Thursday, 30 June 2011

IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD

Psalm 22:3
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

There are so many things that happen when we get into the right alignment with the Holy Spirit. One of the many things I have discovered with my time spent in the presence of God is that, nothing is impossible. Many miraculous healings happen when praise and worship are occurring. Why is this? The Bible says that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. Sickness cannot reside in His presence because He took care of that on the cross for you and I.

1 John 4:18 puts it so beautifully, "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." God is perfect love! So in His presence all fear disappears. Jesus turned water into wine. He paid His taxes with a coin from a fish’s mouth. The dead were raised to life. When there was no wine left at the wedding, He turned barrels of water into the best tasting wine. On another occasion five thousand people were fed after He gave thanks to His Heavenly Father for a couple of small fishes and a few loaves of bread. People who were totally blind could suddenly see when Jesus was around.

We need to make a commitment to get into the presence of God. There are mighty miracles waiting to happen if we could just press into where God is. He does not live in the realm of the flesh.What can you do today to step out of the natural realm and into the realms of the Holy Spirit of God?

There’s no telling what will happen when you get into the Lord’s presence. But the one thing I know for sure is,  they’re going to be wonderful and amazing things that will change and transform your world.

Reflections:
Spend time today learning how to practice the presence of the Lord and you will be amazed what you will experience. Learn to have a personal praise and worship time, just you and Him!

Power verses:
"....in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for ever more."...Psalm 16:11

Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.--Isaiah 61:7

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.--Psalm 46:4

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

JESUS IS PLEASED WITH YOU

Psalm 145:20
The LORD protects everyone who loves him, but he will destroy all wicked people.

If you are a believer who perseveres with all diligence in practicing and living by your faith in God on a daily basis, then He is pleased with you. Think of how many people are blatantly ignoring the Lord. What about the ones who look righteous on the outside, but on the inside they are full of deception? You are not like that; you are God’s child. He loves and cares for all of His children no matter what or how others may perceive you or what you may think of yourself.

Sometimes I think we get too caught up in thinking we have to be perfect in order for God to be pleased with us. This is not true! He desires for us to continue to become more holy and He is not condemning towards us if or when we fail. God sees the intentions of our hearts. He knows who His real sons and daughters are and He loves us all with an undying love.

If you continue in seeking after the things of the Kingdom of God on a daily basis, pressing into building a more intimate and a personal relationship with Him, He is pleased with you. God smiles upon us His beloved children, the true believers who make spending time with Him a priority at all cost.

Reflections:
Remember, His grace is sufficient for you, and His power is made perfect in your weakness. Don't beat yourself up just look up to the giver of strength - Jesus!

Power verses:
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being.--- Ephesians 3:16

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.--Philippians 4:13

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully.--Colossians 1:11

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

HOW HIGH ARE YOU PREPARED TO LIFT JESUS UP TODAY?

John 12:32
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

One of my daily habits since I started rebuilding my personal relationship with Jesus is always looking for ways and opportunities to give Him all the glory for the things in my life for the ones that are are visible and that ones that aren't. All it takes is to find very subtle ways throughout your daily moments of the day and you will be surprise, how the Holy Spirit will begin to reveal to those around you who Jesus really is.

There will be times when we are to boldly proclaim the reality of our Lord to others and shout it from the rooftops. I believe for that to happen, we are to be ready "in"  and "out" of season to speak to others about our best friend, Lord and Savior. For me to lift Jesus higher in subtle ways is like climbing a ladder one step at a time.

Here’s the key: we only take an occasional step higher on the ladder with those whom we interact with on a daily basis. Eventually, the many steps on the ladder we have taken will take us to the place of lifting the name of Jesus higher. During all of those steps, the Lord will be drawing men to Himself through our obedience and willingness to be a witness for Him.

Today, I want to urge you to ask God to help you lift Jesus higher in whatever way possible. When you do this, I believe He will begin to fill your mouth with words from heaven. Your conversations will be seasoned with the salt of the earth and Jesus will be lifted higher.

Reflections:
Remember no one can come to Jesus without God's help. All you and I can do is share what He has done for us.

Power verses:
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.--John 6:44

the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.--John 14:17

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.--1 Corinthians 2:14

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 27 June 2011

ARE YOU CATCHING MEN FOR JESUS?

Matthew 4:19
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.


