Monday, 29 April 2013

Building a Peaceful Marriage (Stories That Teach)

The story that I am sharing in today's post is a true life story of about one of the many issues we face in our marital life. This story is one of the few stories shared on my webstite www.thewordthatsuits.com. It is a story that we need to learn from to help us build a masterpiece of a home in marriage. Please read, enjoy and learn from it.

The Issue:

For me marriage is a thing of misery more than the joy you have been describing it to be. I am married with children but happiness is a far fetched luxury for me. My major problem in marriage is my mother-in-law and even though I will not ascribe all the problems in my marriage to her, but will say she is the genesis of most of my woes. My husband is an only child since his brother was shot dead by unknown gunmen. And so my husband has become the heartbeat of his mother who is also a widow. We live in the same building with my mother-in-law for reasons I am yet to come to terms with. My husband had a good paying job, but just a few years back he lost his job and his mother was able to convince him not to bother looking for another job but rather join her in managing the family business and since then our financial life has been a reek as we now live off the crumbs that falls off my mother-in-law’s table. My relationship with my husband has now become so estranged; he now drinks a lot, engages in extra-marital affairs and just what his mother says is law in my home. I am just managing to hang on to the marriage, I am seriously contemplating a divorce. I have prayed, gone for deliverance session to no avail. What beats me in all these is that my mother-in-law has a church that she pastors and runs, so she also carries on the spiritual head of my husband’s life and invariably my home. I am lost, I am confused and drained, I don't even know what to make of my miserable life. The only hope I have resides in my children and I don't know how far that can carry me. To crown all of my problems, I do not have a job or a means to earn income, truly I am suffering.   

Response:

One truth that remains unchanged is that the Lord will not tempt you more than you can bear, and for every challenge that you face in life, with God there is always a means of escape. Let this truth remain at the focus of your life and knowing that even though tears may last for a night there is always joy in the morning. In this situation I believe the Lord will want to begin his renewal mission starting with you. From all that you have said, it appears you don't have any fault in the matter, but one question I need you to ask yourself deeply is: what is your relationship with God like? At this point you need to make a very important and acceptable sacrifice to the Lord requisite to the healing of your life and home, this sacrifice is first necessary in dealing with your life and then moves on to renew your  marriage. This sacrifice is found in Psalm 51:16-17 “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I will bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifice of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise.” The offering of this sacrifice as stated in Psalm 51 precede all that the Lord will do in your home and your life. It is true that you have prayed hard, but the Lord sees beyond our prayers and searches the deep things of our heart. The prayer of a sinner the Bible says is an abomination to God and so what you carry within you as you go on to pray matters a lot. If you abhor impurity in you, those your prayers, plenty and hard as they may seem have absolutely no effect. I know for sure you are hurting and your life feels like a misery, but you need to be broken before the Lord and let God wage war against your challenges. You need come before the Lord with a broken spirit and a contrite heart; you need to give God free access into your life to deal with every form of sin and every inclination towards sin in your life, including the sin of hatred. Sin hinders prayer and that you need to let go off in order to pray effectively. Indeed you have every reason humanly conceivable to be resentful towards your husband and his mother but that will not help you in this situation. The Bible says we live in the world, but we are not off the world, this is the time to display heavenly traits that shows you off as a child of God, and show LOVE and care towards your husband even in the midst of his hostility towards you. The Bible says if you only love those who love you, and you hate those who hate you, then you are not different from the tax collectors. The test you need to pass in order to be certified a child of God is to be able to love in the midst of hostility (Matthew 5:44-48). This might appear as a tough thing to do but the Lord will grant you the grace to live right according to His will.  In Matthew 6:9 the Lord Jesus taught us to pray asking the Lord to forgive us our sins as we forgive those that sin against us and in verse 14 He said “for if we forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly father will also forgive you.” Forgiving your husband plays a very important rule in the healing of your home as it plays a part in your sacrifice of brokenness before God required for effective prayers and also in your assignment as a suitable help in the deliverance of your husband’s life.  This is not a problem that the Lord cannot handle and pull you through it such that you will smile again. Despite all that you are going, you still need to submit to your husband, 1 Peter 3:1-2 reads “Wives be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives.” The Lord will cause your purity to shine forth like gold that draws your husband to the Lord and rekindle his love for you. Your husband has given in to some wrong advises and decisions which obviously has caused a sense of regret and inadequacy in him and he does not know how to handle it and so he has taken to the street, living life in a carefree manner. At this point, he wants to just drown his misery and the frustration he feels, he can only take it out on you as his wife. So you are both to help him recovery from his misery and still absorb the shock of his frustrations. Indeed as a woman you are built by God to accommodate it all. The shock you have to absorb should create in you a sense of urgency to need and want to help your husband  rather than create hatred and resentment for him. Your problem solving role starts with you connecting firmly with God with a broken and contrite heart, ask the Lord to help you live above sin and any inclination of sin capable of hindering your prayers. Pray to God for a life of righteousness and holiness and as God helps you to conquer and live above sin, you then start to step in for your husband and children. 1 Corinthians 7:14 says “the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through the believing wife,” so you see that your righteousness plays a role in the sanctification of your husband. And so you understand why I said the healing starts with you. Gradually as you remain steadfast in the Lord with your effective prayers and right attitude in submission, purity and reverence to your husband, you will gradually start to see positive changes in him and your home will soon become a haven for your family. With you and your husband in good standing your mother-in-law will not pose a problem again. But with her also you need to show her respect and give her the honour due to her. God has instructed that we respect and honour our parents and that includes your parents-in-law. Romans 13:7 says “give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if you owe revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another for he who loves his fellow-man has fulfilled the law.” In the bid to fulfill the requirements of God, you need to love your mother-in-law, honour and respect her. If she is still hostile to you, then she has God to contend with. Romans 12:14 says “bless those who prosecute you; bless and do not curse.” Again Romans 12:17-19 says “do not repay evil with evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘it is mine to avenge; I will repay’ says the Lord.” The things you have learnt from these passages should be your guiding principle as you relate with your mother-in-law and I assure you they will yield positive results to the glory of God. As you serve God diligently I am positive the Lord will not leave out your financial problems; as He restores your home, He will surely restore your finances as He is the God that rewards those who diligently seek Him. Once you have firmly connected with God there are bound to be testimonies. I know you feel drained and well spent, but the journey to a beautiful home is just beginning. Like the story of Elijah in 1 kings 19:1-8, you have contended with your struggles enough, now is the time to eat the Lord’s food which is the word of God and get strength for the work ahead of you. Make your Bible your closest companion and you will find revelations from the word of God to run with to victory.  

