Thursday, 31 March 2011

WE WERE DEAD IN OUR SINS

Ephesians 2:4-5
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,  that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)


Being freed from a life of bondage- brought about by transgressions or “violations” of God’s spiritual laws- is what “being saved” is all about. Jesus Christ has saved us from the law of sin and death. We are dead in our sins- no ifs, ands or buts about it. The Bible says in Romans 8:2, "…because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." The penalty of sin and it's power over us was destroyed by Jesus Christ on the cross.

 And through faith in Jesus we have been acquitted, "not guilty" before God. This doesn't mean we won't be tempted into sin, we will and sometimes we will commit sin. The difference is before became saved by Jesus, we were dead and slaves to our sinful nature. But now we are alive "quickened" with Christ giving us power over our sinful nature by the grace of God. This means sin has no more power over us, Hallelujah!

God’s love takes our Spirit that is dead because of sin and causes it to be alive with love, joy, peace and contentment. It is a mystery that can be better understood by a few words from the song,

“He Touched Me.”

“He touched me and oh the joy that filled my soul.

Something happened and now I know.

He touched me and made me whole.”


Reflections:
Remember you do not need to live under sin's power any more!

Power verses:
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.--Romans 6:22

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God--1 Peter 2:16

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.--Galatians 2:20

and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.--Ephesians 5:2

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.--Galatians 6:14

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

WILL YOU CHOOSE TO BE A FAITH WALKER TODAY?

Matthew 14:31
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith, he said, why did you doubt?”


Without faith, the Bible says that it is impossible to please God. Jesus on many occasions told people that God had acted on their behalf because of their faith. He made statements like, “You of little faith” and “Receive your sight, your faith has healed you.” God has said that faith is very important.


If we are going to live a life dedicated to God, then we must walk in the things that God has said. Will you choose to be a faith -walker today? He is faithful; trust Him today with every area of your life and the peace of God will guard your heart and mind. When you are apprehensive about the troubles around you and doubt Christ's presence or ability to help, you must remember that He is the God of impossibility. Give Him your worries because He cares for you.

Reflections:
Does your faith falthers sometimes? So does mine. The good news is doesn't neccessarily mean you have failed. Rather reach out to Jesus for help!

Power verses:
For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.--James 1:11

For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."-- Romans 1:17

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith."--Galatians 3:11

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

HELP FOR RESISTING TEMPTATION

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The Scripture above indicate that God wants to provide help for us when we are being tempted. If you are having trouble resisting temptation, ask God for help. He will provide help because of His love for you. When we sincerely demonstrate our love to God and a genuine desire to be serious followers, then He will provide help for resisting temptations. Actually, we will find many helpful scriptures which the Lord has already spoken through His written word, the Bible. He has promised to help us in our time of need. Because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross, we have an abundant provision of God’s grace that will help us resist and overcome temptations. He was tempted in all areas as we are, but was able to remain without sin.

The Bible says in Hebrews 2:18, "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted." Knowing that Christ suffered pain and faced temptation helps us face our own trials in the sense that, we know we are not alone and have by no means been singled out. Sometimes as Christians we think Jesus doesn't understand our struggles with sin and temptation because He was without sin. But we fail to remember how Jesus Himself  faced these same temptations when He was in human form to be sacrificed as a lamb for our sins.

Our savior can teach us how to be strong when it comes to resisting temptations. So I encourage you today to trust Him to help you overcome temptation. When you are faced with trials, go to Jesus for strength and courage. He understands your needs better than you think and His grace is sufficient to see overcome anything.

Applications:
  • Run from anything that you know is wrong.
  • Seek friends who love god and can offer help and be supportive when you are being tempted.
  • Pray for God's help
  • Running from a tempting situation is your first step to victory
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.--1 Timothy 2:22

Power verses:
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.--Romans 14:19

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,--Romans 3:8

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.--Hebrews 4:15

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.--1 Corinthians 1:9

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 28 March 2011

GOD WILL HONOUR YOU

John 12:26
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
 
Many today still believe Jesus came for the Jews only. But when Jesus said, "Whoever serves me must follow me,"  He meant all people regardless who they were and what background they came from. The good news and salvation is for everyone so let's not allow our social or racial differences to become a stumbling block.
 
What does it mean to be honored? One definition from the Webster’s dictionary says this: a showing of usually merited respect. Another one says: to honor is to respect or esteem. It’s costly to follow Christ, but God will honor, respect and esteem everyone of us for doing so.
 
Power verses:
"Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and your father's house would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.--1 Samuel 2:30
 
"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.--John 17:24
 
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.--Psalm 91:15
 
2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 25 March 2011

THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD


 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.


The word as far as the east is from the west is a very symbolic portrait of God's forgiveness because the East and theWest can never meet. Which means when He forgives our sins, that is how far He separates it from us and doesn't remember it ever again. The problem with most of us is, we tend to wallow in the forgiven past dredging up the uglyness of it all over again after God has wiped our record clean. This is might come as a surprise to a lot of you however it is an area where a lot of us Christians are being deceived by the lies of Satan from the pits of hell. Making them re-visit the past with a guilty conscious. I came today to encourage you not to give in to Satan's lies and deceit instead look up the Jesus the perfecter of your faith.

In the Book of  Romans 8:1 it says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." This means that the guilt that looms over us when we have sinned has no place in our lives when we truly turn and ask for the Lord’s forgiveness. Once we have repented, He cleanses and purifies our Spirit and we get to start over…holy, pure and blameless in His sight. Be assured that when we truly repent and turn from our sinful ways that God forgives our wrongdoing and forgets about the awful things we have done and never again keeps no record of them.


