Thinking about life itself sometimes sends chills down the spine. I sometimes even wonder, why be good at all? Why strive to do well? Why not just do what pleases me and makes me feel happy? Why not go where I want to go, eat what I want to eat, say what I want to say? Why not just live, no restrictions, no limitations, nothing?
Why not just pay the extra 1,000 and skip standing on the line? Or ditch the lessons and pay for the grades? Well, why not just COMPEL the patients to consult only in my hospital? Afterall, I offer good medical services too!
Afterall, does the Bible not clearly spell out that all is vanity? Everything will pass away, of course, even Jesus said it.
The preacher in Ecclesiastes says it is in vain that we wake up and sleep, toil and rest, do this or do that. It is all in vain. So why not just do what I want to do?
If I stop at just that part of Ecclesiastes, then I miss it all. In chapter 12:13, the preacher says this
“The conclusion of all matter….”
He said earlier that all is vanity. And we see in life that indeed he is right. But, that’s not the conclusion of it all. It is just a comma, a break. There is a conclusion to all matters – and that is to
1. FEAR GOD
2. DO HIS COMMANDMENTS.
It is after those that we have or can put a full stop.
And the reason is simple. In the last verse of the chapter which also is the last for the entire book of Ecclesiastes, the reason comes up – God will Judge us all, all our actions, for the good and the bad.
So, is all vanity after all? Is that just all there is? A giant NOPE. At the end of it, it isn’t all vanity.
God will judge. That gives substance to what I do. What I’ve been doing, the choices I make, the words I say, the reactions I have, the regard for myself and for others which I adopt. All! It may be vanity on earth and with the eyes, but, that is just the comma of the story. At the full stop; at the conclusion of it, it isn’t vanity. God judges!
The preacher said “everything under the sun” is vanity. But, life doesn’t end under the sun. That is what I/we often fail to remember. There is someone who made the sun – so, there is life above the sun. If life under the sun is vanity, life above the sun isn’t. And how I/you live under the sun determines how I’d/you’d live above the sun.
Our life under the sun is the journey, the comma, the break in the path. When we think of the full stop, the end, then, the conclusion should come to our minds – and, that conclusion of all matters is – to FEAR GOD and to DO HIS COMMANDMENTS.
Tis a guileless memo, to all who say they’re Christ’s.
The question comes, where will I go; will it be paradise?
For God so loved the world He gave His only darling Son,
So all believers would not mourn but always see the dawn.
Some say it is the blissful place whose streets are made of gold
The place where rays are always beaming, nothing there to mould
Some think it is the long-lost Eden guarded by cherubims
Where pastures will be evergreen; no sons of Anakim
I want to believe that would be true, but then I have a cue
His Son Himself gave us the clue and that, my friend, is true
Heaven and earth will pass away, it will, yes, heaven will
That means my paradise of gold can’t be Father’s final will
That we may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You sent.
Now this is eternal life; life everlasting; that can never ever be bent.
That’s life eternal dear friends, by Jove, that’s Father’s will for us,
That we may know Him and know our Brother, nothing there to fuss!
Sadly so, it seems if the equation of heaven and hell is removed, many who are Christians today won’t be counted in the fold. Truth is, eternal life is not to go to heaven; Eternal life is to know God. Heaven in not our eternity; God is!
John 03:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
John 17:3 – Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
It’s not because you spend 2hrs bathing that you come out cleaner from the bathroom. Some people have used over 40l of water day in day out, but parts of their backs end up crying foul like the Amba people in +237.
It’s not because you wear a suit that you’re most sophisticated compared to one who wears a T-shirt. Trust me, if you look at their shirt collars, you may decide never to sit behind one during a seminar.
It’s not because you walk “clean” that you actually are. Believe me, most junkies out there are in their Christmas wears all the time.
With all due respect, it’s not because you are adorned with high religious titles that you have a living relationship with our Heavenly Father.
