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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dealing With Marital Unfaithfulness

When someone you are committed to love and have covenanted your life to, to spend the rest of your life with and share yourself with all the remaining days of your life is not as faithful to that covenant, but is rather having extra-marital affairs with someone else, the knowledge of this is a thing I am at loose of words to describe. I am tempted to use words like hurt of feelings or betrayal, but I am not sure if these best describes what I am trying to communicate to anyone reading this post.
Marital unfaithfulness is the leading cause of divorce in marriages and has played a major role in troubled homes. In fact some people go to the extreme and do unthinkable things when they find out their spouse have been unfaithful to them. As a matter of fact some kill for it. Jesus understanding how hurtful this can be in Matthew 19:9 gave marital unfaithfulness as the only reason why anyone can go for a divorce. But the clause to that we will find in 1 Corinthians 7:11 when Paul speaking as God’s mouth piece says divorce can only take place if the person going for the divorce option remains unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband, and same goes for the man.
In the culture of the part of the world where I come from (which is African/Nigerian), it is permissible for the man to cheat on his wife, in fact it is a common occurrence that a man is cheating on his wife and it is assumed that the wife should understand and bear with it. So in the man’s world it is understandable to cheat on your wife. But when its the the wife who cheats on her husband, it is totally a thing of great dishonour to the woman and most unlikely if her marriage is not destroyed completely whenever the husband gets to know about it. What beats me in this tradition is if the woman is less human than the man and if it is also assumed that she should not hurt over the fact that her husband is having extra-marital affairs or there is no sense of betrayal that should be mourned over on her part. But with all these said, the main purpose of this message is not to dwell too much on the problem of marital unfaithfulness, but to trust God to help us with a workable solution for those struggling with such in their marriage without having to face the follow up problem of divorce or separation.  
I once wrote a message on this blog on the topic of trust in the marriages and in dealing with the issue of unfaithfulness which is closely tied to the word TRUST, I will be making some similar conclusions as we did then. But the first thing to address when trying to heal through the problem of marital unfaithfulness is the ability to forgive. One of the reasons why marital unfaithfulness leads to so many other problems in marriages is the inability of the one who has been bruised to forgive his/her spouse. In fact Jesus stated in Matthew 19:8 that the reason why Moses permitted divorce was because the hearts of men were hard. When you cannot see yourself forgiving your spouse, then the issue of divorce comes into the picture.
To ask whether it is possible to forgive a spouse who has dishonoured the marriage covenant you both share is a question I will personally give a YES answer to, depending on how far you are willing to remove the hardness of your heart and bear in you the mind of Christ. And if asked whether I really do understand what it means to have my husband cheat on me, I will still give you a yes answer to that too, because I have been through that road before, I understand the betrayal and I have felt the hurt before and still I have forgave my husband, trusted God to help me through with grace to trust my him again and I have a beautiful marriage going for me, married to a wonderful husband who though has made his mistakes and we have healed together and with God he has helped me heal through the process.
Once you are able to forgive your spouse, it really does not end there. Dealing with marital unfaithfulness is not just about forgiving your spouse, it is about preventing the situation from re-occuring, and being able to build the trust the you once had for your spouse. Forgiving your spouse for cheating on you is a factor that depends on you, but preventing him/her from cheating on you again is a thing that you cannot determine. It not a factor that depends on you, but on your spouse with the help of God. Then rebuilding the trust you once had for him/her is a factor that depends on you, but will be greatly boosted by your spouse’s actions and commitment to you and the marriage. I will trust God to help give better details on these rebuilding process. 
Like I just mentioned, the fact that your spouse will not cheat on you again after you must have forgiven him or her is an issue that you as a person can determine no matter how hard you try. The more you try to be vigilant and monitor his/her movement, the more concealed he/she becomes of their sins. For the unrepentant spouse, they will only learn better ways to conceal the sin than give it up. But when you kneel before the Lord in prayer and hand over your spouse and his/her sins to God, He will not just forgive and wash the sins away, He will replace his heart of stone with a heart of flesh and put a new spirit in him. He will give him reasons to run away from marital unfaithfulness beyond what you can ever imagine. Proverbs 21:1 says “The king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” Also Ezekiel 36:25-27 reads “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of sone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” From this two passages, you understand that to run away from the sins of marital unfaithfulness, you only need to commit your spouse to God and trust the Lord to do a renewal work in his/her life and place him/her on the path of those that please the Lord rather than those that gratify the lust of the flesh. Don't bother to believe that your spouse is remorseful and will change, but rather trust God to change him or her. It is easier and more assuring to trust God to make the necessary changes in the life of your spouse than to trust your spouse to change by their own self effort.
The last thing to consider when dealing to this kind of problem in marriage is the ability to trust your spouse again. But the truth is that you do not need to bother yourself with trying to trust your spouse, it is more reassuring to trust God to change your spouse for you. Jeremiah 17:5-9 reads “5This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. 6He will be like the bush in the wasteland; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives. 7But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. 8He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruits. 9The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’’ So from what we have read in this passage it is more assuring to trust God even in the matter of your spouse’s faithfulness to you. Trying to trust and believe that they can be faithful by themselves will only open you up to possible disappointment again in the future. For the unrepentant spouse, they only learn better tactics to conceal their extra-marital affairs such that you don't know than giving it up.
It gives you more assuring confidence that you have handed the matter to God and you trust Him to bring about a lasting solution to it. With God working on your behalf, you will see the changes in the life of your spouse that leaves you no doubt that he/she is a new person that is worthy of your love and trust again. But you need to trust God to make a change first than to trust your spouse to change with self effort.
With all that the Lord has help us to know in this message, I am positive that overcoming marital unfaithfulness without divorce or separation is still very much possible. When you are able to forgive your spouse and trust God to make the desired changes in his/her life you are sure of a beautiful marriage and more sure of your spouse’s salvation. Your labour in this regard is never in vain.

