Archive for November, 2011

KILLING SELF (FULL VERSION)

Posted: November 26, 2011 in broken_pieces

Whoa! I dont know where to start with this one. This is like writing a suicide note. This is because I am writing this as a patient in HDU Only mine is not high dependency but total dependency on God. I have been born in a world where self is glorified and my every inclination is to do the same. I always want to come out top, be the best be the one who is dressed smartest. I want to always get compliments, people to like me, I mean adore me, for my post and updates to always be liked and read by most if not everyone. I want to be the saint. For people to see how theologically adept I am. Those are my struggles. Yes, that is me, pitiful me. Always waiting on the praises of men like the ocean waits for the stream to pour out its contents. My world revolves around me and in my own little world there only exists me. That’s why when I hear of dying to self, it doesn’t come as good news to me. My world is literally destroyed and I wonder how to go about it because am used to it being about me. Yet you show me the perfect example in John 5:41, you never accepted praise from men.

In Matt 5:13-16, I am called upon to be the salt and light of the earth. How can I do that if I always want to be the center of attraction?  I have to die to self for the salt and light to come out so that HE who deserves all glory gets it. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name. Oh, I am always good to people so I expect them to be the same to me yet you tell me to turn the other cheek, even give my tunic.(Matt 5:39). It gets harder by the verse. How can I love my enemies unless I understand fully how I once was your enemy oh God yet you still loved me. While we still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom 5:8) Now I love people to see how generous I am, I want my name to be printed on the donation but you warn me not to do my righteous acts before men to be seen by them.(Matt 6:1) Man, it’s like every struggle I have is covered in the bible, truly no escape.

You command me to forgive those who wrong me. Oh how I enjoy holding on to wrongs at times. It always feels good to remind people what they have done. But then, you tell me if I can’t forgive, then my sins will not be forgiven, eish (Matt 6:15). Another stab to self.Man, don’t I fast, and don’t I act holier than thou at those times and almost want everyone to know whats happening. Again, you tell me You alone, are supposed to see and know what I am doing (Matt 6:16-18). About money, you tell me to store up my treasures in heaven where moth and rust cannot destroy and to serve only You.

So how do I go about this business of killing self? It starts and ends with the cross. It starts on the cross when I become crucified with Christ and die to my sinful nature  (Rom 6:6-7). It starts with me accepting the fact that apart from you I can do nothing (John 15:5b). It comes from me knowing that my righteousness is from you (Rom 3:22). There is nothing I will ever do to attain it because have been justified freely by grace so there’s no room for boasting. In Rom 6:11 you tell me to count myself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. I become a slave to righteousness and not sin. (Rom 6:15-23). You tell me there is now no condemnation for I no longer live by the law because your Son came as an atoning sacrifice to condemn the sin in sinful me so that I may live a life led by the Spirit.n (Rom 8)

You encourage me that I am not controlled by the sinful nature but by the Spirit of God who lives in me. Therefore, I know am not alone in this battle of killing self. You tell me not to conform to the patterns of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind (Rom 12:2). Then, I will be able to know what your good and pleasing will is and do it. You further tell me that every temptation is common to man  and it will not be beyond my capacity and when it comes, you will provide a way out so that I can stand (1 Cor 10:13). How encouraging that is.

I know that I am in Christ and therefore I am a new creation, the old sinful me, is gone and the new, spirit filled me has come. You died so that all those who live should no longer live for themselves but for you who died for us and was raised again (2 Cor 5). Therefore, I am encouraged because I know thou art always with me, walking by my side, lifting me up when I fall and chastising me when need be. So I will submit to you, resist the devil and he will flee from me. (James 4:7) That is how I DIE DAILY.

Grace and Peace.

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REMEMBER LOT’S WIFE

Posted: November 25, 2011 in broken_pieces

Yep, the title also captivated me.  So let me first start by stating the characteristics of  Lot’s wife before I get to my point.

