Sunday, November 22, 2015

Unchanging Reasons For Thanksgiving

happy thanksgiving


Reading: Hebrews 13:5-15


One of the most explicit Bible verses related to the matter of thanksgiving is 1 Thes. 5:18. This verses says, "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." This verse commands believers to give thanks to the Lord, not FOR everything, but IN everything! There is a big difference there! Certainly, we ought to be thankful, not just because we are told to be thankful, but because we have much to be thankful for!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Preach to Us Smooth Things

Smooth like butter

Isaiah 30:9-10: “That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits”. 

Isaiah was a prophet in Israel during a very difficult period in the history of the nation. They had rebelled against God and were not repentant. Isaiah preached judgment on the nation. But the people did not like it. Look at how God Himself described the people in Isaiah 30:9-10. They wanted Isaiah to preach deceit and flattery. They wanted to be like others.

The same is true of our society today; even in our Churches that have over the years been built on tradition. We want to be like others. We are calling for a new form of teaching, a new form of doctrine, a new form of tradition. Preach to us new things; new ways of life and new morality.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Object of Faith

Looking to Jesus
Original photograph by Sandy Chase, via Wikimedia Commons

Hebrews 12:2
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In our last considerations from these verses, we discussed the Excellency of faith – Hebrews 11:1-3; The Demands of Faith- Hebrews 12:1. This verse, Hebrews 12:2 is very closely related to verse one.

In Hebrews 12:1 – we see all the negative things to lay aside lest they hinder us and weigh us down. It is a case of negative before the positive and this order is emphasized all through the Scripture. There must be turning from the world, before there can be a real turning unto the Lord (Isaiah 55:7); self denial before we can follow Christ (Matthew 16:24); there must be a putting off of the old man, before there can be any true putting on of a new man (Ephesians 4:22-24). There has to be a denying of ungodliness and worldly lusts before we can live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world (Titus 3:14); there has to be a cleansing of ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit before there can be any perfecting holiness in the fear of God (Romans 12:2-3) the principle goes on.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Demands of Faith

lay aside every weight, run the race

Hebrews 12:1-2
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Hebrews 12:1 is a call to constancy in the Christian profession; it is an exhortation unto steadfastness in the Christian life; it is a pressing appeal for making personal holiness a supreme business and quest. In substance, we can compare Hebrews 12:1 to Matthew 16:24; Romans 6:13; Second Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 3:12-14; Titus 2:12 and First Peter 2:9-12. It gives in brief the Christian’s two fold duty: the duty of mortification and of vivification – the putting off of the old man, and the putting on of the new man (Ephesians 4:22-24). Or like someone has defined it: -

Mortification is the process whereby the lusts of the flesh are subdued and kept under; and vivification, is the process by which the life which God has put within us is made to be a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. 

We are enjoined to “run the race that is set before us” and second – “lay aside every weight” and in the third place there is the essential grace of “patience in running” and lastly, the encouragement of “the great cloud of witnesses”.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Excellency of Faith

faith

Hebrews 11:1-3
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” 

Reference: The Many Faces of Faith: Key to God's Treasury by Michael Taylor

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Verse 1)
In this definition, we see the two acts of faith. It is the substance; it is also the evidence. In other words, faith substantiates or gives substance to our hopes, and demonstrates things not seen.

There is a great deal of difference between the acts of faith and the effects of faith. The effects of faith are reckoned up throughout Hebrews Chapter eleven; but the acts of faith are only in verse 1. As the matters of belief are yet to come, faith gives them a substance, a being, as they are hidden from the eyes of sense and carnal vision and reason; faith also gives them an evidence, and convinces men of the worth of them; so that part of these acts belongs to the understanding, the other to the will.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Glorious Hope


Hope

Reading: Revelation 19:1-10

Someone has said; “the last thing to lose is hope”. Without hope there is no life. You can live seven days without food, three days without water, three minutes without air, but less than a second without hope. What then is hope? Hope is the joyous expectation of the future. It is the basis on which life and even resurrection are hinged. What is the Christian’s hope? We shall discuss a number of issues that constitute the blessed hope of the Christian.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Timeline of Bible Translation History

Bible
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, NIGERIA

Four clergymen were discussing the various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James Version because of its beautiful English. Another, the New American Standard Version Bible of 1971 because of its literal and accurate translation of the original Hebrew and Greek. The third likes the James Moffatt translation for its up to date vocabulary. The fourth was silent. When asked to express his opinion he replied, ‘I like my mother’s translation best’. The others were surprised. ‘I didn’t know your mother translated the Bible’ one said. ‘Oh yes’ came the reply. ‘She translated it into life and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw’ -J.C. Mitchell.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Ant Lover Who Had To Become an Ant

