Archive for the ‘Christian Living’ Category

Human Rights In Christian Britain; Now Accommodating Pluralism

FLEE TO SAFETY

The following verses of the Bible are a few of many of such that are helpful in emphasising purity and sexual fidelity. We should empasise this more during these days of laxity and permissiveness, under the pretentious guise of political correctness.

1 Corinthians 6:20 – For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, both of which belong to God.

Ephesians 5:3 – But fornication, and all uncleaness, with covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as befitting and expected of saints.

Colossians 3:5 – Mortify (That is put to death and think and regard as dead) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleaness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence and covetousness which is idolatry;
1 Corinthians 6: 18 – Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is outside the body, but he who commits fornication sinneth against his own body.             Joseph said to the wife of his master Portiphar, who persistently tempted him with sexual immorality: 

“There is no one greater in this house than I; neither has he kept anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” – Genesis 39: 9.

There is the need to stand our grounds and refuse to yield to the pressure of sin. You should avoid any pleasure that leads to sin. A minimum of five minutes of wrongful enjoyment of sexual intimacy would have led to an everlasting sorrow of loss and condemnation. When the evil woman persisted and tried to force herself physically upon Joseph, the young man released his clothe to her and fled from her presence. The clothe was used shortly after as an exhibit to bring false accusation of rape against Joseph. However, it was good that Joseph fled, leaving his clothe with her. Joseph was wrongly jailed. However, the truth prevailed eventually and in a miraculous turn of events, the divine giftings in the life of Joseph made a way for him. That led to Joseph’s vindication by the king of Egypt, Pharaoh. Joseph had interpreted dreams in the prison for two of Pharaoh’s senior officers who were temporarily jailed while being investigated for alleged offences. Accurately, in line with Joseph’s interpretation of their dreams, one, the King’s cup bearer was pardoned and restored to his office. The second officer, the butler, was found guilty and executed, just as Joseph interpreted  his dream. A time came that Pharaoh dreamt twice and nobody could interprete his dreams. The king was so much troubled that the restored cup bearer was forced to remember his experience with Joseph in the prison. Joseph was promptly cleaned up and ushered into the king’s presence. For interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph was elevated from being a prisoner to become the Prime Minister of Egypt. It surely pays to uphold fidelity and integrity. It is important to resist sin. God rewarded him for his stand. Joseph did not stand up once, but he persisted in upholding fidelity and purity in the face of mounting pressure from the mistress of his boss. Ease and temporary pleasure of sin were not permitted to block his reasoning of the eternal blessing that godliness gives. He focussed on God. Each time Joseph resisted the evil woman, he acquired inward strength to fight future battles. When the pressure became too much, he fled, leaving his clothing. He fled in order to be able to fight another day. His fleeing was not an act of cowardice, but a wise military strategy. Staying on in front of the evil woman would have made him fall! He gained a new level of stability to fight the moral battle. In the same way, each ground or level of victory gained helps us to have future victories in life. There is a time to stand up to fight. There is a time to stand still and trust God to fight for you. When Joseph was jailed, he trusted God to fight for him. He stood still and looked up to God. There is a time to flee from sin, when the pressure becomes too much. Flee and replan. Do not become a foolish victim. The truth always prevails. Portiphar’s wife was ready to pollute her matrimonial bed at all costs; even with a slave! Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God would judge. Hebrews 13:4. It is important for every man to have his own wife and every woman to have her own husband. 1 Corithians 7: 1-5. Grace be with you.

FLEE TO SAFETY

The following verses of the Bible are a few of many of such that are helpful in emphasising purity and sexual fidelity. We should empasise this more during these days of laxity and permissiveness, under the pretentious guise of political correctness.

1 Corinthians 6:20 – For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, both of which belong to God.

Ephesians 5:3 – But fornication, and all uncleaness, with covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as befitting and expected of saints.

Colossians 3:5 – Mortify (That is put to death and think and regard as dead) therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleaness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence and covetousness which is idolatry;
1 Corinthians 6: 18 – Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is outside the body, but he who commits fornication sinneth against his own body.             Joseph said to the wife of his master Portiphar, who persistently tempted him with sexual immorality: 

“There is no one greater in this house than I; neither has he kept anything from me except you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” – Genesis 39: 9.

