I gotta please Him

Hello friends,

I have been enjoying reading Paul’s letters & came across a statement he made to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 10:1-6 “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness”.

When I read this verse, I was thrown aback significantly. If you’re anything like me, you will understand why. This is what this verse meant to me… Just because, there are so many wonderful things happening in my life & God is doing so many miraculous signs in me, doesn’t mean that God is actually pleased with me. He has, for whatever reason best known to Him, decided to favour me. In the case of the Israelites, it was because of His promise to Abraham. I had started to think in this way… “Wow, God you’re so good to me. All these blessings for me? I must be doing something right. Heaven is definitely my portion etc”. It did not dawn on me that God could be blessing for His own special reasons, and not because I actually please Him. The bible is saying here that regardless of all the blessings & miraculous signs (which could have fooled someone like me to believe that I am God’s favourite kid – like I’m sure some of the Israelites believed, God destroyed them because He was displeased with them!). I had sort of “swept under the carpet” the scripture in Galatians 6:7-8 that says “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature but those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit”. We must not think that because all is looking well, it is indeed well. Definitely a wake-up call. That was news for me today.

What am I trying to say… We need to be very careful that we are not fooled by the mercies of God in your life & take them as a confirmation of your position in God. We need to do as Paul advised in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test”. And as my mum used to quote in Philippians 2:12, “…work out your salvation with fear & trembling”

After this revelation, I decided to look up a few verses in the bible which gives us guidance on the things that please God. Here are a few. Please feel free to send me more verses as you discover them:

1. Faith: Hebrews 11:6 says “…without faith it is impossible to please God…”.

2. The desires of my heart have to be in line with the will of God: 1 Kings 3:10 “The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for this”. If you know this story very well, it had to do with the day God gave Solomon the option to ask for whatever he wanted, and promised to give it to Solomon. Solomon asked for wisdom. If you know the book of Proverbs very well, you will know how God emphasises the importance of wisdom. So, when we ask for or desire things that are according to the will of God, it pleases Him.

3. Holiness: 1 Thessalonians 4 is also a useful guide. Please read the whole of it if you can. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 it says “God wants you to be holy…” There are a number of verses in the bible which tells us how important holiness if to God.

4. Know Him: I do not have a verse for this but I guess it is self explanatory… You cannot seek to please someone that you do not know. What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. We need to know who God is personally & then we can understand what is pleasing to Him. This can be achieved via reading the scriptures, talking to God and worshipping Him from your spirit, listening to more messages, basically spending time with Him.

You may ask yourself, why would I want to go the extra mile to please God if I am happy with my life as is? Oh well, here are a few reasons I found in the bible:

1. Proverbs 16:7 “When the ways of people please the Lord, he makes even their enemies at peace with them”

2. 1 John 3:22 “And we will receive whatever we request because we obey Him and do the things that please Him”

3. There is another life after death. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 says “So our aim is to please Him (God) always, whether we are here in this body or away from this body. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done with our bodies”

Ponder on these things…

That’s all from me from now… Enjoy the rest of your week.

You don’t always have to make a point

Dear friends,

Hope you’ve all been doing well and had a good week so far. I was reading my bible and came across this story in the bible in Exodus 7-8. It speaks about the initial signs that God did through Moses at the time when He was to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt.

It came to me that every time God performed a sign/miraculous act through Moses, the magicians tried to “counter” his action or show that they can also do the same. After reading this over & over again, I noticed some element of foolishness in the behaviour of these magicians.

When Moses, turned his stick to a serpent, they all turned their sticks into serpents, increasing the number of snakes in the land; when he turned waters in the river to blood, they also started turning whatever water that was left in the land to blood, thereby increasing the quantity of bitter & bloody waters in the land and making their lives worse! When God used Moses to command a plague of frogs, these magicians also followed suit and commanded more frogs to infest the land, thereby increasing their frog problem. All of this to prove a point that they also have “power”. How unnecessary & destructive to themselves is that?