Reflections:"Not guilty; let him or her go free"? What will those words mean to you if your were on a death row?

Power verses:
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.--Colossians 1:21-23

And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.--1 Corinthians 6:11

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.--2 Corinthians 5:21

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.---Ephesians 1:7

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.--1 Thessalonians 5:23

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

WHAT GOD SEES WHEN WE ARE FORGIVEN


Colossians 1:22
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.


None of us is good enough to save ourselves. To live eternally with Christ we must depend totally on God's grace. This is true whether we have been murderes or honest, hardworking or good people. We have all sinned repeatedly, and any sin is enough to cause us to come to Jesus Christ for His free gift of Salvation and eternal life. He is the only way for our sins to wiped out and removed. This is means we must remain grounded and settled in His word, putting our confidence in Jesus alone to forgive our sins and to make us right with God empowering us to live our lives the way He desires.

When our sins are forgiven, God sees the things we are doing right rather than the things we are doing wrong. God is on our side. He has good things in store for those who love Him. His goodness extends toward us His children in great measure. When we dedicate our lives to the Lord and live with a repentant heart towards Him, God sees us Holy, pure and blameless in His sight. All of the bad is wiped out from His sight and His plans to prosper us start working in our lives. Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Reflections:
God loves you so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for your sins, so sin has no more hold on you. You are pure and righteous in His presence!

Power verses:
This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'"--Zechariah 13:9

Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.--Psalm 40:5

My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure--Psalm 71:15


O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.--Isaiah 25:1

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

HAVE YOU EVER WORRIED WHETHER YOU ARE REALLY A CHRISTIAN?

Romans 8:9
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
 
I have had people ask me how will they know they are really a Christian? For me a Christian is anyone who has sincerely trusted Jesus Christ for their salvation and acknowledged Him as their Lord and personal Saviour by confession and believe in their heart. This allows the Holy Spirit then to take residence within your heart, and thus making you a Christ follower. Now the thing is a lot us think once the Holy Spirit comes to live within us we will start feeling a certain kind of emotion. It isn't any sort of a feeling, however you will know because Jesus promised He would. When the Holy Spirit is working within you, you will believe that Jesus Christ is God's Son and that eternal life comes only through Him. In 1John 5:5 says, "Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."; then you will begin to act as Jesus Christ directs.....Romans 8:5, "Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit."
 
The beauty and joy of having the Holy Spirit living within us is, He helps us with our daily problem such as our weaknesses and what to say when we are praying. Romans 8:26-27, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." This is helps us to be empowered to serve God and do His will, making us become part of God's plan to build up His church.
 
If you no are no longer controlled by your weakenesses and are controlled by the Spirit of God to do what His commands and says then you indeed have the Holy Spirit within you and that's makes you a Christian. The Bible also says John 10:27, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."  You will know His voice and listen when He speaks. You will no longer do the things that pleases your sinful nature, rather you will daily consciously choose to center your life on God.
 
Reflections:
If you are worried about whether or not you are really a Christian, then watch your actions, thoughts and behaviour. Ask your self do they really reflect Jesus? What will Jesus want me to do in this situation or that situation?
Read Colossians 3:3-15
 
 
Power verses:
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness-- Ephesians 4:22-24
 
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.---Romans 6:6-8
 
For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?--1 Corinthians 4:7
 
2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

GOD STILL PERFORMS MIRACLES


Psalm 106:2
Who can list the glorious miracles of the LORD? Who can ever praise him enough?
 
It just dawned on me this morning as I was reading this scripture how much God has done for me and is still doing in my life daily. I see my life as a miracle and a living testimony. This because even my birth wasn't normal. I was in my mother's womb for nearly 12 months and it took my parents 10 years to have me after my mother have had three normal births. But then I realised our familiarity of Him, makes us start taking Him for granted and not appreciating the many miracles our lives are filled with. If you and I were to stop to list all the acts of miracles in our lives, we will be astounded. Because they cover every aspect of our lives. The more I think about all the great works and miracles life is filled with, the more I appreciate the many miracles He has done in my life as a person.
 
I know sometimes life's troubles can take our eyes off what God has done in our lives and what He is able to do. Anytime you feel as though you have never seen a miracle, look closer. You will see God's power and loving intervention on your behalf in ways you never thought was possible. He is a miracle working God and and is still in the miracle working business today even as you read!
 
Reflections:
I can never praise Him enough for what He has done in my life. What about you?

Power verses:
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.--Psalm 71:16
 
"O Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?--Deuteronomy 3:24
 
"How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.--2 Samuel 7:22
 
2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 21 March 2011

OUR PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE

Psalm 46:1-3
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah


Lets pause for a minute and think about the explosions at the Japanese plant hit by the earthquake and tsunami that have sparked fears among many across the globe regarding nuclear power. BBC NEWS - "It was a shocking, gut-lurching sight - and one that speaks directly to the darker reaches of our collective imagination." For me the massive 8.9 magnitude earthquake followed by the tsunami in Japan has given me a lot to think about. This is a clear indication that no amount of planning can foresee every mishap that might befall what we do in this world. Nothing we do is never guaranteed as safe. The fear of mountains and seas suddenly crumbling into the sea as the result of a tsunami and a nuclear blast haunts many of us today.

But the Psalmist says even if the world ends, we need not fear. Because in the face of utter destruction, we should express our confidence in God's ability to save us. Even as Christians the thought of Christ's second coming and the judgement day makes our hearts skip with fear ad unrest, but I came to encourage and to remind you that, God is our refuge even in the face of total destruction. He is not merely a temporary retreat; He is our eternal refuge and can provide strength in any circumstances we face in this world. He is sovereign!