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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Believing Spouse Vs The Unbelieving Partner

1 Corinthians 7:14
For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

I do have a love for marriages, and I am convinced that if we can get it right at the home front, then the world will be a better place for all to live in. The home is the foundational bedrock of any society, and the larger the number of homes functioning well, with love abounding in the home, then the society at large will surely function well.
In the verse before us, Paul addressed the issue of an unbeliever married to a believer. It is correct that Paul in 2 Corinthian 6:14-18 says we should not be equally yoked with unbelievers, but if probably both were unbelievers when they got married, and one spouse found Christ, does that negate their marriage union? 
Even in that case, the position of God has not changed, and God has not permitted divorce or separation on grounds of belief. It might appear as though Paul permitted that a believer separates from his/her spouse if the unbelieving spouse wishes it so, but I bless God that Paul beginning in 1 Corinthians 7:12 stated that he was just saying his view and not God's position. And so, we will not be wrong to conclude that the belief factor is also not a reason strong enough for a married couple to consider divorce or separation. 
With that been said, we will now consider a marriage relationship between a believer and an unbeliever. Paul said, that the unbelieving wife has been sanctified by the believing husband, and also the unbelieving husband has been sanctified by his believing wife. Job 22:30 confirm this statement of Paul in some ways, it reads: "He will deliver even one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands." And so we understand that God will show mercy to your unbelieving spouse through your own righteousness or better still the cleanness of your hands.
It a thing of joy to know that the mercy of God will radiate through you even to your spouse. This should not be misery to you though, knowing that you and your spouse are one in flesh and spirit before God and man. So by virtue of your relationship with God your spouse enjoys the mercy of the Lord until he/she is also won over to God. 
I want to believe that for the believing spouses this is a message worth been joyful over, knowing that as you wait on God for the salvation of your loved one he/she still enjoy God's grace and mercy through the cleanness of your hands. And with you standing in the gap in prayer for him/her  and showing him/her the love of Christ in your daily living, it will not be long before he/she will also be won over to Christ Jesus.

My books are currently available on using the links below, you can view them and buy one for yourself and loved ones. I assure you this books will minister to you to the glory and praise of God. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dealing With Abusive Marriage

1 Peter 3:1-2
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

Proverbs 19:13
A foolish son is his father’s ruin, and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.

Proverbs 21:9
Better to live on a corner of the roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Malachi 2:16
“I hate divorce,” says the Lord God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says the Lord Almighty.

Some minutes ago I was discussing with some married women and the line of discussion was on marital abuse such that the wives are being physically abused by their husbands. And while I was quiet and listening to the other two women speak, their conclusions were that they could not take such from any man. But the reality is that I will term them lucky to be married to men who by nature of their upbringing do not abuse women. But for those men and women who are challenged with abusive marriage I will tell you categorically that this is a problem like all other problems we encounter in life that can be overcome without you leaving that marriage depending on how you deal with the issue.
Most times a lot of women have been advised to leave the marriage for safety of their lives when the abuse becomes bloody in nature, and I am also tempted to go for same advise for those in abusive marriages. But after the assumed temporary separation, what happens next? And also what are the chances that the couple will ever get back together given that they did not heal from the wounds of the abuse while being together. So the natural thought is that they are better separated, given that if possibly they get back together there are no guarantees that the problem will not reoccur.
So what I will be trusting God to help us address is how the couple can overcome the problem of abuse in marriage without having go to through the process of separation. Based on my own personal experience I am convinced that divorce is not the solution to a troubled marriage. I am also convinced that separation is not the answer to an abusive marriage.
The mostly discussed form of abusive in marriage is that of the husband over the wife. Although there one too many cases also of men being the ones on the receiving end of the abuse and I am also trusting God to help us look through that aspect of abuse, but we will first address the issue of the man abusing the wife in a marriage situation.
I once wrote a post on dealing with dispute in marriage and the conclusions arrived at in that post will not be far from that which I will be discussing in this post. For the man to abuse his wife for any reason there will be an underlining cause to it. The man might be pushed into it by his wife, it might be an hereditary traits to that problem, it might also be that he is having an extra-marital affair and thus the other woman pleases him more while his wife has began to irritate him, it might be that he is operating under the influence of a curse or some demonic powers are on display in his life or even that he is experiencing some frustrations in his finances or having other forms of challenges and is taking out his frustration on his wife, and there might be many other reasons for his ungentlemanly attitude. But whatever the case maybe the wife is still the one assigned by God to help him get over it because in all of a man’s troubles in life, the wife is God’s appointed suitable help for him.
I am sure most wives who are at the receiving end of the rod in an abusive marriage will find it a little difficult to accept my last statement but that is the truth of the word of God. It is assumed that the wives are more discerning, mostly especially if the wife is a godly wife, and if this happens to be true, then the wives will be in the position to seek help on behalf of their husbands who might never agree that he requires help in this situation rather than abandon their marriages for uncertainty.
Peter in 1 Peter 3:1-2 admonished the wives to win their husbands for the Lord not by words but by their behaviours. If for example, your husband shouts at you and you have assumed that you are his wife and not his slave that should be shouted at and so decides that the appropriate thing to do is to shout back at him, which in turn leads to an argument that eventually degenerates to the exchange of punches, then I will say that the wife has behaved less than God expects of her in that marriage. Her behaviour has not in any way displayed that of a suitable helper available for God’s use to win her husband over to God. The self esteem of a woman is not in any way affected by your husband’s bouts of shout. You are a beautiful woman loved and appreciated by God irrespective of your husbands shouts. Your response to your husband’s shouts over time will tell if he will continue to shout or he will eventually give up that nasty behaviour. Your husband’s negativity will only affect you to the extent to which you allow it to. Your prayerful calmness on the other hand is a trait that over time, will produce a result of calmness and peace in your home. And so Peter said that your unbelieving husband will be won over to the Lord not with words, but by your behaviour.
If your husband is being violent to you for reasons other than you trying to be the boss lady in the marriage, you are still the instrument the Lord desires to use in helping him because the are God’s designated suitable helper for his life. Your husband as a victim might never be able to explain the reason behind his behaviour, but you as the closest to him and being empowered to discern things will be able to narrow down possible reasons to his behaviour and persistently take the situation to God in prayer. Praying continuously and fervently until you see results. Sometimes when you are downcast you can seek help from trusted true believers who can join you in supplication to God over the matter until God comes through for you, and He surely will. But you need to ensure that you do all that is possible to keep yourself from harms way at the time of his violent outburst ensuring that you didn't trigger the outburst and while not doing anything to jeopardize your marriage until the normalcy is restored in your home.  
If your husband is beginning to act strange as a result of the fact that he is seeing another woman outside of the marriage, though it will definitely hurt you and you’ll feel betrayed, but you still need to get yourself together and pray the strange woman out of your husband’s life and out of your marriage. In most cases being confrontational about it might enable you a momentary satisfaction, but will most likely not solve the problem. But when you take the matter to God in prayer and pray the truth of the word of God in Proverbs 5:15-20 and Genesis 2:24 which says you and your husband are one in flesh and spirit and not with a strange woman, then you will surely see positive and lastly results that will give you peace and restore love into your home. You also need to ensure that you remain physically attractive to your husband and enable him the satisfaction he deserves from his wife
With all that has been said concerning the woman and a violent husband, we will take a glance at the issue of a quarrelsome woman. If as a man your wife is quarrelsome, and is on the verge to pushing you to the wall, then I implore you to be the advocate of that woman before God just as Christ Jesus is our advocate before God the Father until the Lord transforms her into the wife of noble character that will promote the favour of God in your life. I understand that sometimes it can be frustrating when the woman who should be giving you peace has become a thorn in your flesh, but try imagine the patience that Christ keeps up with over his stubborn bride which is the church yet He continue to intercede for them before God. Bearing in you the mind of Christ, I will beg you to continue to prayer tirelessly for your wife until the Lord comes into her life and speaks calmness into her.
Seeking succor from another woman will just encourage sin that will ultimately ensnare your life and hinder your prayers, and being violent is also not an option because it is an attitude that God hates. Divorce as it maybe is also not a readily available answer to that problem, but when you trustingly commit the situation into the hands of God, it is just a matter of time for you to start experiencing a newness in your wife that gives you much pleasure and peace.
Marriage is a beautiful place to be, not that it without its challenges but when God has been made that foundation of that union then you are guaranteed of peace, joy and love in your union, being mindful of the truth that two are better than one. When you have learnt and you abide by God’s rules of engagement for your marriage you cannot get it wrong because the author’s manual of the God that established marriage is what your union is running with. Your life and home is blessed in Jesus Name.   

