Posts Tagged ‘now’

AGAPE NUGGETS

As Christians we can glory and make boast in the LORD. This is not because we are good or better off than others but that God Almighty, through Jesus Christ, has chosen to rescue people who once were wretched because of sins; and transformed them into his own goodness and righteousness.
Truly, here is God, reconciling the world unto himself; not treating them as sinners but through Christ, making them new creatures. People who have been forgiven and given a new nature that overcomes sin and every resemblance of evil and  wickedness.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away and all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Having reconciled us to himself, God now encourages, empowers and emboldenes us to go all out to bring back people around the world to himself. God sends us out as ambassadors of reconciliation, urging people to become reconciled unto him. We are ambassadors for Christ.
Jesus Christ, the means of reconciliation, died on the cross for everyone who ever lived and who is yet to be born. As a result of his death, Jesus paid the price for human sin. He who never sinned, died as the worst of sinners. He took my place and  yours and died instead of me and you on the cross. His blood shed on the cross made peace between sinful mankind and our offended Creator; the Almighty God!
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.
Therefore now, we urge you with great boldness, confidence and urgency: Be reconciled to God. Do so quickly. Do so consciously. Do so with your  whole heart, appreciatively. Do so today, even now.
Here is the Good news. Having judged and punished sin in the substitutional sacrifice for sin  (His only begotten Son Jesus Christ), God offers pardon to all of mankind. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but that through his Son the world might be saved. John 3:17.
Practically you can experience the salvation from God now. If you shall confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures, you shall be saved. With your heart you believe and you are justified and with your mouth you confess and you are saved. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10: 9-13.
Call upon Jesus as you are. Call wherever you may be. God bless you.

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REMEMBRANCE AND THANKSGIVING

At this time of the year , November precisely, we often remember and celebrate the lives and commitment or our beloved ones who gave their lives in order that we may have and enjoy relative peace. Our memories of them is a continuing source of encouragement and strength to our lives as individuals, as family members, as friends and as patriots. There have been moments of tears, deep sighs, thoughts, dreams and heartfelt expressions. Different emotions and sentiments are expressed, based on the depth of love or closeness with these dear, departed ones. Life is a mixture of sweet and bitter; pleasant and painful; joyful and sorrowful experiences. Some of these losses both recent and from distant past still feel fresh or are being continually refreshed.
In the midst of our pain, sorrow, loneliness, anxiety and grief, Jesus Christ offers us comfort, companionship, peace, hope and joy. Wars and hostilities, both internally and internationally have raged and are still raging. From the 1st and 2nd World Wars, to regional wars, civil wars and onslaughts of terrorist activities, human lives continue to be undervalued and wasted. Hostilities are still going on in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and Nigeria. The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has not been easily resolved. Abuses of military and economic powers continue to promote and fuel acts of terrorism and vandalism across the globe.Some individuals and nations are guilty in this regard.That is why irresponsible and barbarous groups as IS and Boko Haram are still flexing their muscles. The International Community looks relatively helpless! BUT THE TIME FOR UNITED NEUTRALIZING ACTION IS NOW, BEING ALREADY OVERDUE!
Christopher Foster once said:

“The memories we cherish are enduring, the pains and sorrows we feel do not often pass quickly, and we are conscious of our lives continuing to be changed by the past and the present. Often we are sustained by the love and care of others who support us while, for many, faith nourishes us with the promise that eternal love binds us together in life and death.”

It is only good and worthwhile to look after the families and dependants of the departed fallen heroes and heroines!It shows more how truly appreciative we are. On the same not ex-service men and women should be properly looked after, including those who have become disabled!
Thomas Attig said:

“As we cherish memories we return to freshen and deepen our understanding of those who have died, attend to them again, bring them closer, embrace them in their absence, reconnect with some of the best in life, feel grateful, feel the warmth of our love for them, sense that they are grateful for our remembering and feel the warmth of their love for us.”

Human beings throughout history look confused and helpless in the face of death. Death strikes when he is ready. Death is the common enemy of mankind! We are limited and powerless, but God Almighty knows it all. God has power over life and death! Jesus Christ has defeated death!
Jesus said: “I am the living one! I was dead, but I have authority over death and the world of the dead. ” (Revelations 1:18).
Death came because of sin. Mankind was designed by God to live forever! The corruption and wickedness in the world is the fruit of sin and death is the due reward. At the right time in history, God took the initiative to rescue mankind from sin and death. He did so through Jesus Christ. God then made it possible for us to receive his nature and thus become free from the power of sin and its consequences, which are spiritual and physical deaths. These bring in sicknesses, diseases and all kinds of woes! Jesus Christ delivered us from all of theses woes which come from disobeying God. Jesus set us free.
The Bible states: Being now made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord(Romans 6:22-23).
Jesus Christ died for our sins to pay the wages for us. He arose from the dead to make us assured of pardon and give new life from God[the God-Kind-of Life] to us.
The Bible states: If you shall confess with your mouth, Jesus as Lord and shall believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart a person believes and is made righteous and with the mouth he confesses and is saved. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9-10, 13.

