It Pays to Obey God

We shall consider 1 Samuel 15:22 today.  In it, Prophet Samuel said: ‘’…Behold to obey is better than Sacrifice…’’.

This is a very relevant statement for today’s world where most things appears to have gone haywire.  Form my personal observation and discussions with different people; I have come to the conclusion that our world is what it is today because a lot of people have made up their minds to jettison God’s instructions.  For example, in Leviticus 19:18, he said: ‘’…you shall love your neighbor as yourself…’’.  Supposing we adhere strictly to this instruction then, acts of terrorism, needless murder, worrisome antisocial behavior, damaging corrupt practices, disturbing poverty, excruciating hunger, unpardonable squalor and avoidable diseases, etc that are endemic in most parts of the world will not be as pervasive as they are at present.

What then is the way forward? We have to make up our minds about obeying God’s instructions without faltering. But to start with, let us consider the probable ways by which people may respond to God’s instructions.  They may:

1.  Disobey him completely.  In Exodus 5:2, God instructed Pharaoh through Moses and Aaron to release the Israelites from bondage but he disobeyed completely.  And for this reason, he and his people suffered untold hardship.  At different times, their waters became blood and their land was inundated with frogs, then lice, flies, boils etc.  In addition, they suffered massive loss of their livestock and each family lost its first born.  As if these were not enough, the elites of the Egyptian army also perished in the red sea.  It is evident from above, that acts of disobedience to God’s instructions are repulsive to him and they carry with them inescapable punishments.  This is made obvious in Hebrews 2:1-3.  It reads:

1.  Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we heard, lest we drift away.  2. for if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3.  How shall we escape…?

2. Obey him partially.  In 1 Samuel Chapter 15, the Lord instructed King Saul to go to Amalek and destroy everything therein because its people disturbed the Israelites as they came up from Egypt.  Initially, he responded enthusiastically but derailed later on by keeping for himself, some of the spoils of war which God specifically instructed him to destroy.  Because be obeyed God partially, he lost his sons, anointing, throne, and life.  We can infer from the calamities that befell Saul that God does not condone partial obedience of his instructions-you either obey him in full or you don’t at all.  You are furthermore expected to make your stand crystal-clear whenever you are dealing with him otherwise; he will find it extremely difficult to put up with you.  Jesus Christ supports this position in Revelation 3:15-16.  Let us see what he said:

‘’I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.  16.  So, because you are lukewarm-neither cold nor hot-I am able to spit you out of my mouth’’.

3.  Obey him completely.  In Exodus 20:5, God, while referring to earthly gods said: ‘’you shall not bow to them nor serve them…’’.  Daniel obeyed this instruction completely when he had to.  In Daniel Chapter 6, a plot was hatched by his detractors to depose him from his exalted position.  They got King Darius, to sign a decree which forbids any man from praying to any god or man apart from himself for thirty days.  They knew that Daniel would never obey the decree and that he would get into trouble subsequently.  As expected, he didn’t obey it instead, he prayed and gave thanks to God openly and he was cast into the Lions’ den but guess what? The Lord shut the Lions’ mouths and spared his life.  Now let us see the King’s ensuing reactions.  First, he was astounded and he went on with his people, to openly acknowledge the supremacy of God.  Next he destroyed Daniel’s detractors and their entire families by casting them into the same den of Lions whilst he prospered Daniel.

Friend, is the Lord instructing you lately to support his work with your clout, resources, time, expertise, ministry, etc? Or is he instructing you to help the needy members of your society? Is he instructing you to spend more time with him in prayer and in reading your bible? Does he want you to just stay calm in your present state and await his intervention? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then be prepared to obey him completely (this is the only sensible and rewarding option opened to you) and you can be sure that it shall be well with you (Jeremiah 7:23).  Remember that ‘’if you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land’’ (Isaiah 1:19).  So shall it be in Jesus name.  Amen.

Good news!!!  This monthly bulletin is four (4) years old today.  To God be the glory.  Hallelujah!

Jesus is Lord!

Jesus Christ is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Above is a very familiar bible quotation, which is often cited in Christendom to buttress the belief that, Jesus Christ is strictly unchangeable.  It serves as the motto of several Churches, Christian organizations, corporate bodies, and individuals all over the world.  And it can be found on posters affixed to the back of bibles and other Christian literatures, notice boards, bill boards, walls of buildings, cars, etc. far and wide.  Some people even tattoo it on their bodies! But it is a statement of fact, which I, like several other people, can attest to by means of testimonies.  It is my pleasure to narrate some of mine under the following headings.

1.  Jesus, the unchanging ultimate Healer

This testimony is aimed at portraying Jesus Christ as the unchanging ultimate healer.  He is very adept at healing people and the bible attests to this fact thus:   ‘’And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people’’ (Matthew 4:23) . His proficiency has not diminished a bit since then.

