Time For Monday's Prayer Of The Day
A Morning Prayer for God's Presence
Lord, may nothing separate me from You today. Teach me how to choose only Your way today so each step will lead me closer to You. Help me walk by the Word and not my feelings. Help me to keep my heart pure and undivided. Protect me from my own careless thoughts, words, and actions. And keep me from being distracted by MY wants, MY desires, MY thoughts on how things should be. Help me to embrace what comes my way as an opportunity... rather than a personal inconvenience. And finally, help me to rest in the truth of Psalm 86:13, 'Great is your love toward me.' You already see the ways I will fall short and mess up. But right now, I consciously tuck Your whisper of absolute love for me into the deepest part of my heart. I recognize Your love for me is not based on my performance. You love me warts and all. That's amazing. But what's most amazing is that the Savior of the world would desire a few minutes with me this morning. Lord, help me to forever remember what a gift it is to sit with You like this. Amen.
Fraudster who said he had traded 'crime for Christianity' faces US extradition
A man who said he had found God after serving two years in prison for fraud, is now facing US extradition for his alleged involvement in a multimillion-pound scam.
Oludayo Adeagbo from east London, is being accused of allegedly defrauding three US universities of nearly $5million (£4m) between 2016 and 2018.
The 42-year-old could face up to 82 years in prison if found guilty. He has protested his innocence and it now is up to Home Secretary Priti Patel whether or not to allow his extradition.
In the early 2000s, Adeagbo was sentenced to two years in prison for leading a defrauding gang called "iPod crew" which used to steal luxury cars by forging driving licenses, bank statements and payslips.
At the time of his sentence, Adeagbo had two Bibles in his bag and said he was "trading crime for Christianity".
After his release he set up an award-winning fashion company called Florian Clothing, which products were being sold in Bloomingdale's in New York, according to Adeagbo.
But the father of four is now being accused of sending a series of scam emails to three US universities, instructing them to transfer millions of dollars to a bank account.
In the emails, he would allegedly claim to be from the financial department of legitimate construction companies. On one occasion, the email asked Appalachian State University to transfer more than $1,900,000 to a JP Morgan bank account.
Adeagbo is believed to have been working with Ho Shin Lee, a Los Angeles businessman and Donald Echeazu, from east London, in the scam operation. They each face three charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and aggravated identity theft.
During their extradition hearing at Westminster magistrates' court, Judge Zani said he was sending the cases to the secretary of state for a decision as he could not find bars to the extradition.
Adeagbo is being held at Wandsworth prison.
Now he said this, not because he cared about the poor [for he had never cared about them], but because he was a thief; and since he had the money box [serving as treasurer for the twelve disciples], he used to pilfer what was put into it.
He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.
Possible Motives for Judas Iscariot's Betrayal
Judas then went on his own to the priests of the Temple, the religious authorities at the time, and offered to betray Jesus in exchange for money—30 pieces of silver, as specified in the Gospel of Matthew
Poverty can never be overcome right? It's a problem that simply can't be solved.
After all, Jesus said, "The poor you will ALWAYS have with you."
It's right there in Scripture. John chapter 12. Verse 8.
So don't get too worried about tackling poverty and injustice sonny-boy. It's a losing battle. Tone down your revolutionary rhetoric and give up the fight.
Perhaps like me, you have experienced that metaphorical pat on the head. This verse is often used as an attempt to take the wind out of all the rest of Jesus' commands to work for justice and to love mercy.
I reckon Jesus actually meant the OPPOSITE of what we usually take him to mean here. It seems to me that Jesus was actually advocating generosity and action to eradicate poverty, rather than hands-up-in-the-air, shoulder-shrugging apathy.
Here's my reasoning.
You know how some catch-phrases are just so well known, that everyone knows the ending - you don't even really need to say it?
"Sticks and stones."
Everyone already knows the ending, "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me." Just saying Sticks and Stones is enough for you to catch my drift.
It just so happens that in saying "The poor you will always have with you," Jesus was quoting another well-known Biblical phrase - from a well-known passage of the Jewish Torah. Everyone hearing him back then would have caught his drift. Here's the full original quote:
“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...For the poor you will always have with you in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’" (Deut 15:7-11)
So, reading Jesus' words in their original context you can see that His words were meant to spur generosity towards the poor. "Open wide your hand!" The command to be open-handed towards the poor comes directly from Yahweh himself.
Not apathy and tight-fistedness as we use these words to mean today.
The next time someone says, "The poor you will always have with you..." Be sure to complete the sentence: "Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."
The second thing to note about this story is that Jesus says these words to rebuke Judas who was scornful towards a woman for pouring out her perfume on Jesus:
He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. (John 12:6)
So, when we use Jesus' words to justify not caring about the poor, we are actually repeating the very sin of Judas himself, who was robbing the poor.
Of course, this posture of generosity and open-handedness lines up much more consistently with the rest of Jesus' life and teachings, starting with the revolutionary song sung by Mary while Jesus was still in the womb:
"He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty." (Luke 1:53)
You can see Jesus fulfilling this prophecy in the feeding of the 5000. The same word from Mary's Sing, "filled", is found in John 6:12, where we hear that that motley crowd all ate and were "filled"
he need of 5000 hungry people was met in that place and time because one little boy was willing to be "open-handed" towards the poor and needy.
Later, after Jesus' death, the early believers also took these teachings on open-handedness seriously:
And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were NO needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:34-35)
There were no needy persons among them! Poverty was eradicated in their midst. That was the natural outcome of taking Jesus' teachings seriously.
Jesus' upside-down Kingdom is coming. He calls us to be part of it. The poor are going to be lifted up. The hungry are going to be fed. Your call and my call is to be open-handed.
So what are you waiting for? Let's get on with it!
The Keys to Guarantee Biblical Wealth and Prosperity
1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. 2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished. Deuteronomy 8:18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today
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