Do you know that the Holy Bible is the bestselling book of all time with over 5 billion copies sold and distributed? – Guinness World Record
FIVE BILLION COPIES (5,000,000,000) SOLD?
That’s really amazing! Isn’t it?
That suggests that more than a half of over 8 billion population of the world owns a Bible, or probably more than one Bible.
Have you got your own Bible? Don’t be left out! Join the divine train.
This singular statistics is an indisputable proof that the world cannot survive without the Word of God which dwells among us, and through which the world was made (John 1:12). The world is still in daily search of a life free of pain, sorrow and ultimate liberation.
Man’s freedom, prosperity, success, fulfillment and happiness in this life are inseparably tied to the application of God’s Word in his life. The same thing applies to people of all walks of life -whether the nations, governments, corporate organizations and so on. Our survival is in applying the Word of God in our daily activities.
God created the world by the ‘Word’ (John 1:1). And it is only by the Word can the world be sustained. Everything that is made by the Word can survive only by the Word.
It’s only by the Word you can be sustained and be fulfilled. Hence the command from the Lord, “Keep this book of the law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful Joshua 1:8 (NIV).
The Word of God is meant to dwell in every home and heart of mankind and influence our behavior, attitude, character and cause of action on a daily basis.
Studying, meditating, obeying and applying the word of God in our daily lives and activities bring about unprecedented success, prosperity and fulfillment.
WHERE IS YOUR BIBLE?
I ask you again, where is your Bible?
Do you have a Bible? When was the last time you opened through the pages?
Do you read, meditate and study your Bible day and night according to God’s command?
Do you obey and apply the will of God as contained in the Scriptures?
The Bible is the manual of human life. It is a divine mirror through which we view our lives. It is a channel of divine revelation and enlightenment.
Opening and reading through the Scriptures brings about the manifest revelational presence of God. It is a glorious moment when mysteries are uncovered and truths are revealed.
Through the study of the Bible, you get to discover yourself and come to understand your Maker’s desires and purpose for your life; which when discovered, brings prosperity, success, satisfaction, fulfillment and happiness in life.
Go get your Bible where you have left it. Get it dusted! Start reading it and begin the new life experience of discovering yourself and your Maker’s (God) purpose and expectations for your life.
All in the Bible!
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
WHAT YOU WILL GAIN WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR LIFE FOR CHRIST!
Let me start by making it clear that no one who comes to Christ actually loses his/her life, but they submit their lives to save it through Christ. There’s no loss in Christ. What we consider as loss is the submission of one’s entire life to pass through the physical and spiritual process that aligns with the divine laws and principles of God that guarantees eternal salvation and rewards.
To the planet earth, this is a loss. But to heaven it is a process and a principle. And it is gain (Philippians 1:21).
LABOUR AND REWARDS
Without a reward of some-kind, no human being will get down to work or get involved in any activity that will require expenditure of energy, time, talent and treasure. It is natural.
This is exactly what Proverbs say, “The appetite of labourers works for them; their hunger drives them on.” Proverbs 16:26
And the Lord said , ‘I search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according his conduct, and to what their deeds deserve’ Jeremiah 17:10.
You can see that God Himself is fully behind the principle of labour and reward.
LOSING ALL FOR CHRIST
Peter and other Jesus’ Apostles, upon encountering Christ lose their lives for Him by placing Him above everything they were and had.
They left their businesses, work, families, wives, children, friends, enemies, social activities, nightclub, adultery, fornication, cheating, lying, injustice, just to name a few, to follow Christ. They left EVERYTHING to follow Christ! Did you take note of that statement by Peter? “We have left everything to follow you.”
However, confusion ensued among the apostles after Jesus answered a certain rich ruler who inquired of Him what he (the ruler) must do to inherit eternal life (Matthew 19:16-30). As a result of Jesus’ response to the man’s question, Peter reacted!
Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us? Matthew 19:27
Like Peter, many followers of Christ when life hit them hard, are forced to question the Lord, what will be my reward for all these sacrifices I’m making for the sake of the kingdom? “I have lost my job, I have lost my friends, I have lost my family, I have lost my …….
What becomes of me?
AND JESUS SAID
And Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his throne, you, who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribe of Israel. And everyone who has left his houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:28-29.
Jesus also answered similar question in the gospel of Mark 8:35. And He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me (valuing Him above all else)and for the gospel will save it.
In the last edition I explained what it actually means to lose one’s life for Christ. Among all, remember it also includes losing one’s physical life when the situation necessarily requires that, like in the case of Brother Stephen in Acts of Apostles chapter eight (8)and the Twelve Apostles of Christ except John the Beloved who later died a natural death after losing his life for Christ.