Lot’s wife enjoyed religious privileges, this is how;

  1. She was Lot’s wife and Lot was a righteous man as seen in 2 Pet 2:8 so she knew what godliness was all about
  2. Abraham was her uncle and she lived with him for along time  because he had taken, Lot and all his possessions under his wings
  3. She was there when Abraham built the first altar in Bethel, this is in Genesis 12:8
  4. When her husband with all his possessions including her, were taken captive and God through Abraham delivered them she witnessed it (Gen 14:12)
  5. She witnessed the coming of Melchizedek, the King of  Jerusalem, the great high priest of the Most High God (Gen 14:18-19)
  6. When the angels came to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah she was there.
  7. When the angels struck with blindness the people who were outside wanting to be immoral with them, she was present.(Gen 19:10-11)

So we can clearly see that Lot’s wife was much more privileged than some of the people living in those areas. She was housed by a humble servant of God and married to a righteous man, had witnessed God’s hand in a lot of things yet when it came time for her to let go of her world and obey God, she could not do it. Her eyes were never opened, conscious never really aroused and quickened as J.C Ryle would put it and her will was not conformed to God’s will. The world was in her heart and her heart in the world.

But we see this statement, ‘Remember Lot’s wife’  in the New Testament. Why? Christ was talking to his disciples and telling them of  the last days and the coming of the Son of Man. He was telling them just how like the days of Noah and the days of Sodom and Gomorrah people were drinking and having merry, marrying and giving in to marriage bu suddenly destruction fell.

He was talking to the disciples when he said, Remember Lot’s wife in Luke 17:32. This is to show us that we are in danger of forgetting what the bottom line is, Christ.We are in danger of straying and being misled even when we keep the right company and are party to the works of God. That’s why Peter says strive to make your calling and election sure. We are urged in 2 Cor 13:5 to examine ourselves to see whether we are still in the faith, to test ourselves according to God’s word.  1 Cor 10:12 further says, “So if you think you are standing firm be careful that you don’t fall.”

This is an exhortation to my christian brothers. Let’s always remember Lot’s wife. Let’s not start well and finish badly. Let no one cut in on us. Let us be accountable to each other in love.  Provoking each other to love and good works (Heb 10:24) and not sin.Beware of half-hearted religion, Love the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength. Let us finish the race to hear the sweet words of our Saviour saying, ‘welcome, good and faithful servant.’ May God keep us and uphold us at all times.

Grace and Peace to You

FREEDOM THAT COMES FROM SALVATION

Posted: November 25, 2011 in broken_pieces

Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” So allow me to expound on this:

Ezekiel 36:24-27 – He is our righteousness

Rom 3:29-31, Rom 10:4 &  1 Thess.4 – We have been set free from the law

Romans 3:25 – He is our justification

Rom 5:1, Col 3:15, Eph.2:14 – He is our peace

Romans 5:2-5 & Phil 4:4 – He is our joy

Rom 5:8 & 8:18-27 -Our hope in glory

Rom 8:1 – No condemnation

Rom 8:14 -17& Gal 3:26  – We are sons and co-heirs

Roms 8:28 & Eph1:11-12 – We understand and appreciate predestination

Heb 13:5 – We will never walk alone

Col 3:12 – We are hs chosen people

1 Pet 1:15-16 – He is holy

Rev7:10 Salvation belongs to him

Rom 8:31-34- We are more than conquerors in Him

Rom 8:35 – No one can separate us from His love

Rom 9:16 – Our God is sovereign and it is by grace alone not by works

Rom 10:11 – Assurance of salvation

Rom 11:11-24 – We’ve been ingrafted into his family

1 Cor 1: 18-31 – He is our wisdom

2 Cor 1:3-4 – He is our comforter

Phil 3:12-21 – He is our perfection

Phil 4:19 – He is our provider

Phil 4:13 – He is our strength

1 Thess4:3, 5:23 – He is or sanctification

2Thess 1:6 – He is just

2 Thess 3:3 – He is faithful

1Tim 2:5 – He is our mediator

1Jn 2:2 – Our advocate

Rev 20:11 – He is the great and holy judge

With all these qualities, why go anywhere else. I mean where else do you get a God who is all these for you so that you don’t have to work for anything but find in Him whatever you need. YOU TELL ME. Coz the way i see it, this is the best deal we will ever get. Question is, will you take it?