When was the last time that you put into action the intent to tell someone about Jesus?

When Jesus was on the Earth, He called out to a select few by saying: "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Are you following Jesus?

Here are a few tough questions:

Has anyone ever dedicated their life to Christ through you having directly brought the message of salvation to them?

Are you catching any men for Jesus?

Are you dedicated to learning about how to win souls for Christ?

It’s not difficult to understand. People will either go to Heaven or to Hell. The message of how to get to Heaven will be locked up behind our lips if we never try to direct souls towards Christ. Jesus said that He came to save the world. Are you following Jesus? Make a decision today to get educated about how to direct men towards Christ and then start fishing for souls. We have much work; so come with me and lets get busy by sharing  Christ's teachings and the Gospel with others in order to draw them to Christ.

Reflections:
Is Jesus asking you today to leave your  productive businesses or careers and become "fishers of men" to help find Him?

Power verses:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.--Luke 9:24

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.--Matthew 6:33

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.--Matthew 19:29

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All right served

Thursday, 23 June 2011

HE WORKS ALL THINGS FOR GOOD

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This is one my favourite scriptures because it reassures me of  how much God loves me and how far He will go to protect and keep me for His chosen purpose for my life. The Scripture says, God works out all things, now not some things but all things! What I want us to focus on is, note that God is not only working things out to fulfill our own fantasies but instead to fulfill His purpose for our lives. This is means, this promise is not for everyone but for those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Saviour. Even though we live in a fallen world with no much evil all round us, our trust is not in what we see but in the Most High God because the life we live now is not ours but in Christ who sacrificed His own life so we can live eternally with God.

For this reason we now have a new perspective and a new mindset in this life and that new life is in Christ; the author and finisher of our faith. In Him we learn to love, accept all, not resent, pain and persecution because God is in us and we know now that no matter the challenges or trials we may face or encounter; He will work out everything for our good according to His predestined devine purposes for our lives. The Bible says in Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

I want to remind us all today of how precious we are to God and not to worry about what the world thinks of us or neither should we be stressed about fitting in. We are not called to fit in rather we are called to shine the light of Christ for all to see His glory and the manifestation of His power and workings through us. Hallelujah!

Reflections:
Remember evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but our God is able turn things round for our good.  He that is you is greater than he that is in the world!

Applications:
With this in mind, we should carry ourselves as vessels of honour......

Power verses:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.--Romans 8:37

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

 I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.-- Song of Solomon 7:10

2011 Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

BOWELS OF MERCIES

Philippians 2:1-2
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

We Christians are called to be united in Spirit and in one body as a church by showing and being compassionate towards each other with affection and kindness to all. Many of us Christians today live only to make good impressions on others even to the extend of impressing our Pastors and the leadership under which we serve. I find this very sad and very disturbing. I have come to realise that, when you genuinely have a heart for God it doesn't matter who is watching or who is not you just do what is necessary and needed because it is who you are.

We have literally just moved into our very own permanent building after eight years of being in Ministry. And you will think we will all embrace how far God has brought us by taking the bull by it's horn by treating our new home with love, care and respect. I wouldn't think we need to be told what to do before we do it but rather we will instinctively just do it because why should anyone be told how to treat their own home?

 My concern is, we are who are called to be the light of this world and not to blend but to stand out being different. Being just like the world only sows seeds of discord and that does not reflect who are call to be and the one who lives in us. We are called to be a reflection of Christ which is compassion, love and unity in fellowship. Walking together with one heart and purpose, being one accord and of one mind. By this we shall be known by our fruits (Matthew 7:20) and they are, "....fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) Ephesians 5:9. By becoming imitators of the Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reflections:
Don't let your own self ambitions of making a good impression or meeting your own needs make you strain your relationship in God's family.

