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A Few Days to February 14th (“Be my Valentine”)

WHAT VALENTINE CELEBRATION IS ALL ABOUT 

Content:

1. Origin
2. Right Context
3. God is the center – criteria for Valentine celebration
4. Wrong Context
5. Conclusion

1. Origin

Officially recognized by the Catholic Church, Saint Valentine is known to be a real person who died around A.D. 270. However, his true identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who referred to the martyr and his acts as “being known only to God.” One account from the 1400s describes Valentine as a Catholic priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed.

Enough confusion surrounds the true identity of Saint Valentine that the Catholic Church discontinued liturgical veneration of him in 1969, though his name remains on it’s list of officially recognized saints. While the Catholic Church remains convinced there was a third-century martyr named Valentine, lack of specific information and the possibility that there may have been more than one Saint Valentine led to the removal of the liturgical feast from the church’s general calendar.
But the feast still appear on the calendar of some local churches.

In the third century, the Roman Empire was ruled by Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. In fact, he was getting into so many wars during the third century that he was having a difficult time recruiting enough soldiers.
Claudius believed that recruitment of personnel for the army was suffering because Roman men did not want to leave their loved ones or families behind, so he canceled all marriages and engagements in Rome. Thousands of couples saw their hope of matrimony dashed by the single act of a tyrant. And no one seemed interested in standing up to the emperor.
But Valentine did come forward and stood up for love. He began to secretly marry soldiers before they went to war, despite the emperor’s orders. In 269 A.D., Emperor Claudius found out about the secret ceremonies. He had Valentine put to prison and later killed.

2. Right Context

Going by the story above, firstly, the priest stood for the Law of God, (Gn 1:27, 28) as against the decree from the civil authorities. We learn here that we should not be unconcerned wherever there is a manifestation of opposition against the word of God. Every opposition against the word of God must be refused. (2 Cor. 10:5)

Going back to the topic about Saint Valentine’s day celebration; let us look at the context of the Saint Valentine’s actions;

1. Obedience to God no matter what the situation is.
2. Assisting the people to live holy lives.
3. God must be in the center of every love relationship

God is love (1 John 4:8). Everyone who loves, lives in God. Now, if love does not lead to God, it cannot be said to be love. The love that we practice, should lead us to heaven. Both the giver and the receiver, the one who is loving and the one who is receiving love.
This should be the yardstick for measuring genuine love.
If love leads to separation from God or leads to disobedient to God, then that cannot be said to be love.

3. God is the center – criteria to Valentine celebration

The Saint Valentine’s kind of love is centered on establishing the people to live in God, making obedience to God the center of their love relationship. This he did with his life and paid the ultimate price.

Genuine love therefore does not thrive on what a man or woman receives in exchange, but must be practiced in the spirit of sacrifice. Only then, can it last. Because it is never based on the recipient, but focuses on God and in obedience to God

So, the Saint Valentine’s kind of Love is God’s kind of love, the agape love.

1 Cor 13 ; 4-8
“…4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. ..”

From the scripture above, we see the true characteristics of love namely

➡ patience
➡ kindness
➡ never envies
➡ never boasts
➡ not proud
➡ never dishonors others
➡ not self seeking
➡ not easily angered
➡ keep no record of wrongs
➡ never delight in evil
➡ rejoices in truth
➡ protects
➡ trusts
➡ hopes
➡ perseveres
➡ never fails

Let us examine our lives, in this valentine celebrations and always. Are we lacking in any of the above?

Ultimately, the practice of love must lead to God and Must not separate us from God.
Keep no silent in evil, let love drive you to reach out to anyone and everyone God has placed within your reach. Wherever evil thrives, let love drive you to bring about obedience to God.

4. Wrong Context

The worldly celebration of Saint valentine’s life and actions is nothing close to his life. Men/women, children are caught in the web of the devil in the name of saint valentine celebration. All manners of immoral practices which degrades human life and does not in any way lead to obedience to God. This actually leads to further corruption of the soul, opening doors and channels for the devil into many lives and families.

