Wednesday, 6 July 2016

On What Foundation are you Building your Life?

There are about 15 mango trees and several other trees in our house. The heavy windy rains of June 9th that flooded parts of Accra uprooted one of the mango trees.
As I stood there in amazement the following Saturday perplexed at how such a big tree could be uprooted by the winds, many thoughts ran through my mind.
I walked through the whole compound and observed all the other trees, they still stood firm with their leaves moving to the rythm of the cool breeze as if it hadn't rained a drop.
All these trees were hit by the same winds and rains. But not all endured through to the end. The roots of one of the trees could not hold until the end. The tree was not deeply rooted and fell under the heavy thunderstorm.
There, the Holy Spirit started ministering to me. On what foundation are you building your life? The secret to a sustained successful life is our foundation. Rushing through the foundation stage of life in haste to make it in life is a recipe for disaster.
The Bible says "if the foundation be destroyed what shall the righteous do?" Psalms 11: 3
A tree may not bear fruits, its leaves may wither but still there is hope that this tree can flourish again. But if it is uprooted, that is the end. Habbakuk said even if the fig tree does not blossom and there are no fruit on the vine, he will praise the Lord. Job said there is hope for a tree that is cut off for it will sprout again and its branches will blossom. But then what happens when the tree is uprooted? A tree's source of life is in its roots. Through its roots the tree draws all the necessary nourishment it needs from the soil. A tree can be deeply rooted in a soil and still die if the soil doesn’t have the needed nutrients the tree needs.
In the same manner, the roof of a house can be carried away by the winds (like it did to my neighbour's house some time ago) and the painting can be washed away by the rains but if the foundation is not well done and the building collapses, that is the end.
This makes us understand how important our foundation is. On what foundation do you build your life?
On your degrees and certificates? On your wealth and properties? On fame and prestige? On some charms and incantations? Now ask yourself, will all that stand when the storms of life start? Will all that keep you through till the end?
Many people for fame and riches sold their souls to the devil. At first, their life is enviable but their end is nothing to write home about. Some commit suicide. Others become drug addicts and alcoholics.
In Matthew 7: 24-27, Jesus did a comparison between a wise man and a foolish man. The wise man built his house on the rock and it stood the test of weather. The foolish man built his house in the sand and it came tumbling down. 
Who is this Rock? Jesus Christ! He is the Cornerstone! He is the Rock of Ages! He is the Solid Rock! He has stood the test of eternity. He has been there before the world began and He is still there.
1 Corinthians 3: 10-15 explains "According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire."
Who goes through 40 years in the wilderness and comes out still strong unless the Lord himself is with them? Who goes through the storm and does not drown unless Jesus is in their boat?
Making Christ the foundation of your life, the foundation of your success, the foundation of your marriage is the wisest decision you can ever take in life.
Being a Christian does not mean you will not go through difficulties and hardships. Building your life on Christ means that at the end of those turbulence and storms, you will still stand firm and blossom. The troubles of life will not kill you but rather make you stronger.
Being a Christian means while other businesses are collapsing because of the economic meltdown, our businesses will be expanding and booming.
Building your life on Christ means all things will work together for our good.
Problems are bound to happen. Our time of test will surely come. Our wilderness period will definetly come. But will you be ready? We don't wait for the rainy season before we start building, we build in anticipation for the rainy season. Both the wise man and foolish man built before the rains came. Don't wait for the time of trouble before you seek God's face. Someone said if you only pray when you are in trouble then you are in trouble. Now that everything looks rosy is the time for you to search for God. 
Psalms 50: 14-15 reads "Offer to God Thanksgiving and pay your vows to the Most High. And Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify Me."
How do we then build our foundation in Christ?
Matthew 7: 24-25 reads "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock."
You don't need cement or sand to build on the Rock. All you need is to hear God's Word and do Them. Now this is one  simple logic. If you don’t mind God, you don't expect Him to mind you in return. Do you?
Obedience is Key to making Christ the foundation of your life. Samuel told Saul "Obedience is better than sacrifice." The songwriter said "Trust and Obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey."
I will end with one of  my favourite Presbyterian Hymns. It moves me to tears any time I hear and sing it. I will also add the Methodist version that I love so much.

