Tuesday, 16 October 2012

DYING ALITTLE MORE EVERYDAY

 Mark 8:35
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it."

A lot of us are very familiar with this scripture and can even quote it in our sleep. However, as I pondered over this word this morning it came alive in my heart in a completely different way. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ, He asks us to take up our cross and follow Him. This to my understanding means; us engaging in a daily process of giving up our rights, pride, selfishness and self-righteousness by giving and submitting it all to Him.

This to me is the painful work of death, however in that process like myself and most of you, we have come to find our true selves. The selves that we never knew was even there starts to emerge gradually and beautifully. And when we don't, our urgly selves also emerges for all to see as well. Not only that, but in that dying process we realise how God has carefully and thoughtfully designed us for excellence and unique beauty as we daily surrender and submit our lives to Him. Through that people around become drawn to us desiring to become and live out this kind of excellence and beauty in their own lives. That becomes our testimony and witness to the world.  This the Bible says is how we become victorious and overcomers over our addictions, pride, self-righteouness and whatever we have been holding on to in this life in Christ Jesus (Revelation 12:11, "And they were victorious by the blood of The Lamb and by the word of his testimony and they did not love their lives unto death").

Recently, the Lord has been constantly exposing a side and an attitude in me that I have not surrendered unto Him. And that is pride and self-centeredness. For years I have lived in denial and have managed to convinced myself of how humble and selfless I am. Because in our humanness, we love to hold on to the security of our comfort zones, routines and ways of doing things. But what I found in my walk with Jesus that, the closer I get to Him the more He demands of me to let go of all all my securities by dying a little more everyday by just learning to trust Him completely and wholeheartedly.

Today, I don't know what you are holding on to but I came to encourage you it's okay to let go by surrendering it all to Jesus by dying alittle everyday for His love to find complete expression in our lives  to the glory of His name. Not only that, but also displaying the excellence and beauty we are created for.


MEMORY VERSE
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." Revelation 12:11


All rights reserved 2012, By Enyonam Gbekle.

 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

WHAT IS YOUR REALITY?

 Psalm 1:2-3
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

Just yesterday I was having a chat with my best friend over the years and even though we have been living far apart for nearly ten years now and have made new friends; when she comes to London we always just continue and  just  catch up from where we left off. However, it just dawned on me yesterday after we have had a conversation catching up with who is doing what and just things in general. And of course me not married is always a topic for discussion because she is of the opinion that I am too fussy and too picky when it comes to men and I need to have an open mind because marriages aren't always as glossy on the inside as they are portrayed on the outside. It's about living with what you have and managing it the best you can to keep it going.

I thought that was very interesting because, that isn't my reality at all when it comes to marriage especially the kind of marriage I visualise myself in and know I will have because of who I know I am in Christ. I tried telling her that sorry but my reality isn't the masses reality, rather my reality is what Christ has promised me and certainly one beautiful, loving, fulfilling and a success in every sense of the word for as long as a perfect marriage is concern. Not only that I also came to the realisation that my best friend of over twenty years and more actually doesn't have a clue what my core interest are and  haven't really got a lot in common in terms of certain values that are close to our hearts. We are both very passionate, resilient, determined, ambitious and outgoing individuals but in certain core values in terms of a family life, we don't share the same values.

I know I have learnt and practised to get along with lots of people in the past because, my dearest late mother always said two captains cannot be in a boat and to keep certain friendships and relationships, one has to learn to be the fool and in my case I have always be the fool to bring peace. So really, a lot of my friends who have known me over the years for many many years actually think they know me but actually don't really know me that well in terms of the things I cherish and hold close to my heart deeply. You will ask why, because they haven't bothered to get to know me the real me; neither have they bothered to find out what my core values are. They have been just too busy focusing on what they see and perceive they know which really isn't the total sum of who I am in the real sense

It suddenly dawned on me that, there are things we think we know and believe it is true and hold dearly in our heart and value. But as we go through life especially when we have learnt to surrender our life totally and completely to Christ, we come to know other things that are also true and then it is up to us to make a choice which is the real truth and the only truth to follow and live out life accordingly to. I must say, through the interactions with few of my very old friends who have known me for many years, I have come to appreciate the truth I know and live by now through the grace of Jesus Christ. Today's main scripture for me sums it all up; "A man who delights in law of the Lord and meditates on it day and night shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruits in it's season and it's leaf shall not wither and not only that; friends, whatsoever he or she does shall prosper."
 