Power verses:
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.--Romans 12:16

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.-- Philippians 2:3

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.--Colossians 3:12

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.--Ephesians 4:2

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 20 June 2011

FEAST OF JOY

Proverbs 15:15
Every day is a terrible day for a miserable person, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

In my professional line of work, it is all about attitude rather than ability and I am sure it is the same for most people if you are honest with yourselves. We have all have had days when nothing seems to going right and to make matters worse just not having the courage to smile though it rather letting it affect our attitudes making us miserable and disconnected. Honestly, I don't know of anyone who in one way or the other hasn't faced some sort of set back, sadness or troubling times in their lives. We all do at some stage in our lives. However the secret to having a cheerful heart with a continual feast in the midst of adversity and sad moments is knowing the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

In contrary, this verse is not saying we cannot be sad however it is saying we have the choice to choose how we react to it and in doing so learn to appreciate what we have in the moment in time to keep our hearts cheerful in a continual "feast of joy". Remember, our attitudes colour our whole personality and in as much as we cannot choose what happens to us, we can choose our attitude towards it and how we react to it. Paul's secret to a cheerful and jolly attitude is filling our minds with thoughts that are true, pure and lovely; and continually learning to dwell on the many blessings and good things God has purposefully bestowed upon us His beloved children.

I want to challenge you this week to take stock of your life to see what matters the most and you  will be surprised to find yourself in a  "feast of joy" in places you never thought was possible or even existed.

Reflections:
Do you want your heart to experience a continual feast of joy today? The secret is learning the act of contentment which only comes from being rooted and planted in God's word concerning your life.

Power verses:
Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.-- Nehemiah 8:10

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."-- John 16:33

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.-- 2 Corinthians 2:14

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 17 June 2011

JOYOUS REWARD IN SERVING

Matthew 25:12
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Many people even as Christians live only to make a good impression on others or to please ourselves. When we're concerned only for ourselves, seeds of discord are sown. As friends and Christ lovers, l stress spiritual unity to love one another and work together with one heart and purpose “being of one accord of one mind".

When we work together, caring for the problems of others as if they were our own, we demonstrate Christ's example of putting others first, and we create unity. Let’s not be so concerned about making a good impression or meeting our own needs that we may strain relationships with others. We must feel and show kindness and affectionate sympathy to others.

Selfish ambition can ruin our hearts, but true humility can build it. Being humble means we have a true perspective on ourselves. It doesn't mean we should put ourselves down. Before God, we are all sinners saved only by His grace with great worth in God's kingdom. We should allow God's grace to allow us to lay aside selfishness, treating others with respect and common courtesy. Considering others' interests as more important than ours will link us with Christ, who was a true example of humility.

As we are all from so many different backgrounds and walks of life, it might be difficult to maintain unity at times. But being bounded together in Christ, makes it possible for us to have this unity showing the outside world its possible regardless what our differences might be in the eyes of others.

Jesus Christ was humble, willing to give up His rights in order to obey God and serve us. Like Christ, we must serve out of love for others not out of guilt or fear. As children of God, our attitude should be just like Jesus Christ. One that enables us to lay aside our rights in order to serve others. If we say we follow Christ, we must live as He lived. We should develop this attitude of humility as we serve, even when we are not likely to get recognition for our efforts.When we are totally committed to serving Christ in sacrificing for the faith of others then we shall indeed enter into the "Joy of Lord" as His reward to us!

Reflections:Are you selfishly clinging to your rights, being faithful with little or are you willing to serve wholeheartedly?

Power verses:
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.--2 Timothy 2:10

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk?--1 Corinthians 9:7

He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honored.--Proverbs 27:18

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

PRAYING FOR YOUR PASTOR IS VITAL

1 Timothy 2:1-2
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

As Christians we need to pray for and with each other daily. However, we particularly need to support our Pastors and it's leadership in daily and regular prayers. Our Pastors and church leaders face many challenges - balancing the roles of the Ministry besides being a father, mother, husband and a wife. Believe it or not, our Pastors and church leaders have a difficult job at hand and so much is expected of them making them very vulnerable to criticism by their members and society.

From my experience, a lot of us don't actually pray for our Pastors and church leaders. But instead we always except our Pastors and church leaders to pray for us. We forget they are human just like us and face the same temptations and challenges that we struggle with on a daily basis in our walk with God. For me, prayer for Leadership in the church is the spiritual equivalent of filling a balloon, giving the church the potential to grow in it's mission and following the leading of God's Spirit.

The best way to activate the anointing and get the best out of your Pastor, is to pray for them. Honestly, since I made praying for my Pastor a daily priority, God has used him on many occasions to answer, instruct, direct and speak to me concerning so many different things in my life. It makes life so much easier and I genuinely hope this will motivate you enough to pray for your church, Pastors and the leadership on a regular basis. Prayer is very vital so please lets all make it a habit. Remember, your church is only as good as the Pastor. Pastor David Antwi puts it mildly, "praying for your Pastor is for your own wellbeing." So keep them up in prayers to keep the fire burning.