Now I have found the firm foundation
Which holds my anchor ever sure,
Laid long before the world’s creation
In Christ my Savior’s wounds secure,
Foundation which unmoved will stay
When all this world will pass away.

Captain of Israel's host, and Guide
Of all who seek the land above,
Beneath Thy shadow we abide,
The cloud of Thy protecting love;
Our strength, Thy grace; our rule, Thy Word; Our end, the glory of the Lord.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Do not be Deceived: God Is Still That Same God...

Do not be deceived, God is still the same.
God has not changed. He is the same from creation till date.
He is the same God who destroyed the whole world with a flood.
He is the same God who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
He is the same God who sent Israel into exile.
It is that same God. He hasn't changed.
He hasn't become more loving. He is as loving today as He was in those times.
He hasn't become more merciful. He is as merciful today as He was in those times.
He hasn't become slower to anger. He is as slow to anger today as He was in those times.
The fact that God is giving us more time to turn from our evil ways doesn't mean they will go unpunished if we fail to repent.
God has not lowered his standards. His principles have not changed.
Leviticus 11: 44 reads "I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy." 1 Peter 1: 16 hammers it again "for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy."
He is still the same God. If He did it before, He can do it again.
Oh how we love this statement when it comes to healings and miracles. But we'd better take this statement in all its entirety.
God will never let evil go unpunished. If we do not repent from our sins and we die or Christ comes, hell will be our 'front'. God is not happy to see anyone perish but that is the truth.
1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 confirms "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." 
Words were not minced on that. So do not be deceived. Grace did not come to make sin acceptable. It came to give sinners like us another chance to make things right with God. But if we do not make use of all the numerous opportunities to surrender our lives to Christ, judgment awaits us.
Hebrews 12:14b states it clearly "without holiness no one can see God."
Let me say this. I don't think it can be negotiated. We can't buy holiness with our offerings and tithes nor with our service. As a matter of fact, judgment will begin in the house of the Lord says 1 Peter 4: 17. So no matter how we live today, on that day,  Ephesians 5: 13 makes us understand that God will expose our deeds.
What do we have to do then? Work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2: 12).
But are we saved by our works? Oh No. Our righteousness is like a filthy rag in the eyes of God.
It is not about doing good in order to be saved. It is about doing good because we are saved.
You do not take a clean cloth and soil it. God has changed our dirty clothes and given us clean ones. We have become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5: 21). Our deeds are the fruits of our salvation and not the seed. 
The passage on the True Vine in John 15 preached by Christ himself explains this nicely and simply.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."
How do we bear the fruits of salvation which is righteousness and goodness? By abiding in the Lord and making His Word the Standard for our lives.
Do not be deceived, He is the Same God. Do not gamble with your salvation. You never know what may happen the next moment.
Life is too short to trade where you will spend eternity for some earthly goodies that is fleeting.
Live your life everyday as if that is your last day on earth. Live your life to please God your creator. And as He saved Noah during the flood and Lot during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, He will save you on the day of judgment.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Life Priorities-Part 1: Finding God

About a week ago, I posted something on facebook that trilled some of my close facebook friends. Here is exactly what I wrote:
Until you find God, you will be lost. Until you discover yourself, you will be confused. Until you know your purpose, you will be frustrated. Until you understand your timing, you will be restless. Until you meet your soulmate, you will be alone.
Now the last phrase is what actually got them excited.
The quotes were made in their precised life order. Put in another way:
Before you meet your soulmate, understand your timing. In order to understand your timing, know your purpose. To know your purpose, you must discover yourself. Before discovering yourself, first find God.
I will be expanding on the statement in a series of posts.
First today, I will be discussing on the topic of finding God.