The very last sentence says it all, whatsoever he or she does shall prosper.! Which implies that whatsoever, I do shall prosper, my marriage, family life, career, business, social life, relationships and my ministry. Whatsoever, not some things but whatsoever, I do shall prosper. I don't care if there are a thousand and I Christian marriages failing, or Christians who aren't succeeding in their businesses, family lives, social lives, relationships or ministry? the last time I checked, the Bible says, the just shall live by his or her faith not by his or her Pastor's faith, a Bishops faith, best friends faith or the reality of others, not anyone but mine and mine alone. The Bible also went on to say the Lord knows the way of the righteous and it also says for as long as I Enyonam Gbekle abide in Him the true Vine Jesus, I shall bear good fruits even when others aren't and are dying off from the economic crisis and all the junk the world and it's society try to make people believe in limiting their vision of what is real and attainable.

Lets not allow the opinion's of others to distort our reality of who we are in Christ and lets not stagger at our faith when our friends don't seem to see what we see. Instead let us hold on fast to our faith and unto the word  of God concerning our lives. And everything He has promised us shall surely come to pass in due time for all to the see the manifestation and the glory of God in and out of our lives - in our marriages, career, businesses, families, ministry and relationships. I just want o encourage you today to live by the word of God by seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness and everything else will be added no matter what it is, all you need to do is to desire it and the Lord will make it available to you. Just believe!

2012 by Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS OF ACCEPTING JESUS?

Matthew 10:37a
He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:

Today mark 20 years since my dearest mother Catherine Ablayo Gbekle passed away leaving behind at the time of her death, five daughters and seven grand children. On this very day my life literally came to a standstill and everything I thought I knew as a 21 year old girl then all came crushing before my very eyes. My mother had been ill for 8 years from stroke - paralysed on the right hand side of her body and before she passed away on that faithful morning of 4th July 1992, she had been in a coma for two months, bedridden, eating through tubes and was completely in darkness not knowing when it was day neither did she know when it was night.

I was shattered and at this point had lost all hope, total trust and faith in God. How could He (God ) do this to His own devoted and committed disciple? Was my question. My mother was a true Christian in the real sense. She was a woman of the  fruit of the spirit -  love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith! She lived a true a Christian life daily in how she related to people and how she did things. My older siblings used to be so crossed with her over her extreme tolerance and compassion towards people especially those who constantly hurt and abuse her trust and hospitality. She taught us to be forgiving, loving and show compassion regardless whether we are in the right or not. Not only that, to be generous and caring especially towards strangers because if we are only generous to people we know, we haven't done anything out of the ordinary.

I could go on and on but something last week got my attention as I was reading the Book of Matthew. The very words of Jesus in chapter 10:37a, "He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:..." As l read this verse, I couldn't help it but felt the sadness it pieced that pieced my heart-- something hit my spirit as if that was the first time I was reading that verse. lt felt like a sharp knife cutting through my heart. Then it dawned on me how very ignorant I have been and how very badly I failed the test of faith and my love for Jesus at the time. As a very young girl, I loved the Lord with all my heart and as a result in my first few weeks in High School in October 1983; I accepted Jesus as my Lord and personal Saviour when I was invited to a Scripture Union meeting in my then new school as a freshman who has only been there for a few weeks. I was at the time full of enthusiasm, zeal and passion for the Lord.

However, what I didn't know at the time was how very ignorant I was of the word of God. And because I was a day student, and had to be home at a certain time after school none of the seniors who in the Scripture Union were able to help me develop my faith through the word of God properly. Now I was on fire so excited knowing that finally my faith will heal my dearest mother and it didn't matter whether her faith was weak or not. I was so confident my mother will be back to normal and everything will go back to how they were. At this point I didn't realise how much I loved my mother and how much l put her before God. I prayed for my mother, took her to healing crusades believing and trusting God for a supernatural touch.

Then not long after l joined a church called Global Revival Ministries after attending one of their crusades and seeing all the miracles that had taken place. I said in my heart this is my church but in all this I still didn't realise my coming to Christ was purely for selfish gains and not because I am a sinner who needed a Saviour to redeem, cleanse and forgive me of my sins so I can have eternal life through the finished work on the Cross through Christ Jesus. I took my mother to every prayer meeting, the ones that took place in the Achimota forest, in the church, healing crusades and every miracle hour service that took place in my church and around where we lived.

