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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. 

EFFECTIVE PARENTING (saving the souls of our children)

Lack of parantal responsibility can cause disaster to the family and the entire nation. Example in the Bible is the case of Eli’s family, 1 Samuel 2:27-36, chapters 3 &4 where the children of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas due to the lack of parantal responsibility brought disaster to the family and entire nation of Israel. Also read BEN CARSON SPEAKS: PART ONE The two children died on the same day, Eli died, the daughter in-law died during child birth, Israelites lost the battle and the Ark of the Lord captured. O! What a disaster! The Bible has placed high responsibilies on parants for the good upbringing of the entire children. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it Family is the bedrock of the society. When the family is well founded, the society will be solidly strong, peaceful and good. Many families have left their in the hands of house helps, Aunties, Uncles etc. to pursue wealth. In most cases the children are sexually abused, physically abused, maltreated, malnurished and even used for ritual purposes as can see in most media. MY ADVISE TO PARANTS There us need to take care of the family needs. Yes I agree with that, but only the physiological needs which most parants tend to focus on. Also, other needs like spiritual, psychological, emotional, social etc. must be met in order to bring up a total child. TIME MANAGEMENT Parants should create time to meet up with the 3 Ties of the family: ·Home ·Job ·Church (Religious Activities) The family should be given priority because that is the first foundation and the first school of the child. If the family is sick, the entire society will be sick and in disarray. So the 3 Ties must be balanced. Parental roles should not be delegated to house help or any care giver who has little or nothing to offer. Children should be closely monitored by their parants, what they watch on TV, internet, social media, what they wear, places they they visit, the type of friends they keep. Etc. Make out time to listen to them, they want to share their experiences with you. If you don’t create time, someone out there will teach them the wrong thing or mislead them. Parants should be role moldels to their children. Most times, children tend to copy what they see their parents do. There is an adage that says.  “When the mother-goat is chewing the cord, the young one is watching.” (Proverbs 18:10) INVOLVE GOD Make God the head of the family by constantly communing with Him through prayer. He is the strong tower the rightous runneth unto him and he is saved. St Augustine says, “A family that prays together stays together.” Joshua 1:8 says, “Be sure that this book of the Law is always read in your worship. Study it day and night, and make sure that you obey everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet.  and a light to my path.” Read, study, and meditate on the word of God with your children always. Lve the word and you will prosper.. Finally, to be a parent is a great responsibility trusted unto you by God which you must give account to Him. Dear parents, please, let us live up to our responsibilities, to protect our children from all forms of vices that ravaging the society and have eaten deep into so many families. Let us say NO to this canca worm. Mat God Almighty give us the grace to live up to expectation in Jesus Name. Amen. Sis. Jimaimmah Ogbu

TRUE BEAUTY OF HOME

From Christian Encourager Magazine (Soft Copy)

A house is just a building while a home is a garden of love and peace.

It’s heart breaking when marriage designed to be enjoyed turns out to be endured.  It hurts a lot when a house molded to be a home turns out to be a dreaded zone, even when it is a mansion with its high level of comfort. The question is, what in God’s name can make two lovers giggling on their wedding day suddenly despise each other to the extent of willingly signing divorce papers?

Africa is a beautiful continent with enviable cultural heritage but it’s quite unfortunate that some Africans do not value what they have. Civilization is one of the best tools anybody can work with when positively used but it can also be a very dangerous tool when negatively used. In this part of the world, there are some cultures that are so beautiful and important that changing them means fermenting trouble. As an African man or woman, please be careful with what you read on internet because it can make or mar you. Refined African marriage is very beautiful and I am very happy to be a partaker of it. Beautiful people, let us learn to appreciate and respect our unique cultural values. If there is any need to borrow culture, it should be for the good purpose of building ourselves and not consciously or unconsciously destroying ourselves.