And this is what many of us do in our daily lives… I’m gonna share a couple of examples so you get what I’m trying to say. We do this:

1. When that new person comes into town with fresh ideas/skills and we also want to fight them off because we think we know too much or we’re to proud to agree that they are right or that they know better;

2. For the ladies, when that pretty lady shows up at a party, and we all want to show-off that we’re also beautiful, or even when we try to out-dress or out-shine one another;

3. When you always want to have an opinion about everything, even though you’re not properly educated about the matter;

4. When we try to compete to defeat other people who we can see are naturally gifted in certain areas

5. You can fill in the rest as it comes to you…

When we do these behave in this manner, we may actually be making our lives more miserable than better. My advice is that we should know which battles to fight & which matters to let go. Allow others to shine in their God-given talents. Pray that God will reveal to you what things you can excel in and the things for which you’re only there to “hold office” for until the person God has planned arrives. Also ask God to help you know the difference. That way it will be easy for you to cope or adjust when these situations arise. I do not believe its God’s will for us to compete with one another. We ought to complement one another. We reduce the quality of our lives & that of everyone around us when we don’t allow people to shine; when we try to bring them down instead of cheering them on and providing useful advice when needed. We won’t get to be blessed by them, we deny others the benefit of having them in our midst and worse still, we don’t get to find our rightful place in God’s perfect plan & also get the chance to shine. So you see, we could end up worse off in life if care is not taken.

There’s no need for duplicated efforts or “copy-cats” in God’s plan. We all have our part. Let’s focus on that. This is what Romans 12:4-5 says “Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”

I’ll encourage you to read the whole of Romans 12. It sheds more light on the message I’m trying to share.

That’s all from me for now.

Love ya!
Ufuoma.

His kind of fast – Part 1

Dear friends,

Hope you’re keeping well & excited in this festive season… I’ve missed you guys a lot. For those of you who don’t already know, I recently got married – hence my silence for a while. I thank God for His mercies on my life :).

Like I promised in the last Tender thoughts, I continued my meditation on Isaiah 58. I have attached the full scripture excerpt from which I’ll be sharing on today (verses 1-6). Verses 1 & 2 is included to give you some context although I’ll be focusing on verses 3 to 6 today.

If you are a regular church attender, and have attempted to fast at some point with the church, you would notice that the verses to follow are very common in the fasting prayer sessions. They are usually used as a motivation or encouragement on the benefits of fasting. While reading this scripture again I found that this scripture is more than a fasting buffer. Yes, it does talk about the rewards of fasting, but there’s more! And I wanna share…

Contrary to popular belief, God was not actually asking them to fast on that occasion. It seems like they were already in a period of fasting and He was tired of seeing what His people were calling “fast”. He got bored of their show of righteousness because none of it was moving Him to take action on their behalf. Like a movie director while watching a particular act, He said “CUT!!!” and decided to send them this message. He was actually rejecting their fast, and teaching them how to fast and reap the benefits thereof! In verse 5, He says “…Is this what you call fasting?”

He saw their efforts but He also knew that He wouldn’t act if things were not done properly & so decided to teach the children of Israel a beneficial lesson!

I found this pretty interesting and have gathered a few fasting lessons/tips that I’ve learnt & would like to share:

Lesson 1: No fighting and quarreling (verse 4). I think this speaks for itself. In Hebrews 12:14, it is written “Try to live at peace with everyone…” There’s no point fasting when you’re still carrying malice or bitterness towards others or when you’re still at loggerheads with your brother or sister. God says this is part of the reason He is not moved by your long-suffering fast!

Lesson 2: Treat those who work for you fairly & fight for those who are being treated or judged unfairly (free those who are wrongly imprisoned) when it comes to your attention (verse 3 & 6)
In response, you may say, but I am just a mere soul, nobody works for me… Really? Let me show you a lil bit…

At the office, we have secretaries, PAs, tea ladies, junior team members, IT support staff etc. In fact, anybody who is there to make it easier for you to do you job, is working for you. God is telling us to carefully identify these people & make an effort to treat them fairly. He’s also asking us to stand up for the dignity of others who struggle to speak up for themselves in the midst of affliction. You may know of a work mate or colleague or friend who keep getting trampled on at the office or get given tonnes of ridiculous tasks to complete. Pray that God will give you a voice for such people.

