THE BEREAN WAY

Few weeks ago while having a conversation with a friend, he said something which I wasn’t convinced was the truth cause I had a prior knowledge of the subject matter, albeit patchy. I didn’t refute it totally but I did air my own thoughts which led him to say he wasn’t certain too. Oh wow, what a nice twist. Apparently, that was the information he had received.

I went back to check the ever willing google and found the correct information in no time. You might also wish he did that too before passing it on to me, right?

Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

Romans 17:10-11

In the scripture above, we learn of the brethren in Berea who were said to be fair-minded because they readily received the word of God. But beyond that they went back to search daily, diligently if I might add.

They didn’t just take everything in hook, line and sinker. They went back to search the word of God. It is however saddening today that we believers further propagate the false doctrines we’ve been fed because we didn’t take time to search the scriptures for confirmation- just like I would have done if I didn’t also confirm like my friend. We go around with false doctrines because we’ve failed in our duty to search, confirm and test that which we’ve heard.

But test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:21(NLT)

We are to test all things that are said to us and then hold on to the good. This we then can fully give ourselves to and propagate.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

1 John 4:1

Beloved, the scriptures has instructed us to test even spirits because we have false prophets in the world parading themselves the real deal. Therefore, it is of great importance that we do not believe every doctrine we come across without first testing them.

As believers, we must learn the berean way. We must be noble enough to receive the word with readiness and yet go back to search the scriptures wherein lies the truth. The word of God is available to us, easily assesible even. Let us not be lazy but be diligent to learn of God so as not to be deceived.

We receive grace to give ourselves to the study of God’s word. Amen.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

THE FRUIT; having its seed in itself

Fruits, of various kinds and sizes adding colours and taste to our meals. They are everywhere and arguably available to every social class. Their presence are evidence to the presence of a tree; which is their source

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

In the above scripture, we see a fruit which is evidence to the presence of the Spirit of God. So, the Spirit can be likened to a tree-bearing fruit. A fruit called love, joy, peace…

But, there’s something spectacular about fruits. Something fascinating, if I might add.

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth“; and it was so.

Genesis 1:11

From the verse above, this spectacular thing is their replicative ability. It’s that they have this nature in them; which is to produce more of their kind. Because each fruit has in itself its seed. We find each fruit carrying about its own seed.

So when a fruit finds its way into a place, it comes with its seed; ready to replicate itself. No wonder this produce of the Spirit is likened to a fruit. Love has its seed in itself, peace does and so does kindness.

You show love to a neighbour and in no time they are already reciprocating it. You choose self control always and in no time that child of yours learns to keep his cool too.

When the Holy Spirit produces this fruit in us and we begin to spread it; in no time seeds will find a fertile ground (another heart), a tree then grows (the Holy Spirit is allowed in) and produces more fruit. And soon enough the kingdom of this world becomes that of our Lord. Fruits indeed have in themselves their seeds- it’s the Father’s brilliant plan.

How then do we ensure these fruits are produced in us?

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

John 15:4

Dear Christian, it is my prayer that we’ll really give the Spirit space to produce these seed bearing fruits in us by continually abiding in Him.

WITH MOUTHS WIDE OPEN: ASKING

My colleagues and I were in the ENT specialist clinic recently; oh ENT is an acronym for ear, nose & throat. People were coming in, having their ears checked and here we were, medical students yearning to have ours checked too as I was to find out later on!

I really wanted to check mine but how do I ask my professor? There and then, I said to myself what’s the worse that could happen? Be turned down, I guess. I did ask, he made some funny comments and agreed. Then to my astonishment, my colleagues started coming forward to request the same. Some even got free treatment. Nice right?

I realized that they wouldn’t have had that access if I didn’t choose to ask. Jesus already told us “to ask and we’ll be given!”

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7

Then came James reprimanding us that “we do not have because we do not ask”.

…And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is that you don’t ask God for it.

James 4:2 (NLT)

We indeed seem to have forgotten our Lord’s instruction like James rightly said. Perhaps our families would have if we ask. Perhaps our Nation would have if only we choose to ask.

So we go about ‘without’ because we have thought the principle of ‘asking’ small and of no effect. We do not have because we do not ask. We’re scared of asking? What’s the worse that could happen? You are told NO. But our Father in heaven promised to give when we ask. He is ever ready to give good gifts, emphasis on good, to His children.

