God's Wrath was Satisfied

God's Wrath was Satisfied
Preach the Word!!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Who is a Successful Person?

Who is a successful person? What would you want to see in a person in order to call them prosperous? From the world’s point of view success is about possessions. The more material possessions you acquire the more successful you become. You would need to have five or more cars in your yard and they would all have to be the “hottest” kind. You would need the Range rover, Mercedes, Navarra, Hummer, BMW, Limousine and whatever else you can add to the list. You must be one who has a jaw dropping mansion with no less than five bedrooms. When someone walks into your premises they should be able to say, “Wow, this is amazing. It’s just gorgeous!!”  Apart from possessions, for those who have children, the children should go to the most expensive schools in the country and the most costly colleges or universities. You must also appear often in magazines and in news papers. You must be seen often on TV and heard frequent on Radio.  Of course at the center of all this must be a well paying job. When the world sees this, it will say, “There is a successful woman or there is a prosperous man.” But how does God look at success? Has he said the more possessions we have the more successful we will be? Do we have to become popular in order to be called prosperous? In as much as God may bless us with material possessions and other belongings, we should not use them as a measuring rod for success.

When you look at Scripture and see the people who were called successful, you will notice something similar about all of them. They were people who had a grasp at something very significant. They kept this principle at heart. They made this principle personal. What essential principle did they keep? They were men and woman who were faithful to the task that God had given them. They were faithful to their calling. They were faithful soldiers, they were faithful parents, they were faithful teachers, they were faithful Kings, they were faithful priests, they were faithful prophets, they were faithful judges and they were faithful messengers.  What do I mean when I say faithful? It is that these men and woman took God’s word and applied it to the task which was before them in a manner which pleased God. Take a look at King David. If you read through the books of first and second Samuel you will notice that David inquired from the LORD before taking action on a particular item. He understood that as King he must represent God in his ruling. This, then, would require knowing what God wants. And when God gave the order, David did exactly what God said.  Taking the gospel to the gentiles was the task that was given to the apostle Paul. He was faithful to it up to the very end. God chose Joshua to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land and he was faithful to the task. In fact God says to Joshua that, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” Joshua 1:8. The way for prosperity for Joshua was to do according to all that is written in God’s Word (Be careful to do all that is written in it).

Another thing that is vital about success in God’s view is appreciating your place or position of service. You don’t have to be in America and begin to rise in rank for you to be successful. You can be in the deep jungles of the Equatorial forests serving for the rest of your life and still be successful. You can be someone’s maid for all of your life and still be prosperous in God’s sight. I am not saying that we should refuse promotions but that we should not measure success that way. You can be CEO of a huge company and still be unfaithful to God in the very position. Think of Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba’s husband, the one David killed. That was a successful man whom many people don’t recognize. Why do I say so? He was faithful to the task that was before him. He was Loyal to His King as a Subject and to God who fought Israel’s battles. He comes home and David tells him to go home and relax. He responds saying, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing” 2 Sam 11:11. How many would have responded this way after coming from a heated battle? Uriah knew what it meant to be a soldier in the Army of the Living God and not even David could persuade him otherwise. In fact, during this period Uriah acted more faithful and righteous than David. When you look at men like Uriah very few if possible no one will say, “he was successful.” However, in God’s sight, Uriah was a great man because he was true to his task. The Hittite is actually mentioned as one of the mighty men of David in 2 Samuel 23:39.

I must mention also that those who were true to their duties given  where in many instances exalted to a place and position of recognition. David Livingstone was on a mission to take the gospel to the dark continent of Africa. When planning to go to Africa, he didn’t say, “I want to take the gospel to Africa so that I can be recognized.” He knew the good news to Africa was his God given task after spending much time in prayer. However, God has given him recognition. We have towns, roads and cities which are named after him. Our Lord and Savior, God the Son, took up the task of coming to die for our sins. He didn’t say I want to go die for them so that I can be acknowledged. There was no need for that. After all he is God. But we are told in Scripture that “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:9-11).

 Are you pushing for success? Are you being faithful to what you have been called? Are you being faithful as a teacher? Are you being faithful as a preacher? Are you being faithful as a doctor, as a nurse or as an accountant? Remember, its faithfulness to the task that before you. May  the grace of God be with you.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Are You a Jane?

Like the stars they shine but deep down their hearts they know they are not doing fine. This is the state of a lost soul. 

At one time, Jane will be on cloud nine and just minutes later she will feel she is at the bottom of the line. She works up in the morning with the sound of MTV hoping she will be like that super star.  “Perhaps the boys will like me if I can look like her” she thinks. “It will upgrade my CV. The dudes really love this.” However, the icon she admires is light in complexion. Jane is saddened. She is only sixteen. She must look like the one on TV. She buys a certain cream from a nearby store and applies it to her dark and beautiful face. Within 10 minutes her face-color changes. She walks out the gate.  Brian, a dude in the neighborhood stared at Jane with amazement as if he was seeing her for the first time. “He’s looking at me” she says. “I knew it would work.” That was the turning point for Jane. Her soul was inclined to become like that celebrity she saw on the magic box. The teenager spent hours on her dressing mirror. It was the only way she would make herself look like a star. Like the stars she wanted to shine but deep down her heart she knew she wasn’t doing fine. This is the sate of a lost soul.

