Sunday, 18 February 2018

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT


Over the last week, people all over the world celebrated St Valentine’s day and there was a lot of “love” in the air.

For most people, it was another regular day either by choice of election or by situational circumstances but all in all, February 14 is a day that most people (females mostly J) look forward to with much gusto.

A passage of scripture occupied my heart for most of that week and formed the basis for my meditations for the period and I would like to share some portion of that passage with you.

Matthew 22:35-38 (NLT)
35One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?" 37Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment.

For the sake of this write up, I will stop at 38.

Most of us are conversant with the “ten commandments” but is it not rather interesting that Jesus when asked which commandment was the greatest, responded with an answer that is not captured in what we all grew up to know as the ‘ten commandments of Moses’? an in-depth review of this will make a great topic for another day. But for today, let us stay on the subject matter; Love.

Love according to Jesus is a commandment. According to the Oxford dictionary, a commandment is a rule to be observed strictly. Meaning that going by Jesus’ words, we are under a strict mandate to love God with ALL our hearts, ALL our soul and ALL our mind.

Permit me to ask you to pause at this point and read Matthew 22:37 again but please do so in slow motion with a 3D view of yourself.

While you are digesting that passage, I would like you to ask yourself; do I love God with ALL my heart, ALL my soul and ALL my mind?

When you love someone or something, the thought of the person/thing consumes you. The thought of a loved one literally consumes you. You go to bed thinking about the person, wake up thinking about the person, you even see this person in your dreams and most times, spend a very good part of your day daydreaming about this person. Every person that has ever had a huge crush on someone would understand what I am saying. And this doesn’t come near to describing the expectations of the feeling of love.

How much of you has God consumed? Does He have ALL your heart, your soul and your mind or have you allocated just some part to Him? As a child of God, the commandment is to ensure that all of us is geared towards loving God. We must be lost in Him.

February 14 has come and gone, but the question that still lingers in my heart is this; based on my evaluation of myself, can I really say that I have loved the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind? Everything I am doing currently, every thought in my heart, every action that I have taken and will take, are they all geared towards expressing my love for my Father? Can I truly say that I have strictly observed the rule to love my Lord my God?

I have spent some time answering these questions for myself but I want to pose the same questions to you; have you really obeyed the first commandment?


Selah!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

CHOOSE JOY


I had the opportunity to teach last week and I shared from a hymn in the book of Habakkuk and for some reason even after that meeting, the word kept growing in my heart and is still doing so. I thought to share some part of that message with you.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls… 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

I know most of us grew up in the name it and claim it era of Christianity and financial prosperity is a major sign of a thriving relationship with God in our times. Unfortunately what this has resulted in is a breed of Christians who have little or no tolerance for adversity. So at the slightest emergence of anything that may seem like an adversity, the response of many is to seek the easiest route out which most times is one of compromise.

The scripture reference above from the book of Habakkuk depicts a man in an agrarian society. The cycle explained in verse 17 of chapter 3 of that book speaks to a year of absolutely no harvest. His fields did not yield, his trees did not blossom, there were no fruits from his vine and to crown it off there was no flock in his fold. Now let me paint this picture in the light of our current day reality; imagine going to work every day for a year and not receiving a single wage/salary in that year despite all your effort/input/transportation to and fro work and you don’t get paid at the end of the year.

I don’t know how Habakkuk did it in his day, but I can tell you that the default reaction of most people will be severe rage. Actually, I doubt the individual will still be coming to work after 6 months of no pay.

However, look at Habakkuk’s response in verse 18; he said; Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. I think it is the NIV version of verse 18 that says Yet, I choose to rejoice… the prophet Habakkuk CHOSE to rejoice. He chose to joy in the God of his salvation.

I underline the word CHOOSE because this means that circumstances were demanding a different response from him, but his reaction to the circumstances on ground was a conscious one from his end, he chose to respond in joy.

