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Showing posts from 2013

For Love Alone

It's Christmas again, Merry Christmas. I'll just quickly reference last Easter's post on Sharing His Hope - which was an encouragement to share. So what is Christmas? The best definition of Christmas so far, for me, is from a kid. Here it is: Christmas is a time when we celebrate when baby Jesus was born on earth. Can you beat that? John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Isaiah 9:6 prophecy can finally be celebrated - cause it was fulfilled by the birth/coming of Jesus. Christmas is a perfect reminder of the loving Father heart of God - that lavishing love - which chose to be born in a manger, in form of human flesh, living in our world and giving it all up for us - a people undeserving of His love. Really, God what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you've visited him. If you often get into this question of Psalm 8:

Discerning His Perfect Will

If you're just joining us, this post is part of a duo-session (previous was Living in Perfect Peace ). Merry Christmas again - with everything being Christmassy, we'll ride on for the session. Romans 12:1-2; I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. The scripture in Romans lets us know that discernment and direction is a bye product of wholehearted devotion to God. The Old Testament usually refer this as 'the fear of God' - e.g. Psalms 25:12,14, Proverbs 1:10, Psalm 111:10. Three points to note here: Present your bodies as a living sacrifice : 'holiness - the fear of God' Be not conformed to this world : 'holiness - the fear of God' Be transformed by the

Living in Perfect Peace

Wow, lots of questions on: true peace and God's will. We'll just look at what The Word says of "perfect peace", and then delve right into "discerning His perfect will". It's going to be an interesting duo-session, as I'll keep it short. First off, Merry Christmas (in advance). OK, here we go: Isaiah 26:3 - Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. The Israelites had lots of attacks and fought lots of battles that they always yearned for peace (and God surfaced as their Peace: shâlôm: rest due to the absence of war). But the Prophecy of Perfect Peace (perfect Shalom) was a promise and was finally fulfilled in Christ. Paul in Philippians 4:7 describes this kind as; peace that transcends all understanding. So Perfect Peace (eirēnē) is peace despite (even in) the trials and battles. [John 16:33; Matthew 11:28] We can't (physically) fight for it, cause it's the work of grace, therefore

The New Packed Lunch

I probably should have called this post - reaching out or evangelism, but anyways you get the idea. Well, the story is about my 'one-time' packed lunch at college. Did you ever have a favorite packed lunch when you were at school? You can also recall that there was a range of types that students brought to school (e.g. sandwiches, noodles, macaroni, yeah stuff like that). One morning, my Mum suggested the 'non-conventional' pack lunch, for a change - sounded like a joke, but one day I took on the challenge - it was 'Garri and Soup'. You'd probably be laughing by now if you were African, there you go. Google it, just so we're on the same page. The next chapter of the story was my arrival at school with the packed lunch - more specifically the lunch break. The usual sandwiches or noodles would fit in a small portable plate, but this time I brought a food flask. WOW, good memories. When I opened the flask, at first my friends had a good laugh, but the

Full-time: My Days Also

There is no one formula to worship, but there is a biblical principle. As Jesus said: true worship is in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). I love to see and explain the 'in truth' bit as 'full-time'. Just a wee story for ya: Once upon a time... well, let's just get to the story... during my undergraduate study, as a Christian student, I mean, a proper Christian student, I enjoyed fellowship with friends. So we would usually meet in the evenings - pray, sing songs, study the word and what have you - complete church style 'worship' as you would have it. In fact, interestingly, at several occasions there were experiences of intense presence of the Holy Spirit in our meetings (we were five, sometimes a sixth or seventh made the meeting). I was meditating one time, while feeling good with myself, as we all do, God was inviting me to live life to the full (not just at evenings). John 10:10 records 'life to the full' [ niv ] not 'life in the night&#

Blessings of Helping the Poor - 7 Folds

Helping or giving to the poor is not just being nice, it's beyond that. As blessings/a promise follows every biblical command so it is with giving to the poor. Jesus makes it clear in Luke 14:12-14 that there is a blessing specifically for helping the needy...and Jesus also makes it clear that we will always have the poor with us (Matthew 26:11). Other helpful references on giving: Matthew 5:42, Acts 20:35, Luke 6:38, Matthew 25:35-40 ... Psalm 41:1-3 explicitly states the earthly reward of giving to the poor (in addition to the eternal reward of Luke 14:12-14). Psalm 41: verse 1: Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. Deliverance. ...the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. verse 2: The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. Preservation. The LORD will preserve him... Long Life. ...and keep him alive;... Pr