Grace and Peace to You

PROMOTED TO GLORY

Posted: November 22, 2011 in broken_pieces

I was watching T.V. yesterday when I heard this statement and I felt compelled to write about it. So and so has passed away, they have been promoted to glory, may their soul rest in peace. I am sure we are all familiar with with that line. The fact that they say promoted to glory shows that at least they believe there’s life after death. So how is one promoted to glory?

In John 3:3 Jesus was approached by Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and Jesus told him unless a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. So what is being born again? Being born again is being convicted of your sins by the power of the Holyspirit and surrendering and submitting your life to a holy God. It means accepting that you, as a person are totally depraved and in you there is no capacity to do good(Rom 3:3) and embracing Christ’s sacrifice on the cross which was an atonement of our sins. It means repenting and not being controlled by the sinful nature anymore but being a slave to righteousness. It means Christ now becomes your treasure.

Jesus said in John 14:6, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me. Being promoted to glory means being with the father but how can you be with the father if you never accepted his son? John 5:23b says,”he who does not honour the Son does not honour the father who sent him.” It continues by saying, “I tell you the truth whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned, he has crossed over from death to life.” John 17:3 further says, “and this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” So in all these verses we see the aspect of life after death. Jesus says in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me will live even though he dies. Rom 6:6 also says if we have died with Christ then we believe that we will also live with him.

So will our souls rest in peace? The only way your soul will rest in peace is if it was reconciled to God before you died. If you believed in His Son and His word before you passed on. Scriptural example is in John 5:29 where we are told that evildoers who have died will rise to be condemned. So what is the condemnation? Many a times, Jesus spoke about the reality of hell. In Luke 12:5, he says, ‘fear Him who after the killing of the body, has power to to throw you into hell.’ Dear beloved, hell is the condemnation for every unbelieving soul. In the story of the narrow gate, Jesus says of those who will not be able to enter in Luke 13:22-30 that they will be cast away where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (hell). In the story of the Rich man and Lazarus, we see hell illustrated with the Rich man begging for Lazarus to be sent back to his family to warn them so as not to come to the same place of torment as him (hell). Brethren, hell is no fun. There will be no time to hook up and chat and discover oh, you’re also here! In Matt 7:19 we are told that every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. We are supposed to bear good fruit and we can only do that in Christ.

Some may argue and say, oh well, we’ll just burn for a few minutes and it will be over. Christ talked about eternal life. So if there is eternal life, there is eternal torment. In Eph. 2:3, we see how we are all by nature objects of God’s wrath saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and to anyone who doesn’t believe it is eternal damnation. Jude vs.7 tells us that Sodom and Gomorrah served as an an example of those who suffer the punishment of ETERNAL fire. Rev.14:9-11 states it more clearly, it says that all those who follow the devil will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the lamb and the smoke of the torment rises FOR EVER and EVER. There will be no rest, day or night. Rev 20:7 shows the destruction of Satan and it states that he will be thrown into the lake of burning sulphur and tormented FOREVER and EVER. It goes on to say in vs.15 that anyone whose name was not written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire, eternal fire.

So beloved, hell was meant for the devil, his demons and evildoers. Let us not be party to it. Let us really be promoted to glory in Christ and not just by talk. For hell is real and heaven is real and they are both eternal. Live your life in light of eternity. Col 3:2, set your heart on things that are above. Then, you will really be promoted to glory and hence rest in peace.

Grace and Peace

So, how then should we ask?  James 4:10 tells us to humble ourselves before God and He will lift us up. We do not approach the father with pride and conceit but in humility and grace. 1 John 5:14-15 shows us how to go before God, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have. So the idea is to ask according to His will and you can only do that if He abides in you and you in Him (John 15) for then He causes you to have godly desires and to ask that which pleases Him. Phil 3:;18-20 “…Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things but our citizenship is in heaven.” Therefore, as in Col. 3:2, we need to set our hearts on things that are above where moth and rust cannot destroy.