WHAT HAVE YOU LOST FOR CHRIST AND FOR THE GOSPEL?
Apostle Paul exclaimed, “But whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ….”
Every faithful soldier of Christ must have an injury.
If you are a true follower of Christ, there must be something you so much loved and engrossed to which you must have given up for the sake of following the Lord Jesus Christ, except you are a ‘fair-weather follower’(following Christ when it is convenient).
The assurance from the Lord for you that follows Him in season and out of season is that you will be rewarded far beyond how much you had given up or left for Christ’s sake and for the gospel. It can never go unrewarded.
Let’s list and analyze what Jesus said we will gain when we lose our lives for Him and for the gospel.
Jesus addresses His apostles directly and specifically for them at that moment He said, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things , when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, ( when the new heaven and new earth will come to be. Revelation 21) you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Mt 19:29)
The word “Judging” in this context simply means ruling, presiding, and governing. So the Apostles, for forsaking their lives for Christ and for the gospel, in addition to so many other rewards, will receive, and rule over the twelve tribes of Israel forever. This reward is specifically spelt out for “the twelve apostles”
Jesus addresses everyone including the apostles, his disciples, you, myself and all who will later believe in Him and follow Him. Whatever we left or lost to follow him -whatsoever it is, we will receive a hundred times as much. Mt 19:29
What have you lost for the sake of Christ and for the gospel? Jesus says to you, ‘You will receive it back a hundred times here on earth.’ This reward is going to be received here on earth as we journey from earth to heaven. Note: it will be given to those who have not given up their faith in Christ, who are still in the Lord Jesus Christ and are in active service of the Master.
“And will inherit eternal life” (Mt 19:29)
For losing your life for Christ and for the gospel, you will inherit eternal life.
You will be counted among those that will hear this word from the triumphant King of kings, Master of the universe, Jesus Christ, “Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Mt. 25:34)
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it”(Mk 8:35)
Take this again, “WHOEVER LOSES HIS LIFE FOR ME AND FOR THE GOSPEL WILL SAVE IT”
The word “SAVE” in this context is all encompassing. It covers a wide range of benefits which we are going to be explored line by line.
By valuing Christ above your life and everything else in your life, you would have saved your life.
What is the meaning of the word “SAVE?”
(Greek word ‘sozo’ which has been translated in the New Testament as follows :
In other words Jesus is saying, as you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you have SAVED your life, you have made yourself WHOLE (restored), you have HEALED yourself of every illness and disease, you have PRESERVED your life for eternal reward and you have made everything to go WELL with you in this life and in the life after. You have become God’s number 1 property. God’s eyes are always on you to favour you.
There’s a statement that Jesus dropped in the last verse of Matthew 19, and He said, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”
Don’t give up your heavenly race! We are closer to the finishing line than when we set out.
What we just described as our rewards from the Lord is the little that the Lord enables our mind to comprehend.
It is written; “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9
Our eternal rewards are indescribable, words can not express them. The only qualification is to remain faithful till the end.
By Romanus O. Obiekosi
•Author •Evang. •Singer/Music Coach.
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.
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:
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.
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
DISCOVERING THE CHRIST OFCHRISTMAS 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)
This is a critical question that demands an in-depth and meticulous thought.
For every endeavor one embarks upon, there is always preparation.
The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew’s gospel chapter 25:1-13 will help us.
Ten vurgins prepared to meet the bride groom. Five of them were wise -sincere Christians while the other five were foolish -hypocrites.
The foolish ones did not take extra oil, posses grace – meaning inadequate preparation and hence were disqualified. Do you have extra oil for your lamp? Is your light on or off? Please, check.
In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus illustrated the kingdom if heaven with parable of wedding feast. Many are called to the wedding feast, that is to salvation but few have the wedding garment, the righteousness of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit. We are all called to prepare for the scrutiny and those who put on the Lord Jesus, who have a Christian temper of
mind; who lives by faith in Christ and to whom He is all and all, have the wedding garment.
How prepared are you to meet your God? Are you putting on a wedding garment? You need to be very sure and absolutely convinced because that is the only ticket or criteria for your entry.
For one to meet God, one must conform to His standard, fulfil His conditions and principles. For instance:
Holiness: God is holy and can never compromise His standard. In Exodus 19:10-15 God gives Israelites two days to prepare themselves, wash their clothes before coming to meet Him at Mount Sinai.