Jesus Is The Answer

I’ve a message from the Lord for you, no matter the problem you’re going through: Look unto Jesus, and live. He’s the answer. I’ve a message from the Lord, hallelujah! This message unto you I’ll give, ’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah! It is only that you “look and live.” Refrain: “Look and live,” my brother, live, Look to Jesus now, and live; ’Tis recorded in His word, hallelujah! It is only that you “look and live.” I’ve a message full of love, hallelujah! A message, O my friend, for you, ’Tis a message from above, hallelujah! Jesus said it, and I know ’tis true. Life is offered unto you, hallelujah! Eternal life thy soul shall have, If you’ll only look to Him, hallelujah! Look to Jesus who alone can save. I will tell you how I came, hallelujah! To Jesus when He made me whole— ’Twas believing on His name, hallelujah! I trusted and He saved my soul. Always remember, you are the blessed of the Lord. Oh, we give You praise Lord!

Seeing with the Eyes of Jesus

Matthew 28:19 command of Jesus is go and make disciples... The making of a disciple however is not in the 'selection' but in the 'loving' - in 'patiently seeing individuals with the eyes of Jesus'. Let's take the interesting Jesus-Peter example. Peter was one disciple of Jesus that was for sure, stuffed up with vigor and enthusiasm but lacked patience and character. So what did Jesus do? Live with the attitude of 'Oh, Peter not you again!', of-course not. The more 'Simon', Peter acted, the more Jesus even drew closer to him :) Jesus: miraculously caught a net full of fish; giving Peter a good day - the day the fishes refused to swim in his favour. Jesus: not only taught Peter to pray with other disciples, but also showed him how he prayed in secret. Jesus: took Peter to intimate heights he did not take other disciples to - transfiguration. Jesus: healed Peter's mother-in-law. ...and so on and so forth. Peter: denies knowing Jesu

Every Minute - A Testimony

It's exactly 12:10am over here - so, good morning. Thanks to God for a new day. Great is your faithfulness O Lord. You know how it's very easy to focus on the wrong/non-promising side of things, even first thing in the morning. Well, that's one of the devil's devices, to make us begin our day wrongly and consequently have a bad rest-of-the-day. I once heard a rough statistics that every minute a life is lost (for instance a child dies of malaria), then I heard another which says, a child is born every minute. In one case, there is an outburst of mourning and in another, inexplicable joy. There are lots of questions which might remain mystery to us, like; why what happened yesterday persisted despite..., why that friend did not get healed despite..., and so on. But there is one reality; God is faithful. And his word says in Romans 8:39 that nothing can separate us from his love, no matter the situation (in Hebrews 13:5) He lets us know that He'll never leave nor f

The Second Coming

The second coming, also called rapture/the Day of the Lord (sometimes sung as the mid-night cry ) is a topic rarely spoken of, for several reserved reasons. But Jesus taught on this. Let’s start by some key players in the second coming; there’s a trumpet sound, there’s a King, there’s a people. The trumpet sound: everyone will hear it, but not every spirit can respond to it. The King: every eyes shall see Him (Revelations 1:7), but not all will be caught-up. The people: only the redeemed shall be saved (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, Matthew 24:13), the dead in Christ shall rise and the living redeemed shall be caught-up. Jesus is coming again, this time not as a Suffering Servant (The Sacrificial Lamb) but as the Glorious King (Luke 21:27). Jesus in the bible highlights that His second coming is as a thief in the night. This means it's in an unexpected time (Matthew 24:44); it is soon or even sooner than expected for some (2 Peter 3:8-10). Therefore, this visit is of high significanc

Personal and Intimate

The relationship we have with the Father has to be personal and intimate. And the priority has to be first 'personal and intimate' before 'corporate'. OK, here it goes; I think being a Sunday School Teacher, could be one of the most challenging and interesting roles in a church setting. A teacher was once asked by a kid, ' what does God look like?' following a teaching that 'God is everywhere'. Like many Teachers would do when the going goes tough, she said 'hello kids, today our take home assignment is to know what God looks like ... and you all will tell me what you've got in our next class'. Now you can tell what the next class was like. Some kids went practical with the assignment, here was one (among many) of the replies: 'Maam, when I got home in the evening, I hid under our table in the dark to see if God will see from heaven under the table, but I saw a big eye looking at me under the table. Now I know God is the big eye i

