Posts Tagged ‘religion’

HAVE THE RIGHT ATTITUDE OF FAITH WHICH RECEIVES FROM GOD

As we start this special month of December, I greet you in the mighty name of Jesus. May the LORD bless you and keep you. May you increase in the knowledge and wisdom of God our Father, excelling one another in the love, humility and goodness of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. The LORD who has call us out of darkness into his marvelous light is faithful and eager to help us run the race set before us blamelessly, as we look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. God is glorious in holiness, fearful in praises; and doing wonders. He holds our hands. He is with us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. So he promised. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we shall fear no evil. As our Shepherd, His rod and staff comfort us. He shall continue to set a table of nourishment before us, as our foes behold in consternation and bewilderment, in the mighty name of Jesus. Psalms 23:5. [The Message translation states: You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.] God’s refreshing oil is on our heads; and our blessings overflow.

The LORD has already commanded his Holy angels to guard us, day and night, as we journey through far and near; TO KEEP US IN ALL OUR WAYS, in the mighty name of Jesus.
This new month and always, henceforth, let the thoughts of our hearts, the words of our mouths, the works of our hands and the steps of our feet, be holy and acceptable unto God. That would assure our victory and joy, daily in Jesus name.

Eleven whole months have rolled past; and we have entered the twelfth and last one of the year 2019. Multitudes have left the stage through death. Many others have been sidelined through sickness, weakness, failures or discouragement. My friend, brace up. Do not give up. God loves you. He wants to help you; and he is eager to do so. The simple fact that you are still alive today is indicative of God’s love and plan to help you through.

Call upon him. Ask for his help. The Bible states that those who know God’s name put their trust in him; for the LORD has never forsaken those who seek him. Psalms 9:10. Those who trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abide forever. Psalms 125:1.

Jesus said: Come unto me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30. In other words, Jesus tells us to come over for a unique exchange experience. He wants us to stop struggling in our own limited strength and wisdom. He wants to infill us with his own strength and wisdom, which are unlimited, by submitting to him, allowing him to guide and lead us. Burdens are lifted. Yokes are broken. Problems are solved. Sicknesses and diseases are healed.

This month and always, henceforth, we shall think good [THINK RIGHT]. We shall speak goodness [SAY RIGHT]. We shall take right action- Do goodness [DO RIGHT]. Certainly, the LORD God is with us. Therefore, we should expect and receive goodness from him. [RECEIVE RIGHT]. God’s reliability gives us confidence of the fulfilment of our expectations. Therefore, when the LORD has done his usual goodness to us, we should testify his goodness to anyone who would listen to us.

The Psalmist said; Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he had redeemed from the hand of the enemy. Psalms 107:2.

The woman with the issue of blood testified; telling all her experience to Jesus before the crowd. Mark 5:24-34.
What have you been thinking about? Is there anything worrying you? NOTHING is too hard for the LORD God. The woman referred to above thought right. She spoke right to herself and to her difficult situation. She had faced 12 years of UNSTOPPABLE MENSTRUATION! Twelve years of severe bleeding!
She did herself good. She did right. She did not allow the crowd to block or hinder her from getting to Jesus. She did not allow her unpleasant bodily condition to block or hinder her. In Israel, a woman going through normal menstruation was not allowed to mingle with people; worse still, to touch a man, in a culture that looked down upon women in olden days!
SHE SET ASIDE CULTURE, SO-CALLED DECENCY, LEGALITY OR PROTOCOL! Forcing her way through the crowd, she touched the helm of the garment of Jesus. INSTANTLY, she was healed. The abnormal menses stopped.

She exercised a NO-DELAY; NO-PROTOCOL; NO-ARGUMENT KIND OF FAITH! That is RIGHT ACTION; DOING RIGHT. THAT IS FAITH IN ACTION.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ commended the woman for her faith. The woman had earlier talked to herself thus: “IF I MAY TOUCH BUT HIS CLOTHES, I SHALL BE WHOLE.” [Mark 5:28].
She did touch the clothes of Jesus. She received instant, expected, positive healing.
Anybody can do the same today; even now. IT IS NOW TIME FOR DOING RIGHT; TAKING THE RIGHT STEP! Confront anything or anyone who stands as hindrance to your progress and the manifestation of your joy. God is on your side. He wants and has made adequate provision for the fulfillment of your dreams. THERE IS NEVER A PROBLEM WHICH JESUS CHRIST CANNOT SOLVE. THERE IS NO PHYSICAL, OR PHYSIOLOGICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, SOCIOLOGICAL, SEXUAL, GENDER-BASED, PRODUCING YOUR OWN CHILDREN OR FINANCIAL PROBLEM, THAT IS BEYOND SOLUTION BY JESUS CHRIST! CALL UPON HIM SINCERELY AND HUMBLY. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13.