My books are currently available on using the provided links below. They will minister to your lives to the glory and praise of the living God.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

A Guaranteed Promise

Numbers 23:18-24
Then he uttered his oracle:
“Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor. God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.
“No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. The Lord their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’
The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till he devours his prey and drinks the blood of his victims.”

I bless God for another wonderful opportunity to share a bit of God’s word on this blog site. It's been a long while since I posted a message here, well I’ll blame it on health and the so many distractions that have been trying to take my focus away from the assignment of God in my life. Not that the messages are not important, but the strength to continually do this I pray for daily.
The oracle uttered by Balam in the passage above shows that it is impossible for God to speak and not act, and also it is impossible for God to promise and not fulfill. Even though we are assured God is boundless and there nothing is impossible for Him to do, but when it comes to God speaking a word over a situation, it is impossible for the word to be reversed or the promise of God to go unfulfilled.
For the descendants of Abraham, the promise of God that will not go unfulfilled is a promise of blessing, protection, strength and victory. A full package I must say coming from God for His own people that will not change as long as these people remain His people and are not snatched away by sin and the lust-fullness of the world.
The sure word of God concerning the descendants of Abraham spoken by Balam says, “no misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel.” From this line of the oracle, it is certain fact that the descendants of Abraham are protected from any and every form of evil. In order to appreciate this better lets hear what satan has to say to God concerning Job in Job 1:9. “ ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’ Satan replied. ‘Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.” From this we can now understand that when a man works right before the Lord, God protects him and all he has from any evil. Balam’s oracle has made this known concerning the descendants of Abraham and then satan also confirmed it concerning the life of Job.
Another sure thing that is made known in the oracle of Balam is that God is in the camp of the descendants of Abraham. He says “the shout of the King is among them.” And so no sorcery or divination can work against the children of Israel. They are the untouchable breed as long as they are not consumed by sin.
If we are convinced that the oracle of Balam is true and we know that till date the descendants of Abraham are is covered by the covenant spoken of by Balam, then we need to find out if we can part-take of this covenant and have the blessings, protection, strength and victory of God abide is our own lives too.
Galatians 3:26-29 answers this question for us, it reads: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise." So we now know that as long as we belong to Jesus, we are blessed and that is a fact that no-one can change. There is no misfortune seen in us and no misery observed in our dwelling. The Lord is with us and the shout of the King is among us. We have the strength of a ox and there is no sorcery against us nor is there any divination against us. That is our heritage. That is what the Lord has spoken concerning our lives which will not go unfulfilled. He has spoken it and He will act on it. HALLELUYAH!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Win-Win Victory Is Inevitable When You Love Rather Than Hate

Romans 12:14-21
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge, I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

My past few days have been so occupied with many activities like having two of my children breaking out with measles and having to spend three days in the hospital and still having to keep awake now to watch over one of them still burning up with fever. Then I have needing to watch my own health due to stress and fatigue. But I thank God that in all Jesus has the final say and my family will be back on their feet to the glory of God alone.
I have not shared a post on this site in about 14days and the work on my books have been halted. So I started to pray and trust God for a word a share that will make an impact on the lives of those who read it. Many passages came to mind as I began to search the word of God, I was blank as to what to write but the Lord will never let His work be left undone and on this site the word of God will not be scarce in Jesus Name.
The passage above is one that when my spirit decided to write on it, I must confess I didn’t know what exactly to write as the passage is self explanatory. But one of the first things that the Lord dropped on my mind when I began to type is found in verse 15 and it says “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” But Paul did not give the category of those to rejoice with or mourn with. The thought that first came to mind is that "what if those who rejoice are not in the circle of believers, are we still to rejoice with them? Then what if the category of those who mourn are not in the circle of believers, are we still to mourn with them? "
Answering this question is not far fetched at all. If the Lord in verse 14 which is the preceding verse says we should bless those who persecute us and not curse them, then we need to understand that those to rejoice or mourn with and in fact pray for are not just those within the circle of believers, but even those who though are consumed in their own ignorance still need a touch of Jesus in their lives.
For quite a number of people, it's appears like hard teaching when the God says do not take revenge. It feels satisfying to the flesh when someone hurts you and you are able to see that person experience in same measure or more of the level of pain they have inflicted on you. But in truth what happens next after you have watched your adversary or persecutor go through any measure of pain. You experience a moment of satisfaction and that ends it.
When God says do not revenge, He does not mean to allow your persecutor to go unpunished, but first there is a level of grace made available to him/her to make room for repentance. The grace that was extended to you through the perfect finished work of Jesus on the Cross at Calvary is in fact open to all to take hold of and benefit from.
Once I read in the news of a head of a Christian Movement in Nigeria advocating for Christians to be allowed to carry arms and fight back against the insurgents that are slaughtering Christians in the name of religion. And although this might sound fair, but is that the God approach to such a matter? I have learned that nothing draws the attention of a man’s heart as much as the fervent and continuous display of love even in the wake of terrible persecution. The devil behind the problem gets confused when you are being persecuted, but rather than hate and fight back you choose the path of love.
The truth is that your labour of love is not an empty effort. It will either cause a change of heart for your persecutor and draw him/her to the source of your strength which is God, therefore causing a repentance of heart for him/her and you would have gained a soul for the Kingdom of God, not with the preaching of mouth but with your actions of love and forgiveness, or it will heap burning coals on his/her head making the wrath of God inevitable. Which ever way it goes, it is win-win situation.
The last thing that caught my attention is what Paul said in verse 18 of the passage, it reads, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” From what we are seeing here, it is understandable when you want to make peace with an adversary and the person isn’t forth coming or not ready for a reconciliation. But the broken peace should not be by your own doing as a child of God, and even in the event that such a thing happens, giving this so called adversary some space is understandable, but not to further aggravate the situation is what I believe the Lord is saying through Paul. As a child of God you need to make every effort to be at peace with all men not withstanding the provocation.
At times when I have to write on an issue such as this, my mind is always quick to go to the story of David and Saul his master who hated him for no reason at all. Instead of David been confrontational and fight for his defense, in 1 Samuel chapters 24 and 26, we read of how David had the golden opportunities to avenge himself and kill Saul, but rather than doing that he let God handle the matter for him and deal with His anointed Himself. But his labour of love and self restrain was not in vain. Saul was eventually dealt with by God and David was anointed king over all Israel.  
For as long as it depends on you, the Lord wants you to be at peace with everyone. God requires that you make every effort towards leaving at peace with those around you. When you have this as a focus in your daily relationships with people, it will always be a win-win situation for you.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