Reflections:
How often do you pray for your church, Pastor and the leadership of the church?

Power verses:
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.--Ephesians 1:16

As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you.--1 Samuel 12:23a

Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith.-- 1 Thessalonians 3:10

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

LOVE IS A LIFESTYLE

1 John 4:16
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

I have been born again for many years and however never understood a lot of things in life, especially the cost of love. There was a time in my life when I just wished I didn't have a heart to love and feel compassion towards others because love had caused me so much pain and hurt over and over again over the years. My dearest late mother's favourite saying was, two masters cannot captain a boat. It takes one to be a fool for the other to be efficient. In other words, learn to love with all humility. I suffered unforgiveness and bitterness most of my adult life all due to lack of knowledge of God's word and lack of the knowledge of His unconditional for me.

However, during this recent months of personal walk with Him, I have come to  accepted the unique gift of God's unfailing love flowing through me by my faith as the Holy Spirit gives me the power to love unconditionally. The truth is, when we realise God loves us with an extravagant, unconditional and unfailing love; then His love will change our entire attitude and focus on life.

Come on lets face it, some people are just so hard to love no matter how much and hard we try. I found that, replying on the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us makes it easier to reach out to the unlovable, difficult and demanding. As Christians, love is a lifestyle and part of who we are ( a reflection of God). I want us all to remember today that, God's love is the source of all human love and as we learn to dwell in Him it spreads like a wild fire rekindling a flame in our hearts in turn helps us to love others regardless who or what they are just as He loves you and I.

Reflections:
It starts with a decision. Are you ready ?

Power verses:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight--Philippians 1:9

May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.--1 Thessalonians 3:12

2011 Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

YOU CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MONEY

Matthew 6:24
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

I am sure you will all agree with me that, we live in a very materialistic society where our success and prosperity is determined by how much money we have causing many to be enslaved by it's power. Most of us literally spend our lives working for money, collecting it and saving it only to die and leave it behind. I know for some of us Christians, the desire for money and it's pleasures; far outweighs our commitment to serving God. And I believe that is brought about by lack of our faith, trust and obedience in God.

How many of you really are able to have everything you want from all the sleepless nights you spend working for money, it's pleasures and for the what it offers? The Bible says in Proverbs 8:18, "With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity." The secret to a successful and a content life is found only in Jesus through faith and obedience to His every spoken word concerning our lives.

The Bible clearly states that God will not reign in our lives as long as we have material things enthroned in our hearts. So join me in renouncing money, and luxury possessions as the main goals in life. Today let’s choose better goals – to know God intimately and to bless others out of the abundance of our hearts. The lifestyle of consumerism is all around us. The temptation to try to satisfy our own needs and desires with material things is strong. Ultimately, however, the best bargain in town is still that we can trade our filthy rags for robes of righteousness in the dressing room of our very own hearts.

Reflections:
The Bible teaches us in 1 Timothy 6:10, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Can you honestly say that God, and not money is your Master?

Today, ask yourself which one occupies more of your thoughts, your time and efforts?

Applications:
Make a decision today to be content with whatever you have knowing that as a child of God, you have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus!

Power verses:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.--Matthew 6:33

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

Proverbs 3:9-10-- "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine."

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 13 June 2011

WHAT IS YOUR AREA OF INTENT?

Matthew 25:21
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
 
This year, I’ve discovered three areas of intent that helps me keep my life balanced no matter what my days are like. First things first, I make it a priority to keep my daily appointment with the Lord. Some days it consists of my usual quiet time, Bible study, and other days it’s reduced to praying while working and doing errands. In either case, being intentional about spending time with the Lord has kept my attitude of working for the Lord at most in my mind.

Keeping this attitude leads me to the next area of intent, control my work. Working hard comes easily to me, but it’s the one place l can lose my balance when I allow my work to control me. Perhaps it’s my desire to do my work with excellence or maybe it’s the disease to be the best at what I do. Whatever the reason, when I allow the Holy Spirit to guide me in balancing my life’s priorities, I’m reminded that my source of significance is Jesus Christ, not my work!

Another thing I’ve learned to do is ask for help. I’ve made an agreement with my sisters to be there from time to time when I need a helping hand. I’ve learned that it’s okay to admit that my life isn’t perfect (my sisters already know that).

