1 Peter 1New International
14 As obedient children, do not
conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as
he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be
holy, because I am holy.”
Courage is not a virtue we
easily associate with day to day living but as a matter of fact, it takes
courage not to live a life of conformity. The opposite of courage is usually
thought to be cowardice, however with regards to our daily existence; the
opposite of courage is conformity.
How can a
young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.I
seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.Psalm 119:9&10
The only way to get the most out anything and everything is
to give it your all. You cannot have amazing success in something by committing
half-heartedly. This could be work, profession, relationship, family etc.
For example you may have a list of goals or New Year resolutions;
they will always remain a list and nothing more unless you fully commit to the
process of making them anything more than that.
David answered Ahimelek the priest, “The king sent me on a
mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am
sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place.Now
then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you
can find.” 1Sam.21:2 & 3
David asked Ahimelek, “Don’t you have a spear or a sword
here? I haven’t brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king’s
mission was urgent.” The priest replied, “The sword of
Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is
wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod.
Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise, in the city of
our God, his holy mountain. For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will
be our guide even to the end. -Psalm
These were two popular songs we sang many years ago detailing
our relationship to God and His commitment to us. As it says in 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanksbeto God who always leads us in triumph in Christ,
and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
Our path might take us through the valleys of the shadow of
death or a hash wilderness; but God always guides us to a good place.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? -Psalms
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud
voice,“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”(which means “My God, my God, why
have you forsaken me?”). -Mark 15:34
All through the ministry of Jesus, he made it clear that the
source of all inspiration and strength was his communion with the Father. From
his baptism at Jordan when God said to him you are my son in whom I’m well
pleased (Mk.1:11) to transfiguration, when God affirmed him among three of the disciples;
he cherished the unbroken presence of the father.
This by the way is not to vilify Mr Trump neither is it an
endorsement of Mrs Clinton. I’m simply ‘fascinated’ by Mr Trump’s bold
assertions and how it seems to be acceptable to a huge percentage of the
This acceptability could be because for whatever reason,
he’s lending his powerful voice to what a lot of people are saying in their
minds inaudibly. On the other hand, his acceptability could also be because he
is so different from the perceived normal and people are so tired of the
mainstream that they are willing to be entertained by anything, no matter how
Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who
pursue me, or they will tear me apart like a lion and
rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me. Lord my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands— if
I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe— then
let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the
ground and make me sleep in the dust.-Psalms
Sometimes the enemy is out to defeat or ridicule
us, this is like your football team having a bad loss on your home turf; some other
times the opponent we face have come out not only to defeat but also to
the man who walks not in
the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the
seat of the scornful; But his delightis
in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose
leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodlyare
not so, Butare
like the chaff which the wind drives away. -Psalms 1:1-4
One would have thought this ancient wisdom
for a blessed life will start with requirements for a pious life.
Just the other day I had a quick dash into my favourite corner shop; it’s just gone 6:45am but I must get some milk now because the boys must have their cereal before leaving for school.
The horror in my face as I found the milk refrigerator empty and the light turned off. The shopkeeper must have noticed my amazement and thought to himself, “Here’s an opportunity for some sport”. “There’s no milk today”, he said. “What do you mean no milk today”, I re-joined, “cows on strike?” At which point he busted into a full laughter and showed me the new refrigerator, apparently the old one’s faulty and due to be seen to sometime during the day.
God has an arsenal full of specialised
weapons ready for deployment at any time. You only need to go through the
scriptures and you’ll find references to these armaments. There is a detailed
account of God's sovereignty in the last 4 chapters.
However, here is a small reference; Have
you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail,
which I reserve for times of trouble, for days of war and battle? -Job 38:22
“The weapons we fight with are not the
weapons of the world.
the fight within our own selves, the unending battle with ignorance,
distractions and lethargy that want to rob us of all the things that are potentially
ours by right, the only other enemy we engage every day is the devil. He is
relentless and very strategic.
We need to erase
from our mentality the perception that any human is the enemy, the enemy is a
spirit and he can’t be killed, but he can be put to flight as the word says “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee
This three perhaps four part series should help not only to understand
but also to simplify the myth and mystery surrounding the concept of spiritual
We have decided to look into this subject especially now
because we are now in the third quarter of the year. Spiritual warfare is not
limited to the end of the year and is probably not even stronger at the end
than the beginning of the year. The fact is we are at war and the devil our
enemy is relentless.
Just before the ascension, Jesus called
the disciples to himself and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the
faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless,
of course, you fail the test?-2
Unexamined life is not worth living says Socrates. You need to examine
yourself in anything you claim to believe, it is very easy to pay a lip service
to a principle or concept. At the beginning you probably believed and actively
practiced your faith, however the passing of time always takes us drifting
hence you constantly need to realign yourself with your professed belief.
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread
for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the
harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on
every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to
God. -2 Corinthians 9:10&11
If you have been in the church even for a very
short time, you must be familiar with the above scripture along with others
quite similar that are used at offering time.
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies
that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations
with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on
worldly wisdom but on God’s grace.-2 Corinthians
In his book Talent is not Enough, John Maxwell asserts,
your character is sustained by four pillars;
“Self-discipline is the ability to do what is right even when you don’t feel
like doing it.”
2. Core Values
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing
to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
Are you greater than
our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also
his sons and his livestock?”–John
Here is a true story of posterity. Jacob the
grandson of Abraham is believed to have lived from 2006 and 1859BC. During his lifetime
Jacob dug a well which didn’t just out live him but was still serving the
community nearly 2000 years later, during the time of Christ.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one
and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the
world through him. -John 3:16
Over the centuries, religion has painted a
dreadful picture of God. This is true because God indeed is awesome and
dreadful. He is God all by Himself and is to be reverend, He is everything
religion claimed He is and more.
However that is only one side of the story,
beyond the awesomeness and the dreadful acts, God is love.
The next day John was there again with two of his
he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When
the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. -John
Jesus was the son of God, empowered to save the world but
he needed the introduction of John the Baptist to get his first disciple, we all
can use a helping hand sometime.
Not only did Andrew become a notable follower, the first
thing he did was to bring Simon (Peter) his brother to Jesus.
Call it commendation, attestation, referral or endorsement, we all
need this help.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not
envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It
does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it
keeps no record of wrongs. Love does
not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It
always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love
never fails.1Cor. 13:4-8
Many songs and poems have been written on the subject. Wars
and many battles fought over many generations all in the name of love. How
about magnificent art works commissioned over the centuries; paintings,
sculptures and more.
gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you
are still not ready. You are still
worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not
worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?1 Cor. 3:2&3
Jealousy is the expression we give the
negative feeling of losing our position of significance to another. It has to
do with our reaction to perceived rejection. Now it makes no difference whether
the situation is real or imagined.
The fact is the acceptance of another doesn’t
mean a rejection of you since you are different from the rest.