Love and Peace

Love one another

Love one another

I learnt recently that a life style that eliminates hurt /harm to ones self or others banish fear and create love, peace and contentment within us and in those around us.

The positive energy resulting from this loving acceptance and peaceful coexistence, enables success in all areas of our lives..

Hurt and hate create a negative energy of fear which destroys love, produce torment and can eventually kill.

The Middle Wall of Partition

Free and Direct access to God

Free and Direct access to God

It is no news to state that organised religion of which the Christian church is one has become an obstruction to oneness with God. The church has become a wall of partition preventing believers from hearing directly from God and being one with themselves.

Much like materialism and consumerism, ruling gods of today’s empty world, the church has created its own gods of prosperity, fame and power. Church leaders/founders have made themselves deities and church members aspire to become as power as their leaders because, they have been taught that prosperity and easy life are signs of holiness.
No excuse people, we know from the bible that these practices are not peculiar to our generation, to be fore warned is to forearmed. Everyone’s relationship with God is personal and direct, our peace comes from knowing this. No other human or spirit is needed to maintain our access to God in any circumstance because Jesus Christ has secured our access once and for all on the cross at Calvary. Ephesian 2;13-14, 18-20.

If any man lack wisdom or is confused, he can go directly to God in prayer for guidance and strength for the way.James 1:5-8

Then why church? we are commanded also to fellowship with one another, to encourage, strengthen and help ourselves, bearing in mind that we are fellow citizens with the saints, no one is greater than the other irrespective of the work God has assigned them to do in the church, the leader is not necessarily more spiritual than the members of the congregation.
Believers are the cause of problems in organised religion, through faithlessness, laziness with studying God’s word and praying by themselves, Christians have given their power to greedy individuals who are doing business in the name of church. these individuals preach false religion, brain wash followers, use members to achieve their personal goals which ultimately is the devils mission – deception and destruction of mankind.
Like the Berean Christians we must receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the scriptures daily, whether these things were so ( Acts 17:11). No body loves you more than you love yourself.

 

Wolves in Sheepskin

The ungodly (unbelievers) are people who walk according to

  • The course of this world
  • The prince of the power of the air
  • The spirit that now walketh in the children of disobedience.

Imagehttp://jameshartlinereport.blogspot.ie/2012_01_01_archive.html

BEWARE of people who go to church, call themselves christian and walk as unbelievers, because they are controlled by the rulers of darkness of this world. these so-called Christians are perpetuating spiritual wickedness (quality of being evil by nature and practice) and their lives demonstrate disobedience to the word of God.

To be warned is to be armed. we are to be discerning ( not judgmental), wise as serpents. and innocents as doves.

 

Too Many Worshipers But, Few Followers of God

Has salvation/justification earned through faith in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross made Christianity a cheesy, entertaining religion of automatic entitlement to personal desires? No *1.

Christianity is not mainly entertainment, praise and worship services in the name of feeling good or reaching out to other (these are necessary too) but, we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind after our initial encounter with God *2, by fervently studying the word, praying and representing our saviour in words, thoughts and deeds. The word of God is powerful, tearing asunder the hearts of men, transforming souls *3.  He puts in us both to will and do his good pleasure *4. We only need to submit to the Holy Spirit within us.

The letter below may be a simple act of love but, anything done in the name of our Lord is lifting him up in worship.

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Jealousy

Jealousy is the greatest of all evils, and the one which arouses the least pity in the person who causes it.
 François de la Rochefoucauld quotes (French classical author, leading exponent of the Maxime, 1613-1680)

Sad but true, in everyone’s life and especially within the family are killers of dreams and destiny. Those deeply jealous of us that they would do anything to destroy us.

This list includes; spouse,parent,colleague,neighbour,schoolmate,sibling,people personally know or unknown to you, the common factor with these people is their readiness to be used by the devil to prevent your independence, success in whatever you choose to do and ultimately what you were born to do.

One very good example is in Genesis; Joseph let his brothers into his dream(destiny) which was yet unclear to him, hoping to get some clarity and help, instead, his brothers became Jealous of his destiny  and chose to kill him, since no man can end the life of a child of God, they did the most they could, made his journey to greatness very difficult, in fact almost impossible.