The last area of intent is the idea of intentional, godly fellowship. Our spiritual lives need the encouragement from other believers. When we neglect this area, we can lose our warm fuzzes (as I call them) and open the door to the cold and prickles. Just like separating logs in a fireplace causes them to cool off faster, neglecting godly fellowship will cause us to lose the warmth of our spiritual lives.

In saying this, the truth is Jesus is coming back and we as Christians know this is true. Does this mean we must drop whatever we do to in order to serve God? Not at all - it means we must diligently use our time, gifts and resources to serve God completely in whatever we do making Him our first priority. For some of you, this will mean changing professions and getting out of your comfort zone trusting your lives wholeheartedly to Him without any reservations. And for most of us it means doing our daily work of love for God with joy!

Reflections:
Remember nothing is impossible dear friends. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens you and I.

Power verses:
Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.--1 Timothy 3:13

A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant incurs his wrath.--Proverbs 14:35

Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.--1 Timothy 3:14-15

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 10 June 2011

NO ONE CAN STAND AGAINST YOU

Joshua 1:5 
No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Sometimes when we face difficult situation or circumstances in our lives, careers, relationships and families we turn to forget who we really are in Christ and allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by what we see around us. We forget we have a High Priest who always lives and intercedes on our behalf (Hebrews 7:25).

Here as we see, Joshua's new job is to lead more than two million people into a strange new land and conquer it. If you are like me you are probably thinking what a challenge and a huge task! What I realised from reading this scripture is, it doesn't really matter who you are or what you know. Every new job, career, business or even our relationship is a challenge and without God, it can be frightening and overwhelming. Now on the flip side, with God it can be a great and enjoyable adventure of our lives.

I don't know what new challenges you are facing in your lives today, but I came to assure you that; just as God assured Joshua He will be with him and never leave nor fail him, He is with you and I today in whatever storm we find ourselves or whatever new challenges we are facing either in our relationships, careers, jobs or our spiritual lives. The beauty about this God you and I serve is, He is not man that He will lie or change. And the Bible tells us in John 10:35b, "and the Scripture cannot be broken."

So today you and I may not conquer nations, but we may face tough situations, difficult people and some form of temptations. I want to remind us to remember God's promises regardless of how overwhelmed we may be and feel. By seeking His directions wholeheartedly, we can overcome and conquer all of life's problems and difficulties.

Reflections:
Just remember every promise of God comes with an instruction. The key to unlock our promises is, obedience through our faith. You are never alone, His grace is sufficient for you! You only need to avail yourself with a surrendered heart unto Him.

Power verses:
I tore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, but you have not been like my servant David, who kept my commands and followed me with all his heart, doing only what was right in my eyes.--1 Kings 14:8

For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.--Deuteronomy 4:31

If you do whatever I command you and walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you.--1 Kings 11:38

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

ARE YOU PREPARED TO LOSE YOUR LIFE FOR JESUS?

Luke 9:23-24
Then He said to them: " If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." For whoever wants to save his life will loose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

To follow Jesus requires self-denial, complete dedication and willing obedience. Luke emphasises continued action, and "daily" in this contest.

A lot of as Christians are willing to pay a high price for anything or something we value. It is no surprise that Jesus should demand this much commitment from us His followers. There are at least three conditions that must be met by us who want to follow Jesus. We must be willing to deny our self, to take up our crosses, and to give up our lives. Now anything else is superficial lip service and not acceptable.

As Christians we follow Jesus Christ by imitating His life and obeying His commands. To take up the cross means denying our selfish desires. Following Christ comes with a very costly price, but in the long run it is well worth the pain and effort. Why? Because He said, "whoever loses his life for me will save it and this is a promise and a guarantee."

He also promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us and will let anything happen to us for as long us we bear our cross daily in obedience and in faith without staggering at His word in unbelief. I see and a lot of Christians in the church who are prepared and willing to do all sorts of things at extremely high cost sometimes even at the cost of their lives without any promises or guarantee of eternal blissful life. So why then do we find it so difficult to bear our crosses daily?  Is it because we too weak to the "Flesh"? Or is it just pure ignorance - spiritual darkness?