It’s also not because you have all the academic grades and titles that you’re necessarily an erudite in the domain. Else ask my people and they’ll tell you the technological mystery of 32/500.
Should I continue…
What am I trying to say? Do not judge a book by its cover.
This statement means you gotta judge.
With righteous judgement, JESUS says.
Judge righteously. Do not judge by mere appearances.
Look deeper, farther than what the cover shows.
Most good books are rarely discovered on the cover. We don’t do that with books. Why do we want to comfortably do so with fellow humans.
So yes, I won’t say don’t judge, as is the maxim out in our confused world today.
Rather, I’d say JUDGE
And please, it’s not my gospel. It is the B.I.B.L.E.
Jesus said the measure you judge with, with that you’d be judged also.
His caution of “do not judge” as interpreted mostly today, is for those who fear for skeletons to be seen in their cupboards.
When Jesus speaks in Matthew 7:1-5, He says when you want to judge, make sure you have taken out the speck out in your own eye first, before you claim you can comfortably see that which is in your brother’s. Else, you’ll be a hypocrite. In essence, Jesus wasn’t about judging in this portion. He was about HYPOCRISY.
Well, maybe it’s time we stop taking His words out of context to suit our personal whims and caprices.
If you see unrighteousness and do not judge righteously, then certainly you are guilty of same and thus fear being judged likewise.
Key is, just as we say out here “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”.
Likewise, you going out to judge righteously must be doing so with clean hands, with a clean heart. Not judging to shame the person, or unto condemnation or pride, but unto love, compassion and repentance so we all revel in the same grace of God for mankind.
Mind you, we all were/are sinners. Christ didn’t come so we die in condemnation. No. He came so we look at ourselves through Him, see our sins forgiven and die through Him, and see our new selves resurrected in Him.
That, was unto righteousness.
So brothers and sisters, let’s get into this mire of a world and bring in God’s righteousness, in love and compassion. Not forgetting that “he who comes to equity. ..”.
And go ye out, boldly, not to judge the book by its cover, but in all righteousness, with the love of God in our hearts, lips and hands.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Just a few words as we travel the year 2018 – Set your gaze on Jesus!
The eyes were put in front for a purpose; always look in front; look ahead. Proverbs 4:25 says it. “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.”
The past is past, that’s why it’s called PAST. You hold on to it, you can’t move a step.
Better than look ahead, look up. Look up to Christ Jesus. Isaiah 40:26 says he knows the stars by name. If he knows the stars by name, how much more you? He is mindful of you. He knows your frame; He knows what you’re made of; He knows your every move. His thoughts and plans for you are plans of good and not of evil. Look to Jesus, trust Him and follow Him.
Hebrews 12:2 “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
And by having our eyes set on Jesus – it means following Him; surrendering to His Lordship over you; seeing Him as the author and finisher of your faith. Focus not on the world or the cares of the world. Affection your mind on Christ and the things above. Live and love on earth as a pilgrim; yet as an ambassador of a kingdom; a plenipotentiary ambassador, cuz that is what, we who are born-again in Christ, are called to be.
2 Cor. 5:20 “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
Try this: With the eyes/gaze in front, it hurts to look left or right; it is impossible to look behind; but very possible to look up – just a fixing of the gaze. Fix your perspective!
“Therefore, since you have been raised with Christ, strive for the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Happy New Year 2018!
As Christmas draws nigh, one should look out for Christmas in Christmas. It’s celebrating:
Christ who came
Healing our diseases
Restoring our hearts
Infusing into us love, joy, peace in the Holy Ghost
Sitting in for us at all times
Taking upon Himself the sins of mankind
He wants us all to:
Muster our tongues
Act in true Christianity and
Serve the Lord and our neighbours wholeheartedly.
That is what Christ does for us, it is equally what He wants us to do for ourselves and our neighbours, just like GOD did for us when He sent us a little parcel CHRISTMAS.
Mercy sat on her seat and watched below as things unfolded. “At the end of this all, we’d know”, she thought.