At home, we have cleaners, gardeners, security guards, handymen. We need to treat them fairly & with respect – whether they have offended you or not. The fact that you probably make more money than them doesn’t mean that you should order them around like soldiers or make a public show of it when you have to discipline them. Pray that God will give you the grace to always deal with them in love, in all things as Jesus requires.

In the community, we have the local government & federal government who pay the social workers in clinics, orphanages, HIV centers etc. They provide us with the basic amenities to live a decent life in our society. Where do you think they get that money from? Please pay your levies and taxes! Whether they spend it in your preferred proportion is not your business. You deal with that when you vote & when you pray. Jesus said in Matt 22:21 “Give to Ceasar what belongs to him”. They are various other scripture support this fact.

You can populate this list with other places you can think of where people work for you…

The bible also says we should lighten our workers’ burden. Don’t be the kind of person that creates a bigger mess or piles up nasty tasks because you have people who will clean up after you or complete them for you. Be fair. Remember the Golden Rule given by Jesus in Matthew 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you”.

Friends, this is where I end today’s thought. I’ll continue with the lessons in subsequent verses in the next Tender Thoughts. Till then, meditate on these things.

Feel free to visit our link and give comments at: http://tender-thoughts.com

Love you!
Ufuoma

Isaiah 58:
1 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel of their sins! 2 Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me. 3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers. 4 What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me. 5 You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the LORD? 6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.

Shout!

Good day everyone,

The other day, as I was retiring for the night, I finally got sick of the fact that I hadn’t studied my bible in a while, so I decided to open, the bible – anywhere and just read something. My hand (or God knows what) led me to Isaiah 58. I think that chapter is rich and my prayer is that God will allow me to share my thoughts with you as I continue in my meditation of the messages in this chapter. I’ll start from the beginning…

Isaiah 58:1 – “Shout! A full-throated shout! Hold nothing back-a trumpet-blast shout! Tell my people what’s wrong with their lives, face my family Jacob with their sins!”

I was a bit surprised by this verse because I am the kind of Christian that loves to “whisper” everything. In this chapter, God is telling Isaiah to shout! And not just shout, he’s asking him to shout out to the people what their sins are.

I have found that as Christians of today, we tend to be somewhat “negotiating” with sin or unsaved individuals or even our fellow Christians who are stepping away from their path in God. We’ll say things like “Oh well, you know God may not be happy with what you’re doing” or we can say things like “If your conscience is fine with it…” Or “it would be a good thing for God if you stopped doing…”. What we see in the above verse though is that God is asking us to be a bit more authoritative. He’s saying “SHOUT”. Don’t accommodate or tolerate. Scream it out of your lungs, when you see something is not right!

I know some of us, including myself, are thinking “But I have also found myself commit sin, every now & then, how can I shout at someone else’s sin?” and you could even support it with the bible verse of “Judge not, that ye not be judged”. I have come to find that neither of those arguments or anything else hold when it comes to this matter. If your mouth is stuck because you’re counting your own sins, start praying that God will send someone to “SHOUT” you out of those sins. In the mean time, when you’re convicted that someone is on the path that leads to destruction, as determined by God, you need to keep shouting. We should all start shouting at each other so that sin & death can leave. Its not an act of hatred. Its an act of love. Because the purpose is to get us to remain in right standing with God, the benefits of which are beyond our human imagination (1 Corinthians 2:9).

I was speaking to someone the other day & was explaining to them how its no use having friends that are too scared or diplomatic to tell you that there’s a “BUT” in your life, that there’s something not right. If we don’t do this, who’s supposed to do it? We’re the best candidates for that duty. Our associations are not by accident & we need to make our contact in each persons life count for good, part of which includes pruning one another in love.

We also need to pray that God should help us identify wrong doings by His Spirit, even when its not in “Black & White” in the bible – even when there’s no scripture verse to quote. So that we can shout out every form of deception that is living amongst us because of the mere fact that its not written in the bible… God’s spirit has so much more to educate us on the things of His Kingdom.

But we can not do this shouting thing from a place of malice or a place of judgement (God is the ultimate judge who determines our final fate). We need to do this from a place of love, a desperate plea to save someone/people you love or perhaps even strangers… So before you start shouting, check yourself! Check that your intentions are not tainted. The purpose is not to bring anybody down but to lift them up. So please apply some wisdom in your shouting. Please do not declare a person’s sins in front of the whole congregation, lol! That will only scare them from the house of God completely. Again, please pray that God gives you His Wisdom in stating His case.

