LIFE IS ABOUT TAKING DECISIONS


LIFE IS ABOUT TAKING DECISIONS

Life is about taking decisions; it is all about making choices. There are countless choices before every man or woman, boy or girl, old or young on a daily basis. We all have a choice to be good or bad; merciful or unforgiving; loving or hateful, joyous or resentful, caring or greedy, godly or ungodly, to be chaste or immoral.

At the dawn of each day, you have a choice to either remain on your bed or to rise and go to work; you have the choice to enter the kitchen and prepare something to eat or visit a “Bukka” or restaurant; you have a choice to dress casual or corporate; to be early to work or to be late; you have a choice to reverence God or to be indifferent toward Him; you have the will to follow God’s command or to pitch your tent with Satan.

Life is about taking decisions. God decided to create the heavens and the earth. It was His decision to create man and woman in His image and likeness. Yes, it is His choice to continuously call man and woman to Himself; to show us the path to life; to show us mercy, compassion and love; it was His decision to allow His Beloved Son to shed His blood for humanity on the cross of Calvary.

Life is a choice. It is also a choice to commit suicide, to abort a baby, to commit adultery, fornication, masturbate, hook up with the pornographic world, to live a life of half or completely nudity, to molest children, to be single, married or divorce, to rob the community resources, to hate, to harm, to kill, to deprive people of their rights, to distort the Good News, to go to war, to become gay, to rape or marry an animal, to be angry and arrogant, to be rebellious, to be proud, to cheat, to trample on the helpless, to be a responsible father, mother, child or shepherd.

Beloved, in your daily decisions, always keep in mind Moses’ statement to the Israelites, “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.” (See Deuteronomy 30:19). You may query the significance of Moses’ statement. The decision you make daily is a choice for life or death; to please God or rebel against Him. You may query the significance of Moses’ statement. The decision you make daily is a choice for life or death; to please God or rebel against Him.

Hence, Christ is saying: do not follow the broad path that leads to damnation but the narrow road that leads to life (See Matthew 7:13), take up your crosses and journey with Me on the path of sacrificial love (See Matthew 16:24-26), for I am the way to the Father (See John 14:6). Our ultimate decision is to heed His call or to reject it. But at the end of the road of life, we will be held accountable for our decisions! So, be wise in your decisions.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12)

Prayer

Lord Jesus, grant me the wisdom to take the right decisions daily, and fill me with Your grace to persevere on the path to life eternal. Amen.

Jesus Christ Speaks

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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THE SCALE A SYMBOL OF JUSTICE

THE SCALE A SYMBOL OF JUSTICE

In the judiciary system, we see Lady Justice with a balanced scale and a sword to cut off any injustice that would create imbalance. In truth, the judiciary represents justice. The scale is a symbol of justice. It is used for measurement; to render fair service.

Everyone longs for justice and many are not willing to offer it to others. Hence, Prophet Micah said: “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (See Micah 6:8).

We all long for justice for ourselves. But why do we tamper with the scale or practice injustice? Greed and selfishness summarizes it all. When we want to get more or when we are not content with our genuine wages or natural endowments, when we are not comfortable with the truth and the progress of others, we give in to injustice and a godless life. We are prepared to rob others of their fair wages and rights.

Those who fail to practice justice and tamper with the scale of fairness as we see in the market places, justice departments, local communities, families, work place, board of management, industries, government usage of the community’s revenue and wealth and even in religious ministries are thieves, brigands and godless people. They are godless because they are not acting with a godly heart to fairly treat their fellow brothers and sisters created in the image and likeness of God. They have forgotten the golden rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).

Does it really pay to cheat and rob people of their rights? No! There is always a reward for our actions towards our fellow brothers and sisters. The scripture says, Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you (See Deuteronomy 16:20).

Again and again, God calls His people to practice justice:

Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right (Psalm 106:3).

To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3).

Thus says the Lord: Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed (Isaiah 56:1).

For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In My faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them (Isaiah 61:8).

Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! (Amos 5:24).

