Posted in christian

The Reality of Salvation

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Hello,

At a point in time in my life, I wanted to know how monks lived. How they were able to live their lives solely on Buddha’s teachings, at work, or in the temple. I was impressed by their dedication and lifestyle, by their willingness to give up life to follow Buddha. Monks take time out, even amongst themselves, to meditate on what they know and believe in achieving their version of enlightenment.

For Christians, the starting point of our walk with God is salvation in Christ. I checked Strong’s Concordance for the definition of salvation and found these words: deliverance; hence aid, victory, prosperity, health. Salvation is just the foundation; we are to build on it.

The reality of our lives is the truth of our lives. So your current state is either based on God’s truth (the word of God) or based on your reality. When people say they are living their truth, that’s what they are doing. Living life based on what they know and believe.

Time for a self-assessment: What is the truth that you are living out right now, are you living based on the truth of the word of God or based on your own? 

The reality of salvation is that we are to live out God’s truth, God’s way, and with God’s life in us. We are to chose to live by faith and not by sight. We are to follow Christ, depend on the presence of God in us, instead of on ourselves (treasure in earthen vessels). 

I was fascinated by the movie Dr. Strange. I watched Buddhist monks achieve levels of spiritual enlightenment. Their powers increased based on the levels of knowledge they attained. These were men and women who willingly gave up their lives just for knowledge. On the other hand, we Christians have the truth.

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 

The more we engage the Spirit of God in our daily endeavors and submit our lives to Him, the more we will live out truth and be set free.

‘For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.’ Ephesians 3:14-19 

Allow me to paraphrase the verses above from Ephesians. Paul was praying to the Father to strengthen us internally through His Spirit, to carry Christ (the truth) in our hearts, through faith. So, being grounded in Christ, we may understand the fullness of His (God’s) love, which goes beyond knowledge to living it out. Consequently, as we live Christ, we live out the fullness of God.

I believe we can learn something from the monks that would help us live out the truth. They set the time out to meditate. For us, it is the time to commune with the Holy Spirit, to ask, seek, and knock. Does this have to be a first thing in the morning or last thing at night event? I believe that it should be all the time. When we wake up, at work, and till we sleep. Let the reality of our salvation be the basis of life in Christ to enable us to move on to living out our destinies in Him.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

Our Focus

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For thus says the Lord God , the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, Isaiah 30:15

Hello,Lately, I seem to be fighting battles on every side and trying to keep to my work schedule (school is out). Through the weekend, I kept hearing the end part of the verse above from Isaiah. So, today I visited the 30th chapter of Isaiah and understood.

God was speaking to his rebellious children, who trusted more in others than in Him. Children who did not involve Him in their plans, counsel, or seek Him for strength. He told them that going to Egypt and pharaoh would be to their shame and would not profit them. He had earlier warned them to return (repent) and find rest in Him, the fountain of living waters. To be quiet in rest and confident in the hope of His salvation.

I stopped reading at this point because I noticed that God did not just call Israel to repentance, but also to rest as part of the salvation process. When the prodigal son returned, he found rest from the hustle, not as a servant, but as a son of the house. In Christ, we are sons of God. If that is so, why was I struggling? When we are not at rest, we are not experiencing the salvation Christ died to obtain for us.

Part b of Isaiah 30:15 states that we manifest our strength by the quietness and confidence in God with which we live. How quiet have I been internally, to hear God, and externally in dealing with others. When there is a struggle in the heart/mind, we tend to react and not respond. Our quietness must come from our confidence in He who is with us at all times. So, where is our focus?

‘Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.’ II Corinthians 4:16-18 

Though we may seem to be perishing, afflicted, and struggling on every side, do not lose heart. Do not worry because what we are going through is light, and only for a moment, it shall pass. So, today I ask, where is our focus, based on the following questions:

  1. Where is Christ seated?
  2. Where are we in Christ?
  3. Are we victims or victors?
  4. Is the devil trying to steal, kill, and destroy us through any means possible?
  5. Has God brought us through worse situations?