God 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.

Take for example the problem of lack of sleep. Sleeplessness can wreck a human life. It can disorganise the natural processes of our bodies. That could lead to illness and generate deseases in our bodies.

William Shakespeare in one of his works ‘Macbeth’; described sleep thus:

..”great nature’s second course; chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

Macbeth, the main character in the play, by his wicked secret deeds, wrecked his conscience and the entirety of his life, in addition to his knowledge of the bad consequences of sleeplessness, for murdering his honoured royal guest, King Duncan ‘The Meek’, while asleep!

Sleep surely tunes up our body. It refreshes our organs and body systems; enabling it to function optimally.

I have met some people who struggled to get sleep, for many days. Is that the problem you face or the need of anyone around you? If you have not been able to sleep, I say to you, get a right attitude. Stop carrying the burden or load which the LORD has already taken care of for you. Are you alright with God? If not, get right quickly; now. Repent of any sin or wrongdoing. Ask God to forgive you. Forgive those who offended you. Live at peace with your family, friends and neighbours.

God forgives you immediately and gives you peace of mind. The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, washes us clean from all sin. Thence, our fellowship with God and our fellow human beings become peaceful.
The Psalmist said: Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
That is the right step to having good sleep. All your anxieties and cares should be deposited with God. Do not try to pick them up again.

It is taught from the Bible that through trust and obedience of God’s word, we gain and maintain peace of mind.

Great peace have they that love the word of God; trusting and obeying the LORD. Nothing shall by any means harm or offend them. Psalms 119:165.
LAY DOWN IN PEACE ON YOUR BED. SLEEP CONFIDENTLY, AS I OFTEN DO, AS IF LIKE A BABY, BECAUSE GOD WATCHES OVER ME; AND YOU TOO.[Psalms 4:8].
CAST THAT PROBLEM UPON THE LORD.

In the mighty name of Jesus; I pray for you. Begin to get sleep tonight; even now! Get good sleep from God, your Father, in Jesus name. Amen. Medication from the doctor can help you to get sleep, but that does not give a lasting solution, because you become enslaved to the use of the medicine. However, for some, that may be a starting point.

SLEEP AS FROM TONIGHT LIKE A BABY IN THE HANDS AND LOVING CARE OF OUR FATHER, GOD, WHO LOVES US. AMEN.

All your anxieties, all your cares and worries, bring them to God in prayer. drop them with God. anything, whatsoever that stands as obstacle or problem before you, should be submitted to God. Nothing is to hard for the LORD God to handle. No problem is beyond solution before God. Trust him. I should be glad to receive good news of God’s blessings on your situation. I am praying for you.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

HAPPY NEW MONTH TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

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.

The Resurrection

The tomb of Jesus Christ was found empty on the third day of his burial. His is the only truly empty tomb in human history. By this we are not considering many Cenotaphs around the globe, which mark the grave of the Unknown Soldier. Those are empty tombs with a difference. The difference lies in the fact that no human remains were ever buried in those cenotaphs! Jesus Christ went through a pulsating, terrifying, agonizing, period of prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane. His agony was so great that his sweat drops became mingled with blood. At the end of the prayer, victory was won and he fully submitted himself to be crucified. He was initially exposed to a grueling, prolonged period of mockery of a trial. The witnesses assembled contradicted each other. It was Jesus himself who provided the basis for the eventual accusation and condemnation. He spoke the truth when, in answer to the High Priest’s question, he confirmed that he is the Son of God, thus claiming equality with God. According to the Jewish leaders, he had blasphemed! The penalty for blasphemy was death. Jesus was willing to die, not for the alleged blasphemy, but for the eternal plan of salvation which was drawn ages ahead with his Father, Almighty God! He was sentenced to die as a criminal. Jesus Christ was crucified on the first Good Friday, outside the city walls of Jerusalem, in-between two thieves. Thus Jesus Christ gave himself by his incarnation, gave himself at Gethsemane and gave himself at Golgotha in order to fulfill and perfectly execute the plan of everlasting salvation for mankind! Much earlier, in response to a question by a Jewish elder and scholar named Nicodemus, Jesus said:

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved(John 3: 14-17).