You were created by God.
Only the manufacturer of a product knows exactly what went into the finished product that is presented to the world.
God who created you knows exactly all the talents, gifts, skills and abilities that He has deposited in you. You can guess, people around you can do an approximate determination. But without God, you will always function below capacity.
Until Moses found God, He only thought the rod he was holding was for guiding his flock. He didn't know it could turn into a snake. He didn't know it could part the red sea. He didn't know it could make water flow from a rock.
God knows you better than you know yourself. He formed you in your mother's womb and has your whole life planned out.
He told Jeremiah, “ have set you apart to be a prophet unto the nations".
He created you for a purpose and He alone can reveal it to you.
He knows the number of years you will live on earth and He alone can teach you to number your days and show you how to fulfill your purpose.
He knows the person that will help you achieve your purpose and He alone can lead you to that person at the right time.
Until you find God, the Devil will make you believe you are who you are not and make you believe you are not who you are.
Don't start the journey of life without God by your side. Don't panic when your peers are going ahead of you.
Turn back, slow down and look for Him first. With Him, you will achieve in a year what it took people a decade to do. Don't be deceived that you can make it in life without God.
Ecclesiastic 9: 11 reads "The fastest doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being at the right place at the right time."
Who will take you to the right place at the right time? God. Psalms 75: 6 says "no one from the east or west can exalt themselves."
People may speed off before you but life is not a 100 metre race, it is a marathon. So let them go.
"Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40: 30-31
The Bible makes us understand in Ecclesiastics 7: 8 that the end of a thing is better than its beginning. We have all seen people who started life so well and yet ended in a mess.
It is for a reason that Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to descend upon them first.
You need oil for the journey ahead. Do not be like the five foolish virgins who were in a haste and didn't get oil for refill.
God told Zechariah to tell Zerubbabel that it is not by might nor by power but by His Spirit.
It is His presence in our lives that makes a difference. Moses said if your presence is not going with me, do not bring us up from here.
So if you've not yet found God, you better look for him now.
How do you find God?
Jeremiah 29: 3 says "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
God cannot be deceived. If you are not longing for God from the bottom of your heart, you can't use your money, eye service, fasting and prayers to manipulate him.
The Lord searches the heart and examines the mind (Jeremiah 17: 10).
If you have been praying and praying and God is not minding you; and you feel like taking off without God, check your heart.
Seek God with all your heart. Seek him because He created you and you long to do what pleases Him and honour Him with the life that you live.
Work on your relationship with God first. Make that your number one priority. Every other thing will fall right in place. 
We all know the famous verse "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and every other thing shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6: 33).
Your relationship with God is the foundation of your life. On it, you build your whole life. Psalms 11: 3 reads "if the foundation be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?"
Take delight in the Lord and He will give you your heart desires. (Psalms 37: 4)
Make God the priority of your life and you will not regret it at alllll!
I will be right back soon with part 2. Until then, cheers to building a solid relationship with God.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

The Trinity

Are you having a hard time still trying to make meaning of the trinity? Are Christians polytheists? What does 3 in 1 God mean? Have a read.
Growing up I never really understood God being three in one. It was only until I really asked questions in my spirit that the Holy Spirit helped me understand.
With the advent of social media and with everyone posting what they think they know (including myself lol), I have realised that lot of Christians also don't get it.
One time someone wrote in his post "...but it is Jesus Christ who came to die for you not God..." Eish saa.
Another time I also read "three in one means four in total. There is a fourth person." My gwad. Lol.
Where in the Bible did these people get all this from?
Non Christians also look at us as people who worship several gods.
To begin with, let me state emphatically that Christians worship one God, the Almighty God who created heaven and earth. We are not polytheists. We don't serve three gods and like someone is even insinuating we do not have a fourth god.
So what does the trinity mean?
The trinity is made up of God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The other name for God the father is Love.
The other name for God the Son who is Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the Wisdom of God.
The other name for God the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God.
What this means is that three things define the personality and character of God. It is Love, His Word and His Spirit. In this post the focus will be on the last two because that is what creates the most controversy and confusion.