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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Where Is The Love?

Every time I read through the daily newspapers, 50% of the news for the day is characterized by one kind of disaster or the other. But of all the disasters that has been most prominent in the news lately is the rate at which human beings kill each other. There seem to be a major disregard for human life in recent times. The shedding of human blood aimlessly is really on the increase. One man gets angry with his brother and without any form of recourse he picks a gun and snuffs out the life of his fellow man. But what bothers me most in all these is how these present day cannibals find sleep and rest in their evil act. Where is the love of God in our present day generation?  
While discussing this subject with my husband, what he said to me was that "we are presently in the devil's world." We all know that we are in the end times now and though I would rather not preach salvation solely because we are in the end-times, but would rather preach salvation because death can come knocking at any point in time. If Jesus tarries much longer, death can't be kept waiting beyond the appointed time. 
With this said, there is the need to prepare, more need to prepare now than ever before. Quite a lot of people say that they have heard that Jesus is coming decades before now, and still He is yet to show up, but one fact that never fails to show up is death. Life-expectancy has dropped from being 70years and above to being in the rage of 40-60years and so the few living up to 80years and above are really in luck.

1 Corinthians 13:1-10, 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have a gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and suurender my body to the flames, but not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophecy in part, when when the perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 

And now these three remains: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Like I said earlier, it is time to prepare for eternity. More than ever before, the times are very evil. If  we don't as much anticipate the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we need to prepare in anticipation for death, the inevitable visitor who comes calling unannounced and uninvited. 
The most important thing to consider and possess in abundance as we prepare for eternity is that thing called Love. Now this is not the love that exist between a man and his wife, but the Love which is a characteristic of God and one important factor that shows forth that we are sons of God. That is the love Paul described above which never fails.
Paul tells us that prophecies can cease, tongues may be stilled and knowledge will pass away, but one thing that sure stands the test of time in this world and beyond is Love; the agape love of God. The love that is patient and kind, the love that does not envy or keeps record of wrong, the love that is not easily angered, the love that delights in truth, that is the Love that stands the test of time. This kind of love does not breed heart failure, this kind of love is not characterized by anxiety, with this kind of love, you eliminate worry. This is God's kind of love. When you possess this kind of love, then truly you are a child of God.

Matthew 5:43-48
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

No imperfection is eligible to enter into heaven. The kind of perfection that tells the world the son of Whom you are as a child of God is the perfection characterized by the Love described in the two passages above. If you are yet to possess this kind of love, then you are yet to be true sons of God and you are yet to be qualified for heaven at death. By this I do not stand to judge anyone, this is just the word of God.
Jesus said we should be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. That is the perfection that reigns in the Kingdom of God. The perfection of the love that keeps no record of wrongs and thus breeds no enemies. The perfection of the love that does not envy and so there is no unhealthy competition or rivalry. The perfection of the love that is not proud, not self-seeking and not boastful and so there is no unhealthy and unholy life ambitions. It is not rude, it is a kind of love that breeds respect for others and for authorities. It is not a kind of love that is easily angered, and so it is characterized by self-control and it is temperate. This is the kind of love that God wants us to have. 
Without this kind of love, eternity is heaven is not so sure. And so we can understand why Jesus will says that a lot of people will do many miracles in His name yet they will not make heaven. This is because they lack the love that qualifies them for a placement in the kingdom of God. Their life has been smeared by some form of imperfection that can only be corrected by the love that is described in the passages above. 
We all need to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate our walk and relationship with God. We need to search our very form of existence and place our lives in the light of the revelation of the word of God found in the two passages above. If I have to tell you the truth, I also need to do the same. As I put down this message, I do not speak to my readers alone, but I speak to myself. That the Lord helps me to follow the leading of His Spirit in my life and that His Spirit will work out in me the perfection of what is revealed to me in these passages above. 
I am just trying to imagine if the whole world will live by the standard of the love described in 1 Corinthian 13. Surely there will not be chaos at all on the face of the earth. Still I try to imagine what heaven will be like if all those who enter and remain there are those who have attained the level of perfection characterized by the love in the passages above. No matter your level of hard work in Christ, if you are yet lacking in the love described above, then you are assumed to have done nothing. And so in order not to labour in vain, it is of utmost importance that we work at what we do for God in the light of the Love of God described above. Your measure of approval is by the standard of the love described above.
This level of love is not attained in the flesh. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot measure up to the level of love that God desires and approves of in the passages above. This kind of love is only attainable in Christ. It is the truthful and diligent following of the leadership of Jesus through His Spirit that He gives us that can help us attain this level of love. When you walk in Christ and follow His leading without looking to the right or to the left, then you truly walk in Love. Love in the very true sense of it as in the Love of God can only be found in Jesus.

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Living the Life of Christ

A lot of people find it difficult to believe or accept that it is possible to live a righteous life in this present generation. I have also come across a lot of people with the believe that it is when you look sober in appearance (not wearing earring, make-ups, hair extensions and the likes) that you start to live the life of Christ. Well in as much as I will not attempt to raise an argumentative discussion, we will try to understand what the Lord expects of those who are His with regards their daily lives.
Living the life of Jesus is an outpouring of what we have been able to receive in the course of our walk with God. It is impossible to live like Jesus when you still have the sinful nature operating within you and you do not have a relationship with Christ Jesus. It is the Christ in you that project out of you in your character, your thoughts and your words.

Romans 8:5-8
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.   

So what we are learning here is that the ability to live the life of Christ is determined by who controls your mind. You can only do the desires of God and live like Jesus when you have your mind is controlled by the Spirit of God. It is a very big impossibility to do the will of God, walk in righteousness and live like Jesus when you still have the sinful nature dominating your live and controlling your mind.
Above your physical appearance, who controls your mind determines how much you are able to live like Jesus. In this matter, there is no lukewarmness, it either that you are controlled by the Spirit of God or controlled by the sinful nature. Once you discover that all you do is the desire of the sinful nature, then it is obvious that it is that nature that controls you.

Roman 8:9-10
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit; if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead to sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.

