Tuesday, 31 May 2011

DO YOU FEEL TRAPPED AND OVERWHELMED BY THE STORMS OF LIFE?

Psalm 124:7-8
Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

I guess it is fair to say we have all felt trapped one way or another by an overwhelming situation in our lives not knowing what to do and by the grace of God escaped the damage just in time. In this verse, David compares this feeling to that of a bird outwitted and snared by a hunter by painting us a very vivid picture.

I don't know about you, but I have faced those situation in my life so many times and one thing I know and believe is, with God there is always a way out because He is the Creator of the universe and all that exists in it. No problem is beyond His ability to solve; no circumstance is too difficult for Him. I know I can turn to the Almighty Father and the Creator of all things for any help in my time of need. For He is on my side always and so will He be on yours if you will learn to put your trust and faith in Him today and the rest of your days.

I know sometimes situations and circumstances may look very gloom, but today I came to remind and to tell you God will always provide a way out. You and I only need to trust in Him wholeheartedly.

Reflections:
Do you ever feel trapped and overwhelmed by the storms of life? Why don't you look up to Jesus today the author and finisher of your faith for hope!

Power verses:
The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.--Psalm 110:2

To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah ----Psalm 3:4

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.--Psalm 34:4

Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.--Psalm 43:3

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.
 

Friday, 27 May 2011

GOD SAVED YOU AND I FOR SERVICE

Mark 10:43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.

We serve God by serving others. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige, and position. If we can demand service from others, we’ve arrived. In our self-serving culture with it me first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept at all. Jesus however, measured greatness in terms of service, not status. God determines our greatness by how many people we serve, not how many people serve us.

Today more and more Christians want to be leaders, not just plain servants. But to be like Jesus is to be a servant. That’s what He called Himself. Remember, God saved you and I for service, not for self-centeredness. Without a servant’s heart, we will be tempted to misuse our call for personal gain. We will also be tempted to use it as an excuse to exempt ourselves from meeting some needs. God often tests our hearts by asking us to serve in ways we’re not called and very unfamiliar with us.

Our call reveals our ministry, but our servant’s heart will reveal our maturity. No special talent or gift is required to stay after a meeting to pick up trash or stack chairs. Anyone can be a servant. All it requires is character. It is possible to serve in church for a lifetime without ever being a servant. We must have a servant’s heart.

Reflections:
How can you know if you have the heart of a servant? Jesus said, "By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:16) and another translation says, "You can tell what they are by what they do"(Matthew 7:1).

Power verses:
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."--1 Peter 5:5

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.---Ephesians 5:21

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

STOP WORRYING!!!!

 Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own.

Instead of worrying, the Bible tells us to spend our time praying. If we prayed as much as we worried, each one of us would have a whole lot less to worry about. Most times we confuse planning for tomorrow to worrying about tomorrow. Planning for tomorrow is time well spent however worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Careful planning is thinking ahead about our goals, steps and schedules trusting in God's guidance. This gives us confidence in God and in the process helps alleviate worry. Whereas when we worry, it is consumed by fear making it difficult for us to trust God wholeheartedly.

Is God interested in all our daily problems and things that concerns us? Yes. He's interested in every detail of our lives. That means we can take any problem we have to Him without hesitation!

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 people. But people who are ungrateful are miserable because nothing makes them happy. They're never satisfied. It's never good enough. So if we cultivate the attitude of gratitude of being thankful in everything, it will reduce stress in our lives.

What is the result of not worrying, praying about everything, giving thanks, and focusing on the right things? Paul says in Philippians 4:7 we will then "experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus."  Wow! He is guaranteeing us peace of mind? Do you realise this is exactly what everyone seems to be looking for?

Reflections:
Don't let your worries about tomorrow affect your relationship with God today. He has promised never leave you no forsake you so there is nothing to worrying about.

Power verses:
The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.--1 Timothy 5:5

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.--1 Peter 5:7

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.--Psalm 55:22

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.--Matthew 6:28

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

IS YOUR LIFE READY FOR GOD TO WORK IN?