Not an easy one for Lisa. Through last week, she had been told her pregnancy may not stay till term. “What do I do”, she wondered. Usually, Mary, if in her shoes would do what the others would naturally do: visit Babalawo.
He was the sort of man you could get a response from. He usually didn’t ask much; wouldn’t even, because there wasn’t really much Mary or Lisa or the likes of them could give. But then, little plus little plus little gives much. Anyways, that’s my own thinking.
She did decide to go. Before then however, she tried to be open. Open to Father Moses. He was as understanding as the famous Moses was, but not slow to speech though. “You cannot do that; you shouldn’t. It is not worthy of who you are”. You sure you told her about Luke 9:62 Father?
Yes, exactly, who is she? She was a young girl who had decided to give her life to Christ some seven years back. She’s sure her parents and siblings all did. She wouldn’t know however, because she grew up seeing them; and joining them move every Sunday morning to the place of worship. It was a beautiful hall; with beautiful paintings of winged persons and objects on the walls right up to the ceilings. At age 7, Lisa knew those who did that must have really been blest. If indeed the angels were like that, then they surely have seen he who is the father of all the angels, God.
At age 15, it was the routine; no longer that which rejoiced the spirit, oh sorry, body, I mean, but that which bored the soul. A boring soul needs distraction. Michael set in. A fine young man; willing and stealing. He was the perfect figure of the fallen one. Harsh, yes, but “he looks like an angel”, Lisa would often think. Like. Just ‘like’.
Yes, he did look like one, was named after one; yet wasn’t close to any. One thing he was close to was to Lisa’s heart. He wasn’t just close to, he was in it. Or rather, hers was in his. She was sold out. At age 23, Lisa and her angel would tie the knot; yes the not. Actually, it was a “not” to everything that was for her. To studies, I can ‘not’; to duties, I would ‘not’; to life, I am ‘not’.
Slowly but surely, to the place of worship, I will ‘not’. But then she did with angel Michael at home. But, mercy was still around, dropping in in time. Once she knocked whilst with Father Moses. “What the heavens does this old father want with me again?” Well, he wanted nothing with her, only, Mercy did. And Mercy won.
That’s what Father Moses was trying to tell Lisa. But seems her heart’s been hardened like that of Pharaoh. I wonder whether he got a staff to bring about the plagues. Well, maybe he can; if he wills.
Off she went to Babalawo’s. Sooner had she returned than she knocked on Father Moses’ door. “Michael has to go on a journey for three days for my baby to live. Please help me pray, pray that he would be safe, pray for everything to work on well. Please pray Father, Father, please pray”.
Before he could separate his lips to utter a word, she was on her feet. Off to the house, she neither ate nor drank for a whole day. Brave for young Liza, heavy with child. On her knees she went, praying for Yahweh to intervene in Michael’s journey to Babalawo’s hometown for the safety of the baby in her womb. Like seriously?
Mercy said “No, I’m not letting Liza go”. Father Moses on his knees too would plead, plead for Liza, plead for Michael, plead for the baby; even plead for himself. The heaven did he get there? Who’s kidding who?
2 Kings 17:41 So while these nations feared the LORD, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
Hosea 10:2 Their heart is faithless; Now they must bear their guilt The LORD will break down their altars And destroy their sacred pillars.
Things are dangling blue and white; We tell not wrong from right
As days go by, darkness from light; We lose track of the sight
Today we’re male, tomorrow not; The sun couldn’t well be hot
Or better still I’ll tie the knot; With a beautiful escargot
Guess it’s better today I am canid; Man’s ways suck, so I’ve got to be candid
With myself, as with every hominid; Did I say hominid, no; I feel I’m a canid
All who receive Christ have gotten the right to become “children of God”, not otherwise. (John 1:12). That passage clearly says sons of God, not something else of God. For the several human beings struggling today with their identity, some confessing and believing they are Christians; I think the solution is knowing who you are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:16 says “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God”. Children, as heirs, and co-heirs with Christ Jesus, could only be those who identify themselves to Him, those who identify themselves to His family, those who abide by His life and His kingdom.