The only possible means to attain the life of Christ here on earth is to have the Spirit of Christ dwell richly in you. The more of Christ you have in you, the more of Him you have working in you. Living a life of Christ is not attained by self effort but by the Spirit of Christ that dwells in you to Whom you have submitted the authority of your life. The Spirit of Christ in you takes the lead and you just follow when you have truly given over yourself to His leadership.
What men see in you as righteousness is not birth by your human effort but by the leadership of the Spirit of God Whom you diligently follow. There is no point making self effort at righteousness, the Bible tells us that flesh and blood cannot please God. But when you submit the authority of your life over to Jesus, His Spirit that dwells in you does the work while you only submit to the leadership of God’s Spirit in your life and follow as He leads.
The next question that needs to be answered is: “How do I receive the Spirit of God in my life which in turn works out righteousness in me?” Well it is not a hard process at all, it is all a matter of a truthful decision on your part to receive Jesus Christ in your life at no cost. The cost of your salvation He has paid on the cross at Calvary over 2000 years ago.  

John 1:12-13
“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

Ephesians 1:13-14
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.

The moment you receive the message of salvation through the perfect finished work of Christ on Calvary and you believed in the name of Jesus you are marked with a seal which is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God that dwells in you and guarantees your inheritance in God. That same Spirit is the One who controls your life and works in you the righteousness of God. As long as you submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in your life you are guaranteed of a life in the likeness of Jesus Christ here on earth. No longer will you succumb to the dictates of the world but you live a life pleasing only to God.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Worry

Like I have always said, it is much easier to read the lines of the Bible than to practice what it says. But by the grace of God it is not impossible to practice the instructions of the Bible, it’s all about where our focus is and our ability to trust God to help us through been able to do what He ask and wants us to do.
One important thing that keeps coming to mind is that: “Is it a sin to do what God hates?” There are a lot of laws and instructions and requirements in the Bible that are totally separate from the 10 commandments. So is it only the 10 commandments that are regarded as sin or every don’ts of the Bible should be regarded as sin?
Well permit me to express my own view at this point as the first to share her thoughts. For me I will say that it is not just the 10 commandments that are regarded as sin but every word that comes out of the mouth of the Lord prohibiting us from taking a step or doing a thing contrary to the desire of the Lord. Eve at the beginning ate the forbidden fruit and sinned, then the 10 commandments were not in existence yet she and Adam sinned. So we will not be wrong to say and put a stamp of approval as sin on doing anything that the Lord hates or prohibits us not to do.
Now is we have been able to get this fact straight that it is a sin to do what God hates and has expressly instructs us not to do, then you will agree with me that it is a sin to worry. Please do not wow at this, I didn’t give that instruction, the Lord did.

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
“And why worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 

With this passage it is very well understandable that the instruction not to worry isn’t given by any man but by God Himself. But in truth it is easier to say the words “don’t worry” than to actually not worry, most especially when the challenges of life seem too much to bear.
When God instructed against worry, He very well understood that worry never stops the problem or create a path way to the solution of the problem. But rather what worry does is to invite fear that works contrary to our faith requisite to obtaining a solution to the problem. Worry also works contrary to our well-being and has become the root cause of quite a number of health problems that do not go away with a tap of the finger. Worry is the mastermind of sicknesses like hypertension and high blood pressure.
In truth it isn’t so easy not to worry but when we are able to trust God’s ability to solve our problems then we are miles ahead of the challenges that are overwhelming our lives. The Bible tells us in Roman 4:18-25 that Abraham believed the promise of God to give him a child because he knew that God had the power to do what He has promised.
Romans 4:21 reads “being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised to do,” the focus for Abraham was not as much on the promise given as it was on the One who made the promise. You might tend to worry when you are yet to be aware of the ability of God to solve your problems, but when you have a revelation of the awesomeness of God, your confidence in Him is awakened, and your faith boast up and you are able to trust that what you are going that otherwise should have ignited worry in you is just a temporary passing face that God is mindful of and is in the process of taking you out of it. Do you know of the awesome mighty power of God? If you do not know then pray for God to show you just a bit of Himself, I am positive He will be glad to do that.
The Lord Jesus in Matthew 6, tells us not to worry, this instruction was given because God knows that worry paralysis faith. And yet never get the problem solved. But one instruction that Jesus gave that we need to always remind ourselves of is that instead of worry we need to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added to us. To seek the kingdom of God is to delight ourselves in pleasing God. As children of God, the Bible tells us that our relationship with God should be of topmost priority to us. When our relationship with God has been firmed up and looking good, all other things will be taken care of by God.
Our relationship with God determines our true knowledge of Him, and once we know God well enough, we will know the magnitude of His power and then trusting Him will not take an effort. Once we are able to trust God well enough, He pours Himself out for us and meets all our needs in the fullness of His power that we have come know and embrace.
David said in Psalm 37:4 that “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” This sounds very similar to what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all other things will be given to you as well.” When you have a relationship with the Lord then your life is very well covered; those challenges of your life that appears big and impossible are all just a word away from being over.
The Roman Centurion in Matthew 8:5-13 understood the truth that his problem was just a word away from being over. All he needed was a contact with Jesus, then a word from Him and all will be well. He didn’t request for much from Jesus, all he asked the Master was the He speaks the word and his servant will be well. And all that Jesus told the centurion is to “Go! It will be done just as you believe it would.” By the time the centurion got home, it was done just as he believed it would.