Hosea 10:12
I said, 'Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.'

For many years in my Christian life, I played by my own set of rules. I thought that God's commands were for religious fanatics. However, I now realise that earlier on, had I adhered to the spiritual guidelines set out for me in God's Word, many painful experiences and bad decisions I could have avoided. As it turns out, God knew what was best for me!

If you are like I once was; you too may think that some of the biblical guidelines for Christian living are overbearing, maybe even pointless. But consider this; if parents allowed their children to do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, with whomever they wanted, is it likely that they would learn right from wrong, take the right paths, and make decisions that are in their best interest? Of course not! Children need guidance, encouragement, discipline and direction from their parents. As children of God, we need those same things from our heavenly Father.

Today's main scripture teaches us our small everyday actions can produce far-reaching results either good or bad. I want to encourage us all to keep plowing the hard grounds of our hearts with the word of God as we continuously meditate on it day and night so that it is no longer stony and hard; but ready and available to receive from God.

Reflections:
Is your life ready for God to work in?
What kind of crop are sowing today?
What might be the long-term effects of some of your actions?

Applications:
Whatever it is, you have a choice today to plow the hard ground of your heart by acknowledging your shortcomings and failures as you open your heart to God's forgiveness and guidance today.

Power verses:
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."--John 7:38

"As for me, this is my covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever," says the LORD.--Isaiah 59:21

I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.--Ezekiel 34:26

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

WHAT OR WHOM ARE YOU BETTING YOUR LIFE ON?

John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

I love this scripture very much because for me it is one the most basic and straight forward truths. Jesus is the only way because He is both God and man and by uniting our lives with His, we are united with God. Wow, what a privilege! The Bible also says Jesus is full of grace and truth. This implies the truth is a person and this truth is the person Jesus Christ.

Notice Jesus says, "I" and the "truth" He doesn't say truth is a religion, or a ritual, or a set of rules and regulations. He says "I."  Meaning, truth is a person!

As the way; Jesus is our path to the Father
As the truth; He is the reality of all God's promises to us His children
As the life; He joins His divine life to ours, both now and eternally

I don't know about you however everyone seem to be betting their life on something. Either their career, social standing or status, political affluence or even their bank accounts. But as for me and my household, we are betting our lives on Jesus Christ and who He says He is.

Reflections:
How can we know the way to God? Only through Jesus Christ!

Power verses:
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.--Romans 5:2

For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.--Ephesians 2:18

We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true--even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.--1 John 5:20

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 23 May 2011

GOD WANTS ALL OF OUR LIFE - NOT SOME OF IT OR 99% OF IT!

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brother, 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. Do not conform any longer 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 ourselves to God is what  true worship is all about. This act of personal surrender is called many things; consecration, taking up your cross, dying to self, yielding to the Spirit.  In my opinion what really matters is that we do it, not what we call it. God wants all of our life - not some of it for example 99% of it.
My personal experience of who God really is over the last few months has thought me that me, our total surrender to God is generally blocked by several things for example;

- Our ignorance of God - not knowing who He really is;
- 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.

In the past, I couldn't wholeheartedly surrender to God due to my lack of trust in Him which was due to my own ignorance and a lack of knowledge of who God is. The truth is, we can't trust God until we know Him intimately and personally. The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." This is implies that our fear plays a very major role in our surrendering, however perfect love casteth out fear.

I want to encourage you to know that, the more you realise how much God loves you, the easier surrendering becomes. God loves us infinitely more than you and l can imagine. Paul tells us in Romans 12:1, "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."

Reflections:
If you want to know how much you mean 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."

Power Verse:
Read and meditate on Psalm 139:3-18

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 20 May 2011

WE NEED MORE THAN JUST A SUNDAY FIX!

Hebrews 10:25
We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.

Do you ever need encouragement? Life can be tough and we all get discouraged. The fact is, to neglect Christian meetings is to give up the encouragement and help of other Christians. One of the benefits I have experienced personally is when I am in the gathering of other Christians, we share our faith and strengthen one another in Lord. We are never going to grow and mature in our Christian faith if we try to do it all alone. In general terms our lives aren't meant to lived in isolation.

