Have Faith My Friend

- Have Faith My Friend
"Have faith in God." (Mark 11:22)
     We have been told for centuries now to have faith in God because it's the only way to withdraw the realities of His realm into ours. However, still it seems as though many of us don't know how to have faith. So, what is faith?
     Faith is simply believing God's Word as it is. It never tries to reason its way out of belief. Hebrews 11:11 says "Sarah, too, had faith...for she realized that God, who gave her his promise, would certainly do what he said" (TLB). It is the act of accepting God's Word as the truth and every other appearances as a farce regardless of how real they seem. The house of Abraham did, and they rejoiced at last. By faith, they did all God declared, and were blessed in it. Recall, listening has no blessing on its own unless what is heard is believed and applied (James 1:25). And that's faith!
     Second, faith is acknowledging God for whom He is. Lu…

Practice The Love Of Christ

- Practice The Love Of Christ
"And may the Lord make your love to grow and overflow to each other and to everyone else, just as our love does toward you. This will result in your hearts being made strong, sinless and holy by God our Father..." (1 Thess 3:12-13 TLB)
      Almost everyone wants to know how a man can grow spiritually; well, in our theme verse Paul tells us how. Apostle Peter had told the Jewish Christians in the Gentile nations to grow in [the] grace and [in the] knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18), and as much as every other Christian responsibility we are taught to uphold is great, without walking in love it is all in vain (1 Corinthians 13:2). You see, the Christian was saved by his faith, but is assessed by his works; and every good work is a function of love.
     Jesus said that others will know we are His if we love one another (John 13:35). That’s how much love brings forth the reality of our identity in Christ. Anyway, what Paul sai…

Be Covenant-Minded

- Be Covenant-Minded
"Remember his covenant forever- The words he commanded to a thousand generations" (1 Chronicles 16:15 TLB)
     The Word of God is His covenant to as many as believe. Everything written in it is God's intention for and expectation of us. Remember that we were born by the Word (1 Peter 1:23), and so it is our life. Anyway, in our theme verse, David shows us the secret of overcoming the harsh challenges of life. He said 'When things get tough, I remember the covenant of God towards me'. And we know His covenant is inscribed in His Word. He goes further to explain more, saying that, "This is my comfort in my affliction, thy word quickens me" (Psalm 119:50).
     The word "quickens" here means to keep alive and to make alive. He could have used "was" to mean a one time thing, but he used "is"- present tense -to show it is an every time thing he did whenever affliction arose. In other words, w…

Pray About It

- Pray About It
"The Lord God says: I am ready to hear Israel's prayers for these blessings, and to grant them their requests. Let them but ask and I will multiply them like the flocks that fill Jerusalem's streets at time of sacrifice. The ruined cities will be crowded once more, and everyone will know I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 36:37-38 TLB)
     This is exactly what Jesus reminded us of; He said that if you haven't gotten what you desire, ask that your joy might be full (John 16:24). Prayer is never a waste of time. It is simply the perfect means to have needs met and problems solved. Apostle James asked the church if anyone in their midst had been suffering? And then gave them the sleek solution they needed. He said "Let him pray" (James 5:13). And yes while it's true that God knows all about our needs before we even say a word; He still wants us to say it, because the Spirit of God works on words.
     At the beginning, God spoke wo…

Look Up!

- Look Up!
"I WILL lift up my eyes to the hills [around Jerusalem, to sacred Mount Zion and Mount Moriah]--From whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2 AMP)
     As I was doing some chores on a certain day, I needed -and a result kept looking for- an equipment all around the place. I searched for some minutes until I finally found that it was simply hanging above. And right there, God spoke to me, saying "Just like that, many are looking for what they need in life all over the place when what they need is just above them". That day I learned a big lesson.
     I had been exasperated the whole while, but those words brought me back to myself - at least the me the Word tells me that I am. In the same way, I want you to know that when you get frustrated by the many hardships of life, the greatest help you can ever need isn't merely around you, it's above you. You have to learn to look up…

Christ: Our Assurance In Times Of Need

- Christ: Our Assurance In Times Of Need
"In God we boast all day long, and praise thy name forever. Selah." (Psalm 44:8)
     The man in Christ is completely covered. He has the true source to have all his needs met. That's something to be in a frenzy over. The theme verse says "In God we boast all day long". The writer was literally telling us that he took some time each day to brag- but not about himself; about God. Remember, our sufficiency isn't in anything we have, but in whom He is (2 Corinthians 3:5).
     This is exactly what  Paul spoke of when he said that "let him that glorieth glory in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 1:31). Jeremiah had stated something similar when he asked the people not to boast about their wisdom, strength and wealth, but about their God (Jeremiah 9:23-24); for He is their wisdom, strength and wealth. However, to fully understand this; let's see where the writer was coming from when he stated this. He …