Let us hold on fast to our faith and what we believe in Christ Jesus. The Bible says in 1 John 4:4, "But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Reflections:
What is threatening your peace today? God is always there to help, providing refuge, security and peace for you. God's power is complete and His ultimate victory is certain. He will never fail to rescue those who love Him.

Power verses:
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.--1 John 5:4

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?--Romans 8:31

Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us.--Isaiah 8:10

But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior; so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced; their dishonor will never be forgotten.--Jeremiah 20:11

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.--Jeremiah 41:10

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 18 March 2011

INDECISION IS A FATAL DECISION

John 3:36
And anyone who believes in God's Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn't obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God's angry judgment."


There aren't any other paths to God. Jesus Christ is the only way the truth and the life, no one comes

to the father except through Him, that's the only way to God. Do not stray from that truth; do not be deceived, Jesus paid the ultimate price for our lives, because He loves you and l. We are responsible to decide today whom we will obey. Joshua 24:15 says, "But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.",

And Deuteronomy 30:15-20 says, "See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.  But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." God wants us to choose Him and have life in abundance!

The wrath of God is God's final judgement and rejection of the sinner. Each time we put off the choice not to follow Jesus and accept Him as our Lord and personal saviour, this indecision is a fatal decision. The choice is yours today, use it wisely!

Reflections:
What are you waiting for before you make that ultimate decision to follow Jesus?
Haven't you seen enough in this world to realise how uncertain life is and can be?

Power verses:
In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality-- Proverbs 12:28

If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land;--Isaiah 1:19

If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.--Deuteronomy 28:1

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

WE ARE NOT CALLED TO BLEND IN WITH THE WORLD

Matthew 5:13
"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."

My dear mother of blessed memories used to say, cooking is an art. I am of the believe you can spot a woman who cooks with her heart and soul by just taking a glance at her kitchen. My friends call me a control freak because, I literally arrange everything in my kitchen from my spices, seasonings, to everything in my refrigerator. I know what you are thinking, just can't help myself. I just need to have everything in the right order and in a straight line. The one thing I am also very good at is making simple, tasty and delicious meals or snacks out of nothing. I love natural flavours in my food and a little bit of seasonin but not too much to over power the natural flavours.

I am not a great fun of  Indian cuisine because I think it has too many seasoning and spices. Making it almost impossible for me to taste the natural flavouring of the food. We all know what certain dishes should taste like and how they should look like.  And also know what certain spices and seasonings should taste like. Now if I go into a restaurant and order two steaks, one black pepper steak and a plain steak.  I expect them both to taste different from the other. And if it doens't, it's of no value to me and not worth paying the extra money for.

As Christians we are like seasoning and spices. If a seasoning has no flavour, it has no value. This is means if our lives as Christians isn't impacting the world we live in and making a difference in a positive way, then we are of very little value to God. We are not called to blend in with the world; instead we are called to be the salt of the earth adding flavour and bringing out it's distinct taste. By affecting the lives of others with God's love, compassion and grace just as seasoning brings out the best flavour in food.

Reflections:
Is your life just like your unbelieving friends and family? If we are too much like the world, we are worthless!

Power verses:
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."--John 18:12

Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."-- Luke 11:36

No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house-- Matthew 5:15

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

OUR SPIRITS ARE BEING RENEWED EVERY DAY

2 Corinthians 4:16
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.


Life can be very difficult sometimes and can cause us to lose hope. I have never been a quitter, because I was brought up to believe everything is possible if you tried hard enough. Not saying that I never thought I will come to a point in my life where I would say enough is enough can't bear this anymore. At that moment, just for a split second all I wished for was death. That was when it dawned on me how easy it  is to quit! All it takes is a blink of an eye.

The truth is every single one of us alive today regardless of who we are, our social status or political power have struggled with a problem or faced problems one way or the other or will face at least one during our life time. Either in our relationships, work, family, business or our ministry that will caused us to want to forget everything and throw in the towel. The good news is, we don't have to do that. Because the Bible teaches us that instead of giving up, we should pray and ask God  to strengthen us with His power through His Spirit with unlimited resources in our inner being.

Today I want to encourage you not to let the pain of lack, stress of struggling to pay your mortgage, difficulty in your relationships both in your family and with your friends or even the criticism of others of you make you give up. Go before Jesus today and renew your commitment to serving Him and He will replenish your inner self with unlimited resources through His Spirit. Isaiah 40:29 says, "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."  How wonderful is that! Our eternal reward is worth far more and outweighs any pain we face in this world and life today and now. Instead our very weaknesses allows the resurrection power of Jesus Christ to strengthen us day by day.

Reflections:
Is that pain worth your eternal reward?

Power verses:
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.-- Isaiah 40:31

Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.-- 2 Corinthians 4:1

and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.--Colossians 3:10

If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.-- 1 Peter 4:14

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.-- 2 Corinthians 12:9

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

WHO IS HE, SIR?

Romans 10:14

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?

Most often, we think sharing and preaching of the word of God is for only certain people that have been called specifically. This isn't so because since I came to know Jesus more intimately, my attitude and approach has completely changed and most times when I am out I just don’t seem to be able to restrain myself from making use of every opportunity I get to share the god news of my Salvation with a stranger. Not saying that, we all have friends and family members who know of Jesus but actually don’t know who He is personally and intimately.