I grew up in Accra in a little Army community called Burma Camp. Where everyone knew each other and our lives intertwined holding each other up. What a perfect picture of fellowship. We spread out, we intertwine, and we hold each other up. As we grow and get closer, we strengthen each other in good times and in difficult times. The Bible say is Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no-one to help him up!" 

It's interesting but I hear some Christians trivialising meeting together as a church family and even to the extend of making all sorts of excuses for missing church services and the fellowship with other Christians. To them it is not a big deal neither is it a priority either. What a shame! They are simply unaware of how they can easily dry up spiritually whenever by missing fellowship with other Christians. In fact, we need to be in constant contact with other Christians, even beyond what we get on Sunday. We need more than just a Sunday fix.

Reflections:
As face though times ahead, difficulties should never be excuses for missing church services and fellowship with other Christians. Rather, as difficult times arise we should make an even greater effort to be faithful in attendance.

Power verses:
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.--Ecclesiastes 4:12

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.--Hebrews 3:13

A song of ascents. Of David. How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!--Psalm 133:1

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

ARE YOU KINGDOM MINDED OR ME MINDED?

Mark 16:15
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

What type of believer are you or want to be?

The sad news is, a lot of us today's Believers are more interested in what God can do for us instead of what we can do for God. We want to use God for our own purposes instead of availing ourselves to be used for His purposes. Instead of being "Kingdom minded" we are "Me minded"! "Kingdom minded" is knowing that you and I have been saved to serve and to be a witness for Christ. That should be our first and foremost priority regardless what our daily lives entails.

Our excitement and joy should not be when a prayer for a personal need is answered but rather we should be excited about receiving a personal assignment and the privilege of being used by God to reach out to others. Now don't get me wrong I am not saying we shouldn't be excited and be thankful for personal answered prayers and needs from God because those things He has promised to give us for as long us we seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness anyway. This is the joy, confidence and enthusiasm that comes from doing the works of God because it is contagious. And because we know we are making a difference in the body of Christ. We wake up each morning with a beautiful and an enchanting smile because we are expecting God to work through us in a fresh way.

God invites us to participate in the greatest, largest, most diverse, and most significant cause in history - building His kingdom. Nothing matters more and nothing will last as long. From the book of Revelation we know God’s global mission will be accomplished. That someday the Great Commission will be the great completion. The Bible says in Revelation 7:9, "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands."  Becoming “Kingdom minded” believers will allow us to experience in advance a little of what heaven will be like.

1 Corinthians 14:20, "Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults." Children only think of themselves; grown ups think of others. The bible tells us in Philippians 2:4,  "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others"  Of course, this is a difficult mental shift because we’re naturally self-absorbed; almost all advertising encourages us to think of ourselves. The only way we can make this mental switch is through a daily dependence on God.

Fortunately He doesn’t leave us to struggle on our own. Paul puts it beautifully in 1 Corinthians 2:12, "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us." Let us all begin to ask the Holy Spirit to help us to think of the spiritual needs of unbelievers whenever we talk to them. With practice, we can develop the habit of praying silent short prayers for those we come in contact with. Our goal is to figure out where they are in their spiritual journey and to do whatever it takes to bring them a step closer to knowing Christ. We can learn how to do this by adopting the mindset of Paul who said in 1 Corinthians 10:33, "even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Reflections:
Do you feel you don't have the skill and the determination to be a witness fro Christ?

Do you personally realise Jesus rose from the dead and lives for you today?

Power Varese:
For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.-- Philippians 2:21

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."--Acts 1:18

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.---1 Corinthians 10:24

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

WHEN YOU HAVE A NEED,YOU SHOULD GIVE!

2 Corinthians 9:10
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

I have learned as a Christian in the last 19 months that; it’s exciting to just let God be God. It’s exciting as I watch God meet a need in my life in a way that I never thought possible. God alone is the source of our supply. The Bible says in John 6:8-9,"Another of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”. Whenever we have a need, let's acknowledge our faith by planting a seed. In other words, take your focus off your need and look at ways you can provide for the needs of others, planting a seed in their lives.