In the wilderness journey of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan, the people rebelled against God and Moses and there was instant punishment in the form of deadly fiery snakes which bit many. There was mass death. Moses and Aaron were scared and quickly cried to God for help and mercy. God instructed Moses to make a brass copy of the fiery snakes and hang it upon a pole. Moses was to tell the whole emerging nation to look upon the brazen serpent in order to recover from the deadly venom of the snake. Moses did exactly as God told him. It was a miraculous turn around because all the remaining sufferers from the snake bite who looked at the hung brazen serpent(snake) recovered and lived! Correspondingly however, anyone who defied the instruction would have perished in that wilderness episode! God Almighty, in his infinite wisdom and plan decided to re-enact the episode on a global scale using reality in place of similitude. Jesus Christ, the Son of God had to be nailed to the cross, made of two poles. Then he was lifted up crucified on Calvary Hill! The location was strategic, in that it was a public junction, with many passers- by. People from different parts of the world visited Jerusalem at that time because of the Jewish festival of Passover. The Passover lamb was killed by each Jewish family in remembrance of the great exodus from Egypt several centuries before. On that fateful Passover, the REAL PASSOVER LAMB was being killed for the whole world! Jesus Christ, the Real Passover Lamb was slain for the sins of the whole world. As it was on the eve of Jewish departure from Egypt, after 400 years of slavery, the blood of the lamb killed was collected in a basin and was applied to the door posts of each Jewish home. It was significant and strategic in that there was judgment upon Pharaoh and the whole of Egypt, resulting in the death of the first born of every family, including the first born of their domestic animals! There was sorrow, wailing and fear across the whole nation of Egypt because the LORD visited the land in judgment! In the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, no life was lost, because of the applied blood! With fear and trembling the Israelites were begged to depart from Egypt by both Pharaoh and his people! The Israelites left with great deliverance and jubilation. Egypt was literally spoiled and plundered in the sense that they willingly and hastily parted with their riches as Israel demanded PAYBACK FOR 400 YEARS OF OPPRESSIVE SLAVERY! That was the downturn for Egypt till date 2013, because the exodus marked the rapid decline of the Egyptian dominance in world civilization, economy and politics! We challenge scholars to contest this issue! This is the Twenty-first Century and the necessity for the application of the blood of the Lamb of God(Jesus Christ) is still in place for every human being! Dear friend, you need to look upon Jesus Christ nailed and hung upon the cross, lifted up on Calvary Hill, because of your sins. You look and live. Refusing to look brings avoidable disaster. The blood of Jesus Christ has been applied for you to protect you and give you victory over Satan, our No1 enemy! Underrating the situation as Pharaoh and Egypt did thousands of years ago, would become too late and regrettable for you! God planned your salvation; Jesus Christ executed it. God said earlier through Prophet Isaiah: Look unto me, and be saved, all ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else (Isaiah45:22). Jesus was nailed to the cross, his blood was shed and he died on that cross, as it was written before in the Scriptures. He was buried. On the third day he arose from the grave, as written in the Scriptures. He showed himself to Mary of Magdala, Peter and other disciples after his resurrection. Before he went back to heaven, he showed himself to over 500 witnesses at a time. Those were proofs overwhelming enough to convince any form of skepticism, logic or legalism! If you shall confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord of your life; and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are made righteous and with your mouth you confess and you are saved (Romans 10:9-10). Typologies of Resurrection: Resurrection is likened to a grain of corn or wheat after it is planted. The grain first rottens and in the process, the dormant, potential plant, called the embryo, which contains new life, emerges to produce the new corn or wheat. It is a new life emerging from death. For us human beings, when a person dies, the whole body or ash from the cremated body is buried. At the resurrection, we Christians believe that the spirit unites with the body to produce a new body which becomes immortal. However, there are two kinds of resurrection. The righteous dead come back to life never to die again. For the wicked or unrepentant dead, they come back to life to face the judgment of God before the white throne. An inevitable condemnation follows which leads to everlasting torment in the lake of fire in hell! Jesus Christ describes the state: Where their worm never dies and the fire is not quenched(Mark 9:42-48). Worm refers to the human entity. The horrible state of the wicked is such that it is one of conscious, unending torment in the lake of fire! Contrarily however, the righteous is ushered into everlasting life of joy, peace and fulfillment. Jesus Christ’s body died as a sacrifice for sin. In the spirit, he went down to the dark abode of the dead. There Jesus fought the determinant battle against Satan and all his army. Satan was defeated and disgraced! Jesus Christ snatched the keys of death and hell from Satan. After that significant victory, Jesus Christ arose from the grave, in triumph! Therefore as Christians down through all ages we are able to sing: Up from the grave he arose; With a mighty triumph o’er his foes; He arose a Victor from the dark domain, And he lives forever with his saints to reign; He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose! Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, wrote:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the Apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time