You can never dissociate a person from his or her words and spirit (thoughts). We always say your words and thoughts determine who you will become. Being created in the image of God means He is also like that.
If you want to know God you have to know His Word and His Spirit. 
At the beginning the Bible in Genesis 1:2-3 says "the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters and God said 'let there be'"(the word).
John 1:1, 14 says 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.' So when that person says it was not God who came to die for our sins, he is wrong.
God does not do anything without His Word. John 1: 3 'All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.' Colossians 1: 16 further explains 'for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.'
The Spirit of God backs His Word. It is the Spirit that enforced all the let be at creation. It is the Spirit that made Mary conceive the Word, Jesus Christ. It is the Spirit that empowered Jesus Christ to go about preaching and healing the sick. It is the Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

Now what creates the most controversy and confusion is Jesus Christ. Because God was not begotten some say God cannot also beget. This reasoning already is wrong beacause the saying itself is limiting God and takes away His omnipotence.
Jesus Christ being the Son of God does not mean God went to sleep with a woman like the roman myths say. Jesus Christ is the word made flesh, the living word. Jesus Christ is not different from God. He himself said in John 10:30 'I and the father are one'. He said in John 5: 19, 30 'I do nothing unless what the father tells me' because He is the word. In Proverbs 8: 27, wisdom speaking says 'I (word, wisdom, Christ) was there when He (God) was laying the foundation of the earth. God never did anything without His Word. He has always operated through His Word. His Word is life and it gives life. His word is light and it brings light.  His word brings healing and deliverance. Everything you need from God is only accessible through His word, Jesus Christ. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal saviour is accepting the Word as the sole rule of your life. Loving Jesus Christ is doing the will of God which is the Word. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the father except through me. (John 14: 6). Nothing moves God but His word alone. If your prayers are not based on His word, His Spirit is not answering them. Imitating Jesus Christ is abiding by His word. When Paul said Jesus is interceding in front of the father for our sake it meant God's word keeps echoing to Him day and night. So when we Christians pray and say in the name of Jesus Christ Amen,  we are saying may it be done according to His Word. This is what provokes the Holy Spirit into action.
Now the other controversy is the Holy Spirit. When Jesus Christ was introducing his disciples to the Holy Spirit before ascending into heaven, some people have interpreted that to mean he was talking about another human being who was to come after Him.
The Holy Spirit is the authority in which God operates. Two people can give you an order(word), you will obey one of them and not obey the other.
The Holy Spirit is the backing force of God's Word. This is what made the dry bones, the fig tree, the sea, the evil spirits, the sick people, Lazarus obey the Word.
The Word can do nothing without the backing of the Spirit. That is what He meant when He said I can do nothing on my own. Until the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus upon baptism, He lived 30 years without doing much. It was the Holy Spirit that kick started His earthly ministry. The Holy Spirit is God's power backing His Word.
Without the word too, the Holy Spirit can do nothing. The Spirit was only hovering upon the waters until God spoke. One cannot operate without the other.
We can only receive the Holy Spirit when we give our lives to Christ and accept Him as our Lord and personal Saviour.
But why do we need the Holy Spirit?
 Without the Spirit, because of our sinful nature we cannot live the Word.
Paul said in Romans 7:18-20 'And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.'
Naturally as human beings we kind of know what is the right thing to do.
Romans 2: 14-15 'Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.'
But why do we not abide by it?
Romans 7: 23 explains 'But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.'
The only way to live the Word is when this power is replaced by the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3: 6 says 'the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.' Until the Spirit empowers you to live the Word, you will live a frustrated life because you will do what you don't want to do. You need the Spirit to live the life God has called you to live. We call that the Spirit filled life.
With all that said, let me reiterate that God is One who operates through His Word backed by His Spirit.
I hope this reading has enlightened you. But let me make it clear that in no way do I claim this to be the exhaustive explanation and interpretation of the trinity. And I gladly welcome your contribution. But mind you this is not open in anyway to a debate.

Thank you for taking time to read. If you are still confused, the best place and person I will advice you to go is the Word of God and the Holy Spirit who will show you all things. Only they can give you understanding into this mystery. God bless you.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Ineffective Evangelism

If there is an evangelism system that is ineffective in this world, it is that of Ghanaian churches.
Evangelism in Ghana has become 'come and see, the God in my church is doing things the God in your church cannot do.' Churches are now battling each other for souls. It is more than a pure and perfect competition. People are chasing after miracles so the church which can offer them in great quantity gets more customers.
Churches think they are winning souls for Christ when in actual fact they are not.
They would bypass a muslim and go to someone who is already a Christian or at least a church goer and invite that person to their church telling them 'come and see the amazing things God is doing'. The person, chasing things but is failed to be told to thirst for God, leaves his church which is -1 soul then joins this new church which is +1 soul. His new church denomination is happy and rejoices because they believe God is adding to their numbers. But then when we do the netting, in the CHURCH that is the Body of Christ, nothing has changed. It is the same number of souls; therefore there is no rejoicing in heaven.
How disappointed will they be when in heaven they do not get that big crown that they were expecting.