The journey of the Israelites with God that supposed to last for 40 days was extended to 40 years because of their unfaithfulness and ungodliness. God is holy and want His people to be holy too.
Jesus died on the cross to destroy the nature of sin, that which separates man from God. By His resurrection He restored man the nature of God.
Holiness is our nature as believers and followers of Jesus Christ. it flows from within us. It is part of us because we posses the gene/seed of God through Jesus. Whoever that is prepared to meet God must be clothed with garment of holiness (Hebrews). Check yourself! Which garment are you putting on as you walk towards meeting your God? IS it garment of sin – sexual immorality, lying, unforgiveness, idolatry, worldliness, greediness? You must put them off for God can never behold iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19 tells us about the standard of God – whoever that call the name of God must depart from iniquity. You must die to sin, get rid of your sinful nature and put on the new nature, the nature of holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24).
Your preparation should not be based on your own standard. A life that is prepared to meet God must be absolutely sure, very convinced, not quessing or based on assumption but confirmed that he/she. has the new nature..
Jesus in John 3:3 emphasized it when He was addressing Nicodemus. Unless a man is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Unless a man possess the Spirit of God, absolutely and consciously yields and control or led by the Spirit of God, he/she cannot meet God.
A life that possess the Spirit of God should display in action, in words, in thoughts and even in appearance, Infact in all things the most prominent attribute and evidence of the Holy Spirit which is holiness. You need to check your life once again brother/sister- How prepared are you to meet your God?
A LIFE THAT IS PREPARED TO MEET GOD
Romans 12:1-2 says, “Offer your body as living sacrifice. A life or one that is prepared to meet God must continuously and delibrately. laydown his/her life as a living sacrifice on the altar of God. God does not accept any-how sacrifice. It cannot be of a dead animal. It must be living and healthy before it can be accepted. Leviticus 1:1-4
In our days, the sacrifice God looks for is not of bull, ram, and birds but the sacrifice of a life that has been redeemed from sin and the flesh; a life that is totally laid ob the altar of sacrifice.
Beloved, pause and check again. What kind of life are you placing on your altar of sacrifice? Is it a double standard life -hypocrisy/compromise? Is it a decay and disintegrated life of fornication, adultery, lesbianism, gay, homosexual, masturbation, abortion, cultism, stealing, cheating etc.; No! It can’t be, for sacrifice such as this is not a reasonable and acceptable sacrifice. Your life is already on fire on the altar of sacrifice. Always remain burnt. A burnt sacrifice does not turn back to its original form. For instance – Ice block melts to water, vis-versa but burnt paper turns to ashes and cannot return to its original form. So remain burnt so that your aroma will always be pleasant and acceptable by God.
A life that is prepared to meet God must settle the case of unforgiveness.
Forgiveness is the ability to remember the wrongs done by others without feeling the pain.
Love and understanding play role in forgiveness. We must cry to God for a heart filled with love so as to always put on love as a basic clothe. With an understanding of what Jesus did for us on the cross, nothing should be too big to let go. We should learn to give excuses for offences committed; carry the bowels of mercy; forgive in advance; look beyond the person and see in her/him Mr. Flesh at work.
Jesus our role model. understood this. He differed all odds, went to the cross just to crush Mr. Flesh (Chief producer of unforgiveness). He put him to death on the cross so that we shall be free and our eyes open to follow and act/be like Him. God through Jesus forgives us even while we yet sinners. Jesus prayed for His killers. Stephen also prayed the same to demonstrate to us the possibility of frgiveness.
Note: God has forgiven us of our sins, but each time we sin by refusing to forgive others, those sins are recalled. Matthew 18-23-25. It is life for life and forgiveness for forgiveness Romans 12:17-19.
A life that is prepared to meet God must fulfil the condition Jesus gives in Luke 9:23-26
· Deny yourself
· Carry your cross daily
· Follow Him
· Loose yourself for Him
· Suffer shame for Him
· Cleave steadfastly in Him
· Loose the world
Unless one meet up these conditons, he/she will not be qualified to meet his/her God. Self denial means to forget self, disown yourself, loose sight of yourself and interest, refuse or give up yourself, renounce or leave yourself behind.
Carrying our cross daily entails yielding for the burden of Jesus deliberately, voluntarily and consciously. The burden of Jesus is seeking for lost souls and touching lives. It involves enduring shame, suffering and pain momentarily. They come in different forms, at different levels and time. So we must not choose altarnatives, cut corners. dodge them or jump out of them but patiently accept and endure tnem so that your mind will be renewed and you will be able to achieve your supreme objective of becoming like your master Jesus and meeting your God..