Matthew 7:7-11

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  

I really like the arrangement of things in the Bible, just as Jesus was finishing with the instruction of not to worry, He spoke about criticizing others and immediately gave the next instruction on asking. It is as if the Lord is telling us that instead of worrying ask. As a child of God knowing, understanding and embracing the truth of the awesome power of God then instead of worrying and fretting, God wants you to ask Him for anything and He is ready and willing to do as you have asked.
He did not limit our ability to ask, He didn’t tell us what to or not to ask for, but said we should ask and we shall receive. John 15:7 reads “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” John 16:23-24 reads “In that day you will no longer ask me anything, I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Jesus didn’t tell us we are only allowed to ask for specific things or make some definite requests alone, but that we should have for anything in His name and we will receive. No limit, no restrictions, no barriers, but that we should ask for anything.
But this open check of withdrawal from heavens resources is only open to those who are God’s children. Those who belong to Christ and remain in Him; this largesse is not extended to unbelievers, neither is it open to pagans, but to the true sons of God.
If you are yet to give your life to Jesus, I suppose you know that you are just subjecting yourself to unnecessary hardship. Why not look around you and know that you can truly overcome those challenges and struggles only by the power of God made available only to the sons of God. It is not possible to claim the goods or enjoy the inheritance of a Father who is not yours.
Becoming a child of God does not cost money; you don’t have to make absurd sacrifices to receive abundant life in Christ. It does not call for the shedding of blood, it is just a heart that is tired of this miserable life embracing a mighty power that saves and delivers. John 1:12-13 reads “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” This is all that is required of you to become a child of God. Nothing big, not bogus, just a heart that is yielded to the perfect finished work of Christ on the cross at Calvary; acknowledging that you are a sinner that needs a Saviour and receiving Christ into your life as your Lord and Saviour. Once you have been able to truly make this decision, I implore you to start reading this post over again from the beginning to know just in a minute part what grace you have found in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanks giving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I want us to close this discussion with Paul’s words in the passage above. Just like Jesus, Paul said we should not be anxious about anything at all. Anxiety and worry are just two words implying or meaning the same thing. Paul says DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING. The sickness is there, but don’t worry is what God says; the debt is there, but don’t worry is what the Lord says; the bills are growing and there is no income to meet them, yet the Lord says don’t worry. It might sound strange but it’s the truth. Worry does not make a difference in the matter anyway, so even without God saying don’t worry, worrying makes no meaning in the solution we seek.
But instead of worry, God wants you to pray. Jesus says ASK, Paul says PRAY, two words point to the same thing. Paul adds that while praying, remember to thank God. Don’t wait for the solution before thanking God, thank Him while still asking because you believe like Abraham did that He has the power to bring a lasting solution to that problem you are praying for.
Then Paul said “the peace of God that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When you have stopped to worry and you have asked in faith knowing and believe that God has the power to answer your prayers and grant you the desires of your heart, that peace of God that flows from the throne of God and from the knowledge of what you believe will guards your hearts and minds. Now what is that peace guarding your hearts and minds against?
When I thought about this, what the Holy Spirit dropped in my heart is that the peace of God guards your hearts and minds against recurrent thoughts of worry and the anxiety that might reappear as you wait on God for your answers. Always let the thought of the power and ability of God to solve your problems block your view of the problem itself. The problem is there no doubt as it stares you in the face daily, but you need to let the power of God to solve the problem stare you in the face all the more. Then daily you will enjoy that peace of God that transcends all understanding.
With all that I have learnt, I will rather pray and trust God than to worry and be anxious. May the Lord help us daily as we walk with Him to a glorious end.

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Getting Practical With Marriage Issues.


I woke up this morning trusting God on the topic to write about for today's post. Didn't really want to discuss marriage as I have written extensively on that topic in this month alone. But then this topic just keeps coming to mind and I believe there is a seed the Lord will want me to sow in the life and marriage of someone somewhere that will make a positive difference. 
Because this is a Christian based blog and the principles of lifestyle projected from this blog is totally and wholly based on the teachings of the word of God in the Bible, I will inject very few Bible passages, but most of what will be discussed will be based on our everyday practical life in our marriages and homes. 
Going by the events the world over, we will notice the sharp increase in marital issues, the divorce rate is so interestingly skyrocketing, spouses killing each other and violence in the home as become a common occurrence that it does not sound strange or absurd any longer. And if there is any institution where satan is beginning to thrive, then I will say it's in the homes and marriages. Even in Christian homes the situation is not totally different. But God will surely frustrate his plot. 
In my previous posts we have learnt a lot about God's rules for the man and wife in marriage and we know that by the grace of God if we are able to abide by these rules we will have a successful and peaceful home. I always run with this slogan for marriage and it says "Marriage is to be enjoy and not endured," your marriage is suppose to be like a land flowing with milk and honey and not a land of misery or a battle ground. 