My personal experience is when we are in love with Jesus, denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily to follow Him becomes a matter of highest priority in our lives. And we are prepared to risk everything and anything even death because we know and have our eyes fixed on something far more worthwhile - living with Him in eternity! I don't know about you however for me, nothing in this world can compensate for the loss of my eternal life with my Father.

Reflections:
As Christians and Christ followers our lives on this earth is not to be used for our own pleasure but to spend it serving God and His children.

Power verses:
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.--Luke 14:26

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.--Mark 8:35

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.--John 12:25

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

PREACH THE GOOD NEWS TO EVERYONE

 Mark 16:15
And then he told them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.

In today's scripture, Jesus tells His disciples to go into the world telling everyone that He paid the penalty for sin and that those who believe in Him will be forgiven and live life eternally with God. As Christ's disciples and followers our mission is to reach out to the world by preaching this Gospel to the people who haven't heard it, especially to the teenagers because they are the future.

The truth is reaching out to the teens of today’s world can sometimes be intimidating, and at times, out of our comfort zone. But I wonder what the world would be like today if teenagers reached for Jesus for stress relief and comfort, instead of drugs, alcohol or physical intimacy. What would happen if every teen was impacted by the witness of a Christian?

Scripture tells us that everyone will be accountable to God (Romans 14:12), even if they have not heard of Him, which is the basis for global missions work. But what about the mission field right in our own back yards? Are we really reaching out to those who are reachable?

As Christians, it is our duty to make sure that people become aware of Jesus, including teens that seem to need nobody but themselves. The people we encounter on our daily journeys can be a divine appointment, even an unaware soul, longing to be rescued. I want to encourage you today that as you and I grow in our personal relationship with Jesus, He will give us both the opportunities and the inner strength to share and reach out to an unsaved soul with the good news.

Reflections:
Do you feel you don't have the determination or skill to be a witness for Christ?
You must personally realize that Jesus rose from the dead and lives for you today.

Power verses:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,---Matthew 28:19

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 1:8

if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.--Colossians 1:23

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED HAVING AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER?

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

A lady, I become friends with awhile ago asked me to be an accountability partner, and I immediately said yes. In the past I've connected with friends in this way and it's really helped me with my Christian walk. Even though the word 'accountability' sounds overwhelming, I've found it's good just to have someone to talk to about things that are going well, things that aren't going so well, and  how you're dealing with them. As we chat, she asks me questions about these things, and I ask her too.

Yet perhaps the most important part of meeting together is prayer and sharing God's Word. When we meet and spent five minutes praying for each other. We also talk and bring in God's point-of-view on things. When my friend was sharing her struggles, I talked about a Bible verse I had recently read that applied. Then, she did the same with me. She not only shared her thoughts, she also reminded me of God's thoughts.

Have you ever considered having an accountability partner? Maybe you should think about it. Look around and think of someone who you enjoy being with - someone who is encouraging to you. This person doesn't have to have a perfect relationship with God, neither do you. In fact, hopefully through your time together you'll not only grow closer to each other, but closer to God, too.

Perhaps you already have someone you share all the details of your life with. If so, consider taking that relationship to a new level. Pray, read Scripture, or read a devotional book together. Even best friends can become closer if they open up their whole lives to each other.

Reflections:
Look around you and be sensitive to others need for encouragement and be accountable to each other. We as Christians are called to be our brothers and sisters keepers in all times.

Power verses:
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.---Ephesians 4:29

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.--Jude 1:20

Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.--Romans 15:2

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 6 June 2011

MUTUALLY ENCOURAGED BY EACH OTHER'S FAITH

Romans 1:12
that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine.

This encouragement is the art of giving and receiving; it’s depending on each other. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:25, "So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other." Mutuality is the heart of fellowship: building reciprocal relationships, sharing responsibilities, and helping each other.

As Christians, we become and are more consistent in our faith when others walk with us and encourage us. The Bible commands mutual accountability, mutual encouragement, mutual serving, and mutual honouring. Over fifty times in the New Testament we’re commanded to do different tasks for "one another" and "each other." The Bible says, “Make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” Romans 14:19. We are not responsible for everyone in the body of Christ, but we are responsible to them. God expects you and I to do whatever we can to help!

Reflections:
Today, I want you to remember that our faith gives us a common language and a common purpose for encouraging one another.

Power verses:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.-- 1 John 1:17

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

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 3 June 2011

FATHERS, DO NOT EXASPERATE YOUR CHILDREN



 Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

What is God really like?

