Friday, 29 April 2011

JESUS, WE WANT TO KNOW WHO YOU TRULY ARE!

Matthew 16:13
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"

Sadly, there’s less and less talk about Jesus in our present culture. Jesus has become a politically incorrect term. You step on far fewer toes when you just refer to your chosen deity as "god." Even so, every once in a while there will be a new furor over Jesus. Think of The Da Vinci Code as an example. For a time, talk of Jesus was on the front burner again.

I think it's appropriate for believers and unbelievers to examine the answers to Jesus' piercing question today, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?" For believers it’s important to be able to address the views about Jesus in our culture. I heard different responses from Christian leaders about The Da Vinci Code. Personally, I felt led to read it so that I could respond to my friends when they asked and others who were curious but undecided. It’s important as Christians not to "switch off" (our brains) and "tune out" (our culture).

We are called to be salt and light to the world around us (Matthew 5:13-16). It simply shouldn’t be an option to hide out in a little safe bubble of our own making when God’s heart is crying out for the unbelievers around us to know Him. A scriptural response to unscriptural beliefs in our culture can help to plant seeds of faith in hearts filled with confusion. If you aren’t sure what you believe, I encourage you to ask God to show you who He is. It’s important to face the question that Jesus poses. Floating along undecided and filling all the voids with anything that we can get our hands on only satisfies temporarily. God has something better to offer as we turn our attention to Him and ask the hard questions.

Reflections:
Jesus, we want to know who you truly are. As we examine our thoughts and attitudes about the Son of Man, help us to know the truth. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Power verses:
Mark 1:27--- "The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, ‘What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him."

Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD."--1` Chronicles 22:19

This is what the LORD says to the house of Israel: "Seek me and live;--Amos 5:4

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

DO YOU KNOW JESUS?


John 3:3
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.


Do you know Jesus Christ? Many have heard of Jesus and know a little about Him. Many sing songs about His birth at Christmas and know that Easter commemorates His resurrection. Some think of Him as a teacher or perhaps the founder of a major world religion. But, do you know Him personally? Do you know that Jesus died and rose again, not to start a spiritual movement, but because He loves you and wanted to provide a way for you to know Him?

The Bible tells the story of God's love for people. In the beginning, God created us to reflect His image and to have a relationship with Him (Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them). We were created good but sin entered the world and we essentially chose to try life on our own without God, instead of living our lives for God as we were designed.

God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to pay the price for our sins and bring us into a relationship with Him. Jesus' resurrection is proof that we are now accepted and made right by Jesus. We can know the promise of eternal life and experience the joy of knowing God here on earth!

If you would like to have a relationship with God, the Bible tells us that we begin by acknowledging that we have sinned and that there is nothing we can do to earn our way into God's love. Romans 3:23-26, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 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— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

We believe and confess that Jesus is Lord. Romans 10:9, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" and allow Him to guide our lives. Where we once wanted to control our own futures, we now allow Jesus into our hearts to be our Lord. Knowing God's peace, perspective, and purpose for your life begins with a personal relationship with Christ.


Power verses:
"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.--Matthew 7:21

(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.--Romans 2:13

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.-- John 3:5

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 25 April 2011

HE IS RISEN; JUST AS HE SAID HE WOULD!

Matthew 28:6
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Jesus' resurrection is the key to our Christian faith. Why?
  • Just as He promised, He rose from the dead making us confident indeed He will accomplish all that He has promised you and I.
  • It is shows us that the living Christ is ruler of God's Kingdom and not at all a false prophet or an impostor.
  • This makes you and I very certain of our resurrection too because death is not the end; there is a future life with Him in eternity.
  • The power that brought Jesus back to life from the dead is available to and I to bring our spiritually dead selves back to life.
  • And the basis for our witness to the world.
I just want to use this opportunity to remind and encourage all of us that whatever the Lord has said concerning our lives, shall surely come to pass. Just as even death couldn't hold Him, be confident that whatever situation that is threatening your life and peace with not overcome you either. The Bible says in Hebrews 7:24-25, "but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." This is great news because now, we have the King of all Kings Jesus looking after our interests; presenting our requests to God on a daily basis. Hallelujah!!!