In Marriage, Who Should Do The Proposing?

Ruth 3:1-5
One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be provided for? Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing-floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

Yet another interesting lesson to learn from the book of Ruth. I bless the living God for always opening His word unto us. Today’s post will again come with a message for the intending couples and the singles who are looking up to God for the man or woman whom the Lord has made for them and made them for. The message today touches on the issue of marriage proposal. Who is the ideal of the two to propose marriage to the other? Is it the man to propose marriage to the woman as the tradition has it now, or the woman can also propose marriage to the man without the feeling of shame or worthlessness?
Although based on the traditional norms, it is the right thing that the man who wishes to marry a woman proposes marriage to her. If a woman is seen proposing marriage to a man there is this idea that such a woman is desperate for marriage or probably lacks shame or self-worth. But the truth is that a lot of woman have missed out on the man of their dreams or their God ordained husband because they waited endlessly for the man to propose and he didn’t and they eventually took that as a sign that he is not interested as they could not wait any longer and thus ended the relationship.
Ruth was made to propose marriage to Boaz on the leading her Naomi her mother-in-law and God did not condemn this act, rather Ruth the woman with the noble character found rest in the house of Boaz and she became the great-grandmother of that wonderful king David and was thus in the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so this tells me that heaven in not particular about who amongst the two intending couples proposes to the other as long as they are working in accordance to the will for God for their lives and they have the approval of God on the covenant they are about to commit themselves into.
This is not to say that women have been given the go ahead to run after every man they lust after and propose marriage to them because Ruth proposed to Boaz. But if the Lord has ordered your steps to that man to be his wife and you are so sure of this, He will prepare the heart of that man ahead of your arrival and both of you will know that the meeting of you two is ordained by the Lord. God had prepared the heart of Adam before the arrival of Eve, and in the same manner He had prepared the heart of Boaz before Ruth was led to lie at his feet by the instruction of Naomi. You cannot just go ahead chasing every man on the road because you feel you are getting over-aged for marriage and its time to propose if the man will not.
Ruth’s proposal did not come in words but actions, and based on the customs of their times Boaz understood the meaning of her actions and responded accordingly. So if as a woman you are led to that man  by the Lord and you feel you cannot get the words out, then use the actions that by the grace of God he will understand and act on. But this must be with the express approval of the living God. If the man is not getting the message of your action and not responding favourably, please don't push any further, go back to your kneels and start to pray. It could be that the Lord has not prepared the heart of that man ahead of you. At this point you need to throw out all emotions and get a clear word from God. Maybe the Lord has not led you to that man but rather your emotions have taken the best of you.
Solomon advised in the book of Song of songs 8:4 that “Daughter of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.” The emotion called love should not come into your heart concerning any man or woman for the purpose of marriage before you have prayed well and sought the face and consent of God concerning that man or woman before releasing your love to them. But if you have prayed well and you are sure the Lord has led you to that man, then as a woman heaven does not forbid you to propose marriage to him in whatever way you find convenient to do it. And also for the man, if you have prayed well and you are sure that the woman you have invested your desires in is the woman God has designed and prepared for your life’s journey, then feel free to propose marriage to her in a way and manner that you find convenient for you to communication the message and the leave the rest in the hands of God.
The person who does the proposing is not a matter that is of major importance as long as the will of God is carried out in your lives.    