Going Practical

Sometimes we feel that Bible talks are just theoretical and not practical, it is much easier to read the lines that says "wives submit to your husband in everything as unto God," than to actually practice what it says. Well that is very true but not impossible. Whether you choose to obey the words of the Bible or not is a decision that one needs to make and be ready to enjoy the benefit of obedience or face the consequences of disobedience.
I once counselled someone on the phone who was in an abusive marriage and is a Christian, she was on the verge of loosing her head as she had been enduring the situation for over 10years. She got my number from my website and gave a me call. One of the first inquiry she made was to know if I had been in an abusive marriage and had overcomed it, for me to be qualified to speak to her. I confirmed that once I was in an abusive and miserable marriage. I was drained of hope in that marriage, but now I am most joyful in the same marriage, with my husband who was once a very short tempered and aggressive fellow now my very best friend and my love.
I didn't attain this much peace, calm and joy in my marriage just by chance, it took a lot of hard work on self control, submission and prayers. I was lucky enough that my husband didn't attempt harmful objects on me back then, but I will not tell you he didn't get physical with me at some point. But that same man of many years is still my husband now, but a new, loving, caring husband and father. This was possible because I was able to let God hold my hands and lead me through the storm. I took steps when He asked me to and was still when He told me to be still.
In as much as I will not exonerate the men or stripe them of any blame in a faulty marriage, I will like to tell the woman who has the fear of God that she has a lot of work to do in the success of her home. Proverbs 14:1 says "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." It is the woman that has been saddled with the responsibility to build the home and this responsibility is delegated by God to her and not by her husband and it is to God she will report.
Some of the personal lessons I learnt in my marriage like I said earlier is self-control. The grace to be wrong when you know that you are right, the grace to submit even when you know that the one whom you are submitting to is on the wrong. God never asked us to submit to our believing husbands alone, or the good husband alone, but to submit to your husband(unclassified) in everything. So whether he is a believer or not, whether he is good or bad, whether he is wrong or right, you are to submit. 
Sarah submitted to Abraham when he told her to lie of her status as his wife, and was then taken to be wife to king Abimelech in Genesis 20, and the Abigail was still very much supportive of her mean and surly husband Nabal in 1 Samuel 25. Your role as a wife is not determined or subject to the response of your husband, even though his attitude will go a long way in helping you perform your role effectively. Don't bother to seek gratitude from your husband for what God has assigned you to do irrespective of the fact that he benefits from the role you are playing. Seek gratitude and that nod of well-done my child from God. 
Other than to submit to my husband, I learnt the lesson of keeping quiet and letting my opinion go unheard. Whatever my husband said then was always fine by me, even though they were actually mostly never fine. Whatever I wanted done and in whatever manner I wanted it done, I prayed about it. I learnt to commit all to God. It was not easy I must say, but I found grace and abundant grace I must say from the throne of God. Whenever a discussion was heading towards an argument I knew it was time to withdraw. At all times I was always praying, even when talking to my husband, I was praying deep in my heart. I still tell people today that a submissive wife who is not prayerful is like one with a substance but lacks power.
In recent times when I am having a heart to heart discussion with my husband, he always tells me how proud he was of me. And then says one thing that changed him the most was my patience and bearing attitude back then in those negative years. And then I will remember that Peter said in 1 Peter 3 that it is the purity and reverence in the lives of the wives that God uses to win over the unbelieving husband. If your husband is still as bad, then you need to let the light of Christ in you shine the more to kill every darkness in his life .
Sometimes we wives always want to burden ourselves with the search for reasons why our husbands are not the best that God can give. Well in truth they are the best if you can through the goodness of God in your life wash off every dirt covering the preciousness of God in their lives. 
In my own marital trying times I must tell you that I was hurting, I really hurt so bad, I was most miserable and I contemplated divorce on very many occasions. I asked God questions that I didn't get answers to. I could not fathom what it was that turned my husband to an uncaring monster. I searched my life to see if it was what I did or didn't do that was the reason for him been the way he was and I asked him that much. I didn't find any fault in me and he also didn't accuse me of anything, but yet he was as he was. 
So then I got the revelation that I am a suitable help meet (fit) for his life and placed in his life by God. I then realized that this my husband needs help and I am the one assigned by God to help him, even though I am the one on the receiving end of negative attitude. I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that with my level of relationship with God, divorce or separation was not an option to consider. So I decided to put my hands in God's hands and start to do what I needed to do. Those who sow in tears will surely reap in joy.
In the midst of all this, you need to be of good composure, look your best for your husband. Never wear your problems on your face. It is very dangerous to harbour hatred for yourself, because if you harbour hatred for your husband, you harbour hatred for yourself, since the Bible says you are no longer two but one. Never look for solutions in your husband, he is the problem and not the solution and he needs a solution. That is why God has placed you in his life to seek out the solution for him. The source of the solution lies in God through you in your right attitude, purity and reverence. Just like all other works, building a master piece of a home takes hard work. The woman should work at it as if her life depends on it because it truth it does. 
For so many reasons you need to work at building a master piece of a home, first that you might enjoy peace, then that you might be able to raise godly offspring in a godly home and lastly that you might make a big and positive impact in the life of your husband that he will be grateful to you for. 


You can also get the ebook "Marriage God's Rules of Engagement." https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/300604




Sunday, 21 April 2013

Living in God's Covenant (Part 2)

I really do appreciate all the responses that came in after the first post of this topic "Living in God's Covenant," they were really encouraging. But one response that caught my attention was the one with questions in it. It reads thus "In today's world, we tend to think of a 'covenant' as an agreement which we can break if the other party breaks it first. Is that the way God’s covenant works? Or are they different from human-style contracts?” The answer to these questions will be the basis of the concluding part of this topic.

Hebrews 6:13-18

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no-one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will sincerely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchanging things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.

Isaiah 55:9-11

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than yours and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it flourish, so that it yields sees for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

From what we are reading in these two passages, it is very clear that the covenant of God does not take the pattern or form of what we have as covenant in the world today. But the covenant of God as He swore to them in the Bible days are still in effect till today and are fulfilled in the lives of those who have been able to keep the covenant of God.
We know from the things we have learnt in the first part of this discuss that a covenant is a two-way legal agreement; there is the one who has made the covenant and there is the one to whom the covenant has been made (the benefactor of the covenant). The one who has made a covenant has a role to play by fulfilling the promise he has made and then the benefactor of the covenant needs to ensure that he is worthy of receiving the promise that has been made.
With this foundation laid, we will try to look at the criteria that needs to be meet for God to make a covenant with man, and what needs to be done to retain the covenant of God over our lives and generations after us. But we need to bear in mind that the Lord does not change and His words will never go unfulfilled and so are His covenants. So if we are not yet beneficiaries of the covenant of God, that shows that we are yet to meet up with the set criteria that grants us eligibility to those covenant that God has made with man.

Genesis 17: 1-2

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

When we consider the story of Abraham, the first time the Lord appeared to him and made a covenant with him was in Genesis 12, and the Bible recorded that Abraham believed the word of the Lord and without questioning, he obeyed God’s instruction and left his father’s household. A little while later the Lord appeared to him again in Genesis 15, this time around Abraham had a little score to settle with God, he could not understand how he will be a blessing to many nations when he didn’t have a child. And so he asked God for a child, and the Lord promised him not just a child but told him that if he could count the stars in the sky, then so will his offspring be. At this Abraham believed and it was credit to him as righteousness.
But by the time we get to Genesis 17, Abraham’s faith was beginning to take a down turn; he had accepted his wife’s proposal and self orchestrated the promise of God by having a child out of God’s promise with his wife’s maid servant. And so God seeing what he had done, though not annulling the promise told him he needed to do more if he was to enjoy the promise for his life. We see God speaking to Abraham saying, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.” There was now the need for Abraham to have a blameless walk before the Lord. This clause was never mentioned in Genesis 12 or 15, but after the situation of Genesis 16, then there came a need for caution.
We will also notice that the Lord issued additional instructions to Abraham as a constant reminder of what he needed to do and who God had made him  in order to strengthen his trust in God and prevent him from walking contrary to that promise that God has established for his life. First the Lord changed his name to reflect his new status as a father of many nations, and then the Lord told him to circumcise himself and his entire household just as a constant reminder of the covenant that exist between him and God.
Now we should understand that God had to take these measures not because He doubted His ability to fulfill the promise He made to Abraham, but to keep Abraham constantly reminded and not again walk in sin that contradicts the fulfillment of God’s promise in his life. The manifestation and the continuity of God’s covenant with Abraham was a fact that God will not jeopardize, that is a truth that can only be annulled by Abraham’s misdeeds.
In order to consider God’s criteria for choosing those He makes covenant with, I will like us to consider this simple illustration: It is impossible for me as a person to see someone I do not know and I have never meet and promise such a person a million dollar. Even if I had a million dollar to give away, I will first consider my family, relatives and close associates who might have one form of need or the other to help. I will not just go on the street and pick a stranger to give money to, whom I do not know and I have never meet.
Same is the case with God. For God to enter a covenant with any man there must have been a pre-existing relationship between such a man and God. Even though nothing was said about Abraham prior to the encounter of Genesis 12, yet in Isaiah 41:8 God refereed to Abraham as His friend. Noah was another man with whom God made a covenant, let us have a brief view of the man named Noah prior to his covenant days.