What else could be better than this? If I were you, I wouldn't waste my energy worrying about that mortgage company threatening to take your house, or the fear of loosing your job, business, marriage or that illness that doctor's can't seem to find a cure or treatment for. Jesus is risen just as He said He would. So if I were you, hold on very tight to His every word and never letting it depart away from my mouth or letting my circumstances overwhelm me in wavering my faith in Him.

Reflections:
This wonderful assurance of His resurrection frees us from guilt and the fear of failure.

Power verses:
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. -- 1 John 2:1

Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.--Romans 8:34

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.--1 John 4:4

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 22 April 2011

"IT IS FINISHED!"

John 19:30
When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

Today mark the sacrifice and the priceless price Jesus paid many years ago on the cross to free you and I from the bondage sin that separated us from God. Whatever you are going through, don't loose hope because today Jesus is saying to you and I, "It is finished!"  The word finished  is the same as "paid in full." Jesus came to finish God's work of salvation - John 4:34, "Then Jesus explained: "My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.",  in order to pay the full penalty for our sins. With His death, the old traditional ways of atoning for our sins ended and Jesus took all of our sins upon Himself on the cross. Hallelujah! Now you and I can freely approach God because of what Jesus did for us without the feeling of condemnation, fear or anxiety.

Today, I want to urge you to take stock of your life. If you haven't accepted this free gift of salvation this is your chance. Christ's death not only save us, it completed you and I - it is finished!

Reflections:
Easter is a celebration of a life changing sacrifice for you and I.

Power verses:
"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.--1 Corinthians 15:55-57

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.--1 Corinthians 15:57

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- Hebrews 2:14

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."--Revelation 21:4

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

GOD IS OUR SOLE PROVIDER

1 Timothy 6:17
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.

This is so ironic because just yesterday, I was having a chat with a really lovely lady I know who worked with me about four years ago. This lady worked with me for only four months but there was just something about her that made me keep her number and over the years have kept in touch with her. She is very a well qualified professional but some how things haven't just worked out the way she has planned and for years she hasn't been able to attained her perfect job either by acquiring all those qualifications. Recently, I was on my way to our new church premises when I bumped into her only to realise she lives just a few minutes away.

She is been out of work for a while and to be honest since I have known her she has been out of work more times than in work. I called her the other day, but to my surprise she said she was very fed up with life and said nothing seems to be working in her life. She is smart, intelligent, beautiful and is been married for a years. What I found rather interesting was how she said she wants to come to my church so my Pastor can pray for her. I was very thrilled about that because at least she is beginning to realise there is a God who rules in the affairs of men.  I met up with her yesterday to discuss some possible small business she can get involve in whilst waiting for her so called "perfect city job". Now as we were talking all she had in her mind was how to find a permanent and a well paid job to do so much she desired. I said to her,  do you realise your provision is never been in the jobs you have done or what you think you know? I said God is your sole provider! And until you can recognise that and surrender all your burdens and cares onto Him instead of desperately placing your confidence in your profession; you will be keep going round in circles till you accept the truth. Aren't you tired of all the false hope these careers, professions and jobs promises?

The truth is our hope and trust in never in the riches we acquire and the wealth we accumulate through the jobs, careers or professions we do. Rather it is in God alone, and the jobs, businesses and whatever we find ourselves doing are just a means of source God uses to bless us but they are not our source of provision. I want to encourage each one of us today, that whenever we are faced with hard and challenging situations, lets keep our mind filled with the truth that keeps our circumstance from whispering dangerous assumptions and false accusations in affecting our perspectives.