Not those who deny Him, His truth and righteousness and cloak themselves with the deceit of this world; not those who seek vain approval and acceptance of the traditions of men.
God has given us all freewill; He has given us the choice to choose what we want for ourselves. Nevertheless, when we do so, we shouldn’t hide under the cloak of “Christian”, because a Christian or a disciple of Christ is a follower of Christ who accepts His way of life and living.
This world is going topsy-turvy not even because of the heinous claims that abide and are backed by the powers that be, but because the true sons of God do not stand up for what is right. Mind us that the Bible calls us to put away falsehood and speak the truth, especially for those who say they are one with us, one with the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:25)
Whoever can do what he/she wants; but whoever says he/she is of Christ does not do what he/she wants, but what Christ wills. There are some things which even in the basest levels, are not acceptable; even the more for Disciples of Christ that we claim and strive to be. No good comes out of such. This is the truth of God’s word given to us His children.
The Bible says this “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)
Stick to the truth of God’s word; God bless your soul!
The ember dust that settles on our ever grumbling lives;
It’s pure, it’s fine, it’s sweet and sound, it makes you come alive!
It is upon no plane or hill, but lies within our being;
From He who knows the end from now, the One; the all-seeing!
The ember dust, the one made sound, the firstborn of the dust;
It lived and toiled, went back to dust, bust simply could not rust!
It is within no gold nor dough, but in the human hive;
From when we know we now believe, we make her glow alive!
It is the plane that plains our pains, it knows the squirmy bay!
It stretches up the high and low, the glow kicks out the grey!
From when it glows, it blows and grows, it glows our everyday!
Imagine praying and hearing the following:
Thank you for calling Heaven.
For English, Press 1.
For Spanish, press 2.
For all other languages, press 0.
Please select one of the following options:
Press 1 for Requests.
Press 2 for Thanksgiving.
Press 3 for Complaints.
Press 4 for all other inquiries.
I am sorry; all of our angels and saints are busy helping other sinners
right now. However, your prayer is important to us, and we will answer
it in the order it was received. Please stay on the line.
If you would like to speak to:
God, press 1.
Jesus, press 2
Holy Spirit, press 3.
If you would like to hear King David sing a Psalm while you are holding,
To find a loved one that has been assigned to Heaven, press 5,then
enter his or her social security number, followed by the “pound” sign.
(If you receive a negative response, please hang up and try again.
For reservations at Heaven, please enter J-O-H-N, followed by the
For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth,
life on other planets, and where Noah’s Ark is, please wait until you arrive.
Our computers show that you have already prayed today. Please hang up
and try again tomorrow.
The office is now closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday.
Please pray again on Monday after 9:30am.
If you are calling after hours and need emergency assistance,please
contact your local pastor.
Thank you, and have a heavenly day.
Dear readers: There was a time I offered tutoring help to my stepson, Joe, when he was in high school. Karen presented the offer to Joe. He said, “No way, Mom! Kevin’s too intense!” He’s right.
I know I have presented you with some tough topics to deal with ranging from abuse to poverty. Thank you for listening to what I say on these important issues.
I need to give both you and me a much-needed respite from this degree of intensity.
If we accept the belief that Christ, in addition to being divine, was human, it becomes easy to picture Him cracking a few jokes with His disciples. They would have had to have something to lighten the continuous strain of preaching the gospel.
You will see in the Bible if you look at it as literature that Jesus loved using the literary devices of…
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I often blame the world, but now I know it is my fault
I focused on the go-ahead, and failed to take a halt.
The grass was green, and true it is, the flowers and the trees
But lo, I didn’t get to see the fiery lake and bees.
My world, my mind, and all I had, was laid upon my goal
The time to sit and think is gone, and now I’m in the hole.