Heb 13:5-6 says, “He will never leave us nor forsake us”, so we know that we have a sure help at all times. PHIL 4:19 confirms it by stating that God will meet all our needs according to His glorius riches in Christ Jesus. I have heard of people saying, ask, he is able to do much more than we can ask, think or imagine. But is that really what that verse means? It’s in Ephesians 3:19-20 and it connects with Eph.4:12-13 and what Paul is praying for is that we may become mature and be filled attaining to the full measure of the fullness of Christ in God. Thus, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably (to the measure of fullness in Christ) more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us.” Phil 2:13 echoes it more by saying, “for it is God who works in us to will and to act according to His good purpose.”

So can we really provoke God to bless us? No! Not at all. For in Rom 9 we read all about God’s sovereign choice. God’s sovereignty means the supremacy of God in everything that concerns us for of Him and through and to Him are all things (Rom 11:36) and He is the one who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will (Ephe. 1:10-11). Romans 9:14 God says, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It goes on to say that, “It does not therefore depend on him that willeth or him that runneth but on God who showeth mercy.” So no matter what we do, say or think, God will do that which He dsires and not that which we have provoked Him to do. God bless you.

Grace and Peace.

Can we really? I have heard sermons on this and I believe some of you have too thus begging the question, can we really? This is the one and only mighty and supreme God who knows the number of hair strands on your head (Matt 10:30) and He who says He has engraved us on the palms of His hands in Is.49:16. The God who in Job 36:26 is said of, “How great is God beyond our understanding.” He laid the earth’s foundation (Job 38:4) and asks Job in chapter 38:2, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” He can do all things and none of His plans can be thwarted (Job 42:2) so can we really stand before Him and ‘provoke’ Him to bless us?

In Luke 11:9-10, we are told to ask, seek, knock and we shall receive. It’s further reiterated in chapter 12:22-34 with the exhortation of not to worry about what to eat, drink or wear for pagans run after such things too and God knows we need them and Phil 4:4-7 which says we should not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving we should present our requests to God.. All we need to do is seek first His kingdom and all these things will be given as well. Let us not confuse this to mean that we seek God for the benefits that we will get from Him. This is condemned in 1 Tim 6:3-6 where it is written that godliness is not a means to financial gain but rather godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. Paul’s letter to the Philippians shows us how in everything he learnt to be content.

You wonder why am talking about contentment! Lack of contentment is home ground to alot of vices(sin) such as greed, lust and covetousness which go against the word of God. James tells us in Chapter 4:1-3 that fights and quarrels come from desires that battle within us because we want things but don’t get and therefore end up killing and coveting. It goes on to say, we have not because we ask not and when we do ask, we ask amiss to satisfy our pleasures instead of God’s. So, how then should we ask?

KNOWING GOD!

Posted: November 2, 2011 in broken_pieces
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Knowing God, a paradox in itself, how does a finite mortal being
Know an infinite immortal one
We have just but a glimpse, but like J.I. Packer says,
Better a little bit of knowledge of God than a great deal of knowledge about Him
We can know a great deal about God without much knowledge of Him
Yes, that is to kill your pride, mine too
I need to die daily so help me Lord
We can also know about godliness without knowing God
I mean there’s the internet, theological books, sermons and your favourite, the right company
But do you know God?
So allow me to use excerpts from J.I. Packer
Knowing God means having great energy for him see Daniel 11:32
The people who know their God shall do exploits(read, stand firm and take action)
This means that the actions taken by those who know God
Is their reaction to the anti-God trends around them
The dishonor to God’s name goads them to action
Men who know their God are prayerful
And that’s the first point where there zeal and energy is expressed
Those who know God have great thoughts of him
His might, wisdom, truth and sovereignty, that’s all they think about
Those who know God show great boldness for him
Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego who were thrown into the fiery furnace
For the sake of Christ are a perfect example
It means counting the cost
Those who know God have great contentment in God
But how do we get this knowledge you ask
Accept how lacking you are in it, Seek the Saviour in every biblical way
Finally, those who seek him with all their hearts will surely find him
And the journey of knowing Him begins.