Sharing His Hope

It's Easter season, so I'll just give a short personal-biblical story/encouragement to stir you to doing something for the Master's sake this season and continually. One day I was meditating on Jesus feeding the five thousand story (Matthew 14:16-21) and his other acts of love, and suddenly I could discern God asking me to do something similar, (and even provided me with how to go about it). At one point of reflection, just to back out I thought: but Jesus was the Son of God, He was anointed for such stuff, he could easily multiply the loaves... Further, at the point of reflection, I knew the word easily in this context, sounds like it cost him nothing. But in fact it cost him his kingdom, his life, his everything to come to earth. And the thought of 'feeding the five thousand, whom he knew would crucify him later' is a whole lesson on self-denial and sacrifice. Yes, it did cost him everything. All my initial resistance was against the sacrifice of a couple

Hindrances to Prayer

Building a successful prayer life post series [James 5:16] «  effective prayer    committing to prayer    persisting in prayer    hindrances to prayer  » So prayer is a communication with God and a spiritual warfare and is always an effective spiritual exercise; hence effective prayer. However there are stumbling blocks which could make one’s prayers ineffective (or seem a waste) despite the commitment and persistence. We’ll consider those hindrances as given in the bible. Iniquity – Sin is the primary hindrance to prayer. Psalms 66:18; ‘If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me’. The scripture of study (James 5:16) specifies ‘…of a righteous man…’ Broken (disunited) marriages is a hindrance to prayer. 1 Peter 3:7; ‘Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.’ So, YES, your relationship with your spo

Persisting in Prayer

Building a successful prayer life post series [James 5:16] «  effective prayer    committing to prayer    persisting in prayer    hindrances to prayer  » So the term from our key passage (in James 5:16) is ‘effectual fervent’ – fervency is a word that is used to describe a ‘glowingly hot’ object or an act of ‘passionate enthusiasm’, otherwise known as persistence or zeal. Jesus committed to prayer; he as well persisted in His prayers. Persisting in prayer could demand some spiritual exercise like fasting, as seen in the life of Christ – his admonishment to His disciples in Matthew 17:21. Committing to prayer is generally developing the attitude of prayer, and Persisting in prayer is travailing in prayer (for a particular need – taking authority: the PUSH technique; Pray Until Something Happens), holding on for an answer. Luke 18:1 - ‘And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;’ From the parable in Luke 18, Jesus illustrates

Committing to Prayer

Building a successful prayer life post series [James 5:16] «  effective prayer    committing to prayer    persisting in prayer    hindrances to prayer  » The point is: prayer begins and prayer sustains. This is an important point about prayer that we all have to understand. God loves the world and even loves us while we were yet sinners, and it was that love that brought about the work of the cross. However, the love of God and the work of the cross do not itself insure a relationship with the Father, until we take a step of faith and utter the words of repentance and accept that love and the work of the cross – prayer. Then a conscious relationship begins. Prayer begins our relationship with God and prayer sustains our relationship with God. Furthermore in the Christian faith, prayer begins so many other supernatural acts of God through our lives and it’s only prayer and the Word that sustains his divine work in us. So there’s a popular saying: a prayer-less Christian is a po

Effective Prayer

Building a successful prayer life post series [James 5:16] «  effective prayer    committing to prayer    persisting in prayer    hindrances to prayer  » The bible records in James 5:16 that ‘The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ So what is effectual (or potentially effective) prayer – this is prayer by the Spirit (also known as praying in the Spirit). The Holy Spirit births effective prayer and this is actualized through His divine promptings in our hearts. Effective prayer is neither the five minutes monitored prayer in the morning, nor the one hour timed prayer, it is the prayer led by the Spirit. The point is that; it’s not clocked, it is fervent (see Persisting in Prayer ) and it avails much as the bible records (in other words it is helpful and yields results). Since effective prayer is Spirit-led, it is therefore not flesh-driven(your spirit with the Spirit), which implies that it is centred on the will of the Father (James 4:3). and not fle