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Beauty Is Not Enough

Ruth 2:4-12
Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!”
“The Lord bless you!” they called back.
Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, “Whose young woman is that?”
The foreman replied, “She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She went into the field and worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”
So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don't go and glean in another field and don't go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”
At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed, “Why have I found favour in your eyes that you notice me  - a foreigner?”
Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of her husband - how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Again I thank God for the grace to glean from His words and be richly blessed by the abundance of wisdom found in the truth of the word of God. By the grace of God this post will be a continuation of lessons from the book of Ruth and will benefit especially intending couple and those trusting God for the gift of a spouse. I am trusting God that those who carry out marriage counseling in organizations and churches will also find the content of this post useful for them. But in all, it is the word of God for us all to learn and be blessed from to the glory and praise of the living God.
When I did a series of posts on the book of Esther, one of the lessons that was shared was the importance of physical appearance and beauty in marriage. It was an interesting discovery that no matter in what little proportion, it is necessary that a woman pays attention to her looks and takes care of her physical appearance. Although it is also important to emphasize that the physical beauty is not a sustaining factor in marriage but a pleasant spice in the union. It must also be done within the context of moderation. In fact, it should be done in agreement with God. Esther we see in the book of Esther chapter 2, did not take any extra beauty treatment save of what was recommended for her (Esther 2:15), yet by the grace of the God of the Jews, she won the favour of everyone who saw her and won the favour and approval of the king. So in as much as beauty is a very nice spice in marriage, we need to work at it in agreement with God.
But what we are learning today is a bit different from the story of Esther, Ruth in her own case did not get noticed by Boaz on account of beauty but of deeds. So more important a factor than beauty in marriage is that word called CHARACTER. From the passage before us, we will notice first the testimony of the harvester's foreman concerning Ruth the Moabitess. He said she had worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter. This I believe is good enough a reason for any man to seek to want to know more about a woman. No man wants to marry a lazy wife, no man wants to be husband to a liability of a wife. When a wife is lazy, then how will she be able to fulfill her God given assignment of a help-meet (suitable help) in the life of her husband. Boaz saw the dedication with which Ruth was carrying on her duty, she was a face he had not seen before on his field and so he inquired about her, and the report he got was something interesting to him - she had worked steadily from morning till now was the report Boaz got of Ruth.
When Boaz eventually spoke to Ruth and she noticed his kindness, she asked him why he took notice of her, and the response she got from him is another lesson that we need to consider. He said “he had heard of all she has done for her mother-in-law,” but what I love about Boaz response was the issue of Ruth leaving her father and mother to take refuge under the wings of the God of Israel. As I have said in my last post, that was the distinguishing factor between Ruth and Orpah. Orpah just as Ruth took care of her mother-in-law while in Moab, but she returned to her gods while Ruth decided to take refuge under the wings of the God of Israel and was rewarded for it.
Beauty might attract a woman to a man’s heart, but it cannot sustain her there. Beauty, good as it may be, is irrelevant for a woman in fulfilling her God given assignment as a suitable help to her husband. Physical beauty is good, and for me as a person I really love to look good. In fact it’s one of the things I pray to God about. I always tell Him that He made and I will appreciate if He helps me retain my beauty, and when I hear people tell me I look younger than my age at 40, it gladdens my heart. Most especially when my husband remembers to tell me I look good, I smile within me and never forget to tell God how grateful I am for my looks. But my beauty is not what my marriage is built on, neither is it a sustaining factor for my marriage. If I look even more beautiful than this but lack good character, then my beauty amounts to nothing. A beautiful woman who lacks good character is a zero wife.
Ruth did not just work hard, she took care of her mother-in-law. One other thing we need to note is that Ruth showed respect when she spoke to Boaz. When she was going to speak to Boaz in Ruth 2:10, the Bible said she bowed with her face to the ground, which is a sign of respect in those days. All these are the tiny details that must have amounted to Boaz's attraction to Ruth. The testimony he heard about her, her attitude towards work and her respect for people are all tiny details that make a whole of impression about how much of a wife Ruth is capable of being.
So as you prepare to be a wife, I pray the Lord will build in you the virtues and qualities of a good wife that supersedes outward beauty. And as you prepare to take a wife, do not limit your decision to what you see in the looks of that lady, a blend of good looks and good character is most suitable for you. With the help of God take hold of the best.

Monday, 7 October 2013

On A Bunch Of Sour Grapes, It Is Still Possible To Find A Few Sweet Ones

Ruth 1:3-5, 11-17
Now Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabites women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

But Noami said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me - even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons - would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has gone out against me !”
At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth clung to her.
“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” 

I bless the Lord for another wonderful opportunity to share the truth of His word on this blog site. I pray continually that the word of God will never be scare on this blog site in Jesus Name. It appears the Lord wants us to continue on the issue of marriage, because as I was trusting God for a word to share, the Holy Spirit laid on my heart to read the book of Ruth in the Bible. And just as was the case when the Lord opened up the book of Esther to me, I had thought I didn’t see what to share in the story of Ruth until God opened my heart to some hidden truth in that story. The message today will focus on intending couples and those who carry out marriage counseling in any organization, be it in their churches or otherwise.
Noami was a woman who moved to Moab with her husband and sons on account of the famine in Judah. After the death of Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, her sons decided to marry Moabite women. The tribe of Moab happens to be those who waged war against King Jehoshaphat in the book of 2 Chronicles 20. They can be regarded as an enemy of Judah and so in that respect they can be seen as a tribe that Judah should not intermarry with. But the young women who took care of Naomi when she was old and grey and grieved where the women from this alien tribes to whom her sons were married. These two women where themselves grieving the loss of their husbands, but didn’t focus on their own grieve, but rather took care of the old woman who was their mother-in-law, who had lost husband and sons while on self-exile.
In our own generation we still have tribal differences seen as genuine reasons why parents and guardians disallow their children and wards marry their God ordained husbands or wives. And from the story of Ruth we see a truth that in the midst of the negativity of Moab still resides a virtuous Ruth who was willing to go all the length for her late husband. And so I ask this question, is tribal differences good enough reason not to marry that man or woman whom you have prayed to God about and you are sure that God had given His nod of approval to your union? As a parent or guardian I wish to ask that is tribal difference any obstacle in a marriage that has the approval of God in it? Is the plan and purpose of God for the child or ward worth distorting for reason of tribal difference?
I have once written in one of my previous post that LOVE as what exist between two opposite genders is not enough reason for a man to take a woman to be his wife, or for a woman to accept the marriage proposal of a man. But that a genuine consultation with God and ascertaining that God approves of your union is the only assuring reason for a man to go ahead to marry the woman he desires and for a woman to accept the marriage proposal of a man he desires. In today’s discussion we seeing that tribal differences and/or ethnic differences is not enough reason for a man not to marry a woman if the Lord has so permit.
When we read on about the woman named Ruth, we will find her in the genealogy of our Lord Jesus, yet she was the same woman of the tribe of Moab.
We will notice that both Orpah and Ruth were good women. They were both dedicated to their mother-in-law, but what distinguished Ruth from Orpah was Ruth’s willingness to accept and cling to the God of Noami. Orpah went back to her gods, but Ruth was willing to stay on to the God of Noami and she never regretted the decision. From the moment Orpah turned back and returned to her gods, her name phased out from the Bible and nothing was heard of her again. But when you look through the lineage of Jesus, the name of Ruth will always be mentioned. In fact a whole book in the Bible was written to give account of Ruth.
As a man, if you have received the consent from the Lord to marry that woman who though is from another tribe, then it is important that such a woman is willing to leave all else to serve the God you serve. She is to move along with you and worship the God of heaven and earth, the one and only true God if she has not been doing so before, and not you backsliding on account of you taking a wife. Although tribe or ethnicity is not enough reason to marry or not to marry, but the woman is to move along with you to worship the living God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As a woman the story is slightly different. Though tribe and ethnic differences are not good enough reason to marry or not to marry that man, but because you need to submit to him and worship the God he worships, then you need to be careful. You need to run from a man who will not allow you worship freely the Lord God Almighty. Your marriage should strengthen your worship of the Lord and not weaken it. You cannot afford to loose heaven on account of marriage, so this matter needs a lot of care and prayers.          