Consider the kind of music and dance during these celebrations. Do they lead to obedience to God. Never! It’s all erotic. This replace the genuine love with counterfeit and many have fallen for it. The crowd are following the trend. The devil’s net keeps widening with every Valentine celebration world over. Are you in his net already?

The devil’s agenda is simple; to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10). How does he fulfill this mission? By creating counterfeit of the truth.

Don’t get caught in his net this season. Check if your action this season centers on, and leads to God. Otherwise, you are in already.

2 Cor 6;
“17 Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 18 And,“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

5. Conclusion
The kind of love Saint Valentine fought for, was to keep the love among young couples pure and holy. This was why he chose to put his life down the line. The center is God.

Let us therefore examine what we practice today in the name of Saint Valentine celebration. Am I obeying God? Does this lead to peace with my maker?
To obey is life. To disobey is eternal punishment.

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day.

God bless you.

Bro A. Ogochukwu Ughonu

 

Be My Valentine

Be my Valentine

 

GOD HAS THE FINAL SAY IN EVERY MATTER

Some men and women actually possess professional and legal rights to reach certain factual conclusions about one’s conditions in life, following the scientific and verifiable method of arriving at a certain result by following a scientific process, such facts could be established.
But beyond the establishment of those facts, God still has the final say.
Doctors have health issues they label INCURABLE! And truly, from natural, human and medical point of view; they are actually incurable diseases. At this point we hear the Lord saying, …“I am the Lord that heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)

👉🏼Also read Possible Greatness

If the doctors say “this can’t be cured,” Jesus is saying, “this can be cured! For by my stripes you are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
With God all things are possible. Just believe!”

Many man-made conclusions do exist as parasites on many people’s life. Some people are Living their lives today based on so many unfounded and baseless human manufactured conclusions concerning their conditions in life.
In any situation you find yourself in life, no matter how battered and humanly hopeless it may seem, it does not matter how many people had got to that point and passed on. Ignore the negative reports from family and friends who are faithless and unbelieving.
Follow the advise of Jesus.

When Jesus was going to the home of Jairus the Synagogue Ruler on invition to heal his critically ill daughter. Some of his (Jairus) friends and relatives ran to meet them on their and told him not to bother coming with Jesus because the daughter has already died. When Jesus overheard their negative report, He said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:21-43)
Listen attentively and hear Jesus saying to you, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Don’t give up; just believe.” Don’t kill yourself; just believe.” Your believing activates a conducive atmosphere for Jesus to step in your situation.
JUST BELIEVE!

Look beyond the helplessness of humans and turn to God who is “ever present Help in times of trouble, who has the final say in every circumstance that is beyond human ability to handle. He does not fail those who call on Him in times of trouble.
When men say you’ve got to the end of the road, tell them you have a God who makes away where there is no way (Isaiah 43:19). That exactly is BELIEVING.

Jesus says,
“JUST BELIEVE!
JUST BELIEVE!!
JUST BELIEVE!!!

Written by Romanus O. Obiekosi 

kindly share with your friends and families. God bless you.

Shalom!


Don’t ever give up 
the strive to victory.
When men say,
“it is not possible to get there.” Say, “I will get there;
with God all things
are possible.

-Romanus O. Obiekosi

THE HOLY BIBLE

Do you know that the Holy Bible is the best selling book of all time with over 5 billion copies sold and distributed?
Guinness World Record

Do you have a Bible?
Do you read your Bible?
The Bible is the manual of human life. Through the study of the Bible, you get to discover yourself and come to understand your Maker’s desires and requirements of you; which determines your unstoppable success in life.