Ask and it will be given to you… If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Matthew 7:7,11

Would you be bold to ask today? And see, just see the Father’s willingness to give. Our lover and a giver. Would the one who says it is better to give than to receive, not freely give to us?

Take that bold step, say a prayer NOW. Ask for that good thing NOW. Your father has been waiting to hear you ask.

But the LORD still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help them.

Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)

WHY GROW 2?

Earlier this year, I had to make the necessary but undesired trip back to school from home. I was to go by road and with public transport; but just a day before the journey I got an offer. An acquaintance of my parent was about to make the same journey and I was given the option to travel with them(the acquaintance and one other) free of charge. Now, I wasn’t interested so I politely turned down the offer.

The following morning, I packed my bags and off we went. I got to the park quite early and found a nice seat. Oh, I forgot to add that the offer was placed again before I left for the park and I rejected it yet again.

I settled in nicely and plugged in my headset to listen to my oh-so-nice playlist of Gospel songs while waiting for the bus to get full. Then it happened.

I got a call from my parent. I was to get off the bus immediately and wait to be picked up. You’re pissed on my behalf right? Imagine how I felt but it wasn’t a suggestion. As a dependent, I had to obey and do as I was told. I mean, I wasn’t even going to pay the public transport fare myself. A dilemma.

To cut the long story short, I had to travel with the acquaintance against my wish.

The journey back to school. I made the best of it eventually

The truth is that I didn’t make that journey on my terms and it happened because I was still a dependent; The number of autonomous decisions I can make are quite limited.

It’s more or less the same with our growth. You’ll keep being forced to do things you don’t want to do because you’re yet a child. Remember Paul’s admonition to the Ephesian church- that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro. Growth brings you out of that control that isn’t of God. Wrong external influences that you’ll likely have fallen for as a child will no longer shake or move you. Influences that go against the will of the Father and the laws of His Kingdom.

As you grow in God, the rate at which physical factors, people’s opinions, philosophies and circumstances control your life reduces. The relationship between these two factors is inversely proportional: as one increases, the other reduces.

If you’ll indeed live above other influences and solely under the control of the Father, you’ve got to make your spiritual growth a priority

Ephesians 4:14 – that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

WHY GROW?

There are quite a number of trees in our praying ground on campus; such large and tall trees. Not only do they serve as shades from the scorching sun, they also bring some coolness which is highly required while praying if you ask me

Some months ago we gathered to pray under a particular tree and it really caught my attention. I realised that some branches were quite low that I could just reach out, even while sitting, and cut them off. While some were so high, even the tallest amongst us wouldn’t dare try.

Then it struck me, this is one of the reasons why I need to grow in my walk with God and in extension, all facets of life. The lower branches were at a risk of being cut off at any time by anyone.

We need to see our growth as a lifeline and safety measure. The more you grow, the less you’re easily taken away by the cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches, storms and floods of this life

That we’d have grown so deep, the evil one will find it hard to reach our roots and pluck us out. That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting Ephesians 4:14

Friends, now more than ever, make a decision to keep growing in God and in this Faith that was handed down to us. Shalom.

“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” – Acts 20:32

BAGGAGE-FREE FEW


Lovely gate, isn’t it? Now, let’s take a walk on the streets of imagination. Just imagine if the small pedestrian gate is the only entrance to a mansion filled with invaluable gems and the main gate on the other hand is one of the gates that leads to a run-down, beat-up apartment. Then comes Mr John with his ‘luxurious’ car trying to get into the mansion through this small and narrow gate. He knows what’s better for him in the long run and that’s a mansion filled with everything he needs but he isn’t willing to part with his car in the interim. He doesn’t want to go through the stress of walking in the hot sun, perhaps. So, he keeps struggling to get in with his car but the pedestrian gate just wouldn’t bulge. You expect that it’ll be built with the strongest metal you can think of right? It guards something so precious to be easily penetrable.

What next? Another luxurious car owner comes along and encourages him to try the wider gate. “What’s there to loose? You can’t get stuck in a place, you’ve got to move on,” he says

But what does God have to say about this?

Matthew 7:13-14 - "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (NKJV)

Did you note that verse? Many, not few, will subscribe to the gate and way of destruction. Why? The other is narrow and difficult so they give up! The former is big enough to accommodate a man’s desires, selfish interests, the cares of this world, anger, grudges, ambitions and even unhealthy relationships.

