Posts Tagged ‘Moses’

COURAGE

Courage is the power or quality of life that makes a person able to meet threats or deal with dangers to life without fear. Courage is needed by all; needed by young and old; needed in the battles and struggles of life. At home, at work, in the school, in the church and in the community, courage is needed. Courage is needed to break new grounds. Courage is needed to maintain the old paths and qualitative standards of good and strong moral conduct. Courage is needed to ignore all distractions, face oppositions positively and learn from antagonists and their antagonisms. Courage is needed in marriage and all human relationships. Courage is needed at the battle field in order to fight; keep alive, and stay on to win. Courage is needed when wrong to say “I am sorry”. Courage is needed when wronged to be willing and accommodating enough to forgive. Anyone who uses courage negatively to perpetrate evil is the enemy of human society in any generation. Courage is needed with hope when faced with bereavement; and for the Christian, there is the hope of a better future dawn at the resurrection. Courage is needed to know, think and change location in order to experience freshness and guidance from God! When at the crossroads of life, needing to take decisions, courage is needed to see it through. Each person is divinely imbued with varying degrees of courage to face the problems or challenges of life. Several examples do abound of persons who faced problems, misfortunes, and hardships in many human generations, who with fortitude overcame those challenges.

Moses needed courage with his faith in the LORD to stand before Pharaoh in Egypt and through all insults and provocations, he stood his ground before leading out the Israelites out of bondage! God spoke to Joshua, the assistant of Moses, as he stepped on to continue in his new role as leader of Israel, after the death of Moses. “Be strong and courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you, do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”. (Joshua 1: 7&8).
David needed courage in addition to his faith in God to kill a lion and a bear and eventually defeat the intimidating giant, called Goliath of Gath! (1 Samuel 17:33-51). Elijah had courage which he applied to his faith in the LORD as he confronted and defeated the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who ate at Jezebel’s table, on Mount Carmel! (1 Kings 15:19-46). Call it various names. Call it boldness, heroism, bravery, valour, fortitude, confidence or fearlessness; you are referring to the same thing; courage!
The greatest example of human courage is seen in Jesus Christ. Jesus showed the greatest act of courage in history when he left his glory in Heaven to volunteer to come into this world in order to die for the sins of every person ever born and every person yet to be born! The best action any living person can take is to respond to the love move of Jesus by making a U-turn to God. The Almighty God says: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22). Demonstrate true courage by looking unto God. Ignore liars, deceivers and oppressors. Trust God who truly loves you. Jesus has already paid the price for your condemnation and death. He died instead of you. “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. (John 3:16)
In these days, commonly referred to as the last days, courage is needed more than ever before. Courage is needed by the Church in order to face many challenging and intimidating counterfeits in the world today! There are the counterfeits of Al-Qaida, Boko Haram and Isis! The frequent abuses by these and other similar violent religious fanatics and extremists continue to pose threats to the peace and security of nations across the world, especially in Africa and the Western world! There are cases of renewed slavery and women oppression! There is the counterfeit of re-emergence of oppressive regimes as in Russia, Syria, Iran and North Korea! Mere economic sanctions have not been effective enough to stop these regimes! The ploy of Islamic fanatics and extremists to lure the United Kingdom into gradual Sharia law practice; soon to be compelling on the entire nation, is being viewed as harmless by the innocently spiritually-ignorant, unsuspecting leadership! The accommodating stance of secularism does not imply that Britain is no longer a Christian country statutorily! HAVE THE STATUTES BEEN CHANGED? No Christian dares to practice openly in Saudi Arabia or Iran as these Islamic fanatics and extremists are doing in the United Kingdom, with reckless abandon! A peace-loving and accommodating society is being taken for granted and used as a training ground for Islamic extremism and terrorism! God Almighty shall judge these acts of ingratitude, intolerance, unpatriotism and inhumanity! The frequent and recent barbaric acts of killings, kidnappings, raping, forced marriages and decapitations of fellow human beings clearly demonstrate that those perpetrators do not love humanity, do not know God and therefore cannot truly claim to be serving God! The LORD who made Heaven and the Earth shall expose these ruffians and they shall have no hiding place. All nations who fund these vicious activities shall continually experience the judgement of God. The financiers of terrorism across the globe shall not escape the punishment of God; unless they repent quickly and make a U-turn to God!
The Church should continue to pray for the innocent majority in society and governments for wisdom and alertness! The Church does not use or need physical weapons to overcome these challenging counterfeits! The Bible states: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us go on to follow the LORD fully! Let us follow the LORD in obedience, in love, in unity and with courage! Let nothing be found within that exalts itself against the knowledge and the will of God. Let nothing be done through strives and vain glories! Let us build up one another in love and humility. Let the combined resources of the Corporate gifts and Anointing be made available to strengthen the people of God at such a time as this. No more of back- biting and back- stabbing should be found in the house of God! If a brother or sister makes a mistake or sins, the Church should not start a celebration party along with the world and Satan! Let there be a distinction! Let us make a difference! Let us throw strong long rope to a brother or sister who fell into a pit or ditch! Let us stop throwing stones of condemnation. (Ecclesiastes 4:10). With love and compassion; faith, hope and courage; let us put on the WHOLE armour of God to fight the intimidating, challenging counterfeits of our generation! Let us go on to win. On our knees praying; we shall win! On our feet standing, watching and praying; we shall win. With our wills and mouths reducing delicacies and meats; we shall win. In the powerful name of Jesus, we shall win. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; we shall win. Ministers of the Church have been appointed as watchmen and women! Indeed, all true Christians are watchmen.
In conclusion, we should remember that we do not fight or battle against flesh and blood! We are drawn in battle against rulers, authorities, and powers of this dark world; we are confronting the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. That is why we need the whole might of God in us to be at work against these agents of evil in society and our contemporary world, this Century! Finally, brothers and sisters, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.(Ephesians 6:10-18). To stand properly in these evil days we must not toy with sin and worldliness! We ought also to watch our brothers’ backs! We should not ask the foolish question of Cain again, who asked God: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer comes quickly to you and me. Yes indeed, you and I are our brothers’ keepers! BE COURAGEOUS! Shalom. Grace be with you.