Anthill

Imagine you are watching a farmer plough the field.  You noticed an ant hill will be ploughed under by the farmer on his next time around. You also noticed that the ants were busy building the ant hill. Because you are an ant lover, you run to the ant hill to warn them.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Brook Dried up ... And there was Famine

Poppies in the desert
Poppies in July by Demagistris

“And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.”  (First Kings 17:7)

“And it came to pass after many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth.” So Elijah went to present himself to Ahab; and there was a severe famine in Samaria.” (First Kings 18:1-2) 

The brook Cherith dried up and God sent His prophet to the home of a Gentile widow of Zarephath. While in the home of the widow, Elijah was cared for, fed and shielded from all other external influences. He had learnt what his God can do. One of the faithful Jews in the land, Obadiah, met him to tell him how Elijah was being blamed for bringing trouble on the nation Israel and was now wanted by the King. Obadiah said; “As the LORD your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they could not find you” (First Kings 18:10)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

How Does A Church Die?


The story is told of a German lady who was taken seriously ill and was rushed to the hospital in Britain. In the evening, her husband phoned to inquire how she was getting along and was told that she was ‘improving’. The next day he called again and was told that she was ‘still improving’. This went on for some time. Finally, one night he called again and he was told that his wife was dead. He went to see the doctor and said to him: “Well Doctor, what did my wife die of, - IMPROVEMENTS?”

Many Churches today are dying like that woman, of ‘improvements.’


Church looking for better methods


Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Invisible Mom

Pregnant Mom

I stumbled on this article by Patrick Morley and I liked it so much that I couldn't resist the urge to share. It is...


THE BEST ANALOGY TO UNDERSTAND THE EXISTENCE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD I'VE EVER HEARD


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In Memory of the only man in America who spoke to me about my soul

wreaths

A certain Senator in Washington invited the Ambassador from Belgium to his home for dinner.

Now the Senator’s father was a grand old Christian. He sought always to win souls for Christ. So the Senator warned his father to be careful about what he said to the Ambassador when he came for dinner.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

She Has Done What She Could



Oil Jar
Image Source: FreeImages.com/Ben Earwicker | Garrison Photography, Boise, ID

Mark 14:3-9

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head.  But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, "Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor." And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me.  For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.  She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial.  Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her."  NKJV

In the above text we have a beautiful commendation of one who had done what could be regarded by others as very little but what in the eye of the Lord is the best that could be done.

I have worked in the Gideons ministry for several decades now, and I often liken the ministry to the pouring out of precious oil. To some, the expression is 'What a waste! How could you be giving away valuable books free and making no effort to investigate whether they are being read?'. This and similar comments can make the Gideons less enthusiastic and unwilling to work. But, what appeared to others as a waste was, in the eye of the Lord of the Harvest, a commendable work – preparing the Lord for His burial. It was so valued that the Lord placed it on record that wherever and whenever the Gospel is preached it would be spoken of.

In another light, to Mary herself, she had not done enough for the Master who loved her so much to heal her of her demons. What in her eyes was too small, received the Lord’s commendation. So dear Gideon and all other workers in the Lord's vineyard, your labour is not in vain. The Lord knows how to bring to fruition that which we have committed to Him. No job is too little in the eye of God and every job will receive its due commendation from the Lord Himself.

The spirit behind the Gideons ministry and Outreach ministry in general is sharing the love of God and showing appreciation for what the Lord had done for us. He loved us to the extent of dying for us. We can only show Him love by telling others about Him. There is no nobler way of doing it than by your life, your testimony and showing absolute faith in His Word – by giving it to others to discover what you have discovered. We believe that it will never return void without accomplishing its purpose. All who know the Lord’s love should join hands in sharing this love.

The harvest is truly plentiful but the labourers are few. It needs not continue to be few. Come and join in the triumphal song.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

6 Counterproductive Approaches to "Studying the Bible"

Couterproductive bible study habits

I found this infographic on Pinterest and I decided to share it here. The infographic is linked to an article by Crossway

The images draws from chapter 2 of Jen Wilkin's book, Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds, and highlights 6 common—yet ultimately counterproductive—approaches to "studying the Bible" that we all struggle with from time to time. These unhelpful habits sometimes prevent us from really digging into what God has to say to us in his Word.