The gate that leads to eternal life on the other hand, is narrow and selective. It’ll decide what’s important enough to journey with you and what you need to leave behind. It won’t accommodate your unnecessary luggage. But the good news is that the reward, which is LIFE,  fully outweighs the restrictions. The restrictions are even for your benefit. You get to journey light and free!

Do not forget that not only is the gate narrow, the road is also difficult. The requirement to surrender your baggage and let go is not restricted to the point of entry. It is continuous. God keeps asking you to shed more weight as you journey along. The instructions and requirements might even get stricter till you get to the end; till you get the fullness of that LIFE.

Why is it that just few find it? No one wants destruction but we find many going that part. Why?
Why can’t we let go of your weights and heavy loads? Why can’t we break free from unhealthy lifestyles and relationships?
Why aren’t we willing to suffer a while for the joy ahead?

Brood on these things. What have you found too hard to leave for the narrow gate? What’s too hard to relinquish for this difficult road?

Your decision today matters, so make a wise one. It’ll determine if you’ll be numbered among the few or not.

Make a decision to let go and let God. Be sincere with the Father. He’s always ready to help us.

Unlike Mr John, get out of that car and journey on!
God help us.

IS GOD A WOMAN?

GOD – The Sovereign. One who has no beginning and certainly no end. Ruler of the universe. Our King. Our Father. Our source. My people call him ‘ OLUWA’, ‘OLORUN’, ‘OLODUMARE’

The Holy one of Israel. God is beautiful and makes all things beautiful. He is love. He gives and keeps giving; He gave his life! He is plenteous in mercy. He is wonderful. His voice resounds like thunder. He is the Father of lights in whom there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. God is strong and mighty. He is mighty in battle! He is God of vengeance. He destroys his enemies and brings them to ruin. He is a stumbling-block to those who won’t believe. The Lord of hosts who destroys. He makes his enemies as a fiery oven in the time of his anger, he swallows them up in his wrath and destroys them! Psalms 21:8-9. He is I AM THAT I AM

The man– One whom God made and gave him total dominion over all things. He was told to tend and keep it!
Tend 1. To look after; to accompany as an assistant or protector; to care for the wants of; to look after; to watch; to guard. 2. To kindle; ignite; set on fire; light; inflame; burn.
Keep 1. to uphold or maintain. 2. To watch over, look after, guard, protect. 3. To supply with necessities and financially support a person 4. To raise; to care for.
God does all these and more, infact, much more for us all. No wonder the scriptures often use the pronouns ‘he’, ‘his’ and ‘himself’. Why won’t God be regarded as a male? He seems to have a lot on his shoulders, yet he remains unfazed! He never sleeps nor slumber, keeping watch over his household (you and I). Indeed, he is the man of the house. He is our husband! Is God a man?
God told the man ‘to tend’ & ‘to keep’, and he(God) himself does this; is he a man?



The woman – the ‘helpmeet’..
Did you see the scriptures call God our help? Heb.13.6 – So we may boldly say: The LORD is my helper. He is our helpmeet
Let’s take a walk through the scriptures
Proverbs 1:20-21 (AMP) – Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words
Proverbs 3:18 – She is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her; and happy (blessed, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who holds her fast.

Who is this wisdom Solomon called ‘her’?
1 Cor 1:30 – God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself…
So then, Christ is this wisdom.
Not totally convinced that this same wisdom referred to as ‘her’ is Jesus? Check out Proverbs 8:12-17,Proverbs 8:22-31 & John 1: 1-3. We have a lot of similarities between Wisdom(as seen in Proverbs) and Jesus(as seen in John), who we know to be LORD
Here the Scripture (in Proverbs) regards to Jesus as ‘her’. Our Lord, who has all the power and authority in heaven and in earth, regarded as ‘her’?
See Wisdom was shown to be a helper in Proverbs. Giving instructions, reaching out, helping those who have her gain wealth, helping rulers rule well, teaching men what to do (just like a mother would!) and lot’s more..
Even God himself gave us his Spirit as ‘our helper’. The spirit that was present before the beginning of the world is our help!
We’ve seen God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit as our help. God made the woman a help and he himself does this, is God a woman?



Is God a man? He is the head! Over all things! All authority in heaven and on earth is his.
Is God a woman? He gave his own life! No one took it from him, he gave it himself. He ‘submitted’ himself, as it were. The Immortal who washed the feet of mortals. The one who helps us daily and gave his Spirit to be our helper; glorious ‘helpmeet’.