There is the need to stand our grounds and refuse to yield to the pressure of sin. You should avoid any pleasure that leads to sin. A minimum of five minutes of wrongful enjoyment of sexual intimacy would have led to an everlasting sorrow of loss and condemnation. When the evil woman persisted and tried to force herself physically upon Joseph, the young man released his clothe to her and fled from her presence. The clothe was used shortly after as an exhibit to bring false accusation of rape against Joseph. However, it was good that Joseph fled, leaving his clothe with her. Joseph was wrongly jailed. However, the truth prevailed eventually and in a miraculous turn of events, the divine giftings in the life of Joseph made a way for him. That led to Joseph’s vindication by the king of Egypt, Pharaoh. Joseph had interpreted dreams in the prison for two of Pharaoh’s senior officers who were temporarily jailed while being investigated for alleged offences. Accurately, in line with Joseph’s interpretation of their dreams, one, the King’s cup bearer was pardoned and restored to his office. The second officer, the butler, was found guilty and executed, just as Joseph interpreted  his dream. A time came that Pharaoh dreamt twice and nobody could interprete his dreams. The king was so much troubled that the restored cup bearer was forced to remember his experience with Joseph in the prison. Joseph was promptly cleaned up and ushered into the king’s presence. For interpreting Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph was elevated from being a prisoner to become the Prime Minister of Egypt. It surely pays to uphold fidelity and integrity. It is important to resist sin. God rewarded him for his stand. Joseph did not stand up once, but he persisted in upholding fidelity and purity in the face of mounting pressure from the mistress of his boss. Ease and temporary pleasure of sin were not permitted to block his reasoning of the eternal blessing that godliness gives. He focussed on God. Each time Joseph resisted the evil woman, he acquired inward strength to fight future battles. When the pressure became too much, he fled, leaving his clothing. He fled in order to be able to fight another day. His fleeing was not an act of cowardice, but a wise military strategy. Staying on in front of the evil woman would have made him fall! He gained a new level of stability to fight the moral battle. In the same way, each ground or level of victory gained helps us to have future victories in life. There is a time to stand up to fight. There is a time to stand still and trust God to fight for you. When Joseph was jailed, he trusted God to fight for him. He stood still and looked up to God. There is a time to flee from sin, when the pressure becomes too much. Flee and replan. Do not become a foolish victim. The truth always prevails. Portiphar’s wife was ready to pollute her matrimonial bed at all costs; even with a slave! Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adulterers God would judge. Hebrews 13:4. It is important for every man to have his own wife and every woman to have her own husband. 1 Corithians 7: 1-5. Grace be with you.

AGAPE NUGGETS

Christians are Forgiven Sinners Empowered to forgive others and Called to spread the Good News of the Forgiveness freely offered by God to everyone though Jesus Christ. We spread the Good News because of the appeciative love of God deposited in our spirits by the Holy Ghost.(John 3: 14-17; Matthew 18: 21-35; Romans 5: 1-10; Ephesians 2: 8-10).

STANDING TRUE AND FIRM; NOT IN THE STYLE OF BALAAM

Balaam the Son of Beor was a prophet who heard from God. In the course of his life he corrupted his ways. He loved money and worldly materials. Therefore it became easy for him to fall into sin. Knowing the will of God, he resisted early attempts to entice him with riches. Balak, king of Moab and son of Zippor hired Balaam to curse Israel. Balaam said no gift would make him alter the word of the LORD. Three times, in quick succession, Balaam tried to seek instruction from the LORD on the same issue of cursing Israel. He knew the mind of the LORD but he was making extra efforts because of his love for wealth. The LORD was displeased with Balaam. He heard his donkey speaking in a man’s voice; yet he was engaged in conversation with the donkey, without thinking twice at the strange manifestations. The angel of the LORD showed up with drawn flaming sword, and was poised to kill him. Balaam foolishly went on his sponsored trip to curse Israel in spite of the strange manifestations. When the LORD said No, his counsel couldn’t have suddenly changed, granting him permission to curse Israel. Seeking to please Balak by asking the same question three times from the LORD, the prophet’s greed and insincerity were exposed. Each time he was poised to please the pagan king, Balak, he found himself blessing Israel instead because the LORD overruled.
We should never engage in our ministry with eye-service, seeking to please men. Rather, we ought to please God always. When politicians of mean standards bring part of their ill-gotten riches into the Church, ministers of God should reject them whenever they ascertain the sources of such wealth. Our God is the rewarder and the judge of the quick and the dead. The Church must boldly rebuke the greed, recklessness and arrogance of many political office holders. It is our duty to pray for them and give counsel, but never to pat them on the back when they go wrong. We must not call bad actions good because of expectations of financial or material rewards.
The Bible states: The foundation of God stands sure, having this seal; the Lord knows those who are his. And let those who call the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19.
The Bible states in 1Timothy 2:1-5, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men. For kings and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ gave himself a ransom for all. It is a faithful saying and worthy to be accepted; that Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners; and that includes you and I. This good news is not to be compromised. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
It is sad to state that Balaam perished because of his greed for wealth. After being prevented by God from cursing Israel, Balaam went behind the scene to instruct the people of Moab and Midian to entice the people of the LORD with idolatry and sexual immorality. The evil counsel worked against Israel. The nation had severe setbacks and deaths through plague. Balaam was destroyed eventually with his ill-gotten riches! Numbers 22-24; Numbers 31:8. 2 Peter 2:15; Jude 1:11; Revelation 2:14.
The LORD owns all the earth including all the riches in it. He is our Rewarder, both now and ever more. He is the Almighty. He is the All-sufficient God, the El-Shaddai.
He is our Provider; JEHOVAHJIREH.
Part of an old song runs thus:
When Jesus comes to reward his servants. Whether it be noon or night; Say will he find you and me still watching, waiting; waiting when the LORD shall come.
Oh can you say, We are ready brother(and sister too),ready for the souls bright home. .?
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25.
Grace be with you all.