How true are these to you?

Sunday, September 06, 2015

How Big Is Your God? Testimonies from Life Experiences

Volkswagen Beetle

“Mommy, Daddy has had an accident and he is inside a ditch”

In 1986, on Sunday July 6, at about 1225hrs, I was driving from Ore to Lagos on my way back home after a two day visit with my parents in the village of Awo-Omamma. A car driver suddenly overtook me and immediately applied his brakes because he was going to hit a parked trailer. I was forced to apply my brakes as well but my Volkswagen Beetle tumbled four times and ended up in a ditch by the road side. It landed on the roof with all the four tyres up.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Healing and What the Bible Says

Healing

Article Source: R. K. Harrison, Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 2, p. 542

Healing may be described in terms of curing or restoring to health of a sick person, whether by promoting the closure of wounds, repairing the results of accidents or surgical disease, or administering effective treatment for specific pathological conditions of the body or mind. In the Scriptures healing is the restoration to a state of health by physical means or by miracle; the methods not necessarily mutually exclusive. To consider healing in the Bible, we shall look at health and longevity in the Bible, so as to see the methods of healing in the right context.
Sunday, August 23, 2015

Regeneration

flower blooming

Text: Ezekiel 36:21-38

What is Regeneration?


It is the birth of a New Spirit. The Bible says in Ezekiel 36:26-27: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.”

Sunday, August 16, 2015

God’s Method Of Missionary Outreach

Missionary Outreach

I took a long break from this blog in back May but now I have resumed my weekly sermon posts. I appreciate all my readers and will keep going on it for as long as the Lord allows.

****

Text: Acts 13:1-15

Recently, the Church organized an eleven-week Evangelism training course in order to highlight the opportunities that are ours today in going out to reach others for Christ; for in the words of Christ Himself – “the fields are already ripe even unto harvest” We also tried during the course to show the how-to of evangelism.

Today, in this country, the Church has the greatest opportunity to reach others for Christ. Now that men are confused asking where do we go from here. Now that people have developed itching ears, now that their trust in material things has received a heavy shock; now that much of the country is open to us, with the freedom of religious belief entrenched in our Constitution, never has the Church had a better opportunity.

We wish to, in this passage, look at God’s effective plan for effective evangelism. We would want to point out in this study that the Church today needs not fail for lack of knowledge of this plan. It is necessary to note here that the principles of Missionary Outreach of the early Church established on God’s direction are applicable in our today’s Church outreach. The text gives us four basic principles for Missionary Outreach.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kept Securely in Christ (Part 3)

Eternal Security

Romans 8:26 – 39
 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

In our two previous considerations of this Chapter (Part 1 and Part 2), we looked at the Christian in Christ Jesus with the New things that happen to him. We had earlier subdivided Romans Chapter 8 into seven New Things. We had looked at Our New position – position of no condemnation. Position in which the law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death. We have also seen our New Life – life in the Spirit as against life in the flesh. We have seen our New relationship – Sons, Children and Heirs of God; joint heirs with Christ. This new relationship enables us to call God “Abba Father” for God has declared us righteous and made us sons. We have also considered our New hope – “the manifestation of the sons of God”. The whole creation is groaning waiting for this day when the sons of God would be manifested. The sons of God themselves are groaning because of the presence of the flesh and the Spirit of God is groaning for the sons of God. But there is a day when all groaning will cease – the day we are hopefully waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. So that is our New position, our New life, our New relationship and our New hope.

In this third and final consideration of the New things in Christ as in Romans Chapter 8, we shall consider our New help vv 26-27; our New Knowledge vv 28 – 30 and our New Assurance vv 31-39.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Kept Securely in Christ (Part 2)

Eternal security

Romans 8:5-25
So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 

In our last talk, we looked at our new position in Christ Jesus- a position of no condemnation both now and in the future because Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh offered Himself an offering for sin; so that the law of sin and death can no longer condemn me rather the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free forever. So I have a new position of no condemnation. Still bearing in mind our central theme – Kept Securely in Christ Jesus which is the theme of Romans Chapter 8, we shall today discuss vv, 5 -25.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Kept Securely in Christ (Part 1)

Eternal security

Romans 8:1-4
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 

In a real sense, Romans 8 is the conclusion of the Apostle Paul’s treatise on Salvation, answering the question, “How does God save sinners?” In Chapters 1-3, the whole world was shown condemned and lost in sin. In Chapters 3-5, the condemned sinners were seen as justified and declared righteous, if they believed on Jesus Christ. Then in Chapters 6 and 7 the method of sanctification was explained. The Climax is in this chapter.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Great Commission

The Great Commission
GO by SethtotheBrown

Matthew 28:18-20
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. 