I don’t know what situation you may currently find yourself in, I don’t know how grave that situation is, no matter how bad it is, I call on you today to choose joy. Look that problem in the face and consciously laugh out loud at it in joy. Let your joy be born out of the knowledge of the salvation you were saved with in Christ. God saved you, you are His and He is yours. He has promised that He will never leave nor forsake you. The psalmist puts it this way; he said though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You God are with me. Let your joy be in God, He is with you watching over and keeping you.

So I compel you to choose joy today. The word choose presupposes that you have an option how to respond to your situation. You either respond in fear which in turn leads to depression et al or you can choose to respond in JOY.


I choose JOY, what about you?

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

HE IS PRUNING YOU


John 15:1-2
I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

I believe that The Lord will have me instruct someone and correct a notion that has been brewing in your mind.

He said that every branch that bears fruit, The Father prunes. A number of believers are going through situations that has them both confused and in battle mode. For some, you have embarked on major fasting and prayer to “sort out” the issues you are currently going through.

But The Father will have me tell you that He is the one that is pruning you so that you can bear more fruit. He is cutting out some things which were hitherto relevant and important and played a major part in your life. You are not under any attack, I am the One pruning you that you may bear more fruit.

Allow Me to finish and perfect My work in you and you will yet rejoice says The Lord.


Selah!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

2018 IN FOCUS


This morning, I had a stirring in my spirit and the Father began to talk to me on some matters some of which I will share with you in this post.

Being my first article in 2018, I want to welcome you to this new calendar year and pray that Christ will be formed in you more and more this year, Amen & Amen!!!

A major characteristics of the beginning of every year is that people are more willing to make life adjustments and set goals/directions for their lives in the coming year. And as I observe this phenomenon over the years, I see that most of these actions are geared towards knowing who we are and finding one’s self and as such living the best possible life that one can within the context of what the world’s systems define as a good life.

All around us, the world is teaching us to know who we are. So there are self-discovery, self-mastery, self-definition, self-evaluation etc tools, books, conferences, sermons everywhere and all of that brings a scripture to mind 2Timothy 3:1-5

1But know this, that In the last days terrible times will come.  2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, blasphemers, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power and from such people turn away!

All this self-education and self-equipment will in addition to its many benefits lead to the type of person described above or a hybrid version with some varieties (more or less) than described in the scripture above.

And I know that there are so many people who have innocently walked into this error in their quest for God. People who have been led astray by business schools, psychology houses and motivational centers. If you fall into such a category, I want to encourage you with a scripture from the book of Acts 17:22-31

22Then Paul stood in the midst of Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an alter with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24”God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’. 29Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

The desire of the Father for His own is that we know Him as He is known. His desire is to lead His own to know Him. To know that it is in Him that we live, move and have our being. There is literally no way you will not be able to discover your true self if you seek Him to know Him and grow in Him and draw closer to Him.

I challenge you therefore to seek God this year like you have never done before in your entire life and press into deep realities in Him. And I can assure you of this; as you seek Him, you will definitely find Him and so much more.


Shalom!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

AS YOU PLAN


As the year 2017 gradually comes to an end and plans are in high gear to usher in the New Year 2018, one of the things I know that most people do in preparation for a New Year is make New Year resolutions and set goals for the New Year.

For me, this is usually a time to step back and retreat and seek the face of the Father on what is in His heart at this point in His season of life. God works in seasons and those seasons usually do not necessarily follow our calendar years so an understanding of the heart of the Father will aid a child of God walk right with Him.

The Lord drew my attention to a passage in the book of Romans 8:5;

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

So as you prepare and plan for the New Year, I have a question for you. If I look at your goals and plans for the New Year and gauge them, will I confirm that you live by the Spirit or according to the flesh?

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh…

Mind you, the flesh is in constant enmity with God. So anything that does not bring you closer to God but draws you away from Him is flesh.

I want you to think on these things and adjust your plans/life accordingly.