Also read GOD’S INFALLIBLE WORD- WRITTEN FOR US (PART 1)

Love the Bible
Read the Bible
Study the Bible
Share the Bible
Preach the Bible
Teach the Bible
Believe the Bible
Live the Bible
Kiss the Bible
Distribute the Bible

 

LIFE BEFORE AND AFTER CHRISTMAS

No feast in the world has been so widely, passionately and preparedly celebrated like Christmas. Perhaps, it could be attributed to the fact that it is connected to the greatest event that has ever taken place in the history of mankind – the coming of the Son of God into the world for the salvation of mankind.
If that is the case, it’s indeed worth the weight and passion with which it is celebrated worldwide, but most of the activities that are associated with it do not in any way align with its purpose. The aims and objectives have been watered down. The purpose of Christmas has been totally twisted and altered and hijacked by those who embrace the pleasurable part of Christianity but abhor its sacrificial part.
The modern celebration of Christmas among many, especially Christians does not in any manner reflect the life of the celebrant – Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God.

Also read 👉🏼DISCOVERING THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS

More evil and wickedness are now associated with the celebration of this supposed holy feast now turned into a season of self-seeking and heinous activities of crime  like robbery, stealing, ritualism, adultery, fornication, murder etc. It is true that these misconducts have been in existence before Christmas celebration started, but they rise to the zenith prior to Christmas celebration.

Due to the above misconception of the feast of Christmas by some unbelievers, misguided and hypocritical Christians who are not seeking Christ for the salvation of their souls but for mere fun and self-satisfaction; life BEFORE and AFTER Christmas celebration has been hell and miserable for them, for many innocent persons, families and the society at large. They have raised the standard and method of Christmas celebration to an abnormal tempo and pace, thereby causing unnecessary headache for families and the society at large.

WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE AND AFTER CHRISTMAS?

It is no more news that a few months before and after Christmas celebration, some horrifying and heartbreaking stories will be making headlines on television, radio, newspapers, social media and the grapevines.
Christmas celebration is specifically observed on the 25th December of every year, but the negative scar it leaves on many of its ignorant celebrants, some innocent families and the society at large lasts for hundreds of days -things like:

1) Indebtedness

Before and after Christmas, many will run into unnecessary debts because they borrowed money from family and friends to spend on Christmas wears, food and outings.

2) Liquidation

Before and after Christmas, some businesses will close down in December or January because the owners spent beyond their budget limits to satisfy Christmas wants and needs.

3) Malice and Grudges

Before and after Christmas, close families, friends and relatives you were unable to assist during Christmas celebration will put up grudges against you. And those you assisted below their expectation of you will keep malice with you.

4) Life Behind Bars

Before and after Christmas, many young men and women will be imprisoned as a result of crime and unlawful activities -all in the quest to meet up with super-high Christmas demands and expectations created by human desire and not by Christ.

5) Premature Deaths

Before and after Christmas, many innocent persons will fall victims of ritualism, swindlers, kidnappers, assassins, robbers, etc. Some wicked friends and relations will cease the opportunity of the season’s get-together to poison those they have tagged “enemy of progress.”

6) Unwanted Pregnancies/ Abortion

Before and after Christmas, many young virgin girls and boys would have been deflowered, some of them would have offered up their virginity for sale in order to satisfy Christmas wants and needs. Some will be lured to bed by a supposed rich man who has promised them Christmas gifts. Young lady, be careful!
You might find this unbelievable that some married men and women will defile their sacred matrimonial beds just to meet up with Christmas demands, a-one-day event. This will consequently result to unwanted pregnancies, unwanted babies, killing and dumping of babies in waste bins.

8) Destruction of Destinies and Purpose

Before and after Christmas, many destinies, dreams and vocations will be swept into the hell abyss. In the quest to flaunt flashy cars, cruise in SUVs, move into new mansions, wear expensive clothing and jewelries, etc. Young men and women as well as the old alike will visit all manner of evil shrines, forests, caves and native doctors for quick financial breakthrough, and in return, they are ruined for life.

9) Loss of Anointing and Grace
Before Christmas, some believers who are placed under pressure by families and friends to satisfy their Christmas needs if proper care is not taken, will be carried away to soil their hands. And after Christmas, they will notice they have lost their anointing, glory and grace. Don’t let that happen to you.