(1Corinthians 15: 3-8).
Death has been subdued by Jesus Christ! It is important to note that many Old Testament Saints appeared in Jerusalem unto many people just at the time of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! These are those who trusted God in their generations. However, because of the sell-out to Satan, out of disobedience to God and ignorance of the tricks of Satan by Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, Satan took over the rightful status of mankind as ruler of this world. Satan also took charge of the place of the dead because our Redeemer has not come. Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, as SEED OF THE WOMAN wrestled against Satan, defeated Satan and took the keys from him. Jesus Christ therefore led out this multitude of saints from the captivity of Satan! In part of Chapter 27 of the Gospel according to Matthew, which definitely must have been observed before the later part of the 28th Chapter happened and was written, has the following account: And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. And came out of the grave after his resurrection, and appeared unto many(Matthew27:51 -53). There had been earthquakes between The Good Friday and early morning of the First day of the week which we call Resurrection morning. The Earth must be inevitably troubled because its Maker deliberately and voluntarily died for the redemption of mankind. The same earth was thus forced to give up the bodies of the risen saints who had been led out of captivity by their Captain, Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is the first to arise from the dead, never to die again! Thus he became the firstfruits of the dead! Jesus Christ, as the Captain of our salvation is alive forever. At the trumpet call of the archangel, signaling the gathering of saints prior to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with his Bride the Church, Saints would be raptured. We shall be given new bodies, never tiring, never sick and never dying again! We shall be as Jesus Christ is! Anyone who has this expectation or hope in him or her should keep himself pure, just as Jesus Christ is pure! (1 John 3: 1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18).
Much earlier, prior to his death, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this? (John 11:25-26). Reconciliation with God the Father has been made through the blood of his cross. There is no more enmity between us and God. God has forgiven us and given us power to become his children. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was proof of God’s approval on the redemptive work he did through the shedding of his blood on the cross. Jesus said; because I live you shall live also. His resurrection gives assurance for our own resurrection too! We believe this. Do you believe? Jesus who was initially held captive defeated his captors led by Satan. Then Jesus the former captive led out a host of captive victims in victory. In deed CAPTIVE LED CAPTIVITY!
Up from the grave he arose:

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.

Having Found Your Intended Spouse, Get Married

In Daniel Defoe’s Book Robinson Crusoe we read

—Without telling my father,—-without thinking what the end of it would be; I went on board the ship.

Of course, we all know that trip ended in a ship-wreck! May your marriage never end in a ship-wreck in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. You need deep prayerful thought and divine guidance. You should marry a person who likes you, has interest in your well-being and success, speaks the truth into your life and cares for you. You should marry a person whom you feel confident in his or her presence and desire to see very often; not for selfish carnal, sinful purposes, but for life achievement and fulfillment. You have been out visiting or going out on dates with your friend. You have found a spiritual and emotional link between you two. Your lives are complementary. That is, he or she has few of the virtues or qualities which you lack and which help to make you feel total or complete. Both of you have been open, honest and sincere with each other. There are no hidden agendas between you both. Then you are on the road to a deeper promising relationship which could lead to marriage. But that is not yet sufficient. You have sought counsel from your pastor or from a matured Christian. You have become very familiar with what the Bible teaches on marriage. You have been prayerful not just because of marriage alone, but all along your Christian life. Let us consider the following also. Some of these have been touched upon before, but there is need to emphasize.
Chastity: All along, both of you should keep pure. There is no room for the crazy worldly fashion of impurity or lack of chastity, called fornication. This helps to keep the relationship pure and strong. More importantly, you would honour God and bring glory to his name. Your body is the temple of God where his Holy Spirit lives, therefore discipline yourselves by bringing yourselves under His control (Colossians3:5-7). There is no pride in going to bed before you become husband and wife. True love is patient, kind and not selfish (1Corinthians 13:4-7). Anyone who cannot wait for you, is not worthy of you. Let him or her go away for good! A tweet by Bishop David Oyedepo states: <a href="