This isn’t easy. It goes against our nature; it’s totally illogical. If I’m out of money, I’m probably going to think, “I can’t give away any money.” Or if I’m out of time, I’m probably going to think, “Why should I spend more time on something else or someone else?” Or if I don’t have any energy in a relationship, I’m probably going to think, “How can I give more energy away?” Yet, God says this is exactly what demonstrates faith: when we have a need, we should plant a seed. We can see this principle imbedded in our blood. When we give away blood, we get more blood. We don’t end up with less blood; we end up with as much blood or more than we had before.

God often works through this harvest principle: when we have a need, we should give; and what we give away, God replenishes. Faith is like a seed, so it has to be planted, or deposited. Remember the story of the little boy who had five loaves and two fish? He gives them away, and God uses them to feed 5,000 people. Jesus takes what the boy gives; He breaks it, He blesses it, and He uses it. That’s what God does in our lives. He takes us, He breaks us, He blesses us, and He uses us. He multiplied a little into a lot because it was planted as a seed.

Reflections:
When we invest what God has given us in His work, He will provide us with even more.

Power verses:
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater.--Isaiah 55:10

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.--Hosea 10:12

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

TURN YOUR WORRIES INTO PRAYER AND WITH THANKSGIVING TO GOD


Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

This scripture is as direct as it sounds. Paul tells us to be "anxious for nothing" meaning; we shouldn't worry. We all know that worrying never brings solutions to our problems but rather takes away from us and in most instances can even cause us to be physically sick. As human beings' worrying seems like an impossibility but Paul's advice us to turn our worries into prayers and with thanksgiving making our request known to God. Last night as we were about to round up our prayer meeting, my Pastor said thanking God should be daily and from a heart of gratitude no matter what our circumstances may be or look like. Because, we know if God made us victorious yesterday, we are sure He will make us victorious today, tomorrow and in the future. It's a promise and one He will never break because He is not man that He should lie.

I want to urge each and everyone of us today, to be honest before God in prayer. While maintaining humility and thanksgiving for His saving grace, lets pour out the good, and the ugly of our feelings. As Habakkuk, Job and others discovered, God can handle our intense emotions and questions. Though He rarely explains Himself fully to us. Perhaps because we can't fully understand this side of eternity! But however, He does flood us with His power, love and peace when we come humbly and honestly before Him and pour out our heart in all sincerity.

Reflections:
Ask yourself when was the last time you genuinely and honestly went to God with a heart of thanksgiving even int the midst of all the storm?

Power verses:
2 Corinthians 4:17-18----"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal"

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?--Romans 8:24

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.--Hebrews 11:1

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 16 May 2011

GOD CREATED US FOR RELATIONSHIPS

John 15:15
"....I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."


Friendships are not easy to build. Time is limited with lives that keep us so busy. But in this age of technology, it’s important to evaluate things in our lives that create a false sense of connection like email, television, text messaging and overboard activities. Although these things are okay in moderation, they can't substitute real-life connections. We have to intentionally carve out time for friends that are in close proximity. Times where we can share what's going on in our lives and, like the scripture says, encourage one another with what God is teaching us. Long-distance friendships are precious to me, but I also need friends close by. I have learned that there's just something in my heart that is filled when I connect with a friend in person.

God created us for relationships where we can see each other, hug each other and talk to each other face-to-face. Jesus knew this need, as well. He encircled Himself with intimate friends – first His Father, then His close friends John, Peter and James and then the other nine disciples. He also had friends like Mary, Martha and Lazarus that He spent time with sharing what He was learning from His Father, laughing and having a meal together. He modeled for us the picture and the power of connecting with friends.

Reflections:
Today I want you to ask yourself, what are some of my biggest obstacles in developing real friendships?