• God is caring.
• God is close and aware of the details.
• God is consistent.
• God is competent.

If our children are going to grow up knowing God is caring, close, consistent, and competent, then you and I must be caring, close, consistent, and competent. We must care about our  children enough to show them what God is like and show them how they can become like Christ. John 17:14a says, "I have given them your word”. We can become a spiritual leader to our children by developing the characteristics that are evident in Jesus as He taught His disciples for three years. He taught them that the Word of God is our foundation. It’s what we build our lives on and it’s what our children should build their lives on. God’s Word is the truth, and Jesus said in John 8:31, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


I want my want my children to be free; I don’t want them bound up by guilt. I don’t want them bound up by worry.And I don't want them to be messed up by resentment. I don’t want them to be pressured by the expectations of others. There’s only one way to help our children to be free. And that is to teach them the truth that will set them free. Teach them that, when we build our lives on God’s Word, then we will live a life of genuine freedom. A life built on God’s Truth is filled with happiness, joy, passion, and purpose. We will spare our children an awful lot of headaches and heartaches and heartbreaks if we teach them to rely on God’s Word as the sole authority for their lives.

Applications:
Parenting isn't easy, it takes lots of patience and discipline to a raise a loving and a God fearing child. However, I just want to remind all parents and those of us who not yet but hoping to be some day to know that frustration and anger shouldn't be our causes for discipline. Instead, we should act in love, treating our children as Jesus treats the people He loves. This is very vital to the development of a child and their knowledge of the who the Lord really is.

Reflections:
God expects you and I to be the primary teacher of His word and that means we have to know God’s word ourselves. Like many of us, you may need to catch up by getting into a Bible study. Then, teach your children to study the Bible for themselves.

Power verses:
Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.--Psalm 127:3-5

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."--Genesis 1:28

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.--Deuteronomy 11:19

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

I NEED TO SAY "YES" TO WHATEVER HE ASKS OF ME

Exodus 12: 35-36
The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

This story was a great comfort to me today as I pondered over the "Egyptians" in my life. I thought of the times when God asked me to trust Him and obey - even when what He was asking sounded crazy. I thought of how He knows the future and provides our needs ahead of time. I thought of how He can soften hearts as He did with the Egyptians and how I can trust every situation to Him. He sees the bigger picture, when all I see is what is right in front of me. I need to rely on Him when the future looks scary. I need to say "yes" to whatever He asks of me, instead of arguing based on my limited view. I can only have a bigger picture of my life when I see it through His eyes. That truth continues to bring me peace - even in the midst of this crazy, mixed-up world. I hope that it will bring you peace and hope today in whatever you may be facing in life.


Reflections:
You and I are encouraged today by our Father who knows the future. And His plans for us are good and full of hope.

Power verses:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.--Jeremiah 29:11

Exodus 23:20---See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.

"'So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,' declares the LORD. 'I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.--Jeremiah 30:10

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

"BUT" THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE

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

In our morally corrupt world, love has become a mixed-up term with very little meaning. Today alot of us are still very confused about love. Love is the greatest of human qualities, and it is an attribute of God Himself. 1 John 4:8, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." It involves unselfish service to others; it gives evidence that we care. Faith is the foundation and content of God's message; hope is the attribute and focus and love is the action.

When faith and hope are in line, we will be free to love completely because we understand how God Loved. The key phrase in today's scripture is, "but". Which means although the others are equally important and vital. However for us to freely and easily flow in our highest capacity and for the growth of our faith and hope in God is dependant mainly on "love". And not just any love, God's love (Agape) unconditional love.

The Greek word for love is agape. The word agape points to a completely self-sacrificing love, a love that lacks self-interest, self-gratification and self-preservation. Agape love is motivated primarily by the interest and welfare of others. This is the kind of love God has for you and I and as we are now in Him and He in us. We are now partakers of this rather extraordinary way of loving; thus helping in the growth of our faith and in keeping our hope flame burning to the glory of God!

Reflections:
What is stopping you from loving freely and wholeheartedly? You don't have to do this alone because the Bible assures us in John 14:26 that, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

Power verses:
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'-- Matthew 22:37-39

"And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."--Romans 5:5

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.---2 Corinthians 13:14

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.--Galatians 5:6

2011 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.