The extraordinary thing also is, when you have a personal encounter with Jesus it is impossible not to want to tell everyone of this experience. It's like having this intense sensation burning inside of you and almost impossible to contain it all to yourself. And when others aren't responding to Him they way we are, we turn to wonder what is wrong with them? And ask the question, are we lovers of the same Jesus or what?  This is so because they don't share the same experiences as us. One because they might not actually know who He is at all even though they are in church regularly. You will have to know someone by being friends with them first of all then having the chance to develop a relationship as the friend progresses. Just knowing of them doesn't actually qualify you as their friend and most certainly knowing who they really are.

I know that even though for years I called myself a Christian I never knew who Jesus was intimately and certainly didn’t have a personal relationship Him. I am challenging myself to take the good news of my Salvation to others starting with close family, friends and neighbours. Because if you and I don’t introduce them to Jesus personally how will they ever get to know Him the way we do? They wouldn’t unless we take the first step by making that initial introduction.

Today, I want you and me to take a moment to think of one person who needs to hear the Good News, and think of something we can do to help that person hear it.

Reflections:
Take the first step as soon as possible to tell a friend, a family member or a colleague at work about who Jesus.

Power verses:
and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,--Titus 1:3

"God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.--Acts 17:30

and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem-- Luke 24:47

God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--Romans 3:25

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."-- John 3:36

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 14 March 2011

DON'T LIMIT GOD'S POWER

Luke 12:23
For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing.


My Pastor quoted this scripture yesterday in church and and for a second it just took me back to the Enyonam I was before the Enyonam I am now 17 months on. I realised how so often we limit and reduce our walk with God to what we can see, enjoy in the now and here. I see so many Christians in church today who are not able to commit even their time to any church activity, support or work simply because if their work and social commitments.


Ironically on my way to church yesterday morning, I met a man on his way to work. I asked him whether he was a Christian and if yes how committed? He's answer was very committed. So I said if you are why aren't you on your way to church instead of work? He's excuse was he works different shifts and rotas and can't control when he is on and off duty. I just told him to pray and ask God to give him favour with his supervisor or who ever is in charge so he wouldn't have to be placed on weekend shifts. We enjoy fellowship with Jesus privately during the week and Sunday’s are the only days we all get together to fellowship as a church family and that shouldn't be compromised for anything at all. He looked at me with surprise as though I had just sworn at him with a little cynical smile on his face. In my heart, I said Lord have mercy on his soul and help him to grow his faith in you Jesus.

I totally understood where he was coming from and why he was thinking the way he did; that saddened me! Because I have been there even though I worked for myself, it was even worse because I will spend most of my weekends bounding with my team and socialising to build a better working and personal relationship outside of the normal work environment. Church was the last thing on my mind and certainly wasn't even on the agenda. My biggest excuse was, still new in England and need to take my time to find a good church that I loved. No I didn't! Making money to live and building a future for me was the only most important thing to me. I worried about everything and anything causing myself to be so stressed that even my GP was beginning to get worried and advised me to either take more time off regularly or change the business I was involved in.

On the 4th of July 2009 when my business went into liquidation, I suddenly realised there was nothing I could have done to make things different even if I tried any harder than I had already done. Honestly for a second I didn't want to live any more and life for me was hopeless. How silly and childish looking back now. But here I am, Jesus came to my rescue and reminded me how precious my life was to Him. And how He paid for my life by being crucified on the cross just so I can have it and live it more in abundance over flowing. At that point I just said; please forgive me for my ignorance and selfishness. And I also said, but Lord my heart is so contaminate, choked and poisoned with the things of this world and I don't think it's possible for me to be what or who you want me to be. Jesus just looked down at me with this really enchanting and tender look in His eyes and said, "For nothing is impossible with God."--Luke 1:37

The rest is what you see now and He has never gone back on His word and He will never do because He is Jehovah Jireh my provider. And my help in present need and He is my Shepherd - JEHOVAH-ROHI. He makes provision for all my needs and I have never gone without lacking in what to eat, wear, live, drink and even gives me so much more that I am also able to bless others.

Reflections:
Today whatever situation you find yourself, I want to encourage you that this God we serve is indeed an everlasting God  and His name is EL-OLAM!
 
Power verses:
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.--Matthew 33:6
 
Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for--both riches and honor--so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings.--1 Kings 3:13
 
 The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.--Proverbs 10:3
 
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.--1 Timothy 4:8
 
Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.--Psalm 112:3
 
2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

O Lord Your Beautiful (worship video w/ lyrics)

OUR SALVATION

“For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by Him. We are no longer Jews or Gentiles, or slaves or free, or even merely men women, but we are all the same – we are Christian; we are one in Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:26-28 (LB)


WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHRISTIAN?
Most people live their entire lives without ever knowing “Why?” They exist year after year with no idea of why they live or God’s purpose for their lives. The most basic question a person can ask is, “What is the meaning of life?”

Everyone wants to be happy. People try many way:
- Some look for happiness by acquiring possessions.
- Some look for happiness by experiencing pleasure.
- Some look for happiness by gaining prestige and power.

But real happiness comes from understanding our purpose in life.

1. WHY AM I HERE?
God made me to love me!

“God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love!” Jeremiah 31:3

“Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be His through our union with Christ because of His love. God had already decided that through Jesus Christ He would make us His children – this was God’s pleasure and purpose.” Ephesians 1:4-5 (GN)

2. WE WERE CREATED TO ENJOY A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND TO MANAGE ALL OF THE REST OF GOD’S CREATION! THIS MAKES US SPECIAL!