Evangelism is not about populating your church denomination, it is about populating heaven.
Evangelism is about leading people to Christ not to your church. This means directing a person to the most appropriate church denomination where he or she will grow spiritually which might not necessarily be the church you attend.
Evangelism is not about debating doctrinal differences and winning the argument. Evangelism is about sharing the love of Christ.
Evangelism is about rescuing the perishing. But if you fill your boat with people who prefer yours to theirs because it is bigger and seem to have more goodies to offer, how would you rescue the person drowning?
If the apostles had only spread the good news among the jews, we as gentiles would never have heard of Christ and would not be here today. So then why only share Christ among ourselves?
Everyday a new church springs up in Ghana and every day you hear things happening in this country that you never thought could have happened. There is more and more moral decay each passing day. The question then is what are these churches doing? Who are they saving? Who are they changing? When we cannot even see the effect of their work in the society in which they are.

A church is meant to have an impact and influence in the community in which it is based. A church is supposed to be a lighthouse guiding the lost to the cross. A church is supposed to have a repercussion effect and spillover effect in the lives of people around them.
The honest truth is the church is failing, big time. Enough of my church is better than your church. We are all part of the body of Christ and have distinct roles to play. In function of that role, God gives every church leader specific gifts, anointing and office in order to effectively play the role. The fact that my church doesn't preach what your church preaches doesn't make anyone better than the other. Leading a newbie to a church denomination where it is all about prohecies and deliverance for example wouldn't do the person much good. This person doesn’t know a thing about the kingdom of God, doesn't even understand his salvation and the best place you could take that person to was there?

Let us understand that one person would have to plant , another would have to water, another would have to prune, another would have to harvest. In the end it is the Body of Christ that gains.
When you tell someone to go somewhere before God can change their lives, you are indirectly saying God is limited and you are indirectly caging that person's faith. This is why when later that person encounters challenges, the first thing that comes to mind is let me look for a man of God to pray for me.
When you tell someone to leave their church for yours, remember the person who lives by the sword will die by the sword. Twice I have heard two overseers of two big charismatic churches in Ghana complain that new churches are trying to snatch their members using miracles. It made me laugh because was it not the same method that they used to get most of their members?
The analogy is that of two people fighting over a limited quantity of goods when behind them there is an unlimited quantity. It is that of the workers of Abraham and Lot fighing over green pastures to feed their flock when there is the whole land of Sodom, Gomorrah, and Canaan. It is that of Isaac fighting with the philistines over wells when more wells could be dug. It is like fighting over the 144000 souls mentioned in Revelations 7: 4 when further in verse 9 it says there was a vast crowd too great to count.

As Christian, if you should ever change your church denomination, do it because at that point in time of your Christian life that church is where you can get the spiritual food you need for your spiritual growth. And if you lead a person to Christ, take that person to the church denomination where he or she will get the spiritual milk needed to start their journey in Christ and build a solid foundation.
As an evangelist, understand that you live and work for God not your pastor. And your allegiance is ultimately to your creator.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

In God we Trust

NEVER I repeat NEVER expect anything whatsoever from anyone in life. No one owes you anything. It doesn't matter whatever you did for them, they owe you nothing in return.
In life, people will surely disappoint you not because they intentionally want to do so but because of circumstances beyond their control.
Someone can promise you money and may be really willing to give it to you. He or she may be able to give it to you but something can happen the very day he is supposed to give you which will make him unable to fulfill his promise.
That is why the Bible says cursed is the man who puts his trust in man. But blessed is the man that put theur trust in God.