Let’s help one another make it to heaven. Let’s scare each other out of damnation! And if you see me erring, please feel free to shout at me – just don’t disgrace me, lol! Pull me aside &
shout!

Please feel free to share you thoughts on our link. Have a lovely week.

Love y’all,
Ufuoma

Ufuoma Akpoduado

Instrument of Distribution

Dear friends,

When I woke up about 3 mornings ago, I really didn’t feel like reading my bible. After realising I was late, and counting how many things I had to do before heading out, bible reading was not gonna fit in the mix – may God help me. On days like that, I usually just remind myself of verses that I learnt before and meditate on them – similar to the process rumination that cows do. But a voice of persistence kept reminding me of a phrase I picked up somewhere – I can’t really remember where. But it says “One Word from God can change your life forever”. So I told God, “let whatever I open in the bible today speak to me”. And it did! So I am gonna share these verses with you…

Number one: Deutoronomy 24:19 reads as follows… “When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back and get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all you do”

In practical terms this means, (a) I should not be too eager to collect change when I buy things for people on the street (b) I can randomly (on purpose) leave money, food, clothes or any other required items on the street where I know someone who needs it can pick it up. Now, I know some of you may be thinking that whoever picks it up is a thief! And you have no business giving things to thieves. But who are you to judge? Consider the passage above. God was asking them at the time to leave whatever they forgot for orphans, widows etc. This implies that the harvester’s original intention may have been to take it home. So, whoever may have taken what they forgot could be construed as a thief! But God asks us to forget it there for them. I believe that is one of God’s ways of meeting His promise to provide for the widows, orphans and foreigners. Remember we are God’s representative here on earth. Please do your part where you can. So whenever you forget a “goodie” that you can do without, devote that “offering” to God by saying to small prayer like “God, please accept that as my giving to those in need who you intend to give to. May only those you want to give see it and pick it up, or use it etc. Amen”. You can modify as desired…

Number 2: Deuteronomy 26:1-3 “…with this gift I acknowledge that the Lord your God has brought me into the land he swore to give our ancestors”

Deuteronomy 26:11 “Afterwards, go and celebrate because of all the good things the Lord your God has given you and your household…”

Try reading it in the bible yourself. But for me, this means that when God does something wonderful for you, there are two things you should consider doing (a) Give Him a special offering or gift. It doesn’t have to be monetary. You may choose to write Him a special poem or give up a certain undesired habit or offer to help a stranger out in a phenomenal way. Do something that you can clearly illustrate to God that I did this good thing because you did thing “X” for me. (b) where you have the capacity, throw a bash / party, small celebration in the name of God. I know almost all of us have random braais/barbecues every now and then with nothing to really celebrate. I think its about time we also start throwing braais in the name of our God. Let us gather people together and share with them what the Lord has done for us. That’s another form of evangelism – by just sharing your testimony with your friends, acquaintances and family. No preaching required. In so doing, you glorify God even more with such suttle acts of worship…

Number 3: Deutoronomy 26:12-15 “Every third year you must offer a special tithe of your crops. You must give these to the Levites, foreigners, orphans and widows so that they will have enough to eat in your towns…”

I particularly like this one… We are encouraged to once in a while do something special – give to the people the “poor” in our surrounding a “special tithe” of God. I was particularly excited about this one. I immediately thought – I can choose to have a “free food” day at one of the poor neighbourhoods around me! – pardon me but I love cooking and sharing my cooking with others. That can be my special tithe! But that’s just me. Whatever you can do, in whatever way you give, give something that will bring you joy and give God glory…

In summary, I hope you understand that these are not a set of rules, but its a guide to different ways that we can be the hands, voices and feet of God and love on Him (for who He is, who He has been and who He will be)… You should not do it out of obligation but if you’re inspired please take it up. There are many blessings and rewards as you will see in the scriptures if you read the quoted verses yourself – I just took extracts of the full account.

Have a super weekend.
Love y’all.

Ufuoma Akpoduado

What is your name?