Like today's scripture says, "our trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment and not the what we have or the money we have acquired through what we do. This is the reality that must saturate our thoughts and hearts.  It is the truth that rises above our troubling circumstances and calls us to see life from a perspective outside of the overwhelming realities. This is one truth I have been living by nearly two years now, when I lost my business and everything I ever worked for. God has richly been providing for me with everything I need and I never thought it was possible before when I was living in my ignorance. Therefore I believe in my heart He will provide for my friend and anyone who will just learn to put their faith and trust in Him completely and wholeheartedly. Making Him the first priority in our lives and not the second, third or last.

Like Paul clearly said in the book of Philippians 4:8, "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."  And not only that, he went on to say in verse 9,  "The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."   Learn to memorise and keep the word of God in your hearts by letting it saturate your hearts, minds and thoughts at all times so you can live them daily in receiving the peace of God that overrides all our fears and doubts. This is our weapon!

Reflections:
Be careful not to put your trust in money. Even if you don't have material wealth, you can are rich in good works and always has something to share with others.

Power verses:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.--Ephesians 1:3

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.--Philippians 4:19

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.--2 Corinthians 9:8

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.--Matthew 6:32

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

LET JESUS CHANGE THEIR LIVES

John 4:15
The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

Many of us like this woman at the well confused the two kinds of water, perhaps because many of us don't make the effort or take the time to talk to others about what spiritual hunger and thirst is. In reality,  I don't think any one of us will even think of depriving our bodies of food and water when we are hungry or thirsty. So then should we deprive our souls of the living word which is God's written word?

This woman is no different from many of us today, especially Christians. A lot of us come to Jesus only for what we think we might benefit from Him - an easier life free from challenges. The truth is, that isn't the case. Jesus Christ did not come to take away our challenges, rather He came to change us on the inside by empowering us to deal with problems from God's perspective. Just as the woman at the well with Jesus did not understand right away what Jesus was talking about, so it is with most of us when we come to Christ. It takes time to accept and understand something that changes the foundations of our lives. In our quest to share the Gospel with others, we need to allow them time to ask questions and to put the pieces together for themselves as the Holy Spirit directs them.

I speak to people everyday when I get the opportunity about Christ and to some unbelieving friends on a regular basis but the truth is it does not always have an immediate result. And it doesn't also mean they will never come to accept the Jesus Christ - the truth. Once we witness to someone about Jesus Christ, a seed is sown. And we leave the rest to Jesus to change their lives through the Holy Spirit as He gives them time to weigh the matter in their hearts.

Reflections:
Don't give up on the friends, neighbours and colleagues you have been witnessing to about Jesus Christ. Keep on sharing the light of Christ with them and allow time for the Holy Spirit to do the converting and convicting.

Power verses:
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.--1 Corinthians 12:13

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.--Ephesians 2:13

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,--Romans 3:22

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

IT'S ALL ABOUT GOD

John 3:8
The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit."

This verse puts the workings and doings of God into perspective for me. I am known to be a control freak and I have come to the understanding over the years that there are some things that I just can't control no matter how much I try. For instance we humans have tried over the years to control nature in every possible way but have come to the realisation that nature is far too powerful to be controlled by any man. We can only predict so far what might happen or may not. For example the explosion of an earthquake to an extent, but we cannot stop it's destruction.

Like Jesus explains in this verse, the same way we cannot control nature so we cannot control the work of the Holy Spirit at work in us or others. Because He works in ways we cannot predict or understand, just as we cannot control our physical birth neither can we control our Spiritual birth either. The Holy Spirit is a free gift from God. Romans 8:16, "For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children."

I know we sometimes assume some people are beyond the reach of God's word because of who they have become or are for example; their social standing, affluence, etc. We have to constantly remember it all about God and through His Holy Spirit He reaches out to everyone. And we as His servants need to continually and diligently pray for whomever He brings to our mind. Remember, God may touch those you think most unlikely and He may just use you to do it if you avail yourself to Him. Be a witness and an example to everyone you come in contact with; starting from today!