There are no circumstances beyond the control of God. Economic hardship,  weather, political situation do not affect God. That is why Jesus taught us to pray our Father who art in Heaven. When we make that prayer, we place God above every situation, circumstances, limitations, terrestrial boundries in this world.
But to receive from Him, your trust must be completely in Him. The reason we pray and yet we do not receive is that while we are still praying, our mind is searching for options of people who could help us. And the moment we say Amen, we rush to contact that person and tell them what our need is. We shift our focus from God to this person who promises to help us. Then when we are disappointed we turn back to God and start blaming Him. But what has God done? Why must he pay for the inability of someone to help us?

We can only receive from God when He is the only option we have. We can only receive from Him when we pray a prayer of desperation: If God doesn't do it for me no one else can. Total surrender to God is what moves Him to act on our behalf.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

My time has not yet come: Waiting for your set appointed time

When it comes to fulfilling your God given purpose on earth, there is something called 'My time has not yet come'.
When Jesus had the opportunity to perform His first miracle, He made it clear to the mother that His time has not yet come.
Imagine being born with the mission to save the whole humam race but having to wait for 30 years before being able to carry out the plan.
Joseph spent 13 years in prison though he knew his brothers will one day bow to him. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness though he knew one day he will lead the Israelites out of Egypt. David had to wait till age 30 to be king though he was anojnted at the age of 17.
Often we get too excited and burn with passion and zeal at our God given mission that we can't accept having to wait for a few more years before starting. We feel it is too long to wait, that time is passing us by and sometimes we rush and go ahead of God.

But going ahead of God is a recipe for disaster. Jesus knew He was going to be crowned King but He still turned down the offer from the five thousand people He fed to be their King.
There are some offers that you have to turn down no matter how attractive they are. Some opportunities are traps in disguise.
Remember how the devil tempted Jesus in the desert? The devil will always want to give us too good to be true offers; counterfeits of what God has in store for us. We might get enticed by them thinking that is God at work.
If God has not taken you through the necessary test of life and you have not paid the required price but the prize is being handed over to you, decline it.
Jesus knowing he could only be crowned King after he had died and resurrected said no to the devil and to the five thousand people.

Your success in the kingdom will be determined by your ability to hear God speak and your obedience to His Word.
Jesus told the disciples to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone, everywhere. He also asked them to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit comes and fills them with power from heaven.
The problem with Christendom is that some only hear go while others only hear wait. Those who only heard go, go without the power of the Holy Spirit and crush. Those who only heard wait, receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit and bury them.
If you want to fulfill your God given purpose on earth, you need to know when to go and when to wait.
So now what did these people do while waiting for God to finally give them the go ahead? They didn't just sit idle. They did something.
At age 12 Jesus was already preaching in the temple. Luke gives account that he grew in wisdom, stature and in favour with God and man. Joseph was diligently managing the affairs of Potiphar's house, later on that of the prison and interpreting the dreams of his inmates. Moses was busily shepherding his father in law's flock. David was doing same with the father's sheep, then joined the army and later on spent 8 years of his life fleeing from Saul but was already leading a large group of people.
What are you also doing as you are waiting for God's signal?
These men spent their waiting years acquiring skills that would enable them to dsicharge effectively their God given duties.

Though God's calling on your life may be clear, you might have to sometimes do somethings that may not in any way seem related to the call. But believe me you all these experiences are shaping you and preparing you for that day.
Peter had to become an expert in fishing before Jesus called him to be a fisher of men. After his call, on two occassions,  Jesus had to give him some fishing instructions. After the second one Jesus now told him 'if you love me feed my sheep.' He ended up becoming the first apostle to preach the gospel in public and over three thousand people gave their lives to Christ. But first he had to wait in Jerusalem for the Spirit to descend.
Do not rush, to fulfill your purpose on earth you need both the skill and the spirit. Mostly acquiring the skill preceed the calling then afterwards the spirit as was the case with Moses, David, Jesus and Peter.
When finally the appointed time came for these men it was undeniable. Pharaoh had a dream that only Joseph could interpret. Moses had an encounter with the burning bush. Saul died and David had to be crowned King. Jesus was baptized amd during the baptism, the Holy Spiriy descended upon him and He was led into the desert for 40 days. Upon returning, Luke gives account in Acts 'how God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power and He went about healing the sick and doing good.'