Power verses:
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10---"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?--Ecclesiastes 4:11

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.-- Ecclesiastes 4:12

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD

Proverbs 31:30-31
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I love this chapter of Proverbs 31 for many reasons, but perhaps my favorite verse lies at the very end: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." This chapter, is written to reflect the words of wisdom spoken by the mother of King Lemuel, gives us a wonderful blueprint for living a productive life as a busy woman in today’s world. But more than anything, I believe King Lemuel’s mother spoke this particular verse because she wanted him to recognise the value of character in the woman he should someday choose for a wife – a woman who fears the Lord.

The Proverbs 31 woman accomplished many things in her life, but she also made choices that portrayed a character shaped by having a relationship with God. We as mothers and mothers to be are given the same task – to instruct our children not only on how to be productive individuals, but to point them to Jesus so He can shape their character to model His own heart. God also promises that the one who does this receives a reward. We don’t know what that reward is specifically, but we know there is one; and that praise is a part of it.

Power verses:
2 Timothy 3:14-15---"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from who m you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.--Titus 1:9

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

God’s Word reminds me that "Love Covers." God is challenging me to examine my spoken and unspoken judgments of others. He wants you and I to come alongside others and help carry their burdens, rather than add to them with our criticism. Where the Pharisees heap coals of judgment, Jesus calls us to be vessels of His love and encouragement.

Love covers! I'm praying that I will be like my Father who, instead of offering the yardstick of religious rules, offers the healing touch of mercy and love.

Dear Father, I thank you for; your love has covered me and continues to cover me. Let me be more like you by offering the people in my life your love, encouragement and help. In Jesus’' Name I ask, Amen.

Reflections:
Today, lets learn to love others as Jesus has loved us by practicing being in His presence and being conscious of it as we deal with others in our day to day lives.

Power verses:
1 Corinthians 13:13--- "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.--Proverbs 17:9

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.--1 Peter 1:22

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

HIDE HIS WORD IN YOUR HEART

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

When we come to faith in the Lord, we don't know Him intimately right away. It takes time! It takes spending time with Him and reading His word the Bible. It takes getting comfortable with Him and trusting that we can openly share our lives with Him. It takes us learning that He is Who He says He is. When we work on our relationship with God, we learn that He can be trusted. We also learn that He loves us no matter what we’ve done or who we are.

Even though we may not be able to physically see Him, we find He is there all of the time. Even though we may not be able to audibly hear Him, we learn He can and does speak to our heart. We discover this by investing time into the relationship. If you want to know God better, spend more time with Him. Read God’s Word and you’ll begin to experience God’s heart. Spend time alone with Him and you will begin to see and hear Him more in your life. It may be through a scripture, a friend, a feeling, or an idea that pops into your mind that you just sense is from God. When you know God better, you’ll also know how to recognise Him. It’s hard to explain, but you just do.

God is always open and He is always there to listen and reply. He is knowledgeable on all subjects and He stands ready to meet with you at any time. If you find yourself searching for answers or wondering if God indeed cares for you, ask Him a question through prayer. Hide His Word in your heart. Meet with Him one on one. He will be the best Friend you ever make and you’ll see and hear from Him in a whole new way.

Power verses:
Jeremiah 29:13-- "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.---Jeremiah 24:7

"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.--1 Chronicles 28:9

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 9 May 2011

GLORIOUS GIFTS


Today, let's unwrap some of the awesome gifts Jesus has given you and I;

He’s given us physical life: "The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." Genesis 2:7

And eternal life: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

He’s given us family: "God sets the lonely in families …" Psalm 68:6

He’s given us wisdom: "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

He’s given us peace: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you." John 14:27

He’s given us joy: "You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 1:6

He’s given us rest: "Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

He’s given us a personal counselor: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you." 2 John 14:16

He’s given us an inheritance: "…you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward." Colossians 3:24

And He’s given us freedom: “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom.” 1 Corinthians 1:30

In return for all these glorious gifts, God simply wants us to receive and respond with thankfulness and a heart that is ready to emulate His gracious nature. I can’t think of a better day than today to respond with gratefulness and enjoy this precious gift of life and the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. I want each and everyone of us to remember, everyday is a gift. And one we should cherish, love and hold very dear to our hearts as we are given the privilege of seeing yet another glorious day!