Now, as time went on, I saw no physical change in my mother's condition and that upset me so much. I first blamed it all on my mother for having weak faith and then on God for not honouring His promise as the one who heals all of our diseases. I said to God,  didn't you say if only I believed I can ask this mountain to be removed and it will and not only that I can cast out demons and heal the sick in your name? So what is happening? Why can't I heal my mother? I became very bitter, resentful, angry and unforgiving that I decided not to go to church again neither did l want to have anything to do with God. I was distraught and lost all hope in what I had believed in throughout my whole childhood into my young adult years. Then when she passed away years later in 19992, my entire world crushed right in front of me and I didn't recover until June 4th 2009 when my business went to liquidation after loosing everything I had worked so hard for.

I said an inner court prayer like Hannah's. I cried out unto the Lord and asked Him to kill me because I just couldn't bear life anymore neither did I want to live any longer since He God hated me so much to torment my soul and life by taking away everything that meant something to me. Then, I said what do you want from me Lord? Then I had a change of heart and said, please Lord don't kill me because I don't want to die now. But please preserve my life and I will do anything and everything you want I don't care what it cost me for as long as you preserve my life and free me of all this pain, anguish, bitterness and unforgiveness. The truth is, He did and gradually over the months I found my church where He God had called me to serve (my place of covenant). Since then He is been working on and within me shedding off all the junk that have accumulated in me over the many years.

He knowing very well, that 20 years since my mother died was this week had to open my eyes to this word in Matthew 10:37 once again but this time with the revelation and knowledge in understanding what and how l missed out on receiving from Him because I wasn't worthy to be called His disciple. Jesus said in Luke 9:6, "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." And the bible goes on to say in Matthew 10:38-39, "Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it" I literally lost my life when I ignorantly thought I had found it through all that the world had to offer me.  I became so much in love world and everything it had to offer. I was totally consumed by it, you didn't need to be told; you just had to see me to know who was in control of my life - the lust of this world. l got any man l wanted, wore the latest brand name clothing of my choice: not having any respect for anyone and especially for money because l was hard working, so knew how to earn so what was it that anyone could offer me? wow! 

Dear friends, what I want to share with you today is; Jesus gives us choices and numerous opportunities to come to Him but sometimes through our own selfishness we miss out on that call by not heeding to it with all sensitivity and alertness in the Spirit. I have come to understand the scripture in Matthew 6:25-34 and it has opened my eyes to what is important and what is not. I spent my life worrying about how my mother was going to be healed when I should have been seeking  first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things ( the healing, deliverance, marriage, joy, peace, understanding, wisdom, knowledge) and every other thing or things I desired would have been added and given unto me without a struggle. Very expensive lesson learnt though!!

No wonder Jesus says, for lack of knowledge His people perish. That was certainly me for a very long time until I let go of self and let He Jesus be the Lord of my life completely and totally in every single area of my life. I want to use today to thank the Lord for finding me worthy enough to give me a second chance and to open my eyes to His truth especially in this season of my life. I am in constant awe of you Lord and words cannot express my heart of  gratitude towards you for delivering me from the pits of sin and ignorance. I now know that even though at the time it wasn't very pleasant to lose my mother at such an early age, I believe you made her live for 8 years after her stroke to give me enough time to come to know you personally as Lord and Saviour. Now I do and I am forever grateful to you and I promise to serve you for all the remaining days of my life on this earth. I am happy to carry my cross daily, to follow you and to lose my life for your sake for it is only then will I find it.

My Dearest Mother Catherine, I know you are in the bosom of your loving Father and I believe you are happy to know now that I have come to know the truth and indeed it has set me free from all bitterness, anger and unforgiveness. I know some day we shall meet again in Heaven where there will no more tears but just pure joy and peace in the Lord Almighty. Love you mommy but Jesus loved you more and I love the Him.Amen!!! 

ln memory of my late mother Catherine Ablayo Gbekle who passed away twenty years today. To God be the glory!

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 11 June 2012

A GAME OF MAKE-BELIEVE

Colossians 1:10"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,.."

