Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bushes and Bare feet

My feet, my yard 

Exodus 3:1-6: 
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire; but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.” (NKJV)


The true meaning of Christmas as G. K. Chesterton said: “In Jesus coming to earth we have not a good man finding his way to God, but the good God Himself finding His way to man.”
Sunday, December 08, 2013

The Man God Uses - Daniel

Da Vince Vitruve
Credit: Luc Viatour / www.Lucnix.be
Daniel 7:1-14

Last Sunday, we saw how God exercised and still exercises His sovereignty in the affairs of men of all ages. We saw in the first six Chapters of the Book of Daniel how God allowed six moral conflicts to come through and how in each of those conflicts He won decisive victories over the enemies. We saw that in those conflicts, there was one principal participant – a man called Daniel and renamed Belteshazzar by the prince of the eunuchs. What made God use Daniel? Let us in an attempt to answer this question, do a little more study of the character of Daniel.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

How To Begin Learning The Bible

reading bible

The bible is one of the most influential books to ever exist. This guest post by Mike Thomas gives tips on how to start reading the bible. 

Reading and truly understanding the bible can be challenging. An older version of the bible such as the King James version can be difficult to understand. So how does one learn about the bible if they’re struggling with understanding the text? Here are some pointers listed below on how to better understand and learn the word of God.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Sovereignty of God Over the Affairs of Men in all Ages

God's sovereignty over affairs of men

Reading: Daniel 1-6.

As you read through the Scripture and particularly the Book of Daniel you cannot but see how intimately God can be associated with the affairs of men. If I must use this word, but not irreverently for want of any other one to use, God is seen to frequently “interfere” in the affairs of men in all ages. God truly is Sovereign and rules over all. No matter what man may say or do, no matter how we try to resist God’s sovereignty; He is still sovereign and His power is not limited.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Epistle of James

 Introduction

Epistle of James - Word Cloud
James was the oldest half-brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55). He was the full brother of Jude who wrote the Book of Jude.
James was an unbeliever prior to the resurrection of Christ (John 7:3-10)
Christ then appeared to him (First Corinthians 15:7). He later appears in the Upper Room awaiting Pentecost (Acts 1:14)
He became the first pastor of the Jerusalem Church (Acts 12:17; 15:13, Galatians 2:1, 9-12)
His Epistle is perhaps the earliest in the New Testament, dated around AD 45. The Synagogue is mentioned as the place of meeting, rather than the Church (2:2). It was thus written when the Church was still in the circle of Judaism.
He presided over the meeting of The Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15, which set the guidelines for the admission of the Gentiles into the Church.
It is the most Jewish Book in the New Testament. M. F. Unger, a Bible Commentator writes: “If the several passages referring to Christ were eliminated, the whole Epistle would be as proper in the Canon of the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament. In fact, the Epistle could be described as an interpretation of the Old Testament Law and the Sermon on the Mount in the light of the Gospel of Christ.” It may be considered as the Proverbs of the New Testament.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Our Citizenship is in Heaven

Our Citizenship is in heaven

Philippians 3:7-17
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern
Philippians 3:20-21.
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (NKJV)

One second after his conversion, Paul laid aside all confidence in rite, race, religion, reputation and human righteousness. He now possessed God’s righteousness. Earlier in the Chapter he had listed what he set aside for Christ’s sake. Now let us see what he gained in return

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Our Appraisal and God’s Appraisal

Self appraisal

Revelation 3:14-22
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:  “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.   Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked -   I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.  To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”  NKJV

Our AppraisalQuite often we have reasons to make an appraisal of the situation of events and of ourselves and sometimes of others. Most often our appraisal of the situation is far from what the true situation is. The reason for our error may be many, some of which include: - incomplete data, ignorance and wrong interpretation. It is sad when we base our dealings with others on a wrong appraisal of their person, motives and action. This, no doubt, generates disagreement and sometimes enmity.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jesus Saw Their Sorrows

Jesus sees our sorrows
Image courtesy CreationSwap

Matthew 26:36-46
“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”  And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”  He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”  Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?  Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.”  And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”  NKJV

Have you ever visited a man or a woman in deep sorrow? The first thing that happens to you is that you become part of his/her sorrow. You find yourself unable to utter a word. I now understand why the friends of Job who went to see him, sat with him for seven days and seven nights without saying one word. They were, using the words of my American friend, “empathizing with him” Sorrow is very infectious.