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 6 May 2011

WHAT MORE IS THERE TO FEAR?

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Fear is a paralyzing emotion. It keeps us from many things. Fear can prevent us from using our gifts and talents. It can keep us from doing our jobs. Fear causes us to worry about getting sick. It makes us suspicious of others. Fear can stop us from pursuing relationships or unfulfilled dreams. It causes us to worry unnecessarily about loved ones or doubt our parenting skills. Fear isolates us from our family and friends. It can keep us up at night and shut us down during the day.

Did you know that the phrase, "fear not," is written in the Bible 365 times? That’s one "fear not" for every day of the year! As a result of that truth, you and I can move forward into the today with confidence. Each day God’s message is the same:

"Fear not that job interview, I am with you."
"Fear not becoming a new wife or husband, I will help you."
“Fear not in college, for I am there.”
“Fear not in decision making, I will guide you.”
“Fear not for your children, I love them more.”
“Fear not death, I am the resurrected one.”
“Fear not being alone, I will never leave you.”
“Fear not serving in that area, I have placed you there.”
“Fear not what others think, I think you’re special.”
“Fear not I am always with you even until the ends of the Earth.”

Do you think God is sending a message to us His children?

Those who live a life of sin, indeed, fear death and judgment, and rightly so. However, the Spirit of adoption helps us realise the rich reality that Christ conquered death and sin. Romans 8:31 says, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”. What more is there to fear?

Whatever you and I face throughout the remaining of this year, we need not worry. God has broken the spirit of fear and given us the assurance that nothing can snatch us from His hand. More over He has given us the spirit of power, love and of a sound mind.  As God’s children, we can go to Him without hesitation and cry out, "Abba, Father," which means daddy, confident that He will hear and answer our cries.

Reflections:
Today ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome any fear you might and remember that the power that rose Jesus from the death is given you and I who believe in the Son of God.

Power verses:
Isaiah 41:13---“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

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

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."--Romans 8:15

Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.--Exodus 14:13

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

"WHERE IS THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD RIGHT NOW?"

Psalm 89:1-2
I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

Scripture repeatedly states that God is faithful beyond our imagination. However, sometimes we doubt. The problem is that we want Him to act in faithfulness according to our requests, standards, and time allotment. We especially feel that way when problems rattle our lives. We ask, "Where is the faithfulness of God right now?"

We want the Lord to react like a genie in a bottle. We call out our wishes and we demand that He bring about miraculous results. I recently witnessed this attitude in an unbelieving friend. She lost her very well paid high flying job unexpectedly without any warnings. Frustrated she said, “I cried out to God last night and He didn’t help me! What kind of God is He?” Although, my friend never gave a thought about God until a crisis arose, she expected His immediate help when she called out. She demanded the Lord be faithful to her needs on her schedule. Her disappointment resulted in a defiant attitude of doubt.

I have found that as God increases my faith, He sometimes increases the time between my "crisis" and His rescue. By allowing a longer time span between crisis and aid, God brings me to believe in, rely on, and depend upon His yet unseen faithfulness. Although doubt of God’s faithfulness may raise its ugly head, He has never been unfaithful to me. He may not rescue me as quick as I would like. He might answer my cry in a way I do not expect. However, He will always aid me in the manner that will help me increase my faith.

He wants to teach you and I to sing of His faithfulness regardless of our circumstances as the psalmist did:

Psalm 46:1-3, 10.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”


2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

ARE YOU TOO BUSY TO HEAR GOD'S VOICE?

1 Samuel 3:6
And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for you did call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

One of the lessons I learnt in this scripture is that, listening and knowing the voice of God is very vital in our relationship with God. In as much as God doesn't always use the sound of a human voice to talk to us, He always speaks clearly to us through His word. The story here is the boy Samuel had spend his entire childhood years in church; in service to God but didn't know Him. In doing so very diligently and obediently he neglected one very vital aspect, that was his personal relationship with God. He knew of God however didn't know Him personally and intimately.