FORGIVENESS IS IMPERATIVE FOR THE CHRISTIAN

We often pray to God and ask for his forgiveness. We need his forgiveness so much because without it we are out of fellowship with him. Jesus said; But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15. Not forgiving our brothers and sisters is equal to walking in darkness.
He who hates brother is in darkness,  and walks in darkness.He is like a blind man. 1 John 2:9-11. Such a person is merely doing religion; he is not having fellowship with God.
Tom Huffy told a story in his devotional titled TIME ALONE WITH GOD. It was about two very close brothers who did and owned joint business in a store. The business flourished in the community. One of the brothers placed a Dollar on the counter but while he turned around the dollar had vanished out of sight. He asked his brother if he had taken the money. The other brother denied taking the money. A hot argument developed. Neighbours got involved and they took sides. Eventually the joint business ended and the store was partitioned. Competition for business started between the two brothers. This continued for twenty years until light was shed on the darkness of their lives. A big car pulled up in front of the store and a wealthy man got out. He walked into the store and asked to speak to both brothers. Unaware of what happened to the brother’s partnership, the man confessed to stealing the dollar as a little boy.
Twenty years of bitterness with wasted opportunities of better business. Those neighbours who wrongly took sides in an unnecessary quarrel are also to be blamed, but the two brothers made the loophole.
Dear friends, please give your brother, sister, spouse or neighbours the benefit of a doubt in questionable cases. Do not draw the line of break or partition too soon. How would you feel to be wrongly accused? Seek peace and pursue it. And furthermore;  Follow peace with all men and holiness without which no man shall see the LORD.
For the Christian, forgiveness is not a matter of choice, but a command. Let us walk in love; forgiving one another. Those two brothers did not betray trust at the beginning, but they failed in the day of trouble. Wrong or false accusations are not tenable. Bringing in third parties into a dispute should be carefully and sparingly done. What is 1 dollar?  What is brotherly kindness and love? What is mutual trust? Where was second chance? What about the benefits of a necessary doubt; and that for your business partner or spouse?
Grace be with you all.