God bless you and Compliments of the Season.


OluwaObinna.

Monday, 11 December 2017

AS YOU GIVE

I love Christmas, I can’t say for sure exactly why I love it, but I do. My wife has even made it a more interesting season for me with all the drama around decorations and carols et al and like the good student I am, I am catching the bug quickly and every year has been better than the last. Even when I try to dull her, it is never a dull moment with Meemeesola.

Okay, this post is not about my wife and how much I love her though I am sure you know that already.
One of the things I love about Christmas is that it is a season when you don’t have to prompt people a lot to do good. People are more willing to give both to charity and to friends and even enemies as well. There is that giving grace during the Christmas season.

This year for some reason I decided to pray about what God will have us give this period. I had some plans in mind as giving back to my community is up there in my list of priorities. I am one of those people that believe that the body of Christ should be assisting ease the burden on society in the areas of quality education, health, accommodation and feeding. If we can’t make it free (which I don’t see why we can’t), we should at least make it as subsidized as possible. On a later day, maybe I will share my plans around this and you are free to chat me up privately and I can share my thoughts on this.
But as I prayed along those lines, God pointed me to a scripture and asked me to be guided by that. I know most of us have amazing plans for this period and some of us have even commenced executing those plans. But as you do and go ahead in life, I will like you to read this scripture, meditate on it and keep it at the fore front of your mind in all your  giving and doing good.

I pray that the Lord will expand this scripture in your hearts and open the eyes of your understanding to see what is in the heart of the Father, Amen!
Matthew 6:1-4(NKJV)

1“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2Therefore, when you do your charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly".

Selah!!!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

AFTER YOUR SUFFERING

I love Jesus and have made following Him my life’s work. As fun and amazing as it has been, it has also been an interesting journey.
I know various things brought us to Jesus. For some it was a promise of a mansion in heaven, for some the solution to their problems, for some divine healing, provisions etc. bottom line, we all came to Jesus through various routes but by one Spirit. And per adventure you are reading this and you are yet to give your life to Jesus, I want to invite you to open up your heart to Him today, He stands at the door of your heart and is very willing to come in if only you will invite Him in and profess Him with your mouth as Lord and Saviour over your soul.
I thought to encourage someone today. Someone who is in Christ and has been steadfast in Him. You have prayed and studied the word and given your tithe (no matter what some may think #topicforanotherday) and given offerings. You may have also in addition to all of these sown seeds and blessed you man of God and done good to both the needy and the poor. Never missing hospital/prison visitations, always in church for all church meetings, always available to serve in one capacity or the other whenever/wherever required. But still things don’t seem to be what they should be. You find yourself struggling to have your basic needs met. Things that should come easy are constantly a prayer point. The only reason you haven’t lashed out at God yet is because you have the fear of God in you. For some, you have even lashed out at Him but yet it seems nothing has changed.
From time to time, you receive this warm assurance in your heart that things will be fine and you make the confessions that ‘all things are working out for my good’ even when a part of you doesn’t completely see how that is even possible. You are still here and barely just hanging on.
If you find yourself in any of the categories I mentioned above or maybe I didn’t mention your case but you can relate with what I am saying, I want to share a scripture with you and encourage you today;
1Peter 5:10
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you.
I want you to know that our walk in Christ comes with a measure of suffering. But the good news is that after you have suffered but for a while, my God will Perfect (ie make completely free from faults or defect, having all required or desirable elements/qualities/characteristics; as good as you can possibly be), establish (ie set up on a firm or permanent basis, achieving permanent acceptance/recognition), strengthen (ie make or become stronger, reinforce, buttress, toughen, intensify, heighten, fortify, bolster, vitalize) and settle (ie reach an agreement, pay a debt, adopt a more steady/secure style of life, sit or come to rest in a comfortable position) you.
You are coming out of this just the way the Master wants you to be. So hold on and stand firm in faith. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
God Bless you!