Monday, 30 September 2013

The Efficacy Of The Word Of God

Isaiah 55:10-11
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out of my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. 

Matthew 8:5-10
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralysed and in terrible suffering."
Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, i have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

I want to start this post with much apologies for my inconsistency with my blog posts in recent days, I am really very sorry and this is due to so many distracting factors. I am trusting God to help me manage my time a lot better in the days ahead. But I am positive that with the efforts I am making at the moment, I will be able to give more attention to my blog site.
Today I want to pay a little attention to the efficacy of the word of God, the potential power that the word of God carries. It is an impossibility to see God face-to-face and we are thousands of years past the days when Jesus came to earth, so what we hold as anchor for our behalf and sustenance as Christians and as children of God is the unfailing word of God.
Not so many people have the same encounter of salvation as that of Saul who was later named Paul on his way to Damascus, but a lot of people, including me, have encountered the power of God through His word. And so it is somewhat a joke, if as a Christian, you do not have the word of God dwell richly in you. In present generation there are a lot of church goers whose faith is based solely on what the pastor says. A lot of people no longer see the need to test the spirit operating in the pastors and so we have a generation of easily deceived individual swept away by the spirit of religion with absolutely no relationship or personal contact with God.
God made so many promises, so many covenants with man and His children that are still binding on Him till date and He is still committed to fulfilling in our lives and present generation, but in truth only a few knows the truth about these promises and covenants and only a few benefit from them because only a few take the time to search the word of God to know the truth about their rightful place in Christ and the inheritance that accrues to them by virtue of them being children of God. Thus God says "My people perish for lack of knowledge."
I totally agree with the fact that satan will attempt to distract us in so many ways. Our acquisition of the  knowledge of the truth  from the word of God, disarms him and prevents him from stealing our goods, but we have to wage war against whatever it is that will prevent us from get acquainted with the word of God.
In Isaiah 55 the Lord declared that His word will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish that which He desires and fulfill the purpose for which He sent it. So that tells us that the word of God is just as powerful as the presence of God. If the word of God is present everywhere around us, then it automatically reveals that the presence of God is with us.    
The centurion in the book of Matthew really did understand the power of the word of God spoken through Jesus. He knew that the words of Jesus are not empty words, but full of power and they are effective. He knew that the words of Jesus where as good as His physical presence. He understand that the host of heaven where on attention to just hear the words spoken and they effect the performance thereof immediately. So he said to Jesus, "never mind coming over, you are too powerful to come under the roof of an undeserving servant as me, but speak and my servant will be healed."
In our generation and days now, do we still believe in the power of God's word? Are we acquainted with the truth that as long as the word of God is with us, His presence is with us? Do we still yearn to have God speak His powerful word into our situation. You do not need to wait on your pastor or spiritual leader to hear from God. The Lord desires a communication with you on a personal basis. Don't get too busy to have a chat with God and have Him speak directly to you. He alone can give a direction to your life that will not fail or disappoint. Start by getting familiar with the Bible, know that truth that leads to freedom and enjoy heaven even as you live on earth.      

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Having The Attitude Of Gratitude

Genesis 8:18-22
So Noah came out, together with his sons and wife and sons’ wives. All the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds - everything that moves on the earth - came out of the ark, one kind after another.
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasant aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. 
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Genesis 19:15-22, 29-30
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them. 
As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”
But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! Your servant has found favour in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains: this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it  - it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”
He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. But flee quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town is called Zoar.)

So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

Lot and his daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his daughters lived in a cave.

I thank God for the grace of another opportunity to share a post on this blog and in the spirit of gratitude, I will appreciate if my readers can help thank God on my behalf for adding another year unto me. For 40years I have enjoyed the grace and goodness God in my life, home and family. It was my 40th birthday 2days ago and the Lord has been and is still and will always be gracious to me.
The topic of showing gratitude or appreciation or better still thanksgiving cannot be overemphasized. Gratitude is a virtue that is closely linked with blessings. A man who knows how to show gratitude for help or gift received is a man who will always enjoy more and more blessings in his life. Paul instructed in Philippians 4:6b that our prayers and petitions should be presented before God with thanksgiving. We also learnt in 1 Thessalonians to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. Thanksgiving is a characteristic of champions, a life that has learnt to be thankful is a life that will enjoy all round blessing.
As humans when we render help or assistance to someone who comes back to show appreciation for the help rendered, we will be more inclined to help such a person when next it is required more than one who was helped and never came back to say thank you for the help received. So knowing that we who are  created in the image and likeness of God have this nature in us, should we expect anything different from God who created us after His own image. We should therefore understand that just as we feel honoured when appreciated so does God feel when we appreciate His goodness in our lives and show gratitude for His unending love for us.
When you sometimes feel God has done nothing in your life to be grateful for, try to understand that the breath you have that makes you living rather than dead is a gift that you have undeservingly received from the Lord. You have absolutely no control over that breath and it can be taken away from you without your permission. And so, that you still have that breath is as a result of God’s mercy, it is a gift from God that is worth thanking Him for. As you learn to start a life of thanksgiving just by appreciating God for that breath you still possess, then you will start to see more of His goodness being displayed in your life.    
Looking at the passages above and comparing the life of Noah and Lot with regards to the issue of gratitude, there are a lot of lessons to learn. Noah was a righteous man who was singled out for deliverance by God from the destruction that swept through the face of the earth. On the land of the living at that time when God destroyed all that He had created, Noah and his household were the only ones spared by God. When calm returned to earth and Noah came out of the ark with his household, the Bible tells us that he built an altar to God and offered a sacrifice to God. He was not asked to do this, he just did it because he was grateful to God that his life and that of his household was spared. The result of this show of gratitude was a covenant of blessing by God. The Bible tells us that when God smelled the aroma of Noah’s sacrifice he was pleased and said in His heart that never again will He curse the ground on account of man, and never again will He destroy all living creature like He did then.
The aroma of Noah’s sacrifice produced a covenant not just for Noah and his household, but for all that God had created. That covenant is still in effect till date. The chapter 9 of the book of Genesis shows a continuation of the blessings of God on the life of Noah and all humans on account of that pleasing aroma of Noah’s sacrifice as a show of gratitude for God’s mercy on him and his family.
Now moving on to Lot, he had a similar experience as that of Noah. He enjoyed of similar grace of God’s mercy just the way Noah did. When God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and all the cities of the plain, it was just Lot that the Lord showed mercy to on account of his relationship with Abraham. In fact the angels of the Lord had to grasped Lot by the hand together with his wife and daughters and carried them to safety. But unlike Noah, Lot never saw the need to build an altar and sacrifice to God.  Instead he grew afraid and went to live in the cave. The end result of his lack of gratitude saw his daughters getting him drunk and making babies through him. In fact he didn’t get drunk once, but twice and from there began a generation of people who were hostile to the children of God, the seed of Abraham.(Genesis 19:31-38). Rather than Lot thanking God for his deliverance, he was afraid and drank himself to sin.
The gratitude that Noah expressed, saw him getting more blessed by God than before the time he went into the ark, and the lack of gratitude in the life of Lot saw him in self destruct activities. And so I can confirm again that the issue of thanksgiving cannot be overemphasized to one who dears to receive true blessings from God. “When praises go up, blessings come down,” that is a slogan I am very familiar with and I am sure is common among Christians. There is the will for God to let loose and open the flood gates of heaven’s blessings over the life who has learnt the secret of praising God.
Start today by thanking God for those assumed irrelevant blessings, the attitude of thanking God for what you think are irrelevant will birth the release of the relevant blessings in your life.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Standing Firm For God