Mr KAN (not the real name), a close associate of ours, once developed a rare, but very complicated neurological problem, which crippled him physically and mentally for nearly four years.  He was seen by many brilliant doctors in Nigeria and abroad, but none of them could heal him.  He later, out of desperation, employed the services of native doctors, sorcerers, occultists, witches and wizards etc. still, none of them could help him out.  Things went so bad for him such that, by the time we met him, he wasn’t interested in living anymore.  Anyway, we gave him hope and led him to Christ.  We also arranged deliverance for him and he was totally healed to the glory of God.  Mr KAN lived a normal life and regained all that the Devil stole from him when he was ill thereafter.  This testimony confirms once again, that Jesus Christ is still in the business of healing people and that, He is truly the same yesterday, today and forever.

Friend, do you or anyone close to you need healing today? If you do please, turn to Jesus and He will sort you out (Matthew 11:28).  Amen.

2.  Jesus, the unchanging Giver of result oriented direction

Jesus Christ is the only person who is capable of giving people consistent and purposeful direction.  In Acts Chapter 9, Saul (later called Paul) went to Damascus to persecute Christians and he did so with much vehemence, till he was struck down with blindness from heaven.  And as a consequence of this incidence, he became helpless and sought assistance from God saying: ‘’Lord, what do you want me to do?’’ (Acts 9:6a).  And Jesus gave him a result oriented direction as follows:  “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6b).  He complied with the instruction and that marked the beginning of his mind-boggling success story on earth. 

Back home in Nigeria, my wife and I needed urgent and continual financial assistance which nobody we approached, was ready to give us.  And this brings to the fore what is written in Lamentations 4:17 that is, ‘’ Still our eyes failed us, watching vainly for our help; in our watching we watched for a nation that could not save us’’.  In the end, we sought direction from Jesus, which came via a Holy Spirit led revelation from one of our fathers in the Lord during a prayer meeting.  In it, we were led to buy and sell patent medicines, in addition to our normal professional duties.  By the way, nothing prepared us for this type of business, but we complied promptly with a meager capital of £120.

Before long, God expanded the business beyond our wildest imagination, and in less than six months, our capital base increased from £120 to over £2,500 (i.e. by over £2,380 or almost 2,000%) which was and still is a lot of money in Nigeria.  Now, if we had left our initial capital of £120 in a bank account for six months without touching it, it would not have given us up to £20 as interest (i.e. an increment of 24%, as against the nearly 2000% that we eventually had). But because we obeyed God, He blessed us much more than what we bargained for, and our business outfit became the reference point in our area.  Not only that, from the profits of this venture, we met all our financial obligations, and blessed other people as well.  Just as Jesus gave the people of old result oriented direction, so is He able to give us same in this age as well, if we allow Him (Isaiah 30:21).  Remember that he is the same yesterday, today and forever.    

3.  Jesus, the unchanging Giver of children

God is the unchanging Giver of children. Remember that He gave Hannah, Sarah, Rachael, Elizabeth etc., all barren women, choice children even though, they had earlier been written off. Jesus is also highly proficient at giving children to those desirous of them (John 5:19).

I met Mrs S.E (not the real name) in Nigeria many years back. She was unable to have children, ten years post marriage; and she was under intense pressure from her husband’s family to either give birth to a baby within a stipulated short period of time, or face the humiliation of being thrown out of her matrimonial home. Such is a common occurrence in our background! Prior to that time, and afterwards, she saw many first-class Gynaecologists in Nigeria and abroad, but none of them could help her out of her predicament. Then one day, while crying inside her car at the car park of our hospital, a born again, Holy Spirit filled, Consultant Pathologist (not even a Gynaecologist) came up to give her succor, and she narrated her ordeals to him. Then, he told her very simply that Jesus would give her a child, and she believed him. Afterwards, he led her to Christ, and decreed a child into existence for her in the name of Jesus Christ. Guess what? She became pregnant the following month, without any medical help, and she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, nine months later to the glory of God.

Are you or someone close to you desirous of having children? Have you been told that you can no longer have yours? If your answer is yes, then I have good news for you! Please approach Jesus Christ, the unchanging giver of children today, and I trust that He’ll fix you up before long. Amen.

4.  Jesus, the unchanging Provider of watertight security

Jesus Christ is also the unchanging Provider of waterproof security (Psalm 127:1). 

I once worked in a town, located within the potentially prosperous, but inexcusably neglected and poverty stricken oil and gas producing Niger Delta region of Nigeria.  The town was infested with all manners of criminals including armed robbers, and at a time, almost all the people that I know there had been robbed at one time or the other and all of them had very terrible tales to tell.  We were not exempted!  At about 1.30am one day, a gang of about ten (10) fierce looking, marijuana smoking, very noisy, and fully armed robbers invaded our residence.  And from the outset, it was clear to us that they came to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10).

Initially, they tried all they could to gain entrance into our house by force, but they failed in their bid nevertheless, they persisted.  Then in a split second, I remembered Jesus Christ and some of the earth shaken miracles that he performed strictly after giving thanks to God.  For example, I remembered that He gave thanks to God before raising Lazarus up from the tomb (John 11:1-44), and before feeding four thousand people with seven loaves and fish (Mathew 15:32-39).  Armed with the cases above, my wife and I joined our hands together, and we gave thanks to God and asked Him to save us.   Our prayer was very brief and it went thus: Father we thank you because each time we call on you, you always answer us.  Today, save us from the cruel hands of these armed robbers, and let this siege end now in Jesus name, amen”.  Then, we sat down on our bed and waited for God to act on our behalf.

