A LIVE DOG IS BETTER THAN A DEAD LION (Ecc 9:4)

 

Apart from the Lord, King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. He gives us good advice on how ‘to enjoy’ the only life we have to live on this earth.

‘Life no get duplicate’ –says a Nigerian Proverb. So true!

These are some lessons I’ve found in the Book of Ecclesiastics, Chapter 9:

*Everything is in God’s hands. He has the last say in all human affairs. Do not worry about men for God is sovereign over all things that pertain to you, good or bad, mistakes or failures. Nothing happens ‘by mistake’ for God is actively in charge of the universe He has created! So relax and trust God! You are not god! Be more grateful for your blessings! Do not compare your lot with another’s. God is in control!

*Death is part of life. All men die. Death is sure. Life on earth is unique. It is also limited. You have a limited amount of opportunities to fulfill your destiny and be happy. Why not happy then?

* There are only two types of men: righteous or evil, saved or unsaved, born again or lost. Humble yourself and make sure you belong to the people of Jesus. There is no repentance after death. Do not waste any opportunity to draw closer to God, to go to church, to be part of the Body of Christ, to worship God in Spirit and in Truth! Seek spiritual fruit in all situations! Life is not just ‘buying and selling’! ‘To me life is Christ! I seek Him always and rest not unto I can plug into His grace! Not religion, but life!

*God saves some people by His grace, in Christ alone, by faith alone. The rest are condemned and lost forever! Be sure of your standing before God! Pray not only for the salvation of your soul, but for the assurance of your salvation. This assurance is an added gift, by the Holy Spirit. It comes only to the obedient believers. It gives them enough’ room’ to be free! Only then you can serve God without anxiety of life. The assurance of salvation is rest for the soul and happiness for the body; it is blessing to the marriage and family! Seek for it as for silver and gold! Believer, do not be lazy!

*Do all things in God’s presence and for His glory. Eat and drink ‘before the throne of mercy and grace’. Did you eat bread this morning? Then be grateful! Many people did not have bread to eat! Be sure you do not take food for granted! There should be no complaining at the dinner table! Jesus said to all His servants: ‘Eat whatever is given to you…’

*’Enjoy life with your wife’…Marriage is a gift of God. Some are married and some are not. You are to trust God for the gift of marriage. It does not depend on beauty of money. It is God’s gift. You have to humble yourself to receive the gift of marriage. Also, you MUST be happily married! This is God’s command! Any disobedience to God’s command is called witchcraft (1Sam 15:23). Any unhappy marriage is connected with the occult. You have to choose between your wife and a witch. You can’t have both! Chose marriage! Be happy! Tell your wife (your husband) that you are grateful for coming into your life, for sharing all things together! I am sure you are not blind…you see other women more beautiful than you…you see other men richer than you…but God said that you shall be married and it was so! Be grateful!

*Be sexually and morally pure!

*Be anointed with the Holy Spirit and ready for ministry, anytime, anywhere! Be a Living Bible walking on two feet!

*Enjoy all things every day! Enjoy every minute for there is no another. Enjoy your marriage, your children and your family! Enjoy your church, driving to church, parking in front of your church…Enjoy the church activities, the choir rehearsals, the waiting for the service to start, the prayer times, the preaching of the Word, the worship, the offerings, the assembly of the brethren…Stop wishing for a better wife, a better church, a better opportunity to serve God and people…another opportunity may never come! Be at peace with all men!

* A personal touch: My husband and I we travel a lot. Traveling is not easy. It adds stress that comes with changing your environment and meeting strange people. We always pray that wherever we go we shall be ambassadors of Christ and messengers of peace. We pray that people will remember us for good and not for trouble. We pray that the Holy Spirit will use our words and actions to minister life to the people we meet, long after we have forgotten their names.

We have discovered the sweet secret of successful fulfilled life in Christ! The older we get, the sweeter it is! We are happy and enjoy our lives in all circumstances. It is a wonder for our traveling companions but also a challenge to them to be the same.

I write these words on my laptop in a hotel room, far away from home… in a country where 98% of the people are Muslims. I look outside the window and I see only mosques…But I also see the sun and the sea, the birds and the sky, the same everywhere…and I bow my head in worship… things may change, but God is forever the same…and that is enough for me!

May the Holy Spirit anoint this letter to touch your hearts and draw you closer to the God we serve!

In Jesus name

Amen!

LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE!!!