Dear friends,

I woke up this morning thinking of a many things and remembered this verse and decided to question y’all a bit… 1 Chronicles 4: 9-10. “Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”

And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.”

So, I’ve decided to ask everyone to do a few things. Please find out what your name means. I know some of you have English names. But trust me, they also have meanings.

The reason why I am asking this is because Jabez realised that there was a problem with his naming & took it to God in prayer…

I have come to find that one’s name can come to define your life. For example, my name means “peace”. I have realised that I have so much peace! Peace guides me in my decision making. In the midst of trouble or affliction, I tend to enjoy a certain level of peace that passes most people’s understanding and a couple of people have told me that I have an aura of “tranquility” without even knowing my name! Same case with a family member of mine. Her name means “love”. I tell you… That woman is full of love. Uncontrolled, unconditional and non-judgemental love. I have a friend whose name means “who knows tomorrow?”. Meaning their life is full of so many uncertainties. So, here’s his new name – God secures my good tomorrow! (All in our mother tongue)

So here’s my point, once you find out what your name means, consider whether that’s a suitable name with which you’d like your life to be defined by. If not, please pray a similar prayer by asking God to change your name to what you want to be defined by. Please don’t be satisfied that you’re named after someone popular as you don’t know what afflictions that person was facing in private. I know it may not be practical to change your names on you IDs or birth certificates. But your spiritual name (which is most important) can always be changed. And I believe God that he will answer you as he did with Jabez.

When situations come your way, remember this new name and identify yourself by that name when you come into the presence of God (in prayer, worship, supplication or thanksgiving), and see how your life transforms…And I believe God that he will answer your as he did with Jabez.

Have a lovely weekend! Love y’all…

Ufuoma.

Ufuoma Akpoduado

Who’s first, you or me?

Dear friends,

Today, I’m gonna share with you a scripture that enlightened me last week. While I was reading my bible, I came across the book of Nehemiah. Like most fresh Christians, I had actually never opened that book. Had no idea who Nehemiah was or what that scripture was all about. I have come to find it very insightful, especially when God opens your eyes to the message behind certain events. You can imagine my surprise today, when I got to church on sunday and the preacher spoke from Nehemiah. I was like “aha! I must be in the spirit”, lol! Anyways, going on to today’s thought…

Nehemiah 1:1-4. “These are the words of Nehemiah. He was the son of Hacaliah.
I was in the safest place in Susa. I was there in the 20th year that Artaxerxes was king. It was in the month of Kislev. 2 At that time Hanani came from Judah with some other men. He was one of my brothers. I asked him and the other men about the Jews who were left alive in Judah. They had returned from Babylonia. I also asked him about Jerusalem.
3 He and the men who were with him said to me, “Some of the people who returned are still alive. They are back in the land of Judah. But they are having a hard time. People are making fun of them. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down. Its gates have been burned with fire.”
4 When I heard about those things, I sat down and sobbed. For several days I was very sad. I didn’t eat any food. And I prayed to the God of heaven.” If you get the chance, you may read it to the end of Chapter 1.

What struck me about this verse is that Nehemiah was living in a comfortable and safe place – he was living in the fortress of the king! But when he received this bad message about the children of Israel, he quickly forgot about his personal comfort and became uncomfortable – his peace left him knowing that his own fellow Israelites would be living in fear or danger, up to the extent that he mourned and went on a fast on their behalf for days.

The truth of the matter is that he didn’t have to. He could have said – “Eish, thank God am fine. I should be grateful” or “I hope it gets better for them soon” or even pass the buck on someone else by asking “why can’t the men there do something about it?” But he chose to take responsibility for this problem that wasn’t really affecting him much and prayed to God to help him solve it. And if you read the book to the end, God indeed answered his prayers and the children of Israel were sorted.

I am now starting to believe that God is calling us to a higher level of spiritual maturity where we can also prioritise other peoples problems, where we can decide to fast and mourn because things are not well with fellow Christians or because there is too much unbelief in our environment or where we see even non-Christians suffer. Where we can seek the face of God earnestly and deeply on behalf of people we come across who do not even know us or know that we are praying on their behalf, just because we know that God’s heart extends to all men and that His will is for their soul, just as ours, to prosper.