This applies to a lot of us Christians today! Most of us know of God however do not know Him. We tend to equate our level of service, commitement and busyness in the house of God to our relationship with Him. Being busy in God's house doesn't automatically put us in relationship with Him. Our relationship with Him is personal and is got nothing to do with our service nor how involved we are in His work.

God created us human beings to enjoy intimate relationships with Him and with one another. When Jesus Christ is the Lord of our relationships, we will experience the meaningful intimacy that is part of God's original plan. In book of Galatians 6:2 says, "Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ."

From today's scrpture, I want to enourage us all not to let our desire to do God's work cause us to neglect the most vital need in our walk with HIm -  Personal and intimate relationship in knowing and hearing from Him when we calls us into action.

Reflections:
Listening to God – Preparing your heart to hear Him!

Power verses:
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen,.." James 1:19

If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge.--Proverbs 19:27

Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."--Luke 8:8

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.--Revelation 2:7

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

WHAT MAKES YOUR HEART UNCLEAN?

Mark 7:15
Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'"


The dictionary describes arrogance as "an offensive display of superiority or self-importance; or overbearing pride." At first glance, we may think that doesn’t apply to us. But if we let the Holy Spirit shine His search light on our heart, we may find times when we have thought,  well at least I'm not that bad, or it's amazing how her life turned out as good as it did.

Envy is pretty sly at hiding in our hearts as well. It is the feeling of discontent with regards to another’s advantages, success or possessions. Does your friend have a new car, a new business, or a nicer home? And does that make you look at him or her or at your possessions with disdain? If so, that's envy - Ouch!

Then there is greed, the excessive desire for wealth or possessions. Maybe we don’t think we are excessive in our desire for things, but how much time do we spend trying to make more money? How stingy are we with what we have? Compared to what most people have, we live in abundance, and yet we seem to have one eye forever focused on getting more.

What would it look like to take those three definitions and clean them up?
• Un-arrogance – a gracious display of selflessness
• Un-envy – being completely content with all of my blessings
• Un-greed – an excessive desire for God and His righteousness

That sounds like a clean heart to me! So today I challenge myself with the words Jesus spoke, "It is what comes out of a man that makes him "unclean." Today, I will set my mind to being un-arrogant, un-envious and un-greedy. Yes, today I want to live with a clean heart and I want to encourage each and every one of you too to live with a heart clean from envy, bitterness, greed, arrogance and discontent.


Reflections:
Matthew 15:8--"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."
What are your thoughts?

Power verses:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.--Matthew 5:8

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.--Ezekiel 36:26

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.--Jeremiah 24:7

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.--Psalm 51:10

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 2 May 2011

COMMUNITY

John 15:12
"This is My commandment: that you love one another just as I have loved you."

In a world where people feel isolated and alone, God created a unique and loving community called the Church. In fact, one of the first acts in Jesus’ ministry was to establish a community of believers, the disciples. These 13 men, including Jesus, transformed the world with the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Throughout His ministry, Jesus modeled and taught about life in this new kind of community.

We are not created to do life or ministry alone. Community was God’s plan to change the world. Jesus was completely capable of preaching, teaching and healing by Himself. It’s not as if Jesus needed anyone to help Him! But God designed us to need each other, and Jesus lived this out by taking along 12 friends.

Being in a loving community helps us in many ways. We have friends to encourage us when we feel down, someone to help when we struggle with a problem, we learn to love as Jesus loved, it helps us stay committed to our Christian faith, and we can also be ourselves. Community also helps us stay obedient to God. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you John 15:12! The only way to love others is to live in a community. There are many more benefits to being involved in a Christian community, but one of the best is when Jesus is uniquely present when we gather. And wherever Jesus is, is a good place to be!

Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."


Reflections:
How does meeting together, either in a small group or church setting, help us encourage each other? Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Power verses:
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.--Hebrews 3:13

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.--1 Peter 1:22

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.--Hebrews 13:1

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.