Reflections:
Are there people you disregard, thinking they could never be brought to God?
Such as a world leader for whom you have never prayed for or a successful person to whom you have never witnessed?

Power verses:
Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.--John 3:6

He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.--Psalm 135:7

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.--Ecclesiastes 11:5

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 18 April 2011

WHAT PRICE ARE YOU PREPARED TO PAY FOR LOVE?

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Recently a few of us were in a prayer meeting with my Pastor and he was rather horrified that none of us on top of our heads remembered the most important verse in the Bible and the most important verse on which our faith is hitched on. That scripture was John 3:3 and he asked us all to go back and revisit the book of John which I have been re-studying in the past few days with very careful thought and paying attention to all the details. Just yesterday morning on my way to church, I was reading John three and as I got to verse sixteen it just came alive in my spirit like I have never seen this scripture and verse before. So I decided to go over it again this morning in my quiet time. For me the entire Gospel of Christ comes into focus and meaning with this specific verse. We all talk about God's love and believe in our hearts we know what it really and truly means as a Believer. But do we walk, breath, talk, act and live it in our daily Christian walk with Him and others? Is our love for others selfless and not in any way self-centered; reaching out and drawing others into as Jesus has with you and I?

I hear a lot of us Christians say things like, I love him or her and have forgiven him or her for whatever wrong he or she has done to me; but I can't forget or be friends with him or her again. How does that reflect God's selfless and non self-centered love that draws us and others in? Today's verse says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,.."  This means love comes with a very huge price tag, one that will even cost us our lives. That means we are to accept others whether good or bad and either family or not with no conditions attached.  Just as Jesus accepted our punishment and paid the highest price for our sins and not only that; but then offered us the new life He bought for you and I.

This scripture for me, is God's pattern and His example of what true love is. The basis for all our relationships regardless what they might be. Because when you love someone dearly as much as God loves you and I, you are willingly to pay no matter what the cost may be. I want each one of us to meditate on this verse this week and allow it to minister to our hearts in all sincerity. It is possible to love as God has loved us and still does daily. All we have to do is to ask Him for grace and surrendering our free will to Him.

Reflections:
Remember, when we share the Gospel this week with others, our love must be like His. Willingly giving up our own comfort and security so that others might join us in receiving God's love that is shared amongst us His children.

Power verses:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.--Romans 5:8

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.--Isaiah 9:6

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.--Hebrews 2:9

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.--1 John 3:1

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 15 April 2011

GOD LOVE IS BIGGER THAN ANY PROBLEM IN YOUR LIFE

John 1:3
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

I remember just before my returning back to my first love - Jesus. I honestly for years thought how can God possibly understand what I am going through or possibly solve my many problems. In truth, we don't deliberately limit God's power and who He is but instead we allow our circumstances, problems and whatever storm we find our lives in to overwhelm us so much; it clouds our judgement of who God really is.

I want to encourage us all to daily feed our souls, mind and heart with God's word and never letting it depart from our mouths no matter what life throws at us. And always remember God created and made everything from nothing and through Him all things were made. Because we are created beings, we have no basis for pride and we exist only because God. Whatever special gifts you and I may have is only because God gave it to us out of His own will not because of who we are or what we have done.

When I look at myself now, I know I am only who I am, something special, unique and valuable because of God. And I also know apart from Him, I am nothing!

Reflections:
Do you feel your life is too complex for God to understand? Remember, He created you and the entire universe and nothing is too difficult for Him.

Power verses:
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."--Matthew 19:26

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.--Hebrews 11:3

Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.--Jeremiah 32:17

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

PLEASE DON'T LET JESUS DOWN BY MAKING EXCUSES!

John 4:35
You know the saying, 'Four months between planting and harvest.' But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.