This brought me to another scripture which I read not long ago 1 Timothy 2:1 “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people”. Please note that the key word there is “first of all”. Which means, we need to learn to put others first even in our prayers, thank God on their behalf, intercede & appeal to God on their bahalf. We are encouraged to do all of this “first of all”. It requires a certain level of selflessness…

While I was thinking about these things, I realised that God answered my prayers for many matters when I found someone with a need and prayed earnestly for them even more than I prayed for myself. I have found that when I take other people’s problems to the feet of God, I never really had to pray too hard for mine before they are answered! I found that when I mind other people’s problems, God sorted mine, sometimes even before he answered the prayers I was praying for the other fellow!

God expects us to serve others even in our prayers… And there is reward in it. I guess this is God’s way of encouraging brotherly love.

My prayer is that God will open our eyes to see the value in doing this and to allow us to feel the pain of others to the extent that our issues don’t matter as much anymore, for us to seek after the salvation & deliverance of all men, knowing fully well that God will meet us at the point of our need as He promised in His Word. That we will begin to become very uncomfortable with other peoples problems and kneel, cry, worship God, pray at the feet of God, constantly on their behalf for God to bring a breakthrough in their lives. We need to start taking some responsibility for the ills in our environment and do something about it. We need to ask God to help us share in other people’s pain so that we can also share in their joys and victories. This will even give more meaning to our existence when we see the miracles that we have caused to happen in the lives of our fellow human beings.

Please let me know what your thoughts are…

Love y’all
Ufuoma.

Ufuoma Akpoduado

Circle of Survival

Dear friends,

Hope you are doing well. Today, I was thinking about the messages that have been preached at church, all around the issue of giving and receiving. They have basically been emphasising the reason why we need to give and how we sometimes receive things we have not worked for. As I going to the bathroom this morning, a flash just came to mind…Anything that has life in it has to receive something into themselves and also give something out. If for some reason, a part of that process stops (the giving or the receiving part), that living being dies in no time. This is rather yucky, but think about this… Imagine if we never went to the bathroom to relieve ourselves, we’ll die!!! A lot of people are in the hospital because they can not relieve themselves. Or imagine it the other way… What if we could not take stuff in like food or water or air, we’ll also die!!!

Also, whatever we take in, we get from nature, and nature needs whatever we throw out to survive. Its all a circle of survival. Everything in this world that has life has to receive and give in order to survive. You can generate other examples of this fact in your own time… I believe that’s another reason why it is so important to give. I mean there are loads of practical examples where you help one broken man today and the same broken man gets up and saves your whole family or saves another family, country, neighbourhood, etc. We never know where our good seeds will eventually be harvested but one thing I am sure of is that it eventually does harvest.

Same principle applies to receiving. Do not be “shy” or “weary” to receive things. I have come across people who only want to give and give but refuse to receive gifts from others. I sometimes think they have come to accept that they are self-sufficient – they don’t need anything from anybody. That is also not healthy. First of all, you are depriving the giver of their blessing and the need to purge themselves, thereby “killing” them and then we have also deprived ourselves of life and thereby “killing” ourselves.

Also, the act of receiving humbles a person. If you’re always giving and never receiving in your life, pride tends to come in, you could even get angry sometimes. You start feeling bigger than you really are. The bible says in Proverbs 16: 18, “Pride goes before destruction…” But when you learn to receive, the knowledge that you did not acquire all that you have by your own doing humbles you. Even our salvation was freely given to us. Imagine what would happen to us if we told God “Am fine thank you. I don’t need your blessings or salvation. Av got a pretty good job/business, wife and family etc”. Rather bless Joe Soap… We would be so so miserable. We have to receive from God in order for us to really appreciate the beauty of our relationship with Him. We also have to give back to Him in order for Him to know that we are still interested in being in relationship with Him. The same principle applies to us humans in this world! If you’re not sure if you want the thing being given or the motive behind it, collect it, pray on it and for the giver and give it on to someone who will need it.

So here are my final words…

“Give freely to save yourself, receive freely from others to save them”.

Matt 10:8: Give as freely as you have received!

Please feel free to comment. Love y’all.

Sunday morning…

This morning I woke like on any other day. Problem is… Its a sunday morning and I am supposed to be preparing for church! I had so much work on my plate due for Monday morning and decided I wasn’t gonna go to church today to catch up.