Before His crucifixion, Christ had told His disciples that after His resurrection, He would go to Galilee. At the sepulcher, the angel directed the women to announce the resurrection of Christ to His disciples and summon them to meet Him in Galilee. Jesus Himself afterwards appeared to them and repeated this instruction. The eleven - Judas Iscariot now dead - afterwards accordingly reported to the appointed place and with them probably the five hundred brethren of First Corinthians 15:6. The address that Jesus gave to this congregation is the Great Commission. How important are is the Great Commission to You? Your answers to the following questions will determine your extent of commitment to the Commission.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Excellence of Knowing Christ

Excellence of Knowing Christ

Philippians 3:7-11
“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.” NKJV

Everyone has a life ambition, and if you put that ambition in proper focus, everything you do brings you nearer that objective.

I asked my six year old son what he wants to be when he grows up. He said, “I want to be a doctor, a business man and a pastor!” I then asked him how he intends to achieve all those and still avoid conflicts. I was surprised at his answer. He said; “Now I have a Bible and I am reading it. That prepares me in future to be a Pastor. I go to school and I am doing all I can  do to pass all my subjects; that is in fact steps to being a doctor and I have with my friends in my class formed a Company – ‘The Future Investments Company’; we are already Business men” He is putting his life ambition in focus and is working towards it.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

How Responsive is Your God?

God of Miracles

Reading: First Kings 18:17-39

Our society today is full people who are between two opinions. The question most present on the lips is; “where do we go from here?” This problem prevails in the economic as well as in the social life of the people. It is most pronounced in their religious lives. People change from one religious sect to the other in search of meaning and answer to the yearnings of their heart. They are silently asking “which god is the real God? Which god answers the prayers of his children? Where can I find him?” The mistake they make and the mistake that has made the answer to their question elusive is that they have been looking for this God in establishments and organisations. God is not in them. He is not in any cult. He is not in any society whether secret or open. God says in His Word, the Bible; “They will seek Me and find Me when they seek for Me with all their heart.” The Bible further says “God is a Spirit, they that worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.”

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Jesus Lives and I Saw Him

Jesus lives

Luke 24:1-12
“Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’”  And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.  It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.” NKJV

The greatest announcement ever made in the world was made some two thousand years ago. It was very precise and direct. “He is not here, but is risen! Why do you seek the living among the dead?” The women could not believe it; but they retold the story to an equally astounded group of disciples. Dead men remain dead but this Jesus Christ is different. “He is risen!”

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Why did Jesus Christ Resurrect?

Artwork: John Marr

First Corinthians 15:1-28

In our last consideration, we looked at the miracles of incarnation and crucifixion. We saw that Christ in the incarnate life lived a life that is exemplary, challenging and without blemish. His entrance into the world was unusual having come without the help of man but through a virgin; he lived a life of sinlessness - the first fact prepared Him for the second because in that He did not inherit the Adamic sin. He manifested supernatural powers in the form of miracles. He had power of God in Him. This is so because there was no sin to break His relationship with His Father, and so He was different from all men. Life of sinlessness is an attribute of God and not of man. He spoke the greatest words ever said – words that should be said only by One who knows the end from the beginning, even God Himself. His life, His words, and His powers left a lasting and universal influence. We all here testify and in fact are eloquent and living testimonies of how He influences lives. His influence brought satisfaction to all who were spiritually hungry and thirsty. He gave peace where there was none and brought life where all hope was lost and to give us the final hope and victory He conquered death, man’s greatest enemy. His death was victory for it brought life to all who came to Him.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

False theories on the death of Christ


There are some few false theories concerning the death of Christ; Again an attempt by the devil to confuse the world. There are about four of such theories.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why Did Jesus Have to Come and Die?

Jesus Died

Exodus 28:1-43

This Easter season, we shall be centering our thoughts on the person of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We shall in the next two Sundays consider three great miracles in His life. Today we shall consider the miracle of His incarnation and the miracle of His death. Next Sunday, God willing, we shall consider the miracle of His resurrection.