As much as possible, we must keep our dreams/plans within, talk less, make God our primary companion through Prayers and Bible Studies. He is closer than we think

  • pray and plan with God
  • work like never before
  • Follow productive leads

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Personal Responsibility; it is entirely up to us to protect ourselves from Jealous people and relate with like-minded people. Do not accommodate ungodly people, resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire.
 Solomon Ibn Gabirol ben Judah quotes (Spanish Jewish Leader, Poet and Philosopher, 1021-1058)

Why are you afraid?

Unshakable Hope

“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” (Matt 8:24-:26) 

I suppose that even the most faith-filled Christian would experience some level of fear if they found themselves in a situation like the above. But I know that a doctor delivering news of a life-threatening diagnosis, a loss of a job and insensitive debt-collectors calling day-after-day, can instill that same kind of “Save us, Lord; we are perishing” fear.

Unfortunately, we don’t really know if we have genuine faith until that faith is tested. I believe this is the reason that Jesus allowed His disciples, and us, to go through so many of these nail-biting…

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Sit, Walk, Stand

 

This is the title of a book compiled from the spoken ministry of Mr. Watchman Nee; it gave me practical insight on how to rest on the Lord as his workman accomplishing his will peacefully.

The Bible says God choose us from the beginning, even before conception, while we were in our mother’s womb he know us.

While we were sinners his loved us and reconciled us to him through the blood of Jesus Christ his dear son. God gave us the Holy Spirit – the comforter, and our spirit bears witness with the Holy Spirit that we are children of God.

When we continually sit in the presence of the Lord represented by the indwelling Holy Spirit, we converse with him, he teaches us his will, (we express our doubts, weakness, failures, hopes, aspirations and rejoice in our success, strengths, friendship, families) daily. We arm our selves with what we hear from God either through the Holy Spirit, the Bible passages read during daily devotion or words from other children of God as we prepare to do his will. God leads us both to will and do his good wishes.

Well prepared with the spiritual weapons described in Ephesians 6: 10-18, and knowing that the purpose of God for the mission is to glorify his name and not for our personal gain (it is in pleasing God that we are fulfilled).Then continuing in his presence, we plunge into action by walking in his way.

When we walk on smooth ground he is with us , when we walk on rough road he is also with us, not loosing focus of the vision we got while we were yet seated in his presence , irrespective of what comes our way we press on to the finish line like true sports men. At the finish-line awaits every participant a reward according to their “walk” I would prefer to say not their “work” same meaning. using the recently concluded Olympics as an example, all contestants belong to the elite club of Olympians, all Olympians are celebrated by their countries but of course medallist who have overcome all odds are more celebrated.

More often than not, WE DO NOT SPEND ENOUGH TIME SITTING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD to know his will  and ourselves, this is a major cause of failure in the Christian race in this jet age, even when we know his will, WE DO NOT WAIT ON HIM before plunging into action, modern life presents so many easy ways of acting out and doing things, because, we anxiously want to be seen doing something, we do not arm ourselves adequately with the word of God nor do we wait for God’s time to execute his plan, When tough times comes we do not wait on him to rescue us, we think it’s easier to rationalise a way out and at the end we are never really out of trouble. If we are always connected to God we will “run and not be weary…walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31

We need to practice godliness in our daily walk. applying biblical principles in our relationships, both domestic and public life.

As Christians, challenges should be opportunities to demonstrate the power of God to our neighbors, husband, wife, parents, children, employers and employees. Ephesians 4

And after all these we stand, stand on his free salvation, the power of his name, his eternal presence and sure promises.

Christians who do not take time to seat, wait and stand in God’s presence often walk in vain. To ensure that in everything God is glorified, we must be that branch that is always attached to the vine.

 

Charred or glowing church

Church of the Holy Spirit in Dúbravka

Image via Wikipedia

Is our church charred or glowing? What a question!!!  God does not like lukewarm, it is either hot or cold, we are either burnt or shining the light of God’s glory.

We often forgot our christian mission and most of brotherly love because we are biting more than we can chew. We forget to support the brethren because our time and money are fully engaged in programmes emanating from grandiose ideas of Church founders and leaders.