Yes, let justice roll on like a river in your family, community, ministry, work place, market place, in your dealing with the young and the old, male and female, friends, competitors or those you label enemies. You are a son or daughter of the righteous judge God Almighty. Imitate Him in your dealings on earth. Reflect Him in your decisions and actions towards the men and women created in His image and likeness.

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, You have made us for Yourself, O Lord. And our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you. Help us Lord, to practice true justice because in justice alone our hearts will find peace and joy. Amen.

Jesus Christ Speaks
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

You are the light of the world. You cannot hide a city that has been built upon a mountain. (Matthew 5:14)

How often do you reflect on this scriptural passage above? Are you really the light of the world? Is the light of Christ handed over to you at baptism or conversion still giving light to the world? When people see you or have an encounter with you do they see the light of Christ in you or do they see a soul tainted with darkness?

As Christians, we are the mirror of Christ to the world. We are expected to reflect His glory, His love, His mercy, His peace, His compassion and comfort to the world around us. But for our mirrors to reflect Christ to the world, we must turn ourselves to God; we must keep ourselves free from sin and at peace with God. It is only then that we can be true Christians mirroring Christ to this world.

We must realize that to be a Christian is not merely a lofty idea rather it is a call to walk in the light of Christ in order to be transformed by His light and then become a light to the world. We must daily reject the life of sin that darkens our lives and dim the reflection of Christ in us. Hence Saint Paul said: So I tell you this, and testify to it in the Lord: You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking (Ephesians 4:17).

To abandon our old life of sin may not happen overnight. It is a process. But we must start now and continue to make conscious effort every day through the grace of God to completely disentangle ourselves from the darkness of sin. Yes, by our own power this is impossible to accomplish but with the help of Christ, we can achieve the life of holiness and sanctity (See Philippians 4:13). Hence, Christ is knocking at the door of our hearts (See Revelation 3:20). He wants to help you overcome that vice and addiction. He wants to take your hands and lead you into the deepest realms of His love for you. Would you give Him a chance today? Kindly let Him in! He will make everything right. He is your friend, your Lord and redeemer.

Reflection
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). Do you really love the Light? What steps are you taking today to reject darkness because you love the light of Christ?

Prayer
Christ Jesus, You are the light of the world, let Your light shine on us daily to dispel the darkness in us. May I become a witness to Your light and a reflection of Your light to the world. Amen.

Jesus Christ Speaks
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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Do You Love Jesus Christ?

Do You Love Jesus Christ?

What will be your answer be if Jesus Christ asks you “do you love Me?” Or has someone ever asked you that question before? Have you ever said to yourself or to someone “I love Jesus Christ!” If you ever did, how do you love Jesus Christ? Now, you might be in a reflective mood, thinking of a convincing answer.

Surely, it is okay to reflect on the ways we can really show how much we love Jesus Christ. But some of the likely answers you might receive from people if you ask them the reason they love Jesus Christ may include: He loves me, He died for me, He cares for me, He protects me, He redeemed me, He is compassionate and merciful, He provides for me, and the likes – These are all beautiful answers portraying the fact that we love Jesus because He loves us first (cf. Romans 5:8).

This question “do you love Me?” was an unexpected question which Jesus Christ put before Peter, His Apostle before His triumphant entry into His heavenly glory. Three times He asked Peter the same question. Just like many of us, Peter said: “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” But Jesus Christ asked this question three times to teach us what it means to love Him.

To each of Peter’s “yes, Lord, You know that I love you” followed a command from Jesus Christ on some key principles of Love: “Feed My lambs,” “Take care of My sheep.” (See John 21:15-17). Jesus Christ was actually reminding Peter and all His followers His teaching before His crucifixion: “If you love Me you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15). “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Whoa! For many of us this is the last thing we want to hear or be reminded of – “love your neighbours”. You might protest saying: “Why should I love someone who does not appreciate my love?” Once again, I will ask you, do you love Jesus Christ? Most likely, your yes this time might be very faint.

Kindly pray aloud: “Jesus Christ I love You but help me to love my neighbours too. I’m a beneficiary of Your love and mercy. Fill me with the grace to show mercy and love to my neighbours: brothers, sisters, mother, father, colleagues, children, husband, wife, in-laws both friends and enemies”.