If we can answer these questions, our focus should change. We should be standing/seating tall instead of slumped over. Whatever we have done or didn’t do to get where we are is not the issue, we should believe in the fountain of living waters and not on broken cisterns.

‘Therefore the Lord will wait, that He may be gracious to you; And therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him. And though the Lord gives you The bread of adversity and the water of affliction, Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, But your eyes shall see your teachers. Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.’ Isaiah 30:18,20-21

Rest, be quiet, and stay confident; He will come and save you.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

The Light of the World

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“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

Hello,

Here in Nigeria, due to the unstable power supply, we have a deep appreciation for light. Some of us go so far as to say that power is life. What is about darkness or lack of electricity that darkens moods and affects people negatively? Well, I know that power enables the fans and air conditioners to work, cooling the air. My food is cooled/frozen in the refrigerator and can last longer. I also have access to running water that is filtered. All these are some of the benefits of electricity to me at home.  How about the small businesses and large organizations, how do they fare without power? I bet the developed countries cannot survive without access to a constant power supply.

If we feel this way about the power that doesn’t give life, what of the light that does. Jesus said that He is the light of the world, the light of life. The sun shines during the day and the moon during the night. Do me a favor, close your eyes, and imagine a world without the sun and the moon. A world where we see not by the stars in the sky, but by the word of God we hear and believe. How is that possible?

We wake up in the morning and we go to bed at night because it is night, but what if the word of God to us individually directs our waking and sleeping times? Our breakfast, lunch, and dinner times? Our going out and coming in, our work and playtimes?

Don’t forget that this light has the power of life as well. If we follow Jesus, we have life, God’s life. We can speak, pray, and live out God’s will on the earth. God has made us priests and kings and seated us in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. He died that we may live out these realities.

I believe that walking in darkness means living without the word of God. It is the word that provides light for our journey through life, defining our paths so that we walk in our lanes. Without this light, we walk in the natural light provided for the earth. We live the same mundane lives that everybody else does. We are troubled by diverse situations and circumstances, and instead of overcoming and being victorious, we become the victims. I believe that is not the reason Christ died at all.

I grew up playing the victim any chance I got because I could and wanted to. I threw a lot of pity parties and expected people around me to understand and encourage me. Now, God expects me to stand up as the priest and king he has made me in Christ (my light), over my household, my life, and the church. I have to learn to live out my position in Christ, or my Christianity is a lie because in Christ (our light), nothing is impossible.

May God’s grace shine upon us as we walk in the light of life.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

The Faithful Witness

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“and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  Revelation 1:5-6 

Hello,

May God’s grace guide you through a fulfilling week in Jesus’ name.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a witness as one who has personal knowledge of something. Jesus Christ was a faithful witness who knew God and His destiny and lived it out in truth. In my last post, I asked a question, can we stand on what we know if push comes to shove? My take on it is below.

“So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” ‘Luke 2:48-49

Even as a boy, Jesus understood who His Father was. He realized who and what He was, and so He set out to learn and to do. Do we all know why we are here on earth? Even if you don’t have it written in black and white with your name on it, do you understand that you are a part of the body of Christ, set apart for good works? For Jesus, it was personal. God is His Father, and It was about doing the Father’s work in His life and death. This relationship cannot be explained by the pastor but must be established individually with God. It must be tangible, a fact we can hold onto. If you don’t have that yet, go to Daddy. He is waiting for you.