“So God created human beings, making them in His imagine. He blessed them, and said, live all over the earth and bring it under control. I am putting you in charge.” Genesis 1:27-28 (LB)

“God richly provides us everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17

Jesus said, “I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness!” John 10:10

3. WHEN WE KNOW AND LOVE GOD, AND LIVE IN HARMONY WITH HIS PURPOSE FOR OUR LIVES, IT PRODUCES TREMENDOUS BENEFITS IN OUR LIVES:

Clear Conscience
Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Life and Peace
Romans 8:6, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”

Help and Weakness
Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

Purpose
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Confidence
Romans 8:31, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Security
Romans 8:39, “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Power and Strength
Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Fulfilment
Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Freedom
John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Man has a natural desire to BOSS and to ignore God’s principles for living.

“Look out for #1. Do your own thing.”

“If it feels good, do it – regardless of what God says about it.”

“It’s my life and I’ll do what I please!”

THE BIBLE CALLS THIS ATTITUDE: SIN

“All of us, like sheep, have gone astray, and each of us has turned to his own way.” Isaiah 53:6

“If we say that we never sin, we are only fooling ourselves, and refuse to accept the truth.” 1 John 1:8

Sin breaks our close relationship with God. It causes us to fear God and try to live our lives outside of His will.

“The trouble is that your sins have cut you off from God,” Isaiah 59:2(LB)

“All have sinned and fall short of God’s glorious ideal.” Romans 3:23

When our relationship to God is not right, it causes PROBLEMS in every area of our lives; marriage, career, relationships, finances, etc. When People have problems, they often try many different ways of coping before turning to God. Proverbs 16:25, “There are ways that SEEM right to man, but they only end in death.”

Even when we know that our deepest need is God, we often try wrong ways of getting to know Him:
• My mother was a Christian so…….
• It doesn’t matter what you believe, just be sincere.
• I’ll give up all my bad habits.
• I’ll work real hard and earn it.
• I’ll be religious and go to Church.

WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?

Jesus Christ said, “I AM THE WAY, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except THROUGH ME!” John 14:6

God Himself came to earth as a human being to bring us back to Himself. If any other way would have worked, Jesus Christ would not have had to come. The Way is a PERSON!

Jesus has already taken care of your sin problem! “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23. God did this for us because He loves us and wants us to know Him.

Romans 5:8, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

1Timothy 2:5, “God has already done His part to restore our relationship to Him. He took the initiative. Now He waits for each of us to individually accept what He has done for us.”

WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO?
1. ADMIT that God has not been first placed in your life and ask Him to forgive your sins. 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from every wrong.”

2. BELIEVE that Jesus died to pay your sins and that He rose again on Easter, and is alive today. Romans 10:9, “If you confess that Jesus is your Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in on one else, for there is no other name (Jesus) by which we must be saved.”

3. ACCEPT God‘s free gift of Salvation. Don’t try to earn it. Ephesians 2:8-9,”For it is by grace you are saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Our relationship to God is not restored by anything we do, but the basis of what Jesus already did for us!

4. INVITE Jesus Christ to come into your life and be the director (LORD) of your life. John 1:12-13,”To all who receive Him, H gives the right to become children of God. All we need to do is to trust Him to save us. All those who believe this are reborn! – not a physical rebirth, but from the will of God!” Revelation 3:30,”Jesus says, ‘Listen! I stand at the do the door and knock. If anyone hears my vice and opens the door, I will come in…””

You can take these steps by praying a simple prayer of commitment to God:

Dear Jesus, thank you for making me and loving me, even when I’ve ignored you and gone my own way. I realize I need you in my life and I’m sorry for my sins. I ask you to forgive me. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Please help me to understand it more. As much as I know how, I want to follow you from now on. Please come into my life and make me a new person inside. I accept your gift of salvation. Please help me to grow now as a true Christian and Believer.

” Romans 10:13, “Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

COURTESY OF KHARIS MINISTRIES
By Pastor David

Kharis is church family, where the grace of God makes the difference in our lives...........
1st Place Centre, Chumleigh Street
Albany Road, Burgess Park
Camberwell - London
SE5 0RN
Times of services:
Sunday                      10:00am - 12:30pm
Friday Prayer Meeting 19:30pm - 9:00pm
If you live in London I will encourage you to come and fellowship with us and invite a friend. Shalom!

Friday, 11 March 2011

THE STUMBLINGSTONE

Romans 9:32
Why? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;



Some of us Christians today try to get right with God through our own terms and conditions by keeping and following traditions of men and the laws. We sincerely believe in our hearts that church attendance, church work, giving offerings, paying our tithes and being good is enough; after all we have played by the rules. In other circumstances we take the grace of God and the redemption of our sins for granted basing our Christian walk merely on things we think will please God. The truth is, none of us can earn the favour of good by being good some of the times, being obedient when it suits us and serving Him when it's convenient for us. Instead God's favour can only earned by putting our faith in Jesus Christ and depending on solely on Him  knowing we can never be earn it through our own efforts.

Some of us have good intentions to honour God. However, we do try to achieve it the wrong way. By following and practicing rigid religious traditions and laws and in doing that we become more dedicated to the traditions and laws than we are to God. In doing so we think God should accept as us His children any way. No, God cannot not b controlled. It's rather fasinating how I hear some Christians actually believe the old testament is void and of no value to a born again Christian's life today. I am sure what or which Bible you read, but in mine the old testament never taught us to only believe in the laws and traditons but also taught us salvation by Faith and not by human effort. Genesis 15:6, "And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith."