To all Christ’s follower, love is everything. It is the hallmark of our Christian Faith. It makes us another Christ to the good and the bad, the young and the old, the able and disabled, men and women, Christians and non-Christians.

St. Augustine puts it this way:
Beg God for the gift to love one another. Love all people, even your enemies, not because they are your brothers and sisters but so they may become such.

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, I love You. I thank You for Your love and mercy towards me daily. Help me to extend that love and mercy to my neighbours both friends and enemies. Amen.

Jesus Christ Speaks
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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​BEHOLD, THE BRIDEGROOM! COME OUT TO MEET HIM!

BEHOLD, THE BRIDEGROOM! COME OUT TO MEET HIM!

Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!” (Matthew 25:6 TAB) were the words of Jesus Christ in His parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins. Christ used this parable and many others during the climax of His earthly ministry to bring to our consciousness that we should always be prepared for His coming. Yes, He wants us to live with this consciousness that He will surely return to take home those who are ready for His wedding feast just like the wise virgins.

As Christians and pilgrims on earth, we are on a journey to the wedding feast of the Lamb  Christ Jesus. Today, this parable of the wise and foolish virgins is in effect in our lives. The parable speaks of how prepared we should be as we await Christs kingdom. As observed in the parable, a day will surely come when death will announce to us, Behold, the bridegroom comes! Come out to meet Him!” and the reality is that this day is inevitable. Beloved, those who are prepared for His coming just like the wise virgins will have a place in His kingdom. While those who are not prepared like the foolish virgins will have the door closed against them. 

This message today, reminds us of the reality of life. Life on earth has a beginning and end. No one will live forever on earth. Death or Rapture will visit everyone  the good or the bad some day. But for us Christians, we believe in life afternoon death. Hence, we must evaluate our readiness for that inevitable moment daily. Our awareness of His coming or death should restrain us from ungodly actions like anger, hatred, jealousy, orgies, idolatry, pride, murder (eg abortion), impurity, licentiousness, sorcery, selfishness, rivalry, jealousy, dissension, envy, and all forms of vices or immoralities.  

Beloved, have you ever imagined that God could come at that very time of committing a sin or you might be called home during an act of sin? What explanation will you present before God that will surely justify your ungodly act? Some of us will say, God forbid! Beloved, dont be foolish like the foolish virgins because this parable was told for us to forsake all ungodly lifestyle and escape the consequence of ungodly life  eternal damnation. 

Yes, all who failed to heed this call will receive this verdict at the expiration of their lives on earth: Truly, I tell you, I do not know you  Matthew 25:12 NRSV

Kindly know that no one can appeal or repeal this verdict. Jesus concluded this parable with these words, “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:13). And on the same chapter of Matthew 25 verse 31-46 Christ gave another parable of how to stay awake or how to keep our lamps burning in expectation of His coming. The parable is centered on our lives purpose  love for God and neigbours. Beloved, the parable explains that our final judgment will be hinged on this virtue  love.

Therefore, our religiosity, spirituality, “redeemernism”, “born-againism”, holiness or readiness will be of no value or assistance to us if it lacks love for God and our neighbours (See 1 Corinthians 13:1-4). All who stayed awake and kept their lamps burning for the love of God and neighour on their earthly sojourn will be welcomed to the wedding feast of the Lamb: 

Come, you that are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was in prison and you visited Me. (Matthew 25:34-36 NRSV).

Prayer

Lord Jesus, enlighten my heart to appreciate and treasure your teachings and then grant me the grace to stay awake and live a life of genuine love. Amen.

  

Jesus Christ Speaks

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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​SHEPHERD: A CHRIST’S FIGURE WITHIN HIS FLOCK

SHEPHERD: A CHRIST’S FIGURE WITHIN HIS FLOCK

Every Sunday and every other day of the week, many people across the globe go to church in reverence to God and to listen to His message through His chosen ministers. These ministers are the representatives of Christ in the midst of His flock. They are chosen to feed and to take care of Christ’s flock – His people (See John 21:15-21). They are called to lead the flock in Christ’s footsteps.

As the Father has sent Me, so I am sending you. John 20:21.