POOR MINDSET TOWARDS CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION

Many people and Christians inclusive are breaking the sacred heart of Jesus on account of what they associate with the commemoration of His coming into the world to save mankind (the nativity). The celebration of the birth of Jesus itself is not bad; it’s not wrong or ungodly. It is sacred! It is divine! It is holy and godly. It should be marked, regarded and celebrated as such. Jesus was never known for evil and misconduct. Therefore anyone who behaves in a manner that is not aligning with the life and teachings of Christ on account of this event is not celebrating Christ but the devil.

The reason for Christmas celebration is not to show off one’s riches and accomplishments. It is not meant to cause High Blood Pressure for parents, wards or anyone owning to preparations toward the event. It is not a time and season to inflate prices of goods and services like food items, wears, transportation fares, etc. It is not time to play big boys and big girls around the street and garages. It is not a season to go to night clubs and have orgies. It is not a season to lose one’s virginity and integrity. It is not a season to be worldly and wild. It is not a season to arrange for sexual activities, meetings and hookups, etc.

CHRISTMAS SEASON is a TIME to WORSHIP and GLORIFY GOD for the gift of His Son Jesus Christ for the salvation and redemption of mankind (John 3:16). It is a time and season to share the true LOVE of Christ with others. It is a time for sober self-reflection to give oneself wholly to God for greater works.

May the celebration of Christ’s nativity bring us to eternal redemption. Amen.

By Romanus O. Obiekosi
•Author •Evang. •Singer/Music Coach

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DISCOVERING THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS

DISCOVERING THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS   From our Soul Winner monthly Newsletter 

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ by Christians all over the world. The first celebration of Christmas was in Rome in 336 A.D. Today Christmas has become the most popular event of the Christian religion.
It is celebrated every 25th December of every year. Christ is the centre of Christmas. All look foward to this celebration. It is a period of joy and happiness.

Individual disposition of Christmas can change, but the fundamental issue in this celebration is that we rejoice because a Savoiur has been been born to us.
Majority of Christians today has abandoned the substance and are busy pursuing shadows, no wonder Christmas today is marked with many activities like; celebration of marriages/weddings, coronations, reunion of all kinds, funeral ceremonies, organization of fun faires, Christian revival programs, etc.


In the face of these, one discovers that the main object of celebration here, which is CHRIST, has been religated to the background. And one begins to wonder if most of my fellow Christians are still aware of the personality of the person of Christ being celebrated. This brings to mind this topic, “Discovering the Christ of Christmas.”

It is expected that as we remember the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, we ought to look at His  personality and try as much as we can to live it out. Space will not permit me to exhaust the personality of Christ, but permit me to share a few vital lines on the Son of God whom we celebrate at Christmas.

John 1:14 says, He is the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us.

Matthew 16:16 says, He is the Son of the living God.

He is the Lord of lords and King of kings. Revelation 17:14

He is the anointed One Psalm 45:7; Acts 4:27
The One who came to save us from sin and reconciled man back to God with His blood shed on the cross. Therefore His blood cleans us from all sins.1John 1:7

He is the One who ascended into heaven and is at the right hand of God. Angels, authorites and powers are made subject unto Him. 1 Peter 3:22

He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

The coming of Christ brought joy to the world. No wonder the wise men from the east came with their gifts seaching for Him. When they discovered Him, they adored Him and offered Him their gifts.

Just like the wise men from the east, for us to discover the Christ of Christmas, we must go in search of Him. Remember the wise men discovered Him in the Manger not in the palace. Christ should be discovered in the life of the poor in the society at this period. Christ must be found among the orphans, widows, the physically challenged ones among us, through giving them joy by almsgiving (in our benevolence ).

As Christians, we should make up our minds to search for Jesus by being attentive to the church programmes at Christmas period; having fellowship among fellow believers as we return to our various villages for Christmas celebration.
A visit to chapel is also very important during this period.

To discover the Christ of the Christmas, we must leave our comfort zones and be ready to deprive ourselves abit. We mustn’t attend all the parties during this period. Some attention should be given to visitation to the old, weak, and the sick within our localities.