The Jews did not believe in Jesus being the Messiah because they didn't He meet their expectations for who they thought the Messiah should be so Jesus became the stumblingstone. Today some of us still stumble over Christ because salvation by faith doesn't make sense to us. We expect God to simply over look our sins because of His free gift of grace through Jesus Christ. We stumble over Jesus Christ because His values are the opposite of the world's and ours, He ask for obedience and we refuse to put our will at His disposal. He ask for humility and we are unwillinging to humble ourselves before Him. Today I pray you your own values and beliefs don't make you stumble at the stumblingstone, rather you will enbrace His grace with faith in your heart and as you depend on Him for strength to do all things through Him who strengthens you.


Power verses:
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,-- Romans 4:20

You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous.--Nehemiah 9:8

And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend.-- James 2:23

and, "A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall." They stumble because they disobey the message--which is also what they were destined for.--1 Peter 2:8

2011. By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

DON'T BE LEFT OUT WHEN JUDGEMENT DAY COMES!

Matthew 7:12
"Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.

This scripture is a wake up call for me as a Christian and it should be for you too if you profess Him as your Lord and personal Saviour. I have a been a Christian for many years and lived my life for years of nothing short of being a reflection of the faith I professed so I am in no way trying to point fingers at anyone. However over the years I have come to the realisation of how much my sinful nature(flesh) had dominion over my life and dictated to me what I was worth and how I lived my life which brought nothing but pain, hurt, broken heart, bitterness and unforgiveness. I will be a fool indeed to continue living the way I did and thinking because Jesus loves me so much and even though I don't do the will of His Father I will live in eternity with Him when I am called home. There is an old American saying that goes like this, "if wishes were horses beggars will will ride." The fact that we talk a good talk doesn't make us who we are, who we are is the actions and choices we make everyday in our lives.

You can attend church everyday Sunday, read your Bible like a good Christian woman or man, pay your tithe, give lots of money to all the projects founded in your church and be a good person. But if your heart is far away from God and your aren't living by the leading of the Holy Spirit and bearing it's fruits, with unreserved obedience to God's word, following His precepts and just letting Jesus be the Lord over your life ordering your every step. I am afraid you will be in for a shock when Jesus returns. The  Bible clearly says without faith it is impossible to please God and this faith must be a heart generated faith to enable you and I to die  everyday to our flesh - sinful nature.

Who I am now is a complete transformation  from who I was 17 months ago. That is because I made the choice of crucifying my old sinful nature to the cross with Jesus and taking up my cross everyday with the help of the gift of His grace and His unfailing love that constantly motivates me to be still, knowing He is Lord and will never leave me nor forsake me no matter what happens. And with the reassurance that I can do it and it's possible.

You can make that choice today too, to turn away from just being a good person and being religious. Instead take the first step of confessing your ignorance and start a personal relationship with Him by spending more and more time with Him. The more you feed your Spirit with His word through total obedience, the more you will die to your flesh everyday. Don't be left out when Judgment Day comes!

Reflections:
Aren't you tired of the double life you have been living all these years?
Isn't it time to make a real commitment to Jesus? Remember you own it to yourself to experience and enjoy life and live it more abundantly through Christ Jesus.

Power verses:
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.-- Romans 2:13

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.--James 1:25

I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice-- Luke 6:47

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.-- Matthew 7:24

But be doers of the word, and not only hearers of it, blinding yourselves with false ideas--James 1:22

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SOURCE OF OUR NEW LIFE

Galatians 5:24-25
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives.


When we say we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Saviour, we are saying we willingly turning over our sinful nature, it's evil desires and nailing them all to His cross and crucify hem there. However this doesn't mean that we will never see those desires or feel them again. We will still have the capacity to sin, but this time it no longer has a hold on us because we have been set free it's power.

Now Jesus becomes the Lord over our new lives and we must consciously daily commit our sinful tendencies to God's control by spending time with Him in prayer, reading our Bible and worship. The more we feed our Spirit with the word of God, the more we will start living by the Spirit. The easier it becomes for us to follow the Spirit's leading in every area of our lives. The trouble with a lot  us Christians today is, we feed our flesh three hot meals a day and feed our Spirit one cold snack. And we wonder why we can't hear hear from God and get ourselves mingled in all sorts of troubles and lives uncertainty.

I want you to know God is interested in every part of  our  lives and not just our Spiritual. As  we continue to live by the Holy Spirit's power, we also need to submit all other aspect of our lives to Him too - Emotional, physical, social and intellectual. The Bible says in John 10:10,  "The thief comes only to steal, slaughter, and destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly. This means as followers of Christ we should never want or lack in any area of our lives rather we should have the best of everything in abundance - meaning more that enough.


Reflections:
Are you lacking in any area of your life?  Is it Spiritual, physical, emotional or social? I came to remind you to turn it over to God and let Him determine your value and the standard's of your life.

Power verses:
For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.-- 1 Peter 2:25

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.-- 1 John 3:16

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."-- Revelation 7:17

They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water.--Isaiah 49:10

A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.-- Psalm 23:1

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

NEW NATURE AS BELIEVERS

Ephesians 4:22-23
You were taught to change the way you were living. The person you used to be will ruin you through desires that deceive you. However, you were taught to have a new attitude.
 
 
I don't know how many of us have looked at this scripture and pondered over it carefully. With me I realised, once I was able to surrender my heart to Jesus, certain things didn't mean anything to me any more and certain conversations I am not able to bring myself to have. I find it rather extraordinary and very exciting. To tell you the truth, I have lost a lot of my old friends too because we don't seem to have anything in common any more and these friends are actually Christians.