Jesus is alive. Death is vanquished! Because Jesus lives, all those who believe in him shall live also. For the believer in Christ, death is not final. At resurrection God gives those who believe new bodies; bodies which never die. (2 Corinthians 5:1-10)

Jesus said: I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. (John 11:25-26a).
Overwhelmed by the problems of life, Jeremiah encouraged himself in the prevailing power of God Almighty: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23). Jesus is the Prince of Peace. A time is coming soon when there shall no longer be wars. When Jesus comes to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. Then people of every nation shall not learn about wars. Swords shall be converted into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. (Isaiah 2:2-4)
Life is full of choices. We make choices daily. The choices we make affect our lives presently and for the future. Each person needs to examine his life and make a U-turn back to God. A good gift offered needs to be received in order to be owned. God offers us his peace. Peace in the heart and mind; peace at home; peace in our communities; peace in our nations and peace in our world.
Prayer: O LORD of peace; Thank You for the offer of your peace. Help us to accept the peace you have given through your Son Jesus Christ, who has made peace between us and You. Forgive us of our failures and trespasses. Help each one of us to repent and be converted to You. At this time of remembrance, we thank you for the lives of millions of our people across nations of the world who fought and served in various wars, so that we may have relative peace. Help each one of us still alive, to humbly examine himself, call upon Jesus and receive your pardon and inward peace. We ask through the same Jesus Christ, who is the coming Prince of Peace; King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.

AGAPE NUGGETS – 2

Forgiveness is an essential component of relationships. If you appreciate or love a person, you would not be hesitant to overlook his or her shortcomings or failures. That is not indicative of condoning the bad behaviour of the other person,but being willing and ready to accommodate and uplift the man, woman or child whom you love.If a person fails, you would not seek to bury him or her alive! You would not ‘make a mountain out of a molehill’ in the course of your reaction to the other person’s mistakes or failures.A molehill is the small mound of earth thrown up by a mole while burrowing. A mole is a small burrowing mammal which has velvety or dark fur. It has a its forearms specialised for digging.It often feeds on insects.If you would judge yourself truly, you would know that you are not perfect either.A molehill is treated as a mountain when you exagerrate on the mistakes of others,making them look aweful as if irredeemable.You could make your spouse appear useless or unprofitable when you never see any good in whatever he or she does.Who are you to condemn another person?Have you never failed? We put it to you that by that very attitude of yours in justifying yourself,you have just failed! On the other hand,you may not approve the acts of the other person,but you seek to correct him or her in love, by making constructive criticisms.Anyone who fails to see positive potential in his or her neighbour,work colleague,subordinates,students, friend,family member or spouse needs to do a self-examination.Forgive today and always.Forgive your spouse now.God forgives us and expects us to be forgiving too; otherwise God would not forgive us.Corrective discipline is better than damning judgment which closes the door to future hope and progress.That is not the way of peace and progress.Habitual fault-finding makes a person to hunt for faults in others.The trend therefore is to find fault on important matters as well as trivial matters.On those trivial matters,watch out;you might be ‘making a mountain out of a molehill’.Please shun stubborn unforgiving lifestyle because it is psychologically and spiritually poisonous!Another very interesting rider to forgiveness is in dealing with your self personally.Do you;have you;or would you ever forgive yourself?Paul writing under the influence of the Spirit of God in Ephesians 4:31-32 states: Let all bitterness,and wrath,and anger and clamour,and evil speaking be put away from you,with all malice:And be ye kind one to another,tenderhearted,forgiving one another,even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.Jesus Christ also said that if we forgive others,God would forgive us,but if we fail to forgive,then we should not expect to be forgiven by God!(Matthew 6:14-15). Please,get in touch with us.God bless you.

JESUS SAYS; I Have Come to Save You; Do Not Fear

In the midst of trials, temptations, problems and various challenges of life, Jesus Christ is nearby, willing, ready and eager to come to our rescue. Nothing is too difficult for him. Simply invite him into the ship, boat, vehicle of your life. ALL will be well.
Jesus came to the rescue of his disciples while they were on board a boat which was threatened with storms and appeared ready to be swallowed by the waves. He commanded: Peace,Be Still! . In the same way, he commands peace into your life, when you invite him into your life.