So be patient, humble yourself under the Lord and he will equip you fully and you will be unstoppable.
The whole creation is waiting for the manifestations of the sons of God, your manifestation. So relax and allow God to mould you into a sign and a wonder.

Finally to end, Habbakuk 2: 1-3
I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart. And watch to see what He will say to me amd what I will answer when I am corrected.
The Lord answered me and said 'write the vision make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.'
I don't want to comment on this verse if not I will not finish. But I believe it speaks for itself in light of everything I have said above.

God bless you for reading. Byeeee!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Falling in Love with God: Surest Way to Overcoming Sin

If you have never sinned then this post is not for you. Byeee you can leave. But since all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God and since if you say you have no sin you are not being truthful so please take a seat wai because this post is for you.

We have all struggled with sin before and even probably still struggling with it. We have tried different methods. They work for a couple of day, weeks, months and we fall back into the same old sin again. Sometimes we even give up and decide to remain in our sin till a preacher scares us with hell then we go to God and ask for forgiveness. But then it doesn't last. Soon the fear of hell vanishes and we go back to the same old sin again.  

But here is the thing: the reason why we keep on falling over and over into sin chronically is because we do not love God. Ouch that hurts our hearing. I am not the one saying it ooo.  Check the following verses.    
'If you love me, you will keep my commandments.' John 14: 15. 'If a man loves me, he will keep my words' John 14: 23
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.’ Matthew 22:27
‘You must love the Lord your God and always obey his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands.’ Deuteronomy 11:1

There are many other verses like these. I am even tempted to say that anytime that God talked about obedience to His commandments, it was preceded with loving Him. But since I am not a Bible scholar I wouldn’t say that.

However, with these few verses, we clearly see that obedience to God rises and falls on our love for Him. Our ability to overcome sin is positively correlated with our love for God.

Why we are failing: We have stripped Christianity of love and have made it all about avoiding sin; preaching self-righteousness and muting grace and that is the exact reason why our efforts prove futile. We have gone back to the era of the law. We focus on sin instead of focusing on having a relationship with the God who will empower us to overcome it.
You want to overcome sin?  Here is the solution: Quit struggling with sin and fall in love with God.  

Let me illustrate this so you understand.

You have probably been in a relationship before. So there is this thing at the beginning of the relationship where one of the parties mostly the guy since they do most of the chasing asks the girl ‘what are your likes and dislikes?’ Mostly when I am asked that question, I go like why? (Yea I know I am not romantic at all) and the reply I mostly get is ‘I want to know you so I don't do things that will make you angry and hurt you’. Sometimes some people go to the extent of saying 'I promise to always make you happy. I will never hurt you. I will never make you cry. Blablablabla.' (This saying gives me headache).
So we see that we associate love with pleasure and happiness. When we love someone we want to do things to please the person and make them happy. We don't want to make them angry; we don't want to hurt them. And so the moment your partner repeatedly makes you sad, cry and hurts you, you quickly draw the conclusion that he/she doesn't love you.

Our love is expressed through our actions. 'He who does not love me does not keep my words.' John 14: 24.

The same works with God. When we love God, we want to do things that will please him (without faith it is...uh huh there is a link. I will come back to that point.) And avoid things that will make him sad.
So now you are convinced about the love thing? Yea. Now you probably asking yourself so how do I fall in love with God?
Again let us use Eros love to draw an analogy. After all Paul did the same between Christ and the church and the husband and the wife. Since I am a woman, I will take it from that angle. When you meet a man and he is able to show you beyond reasonable doubt that he loves you (even if he is faking it), there are some hormones bi that your brain releases. Me I don’t know. I didn’t like biology.

The more he shows he loves you, the more you are ready to love in return. The more you are ready to love, the more you start declaring it to him with the incessant I love you, I can't live without you (like seriously??? Were you not living before you met him) you are the best thing that ever happened to me, I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you blablablabla. The more you declare those ‘nansins’, the more you start behaving it.
So there are four things involved: accepting the love (grace), the willingness to love (faith), declaration of love (new birth/rededication), and demonstration of love (work of faith – goodness).  

