Monday, 11 February 2013

DON'T GIVE UP

Isaiah 40:29-31
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in The Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings, they will walk and not be faint."

It's okay for us to feel a little tired of trying, a little weary of praying prayers that seem to get unanswered and the pages of the Bible looking like it is written in Arabic; don't give up because God hasn't given up on you. To the contrary He is been listening  to all of our prayers and as a matter of fact, it's often the prayers we offer in the lowest point in our walk with Him that pleases Him the most.

Our heavy heart is no secret to the God who loves you and l. David wrote in Psalm 38:9, "All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you." God is asking you and l today to hope and trust once again in Him even though we haven't seen any amazing results in recent months and weeks, even though our emotions say, " what's the use?"  and giving up seems more appealing than seeking Him right now.

Nevertheless, I want to encourage you and myself to obey the word of the Lord and hope once again in Him, keeping in with His word, returning to prayer and intimacy with Him, confessing our sins, sharing fellowship with God's children and sooner than later He will surprise us with a renewal of strength and cause us to soar on wings and not to faint. He will cause us to experience His joy more than we can handle. Lets remain faithful by trusting in Him as wait on Him to fill up every emptiness in our heart once again.

God hasn't given up on us, so lets not give up on Him either. Lets continue to seek Him in prayer and in His word today for a fresh perspective.

By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved 2013


Friday, 8 February 2013

LIVING IN THE PRESENT

Ephesians 3:16-17
"I pray that out of His glorious riches He ( Jesus) may strengthen you with His power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." ( with emphasis added)

I am someone who likes to plan out my life and can be rather calculated in my thinking and what l do. In short l like to live life being in control of what happens next. But the older I grow, I realised life isn't all about great plans and being in total control. Many times our detailed outlined plans and goals get interrupted by unforeseen circumstances many a times beyond our control. Why? Because we don't  have the privilege of seeing or knowing what's ahead of time. Only God does. We can dream, set goals and hope for a better future but we cannot be in control of how these plans and great goals turns out in reality.

In our society, we are pushed forward in so many ways and so much is expected of us that we forget its the present that counts. The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:25, "Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." I must admit that this scripture completely and totally changed my thinking especially for someone like me who like to live life far ahead in the future. Not only that it has also save me so much heart arch, disappointments and pain. I say this because, when  unforeseen obstacles loom in the path of my carefully planned course, we start stressing and thinking of them as barriers to our goals and distractions in our carefully planned out life.

Now the question l ask is, how can we expect to live by the Spirit if we seek to move through life
mile by mile rather than step by step? Our walk in the Spirit is to be just that; a walk not a sprint. I
know that every time l have gotten ahead of myself, I have ended up disregarding the present and the
people around me right here and now and the opportunities immediately at hand. When l get ahead of myself, l make dreadful mistakes of ignoring the specifics like sin and instant obedience. Being pre-occupied with future agendas drains us of the energy to engage in the daily, present struggle with the sin and selfish habits that dog our feet.

What l have come to appreciate and learn recently is that, keeping in step with the Spirit; Jesus can pinpoint the areas in our lives that need change. So we don't get ahead of  Jesus trying to take life in leaps rather than steps glossing over the daily obstacles and challenges we face. Then our prayers won't become so general, our Bible reading won't just become a mere 10k run that we need to finish. Our obedience won't be centred around a lot of outward actions, rather it will be more of a daily cleansing of our heart, soul and mind.

The good news is that Jesus becomes our "Goal", Heaven gets  placed on a meal table marked "Today".  l just want to encourage you  with what l am encouraging myself with; "Slow down".
Take some time to meditate on a few words from Apostle James and Jesus Christ.

James 4:13-16
"Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this it 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 is it the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.

Matthew 6:33-34
"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as we'll. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough
trouble of its own."

Lets remember today that our Christian faith is meant to be lived in the present. It isn't a general
broad outline; it is a long walk with a real person Jesus. Details counts a lot, like passing thoughts, small sacrifices. few encouraging words, little acts of kindness and victories over nagging sins. What the Spirit of God is saying to you and l today is, if we are going to walk with Him, then we should pay attention to the present.

By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved 2013.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

TIME TO RETREAT

Psalm 61:2-3
From the ends of the earth l call to you, l call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than l. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.

God is indeed the rock that is higher than you and l. Recently l seem to have lost my joy and the peace l have so loved and enjoyed in the Lord to pressures from commitments, tiredness from lack of sleep and rest. On my birthday this past Monday l was on my way to my church office in a rather not very good state and l met one of the young women in my church called Rose just a few yards away from the office. As she started talking to me l just broke down and all l felt was just uncontrollable pain and heart arch of sorrow, confusion and sadness. She said to me, you need to retrieve for awhile from everything  to renew your strength. That was my best birthday present to date. I just wondered why l never thought about that because knowing me l just keep going regardless even when my body clearly tells me l should take a break I don't. Something l got from my dear late mother even though l am very aware that was what caused her stroke for eight years resulting in her death at the end. Lord, that will not be my portion in Jesus Name, Amen.

I went home and decided to spend some quality time with God which l must admit l have missed so much due to busyness and lack of time. I just rush through my morning devotions because my day starts at half three in the morning and usually if l am lucky l sleep for an hour or two. How can this be life? You see when we spend good quality time with God in the high places of His love and power, we in turn gain a better understanding of our lives and our service to Him. Life viewed from the heights of Jesus will always clear our minds and help us sort through our priorities to help us manage what we do and render unto Him a better service. 

I don't know about your story but maybe you are like me who have had a rather tiresome long months of demands from church work, frustrations at work and expectations from friends. You feel your heart is growing fainter with each added pressure. I urge you to take some time off and invest solid, concentrated time with the Lord for Him to give you a whole new outlook. From the bossom of His love you will see things so differently and as they really are. 

What is threatening to distort your view of reality? Pressures? Worries? Anxiety? Relational problems? Sin? I will say it is time for vision check with the Lord. Ask God for help like am doing to put it all out of your mind. Ask for His pardon, if necessary for any offenses you have committed against Him. Enjoy His forgiveness. Swim in His peace and joy once again. Then ease back into your daily routine, walking a little higher above it all. 

By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved 2013

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

WHAT ARE YOU?

"Dear friends, l urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which 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." 1 Peter 2:11-12

As Disciples of Christ living out the Kingdom of God here on this earth, the Bible clearly tells us not to mistaken this world for home as we are only aliens and strangers passing through. But in the same way, the scripture doesn't say we should be onlookers and spectators just causally observing from afar. You see the Bible says in Matthew 5:13-14, "You are the salt of the earth,". You are the light of the world".  This tells me that, God wants us to get involved, busy with what happens here on earth even though we are only going to be here for a season. This means we have a lot of work to do here on earth but only a short time frame to do it.

Today l want to ask you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do you consider yourself a  pilgrim when it comes to living out for Christ? Or are you more of an onlooker or a spectator staying at arms length from any kind of involvement in your church and community? What l am trying to say is that, there are already too many spectators and onlookers crowding their way through this life and God doesn't want anymore onlookers. He needs disciples and sons who will make an impact for Him on their way through this life and the next.

Today, God is calling you and l to hold on tightly to His hand and with that firm grasp throw ourselves into loving ministry to others and His Kingdom work. He wants to intrude into the lives of hurting, needy people around us ; through our kind words and actions. More importantly, He wants to see us sharpen one another as we encourage each other closer towards a holy living. I encourage you to look around today to see the many and countless opportunities He has laid before you and l in reaching out to a precious soul in need.

By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved 2013.