Those were the words of Christ to His chosen disciples after His death and resurrection. Long before then, He had informed His kinsmen what His duty entails: The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (Luke 4:18-19).

It was His mission on earth to search for the lost sheep of the household of God and reunite them to their Maker – God Almighty. He is the good shepherd (See John 10 and Ezekiel 34). Our Lord is the model of how to live a godly life. Hence, ministers of the gospel of Christ must search for the lost sheep of the household of God. They must preach love, forgiveness, and faith. They must tend the flock and feed them with the undiluted message of life. They must not bend the message of God or preach it to please people but God only. They must beam the light of Christ on the world and open their eyes to their Lord, Redeemer, and King.  Their lives must be a sermon to all who see and have an encounter with them. 

When their followers celebrate them as kings because of their ministrations or miracles, they must humble themselves like Paul and Barnabas: “Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings–just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them” (Acts 14:15), because, “No one takes this honour upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was”  (Hebrews 5:4). 
This disposition of Paul and Barnabas must be emulated and maintained by today’s shepherds. Ministers of the Good News must reject the earthly crown and focus on the heavenly crown. They must know that Paul and Barnabas were imitators of Christ: “Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make Him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself” (John 6:15).

Ministers of the Good News must let the flock know that they are only tools in the hand of the Creator to turn human hearts to Himself and to bless and keep them. When miracles are worked through them, they must humble themselves like John the Baptist and say, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” “He must increase while I decrease.” (John 1:29; 3:30.)

They must not boast about their affluence or exalt themselves, but emulate Apostle Paul thus, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 4:14).

Ministers of the Good News must never lose focus of their calling – to feed and tend Christ’s lambs or flock. They must understand that people show up on Sunday or any other day to be fed the word of God and not to be exploited; to be encouraged and not to be burdened; to be healed and not to be crushed; to be loved and not to be discriminated against, especially not based on their financial status or ethnicity; to deepen their spiritual lives and not to be led astray. 

Apostle Paul summed it up: Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 

To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.  To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.  To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

The minister of the Good News must speak what God wants him to speak and not what the people want to hear. He must do the will of God and not his will. He must allow Christ shine through him and then return the glory to God. He must not steal the ovation for himself but keep the spotlight on Jesus whom he represents. He must not let pride rob him of the kingdom of God. He must at all times resist the devil and consciously conquer pride to his last breath. 

We as followers must always keep ministers of the gospel of Christ in our daily prayers. We must not be oblivious to the great susceptibility of these precious shepherds to attacks and criticisms. Their mistakes are easily recognized and condemned without acknowledgement of the fact that they are humans divinely privileged to serve in leadership positions. 

Hence Apostle Paul said:  I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in the struggle by your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the disobedient in Judea, and that my ministry for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the holy ones, so that I may come to you with joy by the will of God and be refreshed together with you. The God of peace be with all of you. Amen (Romans 15:30-33 NAB).

In conclusion, all Christ’s faithful must know that this message does not only apply to priests, pastors, deacons, rabbis, or other ordained ministers. It applies also to us, who by virtue of new birth and baptism are now priests, princes or princesses, and kings or queens in the household of God.

Prayer
Dear Lord, our Chief Shepherd, help your chosen people to take delight in doing Your will. Fill us with grace to overcome pride, bless our ministries, and sustain us to the finish line. Amen. 

Jesus Christ Speaks
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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​THE CHURCH MUST NOT LOSE FOCUS BECAUSE OF MONEY 

THE CHURCH MUST NOT LOSE FOCUS BECAUSE OF MONEY 

The Church was established by Christ to reflect the heavenly home on earth. The Church is expected at all times to do the bidding of God on earth. The Church is called to shine as a light to the world, leading people to the truth and portraying the unique culture and eternal life of Gods Kingdom.

The Church and her mission are distinct and contrary to the worldly way of life. It is an embodiment of the virtues God desires from the people He created in His image and likeness. The Churchs desire and purpose is to teach the world morals, to call the world to a godly lifestyle, to correct wrongs, and to put people right with God. 