Get On The Offensive

- Get On The Offensive
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8)
      The devil is an adversary; meaning that he is always looking for a means to hamper the smooth materialization of God's will towards His people, either by manipulation or what have you. So, he is always against your manifestation as sons of God on the earth.
      But truly can he stop it? Not so, unless you let him. He couldn't stop Jesus, and is in no position to stop us either, unless we fail in understanding. Understanding what? "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God..." (Ephesians 6:12-13).
      Life is spiritual, and is indeed truly a warfare; we are in a battlefield. We have been declared vi…

Christ In Your Heart

- Christ In Your Heart
"And this is the secret: Christ in your heart is your only hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27 TLB)
       The primary reason why you can be confident of your new status in God is because of that very simple truth- Christ in you. The day you became born again, not of the corruptible, but the incorruptible seed by the Word of God, Christ came into your heart by the Spirit. That day you were sealed as a royal member of the Kingdom of God by the Holy Spirit. And that very same day a newness of life began for you (Ephesians 1:13, 1 Peter 1:23).
       However, to get the best of this union you have with God through Christ, you must actively stay conscious of this truth - Christ in you. The day Christ came into your heart, God came into you in His fullness, with the capacity to lead a life that is pleasing and worthy of Him. That's why you can presently live loving Him and for Him.
      But it's important you actively, as I said, stay li…

Always Have A Ready Answer

- Always Have A Ready Answer
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you in meekness and fear" (1 Peter 3:15)
         You are not a Christian by mistake. Christ saved you deliberately; and this made you put your trust in Him completely. So, it is not by chance that you've chosen to trust in Him. You have a cogent reason. You see, the world is a viewing center where people watch people. They came to John the Baptist to ask him why he did what he did; they did the same to Jesus; and definitely without a doubt they'd do the same to you.
        However, when they do come with their questions, you must be ready. Paul was a man who was constantly ready and equipped by the Spirit; and by his testimony led many to Christ, and even King Agrippa was nearly compelled to follow suit. But to do this, religion alone won't do. You have to understand and acknowl…

Thank Him In Anticipation

- Thank Him In Anticipation
"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don't forget to thank him for his answers" (Phil 4:6 TLB).
      Most times when we read this scripture, some assume that he was speaking about thanking God after the reception of the answers to our prayers; but the King James Version reveals that the thanksgiving part is also meant to be among the prayer sequence. It says " prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known". So, it's not a post-prayer agenda; rather it is meant to be an in-prayer agenda. It should in be your prayer itinerary.
      David said we must "enter his gates with thanksgiving, and go into his court with praises; be thankful unto him.." (Psalm 100:4). And what are we going there to do? Scripture says to obtain help, grace and mercy in time of need (Hebrews 4:16). So, as we pray, we must also thank Him simultaneou…

Don't Limit God

- Don't Limit God
"And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him" (Hebrews 11:6)
       Men can't resist God, but they can limit Him. They can't stop Him from being who He is or doing what He does- He is I AM irrespective of opinions and actions; however they can hinder Him from being who He is and doing what He does in their lives. Mark 6:5 says that Jesus couldn't do as much as He wanted in Nazareth because they wouldn't believe Him. They limited Him. How? By their lack of faith. And that's exactly how many of us limit God every day of our lives.
      Jesus said "According to your faith, let it be unto you" (Matthew 9:29). What this means is that God would do for you what you believe He can do for you. That's why it is said that being a believer isn't enough ground for you to be healed, believing God to be your …

Prosperity In Christ

- Prosperity In Christ
"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers." (3 John 2 AMP)
        John's words in our theme verse to the Church wasn't an idea nor an opinion, and neither was it an assumption; it is God's will for all His people. Yes, His absolute will. It is what Christ came and died for.
         In Ezekiel 34, we see the dilapidating state of the people of God; but then in verse 24 He tells us of a chosen Servant, "David" [which is only symbolic for His position as the well beloved of God], and about how He would bring a season of blessings for God's people.  And in verse 29-31, He specifically reveals that by provision of this Messiah, hunger, shame and separation from God will be a thing of the past.
        We see this quickly exercised by Jesus even while He lived on the earth. In Mark 8, about four thousand wearied men with …

They Couldn't Get Over It

- They Couldn't Get Over It
"When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream." (Psalm 126:1)
      When the Lord's hands come upon your situation, it kinds of puts you in a frenzy. That's what miracles do: they get you thinking. Their inability to be explained yet incapable of being denied sends the human reasoning into a frantic mode. That's why David said such moments become like a dream. A day ago you had no hope, and now others look to you for hope. That's something God specializes in.
      Jairus had the same experience. The Bible says that after Jesus raised his daughter from the dead, his entire family "...just couldn't get over it..." (Mark 5:41-42 TLB). It was too good to be true, yet it was true. And this is something God promises to do in our lives every day. He says "Look, and be amazed! You will be astounded at what I am about to do! For I am going to do something in your lifet…