In the first place, one question stands out to us – we shall seek to answer this question today –Why did Jesus have to come into this world to die? Before we seek to answer this question, let us, using eight (8) sub-topics, seek to examine the person of Jesus Christ. Who is he?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Proof of the Orange

orange fruit

Once an atheist said; “If any man can prove to me that there is God, I shall believe in Him. But I am sure that there is none, and if there is, there is no proof, conclusive scientific proof, to show that He exists.” 

Everywhere was quiet and it looked that his bluff was not going to be challenged until an old man came out with an unpeeled orange in his hand.

Before the audience and under the watchful eyes of the challenger, the old man peeled the orange and proceeded to eat the orange without saying one word.

When he finished eating the orange he turned to the atheist and said: “Tell me, my friend, how did the orange taste?” 

The atheist now furious, answered; “How can I know how the orange tasted, did I eat it with you? How have you proved that God exists by peeling an orange and eating it?”

The old man now replied: “In the same way, how will you know that God exists except you come to Him?”

That is why the Psalmist exclaimed in Psalm 34:8 and 15: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry.”

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Prepared for Change

stop banging on it

First Kings 17:7-10
“And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup that I may drink.”

A while ago we considered the drying up of the Brook Cherith on which Prophet Elijah depended for fresh water supply. We saw that there are many brooks in our lives on which we depend, sometimes to the extent of forgetting the God who is the source and keeper of the brook. God allows our brooks to dry up to make us realize where our source of supply comes from.

When the brook dried-up, God had His reasons for directing His Prophet to Zarephath; Elijah was to learn more lessons in the school of God there. God’s plan for him was relocation – transfer to a new location perhaps with a new ministry and a different source of supply. We all resist change, but sometimes change usher in new visions and new activities. Jesus Himself referring to Elijah’s relocation said in Luke 4:24-26: “Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.  But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land;  but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.”

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Short Stories: Thank God for Mothers

Mothers


I like my Mother's Translation the best


Four clergymen were discussing the various translations of the Bible. One liked the King James Version because of its beautiful English. Another, the Revised Version of 1881 because of its literal and accurate translation of the original Hebrew and Greek. The third likes the James Moffatt translation for its up to date vocabulary. The fourth was silent. When asked to express his opinion he replied, ‘I like my mother’s translation best’. The others were surprised. ‘I didn’t know your mother translated the Bible’ one said. ‘Oh yes’ came the reply. ‘She translated it into life and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw’
-J.C. Mitchell.
   
****

Sunday, March 08, 2015

A man named Achan


Reading: Joshua 7:1-26

In the records of God’s people under the leadership of Field Marshal Joshua, God did mighty things and the people of Israel had great conquests. One day, the most unusual thing happened: not just opposition or resistance, but defeat from unexpected quarters. 

In Joshua 6, Jericho has just been conquered, a great victory for God and His people that day. BUT as Jericho was being conquered, an undisciplined soldier, a man named Achan,  was busy falling to his covetousness and taking forbidden spoil. And because of this, God turned His back on the people. This is documented in Joshua 7:1-5: 

Verse 1 – The sin of disobedience of Achan yet unknown
Verses 2 & 3 – Reconnaissance team sent and their report
Verse 4 – Joshua acted on the their report
Verses 4-5 – The greatest surprise – defeat why?

Was it not through the prayer of Joshua that God had done great things in the past? Was it not through his prayer that God made the sun and the moon to stand still? Why this defeat? Look at verse one again. The Lord’s command to Israel not to take from Jericho anything that was to be destroyed was not obeyed or as the King James Version put it “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing!” "But it was not all the people of Israel, it was only Achan",  one is tempted to say. But can a chain be stronger than its weakest link? Never! One bad apple makes the whole bunch stink.

A chain is as strong as its weakest link. One bad apple makes the whole bunch stink. [Tweet]

Achan’s covetousness resulted in Israel’s defeat. Lust had been conceived and it gave birth to sin. Sin renders prayer unacceptable before God. Habakkuk 1:13 reads “But How can you stand these treacherous, evil men? O Lord, your eyes are too holy to look at evil, and you cannot stand the sight of people doing wrong.” That must therefore be the reason why in Joshua 7:12 God said to Joshua and his people: “I will not be with you any longer unless you destroy the thing you were ordered not to take” 

When the accursed thing was removed and chastisement exercised – triumph followed quickly. The valley of Achan became the door of hope, the locust-eaten years were restored. Confession and forgiveness quicken dormant energies and liberate power in the service of the Lord.

