WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 9, 2020
TOPIC: IT IS NOT TOO LATE!
BY T. O. BANSO
“Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died’” (John 11:21 New King James Version).
Recently, I was talking with somebody who lamented that we have entered the last quarter of the year yet the high expectations she had for the year and the divine revelations about the year are yet to be fulfilled. She was worried and a bit depressed. Just less than three months for the year to end!
This person is a daughter of God but she is overwhelmed by the challenges of life, which she had believed God that by now she would have overcome. She had prayed and fasted but things are yet to change in the magnitude she had trusted God for.
The woman is not the only person in this kind of situation. Many are in the waiting room of God praying and trusting Him to visit them and turn their lives around as the year gradually comes to an end.
But it is not too late. It is not too late for God to do what He has promised. It is not too late for the answers to your prayers to manifest. It is not too late for the LORD to visit you and turn your life around. It is not too late for the LORD to give you beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair (Isaiah 61:3).
It is not too late for God to change your story. It is not too late for Him to turn your mourning into dancing, put off your sackcloth, and clothe you with gladness (Psalm 30:11).
At the time Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, was probably thinking that he would die lame in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar and would never enter the king’s place again, King David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake? (2 Samuel 9:1 New King James Version).
David was informed that Mephibosheth, the son of his covenant friend, Jonathan, was living in Lo Debar. David asked that he should be brought from Lo Debar. Lo Debar was a town in Gilead not far from Mahanaim, north of the Jabbok. Lo-debar is a combination of two words – Lo and debar. Some have translated Lo and debar to mean “nothing” and “pasture” respectively, therefore, the combination could mean “no pasture”, “not a pasture”, “without pasture” or “pastureless.” But others have translated the Lo-debar to mean “no word” or “no communication.”
Mephibosheth was living in Lo-debar –“no pasture”, “not a pasture”, “pastureless”, “nothing”, “pastureless” or “no communication”. Mephibosheth, a grandchild of King Saul, who, expectedly, used to live in luxury in the palace, suffered a setback in fortune and had to be living in “nothing” (Lo-debar). He was living in “no communication” (Lo-debar) – forgotten – until David, his father’s friend, sent a communication to him.
All hopes are not lost for you. It is not too late for God to intervene in your situation. It is not too late for you to enjoy divine favour. David said to Mephibosheth, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually” (2 Samuel 9:7 New King James Version).
Evidently, he was dumbfounded by this kind gesture. He asked why David should look upon such a dead dog as he! But David had more for him: “I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat bread at my table always” (verses 9-10 New King James Version).
The Bible does not tell us how many years Mephibosheth had lived in Lo Debar before David brought him back to Jerusalem and showered on him favour. But anyone who had thought Mephibosheth would die in Lo Debar was making a mistake. It was not too late for God to change Mephibosheth’s story.
Whatever situation you’re in now, it is not too late for you to experience a positive change. Abraham laughed when God said he (Abraham) shall not call his wife Sarai again but Sarah. God said He would bless her and give him a son by her; He would also bless her, and she would be a mother of nations; kings of peoples would be from her. Abraham laughed! This was after Abraham and his wife had waited expectantly for many years.
Genesis 17:17-18 says, “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’ And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, that Ishmael might live before You’” (New King James Version). Did you see that? In other words, Abraham was saying it was too late for him to have a child.
But God had good thoughts concerning Abraham and Sarah. He says in Jeremiah 29:11, He knows the thoughts that He thinks toward His children, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give them a future and a hope.
God answered Abraham, “Sarah, your wife, will bear you a son. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my everlasting covenant with him and his descendants. As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will cause him to multiply and become a great nation. Twelve princes will be among his descendants. But my covenant is with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year’” (Genesis 17:19-21 New Living Translation).
Sarah, just like her husband (Abraham), laughed at God’s promise that she would have a child. She had waited for many years and obviously had given up on having a child. She laughed silently to herself and said, “‘How could a worn-out woman like me have a baby?’ she thought. ‘And when my master — my husband — is also so old?’” (Genesis 18:12 New Living Translation).
God reacted to Sarah’s laughter, saying to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? About a year from now, just as I told you, I will return, and Sarah will have a son’” (verses 13-14 New Living Translation). In fear, Sarah lied that she didn’t laugh but God insisted that she did.
Take note of this phrase in that scripture: Is anything too hard for the LORD? None! Within a year after God’s conversation with Abraham and Sarah, they had Isaac, the child of promise. God created laughter for Sarah. Genesis 21:6 says, “And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me’” (New King James Version).
God will make you laugh too. Your weeping will end; your laughter will begin. He will turn your lamentation to jubilation. It is not too late for you. Zacharias’ wife, Elizabeth, had been barren for several years. One day, the angel of the LORD announced to Zacharias that his wife would bear him a son, who shall be named John (Luke 1:13). “And Zacharias said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years’” (verse 18 New King James Version).
Evidently, so as to prevent him from working against the fulfillment of the promise of God by his words of unbelief or negative confession, God made him dumb until the fulfillment of His promise (verses 19-20). God gave them John the Baptist. It wasn’t too late for them. It is not too late for you also to have your miracle babies.
The Shunammite woman had adjusted well to her problem of bareness! When in 2 Kings 4:16, the prophet Elisha told her “next year” at about the time he was talking to her she would be holding a son in her arms, she protested and told the man of God not to lie to her. Apparent, she felt it was too late having waited for many years. But the Bible says the woman soon became pregnant and at that time the following year, she had a son, just as Elisha had said. I pray that you will experience a similar miracle in Jesus’ name. You will no more be barren; you will have your babies in Jesus’ name.
God is not a latecomer. However, the Bible says when Jesus heard that Lazarus, His friend, was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. By the time he arrived at Lazarus’ house, he had been buried for four days. Naturally speaking, Jesus arrived too late! “Now Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died’” (John 11:21 New King James Version).
Nevertheless, the end of the story showed that Jesus didn’t arrive late. It wasn’t too late for Lazarus to come out of the grave, which was a greater miracle than his healing that Jesus was initially invited for. “He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go’” (John 11:43-44 New King James Version). The resurrection and the life brought Lazarus back to life (verse 25). Hallelujah! In the power that is in the name of Jesus, you will come out of any ‘grave’ you may have been buried in Jesus’ name.
It is not too late for you to pursue God’s purpose for your life. It is not too late to become all God wants you to be. I read about a widow in my country that entered the University for her First Degree at the age of 40, four years after the death of her husband. She had children to take care of. However, with faith in God and diligence, she has since become a professor in one of the foremost universities in the country. She didn’t give up because of the sudden death of her husband.
It is not too late to go back to school, start that project, write that book, finish that work, receive your healing, stop that bad habit, and so on.
It is not too late for God to fulfill His promises in your life. With God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27). All things are possible to Him who believes (Mark 9:23). It is not too late. “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed” (Habakkuk 2:3 New Living Translation).
There is a time when something can become too late. Do the right thing now before things become too late for you. I pray it will not be too late for you. Have faith in God. “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45 New King James Version).
It is not too late to give your life to Jesus now, accepting Him as your Lord and Saviour. Don’t wait until it is too late. There’s no repentance in the grave. It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I shall not cast away my confidence, which has great reward. I believe Your promises and put my trust in You. I am blessed because I believe and there will be a fulfillment of the things which You have promised in Jesus’ name.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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