Earnestly Contending For The Faith – 1

The Christian life is like a race that is run or likened to a fight that is fought. The expected end is victory for the diligent and obedient. A true athlete or sports person does not engage in distractions or activities that are counter-productive to his or her physical fitness. There is constant need to shun drinks and foods that are harmful. Performance-enhancing drugs should also be avoided in order to run fairly, in clean competition with fellow athletes. Sports persons who violate their bodies and violate fairness would be either unfit or be disqualified! The same is true in the Christian race. Our bodies are the temples of the Living God. Therefore we should keep our bodies pure and healthy. Violators would be punished. The punishment comes first through weakness, sickness, diseases and sudden death. Later on, more punishment comes from God. It is everlasting condemnation in hell, where their worn does not die and the fire is not quenched! The term worm refers to the human entity and make up. Jesus Christ preached a lot to warn people about hell, especially where our actions tend to mislead others (Mark 9:42-48). Jesus knows the dangers of a physical place called Hell. Hell was made to punish Satan and the fallen angels who joined in his rebellion against God. Keep your bodies pure and fit. Sexual impurities such as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality and such like make human beings to violate the plan of God. Because of these God destroyed the ancient great cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:1-26). Obedience to the word of God helps us to live happily and end our lives on a good and high note of morality, peace, joy, and eternal life. Keep your minds pure also, because secret sins of the mind are also punishable! Thanks be to God for his great grace. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish , but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through him, Jesus, the world might be saved (John 3:16-17). Paul in his letter to the Ephesians stated: For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Having been saved, we are to show proofs of the transformation in our lives by God. We are saved to produce good works. Paul said: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10). If any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). As Christians, believers in Christ, and members of the body of Christ, called the Church, we have been forgiven. Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. We are Ambassadors of Jesus Christ. We who have been reconciled with God through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross as a sacrifice to make peace and bring us back to God. We became adopted as sons and daughters of the Living God. We have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and promoted into the kingdom of light. Hallelujah! We are to share this good news with the whole world as Ambassadors of Jesus Christ. We carry about the Good News of Reconciliation as we represent the Kingdom of God! In his letter to the Christians in Galatia, Paul stated: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). The works of the flesh such as adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like no longer rule our lives! The fruits of the Holy Spirit have taken control. Thanks be to God.
This generation of the Twenty-first Century is more corrupt, more loose, more guardless, more profane, more rebellious, more disrespectful to elders and parents, more sophisticated and therefore more challenging to live in than previous generations! As Christians, we must not be swallowed by the stormy waves of Challenging Counterfeits of the 21st Century! The individual, corporate, institutional and governmental acts, bills, laws and decrees which challenge the Christian Faith must be resisted positively. These call for Divine, civil, decent, but firm actions and stands.
Jude in his General Epistle rightly reminds us of those in the past who disregarded God and thus had severe consequences. He warned us not to imitate their bad examples so that we also may not fall into the same state. Jude referred to human beings as well as angels who fell into sin through rebellion against ALMIGHTY GOD. All of these suffered damnation. For our safety therefore Jude counsels us to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to those who received like faith in Christ as we have. God’s power has made available unto us all that we need to live successfully in this world. God has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. It would be a case of high risk and fool-hardiness on our part to forget where and what we were rescued from or neglect divine guidance as revealed in the scriptures already given for our benefit and safe, thorough passage through the present life. The Apostle Peter in his general epistle stated under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost that God’s divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue. We are enabled to partake of the loving, holy and powerful nature of God and do away with the deceitful life of sin and darkness(2 Peter 1:3-4). It then becomes our responsibility to stay true, clean, loving and obedient as we journey through life. We have examples to encourage and spur us along to run a clean race without being disqualified. There are good examples from the early church, from later years and from this present generation. It is like building a house. A solid foundation is first laid based on faith in Christ on the merits of his blood shed on the cross, his death,burial and resurrection from the dead on the third day and his being alive forever to save completely, all who have so put their trust in him. Durable substances are then built upon the solid foundation. Growth in grace and in the knowledge of Christ through his words, prayer, fellowship, fruitfulness of faith-sharing, diligence and steadfastness. It is our duty and responsibility to make our calling and election sure. We must not be like a stagnant water which loses its freshness every day. Faith plus Virtue plus Knowledge plus Temperance plus Patience plus Godliness plus Brotherly kindness plus Charity need to increase in us daily. We shall be profitable vessels of honour to God, bringing glory to him and immense blessings to many people. In these days of many challenging counterfeits we need to stand firmly, boldly, clearly and lovingly. No room for compromising the faith which was initially delivered to the early saints from whom we got the baton to run the Christian race. Jude in his General Epistle stated:

—But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Keep yourselves in the love of God , looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life -Jude 20-21.

As we stand firmly in the faith, we are able to rely on the Lord, Who is able to uphold us to the very end of our earthly race and journey. Each person ought to build up himself or herself. Then we shall be better placed to be of help to our brothers and sisters in the faith. Praying in the Holy Ghost is the same as praying in tongues as enabled by the Holy Ghost. Our weaknesses or infirmities are overcome; and we are thus empowered to pray in tune with the will of God. The essential daily experience is most refreshing, revealing, encouraging, inspiring and empowering. In the words of one of the first choruses learnt when we first believed, over 40 years ago, this series is paused until the next post:
Be steadfast, unmovable, By faith stand your ground. Let the world not entice you, nor let errors confound. For the Lord is your portion, His word is your guide. Be steadfast, unyielding, and turn not aside 1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV.[To be continued]. Abundant Grace be with you.