As Christians, we are either growing in the Lord or going backward. That doesn't  leave much room in between. It is like true love: it either grows or die. Love simply can't standstill, and neither cab our walk with Christ. No wonder the Bible makes growth such a critical issue. Again and again the writers of the New Testament implore us believers to keep moving higher, wider, deeper, and stronger. Listen to a few of them.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.-- Ephesians 1:17

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

This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God's wonderful grace.--Colossians 1:6

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity..--Hebrews 6:1a

Can you sense the urgency???? It goes on and on and on really there is just no room  for passivity in our Christian faith and walk. This clearly teaches us that, life in Christ is one very long string of action of verbs: grow, praise, love, learn, stretch, reach, put off, put on, run, produce, stand and fight. A healthy life will always show itself by progress and increase. Anything else begins to look like death. So now how can you and I tell if we are growing? Lets ask ourselves a few simple direct questions.

Is my sense of sin becoming deeper?
Is my hope brighter?
Is my love more extensive?
Do I love the Lord Jesus more?

If you can say a hearty yes to these questions, then you are on the growing side. If not, then you are doing worse than standing still.............you are moving backward. So wake up!!! There are grave things at stake here. Look, if your foot had gangrene, you would submit to a severe operation, possibly even amputation to save your life. In this case it is our spiritual life at stake. If we in any way think we are standstill Christians, we are just playing a game of make-believe.

Memory Verse
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.--Deuteronomy 30:19

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 8 June 2012

YOU SHALL BE FILLED

Psalm 34:10
"The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good 
  thing."

Are you bored? Restless? Do you refuse to be entertained? Are you gathering more spiritual things around you and enjoying them less? It may be that you are hungry and the cravings of you new nature is giving you hunger pains. I tell you this, you will not be satisfied until you have real solid food ( the word of God). Like Jesus said in John 6:35, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry." 

Are you like me, desperate to quiet and satisfied your cravings? A man or woman animated by the Spirit just has to be fed and the cravings of our new nature forces us to go back to basics. And that only begins with a passion and a pursuit for God. And once your passion for God is awakened, you will filled and will not thirst neither will yo hunger ever again.

MEMORY VERSE
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteouness: for they shall be fill.---Mathew 5:6

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

EAGERLY WAITING IN ANTICIPATION

Romans 8:19-12 (Phillips Version)
"In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!"

We are told in today's scripture that even the creation is groaning and longing for the day when God will release it from it's bondage and usher it in the new era with Christ as King. wow!!! Can you hear the sighing in the wind? Can you feel the heavy silence in the mountains? Can you sense the restless longing in the sea? In all honesty, if creation is earnestly waiting in expectation for the coming of Christ, how much more we Believers-- the sons and daughters of God? Should we have nothing less? If the whole inanimate and brute creation is eagerly looking forward to the appearing of Jesus, then my dear brothers and sisters in Christ ; this same kind of hope should be much more evident in you and I. 

How is your hope today? Do you find yourself longing and looking forward to the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ? I don't think we should wait in some sort of dull ho-hum attitude. We must rejoice in our hope. It is the joy that makes us wait eagerly in anticipation. Now anticipation means stretching or necks, yearning fervently hoping........If that is the attitude nature has about the coming of the great day, then surely you and I can learn a thing or two from  the creation around us.

Today, when you see a ray of sunlight suddenly piercing through a heavy dark afternoon sky, just think about what the Bible says in Romans 8:19,  "For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed." If nature waits in earnest anticipation for the coming of Jesus, then you and I shouldn't be caught flat-footed. As Believers, we need to constantly remind ourselves of the reality of Heaven and the coming of Christ!

MEMORY VERSE
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."--Romans 8:18

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

WHAT A VIEW?

Revelations 21:1-5a
"Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”"

Do you find yourself all caught up in the here and now? Do you sometimes feel like a slave to time? Are you sick and tired of struggling with sin or apathy or the anxieties and sorrows that weigh down your heart? God may be using those very things to turn your thoughts towards your future home and Jesus who awaits your arrival.

Join me this morning as we meditate on today's scripture. As we visualise and enjoy the glorious view of our final home(Heaven).

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

EVERY MEMONT COUNTS

 Galatians 5:25
"Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives."

In today's society, we are pushed foward so quickly that we tend to forget it's the moment that counts. We book our calenders months and months ahead and when obstacles loom in our carefully planned out agenda, we think of them as barriers or the hand of the enemy at work against us. That is why Galatians 5:25 for me is a great reminder of what really matters and how we should  be living our lives as disciples of Jesus. We can't expect to live by the Spirit if we seek to move through life mile by mile rather than step by step.The truth is, our walk in the Spirit is to be just that. A walk, not a sprint!