My wife and I had a very recent experience. We went to empathize with a friend who lost one very dear to him. We saw ourselves unable to say what we had wanted to say. We were rather filled with the sorrow we knew filled his heart. When we left his home after nearly two hours of sitting, talking and praying, we noticed we had a very heavy burden on our hearts for this man and for many others who are sorrowful.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Health Benefits of Attending Church

Going to Sunday school at the Baptist Church. ...
Going to Sunday school at the Baptist Church. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky. - NARA - 541344 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This guest blog entry is by Chad Siemer

Discussing science and religion in the same conversation is often a controversial issue, but scientific research supports the notion that attending church on a regular basis is good for your short-term and long-term health.

Several studies have found that going to church promotes a stronger immune system, decreases blood pressure, and may even extend a person’s life by two to three years. Although the reasons for this aren't clearly defined, many believe having strong social support network that is often found in churches is a contributing factor.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Show Me that God Exists and I’ll become a Christian

Does God exist?

Every preacher faces moments of challenge when people take him up on the message he gives. It is during such moments that you discover whether a preacher preaches out of conviction or out of book-knowledge. I remember having had one such opportunity.

This challenge came as a note handed over to me by someone who said another person gave him the message to give to me. Most probably, the writer did not want to be identified. His message was simple and pointed. It read:
“You talk so much about God as if He exists and you know Him intimately. If you can show me conclusive evidence that God exists, then I will immediately become a Christian!”
My discussion with a number of Christians and preachers revealed that it is a universal and often recurring challenge. It may not always be stated as pointedly as this but it is a basic problem of many unbelievers. Does God exist? How can we be sure He exists? Whenever unbelievers and self-acclaimed atheists throw such challenges, they presuppose that you cannot show them any concrete evidence for the existence of God. There are a lot of people who believe that there are no objective evidences that God exists.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Then God Saw Their Works

Nigeria needs more than prayers

“Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,  “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent.   And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.” (Jonah 3:1-10) NKJV

We saw last week that the iniquities and sins in this nation have turned the many blessings from God to curses. Oil boom has become doom. Our human brain has became drain. Our natural and mineral resources have turned to recourses. We were marching forward with other nations, now we have been left behind and have turned to crawl backwards. Our Naira has been so devalued that we cannot believe ourselves when we look at our passports. We exchanged less than one Naira for one Dollar in 1986 and now we exchange One Hundred and Fifty Naira for one Dollar. Our National debt has become a mathematical issue for our computer graduates. In all ways, we are experiencing the heavy hand of God. We cry and no one hears. I met a number of people who told me “God is either dead or insensitive to our cries. If He is neither of the two, there must be a thick blanket of cloud that sheds Nigeria from Him.”

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Lord’s hand is not Shortened

The Lord's hand is not shortened

Isaiah 59:1-15:
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity. They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, And from that which is crushed a viper breaks out. Their webs will not become garments, nor will they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace. Therefore justice is far from us, nor does righteousness overtake us; we look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness! We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places. We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And as for our iniquities, we know them: In transgressing and lying against the LORD, And departing from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.” NKJV

In the wake of Nigeria's independence day, I would like to reflect on the state of the nation. I wrote this message as a Newspaper article between 1984 and 1990 but I believe the message is still relevant to our situation today.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Christian Carnival - October 2013

Lagos Carnival

Welcome to the October 2013 edition of Christian Carnival and Happy Independence day Nigeria! For those of you who don't know, Nigeria turned 53 yesterday, October 1. Hail to the Green-White-Green!

This month’s blog carnival is brought to you by 7 bloggers: 4 in the Devotional Category, 2 in the Theology category, and 1 in the Apologetics Category.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Christian Liberty

Nigerian Independence
Happy Independence Day, Nigeria!
Second Corinthians 3:1-18
Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you? You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.  For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech —   unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains un-lifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 

Hurray, Nigeria is one year older this week!. In the spirit of the celebration of our freedom, today's message is on Christian Liberty.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Call for Submission: Christian Carnival October 2013




If you’re a blogger with something unique to share, consider submitting a September 2013 post by tomorrow, Tuesday, October 1, 5 p.m. We accept devotionals, testimonies, apologetic essays, and more. There's no denominational affiliation, but the moderator and hosts will only consider posts that appear to promote a Christian perspective. Also, we’re always in need of hosts, so please take a look at the Hosting page for more information about volunteering. Thanks for participating, and look this Wednesday for the next edition of the Christian Carnival.