Job 1:6-12
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going to and fro in it.” 
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no-one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”  

Job 2:1-7
On another day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going to and fro in it.” 
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no-one like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”
“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. 

I will need to first of all apologise for the very long interval between my last post and this one, I have been held up with editing my books for publishing. I have six books in all that I am working on and I discovered that even the ones that had initially been published required re-editing so I needed to withdraw them and start work on them all over again. It will take a while to complete though, but the journey has began and at least two out of six are almost back on the book shelve for sale.
That said, my message in this post requires that we take a pause in our life’s activities and reflect on our relationship with God. While re-editing one of my books “Gleanings From The Throne of God,” I came across a message I wrote about four years ago and I felt a strong need to share same on this blog. On several occasions I had wondered what was it that God had in mind when He created man? I thought that perhaps if we who long to do the will of God will understand better what His intension was when He created man, we can better understand how to fulfill the purpose of God for our lives and do His will.
In answer to my questions, the Lord opened my mind to the book of Job chapters 1 & 2. What I learnt from this two Bible passages was that in truth satan appears before the Lord from time to time, though he might not have been invited but still he was always not turned back when he does. Another lesson there is the purpose of his appearance before God, and from what we read in this passages, his mission is primarily to accuse those whom the Lord loves.
I also discovered that God delights in making a proud declaration over the life of a man who has lived right before Him and has fully obeyed His commands and requirements, this He did over the life of Job with confidence in the two passages above. With this discovery came the answer to my question that one of the purposes that God had in mind when He created man was to use man as an example of righteous living to satan. God created man, made them a little below the angels that they might obey Him and follow His commands even though they have not seen Him in the physical form thereby using them as an example of righteousness, something that was impossible for satan to do and so justify the eternal condemnation that has been earmarked for satan. And I believe that is why though satan has been sentenced to eternal condemnation, his sentence still awaits execution. And for as many lives that is able to fulfill this purpose for God, He makes a boastful declaration of such a life before satan and also before the host of heaven.
In moving forward with this study, we also need to realize that for every life that God makes a boastful declaration of, satan tries to accuse or tempt such a life to sin thereby calling God a liar. And so satan tempted Job. Also looking at the life of Jesus, in Matthew 3:13 - 4:11, immediate the Lord declared over Jesus saying “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased,” He was led to the desert to be tempted by satan. David was a man that the Lord called “a man after His heart,” still he was tempted by satan. So we can conclude that for every life that has walked right before the Lord, God makes a proud declaration over such a life and satan also tempts such life to challenge the words of the Lord.
But we need to understand that for any life that God is unable to make a proud declaration over due to unrighteousness, sstan is making a mockery of such life and the judgement that awaits satan also awaits such a life.  In Matthew 3:12, John the Baptist says “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing-floor, gathering His wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” So all the lives that have not fulfilled the purpose of God through their obedience to the word of God and righteous living, the Bible says they will be burned up with unquenchable fire.
We need to come to the full realization that satan appearing before the Lord in the days of Job was not a one-off situation, when David sinned and Prophet Nathan was sent by the Lord to rebuke him in 2 Samuel 12:13-14, and he had this to say. Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.” The enemies of God mentioned here refers to satan and his demons. If our lives is not making God proud, then it sure is making the enemies of God show utter contempt. Satan is having a filled day before the Lord as a result of your sinful life.
If satan appeared before the Lord in the days of Job, and he appeared before the Lord in the days of David and also had the confidence to appear before the Lord in the book of Zechariah 3:1-4 in the days of Joshua the high priest, then he is still appearing before the Lord till date.
The food for thought is this: Over your own life and deeds will it be God making a proud declaration of your life due to your obedience to His words and righteousness on the face of the earth, or will it be satan showing utter contempt to God due to your unending sins? Even in the face of great trials are you willing to stand for God and silence the accuser of your life for good? Job did get his glory back in multiple fold after standing firm on the side of God and so will you when you stand firm for God.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Importance Of The Presence Of God In Your Business & Work-life

Luke 5:1-7
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding round him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boats. 
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."
Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 5:19-20
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - this is a gift from God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.  