” title=”Talk matters through; no room for laxity and impurity”>
You have prayerfully found a man or woman whom you consider suitable for you? This is the final stage when you have to be sure that you are in the right relationship. Countless numbers of questions need to be raised and answered. These are real life practical issues. Is your intended a born again Christian just as you are? Does he or she belong to a good fellowship or church? How does he react in an emergency? Does he care about you? Is she a good material for a housewife and mother? Would he make a good husband and father? Does he have a good job? Is he patient and kind? Do you naturally give compliments to each other? Are you complementary? Your intended is expected to have qualities which make up for those lacking in your own life. That is necessary for you to make a good couple. How liberal or generous is he? Is he stingy, or does he buy you token gifts? Does he or she know enough about house chores? Can he or she cook? Is he or she prayerful? Does he or she have a good knowledge of the Bible on marriage? Are you really in love or merely being drawn by infatuation? Is he easily angry? Does he or she easily forgive; or does he or she often recall past wrongs? Is he or she trustworthy? How good is he or she with handling money? How ambitious is your intended future life partner? Here is a tweet by Nicky Gumbel: <a href="

” title=”Know Your True Friend”>
Are you genetically compatible? A man with the genotype AS should not marry a lady with the same or weaker genotype; say AS or SS. They would likely have more of children who are susceptible to the sickle-cell anaemia disease, which often kills the victim or makes life loathsome and dreadful! Please seek medical experts for counsel. If you two are not compatible, then it is better to end the relationship! You are responsible for your relationship as well as the lives of children likely to be born through that relationship. Disobedience in this regard could be traumatic and grievous. Share all about each other. You should also tell each other about your past lives. Have you been in a relationship before? Why did you end that or any other relationship? Are there any other physical, medical or physiological problems to be faced and tackled before you move further? The list of questions is endless. That is why you should not rush to get married. Both of you should be bold and frank with each other in handling these questions. Please do not gloss them over. Are you a widow or widower seeking to re-marry? Then you should ensure that you marry a Christian in addition to the other points already stated. Mature singles or widows /widowers do not have a different set of guidelines from the younger, fresh ones. May each person ensure that the name of the LORD is glorified.
Here is another tweet from Abbatwit: <a href="http://

” title=”Why Do You Enter Into A Relationship?”>
Prayers for guidance from God
This is not a quick fix. It is not a formula as in solving a mathematical problem. You should already be in close relationship with God before you approach him for guidance on marriage. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and forever. He knows all things. He knows what is best for your life. Let God be your guidance today and your tomorrow would be easier to enter and enjoy. Your relationship is God’s concern, God’s pleasure and for God’s glory. You cannot afford to be careless, impatient or deceived by any man or lady. God will make a way for you. You are responsible for your choice, but God would guide you if you have learnt to commit every area of your life to him.
Counsel from your Pastors, Christian Marriage Counsellors, Matured Married Christian Couples and Parents:
You need good counsel all along and as you take the final decision. In the multitude of counsellors problems are solved and much sorrow is avoided. Safety is thus assured (Proverbs 11:14). You cannot buy experience at the super market, except buying books and tapes of those who have the mind of Christ and quite a lot to share. You acquire knowledge and understanding through the Bible, through matured Christian counselling in Christian circles. You acquire wisdom, understanding and direction through constant prayerful fellowship with the Lord. God speaks to you through the Bible and during prayers. This is a two-way communication. You talk to God and He replies and vice versa. God promises to instruct us and guide us. Psalms 32:8. Consent and Approval: Genesis 24: 57 – 58; Genesis 28:1-2. Abraham sought a wife for his son Isaac from a well-known good source. He sent his trusted servant on the important assignment. After the parents and family of the lady were convinced, they knew it was important to seek the lady’s opinion. And they said, we will call the damsel, and inquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said I will go. Parental counsel, approval and consent plus the Lady’s consent should be respected and sought. Imposition is not the perfect will of God. God had used contacts through others to reveal a person’s future partner. That is not often the case. The approval of God is the greatest. Has the Lord led you in finding your future partner? Your joy and peace would be great if you really sought his guidance. If or when problems arise in the future, you would remember that you were not careless or ungodly in making your choice. That would give you added impetus to victory over any problem.
Wedding and Married Life: Getting married in the presence of fellow Christians in the church is the best option. Your marriage is also binding and legal when celebrated in a Marriage Registry before the Registrar. The legal or statutory requirements for marriage in some countries have it such that the Church building is licensed to conduct marriages. A certificate of authorization is issued from the Registry to the Church if there is no opposition to the marriage. Within a set period,say 15days notice of your intention is given to the public in order to ensure there are no oppositions to your intentions. This period is variable in different places. After the authorization, the wedding ceremony is to be solemnized within a certain period, variable in different places. The ceremony holds in the presence of witnesses. A Marriage Certificate is issued, indicating the names of the spouses, their ages, current addresses and occupations. The names of the Registrar and witnesses are also included. All such names included sign the Certificate, issued in copies, one of which is given to the wife and the other sent to the Registry. Variable sums of money are payable as Fees for notification, for the ceremony and for the certificates issued. You would check the fees when you visit your local Marriage Registry. Fees are also payable in the Church or the Registry for the Wedding Ceremony.
Importance Of The Marriage Ceremony: The choice words used carry a lot of heavy responsibility and commitment. You affirm that you do not know of any impediment why both of you may not be joined as husband and wife. By that you mean that you are stating the truth. Heaven and Earth are called upon as witnesses. The expression