The link to the submission form can be found at http://christiancarnival.blogspot.com/p/submit-post.html
You can find other details at http://christiancarnival.blogspot.com/



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Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd

Psalm 23
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” (NKJV)

This is undoubtedly the most famous prayer of all time with the possible exception of the so-called “Our Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:9-13. The first five words easily constitute four complete Sermons if each word was given its proper due.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shall We Sin?

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to Dead to Sin

License to Sin Denied

Romans 6:15-23
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?  But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.  I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God, is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NKJV)

We have in the first fourteen verses been considering the fact that the believer is dead to the principle of sin. In principle we are dead and buried to sin but raised unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. That is one half of the story. We now turn our attention to the practice of sin. Paul in the next few verses wants to prove that the believer is also dead to the practice of sin.

Monday, September 09, 2013
Sunday, September 08, 2013

Victory over Sin - RECKON and YIELD

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to Dead to Sin

Image @CreationSwap/Jeff Miller
Romans 6:1-14
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (NKJV)

In our two previous posts we started to consider the question in verse 1 –”Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Paul in attempt to answer this question said “God forbid! Or certainly not! How can we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” So he began in verse 3 to give the Christian his reasons why the Christian cannot continue in sin. He said that the thorough understanding of these reasons is hidden in a thorough understanding of THREE Key WORDS – KNOW, RECKON and YIELD. In our last talk we considered KNOW – What are we to Know? – That we were baptized symbolizing death into Christ. We were buried with Him in baptism. Secondly we should know that we have died and that dead people do not sin. Thirdly, our old nature which is symbolic of the sin nature has been crucified, dead and buried and fourthly that we have been raised in a new nature. “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation.” Just as the raised Christ cannot die again, so we that have been raised with Him can no longer live in sin which is death. What a great truth we are called upon to know.

Today, we look at the last two key words –RECKON and YIELD.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Victory Over Sin - KNOW

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to Dead to Sin

Death Undone
Image @ CreationSwap/Jeff Miller
Romans 6:1-9
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.” (NKJV)

The question in verse one and Paul’s attempt to answer it in verse two sets in his mind such a tension that he would want his listeners and readers to get the correct view. Let us remind ourselves of the question: “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?”   In answering the question Paul said: “God forbid! (Certainly not!) How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” That answer was a question for the reader to think over and offer his own answer.

But in verse 3, he began to introduce the right view and this view is based on three words- Know, Reckon and Yield. Today, we want to look only at one of these three words – KNOW. In the passage we read he used it in three verses – 3, 6 and 9.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Justification and Sanctification

This message is part of a sermon series. For the rest of the sermon series go to Dead to Sin

The Walking Dead Meme

Romans 6:1-10
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.   For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” (NKJV)

The word sanctification does not occur in the King James Version but was rendered holiness in many places. The word in Greek is best translated “sanctification”. It occurs first in the Book of Romans and appeared twice in Romans 6.

What to do with the sinner in relation to the penalty for sin is the first problem God faced in saving men. The next problem concerned the power and pollution of sin that dominates his life. First of all, how does God deal with the sinner and his sins? Justification is the answer. God declares him to be righteous, and treats him as such. Second after a man is justified, declared not guilty, he discovers that he has a sin nature which gives rise to sinful acts. What will God do about that? The answer is sanctification, that aspect of the work of God which deals with the power and pollution of sin.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dying of Improvements

The death of the Church

Colossians 2:1-8
“For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” 

In Second Corinthians 11:3, Paul the Apostle expressed fears that the Corinthian Christians might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. One may wonder what Paul would say today, if he were, in our midst and saw our modern Churches. We have Churches today that are so complicated and constitute more of what can be described as a beehive of activities: so many committees, boards, programmes, organisations, and units within the body. These organisational complications have made the Church service more of a formality. Church services have been reduced to a series of announcements, sermons are abridged and tailored to suit what the congregation wants to hear, no evening services because it is not quite convenient, and prayer meetings are tailored to fit into schedule. Some call this an IMPROVEMENT over the simple programmes of the early Church, but is this progress? 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Defeating the Devil- his weaknessess and our Strength

Defeating the devil

Ephesians 6:10-19
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil; For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities; against powers; against the rulers of the darkness of this age; against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armour of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints —  and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,” (NKJV)

The Bible reminds us that we are engaged in a very bitter struggle with the enemy – the Devil. Not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. One of the strategies of warfare is to know the exact location of your enemy; his strength and his weakness. In the same way, you should never neglect a thorough assessment of your own self – your strength and your weaknesses and your position relative to the enemy’s. Any mistake in this assessment has very disastrous consequences.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

The Deadly D's of the Devil

D is for dot-dot-dot

The strength of the devil is found in the following sixteen deadly “D’s” of the devil. Along with the deadly “D” we shall try to give an antidote!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Zacchaeus

Sycamore Tree
Photo Source: www.freefoto.com
Luke 19:1-10: 
“Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was one of the most influential Jews in the Roman tax-collecting business, and he had become very rich.  He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowds. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree beside the road, so he could watch from there.  When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! for I must be a guest in your home today.”   Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.  But the crowds were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.  Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”  Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a son of Abraham.   And I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save those like him who are lost.”