 

‘A city on a hill cannot be hidden…Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven!’ (Mt 5:16)

We went today at the Mount of the Beatitudes. Pastor Leigh read some scriptures. It was real, like Jesus was there…

The Lord commands us to ‘shine our lights’ in this world. In this way, the unbelievers will see something they have never seen before. They will be attracted and come closer to behold something new, something that has the light of heaven and the eternal life at its source.

Our salvation was never meant to be private. Our ministry is not to be used for personal gains only. The Gospel is not a book you read and mediate only in your quiet time. Christianity is a public ‘enterprise’.  It is designed to shine, to attract, to expose, to confront and to bless.

Do you know that you have to be ‘a famous actor’ for Jesus? Do you think about this? Are you making up your mind that you are on a stage, with the lights on, with the microphone of angels at your mouth? To be shy in a moment like this, ‘to forget your lines’ because you claim to have anxiety… that is criminal. Souls perish while you still waste time in your dressing room powdering your shiny cheeks…

Come as you are…your profile may not be perfect for ‘the role’ but use whatever you have… right now! Invest in holy moments and you will be surprised at what God will do with your ‘presentation’…

Reject the fear of men!

Reject the vanity of your beauty!

Reject your perfectionism!

Just have faith!

Step forward…the curtains lifted…with all that is in you, say:

‘I love you!’

Let the world ask you:

‘Why do you do this?’

Tell them:

‘Because I love you’

Then one day they shall ask you ‘the million’ question:

‘Why do you love me?’

That is the moment you have been waiting for! Now you can pass thru the open door of faith and tell them the truth:

‘Because I belong to Jesus and He sent me to you. Give your life to Christ!’

Shine! Shine! Shine!

THE BEST PRAYER

Let us pray:

‘Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to say thank You for such a beautiful gift, the salvation of my wretched soul. Thank you for sending Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to die for my sins. By His death on the cross, I believe that He has redeemed me from the curse and punishment of sin. I am now free in Christ to live in Your presence to serve and to worship you forever. King of Glory, come into my heart and stay. Thank you for coming in.

In Jesus mighty name I pray,

Amen’

THE DANGERS OF LIVING IN THE PAST

After seventy years of captivity in Babylon, God makes a way and brings back to Jerusalem a remnant of people to rebuild the Temple and the city. Jeremiah prophesied that God will send them into exile to humble them for their sins of rebellion and disobedience. But the prophet also said that after seventy years they shall come back, to start afresh the public wors…hip. Millions were sent away and now only about fifty thousand return.
In the Book of Ezra chapter 3, we see that the people and the priests prepare to build the Temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians. Before laying its foundation, they wisely chose to re-start the public worship. They rebuild the brazen altar and offer on it burnt sacrifices. Then they begin to praise God saying: ‘He is good! His love endures forever’ Then they lay down the Temple foundation. The reaction to this work of God was mixed. The young people were clapping their hands, shouting, dancing and singing with joy. But the old people, who have seen the mighty temple that Solomon has built, they wept with sorrow. The reason is that this foundation looks so little compared with the one in the past. So the young people were rejoicing, praising God and the old people were weeping, grieving for the past glories.
What are the dangers of such attitude? If you live in the past, you shall lose your joy and your strength, your praise, your leadership influence and ministry. The old people should have encouraged the younger ones to look unto God and to rejoice. Circumstances change, resources change, but God never changes.  They should have led the younger generation in showing gratitude to God for His mercy in their rebellion, for His constant presence with them even in Babylon. They should have encouraged the young ones to praise God even more for a new open door when all hope was lost and for the fulfillment of prophetic utterances.
The past is there for us to learn wisdom, to draw strength, to learn thanksgiving. But the past is not the place to dwell. It is too dangerous. It will make you older before your time. It will kill the hope for the future. It will make you bitter, angry and depressed. Apostle Paul did not stop doing ministry even in prison. He wrote almost all his letters from there. ‘For me to live is Christ…’ For as long as I live I shall continue to praise God, give Him thanks, encourage the brethren and do ministry.
Amen!

BLESSED THORN, I WELCOME YOU…

 

What was the Apostle’s ‘thorn in the flesh’? Nobody knows. It could have been a chronic sickness, constant persecutions, hardships, insults…all for the sake of Christ…Not all ‘thorns’ are the same. Each person has a different problem that repeats itself and is not ready to go away even if he prays against it.