In my own personal experience, whenever I have gotten ahead of myself, I always end up disregarding the present. The people around me and the many opportunities immediately at hand. I also end up ignoring and missing the specifics, like an instant obedience. When I am preoccupied with my future agendas, I end up not having the energy to engage in the daily moment by moment struggle with sinful and selfish habits that dog my feet.

The good news is, if we keep in step with the Spirit, then He can pinpoint the areas in our lives that need changing. But when we get ahead of the Spirit trying to take life in leaps rather than steps, we will gloss over the daily obstacles and challenges. Our prayers become general, our bible reading becomes merely a 10 kilometre run that needs to get finished without meaning or revelation. Our obedience become more centred around outward actions rather than a daily cleansing. Jesus becomes a goal rather than a person to whom we  relate and communicate with moment by moment.

Today, lets thrive to slow down. Take time to meditate on the words from James 5:13-16, "Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil." Because really, our Christian faith is meant to be lived moment by moment. It is isn't some broad, general outline. It is a long walk with a real person (Jesus). With Him, details counts. Like passing thoughts, small sacrifices, a few encouraging words, little acts of kindness and brief victories over nagging sins. If you are going to walk with Me, the Spirit is saying; pay attention to the present.

If we can keep running ahead, we will find ourselves walking solo. And that is not only dangerous, it is also very very very lonely. As we  go about our daily routine today, lets remember Jesus is walking beside us every moment and His Spirit is living inside of us. That is a reality!!!

MEMORY VERSE
" I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,.."----Ephesians 3:16-17

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Friday, 25 May 2012

LOVE NEVER FAILS

1 Corinthians 13:8a
"Love never fails."

Today for those of us who are looking for ways or the right words of comfort to say to alleviate the pain or hurt of a friend, colleague, husband, wife, a sister, brother, fiancee a neighbour. Don't  look any further, because the Bible says "Love never fails". And the good news is; each and every one of us have the capacity to give love to heal a hurting, bruised and broken soul. We don't need to know or have all the answers, we don't need to know all the  specialised scriptures or a thousand reasons why God allows suffering. All we we have to know is "Love" will never fail us; and that should be our sure gift to give.

The scripture we might need at first is 1 Corinthians 13 and we don't have to understand whether the person in pain want to be cheered up or consoled either. We don't have to rationalise, wondering what possible good could our presence do. We don't don't have to keep playing guessing games whether or not they want to talk about their pain or not. Instead of getting ourselves all tangled up in all these confusions, lets remember the only precious gift we can give to a hurting and bruised soul is "Love". And you are capable of giving that precious gift because you are born of Love (God).

FURTHER READING
1 Corinthians 13

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

SALT AND LIGHT OF THE WORLD

1 Peter 2:11-12
"Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us."

As Christians living out the Kingdom of God down here on earth, we are to be pilgrims on this planet. That means we must not mistake this world for home. However, the Bible doesn't encourage us to be by standers like tourists taking pictures from a distance and being uninvolved. Or casually observing all the goings on around us at a polite distance. The Bible clearly states in Matthew 5 13-14,  “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." This clearly implies, God wants us to get seriously involved, to rub shoulders with our brothers and sisters around us even though we are only here for a season.


Dear beloved,  lets wake up and make ourselves accountable because honestly, we've got a lot of work to do and only have a very short time to do it. Today, I want you and I to ask ourselves these honest questions. Do we consider ourselves pilgrims when it comes to living out our lives for Christ? Or are we more like a tourist staying arm's length from any kind of involvement in our local churches, neighbourhood and communities? I see too many of us Christians living as tourists crowding our way through life with no care for what we have been called for. But the good news is, God is reminding us today that, He doesn't want any more spectators. Rather He is telling us He needs pilgrims, sober-minded and serious who will make their impact for Him on our way through this life and into the next. Lets, put away all our cameras of excuses and be the salt and the light we have been called to be.


MEMORY VERSE:
 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house."

2012 by Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

YOU'RE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR REACTIONS

 Acts 16:22-24
"The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks." 

Let us just consider for a minute the incident in Philippi, desccribed in Acts 16. The magistrates handcuffed Paul and Silas to a scourging pole and ordered them to be severely beaten with rods. As if that wasn't enough, the Philippian authorities then took the bruised and lacerate missionaries and placed them in a stinky and a wet dungeon in the inner city jail. At this stage, I can only imagine how weak and faint they must be. With every bone aching and their fresh wounds oozing with blood and almost infected. Yet as we recall in the story, they did something incredible and amazing. At midnight, in the darkest and loneliest hour; they began  praying and singing praises to God. Listen to this, they weren't just humming along lightly or mumbling their prayers in between moans and groans. No! The bible says that in spite of the thick walls and the heavy doors, the other prisoners could hear them (Acts 16:25). 