They think I am being over the top with my new found hope and joy in Christ and think it is an obsession. I am absolutely fine with being obsessed with Jesus because everyone is obsessed with something e.g., football, shoes, alcohol, sex, drugs etc. But I realised even though alot of us call ourselves Christians, our Spirit hasn't been renewed. The renewal and the rebirth of our Spirit man comes by way of total surrender to Jesus. So you may call yourself a Christian but actually you are not - false economy! Jesus said in Matthew 7:21,"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Our actions and deeds as Christians are very vital because it is who we are - in other words, a way of life!

Being a Christian means, being Christ-like. People should see the difference between you and others, because of your way of life. I must admit it is a process! And although we have a new nature, our attitudes, thoughts and behaviour don't automatically change. I found that when you are madly and passionately in love with someone you just want to do everything to please them. And this also brings about trust making it easier for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives by renewing our heart and mind which brings about new attitude getting ride of the old sinful nature.

When I look back at myself even from last week, so much has changed. In actual fact some of the changes are so subtle that people around you might not notice the change however you just know it deep down in heart you have. And eventually and gradually it becomes more and more prominent in your day to day living for all to see. The things that upset you before don't any more, the friends you couldn't stand before you could now without making the effort. Everything becomes effortless! Even when you are in the storm of life you don't panic, worry or stress but you just know who you are and called to be. Your attitude towards life, situations and circumstances has a complete whole meaning and perspective.

My Pastor says its heart thing and yes it is. I want to encourage you to surrender your heart to Jesus today as the Holy Spirit the comforter leads, guide and help you on this journey of your new and transformed new life in Him. Don't worry about what others may say or think about you, "But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light."-- 1 Peter 2:9
 
Reflections:
Does your life reflect what you profess?

Can others see a change in your attitude?
 
Power verses:
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.-- Romans 6:4
 
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.-- Ephesians 4:24
 
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.-- 1 John 2:15
 
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.--John 14:26
 
This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,-- 1 John 5:3
 
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.-- 1 John 2:3
 
"If you love me, you will obey what I command-- John 14:15
 
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." -- John 14:21
 
2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 7 March 2011

DO NOT MAKE YOURSELVES IDOLS

Deuteronomy 4:23-24
Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden.  For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.


As Christians I sometimes feel as though we forget who God really is, a consuming fire and His judgement. Instead we dwell on His merciful side which we most times take for granted because we know He is just and faithful to forgive us. I have been a Christian pretty much all of my all life but have only been a true Believer and a daughter in the last 17 months. Why do I say this? I never obeyed His commands nor did I honour His covenant with me. My Christian life was all about me and what I could get from Him. I was a Christian by title and nothing else. I made myself idols in the form of obsession with material things and feeding the desires of my flesh on a constant and a daily basis. When I fornicated knowing very well I shouldn't, I will go and read Psalm 51 and prayed for forgiveness.


My hair dresser of blessed memories used to call me Vanity Fair, I worshipped my hair. I will rather deprive myself of sleeping comfortably just so my hair can remain perfect. I wouldn't leave my house without make-up on or even look at myself in the mirror without it. I wouldn't be seen repeating my clothes. I was what you called a popular girl with a reputation. The girl most men fancied, most older women and of my age hated and envied, younger up and coming girls wanting to be me. Went to church when it was convenient, prayed when I was in trouble. These were the things that I had my absolute loyalty, commitment to and worshiped.

In churches today, for some of you my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, it might be that guy you can't seem to let go off, or being the office the gossip, disrespectful to your husband or wife, cheating, gambling etc. And when you know in your heart it is wrong but somehow you convince yourself it is okay for as long as you confess it to God and ask for His forgiveness. Why do you do it? We do because we forget, "the LORD our God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." And is morally perfect and how much He hates sin and cannot accept its practice especially when it's of His own cherished sons and daughters who should know better.

We forget so quickly how sin kept us from entering God's presence till Jesus Christ paid the penalty with His life and in doing so removed God's judgement forever by His death. However when we commit sin deliberately out of no reverence to Him and out of disobedient after we have accepted His free precious gift of wiping away all our sins, we then making ourselves preys of the devil and tempering with God's wrath. We are then entrusting our life and future into the hands of the devil to have dominion over us even though he has been conquered on our behalf and placed under our feet for good. We, in our own rights give him back this authority freely and willing and become enslaved to his tactics.

Then we have the nerve to cry and complain about how God isn't hearing us and how we aren't experiencing the joy He promised us through Christ Jesus. You wonder why you go to church every Sunday, pay your tithe, give offering and commit your life to the work of the house of God and yet for some reason you can't feel that peace and tranquillity that only comes from Him and to receive the promise of His blessings concerning your life. ".....The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great--and for destroying those who destroy the earth."-- Revelation 11:18

I came to tell you it's not too late to turn away from all the idols you have created in your life, trusting in Jesus Christ to save you from the cluches of the devil allowing you to begin a personal relationship with Him today. One that promises never to leave you nor forsake you and His grace to resist the temptations of sins and also creating a way of espcape when it arises.


Rerflections:
What are you enslaved to today?
What habits do you need entrusting in the gracious hands of the Lord?

Power verses:
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.--2 Corinthians 12:9

I can do everything through him who gives me strength-- Philippians 4:13

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.-- 1 Corinthians 10:13

if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.-- 2 Peter 2:9

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'-- Matthew 6:13

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 4 March 2011

WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART?

Psalms 119:33-37

Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law. Direct me in the path of your commands for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.


 What is in your heart? Do you really desire to live a life dedicated to God? If so, then surrendering your will to Him and asking for help will come naturally. Once I tasted of the amazing love that He gives and began to experience His presence in my life, I began to yearn for more of all that He could be in my life. Notice in the scripture below some of the key phrases the Psalmist uses as he surrenders to the Lord.