Genesis 6:8-9

But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord.
This is the account of Noah.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

So we see that God didn’t just pick that man Noah from the blues to do all that He did in his life. Noah had established a relationship with God over time by distinguishing himself from the people of his time and walking blamelessly before God.
David was another man God established his covenant with, when we look through the life and times of David, we will see a man who held the Lord in high esteem. By the strength and power of God, David had killed a lion and a bear with just his hands without anyone but God to hold on to. And so among the whole pack of the army of Israel, it was that small ruddy boy David who understood that they were not just any legion of army, they were the army of the Lord that could not be defiled by uncircumcised Philistines. Saul the anointed king didn’t know this, David’s older brothers totally forgot this fact about themselves, but just this small handsome boy David knew the strength and ability of God based in his relationship with God and his past encounter.
This happened because David has been in contact with God a long time before the battle. 1 Samuel 13:14 reads: “But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.”The man refereed to in this passage was David who was a man after God’s heart and whom the Lord had appointed king over Israel long before the time of the battle with the Philistines.
In order to have the Lord enter into a covenant with you that is forever binding to Him to keep and which for you is a ground for expectation and a sign for future excellence, then you need to be in a relationship with God.
In our present generation I am sure that a lot of people will wonder if God still enters into covenant with man. Well His covenant of old contains it all and are still in effect, binding to God to keep till this very present generation and beyond as long as the earth tarries. Deuteronomy 7:9 reads: “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his command.” The covenant of God is binding to only those who truly love God and keep His commands. So before we close the curtain we will look briefly into what it is to keep God’s covenant.

John1:12-13

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but of God.

Galatians 3:26-29

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

In our generation today, those who will retain the promise of God to Abraham in their lives are those who are true sons of God through their faith in Christ Jesus. Sons born not by human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God through their receiving and believing in Christ Jesus. If you belong to this category of people then I congratulate you so much. You have entered into the category of people who are eligible to enjoy the covenant of God.
In order to retain that covenant and enjoy the full benefit of what you have received you need to keep the covenant by keeping the commands and laws of God. This is also made very easy through Christ Jesus who lives in you as you live not by the law of sin and death but by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Roman 8:3b-4 “And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the flesh.”
In order for Abraham to fully enjoy the benefits of the covenant God made with him, he needed to walk before the Lord and be blameless. For Isaac to continue in that covenant, he also needed to follow in his father’s footsteps and walk blamelessly before God. Each time Moses spoke the promises of God to the children of Israel there was always a condition to meet for that promise to be fulfilled and that was to keep the commands, decrees and laws of God. In our present day, the instruction has not changed. In order to enjoy the unchanging nature of God’s covenant then we need to develop a righteous relationship with God, we also need to walk before God and be blameless. Then we will receive the full benefits of God’s promise and still have our eternity secured.

For more on God's covenant you can please get the book "The Covenant of God" by Aderinsola Obasa. To do that please click the link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/300350


  

   
  


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Living in God's Covenant (Part 1)

In the world today there is so much anxiety, there is so much worry and the need to meet up with the very fast dynamism of the present world. There is also the worries of what to eat and drink, how to ensure that there is a shelter over ones head, fending for the family and those who wait on you to meet their never ending needs and I can just go on with what the worries of life holds in store. But one truth that we as God's children need to keep on rediscovering in our lives is that we hold a covenant with our Father in heaven that far outweigh the responsibilities and the so many issues we have to contend with.
In order to really have an understanding of what we possess as children of God in form of what we carry with us as covenant from our heavenly Father, there is the need to have an in-depth understanding of what a covenant it, and then look into God's living word to know what God's covenants are and how we can enjoy the covenant of God. 
A covenant is defined as: "a written agreement, a common pledge," another dictionary defines it as "a legal agreement, often an agreement to give money," another definition says, "a legal agreement in which someone promises to pay a person or organization an amount of money regularly." This third definition is the one I will really like to relate with. When we consider this definition critically, we will note the word legal, that is to say a covenant is binding on the one who has made it. 
Another word within that definition that I want us to consider is the word promise. The dictionary gives the meaning of the word promise as follow: "it is a pledge, an assurance, a ground for expectation." It is also defined as, "to tell someone you will definitely do or provide something, or that something will definitely happen." And lastly, "a promise is a declaration that one will give or do something; signs for future excellence."
With all of this foundation properly laid, I will like to define covenant as "a legal agreement in which someone promises to pay a person or an organisation an amount of money regularly which is a ground for expectation and a sign for future excellence." Then moving forward in my own definition of covenant, I will like to slot in God in the place of someone, then my name (and yours as you wish) in the place of a person or organisation, and then blessing in the place of money. So we'll see what the definition looks like and be able to understand what God's covenant is. The new definition of covenant is as follows: "a legal agreement in which God promises to pay Aderinsola Obasa blessings regularly which is a ground for expectation and a sign for future excellence." 
This might appear a little funny, but this is the truth of God. The understanding of God's covenant with us should be about the realization that we have been promised by God, blessing on a regular basis which is a legal agreement that God has made with us, which is binding to Him to fulfill and so He will never fail on those covenants and thus they are a ground for expectation and a sign for excellence. 
When you are convinced within you that you have a covenant with God, then I congratulate you because your future is bright, you have every reason to be joyful that no matter what today birth forth for you, still your future is good. You have a covenant from God, binding to Him that gives you a basis for expecting an excellent future.
Moving forward, we will look at some of the covenants God made with mankind through Noah and Abraham.  


Genesis 12:1-3
The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

Genesis 15: 1
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
"Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.

Genesis 17:1-8
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers."
Abram fell face down, and God said to him, "As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be father to many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for you will father to many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God."

Genesis 8:20-9:1-3
The Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as i have done.
'As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.'"

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beast of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."