AS BOTH OF YOU SHALL DECLARE ON THE DREADFUL DAY OF JUDGMENT

means that you are both accountable to God for everything you do with your marriage.

Saying I WILL and later saying I DO to the questions raised by the Registrar(the Church minister or any one so appointed) places a life-time responsibility upon both of you, as husband and wife, in the presence of God and the witnesses. God holds both of you accountable before him. Your Marriage is very important. It is for Lifetime Companionship, for Sexual Fulfillment, for Procreation and raising of good children in a decent Family under the umbrella of Jesus Christ.
In our next post, we shall consider the Marriage Ceremony and Realities of Married life. God bless you.

UNCOMMOM OCCURRENCES IN 2013: PAPAL RETIREMENT

The Papacy of Pope Benedict XVI ended at 19.00Hours GMT today, 28th February 2013. As Papal authority passed away from him, the Roman Catholic World awaits the end of the selection process by the Cardinals, starting from next Monday. He is now Pope Emeritus. His humble, intellectual, emotional input into ecumenism and the unconditional firm stand for Christian ethics and morality would be remembered. His Pontificate, which has not been free from some controversies within the Church would also be remembered. Earlier today, he bade farewell to his loyal staff, addressed the Cardinals and more importantly, addressed a large crowd of Catholic Faithfuls. He boarded the white helicopter owned by the Italian Government, tagged ‘Republica Italiana’ and left for his temporary abode; Castel Gandolfo. He would be in the castle during the Papal Conclave by the Cardinals. He has already pledged his allegiance of unconditional obedience and reverence to the new Pope, yet to be elected. The entire world is eagerly waiting and watching development of events as they begin to unfold over the next few weeks, years and decades! For the first time in 600 years, a reigning Pope retired voluntarily and elected not to die in office as majority of Popes have done right through Church history. Pope Emeritus would later move into a secluded part of the Vatican to spend the rest of his life. We wish the Pope Emeritus happy retirement and pray God’s abundant grace be upon him. May God bless the entire Roman Catholic Church as a new Pope is elected.
Election has just taken place in Italy. This is not a mere coincidence. It is another uncommon occurrence!