Jesus also said: Come unto me all ye who labour and are heavy laden; And I will give you rest………. Jesus assures you of rest. Solution to your life’s problems, giving you a new lease of life of peace and joy. Call upon Jesus now. Waste no more time.

The taste of the pudding is in the eating. Come! Respond to the invitation of Jesus Christ.Your welfare is assured, both now and eternally,after this present world comes to an end.
Please, join in as the enthusiastic  Marske Fishermens Choir sings ‘I’ll Stand By Until The Morning’:
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GETHSEMANE AND GOLGOTHA

Matthew 26:36 Then cometh Jesus unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.  Gethsemane was a familiar place to Jesus and his disciples. They resorted there often. On that particular occasion(as recorded by Matthew,Mark and Luke and partially by John), they had finished the last supper together. Judas Iscariot had left the group earlier to conclude his plot to betray Jesus with the Jewish religious leaders. Judas must have known the plan and the group’s movement for the day and the rest of the night hours. The pressure was mounting high. Jesus Christ was undergoing the greatest struggle and conflict of his entire earthly life and ministry. He who did not commit any sin was chosen by his own voluntary will and the plan of God Almighty to lay down his life for the whole human race for all generations starting from Adam to the very last person that would be born into this world. In the master plan of God Almighty, Jesus Christ was to die. The supreme council in heaven concluded it before Jesus agreed to be born as a man through the virgin called Mary. The Archangel Gabriel told Mary that she would call her son Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sin. Jesus in coming to this world to die humbled himself to the lowest level imaginable! Here was the One through whom the whole world was made, submitting himself to his own creatures, to be treated as a criminal and killed in judgment by the highest form of punishment, which then was death by crucifixion. The status as God, being the Son of God, he put aside, as a mark of great humility. By being born as a human being, he humbled himself, him who was and is God, thus subjecting himself to the control and upbringing of earthly parents. By taking up the status of the suffering servant of God, he humbled himself! By agreeing to die for my sin and yours, he humbled himself! By subjecting himself to be made sin, he who was and is sinless, Jesus humbled himself. By subjecting himself to the worst type of death reserved for worst criminals, he humbled himself! It is easy for a person to die for a well-behaved person, but to die in the place of a criminal is relatively very difficult to do. To have yourself bear the sins and curses of the whole world in all generations is a conflict on its own. To have a person who is absolutely blameless accused as the worst of offenders is CONFLICT-MASTER-PIECE! Jesus Christ was on earth as the Son of God. He was on earth as Son of man (the Messiah). He was sinless. None of his accusers could justify their charges or accusations against him, until he confirmed to them in answer to their question that he was the Son of God. On that basis only, he was condemned to die. There were no corroborating evidences by any of the false witnesses at his trial, which was a mockery. The realization of this array of conflicts and illogical absurdities was most repulsive to the carnal mind. To the human flesh there was conflict and a struggle. Jesus Christ was perfectly human and perfectly God. Therefore, as human, his flesh naturally rejected the idea of a perfect man dying as though he were a criminal! As he knelt in Gethsemane on that fateful night, Jesus Christ prayed that the cup pass over him. By that he meant that he be excused from dying as a substitute; that he should not be treated as sin! However, may God be praised that Jesus did not stop there, but added: not my will, but your will be done. At that stage, the weak flesh was overcome, because Jesus submitted to the will of Almighty God! Then angels came to give him support and to strengthen him! The spiritual climate was so tense and difficult that the disciples, including the three inner-core, slept off, instead of watching and praying along with their Master, Jesus! Jesus came to inspect the disciples, but found them asleep on each of the three occasions. The spirit, indeed was willing, but the flesh was weak! It was a battle between God and Satan over the life and ministry of Jesus. It was shortly after Jesus Christ had the significant victory that Judas Iscariot arrived on the scene with the Jewish religious leaders, to have him arrested, tried and crucified. While praying, the agony and pressure was so much that sweat like drops of blood came forth from the body of Jesus. It was not mere coincidence that the scene for that great battle was Gethsemane. Situated on the Mount of Olives was this garden. There were olive trees on the Mount of Olives. There, olive oil was produced by the application of much physical pressure to express the oil contained in the fruit. It was therefore very significant that at Gethsemane,the place of the oil press, Jesus Christ was hard pressed to the extent that sweat and blood came from his body. If Jesus had not prevailed in agonizing prayer, by submitting to God Almighty, he would not have been able to proceed to Golgotha, where he gave himself to die on the cross. Jesus Christ gave himself before the foundation of the world. He gave himself at Christmas. He gave himself experientially at Gethsemane. He gave himself on the cross at Golgotha, Hallelujah!  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). There is life for a look at Jesus, who was crucified for you and for me! You are also advised to read the message posted on 1st March 2012, titled ‘Grace Upon Grace: All-sufficient Grace’. Call upon Jesus and ask him to save you, if you have not done so before. If you have gone astray from Jesus, now is the time to come back to him before he comes back, when it would be too late. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. God bless you.