Many no doubt, were converted to the faith of Christ of whom no account is kept in the Gospels; but the extraordinary conversion of some, as that of Zacchaeus, is recorded. The name Zacchaeus means pure or justified. He is the man who overcame obstacles.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Activities of the Devil (Part Two)

Busy little bee
Image Source: Andrew Larsen

We have been looking at the activities of the devil. He not only imitates God but goes to any length to lead people astray and away from God. We continue today from where we stopped last Sunday.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Activities of the Devil (Part One)

Busy little bee
Image Source: Andrew Larsen

You can accuse the devil of every other thing but you can never accuse him of laziness. He is very actively at work keeping sinners from being saved and saints from being sanctified. He keeps saints from growing in grace. One person put it this way: “the devil is as busy as the bee except that he never produces honey.”  The devil is busy in all sectors – towards God and also towards man. He has never left any fallow ground.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Who is the Devil? Look at His Names

My name is Mr Lucifer

In many cultures, naming a newborn child is not a thing to be taken lightly for they believe that the name shapes the future of the child. Some parents consult their gods before they give their children names. In my village there is this saying "when you get a son, or a daughter, be careful to select a name for your child, for whatever you call him/her, that is what he/she will be in the future". Name is not just a mark of identification; it is a summation of the personality of and expectations from the bearer.

This is in no place as true as it is in the case of the devil. The Bible records a total of twenty-two names for the devil and these names reveal the various faces of this vicious creature. Like a friend once said in answer to a question: - who is this devil? His answer: - "look at his names and you will never ask the question again".

Today I want to present to you, the names of the devil.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Should A Christian Go To A Secular Therapist?

Depression
Photo credit: [ henning ] / Foter / CC BY-NC
There is a raging debate in the evangelical world pertaining to Christians and secular therapists. This guest article looks at the issue.

There is a raging debate in the evangelical world pertaining to Christians and secular therapists. Many Christians consider it taboo to see a psychologist, while others are more open to trying out new forms of medicine that claim to cure depression and anxiety. Certainly there are valid points on both sides of the argument, and it is hard to say that there is a clear cut answer, but there are a few things you should consider before leaning either way.
Sunday, July 07, 2013

Who made the devil?

Who made the devil?

I asked a number of Christians questions covering a wide range of topics on the devil and I got in some places weird looks, others gave me evasive answers and still many others asked me to prove that there is devil. I asked one Christian whether Devil has ever been a topic of sermon in his Church. He looked at me and said, such should never be preached from the pulpit. It must not be discussed in the Church. Is it therefore any wonder why many Christians are so ignorant about the devil and his activities? That is also partly responsible for the fact that many Christians unwittingly fall victim to the devil’s tactics. One of the responses I got which I want to discuss in this message is: “Who made the devil?” One man went as far as to say, "Could God have made a mistake in creating the devil only to regret it after his creation and now is not able to take him off the world?"

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Devil made me do it

Devil made me do it

Often you hear or read people say: “the devil made me do it.” This is not a new excuse. It is as old as man himself. It was the same reason that Eve gave in the Garden of Eden when she disobeyed God. 
“And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:13) 
When you catch a thief, the usual plea is “the devil deceived me.” Catch a house boy/housemaid doing what is wrong the usual plea is “The devil made me do it” Perhaps you have yourself made this plea. What makes people so easily fall prey to the devil? Is the devil so powerful that people cannot resist him? Or are people so helpless that they cannot but succumb to the devil? Who or what is this devil that is causing this trouble everywhere? Why is he able to do this thing here in Nigeria and in all countries of the world? Does the Devil really exist or is he just a universal excuse?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Heresy of Hearsay

Heresy of Hearsay
Photo by Dyanna Hyde [CC BY-ND 2.0]
Matthew 5:33-37
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’   But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.  Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.  But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ for whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

Exodus 20:16
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour”. 