We love God because He first loves us that even while we were still in our sins, he sent his son to die for us. You need to accept this. We can't do away with this or else we are going back to the law era. Because no man can save himself, Christ had to die for you and I to conquer death and give us victory over sin. You have surely heard this preaching a zillion times. And somehow Christians are seeing that as some kind a Deja vu. I have heard people in church go like 'dabiaa salvation. We want the preaching to change, it is becoming boring.' Really??? We take out that page in the Bible where Jesus is hanging on the cross and there is no Christianity. Reason why we are still struggling in this life is because we do not understand that his death is the foundation of Christianity. 
You want to overcome sin?  This is the solution: accept that Christ came to die for you. And he has paid the price for your sins. He has overcome it for you. This is grace. Accept God’s Grace. No more struggling!
It doesn’t sound that easy right. Don’t worry. It is not a big bang thing, it is a gradual process. Just as you do not fall in love with that guy/girl overnight, same it is with God. Accepting His love puts you on the right path and you can’t go wrong with that as long as you accept it.

The saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way. Over the years, I have come to believe this: if deep inside your heart, what you want most is that God wins the battle against the devil over your life that is what will eventually happen in the long run. It will be slow but sure.
God searches the heart. He knows when you are fed up of being tied up to sin or when you are actually enjoying sin. He knows when you wish to come out of it or when you wished it wasn’t a sin in the Bible. He knows the desires of your heart. So have faith in God. We are saved by grace through faith. He died for you so receive His salvation power to overcome sin. You might not feel like it, look like it, act like it but then that is why it is faith. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It is this faith that will trigger the transformation with grace as the bullet. ‘For without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.’ Hebrews 11: 6
What we think in our hearts is what comes out from our mouths. On the way to new creation, we have to confess and declare. At my lowest state this made me a victor in Christ. Every day I declare God I am a sinner and I can’t do this without you. I have tried and tried and I am tired of trying. So God I surrender everything to you. I surrender my heart, I surrender my mind, I surrender my soul. Take control. I belong to you. I want to live for you alone. God I need you to guide me. Etc… Words are very powerful. With words God created the whole world. Life and death lies in the power of the tongue. The sinner’s prayer is not a one day thing. It is a without ceasing prayer. Constant and continuous declaration of our love and dependence on God even when the things we are doing at the moment is not Godlike takes us to a place of consciousness where we start feeling God all around us. He envelopes us with his love and calms us down. ‘Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.’ 2 Corinthians 12: 9
As we become conscious of God, we begin to see Him everywhere and in everything. We become aware that God is with us. He surrounds us with love. That is when you whisper calmly ‘God you are there right?’ Praying to God and reading his Word will no more be a burden. As a matter of fact, you enjoy doing it because it draws you closer to Him and you get to know more about Him.

You discover more about his love for you, it increases your faith, you declare it in your life, you start behaving it and the cycle goes on and on. Tell me, when you become so busy like this with God, how on earth are you going to get time to even sin.
Following God and serving God is intentional and a conscious thing. It is a decision that you take every morning when you wake up. That today I choose to follow Christ and do His Word. ‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.’ Galatians 5: 24

With that said as humans as we are, we sometimes find ourselves hurting the very people that we love. But when we realize what we have done, we do not try and justify our actions. Rather we show remorse, feel sorry and ask for forgiveness. We avoid situations that will make us offend them. When we love someone that loves us, we do not abuse their love for us. We do not do the same things that they do not like over and over again and come back each time apologizing.
To conclude, Don Moen sang ‘think about his love, this about his goodness, think about his grace that has brought us through. For as high as the heavens are above, great is the measure of our father’s love.’
Let everything you think of, everything you say, everything you do remind you of God and His love for you. This will fill your heart with gratitude and make you love him in return.

‘Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things’. Philippians 4: 8

I end by stating categorically that I am not perfect, I am a work in progress. I am not a saint, I am a sinner. And I am grateful to God for what He has done for me. Whenever I look at how far He has brought me, I realize I am here on earth for a very specific reason and I cannot disappoint Him. So, the second I realize I am straying away, I rush back quick quick into His saving arms.
Jesus loves you and died for you. That shouldn’t be in vain. Abide in His love. Xox.

Yours Truly,

Akua Akeela AddMens