved children of God, emulate his heart and sorrow for our disobedience and unfaithfulness and for the poor reputation that the church has in Africa, and then we can begin to build strongly for God’s glory. This brings us back to where Foundations for Farming first started all those years ago with 1 Corinthians 10: 31, “Whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

God's blessing on family life: Psalm 128:1 - 6 pt 1

1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.
5 May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,
6 and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.

Psalm 128 is called the marriage psalm because it was often sung at weddings. God’s blessing to all who reverence Him and who honour Him in their everyday lives (vs 1 & 4) is seen working out in family life.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Nehemiah Story: Chapter 6:15 - 16

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Astoundingly the Wall is Finished in only 52 Days:

This must have been a Construction Engineering Miracle for the walls to be completed in 52 days! These were high walls with parapets and roadways round the top, thick enough for people to have houses in the wall itself, and there were gates to be repaired and hung. Arrayed against them was intensely cunning and scornful opposition, where the builders were in such danger that half of them had to standby on guard and sometimes had to build with their weapons in their other hand.

Another ingredient that greatly contributed to this incredible success is revealed in Nehemiah’s statement in Chapter 8: 10, “for the Joy of the Lord is your Strength.” When we really enjoy something it lessens the workload and a supernatural strength comes to bear. It is a joy to embark on a project that brings glory to God. We can see that Nehemiah and the team really did build “On Time, At Standard, Without Wastage and With Joy.”

Strangely enough the Lord had progressively shown me many of these principles sovereignly before Brian saw them in the scripture, and he was astounded now to see these principles have been assembled so powerfully in God’s Word so long ago, as a confirming guidance and assurance for us in our endeavour.

The Nehemiah Story: Chapter 5:14 - 18

1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Nehemiah Demonstrated Great Generosity, Unselfishness and Humility:

In these verses we see a few examples of Nehemiah’s unselfishness, where he says, “neither I nor my brothers ate the food allowance of the governor. The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them for their daily ration forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God. I also persevered in the work on this wall, and we acquired no land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work. Moreover, there were at my table 150 men, Jews and officials, besides those who came to us from the nations that were around us. Now what was prepared at my expense for each day was one ox and six choice sheep and birds, and every ten days all kinds of wine in abundance. Yet for all this I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because the service was too heavy on this people”.

Isn’t it wonderful to see that this master builder, Nehemiah, obeyed the rebuilding blueprint that had been laid out by Isaiah almost exactly three hundred years before? This clearly confirms to us the prophetic word, with which I have exhorted the Champions all these years: “that the Kingdom of God and the rebuilding of the walls of nations must be based on the love of God expressed by His united people through the humility and unselfishness of Christ”. This also confirms the prophetic word given to us so many years ago that Faithfulness and a Giving Spirit are the keys to the eradication of poverty.