In the Talmud, the story is told of a king who had two jesters. He sent one of them out to bring to him the best thing in the world and the other, to bring back to him the worst thing in the world. In a short while both jesters returned, each with a package. The first bowed low, opened his package and exclaimed “the best thing in the world, sire!” Before the king was a TONGUE. The other jester began to laugh and quickly un-wrapped his bundle. “The worst thing in the world, O King!” he said, and behold, another TONGUE. And so it is!  The tongue has the most awesome power in the entire world. By a word, fortunes are gained or lost; by a word men are exalted or debased; by a word, the course of a nation is determined; by a word, God is praised or denied; and by a word, man shall be eternally condemned or glorified.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

After a while the Brook Dried Up


First Kings 17:1-7: 
“And Elijah the Tishbite, of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Get away from here and turn eastward, and hide by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and stayed by the Brook Cherith, which flows into the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook. And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.”

Prophet Elijah was one of the great prophets who lived in Israel. Someone has described him as “the one who must be obeyed.” In his confrontation with the sins of the house of Ahab the king, and the nation Israel, he had prayed that there would be no rain  in the land of Israel. And for a period of three and half years there was neither rain nor dew in the land. He did this because Israel had turned to the worship of Baal and left the living God. The more than three years of extreme drought were to confront the Baal worshipping nation of Israel with the truth of Elijah’s prophecy and, more importantly, with the supremacy of Elijah’s God. The God of Elijah instructed His servant, Elijah to hide himself by the Brook Cherith, and there God miraculously fed him using ravens each day. Elijah had food and drink while the rest of the land suffered from hunger and thirst. 

But after a while the brook dried up. There is no gainsaying the fact that water is a basic necessity. How could the God of Elijah allow the Brook to dry up? How could He do such a thing to His faithful prophet? This and many other questions like this flood our minds when we face difficulties. How could God allow such things to happen to us?
Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Greatest News That People Do Not Want To Know

This week we have a guest article from Cindy . Please read and share your comments

Many people use the word ‘salvation’, or ‘saved’, however, some choose these words, but do not fully understand the meaning.
Sunday, June 09, 2013

What Money Cannot Buy

What Money Cannot Buy

Acts 8:18-24
And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.  Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity." Then Simon answered and said,” Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me." 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Baptism With (of) The Holy Spirit and With (of) Fire - Part 2

Baptism of fire

Last week, we saw that the promise of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled at the upper room on the day of Pentecost. We also saw that the promised baptism of Fire was not present. We ended last week by noting that after Acts 2, we never hear again of this baptism as something to be waited for, prayed for, or expected. There was never another Pentecost recognized in the Church. Only twice thereafter, is the baptism so much as mentioned in the New Testament; once in Peter’s account of the reception of Cornelius and other Gentiles with  him into the Christian fold (Acts 11:16), and then in Paul’s Epistle to the Corinthians where it is shown to be something past, in which all who were believers had shared. “By one Spirit are you all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles” (First Corinthians 12:13)

What did that historic Spiritual baptism accomplish and why did it take place subsequent to the new birth or conversion of the apostles and other believers in the opening of the Book of Acts?
Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Baptism With (of) The Holy Spirit and With (of) Fire

Baptism of fire

This is one of those expressions in the Scriptures which have been diversely interpreted and pressed into service, sometimes unwillingly. Some think of this passage as speaking "He shall baptize you with the fire of the Holy Spirit". I have heard many people praying again and again for the baptism of fire. How right are they? Was this what happened on the day of the Pentecost? Did the Apostles receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire? I have heard somebody say, “Each individual must have his own Pentecost. If he does not, he is likely to miss heaven after all”. Some even distinguish between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that of fire – and thus make a third blessing.

We wish to spend these brief minutes turning again to our Bibles and carefully examine all that is there recorded concerning the Spirit’s baptism, noticing too, some other operations of the same Spirit, which have been greatly misunderstood by many.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Joy of Motherhood

Young mother (Klashorst)
By Peter Klashorst [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Proverbs 31:10-31
“Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.  She is like the merchant ships; she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household and a portion for her maidservants. She considers a field and buys it; from her profits she plants a vineyard. She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night. She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, yes; she reaches out her hands to the needy.  She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.  She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies sashes for the merchants. Strength and honour are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many daughters have done well, But you excel them all.”  Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.  Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates”.

Today is Mothers Day, a day devoted to honoring mothers and motherhood. 