A life that is prepared to meet God must look up and not down as written Colossians 3:1-4 Seek the things that are above, were Christ is, where God you desire to meet is. Set your mind on things that are above not on things that are on earth. Earth is full of distractions, worldliness and evils. You are a child of the kingdom -focus on things above, desire, pursue and occupy your mind with with business of the kingdom. Do not be of the world. The world and itd pleasures are perishing. If you want to enjoy the world and also enjoy heaven, you will end up loosing all and suffer the lost of your soul Luke 9:23. Distinguish yourself from the world in all things. Check your type of business/job, dressing, friendship, association (club) and wherever you spend your leisure time, God is interested in all. In your journey to meet your God, you must be confronted wirh so many conflicts and battles.
You will battle with satan -the tempter and his agents, you will battle with Mr. Flesh who yields and co-operate with the devil to produce sin in you, and battle with the world system. Remember the only sort of spiritual conflict that’s ever successfully won is the one God fights for you. He does not expect you to win the battle, only to surrender to Him and let Him win it for you. So you are not supposed to fight, yours is to fight the good fight of faith 1Timothy 6:12. Yours isn’t a battle of exhusting effort, it’s the battle of believing God for victory.
Trust your God – Jehovah Nissi to prevail for you because the battle is not yours but God’s Exodus 14:14..
Jesus says, “The world will make you suffer but be of good cheer because I have overcome the world John 16:33.
Note also that holiness and righteousness are wonderful shield, defensive coverage and powerful weapons of warfare. Bro Paul says, “Put on the full armour of God, so…. you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” Eph. 6:11. You are to wear God’s armour not -yours. You are to stand -not fight. “The weapons of our warfare are not canal but God’s powerful weapon…. 2 Corinthians 10:4. So act wisely.
There is no one that was created empty. We are all embedded witg great potenials each one according to his ability. A life that is prepared to meet God must discover his own potentials, God’s divine purpose for his life and make effort to accomplish it. Matthew 25:14-30. Ephessians 2:10 says, “God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ He has created us for a life of good deeds which He has already prepared for us to do”. You are to meet your God with your own score card of good works and receive reward accordingly.
Preparation if meeting God is a conscious, continuous process and should be done minute by minute, all through the day and our lifetime. You should have the understanding that God is in you, He dwells in you -your body is His temple and be conscious how you live your life. You should work on your mind to be ever ready to cmmune with Him in your mind all the time. When your mind is correct/ready in His presence, in your place of prayer, in your quiet time, at the table of His word and in His kingdom at the end. Make conscious effort to renew your mind because it is only a renewed mind that can commune with God..
DANGERS OF INADEQUATE PREPARATION
– Consequence of endless death in hell awaits anyone who did not prepare adequately, and one who neglect his own work.
– All your efforts so far and sacrifices wilk be in vain.
– You will live a miserable and defeated Christian life.
Jesus continued, “Be on your guard then because you do not know what day your Lord will come”. Daily appropriate preparation is very neccessary because a lot of people have gone unprepared -be warned!
Any new day we see is an opportunity given to us to work on ourselves towards drawing close to Him on daily basis. Use the opportunity given to you to repent sincerely
The axe is ready to cut down the trees at the root. Luke 3:9. May you never be cut down. May you never be wasted. God and His angels are ready. In love, He opens His arms to receive you – BE WISE!
Many Christians today take God’s mercy and goodness for granted. They continue to toy with sin loiter in the enemy’s territory, thinking that the absence of immediate consequences is a license to continue to indulge in sin. Romans 2:4-11. To what arear of your life is God pointing His flashlight right now? Notice what the Philistines did to Samson immediately he was captured. Judges 16:21. His eyes were plucked out with sharp object. Why do you think they did this? Be warned! 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, “Put yourselves to the test and find out whether you are living in faith”.
Lamentation 3:40 says, ” Let us examine ourselves and turn back to the Lord. The ball is in your court. May God in His mercy encounter our hearts and make us ever ready to meet Him in Jesus name. Amen.
A gang of robbers broke into a multi millionair’s house, and at gun point fiercely demanded, “Your money or your life.” Within a space of 3 secondes, the man quickly responded with great fear of losing his life and his family, “Please, my life! My life! My life!” He said with a vibrating but flinchy tone.
He went straight to his inner chamber and drew out a box filled up with thousands of naira, a few pounds and dollars and willingly and respectfully handed it over to the robbers who zoomed off with immediate effect. The man knelt down with his entire family and thanked God for their life.