I bless God for another beautiful opportunity to share a piece of His truth on this blog, and I pray we are all blessed by it. I have heard and read of people and sometimes Christians who don't see the need to bring religious sentiments into their workplace or work-life. I have read of a debate on a Christian Business community where a question was asked if it was alright to pray before a business meeting. I do not intend to make a statement for or against that question but the focus of my message today is the importance and in fact the very important need for the presence and the hand of God in our business and work-life.
My previous post focused on the impact of the Presence of God in the life of a man and I appreciate and seek mostly for the presence of God in every area of my life because His presence in our lives brings with it an undeniable blessing. The kind of blessing that shouts and people around do not have a choice but to notice that in truth this person carries the presence of God in him or her.
In looking at the impact of God in our business or work-life, I found a very good example in the passage before us, the story of Peter and the catch of fish. When we do a research on the man called Simon Peter the disciple of Jesus, we will discover that he was a seasoned fisherman of his time. He was good at his trade and he understood the antics and technicalities of fishing. He knew the best times, areas of the sea and season to make the most catch. But his expertise sometimes fails him and his calculations might sometimes run on the negative. We all know for sure that nature is not static, we can try but cannot hold the waves of the sea or stop a tornado. 
The night in this passage was one of such nights that Peter toiled so hard but caught nothing. Peter and his colleagues had put all their fisherman expertise to test but caught absolutely nothing. In fact they had retired for the night and were watching their nets when they caught the attention of Jesus. So when the Lord Jesus had finished making use of their boat as a podium for His sermon, it was time to bless Peter, and so Jesus told him to launch into the deep for a catch. 
I am so very happy for Peter that he didn't by virtue of his knowledge of fishing argue with Jesus or disobey the instruction. He only made known his own limitations by telling Jesus that he had tried his best based on what he knew about fishing and caught nothing. But Jesus is He that has no limitations, everything about the existence of the earth is subject to His control. Nature is on attention to do the bidding of our Lord Jesus, remember that even the winds obey Him, so its not a surprise at all that the fish in the sea will obey Him. The result of the supremacy of Christ that night was that Peter the expert fisherman that was unable to catch any fish by himself caught two boats filled with fish to the points that the boats began to sink at the command of the Lord Jesus Christ.
With what we have read in the book of Luke chapter 5, I am not sure if there is still a need to argue the necessity of the presence of God in our business. When you have made God the number one director of your business and work-life and you do not rely on your ability to make things work, then I can assure you that your business does not have any association with failure, because all the elements that are involved are under the direct and express control of the Almighty God. 
I am learning a big lesson from the wisdom of Solomon in the book Ecclesiastes chapter 2 that the best thing for any man is to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work and this is a gift from God, because without God you cannot eat or find enjoyment. So in plain terms all your hard work and expertise in whatever trade you think you are good at is meaningless without God. 
Solomon went further to say that to the man who pleases God, He gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. What this means to me is that when you please God He endows you with a talent, He gives you skill, knowledge and ability to excel in your trade and then grants you happiness in that trade. You are not just an expert in your field of trade, but you are a happy and fulfilled expert in what you do. That is what God gives. As a sinner you might have knowledge of the trade, but you will work hard to hand it over to the man who pleases the Lord. No wonder the Lord Jesus implored us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added unto us. This includes the ability to make wealth that we will enjoy. Moses says it is God that teaches our hands to make wealth. 
Just try and make God the first CEO of that business and watch Him do what He alone can do best. And for those who are under another's employment or you have a boss you report to, this is what Paul says in Colossians 3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as reward." What I understand Paul to be saying is that though you report to an earthly boss, but your attitude should be such that you report to God. When you have the mindset of one working for the Lord you tend to put your best to your work with reverence to God. And such will never go unrewarded both here on earth and in heaven. The Bible says promotion comes neither from the north nor from the south, but it comes from God. The desired promotion on that Job will be worked out effortlessly by God for you if you work at what you do as one working for God and not for men.    

Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Presence Of God, The Distinguishing Factor

Exodus 24:9-11
Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.

Exodus 33:14-16
The Lord replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Then Moses said to him, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"

Exodus 34:29-35
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterwards all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commandments the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.
When Moses finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the Lord's presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. 

Its the very early minutes into the month of September and I want to wish my readers a happy new month in Jesus Name, may all your desires and hopes in Christ for this month be fully met in Jesus Name. Its just about ten minutes into midnight and I am tired if I have to be truthful to myself. I just uploaded my forth book unto CreateSapce website for previewing before listing my book. It's been over 10 days since I have been editing the book to meet their publishing requirement and I bless God for His help and grace. 
But before I go to bed, I will like to launch into this month which happens to be my birth month, trusting God to open up our hearts to the importance of His Presence. I had wanted to title this message enjoying the presence of God, but when I read the words of Moses in Exodus 33:14-16, I decide to change to what I have there now. 
In the days of Moses God's Presence was always with His people as a pillar of cloud in the day and as a pillar of fire in the night and though they roamed round the desert for 40 years, the millions of God's people were never attacked or devoured unless the Lord Himself visited them with His wrath. They passed through towns and cities but instead of been devoured they were feared. They were an untouchable breed not because of their ability, number or strength, but simply because of the presence of God that moved around with them everywhere they had to move to. 
But before the days of Moses, I will like us to first consider Isaac, in Genesis 26:2-16 the Lord appeared to Issac and promised to always be with him, so Isaac carried in him the Presence of God as he moved from place to place. When he settled in the land of the Philistine, the Bible tells us that Isaac planted crops in the land and reaped a hundredfold because the Lord blessed him. He became so wealthy that the Philistines began to envy him. 
Jacob was another man who carried in him the Presence of God, Genesis 28:13-15 tells us how the Lord appeared to Jacob and said to him that He the Lord will not leave him, but will watch over him wherever he goes. The Lord promised never to leave Jacob until He has fulfilled the promise He made to him. Jacob was not just blessed, but the blessings of his life by virtue of the Presence of God in his life rubbed off on his master Laban. It was so hard for Laban to let go off Jacob as he had learned by divination that he was just been blessed because of Jacob who had the Presence of God in his life (Genesis 30:27). Then we take a look at Joseph, in Genesis 39:2 and 21 we will see that Joseph prospered by virtue of God's Presence in His life. The Presence of God in the life of Joseph also rubbed off on his master Potiphar. And so we can see that the Presence of  God makes a huge difference. 
But what really struck my heart about the issue of the Presence of God is the word of Moses in Genesis 33, he said "How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" These words cannot be more relevant than in the world we live in today, with the wickedness that looms over the face of the earth as we approach the end of time, there is a need to know and identify those who truly are the Lords' and that can only be ascertained by those who carry in them the presence of God in truth and not falsely. 
You do not have to cheat, steal, defraud others in order to be blessed, all that you need is to carry in you the Presence of God, it stands you out among those who are the heathens. It is the distinguishing factor that separates you from all the people of the earth. And the Presence of God carries an aroma of blessing with it. In every way you are bound to stand out from the crowd when you carry in you the Presence of God. 2 Samuel 6:12 tells us that Obed-Edom and his household were so blessed that people around had to run and tell David the news of Obed-Edom's blessing just because he had in his house the Ark of God which at that time signifies the Presence of God. 
Proverbs 10:22 tells us that the blessings of God makes rich and adds no trouble to it, so I ask; do you seek such blessings that brings wealth without trouble, then seek to have the abundance of the Presence of God in you. Jesus said to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added unto you.
The 70 elders of Israel ate and drank in the Presence of God and they were not consumed, they saw God yet they lived. Moses spoke with the Lord and he had a radiance of God on his face that was too much for the children of Israel to bear. The beautiful truth is that the Presence of God is not just about been materially rich, but you become one that demons will fear and run from, those who war against you need not be told that they are defeated without you having to fight. You are assured of peace on earth and an inheritance in heaven. In truth the Presence of God is the distinguishing factor.