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Do or Do not, there’s no try

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.

The Sword of Goliath

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.

You shall celebrate this year

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 48:1&14

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.

Why! Have you forsaken me?

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? -Psalms 22:1

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.

Hitler Starlin Trump

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 population.

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 dark.

Spiritual Warfare: Silence the Enemy and the Avenger

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 7:1-6

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 completely destroy.

Flying with the wind

Blessedisthe 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 delightisin 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 ungodlyarenot so, Butarelike 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.

How much is too much

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.

Spiritual warfare: Weapons of War

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 & 23
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.

Spiritual Warfare: Recognise the enemy

Apart from 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 from you”.

Spiritual Warfare: You have Authority

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 warfare.

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.

Self-examination takes you higher

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 Corinthians 13:5

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.

Ring-fence your Seed

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.

Integrity and Sincerity

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 1:12

In his book Talent is not Enough, John Maxwell asserts, your character is sustained by four pillars;

1.    Self-Discipline
“Self-discipline is the ability to do what is right even when you don’t feel like doing it.”

2.    Core Values

Think Posterity

“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 4:11&12

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.

God loves you regardless

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 life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. -John 3:16 & 17

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.

Get endorsement, everyone needs it

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.  -John 1:35-37

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.

What is Love?

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.

The ultimate therapy for Jealousy

I 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.

You can access Superior Wisdom

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”1Cor. 1:18&19

The simplicity of the gospel can be challenging to comprehend. God wanting to save the world came not as a conquering warrior but a loving messiah; he was obedient to death and through death subjugated the devil. The wisdom of God is always superior.