Apostle Paul prayed, he begged God to take it away, but the Lord ignored his request. But the same God gave him great revelations of His Word and of His Spirit. Paul wrote half of the New Testament. The thorn apparently did not kill him, just made him more effective in his ministry.

The question is this: Who does not want such ‘a thorn’? What is its torment compared to the glory revealed? Nothing!

The most important lesson is this:

God ‘designs’ and ‘sends a thorn’ to each child He wants to use and bless!

Each thorn has a purpose. If you are sick and no doctor can help, please remember that nothing is random in a believer’s life. The main reason for such a chronic problem is to keep you humble. Pride is an enemy, a deceptive enemy. We need help from God to remain humble and to be a vessel for His honor and grace. Pride can destroy a testimony, a ministry. Do you remember Nebuchadnezzar? Pride almost destroyed him, if not for the grace of God who gave him a second chance.

The thorn is painful but necessary to keep you humble. Do not be discouraged when the pain does not go away. Don’t you see that in other areas God is blessing you? As you accept the blessings, accept the occasional pain too.   Is the same God that gives them to you! Both are depended on one another.

For example, if you know that for each occasional headache you will receive a million dollars, you will not be worried about your headaches anymore. You will not pray against them anymore.

If from time to time your boss insults you, for no good reason, but each time he pays you a million dollars, you will not be so upset about his nasty words. The process is still painful but you can boast about the effect it has on you and the blessings that follow!

It is because you do not see the connection between suffering and blessings… that is why you cry and complain. God weakens our flesh; He kills it in fact. The process is necessary to prepare the way for grace to enter. This pain is peculiar. It can be very painful one minute, and disappears in the ocean of prosperity the next day.

May God open your heart to His way of inflicting pain and adding grace and glory to you! That is what you need: opened eyes and open hearts to God’s way of love, to the royal way of the Cross!

Amen!

FRUITFUL AMAZING ETERNAL LOVE

 

‘Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…I have called you friends…’ (Jn 15:13-15)

If I am a friend of Jesus Christ, then I lay down my life for Him. Simple! It does not mean that I go through the big crisis of death. It means that I lay down my life deliberately, just as I would lay out a pound note (naira note) on the counter. For example, I have a day before me, twenty hours in all. I am going to lay it out in devotion and obedience to Jesus all through. I will remember Jesus every second of that day.

Love in action is difficult, and thank God it is difficult. Salvation is easy because it cost God so much, but the manifestation of it in my life is difficult. God does expect a man to be a man.

God saves a man and endues him with His Holy Spirit and says in effect:

‘My son, now it is up to you to prove your salvation. Work it out! Let the invisible work I have done in you become visible to others. Be loyal to Me while the nature of things round about you try to make you disloyal. I have called you ‘friend’. Now stand loyal and faithful to your greatest Friend. My honor is at stake in your bodily life!’

 

(Oswald Chambers, 1874-1917)

LETTER FROM A YOUNG ANXIOUS MAN

 

‘Good morning Malia… I’m worried about something; I hear this from a lot of people. So I want to hear God’s opinion… it’s true that as man or woman we are not destined for a particular man or woman in marriage…I am a child of God’

 

Why are you worried?

‘God has not given us the evil spirit of fear (worry) but of power, love and sound mind’ (2Tim 1:7).

This is a spiritual law: Any topic, any discussion, any book, any idea…that attacks your peace (with God, with yourself, with others) is of the devil and it should be rejected 100%.

Marriage is not essential for salvation so it is not as important as being pre-destined to be saved. After salvation, we are to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in a process called sanctification. By obeying the truth the flesh dies and the spirit rises to live. It is a painful process but necessary to spiritual maturity. Along the way, the believer may choose to marry. His motives may still be carnal in the choice of a wife. But no matter what, all things shall still work together for good for them that love God and are called according to His greater purpose to know and serve Him forever.

The choice of a life partner is connected with the level of faith too. Some people are ‘barely’ saved and have a very low view of marriage. Leave them alone. Connect with wise people who cultivate a spirit of excellency, are wise, patient and loving.

‘Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you your very heart desire (not another’s)’ (Ps 37:4).

My personal testimony is this: I have no doubt at all that my husband and me, we were destined to be saved, to get married and together to work for the Lord in full time ministry.

To God be all the glory!

I wish you well!

Have faith in God!

May God’s perfect will be done in your life, in Jesus name, amen!