When Two Elephants Fight, The Grass Suffers

Elders world wide often say that ‘When two elephants fight, the grass suffers’. The saying is often quoted when two heavy weights in a relationship are engaged in a quarrel, conflict or fight. The relationship may be pre-marital, marital, business, political, local, national, international, or in any other vital field of human activity. The dependents, dependants or those in close proximity to the two chief antagonists usually bear the brunt of the blows from the fight. When nations wage war against each other or when there are civil wars, it is the innocent children, women, the weak, sick or handicapped ones who suffer most. In the context of conflicts or quarrel in the family setting or home, it is the children who suffer most. In a family, we think of a man, his wife, who is a woman, and their children. Where they live is the home. In a normal home therefore, the ‘two elephants’ are the man and his wife, as father and mother respectively; while the children represent ‘the grass’. In the other examples referred to above, the dependents, dependants and the weaker ones, all of whom are the more vulnerable ones, represent the grass. Modern society holds the wrong view that a relationship should not be based on children who are the products of the relationship. Why, in the first place did the couple bring forth the child or children? It is simply equal to gross irresponsibility, selfishness and cruelty not to consider the children as being the most vulnerable and therefore the ones to give the most consideration! No committed Christian should go all out for divorce. Misunderstandings are inevitable in any human relationship. When misunderstandings arise, the persons involved should endeavour to resolve them. In the family, greater responsibility rests upon the shoulders of the father and mother. The family is an essential structural as well as functional living unit of any community or nation. God set up the family unit as such. Any community or nation is therefore a product of its functional unit, the family. Any damage done to the family structure is a gradual death-blow to the fabric of stability and health in the community, state, region or nation! Where persons hold the family in high esteem, no effort would be spared at maintaining its stability. The reckless abandonment with which many couples in this generation handle their marriage disputes or misunderstanding spells disaster for many homes. Resorting to divorce is not the solution. Rather, more chaos and problems are created than solved when either parent presses for divorce. Handling marriage as a trial by error affair, as a business contract or as a ‘cat and mouse affair’ would certainly lead to failure and divorce. Looking for the least form of excuses to press for divorce is not a Christian lifestyle. Consequently, the children from such homes have their lives virtually truncated and left in disarray. Many of such children grow up to become confused, angry, rebellious and retaliatory. It is much better to bring up children in a home with both father and mother positively and actively involved. No father can successfully combine the mother’s role with his. The same is true of any mother. No mother can successfully replace the father. God has given each person in the home his or her own special responsibility. The father, mother and the children make up the family which lives in the home. Teaching and supervising house chores helps parents to lay the foundation for good work habits for the future. It is easier to play than to work, but it is rather more uplifting and confidence-boosting as well as character-building in the child. Setting standards as well as boundaries in behaviour also helps in children upbringing. The father is the chief disciplinarian. The mother upholds discipline under the umbrella of the father. In the father’s absence, she is in charge. Both parents uphold discipline together, but the hierarchy of the two parents should never be in question. Words are very important in giving instructions. Clear, simple direct instructions should be given. No negative, degrading or abusive words should be used at any time. Chores should be practically taught by showing example or demonstrating it to the child. Parents should never wait on the school to teach their children chores. Schools should buttress what parents have already taught as appropriate with the child’s age. Violations of these set boundaries and standards should be frowned at and sanctions given. Good performance should also be rewarded. Firm stands should be maintained. Children are wise to detect any loophole on discipline and would like to take advantage of it. It is the responsibility of parents to eliminate such loopholes. Being in agreement in words as well as in actions is one of the sure ways to plug or avoid loopholes. The Bible states:

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)

The training must be given first, from which the child would not depart later on in life. No training; no knowledge and no discipline. It is a pity that some ladies and young men who never learnt how to cook whilst growing up have to rely on cookery books for almost all their cooking. The problem is from the home background. They probably had things too much their own ways at home or the parents indulged them with the services of paid chefs and other paid domestic servants! It is not too late to learn from friends or enrol for short-term courses. Please do not be shy or ashamed to learn. It is also written:

Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him (Proverbs 22:15).

Correction is best applied when it matters most and not when it is too late. Before a child starts school a good foundation should have been laid. Postponing training and discipline or ignoring them altogether breeds conflict, rebellion and sorrow later on. Every time the family comes together, some teaching and learning takes place. The family that prays, eats, worships and plays together, cherish each other and therefore stays together. The opposite is also true. The family that neglects praying, eating, talking, worshiping and playing together seldom stays together. Some families do not have time for cooked meals because they claim to be too busy. Some are too busy, making money to such extent that they seldom see each other except during Christmas or in an emergency.
To abandon the role of the two parents to only one is not only irresponsible, it is wicked and criminal. Examples abound of human failings by mothers or fathers. More often than not, the abandoned or partially neglected children have a permanent vacuum in their lives. Only God, by his mercy can fill that vacuum when each vulnerable person in the marred relationship opens the door for Him to interact. Various communities in different parts of the world suffer from the effects of strained or broken down relationships in the family. A corrupted form of the family has become the vogue in many parts of the so-called civilized world! There can be no satisfactory substitute for the real family. The original family setting consists of the man as husband and father; the woman as wife and mother and children as important products of the loving, cherished relationship called marriage, which binds the family together. When each member does his or her role properly, the family would be happy, peaceful and flourishing. In a Christian home, all come under the umbrella of the Almighty God, who is the Maker of Marriage and the Family. In the normal family and in this 21st Century, it is challenging, demanding and difficult to bring up children. It demands great commitment and selfless giving, especially from the father and on in the descending order of mother down to the children. How much more difficult would it be for only one parent to try bringing up children. In some quarters, people think it is their position, riches or affluence that would place them in good standing to be good parents. Money, gifts, holidays and status cannot replace good parenting which demands selfless love, positive and protective discipline, with boundaries, rewards and sanctions. A lone-ranger parenting could be likened to a motor car with two good alternate tyres. What horrible ride that would provide in a family. Such a ride would not only be uncomfortable, but unsafe. When each member does his or her role properly, the family would be happy, peaceful and flourishing. Are you a Christian? Stop any further action towards divorce now. Humble yourself before God. Seek the face of God. Seek Christian counsel. Do not join hands with Satan to mess up Christian marriage and the Family setting.
The Bible states:

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourself unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wife be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word[Ephesians 5:21-26].