A church only shines when it is in the will of God, revealed and executed by the holy spirit. (He puts in us both to will and do his good purpose, we are his workmanship).  In today’s society,  success is marked by size of the church, number of regular members, community impact and the number of worship services and programmes. Who is in control? the Holy Spirit or the society? When we can truly say, it’s not what we think, what we want, but, the will of God driving all we do, then can we shine for all to see.

Comparing and trying to be like church “A”, the so-called successful church is not only ungodly, it leaves us spiritually, mentally and physically burnt out.  A burnt out church is no use to anyone, it is filled with insecurity, greed, faithlessness, lack of miracles and members will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

We need to be in touch with our original vision, as spiritual men, we are to walk by the spirit not by fresh, it is not how far we get but how well we do God’s will.

If we grow where we are planted, we will shine, our light will glow for all to see and people will want us to direct them to the source of our light.

You and I can encourage other christians to walk in the spirit by prayerfully, quietly and patiently living out our spiritual conviction.

Galatians 5:16, 25

Philippians 2:13

Are You Covered?

We need to be covered spiritually, physically and economically in the new year.

In good organisations, staff have insurance, financial packages to cover for losses arising from unavoidable exposure to hazards. Legal representatives are also in place to defend the organisation and staff in the event of litigation arising from work related activities.

I remember being involved in a disastrous incident at work years ago, I found it difficult to understand why it happen at all and also why me. The organisation, colleagues and particularly my boss were very understanding, luckily for me, I followed the standard operating procedures(SOP) and work Instructions provided(WI). I subsequently explained in writing, providing full details of the events that lead to the accident, the precautions I took to prevent it and how I got my immediate supervisor informed about these. The legal team/administration saw to the conclusion of the case without it ruining my life. I learnt my lesson and grow to become more efficient and productive in the organisation.

Our day-to-day living is a job our loving father has given to us, God intends us to see it as an enjoyable gift , not a miserable chore. it is a well-known fact that if you do what you are passionate about, it is no longer a job/work but a pleasurable activity you look forward to. Our life is very personal, God has prepared us spiritually,mentally, biologically and environmentally to be able to do what he want us to do here on earth.

Photo frame of Praise the Lord Jesus Christ Image

We have also been provided with an extensive cover in Jesus Christ. He is our mediator, advocate and above all bears all our punishment, if we must be punished for any wrong doing.  All we have to do is sign up to this package, first by becoming a member of the organisation of the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit then bears witness with our spirit that we are a child of God.

From my experience, to be successfully represented by the legal team,  I had to know and practice the Standard Operating Procedures(SOP) and Work Instructions (WI) provided for the work I do. Christians get acquainted with SOP and WI of  life by reading the bible and praying everyday. we must not forsake the assembly of other believers ( fellowship, church), for they are our colleagues and come very useful in times of trial. We need to finally practice what we know and in the event of any mishap,call on God and he will surely cover us.

 verses from the bible photo

Knowing we are covered, banishes fear and lack of resources and makes us more confident, progressive and successful in life.

   Bible verses Desktop Backgrounds Wallpaper John 1:4 Bible Memory Verse Desktop Wallpaper

http://www.freejesuschristwallpapers.com/search/label/verses

Defining Your Purpose

Consciously or subconsciously choices in life is defined by our objectives, targets or ambitions. The point is, how do we arrive at the philosophy that so define our purpose in life? The society has a way of dictating to us it’s definition of success, which happens to be a life filled with material acquisition and fame irrespective of how it is achieved.

There is no one size fits all kind of approach to life goals and objective, it is not like pass is success and fail is failure in life, it’s all about growing where you are planted, making the best of your circumstances in full, conscious and deliberate knowledge of who you are and why God created you.

Fear of tomorrow and anxiety determine the direction a lot of people choose. However, some choose nothing, in which case they are driven by the wind to where ever it takes them (they are unstable in all their ways).Note of caution; those who stand for nothing, fall for nothing.

Discovering your purpose

We must search and find our creator, just like the owner of a new gadget looks into and fully understands a manufacturer’s manual before operating the gadget.