A lot of us Christians are full of excuses and the most common one I hear regularly is, I am not comfortable to talk or discuss my faith with anyone - cos it's very private to. And the other very lame excuse is, I have a principle never to discuss politics and my faith. Why not? The truth is the fact that you don't want to discuss it doesn't neccessarily make it go away or change the truth and facts. What is so private about what Jesus is doing in your life and what He is continuing to do? I don't see anything so private about God's love and commitment towards us His children. Just take a look at the world around you and see how loudly it screams with His Omnipotent creation and carefully thought about handy works.

For me even the fact that I can see another day is a good enough evidence that Jesus is at work in my life. I believe the problem we have as Christians are, we have become too complacent. So taken the blessings and faithfulness of God in our daily lives for granted. I find it almost impossible not to talk about Jesus to even my sisters anytime I speak to them, my nieces, nephews, friends and even the strangers I meet on my daily travels. I just made a new friend yesterday on the bus on my way to a prayer meeting and have also invited her to church on Sunday.

We sometimes excuse ourselves from witnessing by saying we aren't equipped to do it or our friends and family aren't ready to receive Jesus Christ just yet. When do you know when someone is when you haven't even bothered to make the effort. And to be honest, it is not about what we say that makes them believe it; is the Holy Spirit. All He needs is us availing ourselves by making that first contact by sowing the seed of truth with the help of His free gift of grace upon our lives. As we read in today's scripture, Jesus however, makes it very clear that there is a continual harvest that await to be reaped. Please don't let Jesus down by making excuses. Look around, you will see and find so many people with a ready heart to hear and receive God's word and just waiting for you to tell them. I urge us all to make it our duty from today onwards to reach out to others starting from our close friends, family and work colleagues.

Reflections:
What is causing you to make excuses? Isn't your own lifestyle as a Christian? Nevertheless, all you have to do is to ask Jesus to renew your joy and fill your heart with His love enough to share it with the next person you sit next to on the train or on the bus!

Power verses:
Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.--James 5:4

For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.--1 Timothy 4:10

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.---1 Corinthians 15:10

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.--1 Timothy 2:3-4

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH

Deuteronomy 6:5
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Today's scripture couldn't be more straight forward and straight to the point. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Jesus repeatedly said this in the scriptures that loving God with all our heart, soul and mind is the first and the greatest commandments. The more I read the Bible, the more I realise God's laws are not so burdensome as some of us Christians have made it to be. I am sure we all know from our human view point that when we are madly and truly in love with someone, you are prepared to do anything for them and in doing so cares and love anything that concerns them and means so much to them too.

I find this so relevant to loving God. If we truly love God then we will love others as much as He loves you and I. And the beauty of this special demonstration of love is, we have the gift of His special grace to make it possible. When we love God completely and care for others as much as He does for us, then we have fulfilled the intent of His commandments and all the old testament laws. According to Jesus these two commandments summarise all of God's laws. I want to encourage us today to let this rule our thoughts, decisions and actions in whatever we do in our daily lives. And when we are uncertain about what to do, lets ask ourselves which course of action best demonstrates the love of God both for us and others.

Reflections:
Does the love for God comes first in whatever you do or is He last on your agenda?

Power verses:
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."--Mark 12:33

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.--Deuteronomy 4:29

For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, 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.--Deuteronomy 30:16

Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.--Psalm 119:2

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights resereved.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE!

John 3:30
He must increase, but I must decrease.

One of the problems facing our Christian communities in these times is the fact that more and more Christian leaders, Pastors, Ministers, Bishops etc are increasingly placing more emphasis on themselves rather than on the power and the person working through them - Jesus. I can imagine how tempting it might be, when they have their congregation and others showering them with compliments of how powerful and mighty they are. The truth is all Christian leaders, Pastors, Ministers and Bishops etc are human beings just like you and I. And as a church, we have to constantly and sincerely intercede on behalf of our Pastors, Church Leaders, Ministers, and all men and women of God to be humble and authentic in their faith, not given in to pride or hypocrisy. Rather they will have pure motives and give God all the glory for every gain or victory as Jesus increases and they decrease in the ministries they have been called to.