Today, there is a wind blowing against the Church  the desire to get rich, especially in materials things; the drive for funds for personal and unnecessary projects. In the light of the new wave of evangelism, the Church must at all times depend on Gods wisdom and resources to achieve her mission on earth. A saying goes that God funds His projects or missions on earth. We ought to live with that in mind.

The Church must not be anxious about how to raise funds for the work of God because God has resources stored up for the accomplishment of His purpose. Instead, the Church should ask for Gods guidance on ways to tap into the storeroom of Gods resources. We must not be like Saul who was more concerned and passionate about offering God sacrifice rather than obeying Gods command. Today, the scripture is questioning us, Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? (1 Samuel 15:22a NRSV).

Irrespective of our answers to the question, the scripture informs on what is right to do: Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is no less than divination, and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry (1 Samuel 15:22b-23a NRSV). Therefore, there is nothing wrong with rejecting gifts or offerings got from unholy ventures like embezzlement of community funds, drug pushers, fraudsters, and all questionable characters. Even if they offer to erect a church building from their ill-gotten gain, reject them just like God rejected the sacrifice of Saul.   

At no point in time should the Church lose faith in Gods ability to fund His project, the Churchs mission on earth. Whilst the world is desperate to acquire resources, the Church must depend on Gods supply. She must source funds in a morally integrous manner without scandalizing the Church or the Christ she represents. The Church must not lose focus or drift away from her mission because of money. The willingness of the shepherds of the gospel of Christ to serve must not to be hinged on money or the love of it. They must at all times be motivated by the same love Christ has for His flock. They must live simple and humble lives just like our master, Jesus Christ. They must not be flamboyant or extravagant. They must teach and encourage their followers to do the same. 

The Church must not raise funds with a deceptive mind. The Church must not exploit her members for frivolous activities that are not in line with Gods purpose or desire. The Church must obey God principle of giving pleasing and acceptable offerings to God. Funds must not be raised in a coercive, deceptive or misleading manner in the name of God or His mission. 

The true shepherds of the Household of God must not dilute or bend the message of the scripture because of money. The Church must not give honour to those whose sources of income are questionable. The Church must be more concerned about the spiritual states of her members than the money they are willing to offer. Fundraising or contributions must not create avenues for discrimination or for people to seek vainglory.

In our Christian Churches and ministries today, more emphasis is place on scriptural passages promoting seed sowing, tithe sowing and offering. More energy seems to be directed towards fund raising and all attention seems to be focused on structural developments or reconstructions. Meanwhile, the main message of the Gospel- The message of love, repentance and reconciliation has been whittled down in many Churches or ministries.

More songs are rendered during offerings to motivate people to give for a particular purpose which may be genuine or deceptive. More enthusiasm is given to things that will make us comfort in this world while losing sight of the heavenly glory. More energy is directed towards achieving vainglory rather than Gods glorification or approval. More passion is shown for wealth and materialism rather than the expression of love for one another and a desire to be saintly on earth. 

Ministries are unconcerned if the money offered during services come from justifiable sources. That is, if the money are blemished or unblemished. Today the prosperity message seems to be order of the day. We must come to term with the truth, that the problem in the world is not the lack of wealth to sustain the world but the lack of love in the hearts of men and women. Hence the Scripture:

With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow before God most high? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with myriad streams of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my crime, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:6-8 TAB).  

The Church must not be oblivious of the truth that offering is a show of reverence and thanksgiving to God for His awesomeness and supremacy over all living and non-living things. Offering is a holy sacrifice to honour and glorify the Lord of the harvest for His infinite mercy and love. It is a show of gratitude to God Almighty and must be rendered in humility and with a sincere heart. Offerings must be rendered to God in all humility because the scripture says silver and gold belong to God (See Haggai 2:8). 

The ministers of the gospel of Christ must not focus on how to enrich themselves in material things but to prepare the world for the coming of the Lord. The ministers of the Church must have an utmost goal far more than building mansions on earth. Winning souls for the everlasting mansionHeavenwhere Christ is seated at the right hand of God Almighty must be our overriding concern.