God will have us to be disciplined, fruitful servants and so has made all things that would enhance this end available to us. Let us first take a quick look at them in Ephesians 6:10-18.  As a disciple of the Most High, we are in battle, we are not provided with an armour for fun.

i.   Our loins should be girded about with truth ... Jesus is the Truth
ii.  Breastplate of righteousness ... we are covered in Christ’s righteousness
iii. Shoes the preparation of the Gospel of peace, Christ is our peace.
iv. The shield of faith ... Jesus is the author and Finisher of our faith
v.   The helmet of Salvation ... with His blood we are saved.
vi.  Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God ... Christ is the Word which has been with God from the beginning. In Revelation 19:13 we read: “His name is called “The Word of God”


What Paul wrote to the Ephesians in eight verses, he wrote to the Romans in eight words. In Romans 13:14 we read: “But you put on the Lord Jesus Christ” Here therefore is the outfit of a disciplined soldier of the Cross – Jesus Christ Himself. Let us do a little inward looking. Are you a disciplined soldier? Am I?

God does not force people into His army. He says whoever wills may come. Whoever comes, He will receive. Some of us here may not have come. Will you come today? Be a Christian soldier today and God will start purging, cleansing and preparing you for glory. Perhaps you have come, but are yet undisciplined, God is still willing to cleanse you and discipline you.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Learning Discipline from the Soldier, the Athlete and the Farmer

soldier, athlete, farmer

Reading: Second Timothy 2:1-19

There was a time when the then Nigerian Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo,  made so much call for discipline that it became a house-hold word. Many people tried to refer to their Dictionaries to find out if the word had acquired a new meaning. I did too!. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary says among other things: 
System of rules for conduct; control exercised over members of Church; chastisement (Ecclesiastical); mortification by penance; (were Paul to define discipline I feel convinced that he would have taken this last one for his definition). 
Sunday, February 22, 2015

Can two walk together?

walking-together

Can two walk together except they agree? Let us look at eight things that characterize those who walk with God.


Sunday, February 08, 2015

A Date with my Mom

Dinner Date

After 21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner and a movie.
She said "I love you but I know this other woman loves you too and would love to spend some time with you".

The other woman that my wife wanted me to take out was my MOTHER who has been a widow for 19 years. The demands of my work and my three children had made it possible to visit her only occasionally.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

The Priority of Faithfulness

faithfulness


First Corinthians 4:1-5: “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”


One of the great emphases of the Apostle as he writes to the followers of Christ at Corinth is upon the trustworthiness of the God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ.

Paul declares that they worship a God who is faithful and dependable – First Corinthians 1:9 – “God is to be trusted the God who called you to have fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord”. He also declares that God can be depended upon to be with them in the midst of any trial or trouble that may befall them -“Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps His promise and He will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, He will give you the strength to endure it and so provide you with a way out” (First Corinthians 10:13). He further encourages them to be zealous in service with the assurance that their labour for the faithful God will not go unrewarded - “So then, my dear brothers, stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless” (First Corinthians 15:58). 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Elect, Pilgrims and Saints

elect pilgrim saint

Reading: First Peter 1:1-12

The Church in Asia Minor was undergoing persecution, especially under Nero.  The terrible persecution of Christians led to some turning back on or at least question their faith. It was at this time that the great Apostle Peter wrote a letter to the believers. It was a source of great encouragement. You can imagine their excitement when the letter got to them:


“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied”

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Functional Church

The functional church

Reading: Acts 2

In our increasingly secular society, the Church seems to be losing much of its dynamism and influence. To some people today, the Church is just a word and to some, it is like any other business enterprise. But that is not what God intended the Church to be – the Church should be a dynamic force, a part of the living body of Christ making a difference in our world. Why is the Church not doing this?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Visible Church, Invisible Church

visible church, invisible church

The community of God’s people on earth has always proved to be somewhat mixed in its constituency. Not all who are nominally and outwardly members are necessarily in true and living communion with God. 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

The Christly Community

Church Community

Reading: First Corinthians 12:1-31

While the primary function of the Church is to glorify God (Ephesians 3:10; First Peter 2:9), viewed from the human side, the Church may be said to make certain specific provisions.

It provides fellowship for its members. The new relationship of the disciples with Christ found expression in a social form, In the early days of the Christian Church fellowship was a very significant feature (Acts 2:42, 44-47; 4:32-33).