But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
A couple of days ago I wrote on some paradoxes you’ll find in some of Jesus’s statements and teachings, and today’s is an epitome of such.
When I began working as a young man, one of the issues I found in the workspace had to do with who was the boss when the boss wasn’t around. At certain points you could feel the tension in the office as my senior colleagues silently battled it out amongst themselves. You could be instructed to do A, yet another senior staff commands you to do B. Those were interesting times.
But Jesus flips the charts altogether. He brings a disruption that awakens the inner man and pushes selfishness, pride and arrogance out of the spotlight.
The greatest disciple is the one who serves the most. The least is the greatest. This should be our mentality as believers even as we strive to reach higher heights.
And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
On a day like this when the whole Nation of Ghana has decided to embark on a fast, led by His Excellency, the President, to avert further damaging repercussions of COVID-19, it comes as a pleasant coincidence to read these verses.
A child with epilepsy had been brought to the disciples of Jesus to heal but they couldn’t. Remember that these same disciples were very capable so were surprised themselves that the demon that possessed the boy just wouldn’t leave. Of course, Jesus upon His arrival, commanded out the demon and freed the lad. His comments afterwards is what is of interest to us.
“This kind goes out by prayer and fasting.” This suggests that no matter your level of spirituality, some situations may call for more ammunition that you carry at the moment. Fasting backs prayer with such a momentous force that requests get met via that route.
As we fast for the nation today, be a part of the exercise. Don’t see it a foolish exercise. It is no time to play politics. It is time to make a petition to the Most High, to forgive our sins and heal our land.
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
The Oxford Dictionary defines a paradox as a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true.
How could one possibly lose his life by saving it and vice versa? I can imagine the confusion on the faces of the people and the teachers of the law, as these words from Jesus hit them. What does one do to save his life? He cares for it zealously, loves it selfishly and focuses all his energy and attention on it alone.
This formula, though powerful and will ensure one’s survival, doesn’t take love and compassion for others into consideration. It looks only at the self and gives no room to the other. So here on earth you live well, but have no heavenly treasure, and essentially no place there.
These and many more of Jesus’s words may sound illogical at the first, but reveal mysteries when a lot of thought is applied. Save your soul, consider the souls of others and respond to their needs as much as you can. You don’t lose yourself at the end, you rather find more.
And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.
 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
Just a few days ago I watched a video titled “Ascolta” on YouTube and would recommend it for all.
Basically, the video speaks to the positive side of major pandemics the planet has seen, and how life somehow re-emerges after all is said and done. Such positivity is what we should be looking out for in these times of semi-lockdowns and self-isolation.
One positive I choose to see with COVID-19 is the opportunity it is going to afford many others to take a good rest. I believe by end of this, aside the negatives, many more will more refreshed and their systems revitalised to do more. So I see a boom in productivity in the near future.
Jesus and his disciples rested a good number of times, from the hustle and jostle of crowd. Stay home as much as you can in these times and treat the body to some good rest.
Mark 5:2-3 KJV And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
The story of Jesus and the mad man of Gadara is a very important one so far as demonology is concerned. Every believer of the gospel needs to have some level of knowledge of unclean/evil spirits and how they manifest. You’ve got to know your enemy, at least to an extent, and how he operates.
I want to put out a few things I see in this chapter:
He dwelled in the tombs. He had no desire of association or love for family and friends.
He easily broke the chains that he was often bound in. He had superhuman strength.
He operated night and day, sleep and rest eluded him.
He harmed himself, cutting his body with stones and crying aloud.
All these are signs for a believer to know what kind of spirit people operate with. These and many more should begin to shape your prayer pattern.
As you get along with people, don’t be too quick to dismiss them for certain actions they put up, perhaps those could be manifestations of certain spirits vexing them, which would require your intercession, not your condemnation.
Be alert as a believer, many wicked but subtle spirits operate in our days. Keep praying!
And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
Most christian have always wondered why Jesus spoke in parables for a good portion of his sermons. It is said that about one-third of His sermons were delivered this way to the multitudes and His own disciples.
Why wouldn’t He just speak in plain language for everyone to understand and immediately learn a thing or two? Apparently, Jesus didn’t begin this. A quick glance at verses like Deu 29:4; Eze 12:2 and Jer 5:21 reveal that indeed, such revelation comes after one has been enlightened in Christ.
So St. Paul the apostle would conclude that it is only through Christ that the veils covering our faces can be taken off (2 Cor 3:14-15). This is why Jesus was a bit surprised when His disciples still lacked understanding.
Giving yourself to God and submitting yourself to the study of His Word brings a lot of enlightenment. I say this with much confidence because I know what progress I’ve personally made, developing myself on His Word. Enlightenment comes from feeding on His Word and doing it consistently. I challenge you to pursue this.
Have a blessed day. #CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP
And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?
 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
Not long after I started driving, I was returning from a program an uncle and I had attended at the National Theatre, a little after 12-midnight.
At a traffic intersection, he slowed down a little and drove through the red light. I looked at him and immediately he knew what was coming, so without asking he went on to explain how riskier it was to wait at the point than to drive through. “On a good day, that light would have been amber,” he added.
Laws, Rules and Regulations have a sole aim of instilling order and ensuring that people and property are protected. Yet there are singular genuine moments when there is the need to override laws/rules, especially when we understand / appreciate why those rules were put there. This is what Jesus sought to teach the Scribes and Pharisees.
The Laws exist, but they were made for us, not the other way round. “Hanging them around our necks” to the point of death is pointless and that is what Jesus established. Rules are meant to make us better not kill us. As a leader, help make the lives of your people better, know when to show the red light and when to flash amber.