I can understand why John was called "the disciple whom Jesus loved". Because John's willingness to decrease in importance shows unusual humility. Pastors and other Christian leaders can easily be tempted to focus more on the success of their ministries than on Christ. Even more so as believers! I see lots of us on face book and on the Internet as a whole with our self-righteous and our importance. We must understand that none of us can do anything or be anything without the grace and power of God at work within us to will and to do. It is all about God and nothing to do with us. Only when we come to that realisation, that we are indeed ready to be used by God to show His tangible power at work within us for the whole world to see. I particularly love the song that says, more of you and less of me!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I pray for all Pastors, Christian leaders, Ministers , Bishops and every other man and woman of God in the world that, they will focus on the the word of God and walk in the fear of the Lord rather than the fear of men as they go about the daily duties you have ordained them to do. I pray they will seek to please you God rather than men, and pursue holiness rather than the praise of men. In Jesus Name, Amen!



food for thought:
Beware of those who put more emphasis on their own achievements than on God's Kingdom neither should you.

verses for meditation:
"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all.--John 3:31

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.-- Matthew 28:18

and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father--to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.--Revelation 1:6

He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."--Revelation 14:7

and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
--Ephesians 3:9

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 11 April 2011

ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH SIN?

Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin"?

No one is without sin. I don't know if you sometimes feel as though as soon as you confess your sin with a repentant heart, some how; very strangely sinful thoughts and actions begin to creep back into your life. That is because we are all born of sin and live in a world fill of sinful thoughts and actions. And because Jesus Christ came to die for our sins, we have Him to constantly intercede on our behalf before the Almighty God.

As Believers we all constantly need an going cleansing of our heart. That is why the Bible says, we should guard our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23) not giving in to wrong, sinful thoughts and actions. Because when we do, we are indeed giving sin the right to plant it's seed into our hearts. In saying that, we should be constantly thankful to God for the provision of mercy when we ask for it. And His grace that gives us the strength and courage to do what is pleasing in His sight by our faith.

I just want to encourage each one of us to make confession and repentance a regular part of our daily conversion with Jesus. Replying solely on His word through our faith in Him daily for the cleansing we need to keep our hearts pure from the clutches of sin and it's actions.

Reflections:
Are you struggling with sin? Take it to the Lord in prayers depending on His grace that surpasses all our weaknesses. Constantly filling your mind, thoughts and mouth with His word by protecting the windows of your heart from sinful thoughts.

Power verses:
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.--John 14:16

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.--1 John 2:1

I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.--1 John 2:12

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.---3John 1:4

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 8 April 2011

DO YOU SPEND EXTRA TIME IN PRAYER FOR YOUR FRIENDS?


Colossians 4:12
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

I have a really close friend who prays for me a lot. And apart from her I have been blessed with so many believing friends and family who have always spend an extra time interceeding on behalf in prayer. When I look back and think how far God has brought me, I know it isn't by chance. Rather purely by divine intervention! Everyone of us needs lifting up and as Christians who are our brothers and  sisters keepers, we are to constantly look out for our friends no matter the circumstances to keep them firm and strong in the will of with our prayers of intercession.

Have you ever set aside an hour to pray? The most amazing things happen when we purpose to spend quality time with God through prayer. Something that I have noticed when ever I start praying for many people. I reach a point during this special time where faces of friends begin to appear as I am praying for them. This usually happens after I have prayed for things in connection with Kingdom work. The Bible is
very clear about this subject, we are supposed to pray for one another. I want to encourage you starting from today to consider spending some extra time in prayer lifting up your friends needs before the Lord.