The Church must stand out and beam her light on the world to dispel the darkness in the hearts of men and women. If fraudulent men and women or those who got their money by ungodly means are given honour in our ministries, we would only be institutionalizing evil in the society. We would be telling others it is good to venture into unholy means of getting rich. We must not be shy to rebuke evil. Many are afraid to speak the truth in order not to lose fat pockets or members. Hence, the evil in the world seems untamable.     

It is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to make sinners uncomfortable in sin. It is the responsibility of the pastors and prophets of the Church to tell their members to abandon the way of unrighteousness and to embrace the path of Life. It is the job of the rabbis to rebuke all evil ways of acquiring money and not to honour those who use evil devices to get rich. It is the obligation of the evangelists of the Good News to reject blemished offerings and accept or encourage the offering of unblemished gifts. If you cannot discern between the two, seek Gods wisdom to be able to differentiate between them. As we do this, let us: 

Wait upon the Lord: wait upon Him patiently; wait upon Him by avoiding all sin. He will come; doubt it not. To this firm hope, join the practice of virtue, and even in this life you will begin to taste the ineffable joys of Paradise.   St Bernard.  

Reflection

What kind of offering do you offer to God: blemished or unblemished? Which do you think God prefers: your gifts or a life of holiness? Has God changed His mind on the way to offer Him acceptable offerings, i.e. unblemished offerings? Why are you in ministry: to do Gods bidding or your bidding?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, You are a holy God. Help us who are Your children, created in Your image and likeness, to live holy lives, and to render You holy and acceptable offerings to Your honour and the fulfillment of Your mission on earth. Amen. 

Jesus Christ Speaks

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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DO NOT NEGLECT THE GATHERING OF THE BRETHREN

DO NOT NEGLECT THE GATHERING OF THE BRETHREN

The scripture says, “I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ And now our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:1-2 TAB). These are the words of the Psalmist. He expressed enthusiasm with those who said, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ He knew the joy that overflows in one’s heart when one has an encounter with God.

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, it is a great thing to fellowship together in honour of the Lord. God is present in the midst of His children. The scripture says, “Truly I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three meet in My name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:19-20 NJB).

God is ever present in the midst of His people who gather in His name to seek His face, mercy, love, guidance, protection, and above all, to revere Him. It has always been the tradition of God to dwell in the midst of His children since the inception of time. It is also important to know that in gathering together, there is warmness, bonding and a joyful feeling which enwraps us, making us whole, caring, supported and godly.

Today, this rich culture is hardly embraced by many. Many have lost the joy of going to the House of God; it is now a burden to attend the gathering of the brethren. Many give invalid excuses why they are unable to participate in the gathering of God’s faithful. Some would say they are fine watching a church programme on television even on the Lord’s Day. Are you incapacitated? Are you on admission bed in the hospital? 

Many have downloaded apps to watch a church programme in their bedroom. We need to ask ourselves if we are truly participants in the body of Christ when we wilfully decide not to go to church; when we sit in the sitting room and tune in to a church programme every Sunday without visiting one; when we watch a church programme in the bedroom on Sunday because of our laziness and lack of excitement in going to the House of God. 

We have stylishly or willfully alienated ourselves from the body of Christ, His church. It is a rejection of the presence of God. Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, we are doing ourselves great harm or disservice when we reject the presence of God. The ministers of the gospel must not support laziness. They must encourage the faithful to attend the gathering of the brethren. They must let the people know the television or apps are not churches but a means of winning souls into the sheepfold of God.

Parents must encourage togetherness in their homes, especially in prayer sessions, at mealtime, or during games. They must not be oblivious of the truth that “a house divided against itself will not stand” (See Mark 3:25). Deliberately create and establish that bonding, oneness and desire for togetherness in your homes. Dear friends, it is not good culture for food to be dished out and each one goes to his or her room to have the meal or entertain himself or herself with games or movies. You are doing your family harm. You are replacing the warmness and bonding of the family members with coldness and indifference towards one another. Charity, they say, begins at home. 

