The Father's Business

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“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 

Hello,

I pray that you thrive this week by faith in God’s grace.

I woke up this morning to daylight, it was 7:10am, and I jumped out of bed. My alarm wakes me up at 6am every weekday, to start my day. Today, the bell didn’t ring, I had tampered with it the day before. So, I jumped out of bed, checked my daughter’s school day preparations with her nanny, and went to take a bath. I was walking with time because for me, work starts at 8am. However, as I prepared myself, a nagging thought kept tugging at me. What was God’s place in my day?

I know that God is with me throughout the day, but I have benefitted from my quiet times in His presence early in the morning. I get up from there energized and ready. My inner turmoil is calmed, and I can lay down problems and wait for His response. This morning, I missed that place. It got me thinking about my priorities, and who I was preparing to work for, God or myself? 

So, I started asking God how I can hear and walk in His will in every situation? Our lives are about the Father’s business. If we can’t listen to Him, we can’t do His will, and If we can’t do His will, we are working for ourselves.

Coincidentally, my bible plan for the day was listing scripture verses that are in line with my question. These are some of the answers I got:

  1. The presence of God has to be our dwelling place, our place of rest throughout the day. Until we can find rest there, how can we have peace that will enable us to do His will? If our minds are wrapped up with the problems of life, how can we see the light? (Ps 84: 1-4). The place of rest is the place of no distractions, where we can always hear from God.
  2. Our strength has to be drawn solely from Him so that our minds can be set on doing His will regardless of what it takes (Ps 85:5-7). Only then can we bear fruit as we live out His will. Most people are doing the work I do without help from God, but the essence of mine is to glorify Him and live His will. Knowing that it is paramount that I surrender to Him and draw all I need from, trusting that His strength alone will see me through.
  3. Who is God to us? The psalmist in Ps 84:10-12, had a clear understanding of who and what God was to him. There was no confusion there. God was his sun and shield, He was all he required. He understood the blessedness of living in God’s presence, in trust that the Father had only good intentions for His own. 

From an early age, Jesus understood His priorities in life, and He lived only to do God’s will. In John 5, He said he judged as God instructed, and in John 8, He spoke as God gave Him utterance. As we start this new week, may we walk in understanding of our priorities in life, draw strength, and find rest in who our Father is.

Till next time, be transformed!!

The Choice

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‘But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And where ever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.’ Ruth 1:16

Hello,

As I read about Ruth recently, there was a picture painted in my mind, about our choices and God’s grace. God’s all-encompassing grace can change a life forever, keeping one’s name for always written on the tablets of history. As I read the first chapter of Ruth and came to the verse above, I imagined the heavens opening and God leaning down. He heard her that day. He saw her heart and smiling, He withdrew. I feel that His thoughts would have been, “This one, I can use.”

Later on in Matthew 1:5-6, I saw where God’s grace brought her to.

‘Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab,  Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David, the king. David, the king, begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. ‘Matthew 1:5-6

I have no idea what persuaded Ruth to make such a life-changing decision. To leave her father’s house, land, culture, gods, and all she had known, for what? Naomi did not give her hope of a better future; in fact, she reminded her that there was none where she was going. Was it love for Naomi, or a yearning for a God that felt real? A God that could not be made with hands, who she was told listened and of whom she had heard numerous stories during her marriage to Mahlon? I have no idea, but when she made her choice, God took notice. Unknown to Naomi and Ruth, He activated and set into motion the plan for her life.

Since we are sons, then our choices matter. I am not talking about just the big ones like the one Ruth made, but even the small ones are important. I realized that like Ruth and Naomi, who didn’t know that God had heard, we tend to forget that He is Jehovah Shammah, the ever-present one. He sees He hears, speaks, and He knows. We must stay alert not only when we speak, but when we think and judge situations. We make decisions in our hearts all the time, and even without speaking them out, act on them. Decisions on how to live, work, and deal with other people or situations.

The trip for me is not that Ruth became the great grand-mother of King David, or that she went further to become the ancestor of Jesus Christ, our lord. The trip is that by making that single choice, her destiny was activated. The cover of grace provided to see her through every step of the way. In Christ, we have been enabled, and divine favor provided to see us through. So, the ability to make the right choices before Him is guaranteed by faith.

Take the step, make the right choice, and let God write your story.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Who Are You?

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‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ John 1:12-13 

What a blessed new year!

Hello,

I hope your Christmas holiday was enjoyable, fun-filled, or quiet? Mine was quiet but filled with family warmth and comfort.

I finished a Korean series last night, called Mr. Sunshine. I believe in South-Korea’s movie industry, they try. This series is a Korean historical piece set in the late 18th and early 19th century, in Korea. I try my best to avoid movies with any sadness in them, but I found myself watching this series and finishing it. The series is about the Joseon nation, now South Korea, and the battle for its domination by more powerful countries. It is the story of a small nation of people who never gave up the fight for their freedom. The movie showed that till the very end, having lost to Japan, these people kept fighting and dying for their nation. Losing lives, families, and friends, they died for the belief in their cause. I watched as children went hungry, patriots stood facing death afraid, but unwilling to run, they fought till the very end.  The enemy interrogated and tortured them, but they still stood, with faith that one day their country would be free. These patriots died not seeing the fulfillment of what they believed, but hopeful that the ones they left behind would keep up the struggle; that they would keep fighting until Joseon was free. Interestingly, the rebelling patriots in the series were called the Righteous Army, and Joseon is also called Chosen.

‘And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, ‘ Hebrews 11:32-39 

With the new year comes promises of newness, the old is out, but I ask, now what? What does the year mean to you? I hear people say that last year has gone with its problems and afflictions and the new year has come with blessings, amen to that. I pray we speak out of faith in God’s word for us in the year. I hope we stand when that word comes to test, knowing that we are sons of God, not of mere men.

As life comes with its problems in 2020, I am asking myself, who am I? I may have lost to life’s pressure last year, but this year, I pray to stand as a patriot of the kingdom of heaven. That by faith, regardless of the situation I encounter, hunger, lack, sorrow, that I may know that I am a son of the Most High and that He is within me. We are all made for signs and wonders in righteousness, may our eyes be opened to the truth as we seek our Father’s kingdom and His glory.

My prayer for us is that we stand. May we stand in the truth, in faith, in righteousness and, most of all, in love. May God open the eyes of our understanding, teach and instruct us in the way that we should go in Jesus’ name.

Have a blessed week, and till next time, be transformed!

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!!

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!!

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!!

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!!