Power verses:
I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.--Romans 15:30

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.--James 1:4

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

BELIEVERS, WE ARE A LIVING EXAMPLE OF JESUS' LOVE


John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

When you read the Scripture's you will realise that loving others as ourselves wasn't really a new command. I say this because the Bible says is Leviticus 19:18, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. So to me this implies that loving others as much as ourselves isn't really a new command but instead to love others as much as Jesus Christ loved us  is a new command and alien to us. This because Jesus Christ's love is absolutely unconditional and has no limits and He demonstrated this love to us by dying on the cross for our sins even though we didn't deserve it.

When I think and ponder over this new way of loving others just as Jesus loved us it's so daunting. However also hard work and rather refreshing at the same instance because, it will not only bring unity into our society making us more unified with them but it will also make us believers stronger and united in a world hostile so to God. Today, I want each one of us to remember just as Jesus is a living example of God's love so we are a living example of Jesus' love. The world need to see the love of Jesus through us to cvome to the understanding that He is really the saviour and the answer to it's many porblems. Instead of it being implied to be the troubles of this world. Lets make it our mission and goal to love ourselves and others just as Jesus loved us by allowing His free gift of grace to work in us to do His will. We are the light of the world!

Reflections:
The Bible clearly says if you love God as much as you say you do, you will love others just as much as He loved you. If you are finding it very difficult to love others and to see beyond their faults, mistakes, shortcomings, ignorance, sin etc then I will suggest you make a check on your heart. And go before Jesus and confess it and ask Him to help you. For His grace is sufficient to make all things possible through us.

Power verses:
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

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.--1 John 4:7

And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.--1 John 4:21

The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.--1 John 2:4

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

LEADERSHIP POSITIONS ARE ORDAINED BY GOD

1 Timothy 3:6
An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.

In our modern day Christian walk, there are so many new believers who think just because they are Spirit filled, know and understand the Bible they can become leaders in Church. Now today's scripture couldn't be more straight forward. It clearly says, new believers shouldn't be given a leadership role in the church until they have become secured, strong and matured in their faith. Too often these days in our modern day churches, some are so desperate for workers and for the fear of losing certain members based on either their social standing, influence, their zeal and passion for God or their financial position so much that they reduce the work of God to placing unqualified persons in position of responsibility. Don't get me wrong, some new believers definitely have been blessed with the grace of leadership but it still doesn't mean we should push them into leadership right away. I believe time tells and especially when it comes to working in the house of God, it shouldn't be taken lightly at all.

Not saying that new and old believers as a whole need to pass the test of time in order to mature and when they do; should absolutely have a place of service in the church but not in leadership positions until they are firmly grounded in their faith. Just because someone is been in the church for years doesn't automatically also make them matured believers with solid Christian life-style to hold the position of leadership. I know lots of believers who have been in the church for years and still aren't matured in their faith even though they think they are because they pray for eight hours non-stop, know the bible from A-Z and all the religious protocol so that qualifies them to be in a position of leadership. Well who said that?

The Bible says in Acts 10:34, ".....God is no respecter of persons:" I am a new believer and with the little I know now, spiritual work isn't just something we take upon ourselves based on our own works, effort or deeds. It is a position ordained and appointed by God because it is He who grants us the grace to do His work to the glory of His name. "For He is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care."--Psalm 95:7 

Position of leadership in the church isn't an easy task. I know that because I see leaders in my church and I applaud them for what God is using them to in our lives and in the church as a family. It's a position of high standard, a solid Christian life-style and a knowledge of the word of God in the right sense and understanding. If you desire to be a leader in your church, ask God for grace and to prepare you for it in due time when He believes you are ready. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the leaders in Kharis Ministries for their dedication, hard work, obedience and attention to detail in their service. We love you all very much and continue to remember you and your families in our prayers for God's wisdom and grace in doing what He has called you to do. It's not always easy but with God on your side, you will always be winners in His Name, Amen.


Reflections:
Do you hold a position of spiritual leadership, or would you like to be a leader some day? Then check yourself against Paul's standard of excellence and keep in mind that those with great responsibility must meet high expectations.