From this account it clearly shows that their words won the battle against Satan in the mid-hour. The Psalmist  also says in Psalm 106:47, "Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us. That we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise " (emphasis added). When we are accused, mistreated, betrayed, it is easy for us to whine, grumble, fret, murmur, complain or lament. However we are told by doing so we would be inviting defeat unto ourselves even though we are the victims here. Rather, we are told from the account of Paul and Silas's experience that they didn't succumb to defeat with thoughtless, ill-tempered words - instead they triumphed in victory with their praise. Wow, what a testimony and an encouragement to you and I as Believers. 

This got me thinking about my spoken words. Do we actually fully understand their power? Can any of us really grasp the mighty force behind the things we say especially in or time of distress? I realised, I have to stop and think before I speak and consider the potency of the phrases I utter. No wonder the book of James took time to explain to us the power and the danger of the tongue. How can we bless at one moment and curse at another? Today if you and I are looking for victories over our circumstances,we need to praise. No matter how much any one offences us at work, how often we feel stepped on by others, either in church or in a family gathering; victory in Christ is possible when we hold our spiteful tongue and win it with words that bless our Lord.

 MEMORY VERSE
 "For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!"-- 2 Corinthians 4:17

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Monday, 21 May 2012

OUR SECRET WEAPON

 2 Chronicles 20:2-4
"Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria; and, behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord: even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord."

By the time King Jehoshaphat got this bad news, there was very little he could do about it. And at this time the, great force of multitude was less than thirty miles away from Jerusalem's gate. This means it was very close and there wasn't enough time for strategies or a plan of action. All the same the King decided to take stock of what he had on hand. And frankly, it wasn't much! He had no chariots, no defence, no allies, no time and no army worth riding home about. You can imagine at this point how stressed and under pressure the King was not knowing what the next move was going to be. However, whether he knew it or not, He had a secret weapon - Prayer and Praise!!!


So he went down on his knees before the whole nation and poured out his heart before God. He didn't bluff, he didn't rattle his saber neither did he make any patriotic speech. He just prayed an honest prayer - as though his life depended on it and mind you it did. Then right after that, he consulted his elders and the people and decided the choir should lead the march, clothed in sanctified garments singing "His loving kindness is forever" praising and thanking God for His continuous faithfulness whilst they walked and marched along. Wow, talk about out of the ordinary weapon of warfare. I am sure you are probably thinking what a looser! Who ever heard of putting a choir out in front of an army. With harps and lyres leading an infantry instead of  tanks and artillery. This got me thinking too. How could this work? And yet it did!


The Bible says, the moment they began to praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir to begin fighting among themselves and destroyed each other one at a time. Hallelujah!! For me the story of King Jehoshaphat isn't just a historical event. Actually, it has meaning for you and I as Believers in this very day. Like the King, as Believers we are surrounded by multitudes of enemies. Well trained and well equipped. The armies of Satan are experts at battling our faith as Believers when we need it the most. And the enemy knows that none of us by our own strength can withstand his fiery darts so he comes unexpected when we are low in our faith towards God to attack us. But what he doesn't know is, we have a secret weapon - "Praises." The demons hate it. Human opponents are irritated by it. 


That is why you and I need to learn to Praise God in such a way that our enemy will be thrown into a complete rout. When we step into our spiritual warfare which by the way happens every day, we won't be frightened by the adversities or the schemes of the enemy; because we know we have the resources in Christ Jesus to totally confuse and destroy our foes - Hallelujah!! For some of us this might be a very difficult lesson for us to learn. Because usually when things in our lives goes haywire, the first thought is to do something and anything to rectify the problem. And for some of us fighting back with revenge, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, legal systems seems like such a logical fronline defence. However from reading 2 Chronicles 20 we are told our first reaction to any attack of the enemy should be prayer then followed by our "Praises" unto the Lord.

Apostle Paul put it in a nutshell for us in 2Corithians 10:3-4, "For the though we live in this world, we do not wage war as the world deos. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of this world."  Please remember today that when all those legions line up against you, they will turn on themselves one after the other when they hear you lifting the name of the Most High God higher in your praises offered unto Him. As Believers, we have power over our enemies. So right now, where ever you are whatever you are doing, lift up the name of the Lord your with a shout of praise with every ounce of breath in you.  