Beloved friends in Christ, your mind may be filled with these questions or thoughts: Have you ever thought that the unwillingness of even sincere children of God to go to Church gathering might well be the result of the hypocritical and judgmental character apparent in the Church today? Have you ever considered the seeming institutionally-entrenched wickedness of church members and pastors? Have all the atrocities committed in the name of God not stunk in your nostrils enough to indicate that some persons might be feeling an even more odious stench than you are? I think that if people are no longer willing to go to Church, it is indicative of the failure of the Church rather than the evil in the hearts of men that is to blame. 

I quite understand your sentiments, but should we abandon the church for the wicked or those who have strayed from the path of righteousness? Do you mean there is no longer a single believing church in your community to attend? Do you know you are able to discern what is good and evil because God wants to use you to correct what is wrong? Remember Christ said, “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16 NRSV). And if you think the church will be totally free of evil doers until the Rapture takes place, you are only day dreaming. Kindly read the parable of the weed (Matthew 13:24-30) and know that God is a patient God who expects the wicked to change their evil ways and embrace life.

So, what is the right thing to do? We must not be resentful but correct one another in love. We must preach and defend the truth, as St Paul advised in his second letter to Timothy: 

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully (2 Timothy 4:1-5 NRSV).

Have nothing to do with stupid and senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will (2 Timothy 2:23-26 NRSV).

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, we must not be oblivious of the truth that the Church is a community of believers. Therefore, step out of your hideout and allow God use you to fulfill His purpose on earth. To all people of goodwill, let us rekindle the joy that once flooded our hearts when we first welcomed the Good News of Christ our redeemer. Let us fan into flame the willingness to fellowship as brothers and sisters in the Household of God. Let us ask God for the grace to take that bold step to join the faithful in fellowship. Let us encourage one another to embrace the family of Christ’s faithful. Let us be careful not to scandalise our Christian faith. Let us pray and seek those who have neglected the House of God. 

The scripture says rightly: 

Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. Do not absent yourself from your own assemblies, as some do, but encourage each other; the more so as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25 NJB). 



Reflection

Have you lost the joy of fellowshipping with God’s faithful? Do you know those who have lost the joy of fellowshipping with God’s faithful? If yes, do you know God can rekindle that joy in our hearts when we thrust our burdens on Him?
Prayer

Heavenly Father, inflame our hearts with joy, not only to long for Your presence, but to join the brethren in fellowship, in reverence and worship of You, the one and the only true God. Amen. 
Jesus Christ Speaks

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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​THE SLAVE GIRL IS GODS DAUGHTER

THE SLAVE GIRL IS GODS DAUGHTER

The word slave is extremely demeaning. It was popularly used in ancient times when slave trade prevailed. Young girls and boys were bought or hired from families or communities to serve their masters or mistresses. Their duties were to do the demeaning jobs, be treated as less human and receive no respect. To term a human being as a slave girl or slave boy is unjustified attempt to reduce Gods image in that person (Genesis 1:26) to an unfortunate, insignificant and less human being. 

Unfortunately, despite the abolishment of slave trade, many still hold on to the erroneous ideology that a fellow human is a slave to them. No wonder we see the shocking level of oppression and hatred with which many (including Bible believing Christians) treat their household helps and maids. What is the reason for these anomalies? One might be tempted to ask. The answer lies in the anti-Christian mentality of placing oneself above others and seeing others as less fortunate or insignificant.

This mentality of seeing oneself as most fortunate or endowed is one nauseating culture that has passively registered into the psych of many believers and non-believers alike that religion or professed Faith has not been able to erase it completely from them. Humans have been labelled as worthless and stripped of their moral and basic rights. 

Most threatening among these alienations is the exclusion from their right to profess their faith in God. In most cases they are left behind to take care of the house chore while their masters or mistresses go to church to worship God. Even on few occasions where they are taken along, it is merely to attend to the children while the service or church programme is going on. But they fail to understand that “The duties of justice come first before the duties of worship” said Rev. Fr. George Ehusani.

In our fellowships, the ministers of the Good News address us as brothers and sisters in Christ” because in the eyes of God we are truly brothers and sisters, men and women with dignity. We are not address as masters and slaves, superior and inferior beings. Why? The slave girl or slave boy is Gods daughter or son. And if God himself being great above all did not regard us as His slaves but as His children, what rights have we to rob our fellow human beings of their dignity? What rights have we to reduce them to insignificant beings? The society may fail to see them as significant persons but as Gods children we must recognize them as valuable and Gods gifts; we must see them as true brothers and sisters in Christ or at least see them as people made in the image and likeness of God.