My Philosophy Bookshelf(bottom)

Image by jddunn via Flickr

Many books and psychologist offer coaching lessons on finding your personal purpose in life as a means of getting rich in the eye of the world, these are empty approaches, your purpose can only be found in God by searching the Scriptures, in it you find life. “Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life “(John 14:6). By the way, you are your best teacher, no one understands you like you do.

Ephesians 1:4-6  – Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love, He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intension of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the beloved.

Ephesians 1:9  – He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.

Ephesians 4:14-15 – As a result, we are no longer to be children, toss here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but by the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspect unto Him, who is the head even Christ.

Living life to the fullest

when we discover our personal purpose we need to follow its lead or direction by living the life of our divine calling then and any then can we find peace in the midst of life’s challenges/chaos. Our sanity is a proof of Christ in us the hope of glory(Colossians 1:27-29)

2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent  (King James Version uses the word study here) to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.

Faith in Action 2

Faith in Action post of May 2011 exposed how we ought to completely believe God and wait for the manifestation of his will/our expectation.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of  things not seen as I was thought by my primary school Religious knowledge teacher. I was also thought “heaven help those who help themselves” which is a very controversial saying, because, it is not directly from the bible. But we authoritative know that faith without works is dead.

All our gains is of God and free once we have faith in God and believe in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. We must nurture our faith, walk consciously in the spirit to align it with our present circumstances. This involves a lot of work, faith is dynamic and alive with a measurable momentum.

We demonstrate faith through works. This reflects in the chooses we make, our labour of love, bible studies and prayers. In the absence of active continuous nurturing we may loss sight of our calling and possible backslide.

We should not just be hearers but doers of what we believe. The difference between  a dreamer and a visionary is in the doing.

Suggested readings

James 2:26, 2:18

Timothy 4:1

Ephesians 2:8

Philippians 2:12 & 13

Excerpts and views on: As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God (via umbach6)

Thank God some people are getting to the root of the problems in Africa, we look forward to the solution ASAP.
I pray for Holy Spirit revival in Africa.

This is an interesting article about Christian Missions in Africa but from an Atheist perspective. It is a great read sent to me by missionary friends of ours. Here are a few excerpts with my thoughts but I recommend reading it in its entirety. As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God Missionaries, not aid money, are the solution to Africa’s biggest problem – the crushing passivity of the people’s mindset  Published in The Times December 2 … Read More

via umbach6

Marriage

In my usual way of keeping it simple, let’s look at marriage.

First Step - Good Start

Image via Wikipedia

Marriage is primarily a relationship between two people, though, its possible extensiveness extensions in human, financial and other forms, makes it a special relationship with huge expectations.

Characteristics of marriage:

The foundation of a potentially successful marriage begins with shared interests and values. Two can not walk together except they agree. Moving in opposite directions never takes a couple anywhere.  (1)

Oneness  – Two become one, in unity of purpose.

Acceptance – Couples eventually know their strengths and weaknesses, yet  embrace these while working together to improve each other. Like the first couple,  Adam and Eve, they saw they were naked, but, were not ashamed( Genesis 2:24&25). I need to add that, some couples use each other’s weakness to control, undermine or demean the other, this is principally the devil’s duty and not one for married partners, except of course they are in the relationship for some other reasons.

Respect – Showing consideration and treating each other with esteem is very necessary in any relationship, more so in marriage. It does not depend on the other person in any way, no matter what the other party is , does, says or contribute to the relationship, we ought to respect him or her.

However, trust unlike other attributes of a “good” relationship is earned.  It is a product of experience in marriage. Therefore, it is the duty of each person to relate in a manner that commands the trust of the other, through truthful and righteous conducts of our daily affairs – work, speech, behaviour and so on.

Marital duties are directly or indirectly defined in most culture, religion and in our human consciousness. Fortunately, money, affluence and societal status  are often not essential element of a good marriage. (2)

Marriage is a commitment, requiring trust and mutual respect to forge through the challenges that so often confront it.

Sex, family, gifts, good health, companionship, longevity, happiness, good financial state and spiritual progress are products of working together or like-mindedness in marriage. These and other positive out-comes can only be achieved and maintained through hard work.

Nothing should be taken for granted in marriage. To get the best of it, you sacrifice the most. (3) . Be unassuming, play your part to the best of your ability. Remove malice, revenge,competitiveness, anger and pray without ceasing. Somehow, someday, you will have “good” success.