Relationship With In-Laws

By in-laws we mean the parents, siblings, and both close as well as distant family members of your spouse. In most parts of the Western world, especially in the United Kingdom, the extended family members are excluded. This is not so in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. What should be the relationship between a man, his wife and their in-laws? It should be cordial. However, the experiences of many people built from first-hand interactions, plus verbal and written reports of others, have proved that some relationships could be far from being cordial. As Christians we are to seek peace and pursue peace(Psalms 34:14). That means we should do everything within our God-given abilities to be at peace within ourselves individually and between ourselves and other persons. In the Epistle to the Hebrews it is written: Follow peace with everyone and holiness without which no person would see the Lord(Hebrews 12:14).

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife(united with her and cleave together)and become one flesh[Genesis 2:24]. – And the woman too. There is nowhere in the Bible where permission is given to the woman to remain with her father and mother after getting married. Does that imply a break up with one’s parents and siblings or cousins? Not at all. It is the drawing up of boundaries and the recognition of such boundaries by all the parties involved. It is the giving of respect and honour to the rights and independence of the new couple as another unit created by God for companionship, for pure and holy mutual sexual pleasure and fulfillment; and for procreation and the raising up of disciplined children.

We see the examples of Moses relating well with his father-in-law. Jethro counselled Moses in administration when he was over working himself. Thus he was able to delegate part of his duties and work more efficiently. Jethro earlier on brought Moses’ wife Zipporah and their two sons whom Moses had left behind when he went to meet Pharaoh. The relationship between Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, was very cordial. If Naomi had been nosy and critical or unfriendly, that responsible, loving and highly respected daughter-in-law of hers would never have opted to leave her homeland of Moab for Israel; more so after their bereavements. She chose to remain with her mother-in-law after her father-in-law and later her own husband have died. She was a strong and faithful supporter and source of comfort. She got rewarded with a loving husband in the end. In fact both King David and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ were in her lineage!
Examples also abound in this generation. There is the example of initial misunderstandings between the writer’s mother and his wife. These were later resolved to the extent that the two women became friends and confidants till the old woman died. During the period of misunderstanding, the writer stood his ground and protected his wife without being disrespectful to his mother. We have seen other examples where the husband or the wife chose to be rude to elders, whilst protecting their spouses. That is not proper.

Writing under the topic ‘The Expected’ and ‘The Unexpected’ in our marriage journey; and making references to parents-in-law, Drs. Thomas and Agnes Odejide wrote in their book

40 YEARS AFTER I SAID

I do

, published by Jesus Joy Publishing, 2011; pages 33-34

:

-my father died in 1990 at the age of 75. We did not regard his ‘home call’ as a tragedy even though we would have wished he had lived longer. It was expected that we would survive him so we celebrated his life during the burial ceremony. My mother followed about a decade later in 2000; she was 80 years old. My mother-in-law followed in 2001; she was over 80 years old. My father-in-law was the last to pass on in 2005 at the age of over a hundred years! We felt happy at the ‘home callings’ of our parents at very ripe ages We were particularly happy that God gave us the opportunity to take care of them. Although none of them lived with us permanently, we were not far from them and our home was always open to them. To God be the glory.

That is another example of honouring our in-laws as well as keeping necessary boundaries.
We cannot afford to lose our focus. God and posterity depend on us. The marriage institution must not be toyed with. Therefore those whom God has joined together, let no man; let no woman, let no legal, social, cultural or governmental policy or establishment toy with nor put asunder! Amen.