Friend, God is not man! Numbers 23:19 – God is not a man, that he should lie. Neither is he a woman. God is a spirit!
John 4: 24 – God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God is more than a man or a woman; much more! He is a Spirit; he has a personality, yet a spirit! Men and women are made in his likeness (now applies to those who are regenerated), so each gender got his attributes. God tends and keeps; yet he helps! He encompasses all.
God is a spirit and those who will worship him will do so in spirit and in truth; beyond the realms of the physical, beyond the barriers of gender, but in spirit!

THE LOVER’S GIFT

Every one values a gift from their lover. You look forward to it, treasure it and try your possible best to reciprocate- that’s if your love is true anyway. We all get gifts and present them to our lover!


We say God is our lover and yet we aren’t interested in bringing him gifts; not cool. For some whose interests may have been piqued and are now interested, the question is ‘what gift do I bring to a lover who has and owns all things?’


Worship! Yes! But do you see giving your all to the one who paid the price for your sin and died for you as a gift or as his due? (WORSHIP – check a previous article)


Souls! Yes! Paramount to Him! But is this really a gift or a commandment to you whom he has saved and beautified? Matthew 28:20


In this relationship, we get all the gifts! Anything we think to give him is his due in the first place. Even the offerings you give are just a token out of what he gave you 1 Corinthians 4:7b.


Perhaps he only requires that you truly love him back- every lover’s desire. And you do that by total obedience.

1 John 5:3 – For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandment. And his commandments are not burdensome. John 14:15 – If you love me, keep my commandments.

Give your lover a gift, obey him totally!

WORSHIP

Worship, is a word that has been commonly used and perhaps commonly misunderstood as well.

A “slow song” you may call it, or that one song that unerringly produces gooseflesh and seems to catapult you into the “spirit” and suspend you there for as long as it is played. For some others, it is the perfect name for their first born child. For some who deem themselves mature, and are only able to feast on dry bone and not milk anymore, worship just means ministering to God!

The above and lots more are some of the perspectives people have about worship. But let us take a quick walk through the scriptures, shall we?

The place of first mention in the scriptures, of the word “worship”, was in Genesis 22:5 where Abraham, one of the first to be “declared righteous” described his intended sacrifice as worship. A rhetorical question at this junction, if you may. What exactly is the meeting point between sacrifice and Worship? Just stay with me.

Some chapters after the happenings of Genesis 22, we see what happens in Genesis 24 verses 6 and 52, where Abraham’s servant worshipped God by bowing himself to the earth, the lowest level he could probably go.

Also, in the book of Exodus 12:27, it is recorded how that the Nation beloved of God bowed down to worship him after the widely shared story of the God-orchestrated freedom from their task masters.

You might ask, “what is this writer driving at?” or “what has the old testament got to do with this?”. Mathew was inspired to record the beautiful story where the wise men worshipped our saviour and fell down to do that!; a powerful message to us all who claim to worship the saviour. These men bowed down to worship Jesus and they presented their gifts to him- the best they had with them perhaps.

Friends, worship is more than that slow song or the silent mood; It may involve these but it is much more. Abraham’s decision to sacrifice his son meant he was willing to give all to God. It meant he submitted to the LORD, totally recognising him as the final authority. Abraham’s servant, the Israelites and the wise men fell down in total submission to God. Recognising him as king and Lord, giving him total control. The wise men even went as far as presenting gifts to him. They gave him their best. Can we then see worship as a lifestyle of total surrender to God? Where God is placed first and above all. Where his will is what drives us. Where our best and our all goes to him. Where we are ready to say YES LORD even when it may not be convenient for us. It’s a point we get to, where we are always eager to give him credit. Is God indeed your LORD? Will you at every point bow in submission to him? Have you given your best to him or you are still holding on to it?

Little wonder the Most High was accounted by John, in the Gospel according to John, to have said that there’ll yet come a time when those who will worship will do so in spirit and in truth. It gives me great joy to say we are now in this dispensation. Where God doesn’t require physical sacrifice and external show of bowing down any longer. What he wants is a people who have sanctified themselves, who have submitted all their will and will continue to. People who have indeed recognised him as Lord. People who will, everyday, put him first (Mathew 10:37). Who will everyday place him above all else. Who will daily submit to him and give their best to him.

This a call. God seeks men after his own heart. Who will indeed worship him in truth and in spirit. GOD HELP US!

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