WHY DID HE CHOOSE HIS LIFE OVER HIS MONEY?
It could be for the follwing reasons;
1) Life is most valuable than wealth
2) When life is lost, it can’t be earned back here on earth
3) With life, more money could earned and much wealth could be created
4) He realized that losing his life and probably his entire family means losing everything out of foolishness
5 He also may have come to realize that earthly wealth does not last and not worth dying for
He was wise enough to make a wise and positive decision at that critical moment of his life. I have heard of a few cases of some other persons who found themselves in a similar situation, but made a foolish and terrible negative decision of holding to their valuables and eventually lost their lives. They gambled with their only one earthly life and lost it. Their foolish greed cost them their very promising lives. they lost it all.
King Solomon wrote: “Anyone who is among the living has hope -even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!” (Ecclesiastes 9:4 NIV)
In other words, a living outcast is far better off than a dead king. That places a high value on life than anything else among men. No one in a real sense naturally wants to die, even you and I..
WHAT CAN YOU LOSE YOUR LIFE TO GET?
Money? Brings pleasure and comfort but fizzles out
Fame? Gratifies the body, feels good but Fizzles out
Wealth? Gratifies the body, brings pleasure, comfort but dwindles away
Power? Makes proud, respected. revered but degenerates and transfers
Women? Pleasurable, but gets old and dies
Alchol? Sweet, pleasurable, intoxicates and kills
Drugs? Hypnotizes, fake boost, Intoxicates and kills
Christ? Gives life, saves life and gives every good thing + everlasting life.
Everybody is naturally careful of not losing their lives because life is sweet and beautiful. But you will be amazed to realize how fast we are losing our precious and promising lives to so many worthless things. Many have willingly lost their lives to this world, to money, fame, drugs, women, power, etc. And not for Christ..
Did you read that? “AND NOT FOR CHRIST!” WHY? We will look at this in a few paragraphs ahead.
The robbers who stand at the highway or break into peoples’ houses have actually lost their lives to the money they go after. They could be apprehended, imprisoned or executed. A cultist loses his/her life to possible danger of sudden death resulting from show of might and supremacy over rivals. A fighter loses his/her life to unpredictable injuries. A quarrelsome person loses her/his life to shame and disrespect. A gossip loses her/his life to unfriendliness and lonliness. A thief loses his/her life to disgrace and indefinite restrictions. The list goes on. And finally here is the ultimate loss. HEAVEN!
Don’t lose heaven because you lost your life to earthly treasures.
What are you losing your life to right now? Does it really worth it?
Nothing on earth is worth losing your life to, no matter what are, or what they are meant for, except Christ, Him crucified for your redemption, and what add values to human life and brings glory God. Outside of this, nothing absolutely worths it. You too think about..
GETTING IT AT ALL COST
When you choose to get anything out of this life AT ALL COST, not minding the possible adverse effect it will have on people around you, yourself and how displeasing it is to God your Maker, you have lost your soul to this life and to hell. Getting something at all cost simply means you don’t bloody care about how it gets into your hands, or what or who is affected.
Don’t lose your promising life to gain this world’s wealth, fame and power that dissapears and is no more like a vapor. But lose your life to get that which lasts for eternity.
And Jesus queried, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
(Mark 8:36-37 KJV)
What you can you give to replace your soul? Nothing!
CHOOSE TO LOSE YOUR LIFE FOR CHRIST!
Don’t you ever make the mistake of losing your life for earthly things. It is foolishness in the highest order and it will cost you your real life (eternal life). Lose your life to gain Christ, and for the sake of the gospel. That will give you real life (eternal life) in return.
Here lies the irony, we are everly ready to lose our money to keep our physical life going, like the man we disccussed about at the beginning of this article, but we are not ready to lose our money or our earthly life to gain Christ and eternal life.
And Jesus said in Mark gospel 8:34-37 “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LOSE YOUR LIFE FOR CHRIST
Losing your life for Christ means choosing Him over anything in your life. It means to seek Him first before any other thing. It means your life being patterned and modeled by Him and molded in Him. It means saying goodby to worldly life. To lose your life for Christ means doing everything for His sake and glory. To lose your life Christ means to deny yourself, pick up your cross (cares and responsibility) and follow Him. To lose your life for Christ means doing everything for His own sake and reverence.
When you choose to lose your life for Christ, you will have no room to accommodate ungodly activities and immoral lifestyles.
WHAT YOU WILL GAIN WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR LIFE FOR CHRIST?
To continue in next edition.
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.
Parants should create time to meet up with the 3 Ties of the family:
·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.”
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