MEMORY VERESE:
"Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding." ---Psalm 47:6-7


By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

JESUS STOPPED

 Mark 10:47, 49a, 51a
 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

I don't know about you but there has been many times in my life when I have felt like Bartimaeus, the blind beggar at the gate of Jericho. When I have aimlessly wandered off the path God has put me on and predestined for my life.When I have sinned, maybe deliberately and perhaps thoughtlessly or been disobedient to God's word. And I feel so far from Him, I picture myself lost in the crowd and in the mess of my disobedience like this blind beggar, pushed around; groping in the dark. And desperately wanting to find my way back to the right path but sometimes I feel too ashamed and discouraged to even approach God.


When things get that way, even though I don't shout; I feel like whispering those exact words of the blind beggar, " Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" And some how the hustle and bustle of the crowd stops and the Lord hears my cry for help and not only does He just hear, but He actually stops everything He is doing to just attend to my need. Just because I asked for mercy..............how humbling and what an honour?


Right now if you sense a deep spiritual need or a weight of guilt or regret crushing your shoulders; just remember that Jesus of Nazareth is passing by and all you have to do is to call out for mercy. In that moment precious child of Jehovah, He will stop whatever He is doing to attend to your need no matter what it is. The Bible says in Jeremiah 33:3a, "Call to me and I will answer you...."


MEMORY VERSE:
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."--Hebrews 4:16


2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

THE LORD OUR ROCK


 Psalm 61:2-3
"From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than l. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy."

Life can sometimes be very harsh and almost unbearable, however, as precious children of the Most High God, I just wanted to remind and encourage us all today that whatever it is that might be threathening to distort our view of the reality of God's promises, provision and purpose for our lives; lets take a deep breath and remember that God is our rock that is higher than any deadlines, frustrations, lost hope, poor health, career issues, families, work or any situation that may seem unbearable in this season of our lives. Why? Because He is the God of all flesh and nothing is too difficult for Him. And He is the Rock of ages!

Now the dosage for experiencing and living in this reality is; to spend quality time with God in the high places of His faithfulness and love by doing that we will gain a better and a wider understanding of His purpose for our lives. From my personal experience, life viewed from the Lord's heights can clear our minds, help us sort out our priorities and will always allow us to see how our seconds, minutes, days, months and years can be manageble after all.

In saying that maybe like me, you have faced demands  from your family, frustrations with work, your church or ministry commitments and expectations from your friends. You feel like your heart is growing fainter with each added pressure and you may not be able to take time off to clear your mind and thoughts. Don't look any further dear friend, investing solid and concentrated time with the Lord, He will give you a whole new perspective. And from the depth of His love, you will see things as they really ought to be through His eyes for our lives.

Memory Verse: 
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

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

THE GREATNESS OF PRAYER

 \Psalm 42:8
 "But each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life."

Frankly, the only way we can develop a real appreciation for prayer is to take a small step of faith and simply pray even when we don't feel like it. I know it's easier said than done but as a disciple of Jesus prayer isn't an option at all. What I have come to learn and understand about prayer is, it is an art which only the Holy spirit can teach. Like any other disciplines, prayer can only be appreciated when we actually quality time in it. Spending time in prayer with our Heavenly Father will elevate our thinking, strengthen our spiritual passion and will also help us grow closer to Him in love and knowledge of who He is.

From my own experience, I realised the more time I spend with God in prayer, the more He reveals Himself to me and closer I grow in my walk with Him. This is experience has not only helped me to appreciate prayer but has also helped me to understand the need and the importance of prayer. It also helps us to identify with others who fight long battles and find great joy on their knees. And will us appreciate not only the greatness of prayer but the greatness and awesomeness of our God. How amazing is that?
 

VERSE TO MEMORISE:
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;--Luke 18:1

REFLECTIONS:
If you are new to the subject of prayer, start with a few minutes. Then turn to one of the psalms of praise and read God's words back to Him as a prayer. You can also pour out whatever is in your heart to Him as you would to a trusted friend.  Think back of all His blessings in your life this very moment, the day before and recount every moment in gratitude to Him. Tell Him what you love about Him. Think of some areas in your life you would like His help in changing. Take a deep breath and confess those things to Him, asking for the Holy Spirit's assistance in those areas.