Footnotes
(1)  Amos 3:3, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18   (2)  Colossians 3:18&19  (3)  Galatians 5:9

Destressing Part II (via umbach6)

It is my prayer that at all times, only Christ the author and finisher of our faith is glorified.

Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future. In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness, and the wicked living long in their wickedness. Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise— wh … Read More

via umbach6

Is The Church Missing The Point?

The church

The Bible is clear on the composition and role of the church (body of believers – John 3:16 &17).  A simple look at the earlier church in Acts of the Apostle through the evangelical missions and letters of the disciples to the churches in the news testament we can learn a lot.  The prophets in the old testament also predicted all these, long before they unfolded.

The main  challenges given to the church ( pastors and members collectively) are:

1.  To preach the word of God, the power of the cross to deliver man from the sin and its consequences and make converts.

1 Corinthians 1:17 – For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of christ should not be made void.

Galatians 2:20; John 3:16; Galatians 3:26-29

2. Encourage one another in several ways such as  spiritually,financially, physically, psychologically and so on.

Ephesians 4:19-21

Galatians 6:1-2

Personal duties

We as believers  have absolute responsibility  to make sure we know who we are in Christ Jesus and  live as he lived. To do these, we need to:

1. Study the word of God.

BowerPower

Diligent Christian

Romans 8:14-19; 1 Timothy 4:12-13; Ephesians 4:14-15;

Jeremiah 31:34;

 John 14:26

Image from:  http://www.bowerpower.net/grading.htm

2. Be transformed to the image of God

We are a royal priesthood, a peculiar people empowered by the holy spirit to demonstrate the goodness of God in this wicked and perverse generation. Christians need to live a life that makes us credible representatives of God. when our ways is pleasing to God he makes even our enemies to be at peace with us.

Romans 12:1-2;      2 Corinthians 6:3-10

The 21st Century Church

What do we have today, christians and pastors who would rather use any means to attract people to their churches and care much less about their spiritual progress as long as physical appearance in church and finances can support their sometimes extravagant life style. Methods used  include performing miracles, sorcery, giving out  material goods and privileges to secure church memberships. Churches are now business ventures with pastors as CEOs.  Business activities range from selling spiritual materials like holy water or oil ,books, blessed handkerchiefs to running high tuition public schools. A lot of christians are now being paid for giving motivational speeches or counselling services.  Unfortunately our churches are now filled with people described in  the book of Jude;

Jude 4: For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who have long before-hand marked out for this condemnation,ungodly  persons who turn the grace of God into licentiousness and deny our Master and Lord Jesus Christ.

We need to review how we preach the word of God and worship him, we must do this  in spirit and in truth because God judges the motive rather than what is done. We are told in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 ” for the time will come  when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.”

The  Repercussion of Adulterating/Misinterpreting the Word of God

God’s response is contained in Jeremiah 23:30-32 – “Therefore behold,I am against the prophets,”declares the Lord, “who steal my words from each other. 31 ” Behold I am against the prophets” declares the Lord,  ” who use their tongues and declare, ‘ The Lord declares.’ 32 “Behold I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the Lord,  ” and related them, and led my people astray by their falsehood and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor did they furnish this  people the slightest benefit,” declares the Lord. 34 ” Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say,” the oracle of the Lord,’ I shall bring punishment upon that man and his house-hold.

Jeremiah 7:1-7,23:16-17,30, 33

Bible quotations from New American Standard Version (NASV), 1971, the lockman Foundation

Silent Death-Alzheimer’s Disease story-1988 (via rantings of a loon)

This is not just a story of true selfless love, it is a story of destiny. It is encouraging to know we  still have lots of empathetic people who put love of others above love of money. The choices we make to-day, re: relationship, attitudes etcetera, will greatly influence the pictures of our last days.

In spite of everything, I believe, Paul and Mary had a fulfilled life.

Silent Death-Alzheimer's Disease story-1988 I first met Paul after his wife Mary introduced us. Mary worked at the gift shop of a local hospital. She was 79, Paul was 80. Paul suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease and Mary didn’t think he would receive quality treatment in a nursing home. She loved him too much and decided that … Read More

via rantings of a loon