The covenant God made with all men through the sacrifice of Noah is a covenant of abundance. I choose not to use the past tense because this covenant like all other covenants of God is still active and effective and binding to God till today as long as you remain a child of God and you keep God's covenant, living in obedience to the laws and requirements of God. 
God said "Never again will He curse the ground because of man," and if this be so, as a covenant child of God the ground should yield it fruits to you. A covenant child of God is not expected to experience hard toil as the curse on the ground has been lifted for them. Again a covenant child of God has been promised a fruitful life of increase, and so you are expected to grow and increase from strength to strength and glory to glory in the fruitfulness of God. And then your feeding has been taken care of as God has given everything to you as food. This is your ground for expectation from God, a sign for future excellence for you, promised to you by God, which is a legal agreement and binding on Him to fulfill. 
The second covenant we are considering among the very many covenants we have as God's children is the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants after him. The Lord promised to bless Abraham and his descendants after him so much that they will be blessing outpouring. They will not just be blessed enough for their lives' needs, but will overflow in blessing that people around them can tape from and also be blessed. No wonder the house of Portiphar prospered under the care of Joseph and Laban learnt by divination that he was blessed because of the presence of Jacob in his life (Genesis 30:27). These people where simply living in God's covenant. They were so blessed that the world could see and speak about it. When there was so much drought in the land, Isaac planted on that same land and reaped a hundredfold of what he planted because the Lord blessed him. There was a covenant of blessing on his life that God made with his father Abraham and was binding on God to keep. 
These covenants and many more covenants of God are still effective till date and binding on God to keep. They remain a legal agreement which has formed a basis or ground for expectation and a sign for future excellence for generations long past and generations yet to come because we serve a God that never changes. In the my next blog post, we will consider the criteria the Lord has given for Him enter into covenant with man and what give us the eligibility to claim and enjoy the covenant of God. 

In order to have an in-depth study on the topic you can get the ebook "The Covenant of God" by Aderinsola Obasa by clicking the link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/300350











Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Wining Through Praise. Having Victory in Thanksgiving

Ephesians 5:19-20
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.


Paul said it is the will of God that we as God's children in Chris Jesus to give thanks in everything. In these words of  Paul, in everything did not imply that the circumstances has to be favourable, but that God desires that we thank Him even when the circumstances are not favourable. In the reality of things, is it really easy to thank God when you are going through very big challenges in your life? When you are groaning under the heavy pressure of issues of life? The sickness is getting worse and not better and the doctors have given you a time limit to life; the bank account is on zero balance, the debts are heavy and wide spread and creditors knocking and calling, bills mounting up and you are loosing the shelter over your head, the children are looking up to you with questions unanswered written all over their faces; or is it when you are grieving over the lose of a very dear one. You are now becoming scared to get any more news because all the news you've been getting in the past weeks have been grossly negative. In the midst of all these scenarios that I have just described, Paul's teaching is that as a child of God, the Lord desires that you praise Him and give thanks to Him.
This kind of sounds like a hard teaching you know. But before we condemn God as a God who lacks feelings, there is the need to know why God will require that we do such tough thing as to give thanks in the midst of challenges that appears to be a valley of shadow of death in our lives. Never mind that Job gave thanks in the midst of his trials, those who have gone through tough challenges in life will not dispute the fact that it is not easy to give thanks when looking around you and considering that in your situation there is nothing to thank God for. 
I have come to understand and appreciate that what God is asking us His children to do through the instructions of Paul is to acknowledge Him in everything. The word acknowledge and thanks share a synonym word together and that common word is recognize. What the Lord desire of us His children in to acknowledge and recognize the might of His power in every situation we may find ourselves. 
The fact that you are going through tough times at the moment has not ruled of the truth of the presence of God in your life and situation. Isaiah 54: 10 says "'Though the mountains be shaken and hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed' says the Lord, who has compassion on you." The Lord never promised there will not be a shaking, but even in the shaking the presence of God is still there with you. Those trials are there to mold you into a better person if you are trained by it (Hebrews 12:4-11). 
The Bible records that Job worshiped God in the midst of his trials. The fact that he worshiped did not imply that Job did't grieve, but he acknowledge God in the midst of his trials because he was convinced that God will not put him through a challenge He could not see him through. He was a man who walked righteously before the Lord and had developed a relationship with God over time, so he was sure that the Lord was taking him somewhere even in the raging storm and in the full knowledge of this he worshiped God.
Abraham, when the Lord told him to take his only son, the fulfillment of God's covenant in his life to the mountain and offer him up as a sacrifice, Abraham obeyed, in fact when he was approaching the mountain he instructed his servant to wait while he goes further with boy to worship. Abraham considered this a worship; he looked beyond the situation and saw God who has the ability to raise his son from the dead after he had been sacrificed and so he was just going to worship. 
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn't focus on the burning furnace, they had their focus on God and likewise Daniel's attention was beyond the lion's den, it was focused on God. They were all mindful of the truth in Psalm 23:4 that "even though they walked through the valley of shadow of death, they need not fear any evil, for the Lord was with them, His rod and staff comforts them."  
Once in my life I faced the most terribly time of my life, like many people, I didn't see anything around me that was worth thanking God for. I had no job, no money, a very huge debt, my creditors were running after me with no where to hide, my marriage was in a big trouble, slipping fast into the valley, my wonderful children were looking up to me for their care and well being, with many demands and no hope at all of meeting any. Family were close yet so far because none could help. 
And then I heard the message of giving thanks, and the first thing that came to my mind was "what am I thanking God for in my so wretched life." Things had gotten so bad that I was at the point of committing suicide to safe myself of the shame and disgrace that was trailing me so closely. But then the voice of the message just would not leave me alone. Some say the voice of God is gentle, but for me in this case that voice was strong as persistent. 
Mind you, in all of these I was a born-again Christian, I had come to love God, and this kind of added to my anger that why will the God that I serve, let me go through such tough terrain. But at some point I began to look beyond my problems, I stopped looking a reason to thank God, but just thank Him because I love Him. I concluded in my heart that I wanted to go to heaven if I die and since all that I will be doing when I get to heaven is to praise God then I better start getting used to it now. So I began to cultivate the habit of true worship. I will praise God till I was soaked in tears. I melted before the Lord in worship and stopped to be overwhelmed by my troubles.
But God holds our worship, our praises, our thanks so dear to Him, the Bible say He inhabits the praises of His children. The restoration of my life began at the place of praise. Without me taking particular notice of the turn of events, the Lord began to fix my problems one after the other. First He healed my marriage, He returned my husband's love to me and returned my love to my husband. Then He began to take care of the debts in bits and pieces until they were totally settled. Then He restored my glory, removed my shame and gave me smiles instead of tears. That is what the Lord does with our praise. 
King Jehoshapat did't fight His battles with a sword, he won his victory in praising God. Paul and Silas did't force their way out of prison, they walked out of it majestically because they understood the power of praise.  The walls of Jericho didn't fall flat through the pulling down with the bulldozer of dynamite, it came down by the continuous sound of the trumpet in reverence to God. True there is power in praise. You get the devil that in annihilating your life confused when you praise God in the midst of your challenges. It is not that the trouble isn't there, it's that you are placing God before you ahead of the trouble. Your focus has stopped to be on the trouble, but on God who alone has the solution to the trouble. You acknowledge and thank God despite the trouble and you automatically see your trouble disgraced right before your very eyes. In deed there is power in praise, I have experienced and so I share this truth. 