• Teach me
• Give me
• Direct me
• Turn my heart towards
• Turn my eyes away

All we have to do is to trust Him to make the changes in our lives. The key though, is to surrender our will to Him with sincerity of heart. Having a God-changed life is the result of having a willingness to become more God-like and letting Him do the work in us. Try using these phrases in prayer time now and surrender various areas of your life to the Lord. If your heart seems to be far from God, then ask Him to turn your heart towards Him.

Power verses:

Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.--Psalm 112:1

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.--Proverbs 31:30

He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.-- Isaiah 33:6

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

GREAT PEOPLE DON'T KNOW HOW TO QUIT

Galetians 6:9

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up"



Do you ever get tired of doing what’s right? I think we all do. Sometimes it seems easier to do the wrong thing than the right thing. When we’re discouraged, we become ineffective. When we’re discouraged, we work against our own faith. When I’m discouraged, I’m saying, “It can’t be done.” That’s the exact opposite of saying, “I know God can do it because He said . . . .”

Ask yourself these questions:
• How do I handle failure?
• When things don’t go my way, do I get grumpy?
• When things don’t go my way, do I get frustrated?
• When things don’t go my way, do I start complaining?
• Do I finish what I start?
• How would I rate on persistence?

If you’re discouraged, don’t give up without a fight. Nothing worthwhile ever happens without endurance and energy. When an artist starts to create a sculpture, he has to keep chipping away. He doesn’t hit the chisel with the hammer once, and suddenly all the excess stone falls away revealing a beautiful masterpiece. He keeps hitting it and hitting it, chipping away at the stone. And that’s true of life, too. Nothing really worthwhile ever comes easy in life. You keep hitting it and going after it, and little-by-little your life becomes a masterpiece of God’s grace. The fact is, great people are really just ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of determination. Great people don’t know how to quit.

Power verses:
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.--Ecclesiastes 11:1

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.-- Isaiah 40:31

Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.--Hebrews 12:3

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

OFFER YOUR BODIES AS A LIVING SACRIFICE

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about.This act of personal surrender is called many things: consecration, making Jesus Lord, taking up our cross, dying to self, yielding to the Spirit. What matters is that we do it, not what we call it. God wants our life, all of it - 95 percent is not enough.

Our total surrender to God is blocked by several things including:

- Our ignorance of God - not knowing what He is really like;
- Our sinful nature - the desire to be God ourselves; and
- Our misunderstanding of surrender and the trust that it requires.
- Can We Trust God? Trust is an essential ingredient to surrender.

We can't surrender to God unless we trust Him, but we can't trust Him until we know Him better. Fear keeps us from surrendering, but love casts out all fear. The more we realise how much God loves us, the easier surrender becomes.

How do I know God loves me? He has given me just too many evidences and I will be a fool not trust Him after bringing me this far. I genuinely never thought I will reach the age of forty but here I am. Lets take at some of the evidences of His love for you and I in the scriptures.

God says He loves us "Psalm 145:9"
We are never out of His sight "Psalm 139:3"
He cares about every detail of our lives "Matthew 10:30"
He gave us the capacity to enjoy all kinds of pleasure "1 Timothy 6:17"
He has good plans for our lives "Jeremiah 29:11"
He forgives us "Psalm 86:5"
He's patient with us "Psalm 145:8"
He sacrificed His Son for us "Romans 5:8"

God loves us infinitely more than you and l can imagine. "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, Holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1 If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at Christ with His arms outstretched on the cross saying, "I love you this much! I'd rather die than live without you."


Reflections:
When you completely surrender yourself to Jesus, you discover that He is not a tyrant but a saviour, not a boss, but a brother, not a dictator, but a friend. Why don't you just go ahead give yourself completely to Him today.

Power verses:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.-- 1 Peter 2:9

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.-- Isaiah 42:16

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.-- Titus 2:14

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

KEEP ON REJOICING!

Philippians 4:4
Keep on rejoicing in the Lord at all times. I will say it again: Keep on rejoicing!




When Paul said, "Keep on rejoicing in the Lord at all times," he didn't mean only in good times. Even when times are tough, the Bible teaches as we can rejoice if we trust in the Lord and His faithfulness. Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own." What Jesus is saying is we shouldn't open our umbrella until it starts raining. Don't worry about tomorrow, live one day at a time. Instead of worrying, we should use our time for praying. If we prayed as much as we worried, we would have a whole lot less to worry about. Is God interested in our mortgage bills and every other expenses or responsibility we have? Yes! He's interested in every detail of our lives. That means we can take any problem we have to Him.

Whenever we pray, we should always pray with thanksgiving. The healthiest human emotion is not love but gratitude. It actually increases our immunities. It makes us more resistant to stress and less susceptible to illness. People who are grateful are happy. But people who are ungrateful are miserable because nothing makes them happy. So if we cultivate an attitude of gratitude, of being thankful in everything, it will reduce stress in our lives.

If we want to reduce the level of stress in our lives, we must change the way we think because the way we think determines how we feel. And the way we feel determines how we act, which is why the Bible teaches that, if we want to change our life, we need to change what we're thinking about. This involves a deliberate conscious choice where we change the channels. We choose to think and focus on God's word, faithfulness and His goodness. Because the root cause of stress is the way we choose to think. Today I want to encourage you to focus on the faithfulness of God and His promise to us through His word. I don't know about you but He is never let me down and I know He is not about to now. So why don't you give Him a chance today!


Reflections:
What happens when we don't worry? He gives us peace that transcends all understanding !


Power verses:
Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus-- Philippians 4:7

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.--John 14:27

and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God--Ephesians 3:19

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.