I must look hot!
Niko, a new dude in the block noticed Jane. He told the young girl the very words she desired to hear. He won her heart. Jane was smiling. “It’s working” she thought. “I am getting there. I must reach for the stars.”  It wasn’t long before she gave in to his pressures. She lost hers.  Yes she did, like many young girls have. Soon, Niko was with another girl in the hood. He left Jane. He got what he wanted. There wasn’t any reason to stay.  “Why did he leave?  Am I not good enough?” cried the sixteen year old. “Hasn’t my face become more beautiful?” She wept all night. At 5 O clock in the morning the MTV celebrity was on again. This time, bitter Jane noticed something different about this world icon. It was her dress code. Her clothes were unique. The top she wore was revealing. Half of her boobs could be seen. Her skirts were not longer than 30 centimeters. When she wore slacks, they fitted right to her skin. Her shape was extremely defined. Jane could get anything she wanted. Daddy was a rich man so she managed to buy the attire. “Who’s that chick? She looks so fine,” flattered a young man in the midst of a gang as he saw Jane walk down the road. Jane heard the words and was blushing. She was in a 30 centimeter black skirt and a purple boob revealing top. “It’s working,” she exclaimed in her mind. For sure it was working. Like the stars she wanted to shine but deep down her heart she knew she wasn’t fine. This is the state of a lost soul.

“Oh! No! I am late! It’s Sunday. Church starts in thirty minutes,” shouts the wannabe star as she awakes. She runs to the shower. She’s out in five minutes. Another five minutes she finds and puts on her “church clothes.” The next twenty minutes are spent on her dressing mirror. She must beautify her now brown face which is slowly getting these tiny black spots. Pee pee!! The car horn sounds calling for Jane. She comes out running with her favorite brown hand bag. She knows some niggers will not like her dress and make up especially that guy who always stands in front talking about Jesus and heaven. She wonders why he keeps talking about a person he has never seen. The family seats on their usual spot and Jane knows some dude will want to come and sit next to her so she pushes away slightly. However, it’s not the person she anticipated. It’s this holier than thou guy who comes in her row and seats next to her. Now she is burning from the inside. She pulls her 30 centimeter skirt four to five times hoping it would become longer. Mum notices the tragedy and helps her with a citenge. For the past five years this has been Jane’s routine and way of life. The preacher mounts the pulpit and the sermon breaks Jane’s heart.  The Preacher showed from Scripture that Jesus was someone who loved Jane more than anyone else. Jane didn’t have to burn her face in order to be loved. She didn’t have to disgrace herself with celebrity fashion. Jesus loved her just the way she was in her beautiful dark and lovely skin. He loved her so much he died for her. The Preacher also mentioned that God, the Father of Jesus, had special interest in Jane. He said all who would believe in the death and resurrection of Christ for forgiveness of sin would be made heirs of God. Jane broke down in tears. Her Mum noticed and whispered to her, “he can save you if you call on his name.” Like the stars she wanted to shine but deep down her heart she knew she wasn’t fine. She cried out to Jesus and her lost soul was saved. Are you a Jane? Listen, God loves you and he can save you.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Return to the LORD

Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he raise us up, that we may live before him. Hosea 6:1-2
God always finds a way of bringing back his children to His fold. The Israelites were drawn to idol worshiping and in these verses God uses Hosea to plead with them to return to their God. Notice it says “let us return to the LORD.”  It is God we must return to and not any other. God is the object of our repentance. The word Return could mean repentance. When you repent you turn towards God. You must return to the LORD. This is good and safe. You are not returning to slavery or to a hostile person but to the one who truly loves you and to the one who created you. You are returning to the one who provides, sustains and protects, to the one who is merciful and faithful, to the LORD Almighty. You surely cannot resist this if you have tested the goodness of God. This scenario is a picture of those who once walked with the LORD with true passionate service but because of idolatry their zeal has shrunk. Idol worship had gotten hold of them.  Today people have different kinds of idols in their lives. Some people have made their jobs their idols. “I must work and work and work until I work no more.” Even when it’s time to rest they are still working. There is no time for God in their schedule. The job has become an idol. When I say idolatry I mean anything that comes before God. Others have replaced God with their material wealth; houses, cars, video games, plasma T V, Laptops. Still others have made the media (Internet, TV and radio) their idols. You find a lot of talk about these things. All of their mind and heart has been consumed into these things. Conversations are no longer about how good God is and what God has done in their lives. You hear statements like, “I have just bought a Plasma. Work was great. Today at work we did this and that and tomorrow there is this and that and next week the MD said we will do this and that.” There are no conversations about the goodness of God. There are no longer words like God has been so good to me and I was blessed when I was reading about this passage in the Bible. This kind of conversation is scarce among many Christians.  God has been given second position. Even when there is time left on their schedule God is the last to be remembered. Because of this (idolatry), we are told God had struck the Israelites down. He allowed disaster to come into the midst of the Israelites. Like Hosea said, He has “torn and struck down.”  This could mean that he (God) causes you to be broken about your sin and secondly he causes you to be tormented about your sin. By tormenting I mean that you know there is sin in your life and God is not giving you peace. It keeps coming back into your mind and it is eating you up. This is exactly what David says in Psalm 51:3,8. He says his sin is ever before him and in verse 8 that his bones have been broken. There is no way he could hide from his sin. Whatever he tried to do to hide it was still in his mind. He tried everything to cover up the sin but it didn’t work. It was ever present and in this way he was torn and struck down. It is the same thing that happened to Jonah. He couldn’t run away from the presence of the LORD. He actually ended up finding himself in the belly of a fish. What is it that has taken the place of God in your life? Is it movies? Is it your car? God is saying, “Return to me, return!” I may not know what is going on in your life but whatever situation it is, could it be that God wants you to return to him?