Meanwhile, before you think of marriage;

1. Know your value.
2. Find your purpose
3. You must understand that Marriage is by choice. Ensure that you’re not under pressure  to get married. Never marry to satisfy the society. Go into marriage because you choose to get married.
4. Understand what marriage is. What exactly does marriage mean to you as an individual? Your personal definition of marriage is exactly what you’ll get in your marriage.
5. Why do you want to get married and why have you chosen him or her? How exactly can you describe yourself? Will you be willing to marry yourself if you were the spouse you’re looking for? Do you really know the person you want to walk down the isle with?
6. What kind of home do you want to build? What kind of home exactly do you always imagine? How’s your family vision, core value and constitution going to look like?
7. Seek Knowledge : knowledge is highly needed in marriage. Knowledge makes it understandable that man/woman is identity but husband and wife are roles. So do you really know the roles of husband and wife and are you ready to play the roles?

At this juncture, I’ll like to ask you a question. Have you ever wondered why some good men and women still end up in broken marriages? It takes more than good man and woman to enjoy marital bliss because man/woman is just identity while husband and wife are roles. For spouses to enjoy marital bliss and happy homes, they must be intentional about it because happy home doesn’t just happen. Somebody must intentionally work it out. No matter how we shy away from the truth, there are UNIQUE roles meant for husband/wife and father/mother. That is to say that husband/wife and fatherhood/motherhood are roles. Before anybody will think of marriage, he/she needs to answer this question, “Are you ready to fit into that role?” After tying the nuptial knot and you want to have children, whether biologically or by adoption, you also need to be very sure that you want to play that role of fatherhood or motherhood very well. When these unique roles are neglected, Mr. Trouble comes in. The things that break homes most times, are the little foxes that are unconsciously and gradually fed, until they grow to become wolves that tear down homes.  When a husband and wife or father and mother fit in to their respective roles perfectly, the little foxes that roam about seeking for homes to destroy, will be starved to death.

Before I continue, I emphatically want to let you know that every happy home you see around has God as the pillar. Our relationship with God is a paramount factor in everything (marriage inclusive) we do in life. If at this juncture, you are yet to give your life to Jesus Christ, I advise that you do so now and not later. Go ahead and confess your sins to Him and ask for forgiveness. Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior, decisively determine to worship God in truth and in spirit. If you have done that, congratulations for you are a born again, a new creature and old things are in the past. •Also read👇🏽

Christian Encourager Magazine Editorial (soft copy)

Thanks.

Now, what are these unique roles husband and wife or father and mother must embrace to build a happy home?

Keep tab on this space in the next edition.

everything humanly possible, morally and legally right, to be that person God designed you to be.

By Oluchi Madu

For counseling and coaching, call or whatsapp 09094757110. Twitter: @OluMadu . Facebook: Oluchi Ezeloma Madu, fan page Oluchi Charles Madu

All rights reserved

©Christian Encourager Magazine 2O18

 

GOD’S PRESENCE NO LIMITATIONS NO BOUNDARIES

 

In the presence of God, there’re no limitations and there’re no boundaries. Any good thing can happen!

Paul and Silas by the order of the magistrates in Philippi were stripped, beaten with rods and severely flogged, and finally thrown into prison.

WITH WOUNDS AND PAINS

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. Did you get that? They were beaten with rods for the sake of gospel of Jesus Christ. And now with wounds, pains and blood all over their bodies they could lift their voices in praise and worship to God whose assignment brought them suffering and imprisonment.

Also read GOD’S INFALLIBLE WORD WRITTEN FOR US (PART 2)

The Lord responded to their praises and worship with awesome manifestation of His presence and power. As a result of the manifest presence of Jesus, Suddenly ‘there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.’

‘AND EVERYONE’S CHAINS CAME LOOSE’

Whenever you find your way into God’s presence, and you are prepared in your heart to meet God, the grace of Jesus’ presence covers you and any good thing can happen to you at that moment. It does not matter who you were before entering into His presence. What matters is that you are now in His presence and any miracle could happen to you.

All the prisoners under the open-heaven’s atmosphere of Paul and Silas got their miracles of release and freedom -even the Jailer and his household got eternal salvation. Even as you read through this article, I pray for you; may the presence of Jesus who sits besides you right now set you free from any kind of chains and oppression in your life in Jesus’ name. Any spiritual magistrate that gives evil orders over your life has lost his authority in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Always find your way into God’s presence.

(Read Acts of the Apostles chapter 16)

By Romanus O. Obiekosi

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