For more on the power of praise you can get the ebook "The Sacrifice that Pleases the Lord authored by Aderinsola Obasa for any of your devices, just click the link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/305268


Sunday, 14 April 2013

You, Your Marriage and Your Home. God's Expectations on all These. (Part 3)

In the part one of this discuss, we dealt with the rule for the woman in marriage. We were able to understand from God's word that a woman will be fulfilling her God given assignment when she submits to her husband in all things. We learnt that the wife is the physical container in which God has packaged all of the man's help and favour, and so in order to deposit what we are carrying into our husband's life and fulfill our God given destiny, we need to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord.  
In the part two of the series we learnt about the importance of letting God take the lead as we make a choice of a life partner. We learnt from God's word the importance of letting God be the basis of our marriage decision. As a woman it is most important that we allow God make the decision for us on who to marry so as not to sign off the authority of your life to the wrong husband, remember you must submit to him in all things as to the Lord. So if it is the Lord who has directed your path to the man He created you for, then you can be sure of rest and peace of mind as you imbibe the act of submission in line with God's instruction for your life in marriage. 

The Rule for the Man in Marriage.


Ephesians 5:22-31, 33  
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all no-one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 

However, each one of you must love his wife  as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.


Colossians 3:18-19
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.


1 Peter 3:1-7
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their trust in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.


Genesis 2:18, 20b-25
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 
The man said, 
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman' , for she was taken out of the man."
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. 


As a woman I will want to seek permission to address the men on this issue. I do not write as one trying to give instruction (I am never empowered to do such), but to humbly share with you the truth of the word of God. This will enable us have a balance on the topic we are looking into, and ultimately achieve by the grace of God a beautiful marriage and a restful home just as God intended it at the beginning.
From the passages we have above, the second but most powerful instruction on the issue of marriage is given to the man, and this instruction says "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." One point that came to mind when I thought of this instruction is the fact that God will want the man to love his wife as his own body. Then the Spirit of God made me realize that in truth the wife is actually an extract from the man's body. She is a by-product of the man cause she was taken out of the man.
Never mind the fact that she is from a different country, a different state, a different tribe, a different dialect  different skin colour, different race, different nation, whatever the differences are between you and your wife, that does not negate the truth of the word of God that she was formed from the rib that was extracted from your body and so she is a product of your body and the Lord desires that you love and care for her as you would your own body. 
Again Paul said to love your wife unconditionally just as Christ loves the Church. I just hope that the men are prepared for this because invariably what the Lord is demanding  from the man is that as much grace as they have received from Christ and following in the footsteps of what Christ did and is still doing for the church, they Lord demands they do exactly the same for their wives. So if Christ did forgive the church despite all the rejections, you are to do the same for your wife; if Christ did lay a divinely acceptable way living for the church, then you are to do the same for your wife; if Christ did love the Church unconditionally, then you are to do the same for your wife; if Christ did shed His blood for the church, then you are to do the same for your wife; if Christ is presently interceding and is the Advocate of the church before God, then you are to do the same for your wife. You are to do all these things bearing in mind that she is heir with to the gracious gift of life.
Proverbs 18:22 says "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favour from God." As a man if you have been seeking the face of God for divine favour in your life and by virtue of your prayers the Lord hands you a woman to be your wife, what we are learning now is that the answer to your very long prayers has been handed over to you in the person of the wife the Lord has given you. 
Again we learnt from Genesis 2:22-25 that God on seeing that the man needs help, formed a woman from the rib of the man and packaged in her all of the help that he can ever need based on the assessment of God. So your wife as the Lord has made her is carrying in her your divine help and favour as God Lord deems it necessary. As a man wherever you go and whatever you do as long as your God given wife is by your side, then your divine favour and divine help is by your side. This explains why you see men with virtuous wives flourish, even in the face of trials. When we read the book of 1 Samuel 25, we will see the role of that intelligent wife Abigal in the life of her mean husband Nabal.
When as a man you understand fully the role of your wife in your life, that she is the totality of the grace of God for your life, then it will not be difficult to love and care for her as the Lord has command you to. When Peter spoke to the husbands  in 1 Peter 3, he said, "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." So it appears that a man who has not learnt to love and treat his wife with respect as God has command it be done stands the risk of his prayer hindered.
For the man who has not learnt to treat kindly and love dearly the favour of God for his life in the person of his wife, life gradually becomes a struggle, because that which is needed to end the struggle in his life has been greatly despised by him.
To love your wife is great gain, I cannot comprehend the wisdom of God as He has so perfectly issued the right instruction fitting to the man in marriage and the woman in marriage. I once heard a message preached by Joel Osteen on marriage and he made a very valuable point to the men, he said a man can only get out of his wife as much as he has put in her (Not his exact words). So to say that you can only expect to reap the value of what you have sown in your wife. If you have learnt to sow love into your wife then you can be sure that you will reap from your wife the fruits of what you have sown. The Lord will grant you grace to be all that He expects you to be.

This will be the last series on this topic, for more articles on related topics such as: The Father and the Children, The Mother and the Children, The Role of In-laws and External Influence in Marriage, Divorce, Handling Disputes in Marriage, Sex in Marriage, please click on the link, most of the articles are free. 

To purchase the book Marriage: God's Rules of Engagement in ebook format which you can download into any of your device and read on the go please click the link https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/300604