GRACE UPON GRACE: ALL- SUFFICIENT GRACE

Greetings of the season to you all. Lent is the period from Ash Wednesday to Easter (40 week days) when adherents to the Christian faith observe a time of fasting and praying to remember Christ’s  fast in the wilderness. This has been a very old tradition. It is very good. More important however, is the fact that Christ expects more than that from us Christians, if we truly claim to love him. What did Christ do for us? He emptied himself of his glory and came down into this rotten world of ours. He became human, took the position of a servant, went about doing good, lived a sinless live, submitted himself to human insults and indignities, got arrested, tried, tortured, slapped, spat upon, tied to a whipping post and flogged to the point of exhaustion and virtual death, with his innocent blood splashed all over him and all over the ground. His looks became disgusting and his form irreconcilable to his watching mother, Mary and other faithful disciples, who were too stunned to believe what they saw! It was spectacular enough that the CREATOR of the whole world submitted himself to his creatures. Jesus Christ, the WORD of GOD, through whom the world was created, did this for the purpose of rescuing humankind from sin, the greatest calamity that ever plaqued the human race! GOD ALMIGHTY could not be appeased and satisfied by any other means than through the life sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. No other blood was clean enough for a ransome!No human effort could match up with the life of Jesus Christ! The Holy Blood shed on the Cross, fully satisfied The Holy Almighty God! The life of Jesus was given as his blood was spilled on that cross in Jerusalem, outside the city walls, on Calvary, at the ‘Place of the Skull’. Jesus was killed like a criminal, on a dirty, old cross, with dirty nails through his hands and feet and a crown of thorns on his head. The film ‘Passion of Christ’, is very good, but I hereby say that it was yet a simpler version of the actual pain and suffering borne by Jesus Christ, over 2000 years ago! As Jesus hung on that dirty cross, in great pain, he had time to listen to the sincere heart-cry of a criminal, crucified beside him.  To the last-minute prayer  and cry of that repentant criminal, Jesus said: ”Today you shall be with me in Paradise”.  To that thief it was a narrow escape to Paradise! To every other person, it may not always be the same story. There is a time to respond to the love of God before it is too late. Jesus said: 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). God gave his only begotten Son, when he was born as a human being(a baby boy) on the first Christmas. The giving was actually made complete when Jesus died on the cross! He gave his life by shedding his blood in my place and in your place. He did this even before we knew him. Jesus gave his life when we were so hopeless as a human race. He provided access to God through his atoning eternal sacrifice. Since then till NOW, there is hope for every person(WHOSOEVER). Jesus also said, by way of a simile: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life(John3:14-15). He made reference to the children of Israel in the wilderness during their journey from Egypt to Canaan. The Israelites sinned by complaining against God and Moses. Snakes were sent to bite them to such a quick extent that many died! Being terrified, the Israelites quickly repented and pled for mercy. God then responded by insructing Moses: Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live (Numbers 21:8). Moses obeyed God and lifted up the brass statue of the snake upon a pole. He then called upon the people to look at the brass serpent. Indeed, as God said, so it was that ALL those who LOOKED at the serpent, lifted upon a pole, survived the poisonous venom of the fiery serpents and LIVED! More than any simile, JESUS CHRIST hung upon the cross for hours outside Jerusalem city wall 2000+ years ago, to pay the price that sin demanded (DEATH). Centuries before then, God spoke through Prophet Isaiah and said: 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). Jesus himself has said to you and me to look unto him in order to be saved. Paul said: How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers  miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?(Hebrews 2:3-4). My friend, are you saved?Please, be saved today. NO REASON FOR ANYONE TO BE LOST AFTER GOD HAS MADE SURE THAT SALVATION IS AVAILABLE  THROUGH JESUS CHRIST! What more can and should we do for Jesus? TELL others what JESUS has done for you. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so. If you are saved, tell your family, friends and acquaintances. FIND them. TELL them. BRING them to JESUS. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. There is grace upon grace. There is all-sufficient grace! Please, take action now! God bless you.