I’m left but with my body soaked, with still the grass in view
I pray next time I won’t self-cloak, but take time to review.
A wise man of God once told me “The door God has closed in your life, leave it closed”.
This phrase was buried recently in my life all for the sake of not having as I am accustom to. Over the past month, I’ve noticed that all the friends of the past, people I had to let go of as I drew closer to God was popping up, one by one. Forgetting what was ministered to me, I was happy to “reconnect” with my “friends”. Some I hung out with, others I frequently spoke with. Little did I know of what I was re-entering into my life. As the month progressed, the old man was acting up again. Things that I dealt with, were back and ten times harder. So the little prayer and regurgitation of the verses was not working this time around.
At first, it was easy to…
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A WORD FOR THE SEASON
In all of our preparations for Christmas let us reserve a chair or two for Christmas for those souls whom society often rejects. You don’t have to look hard to find these hurting souls. They are all around you. When you take the time to look into their eyes, you can see pain and sorrow etched on their faces.
Their need knows no season. Loneliness , hunger, poverty and despair don’t just happen at Christmas. Love is needed in every life 365 days a year.
There is a gift all of us can give that is far more enduring and more valuable than the latest Ipad, Smart Phone or Ipod. It doesn’t require special gift wrap. It will never need to be returned because it isn’t working. You don’t even have to put this gift on a lay away plan. It is rare that this gift will be returned to…
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It seems the world is going gray, I cannot tell a lie
And if it is, I wish and pray that I and Mine don’t die.
Cuz everyday we sit and think and end up with a cry,
For every water trough we filled just ended up a-dry.
He smiled and held my hand and said “My child don’t give a damn
I make the grass to grow and sure I own your every farm.
The water trough you think is dry is only but a balm,
Fear not, He said, I am for you, and none would do you harm“.
It has been said that the two hardest things for a person to say is, “I was wrong” and “I am sorry”. But there is one more that seems to be equally if not more difficult to say, and that is the ability to sincerely tell a person “I forgive you”. For a number of reasons forgiveness is one of the hardest character traits to develop; but for those of us who desire to live our lives on purpose, I say this is truly your greatest strength. Our lack of forgiveness does not hurt the person who offended us, but it keeps us forever tied and locked into the offence. But somehow we have come to believe that withholding forgiveness gives us some sort of power, makes us more right, or makes people pay. But who really has the power when we say things like, “I will never forgive him…
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When the anointing of God upon the life of a Christian leaks out, that person loses the greatest gift he/she would ever have had.
Consider this: God tells a man to utterly destroy a nation. He goes, destroys the inhabitants, but spares the life of the king. He loots some of the choicest of sheep and cattle. He further returns and goes down to a place he’s not sent to, and sets up a monument in his name. As though not enough, he pretends to a servant of God, when questioned, that he has fully obeyed God’s command. When reminded of his sin, he instead justifies his sin, that he saved the choicest of cattle to offer sacrifice to God. He uses the idea of giving God a sacrifice, in a bid to bribe the Almighty God. On another side, another trusted person keeps the company of the enemy. (1 Samuel 15v 10-25 and Judges 16v19-20).
Like our friends above, we might:
Disobey God’s voice and instructions; Build a name for ourselves instead of God; Live a pretentious life, with two facades; Give justifications for our sins instead of repenting; Try to bribe God with sacrifices and offerings; Make unbelieving Delilah our friend.
If such is, then our oil is leaking, or has leaked out. Saul paid with the throne that was taken from him; Samuel lost his strength, ego, and his eyes were gouged out. But fear not, there is still a way out. Repent, as our friend did, and ask God to refill your oil (Judges 16v28). He is faithful and just, and if we sincerely ask, He’ll do it.
NB: OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE; REBELLION AGAINST GOD IS AS BAD AS WITCHCRAFT, AND ARROGANCE IS AS SINFUL AS IDOLATORY. (1 Sam 15v22-23).