The first book of the Holy Scripture taught us that the reason while God created more than one person after creation of the world was for companionship  a need for a helper and comforter (See Genesis 2:18-23). Our maids and subjects are also helpers because of the role they perform. It would be wrong for us to reduce them to nothing in spite of their circumstances in life. If they were nothing before they had an encounter with us, Christian virtues demands that we make them valuable in life because the love of Christ dwells in our hearts. We can confidently say we are our brothers keeper when we treat others lovingly (even our subjects). 

Interestingly, Gods blessings are enormous for those who have realized the hidden secret of showing love and respect to their servants. The story of Naaman and his serving girl is a vivid example. He was cured of his deadly disease  leprosy because his serving girl told him about a great man of God that could heal him  Prophet Elisha. (See 2 Kings 5:1-15). Now here is one truth that many ignore in this story. The serving girl would have kept the news about Prophet Elisha to herself had her master been mistreating her. The act she did was out of love for the treatment received from her master. 

Our maids can either be a tool of blessing or a curse. Our attitude towards them plays a pivotal role. Remember they prepare our meals, take care of our children and they know most of the daily activities in our homes. They were created in the image of God, hence the reason why they prepare our meals with a godly heart – without harming us or our children. We too must treat them as Gods gifts to humanity, His valuable children.

I know many folks will say: I must get the value I pay them for!” Yes, but this is not enough reason to strip them of their dignity. We are only privileged by God over them and God did not bless us to suppress, mistreat and demean His children created in His image and likeness. We are blessed to be a blessing to others. I am glad there are some persons who treat their servants as their own children or true brothers and sisters in Christ. God will surely reward them for their acts of love.

Beloved, just imagine if God decides to make us the maid and our maids our masters or mistresses. How we would have loved to be treated? Instead of us reflecting on this question, many of us will be quick to say God forbid. The same God is forbidding us from mistreating, demeaning or dehumanizing our fellow brothers and sisters  Gods children. Think about it! As Christs followers, nothing on earth is more important as love for God and neighbour, the rest is vanity. 

On judgment day, Christ will only ask us how much we loved Him and the people we had an encounter with while we were on our earthly pilgrimage and not how much authority we exercised or the material things we acquired. For Christ said, whatever you did to the least of My brothers and sisters, you did unto Me.” (See Matthew 25:31-46).

Therefore, let us treat our maids, drivers, cleaners, subordinates with the love and the fear of God. We must pray before we employ them  for Gods guidance and discerning spirit. And we must never stop to pray after employing them  for God to grant them a saintly heart and to shield our household against the evil ones or the influence of the devil. 

Reflection

Do you see your workers or subordinates as Gods beloved children? Do you see your status as master or mistress as a privilege to love and serve God and your neighbours? Do you know God loves your subordinates just the way He loves you?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, grant me the grace to love and treat everyone who will have an encounter with me with the same love Christ showed me on the cross of Calvary and on a daily basis. Amen.

Jesus Christ Speaks

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).

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Sexual Desecration

There is a terrorist that is secretly and publicly destroying our brothers and sisters –husbands, wives, children and even the ministers of the gospel. In truth, her ultimate goal is to strip us of our dignity and deny us of our claim to eternal life. Her name is sexual perversion. She has become a special guest in many homes and many of us are diehard fans or victims of this terrorist who is raging like a roaring lion, desecrating the temple of the Holy Spirit, obliterating our state of holiness, sense of reasoning, joy, peace and dignity. Her furious wind is weeping the mighty, the small, the old and the young from the path of righteousness. Should we stand and watch our love ones being led away like slaves by this immoral sexual crusader or brace up and wage war against this cankerworm of our time? 

These issues and the way forward are addressed in this book: Sexual Desecration of the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Kindly get a copy and learn more.
Download Your Own Copy Now Sexual Desecration

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