Unlimited Access To The Present-Hour Knowledge

- Unlimited Access To The Present-Hour Knowledge
"And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do" (John 6:6)
     You are no longer an ordinary person now that you're in Christ. You have comprehensive insight into the mysteries and secrets of life, by the provision of He in whom is hidden all the mighty and untapped treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
     This shows us that God meets every inquiry with wisdom. This means that God won't do what you are meant to, rather He shows you how to do it. This is why people are still in the same position in spite of what God has said concerning them: because they expect Him to do for them what He's declared they must learn to do themselves. Like the old saying goes, God subscribes to the concept of a man not just receiving fish but learning to fish; and He is always willing to teach us.
     James 1:5 says "If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and h…

Be Gentle With Others

- Be Gentle With Others
"I THEREFORE, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God's service, Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another." (Ephesians 4:1-2 AMP)
      There is a virtue in Christ that made Him very popular beyond the miracles and signs He did. It outshone situations through Him beyond the shadows of the religious leaders; and made of Him a person everyone considered to run to in times of trouble- regardless of sort. And it was His gentle touch towards all situations.
      Jesus was a man who judged never by appearance but righteousness, as He taught (John 7:24). Jesus wasn't in any way judgmental, but was in all ways considerate and c…

Let God Be Enough For You

- Let God Be Enough For You
"...for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee". (Hebrews 13:5)
     Our theme scripture assures us of God's reliability. Everything might fail, but God won't. He can't even if He wanted to; it's just inconsistent with His nature. And He says that even if everything created were to lose their place, His Word will never be anything else than settled forever. David went further to explain what that means: he said "Even when my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up...and lead me in a plain path" (Psalm 27:10-11). God is just too faithful to fail- regardless of circumstances nor conditions. You just have to believe it, and prove it every day in your attitude.
     In late 2011, I was offered admission into the university of my choice. It was a memorable day- one I had been waiting for. I had aced the entrance exam, and was the number one pick on the department's merit …

Break Free

- Break Free
"For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace". (Romans 6:14)
     The story is told of a man who was passing by a herd of elephants, and saw them being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. Surprised at what he had seen, he went over to the trainer who was just across the road and asked why the animals stood there without making any attempt to get away even when there were no chains or cages, and the trainer said "well, when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it's enough to hold them. As they grow, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free".
     A lot of us are just like those elephants. We go through life hanging on to the belief that we cannot do something simply because we failed at it once before. Many people assume that they a…

You Are The Image Of God

- You Are The Image Of God
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abideth forever" (1 Peter 1:23)
     Not every man is the image of God. Surprised? Well, don't be. When mankind was created in Genesis 1:26, God imputed in him His very nature and identity, but when Adam sinned he fell from that status. Now every man that was born to Adam was born into this fallen status. But in Christ things are different. In Christ, our identity has been recovered and restored. In Christ, we are again the very image of God.
    Remember, the scripture calls us who believe the exact image of the Son (John 1:12); and the Son is also God. So, we are now actively in our Genesis 1:26 heritage again all because of Christ. So as I said, not everyone is the image of God on earth; don't let anyone deceive you. Just like no one can share similar DNA patterns with a father other than his child, no one can share of God…

Our Mission On Earth

- Our Mission On Earth
"It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others" (Ephesians 2:10 TLB)
     The last part of that verse says that it is God's plan that we should spend our lives helping others. In other words, our lives are somewhat currencies God's given us to improve the present state of many individuals. But now the question is, how does He expect us to help them? Just like everything in life, God expects to see just as much of the spiritual equivalent as of the physical. This means that it is expedient that we offer help to their spirit and their body. We'll start with the most beneficial of them both.
     When God planned ages ago that through our lives, we'd help others, He intended that we'd stand as medium to bring them to the position we have been placed in by Him. In the successive verses, the Spirit thro…

He Died For Love

- He Died for Love
"...the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me" (Galatians 2:20 GNB)
     The crowd in Jerusalem thought they were planning to kill Jesus, but they never knew that it was actually He who had long ago planned to die for them. They were motivated by jealousy and hate; but He was moved by love. It was something He had chosen to do for our redemption. They assumed they had cornered Him with their many great accusations that He couldn't respond anymore; they never knew He was simply surrendering Himself to the Father's will.
     This is why His death wasn't a defeat or something to cry about as the disciples initially did, it was an absolute and flawless victory. A reason to celebrate. It demystified the mystery of love- the mystery of His love for us all. It was a well written script from divinity delivered to humanity. The people took responsibility for what they called the blasphemer's punishment, and the curse if a…