This passage in Proverbs is a passage I suppose every woman should learn by heart and have it printed on cards and hang them in all conspicuous corners of her home. It is the job description for every mother. We will just highlight a few things in the passage about the virtuous woman.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Teleology and its impact on Christianity

evolution
Image Source: By Tkgd2007 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
In establishing the reliability of the Bible, we have implied that there is a God who knows all things and can do all things; this God inspired people to write the Bible and this is why it is so reliable and historically accurate. But how do we prove the existence of God?  Well, here is an interesting guest post from Richard Lowline on how Teleology points to the existence of a creator. 

It's sad that the vast majority of Atheists and supporters of the theory of evolution seem to think that an intelligent creator is impossible. According to them life just sprang up from one giant explosion, and as if by magic everything in existence slowly evolved to the level of complexity in nature that we see today. This sounds good in theory, but when you really take the time to sit back and think about life, one thing that usually comes to mind is the sheer complexity and organization of it all. Everything seems to have its own perfect place and function that serves a particular well-defined purpose.
Sunday, April 28, 2013

Archaeology and the Bible

Biblical Archaeology
Photo taken by Jan Smith [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The last One hundred and seventy years have witnessed the birth, growth, and development of the science of Biblical Archaeology. The new science has furnished useful background materials for illustrating, illuminating and in many cases authenticating the message and meaning of the Old and New Testament Scriptures.

Biblical archaeology may be defined as a study based on the excavation, deciphering and critical evaluation of the records of the past as they affect the Bible. It is fascinating to study the Bible but it is more fascinating to be able to authenticate and prove the historicity of the Bible.

Friday, April 26, 2013

HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW

Someone sent this to me and I felt compelled to share...

These amazing photos captured a drama with two of these little creatures. Kudos to the photographer. The newspapers that carried these photos sold out in every country.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Authenticity of the Bible

The Bible

The reliability of every document depends on two factors:

1. The Author of the document

2. Whether or not the document can be subjected to proof of its dependability. In this we need to verify the accuracy of the document in contemporary history and its accuracy in content.

We wish to subject the Bible to verification of its authorship and its content. Next week, we shall verify its historic accuracy.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Bible

Starting from this weekend, I would be doing a message series on the Bible and would be covering topics such as the authenticity of the Bible, Archaeology and the Bible and the Bible as the word of God. If you have any guest posts that would go well with this series, please send it my way at silaroli2010@gmail.com. As a primer, here is a cool infographic from 66clouds.com

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Turning Your Weaknesses into Strength


Turning your weaknesses into strengths

Reading: Philippians 1:12-30

The Epistle to the Philippians is one of the Prison Epistles of Paul. He wrote it while in prison in Rome. It is also called the Epistle of Joy and Encouragement in the midst of adverse circumstances. How could Paul in prison write an epistle that expresses profound joy and effuses encouragement to its readers? The reason is that Paul discovered what most of us have never discovered – the secret of strength in weakness.
Sunday, April 07, 2013

What is my Excuse for not Being Effective?

No excuses
Photo by Colin [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Reading: Exodus 4:1-17

When last we considered this passage, we asked the question; “What is that in your hand?” (Verse 2) We saw that when God calls, He equips. So there is no one who can truly say, “I have nothing in my hand with which I can be of service to God.” We all have something in our hands. For Moses, it was a rod; for Dorcas, it was a needle; for the little unnamed lad, it was five loaves of bread and two small fishes. For Mary, it was a jar of Alabaster oil. You know what you have in your own hand.

But what then stops us from being effective? 

In the passage we are looking at today, Moses gives a few reasons why God should look for someone else.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

When I Am Lifted Up From The Earth I Will Draw All Men To Myself

grain of wheat dies


Reading: John 12:20-36.

Jesus had just finished being the Guest of Honour in the Palm Sunday parade. His arch-enemies, the Pharisees, had finally admitted defeat by saying: “The whole world has gone after Him” (verse 19).  There was nothing that they could do about it. For the poor and wandering Teacher from Nazareth, this was His shinning hour. But His highest honour was yet to come. A short time later certain Greek visitors in Jerusalem requested a private audience with Him. To be sought by the Greeks was a tribute to His popularity, not just by the poor and the outcasts but by the elitists and the intellectuals of His contemporary world.

Suddenly the story takes a strange twist. When Philip told Jesus the Greek visitors wanted to talk with Him, He apparently ignored the request. Rather, a mysterious shadow cast a pall over the scene and Jesus confesses the tension He feels between His will to live in the glory of human acceptance and acclaim and His will to die for the glory of God. The flavour of His tension can be felt as He says “... unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” One of those paradoxes of life!