Look further on at the reason why he struck you down or is causing torment. He is doing it so that he can make you a better servant of Christ.  He has torn us so that he may heal us. It’s like a man with a broken leg and the doctor is trying to put the bone in its proper position. The excruciating pain that follows can even cause you to faint but the aim of the doctor is that you get healed so that you can be able to walk and run again.  God wants to make you walk again.  God is tearing you so that he can heal.  And at times God takes away certain things from us and this also may be painful. But the end result is that you may be a vessel of honor. Are you torn? Is there pain in your life right now? Have you lost something dear to you? Could it be that God wants you to return to him? Christian, return to LORD, return!! Notice the Scripture says that he will heal. But first, you must acknowledge your idolatrous state and return.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

The Gospel vs Christian Liberty

The Gospel vs Christian Liberty
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his mercy…” Titus 3:3-5. Any genuine Christian would immediately identify himself with these statements. No doubt conversion is the greatest thing that can take place in a person’s heart. Do you remember that day the Lord touched you and all the burdens of your heart rolled away? Do you remember the joy that filled your heart? You were changed in an instant because of the power of the gospel, that good news which says Christ came to die for your sin. In an instant you were saved by the power of the gospel from foolishness, deception and various passions and pleasures. Surely the gospel is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes. And the liberty it brings is surely for us to enjoy. However, a lot of Christians have misused this freedom and injured the furtherance of the gospel.
Does it mean if you are saved then you are at Liberty to do anything you want? Yes, no and not always. Yes you are if God does not forbid it. No you are not if God says it is sin. How about the "not always or not at any time?"  Where does this fit in? This is actually the major point of contention and where a lot of believers injure the furtherance of the gospel. Many say “if Scripture is not clear about it then just go ahead and do it after all you have been liberated.” You will agree that God’s desire is that lost souls may be saved. If you don’t agree with that then God have mercy on you. Surely God has souls he knows need to hear this message of forgiveness of sin. God wants the lost to also come to a point where they can say “Oh! what a wonderful, wonderful day, day I will never forget; after I had wondered in darkness away, Jesus my savior I met.” But do you know one thing that hinders them from reaching that point? It is because we as Christians misunderstand and misuse our Christian liberty. There are certain things that are in of themselves not wrong to do but could have an effect on the way the lost soul responds to the gospel. There are some grey areas in Scripture. Talk of the kind of dress, the kind of music, the kind of dance, the kind of hair style, the kind of entertainment and so on and so forth.  Many types of these things may not necessarily be wrong. However, these things may be a stumbling block to a person seated next to you or someone you invite into your home. That same person may not be a Christian. What am I driving at here? It is this; let us be careful not to fall in to sin and not to hinder the furtherance of the gospel as a result of the liberty that Christ has given us. It’s like Paul says that “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” Galatians 5:13.
If it means painting our faces for the sake of the gospel then lets paint them
You will notice that in the book of 1 Corinthians 8-10 the apostle Paul is addressing the issue of food offered to idols. When you read all three chapters you will find him saying that the mature Christian must show his maturity by serving the weak and the lost in order that he might win them. Yes there is liberty but that should not be the issue.  Look at what he says at the end of chapter nine. The issue is that there are times when you will be required to endure or sacrifice that liberty for the sake of the gospel. Read a part of it for yourself. It says, “For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.  To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.  I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings” 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. What more can I say? The great apostle Paul has nailed it on the head. In the same chapter you find he mentioned that he was at liberty to demand a payment (salary) from the work he was doing as an apostle among the Corinthians but chose not do so for the sake of the gospel. He says he was also at liberty to get a wife but did not do so for the sake of the gospel.
You know why many Christians fail to appreciate this principle? It is because they are driven by knowledge and not love. In this context we can say there is no love for lost souls in their hearts. This is the exact principle Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 8:1 when he said “…knowledge puffs up but love edifies.” The latter part of the passage referred to earlier on in Galatians says “… but through love serve one another.”  All other reasons fall under this one. If love for lost souls is not present then you will be self-centered. If love for lost souls is not in you then you will not be ready to sacrifice certain liberties for the sake of the gospel. Others I may say, and you are free to disagree with me, are not just saved. Are you willing to give up your freedom for the sake of a lost soul or weaker brother?