It may interest you to note that at Christmas just as the wisemen who gave gifts to Christ and went home happily through another road, one is also expected to offer gifts to Christ through his/her neigbours and should be happy doing so and not expecting any reward.
We must give our lives to Christ and be led in the Spirit in any of our actions.

Herod searched but didn’t discover Jesus because his intention is not genuine. A sincere desire to discover Christ will really take you to Him. We need to trust God and His words and His testimont around us.

The Christ of Christmas, as the Bible says, went about doing good. And He is still in the business of doing good.
We should at this season imitate our master in doing good. Let anything that is good and honorable be seen around us His followers.

Friends in Christ, as we appraoch, yet another Christmas, may God help us to celebrate truely Christ on Earth by being like our Master Himself.
God bless you.

Sr. Okaja Celestina U.
(Teacher of God’s Word CCRN)

Continue reading DISCOVERING THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS

PAINTING OF JESUS IN PERFECT CONDITION AFTER FIRE DESTROYS CHURCH

 

By Emily Jones for CBN

A 150-year-old church in Wakefield, Mass. erupted into flames Tuesday during a lightning storm. While most of the church was destroyed, one thing survived the inferno – a large painting of Jesus.

Parishioners were meeting at The First Baptist Church of Wakefield Tuesday when a fire was reported at about 7 p.m.

Firefighters and community members battled the blaze for three hours. Wakefield Fire Chief Michael Sullivan says the church, which has a 180-foot-spire, is completely destroyed.

However, people were shocked when they saw a first responder emerge from the burned-out church with a perfectly preserved painting of Jesus.

According to the Boston Globe, neither fire, smoke, nor water destroyed the picture.

“What a beautiful reminder that the Lord we serve is alive and active,” the church wrote in a Facebook post.

Some church members see it as a miraculous sign from God.

“The building had been ravaged by the fire, so it’s amazing that anything on the inside made it out intact. At a time when our church community was experiencing a lot of grief, I think God was sending us a reminder that we should keep our eyes on Jesus, who is still alive and active. The building may be gone, but our church is still here, and the God we serve is definitely still here,” Maria Kakolowski a church member told CBN News.

The Globe reports that the painting will be given to a former pastor.

Kakolowski said the church is taking the recovery process “one step at a time.”

The First Baptist Church has set up a GoFundMe page to help the aftermath and recovery.

The church also posted a statement on its website expressing complete faith in God.

“We know that we serve a God who specializes in restoring brokenness and who can bring beauty even from ashes,” the statement reads. “So we move into the future with trust, hope, and gratitude.”

PALESTINIAN PASTOR RECALLS PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS THAT LED HIM TO REPENT OF HATRED FOR JEWS

Steve Warren

Bassam Adranly was born a Palestinian and grew up in the Greek Orthodox Christian tradition.  

In a recent interview with Revive Live, he says he often criticized Jews. While in his 20s and attending a university in Tel Aviv, he turned to atheism.

In 1995, he says he had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ that turned his life around. 

“Every night I was dreaming of Him, all night through,” Adranly says. “Going with Him and His disciples everywhere. … and all day through, I couldn’t get His words out of my mind.”

Adranly said at the time he had a hatred of Jews like many other Palestinians. 

“I was wrestling with this and I knew it was wrong. So I gave myself to the Lord to change it,” he told the television program. 

Adranly said God touched his heart and his prejudice was gone. 

Today, he is an Arab-Christian living in Israel and pastors a congregation in the city center of Jerusalem.

“The Lord showed me very clearly that nationality is not something I receive. It’s not something that I just take from my old life,” Adranly explained.  “The Word of God in 2 Corinthians 5:17 says ‘Who is in Christ is a new creation. Old things have passed away,” and it includes our nationality. So we have to come to the Lord and ask to receive from him what he wants to teach (me) about my nationality, about my people.”

Also read 👉🏼ARCHAEOLOGISTS CLAIM TO DISCOVER EVIDENCE FOR BIBLICAL ACCOUNT OF EXODUS NEAR JORDAN RIVER

Watch Pastor Bassam Adranly’s interview with Revive Live on Youtube.