I called my fiancé and informed him of this decision to which he disagreed. He explained that it was not acceptable for me to bunk church because of work. So I listened to my man, got ready and left.

While I was at church, I started to wonder why some people found it so natural / normal to get up on a Sunday morning to go to church. Meanwhile, I debated the matter each Sunday morning. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy church but I am so busy during the week till very late, and Saturday is even busier. And its the same cycle every week. I feel like my whole year has been planned! There’s no “me” time!! When do I get what I really want to do? And who’s gonna explain to my manager on Monday morning why I couldn’t deliver the required items, huh? How do I explain to them that I feel like am a constant roller-coaster and I just couldn’t get around to finishing my work again?

Anyways, it dawned on me why I easily thought of bunking church. I started to also see it as another event. I forgot that it was a meeting with God! I started to see it as another thing that has just been booked onto my calendar that I could accept or decline! What a wretched woman I have become because of all the cares of this world. I have lost my priority and relegated it to the another “to-do”.

I saw my wrong and apologised to my God and father without whom I’d have been lost and reduced to nothingness. I had forgotten all of the ditches God rescued me from and how many times He’d saved me from destroying myself.

So, my dear friends, if you were in my shoes today or another other day, please take some time to consider the wisdom behind your decision before deliberately choosing to cross out your appointment with God and His other children. There is power and fulfillment in fellowship. I am not saying you should spend all week churching. Just remember to put your appointment with God and His people as a priority when you plan your week. The bible says in Colossians 1:18 “And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.” It means, all of creations, including you and I find the meaning of our existence in Him. In Ecclesiastes 1:14, it is explained to us that everything else is like “chasing the wind”. Please read the full chapter to gain some context.

Have a blessed week!

Whose truth is it anyway?

One thing I have come to know in the few days I have spent amongst men is that deception is very terrible thing.

The devil deceives men to the extent that they believe it so much and are even willing to give up their lives and take away the lives of their fellow man for the sake of this deception. Imagine being a Martyr for a lie… Scary stuff. Families breakdown because of a small element of deception here and there. Same with long term friendship at home, work and at church.

Do you know that the enemy can also give you a scripture? He can interpret that scripture for you and use it to your detriment. It is because of things like this that we have so many different denominations and church tenets that most Christians do not even know anymore whether their Christianity is acceptable to God. We must remember that regardless of the denominations (e.g Anglican, Pentecostal, Presbyterian etc), there is only one God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and His personality/attributes do not change from one church to another. The bible says He is the same yesterday, today and forever. The reason why there is so much division between church sects is that we have not fully come to know who God really is. Otherwise, we will all have the same understanding of Him and worship Him in the same manner. A little misinterpretation here and there, and we have a new denomination / church group. Please note that when I speak of church group, I don’t mean different churches. I understand that different church leaders have their callling but in all, we should not have differing views of who God is and what is acceptable to Him.

It is because of divisions like this that other religions don’t take Christians seriously – we appear to not know what we are doing sometimes. This makes it difficult for us to share the gospel. And I believe the devil knows this very well and is excited about increasing the level of division amongst christians.

So when next you share your faith, preach Jesus. Share the good news that Christ died for us to save us and give us a new life. Share the bible as it is. Share your personal walk with God. Do not attempt to interpret what you have not fully understood. God’s spirit will do the ministration in the heart of your listener.

I believe God wants us to get to a place where our responses regarding our faith or practices and the way we live our lives is not primarily based on what our churches preach, but our confident response is based on what God has divinely revealed to us through His Holy Spirit. This can only happen when we condition our heart to be continually sensitive to Heaven. We need to strive to live in that consciousness of the fact that God is with us, right here and is interested in revealing Himself and deep mysteries to us.

We are all going to one Heaven. Allow yourself to have a personal journey with God. We need to deligently search the scriptures to understand who this God of ours is, and what He has purposed for us.

My question to you today is: Do you know your truths or are you caught up in the haze? If you think you do, whose truth is it? Is it God’s truth?

May the Holy Spirit guide you as you search the scriptures for answers.

I hope we can continue with this discussion sometime soon…

Love y’all
Ufuoma

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