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved

Monday, 14 May 2012

MAKE THE WORD YOU HOME

 Colossians 3:16a
"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,...." 


I believe this scripture is reminding us of the importance of allowing God's word in our hearts and not only that but also learning to live in it's light. This means we need to know it as much as we know our individual homes really. By so doing, we will know where to place and find every promise, instruction, word of wisdom, comfort and encouragement on it's pages. I don't know about you but I want God's word to dwell in me richly so it can a place I find refreshment, relaxation and peace of mind by making myself familiar with it's commands as I learn to relax in it's promises.

Like my Pastor, he knows the Bible like the back of his hands. He knows where each individual verse is on it's pages and he can quote you any scripture and narrate it's stories with such enthusiasm and passion. With him when it comes to God's word, he is at home where he his hearts longs to be!

As I pondered over today's scripture, it go me thinking..... How many of us actually consider God's word a dwelling place? Does it truly live in our hearts? Or is the word of God just something we visit now and again for occasional refreshment when our backs are against the odds of this uncertainty world?

Dear Beloved, God desires to have an intimate fellowship with us and very much wants His word to become a home to us. A strong refuge, a warm and restful sanctuary from all the hassles, bruises, anxiety, stress and uncertainties of our daily lives. So this morning I want to encourage all of us to let His word live within us with all it's richness, promises, teachings and direction for our lives. Let us make it our own special retreat away from this cynical, pressure-filled world we live in today and in turn it will make us rich in His wisdom. And remember wherever life takes us, wherever our roads leads us, home can be as close as our heart.

VERSE TO MEMORISE:
"Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You."--Psalm 119:11



2012 by Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

OVERFLOW

John 7:38
 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water."


Today I want to encourage you all to join me in emptying ourselves of all selfish desires, letting go of our own rights, clearing out the debris of habitual sins by humbling ourselves before the Lord for us to be filled with an overflow of God's Spirit. As our lives brim over form this ever fresh wellspring within us, there will be plenty of refreshment and nourishment for the thirsty souls of those around us.

When we are overflowing with the Holy Spirit's life, we will see the evidence in or thoughts, words and actions. Because they will all reflect the holiness of God. And a life that reflects God's purity can't help but have an impact on others around us.

Reflections:
What evidence do you see of the Spirit's upwelling inside you?
How can you clear sinful obstructions from the flow making way for His abundant life?

Scripture for meditation:
"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 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. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."--Ezekiel 36:25-27

All rights reserved by Enyonam Gbekle 2012

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

IGNORANCE IS NOT AN EXCUSE

Romans 1:21-22
"Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused."


This Scripture reminds me of who I was the majority part of  Christian life until my eyes were finally opened in the last 2 years 3months and 13 days. Not knowing our identity of who we are in Christ is a great tragedy as children of God. As a young child, I loved God very much with so much passion and zeal for anything and everything to do with God. However, unfortunately  like the Bible politely puts it, "Zeal without knowledge is foolish" and likewise I believe  knowledge without zeal is a pit from which it is nearly impossible to escape from. I know because I have been there and I can tell you now not a very pleasant place to be either. I honestly thought with all my heart I knew God and who He was but I didn't and through my ignorance and foolishness paid a very costly and huge price for it with my life. And not only that, I also dragged my family and friends into it as well. Remember, when our lives are a mess it doesn't only affect us but also all the people who love and care about us. Not fair is it?

Denying God’s existence is not going to change the fact that He is there or thinking what you believe or know God to be isn't going to change who He is either. Ignorance is not an excuse – it is just ignorance! In the last  2 years 3 months and 13 days, my knowledge of who God is and  my identity in Him as His precious child has completely brought a fresh and a new meaning to my Christian life. And I can assure you friends that God makes it a point to make Himself known to us if only we will desire and avail ourselves to knowing Him by exposing ourselves to His written word through our bible reading and studying daily and consistently. He says in John 15:5, " I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

With this in mind friends, I want to encourage each one of us to make a conscious decision and effort daily to invest in our spiritual well-being through learning and building an intimate relationship with Him daily by spending quality time with Him through studying His word and communicating with Him through prayer.  We must make every effort to stay connected and remain in Him through every means possible. With His word lighting our path, we are armed with truth, so we can make informed decisions that will help us grow, not lead us into deception.


VERSE FOR MEDITATING
 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.--Psalm 119:105

All rights reserved by Enyonam Gbekle 2012