It is a mutual submission to each other and not a one-way affair. The husband who expects his wife to submit to him, must be exemplary and lead the way in humble submission; not insisting and defiant. He should only insist where the Bible may be violated! Christ washed the feet of his disciples. He also prepared breakfast for them on the beach, even after his resurrection; just before his ascension back to Heaven. The wife should be cautious not to take her husband for granted. A humble, serving, caring and protective husband deserves to be respected and obeyed. He is to be followed, unless he walks contrary to the Bible. A man usually gets the commitment of the kind of wife he loves selflessly, nurtures and cherishes. A woman usually gets the commitment of the type of husband she adores, cherishes, respects and obeys. A selfless, loving, cherishing, diligent and responsible husband would be obeyed. An adoring, caring, virtuous, cherishing and obedient wife would be loved and honoured. The relationship, based on reverence for God and patterned after the love of Christ for the church, would succeed in the face of hardships and challenges of this life and especially this challenging 21st Century. A significant portion of the cases of juvenile delinquents in society is made up of children from broken relationships or from divorced parents. Out of frustration some of such children become confused, disappointed, rebellious, addicted to drugs and violent. Their confidence, security, self-esteem and in deed future have been violated! Many have need rehabilitation.
A significant problem which confronts the family of the 21st Century is the distortions or corruptions in the interpretations given to the family. Those who call evil good and call good evil shall be punished by God. Those who enact anti-God laws are seeking divine punishment also.[Romans 1:18-32, Exodus 23:1-2, Isaiah 10:1-2, Genesis 19:1-26]. The modern day violations of the family setting breed confusion and make healthy child-upbringing very challenging and difficult. Attempts by various governments to redefine marriage are calculated efforts by Satan to destroy family life, which constitutes the essential unit of human society. Such governments and the leadership only think that they are being modern and in line with what some others around the world are doing. Unfortunately however, the so-called vogue is anti-family, anti-procreation, and anti-societal well-being! Such leaders and nations are fighting against God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. There is arrogant and flagrant disregard to the words, and will of God and his plan for the betterment of humankind. Severe consequences as a result of the disregard are very imminent. The great ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of homosexuality, violence and disobedience. Judgment is coming very soon on the arrogant and the disobedient, take it or leave it! This is an urgent warning and call to repentance to all the nations of this world celebrating or condoning homosexuality, especially the political leaders. Majority of the populace in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, taking just two examples, are against homosexuality, but some of the political leaders are bulldozing their own will through, against common sense, against natural order and against the plan of God Almighty.
Whilst concluding this post, the news of the proceedings in the House of Commons was received. It is unfortunate that the House of Commons passed the bill to allow gays to be fully married in the same way as heterosexual couples. This is a significant negative landmark and a notable additional setback for humanity! The odd and horrible likelihood of calling a man wife and the same person also as husband is the peak of human deception. The same thing goes for calling any woman husband and the same woman as wife. It is confusion master piece! Although God has been very merciful in waiting patiently for people and nations to repent over the calamity of homosexuality, his patience must never be taken for granted. Judgment is coming very soon over anyone, group of persons or nations who violate the plan of God. It is not a mark of achievement to follow a multitude or group to do evil. The correct, natural, reasonable and God-given will of the overwhelming majority has been brushed aside in order to please a significantly erring minority, all under the guise of “keeping up with the Joneses”, with the tag of human rights. It is another example of two elephants fighting, with the grass suffering. That was a setback for civilization! Perhaps the next thing for the United Kingdom and other similarly compliant nations is to pass a bill in favour of polygamy! A U-turn back to God and the time-tested Christian statutes of the United Kingdom is necessary and not too late. Agape Focus as one of the voices for God and the well-being of humanity in this generation opposes and condemns the significant error because it opposes God! We do not know the details; only God knows, but God Almighty says he would judge over this action! Signs to follow soon would be like the ANCIENT HANDWRITING ON THE WALL as in the days of Daniel. Watch out. A word is sufficient for the wise. Enough is enough! Who is a God like the Almighty that pardons iniquity? He still forgives sins today. Repent therefore that you may be forgiven. Retrace your steps back to God.