‘Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. ‘John 11:25 

Jesus knew and lived the scriptures with the understanding that they were about Him. The more we relate with God, the more the way, the truth, and life are revealed to us. Jesus also left us the helper, the Holy Spirit, to guide us. The more we depend on Him, the more we live out scripture. I have noticed that Jesus did not open His mouth casually, nor did he behave carelessly. His words and movements were planned, with a heavy dependence on prayer. Jesus spoke and acted as led by God, not by sight or feelings. I believe that we can also make this our lifestyle, one of complete dependence on the Father. We should start with the minutest of decisions. Decisions like when to wake up, what to wear, what and when to eat etc. The more we yield the small choices and see Him respond, the easier it will be to submit the bigger ones to Him.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19 

He knew He had come to die. Was it easy? No. The garden of Gethsemane testifies to that fact, but did He do it? Yes. Wouldn’t you agree that his life alone had been glorious? However, He died as well. We must understand that in the relationship with God, whatever we face, God has allowed. Jesus was the first-born from the dead, and we are also made alive in Christ by death. Dying daily that we may live for God, on earth, and afterward.

The reality of the kingdom is personal, and no one can make you live it. It must come out of the relationship. Complete dependence on the Father. A knowing that regardless of what we may go through, in Christ, we have conquered. So the faithful witness understands that his/her life is for God and learns daily to live and walk aright. We have the scriptures and led by God’s Holy Spirit, and we will have light daily for our paths.

Note: The physical and spiritual are different. We cannot live both the same way. We must die to one, to live the other effectively. I am not saying give up families, jobs and lifestyles, etc. I am saying that to live for God, is to live God’s way, through faith. If we ask, He will show us day by day.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Posted in christian

The Truth that Sets Us Free

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“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” Psalms 139:7

Hello everyone,

I was speaking to a friend a couple of weeks ago, and she said she had taken time away from God. I thought about that conversation and felt sad because I understood that nothing good would come out of it, I would know. A week later, I traveled out of town for a few days and experienced my own time off from God. I went for an event that was emotionally and physically stressful for me and thoughtlessly depended on God less and less. I started seeing by sight and not by faith, and I eventually broke down emotionally. I took my eyes away from God and focused on life and got the results of that process. Now, my breakaway was unintentional, unlike my friend, but at the end of the day, it is the same thing.

Today, the verse in Psalm 139 is asking us, where can we run to, to avoid God? If we are always in His presence, is it not wise to utilize it for good? If He is for us, for our good, shouldn’t we take advantage of the grace and mercies always available from a loving Father?

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” I John 5:4-5

Like me, people tend to focus on life, feelings, and what they are going through. Taking away our eyes from Christ Jesus, our truth wrestles the victory we have over life away from us. The victory is our faith, which means regardless of what we see, feel, smell, hear, or taste in the physical, in Christ, we have overcome the world. We are victorious! The truth is that we are to have faith in Jesus, the son of God, not man. The son of the creator of all things, the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, and ever-present God. I looked away from this for a while and allowed life to overwhelm me. I believe my friend also became overwhelmed as the world and life dealt her blow after blow.

“He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.” I John 5:10

Your life is continually testifying for or against God. The way you live either glorifies God or makes Him a liar. When we live in unbelief, we prove that God’s truth in our lives are lies. We are God’s witnesses of the truth in Christ Jesus, and what are we testifying? See below:

“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” I John 5:11

We are testifying that Christ died and that we have eternal life/everlasting life/God’s life, in Him. In Christ, I carry the presence of God, and I have the Spirit of God for guidance. However, I have realized that it is easy to say these things, but can we stand by them when push comes to shove? 

I know this:

  1. God is always with us
  2. His presence is accessible as we are in the dispensation of grace
  3. We have overcome whatever may come against us by faith
  4. Our lives are continually testifying for or against God by how we chose to live
  5. We have the life of God in us and have access to all the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

As the time draws near, let us focus more on the truth and not depend on our senses or our might. May God’s truth shine brightly into our hearts, setting us free in Jesus’ name!

Note: Please take out time to pray for Christians all over the world. Many have broken away intentionally and unintentionally. May they find their way back to our loving Father, back to the house of God.

Till next time, be transformed!!