Power verses:
Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.--1 Peter 2:12

For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.--2 Corinthians 8:21

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.--Romans 14:17-18

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

WHAT HE HAS BEGAN HE WILL FINISH

Philippians 1:6
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

This has become one of my favourite scriptures and a confession for my sisters and I in the recent months. Just coming to the end of last year as God fulfilled a prayer request of mine on behalf of my sisters, He gave me this Scripture as His promise to me and my sisters of how He will finish what He has began in as; as a family. Just then I realised that His eyes was on us and nothing could ever go wrong no matter how difficult life's storm threatened our peace and confidence in our faith in Him. The truth is when we have our confidence in God, whatever work He begins in us He will always continue it through our lives and finish it when we meet Him face to face. Actually coming to think of it, God's work began for us when Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive as our sins. And this work begins when the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts, enabling us to be more like Christ through our faith everyday of our lives.

The truth is, when God starts a project He always finishes it. We just have to learn to put our confidence in Him at all times without staggering at His word.  He has promised to help us grow in grace and in faith until He has completed His work in our lives. When you are discouraged, remember that God won't give up on you. The same way when you feel incomplete or distressed by your shortcomings, life's difficulties or uncertainties; always remember His promises and provisions for your life. He is not man that He will lie and the scriptures cannot be broken either. I came to encourage you today, not to let your present condition rob you of the joy of knowing Jesus Christ and keep you from growing in Him.

Reflections:
Do you sometimes feel as if you will never make progress in your spiritual life? or do you sometimes feel like what God has began He wouldn't finish? Look no further for He will never leave you nor forsake you and He will certainly finish what He has began in you too.

Power verses:
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.--1 Corinthians 1:8

his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.--1 Corinthians 3:13

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

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.--2 Timothy 1:12

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 4 April 2011

WE MUST TRUST IN GOD TO CHANGE OUR LIVES


When we sincerely surrender ourselves to God, we must TRUST Him to change our lives. By reviewing the first few words of each verse in the scriptures below, we are on our way to becoming a person who trusts in God to make changes in our attitudes, behaviors and circumstances in life.

Psalms 119: 33-39
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
and obey it with all my heart.

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.

Fulfill your promise to your servant
so that you may be feared.

Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.

It’s important for us to realize that it is God who has started the good work in our lives and we must trust Him to complete what He has begun. The book of Philippians, Chapter one, Verse six says: "…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." It is God who has started to work on our attitudes, personalities and circumstances. All we have to do is to surrender our will to His power at work in us- trusting Him to finish what He has started.

Power verses:
your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.--Psalm 139:16

Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.---Psalm 100:3

great are your purposes and mighty are your deeds. Your eyes are open to all the ways of men; you reward everyone according to his conduct and as his deeds deserve.--Jeremiah 32:19

2011. Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 1 April 2011

YOUR JOY WILL OVERFLOW!

John 15:11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

A lot of the time as Christians when things are going our way and everything seems perfect, we feel over the moon. However when we face hardship and trials, we sink into dislief and anxiety. One of the many blessings I have experienced in Jesus Christ is, His joy transcends all the waves of uncertainties in our circumstances. I never knew what it meant to experience true joy until l met Jesus and started building a personal relationship with Him. Then I realised the true Joy of the Lord only comes from a consistent relationship with Him.

The problem with a lot of us Christians to is, we live a cheap Christian life. Not spending enough time in the presence of Lord and getting to know Him and allow Him to minister and speak to us. Instead we just assume just because we call ourselves Christians and go to church every sunday, pray when we are in need and give our tithes every month we are entitled to live a life of true Joy in the Lord.

The secret is when our lives are intertwined with Jesus, He will help us walk through adversity without sinking into debilitating lows and we will manage prosperity without moving into deceptive highs. For me the joy of living with Jesus Christ daily has kept me levelheaded no matter how high or low my circumstances get.

Reflections:
It's never too late to start building a relationship with Jesus!

Power verses:
The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.--John 3:29

"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.--John 17:13

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.