And after a while, one of the armed robbers spoke in a subdued but determine voice that he would like to opt out of the robbery operation, because according to him, since we chose not to talk or panic, he was dead sure that we were up to something sinister.  He also said he sensed a palpably frightening force, which he was not prepared to confront, backing us.  Please remember that we were dealing with extremely dangerous criminals, who were dead high on drugs here!  Some other members of the gang soon supported him, and before we knew what was happening, a loud dispute erupted among them, and they left our compound in disarray to the utter disbelief of their leader.  Eventually, he (their leader) too, with his gun dangling sloppily behind him, and his head bowed down, scaled over the fence, and melted into the dark. And immediately, Acts 2:21 zoomed into my mind.  It says: ”And it shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the Lord shall be saved”.  Their hasty retreat from our abode also brought to life Deuteronomy 28:7, which says: ”The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways”.

Is insecurity to your life and properties a problem to you at the moment? If it is, then submit yourself under the care of Jesus Christ, the unchanging Provider of waterproof security, He will keep you safe.  Amen.

We have so far ascertained that Jesus Christ is the unchanging ultimate healer, the unchanging Giver of result oriented direction, the unchanging Giver of children and the unchanging Provider of waterproof security.  It is therefore very clear, that power truly belongs to Him (Matthew 28:18) and that He is still in the habit of performing miracles.  He is ready to accommodate you in his plans as well, if you permit Him.  So, I encourage you not to give up if you are currently experiencing any problem; no matter how flimsy or tough it might be.  Just commit it into His hands today and He will sort it out for you before long because He genuinely cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).  Without doubt, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!  Hallelujah, Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

c Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2008

Laughter after Laughter!

Recently, I read one daily devotional in which Genesis Chapters 18 and 21 featured prominently.  And today, I will like to revisit some aspects of these passages.  In Genesis 18, the Lord appeared to Abraham and he (Abraham) entertained him very well.  As a result, God promised him that his wife Sarah, who was then barren, would give birth to a baby boy within one year.  But she laughed in derision!  Sarah laughed because she felt Abraham her husband, and herself were old, well advanced in age, and had passed the age of child bearing.  She perceived God’s promise as unthinkable, and her action did not go down well with God.

However, God still went ahead to fulfil his promise in Genesis 21.  He set all known and all time tested biological/physiological principles governing child bearing aside, so that Sarah, an old woman, could give birth to a baby boy called Isaac.  It is on record that she laughed again but this time around, for joy.

Now let us go back a little bit.  I presume many people would have done what Sarah did if they were in her shoes.  For example, how do you think a woman who has no womb or who is very old or who has multiple/complex gynecological problems would react if she is told that she would soon have a baby? How do you think a person who has an incurable disease would react if he is told that he would be healed shortly; the position of Medical Sciences not withstanding? What about those who have been declared bankrupt, and are evidently not salvageable? How do you think they would react if someone informs them that their position would soon change when there is nothing on ground to support such viewpoint? We can go on and on ad-infinitum.  Except they have absolute faith in God, they would simply laugh their heads off in derision as Sarah did.

Are you one of such people? Have you laughed in derision concerning God’s promise(s) for your life before? Have you concluded that God is incapable of doing much for you again? If your answer is in the affirmative, then I have good news for you; listen to it!

In Genesis Chapter 18:14, God whilst talking to Abraham said:

‘’ is there anything too hard for the lord? At the appointed time, I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son’’.

Today, I perceive the same Lord saying ‘’is there anything too hard for the lord? At the appointed time, I will return to you, my child reading this article, according to the time of life, and you will have whatever your heart desires’’.  You can be very sure that he is willing and able to accommodate you in his plans (Isaiah 45:2-3).  If you desire a child, he will give you one very soon.  If you are ill, he will heal you.  If you are finding it tough to make ends meet, he will bless you abundantly so that you can be a channel of blessing to others; if you are jobless, or if your present job is not commensurate with your level of training/education, be prepared for a more promising job.  Are you confused? Then cheer up because God is ready to give you a sense of direction.  Maybe you are surrounded by enemies; he will give you peace all around.  Are you neck deep in debt or are you finding it tough to repay your mortgage? Is your marriage collapsing? Is your business or ministry in shambles? As a student are you finding it hard to pass prescribed examinations? And as a professional, are you finding it difficult to progress meaningfully? If your answer is yes then, calm down! God is ready to put everything right for you so that you can laugh for joy as Sarah did in Genesis Chapter 21.

However, you have a significant role to play in this matter.  You have to seek the Lord diligently concerning your heart’s desire.  If you seek him, you will find him, but if you forsake him I am afraid, he will forsake you too (2 Chronicles 15:2).  Remember that ‘’he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him’’ (Hebrews 11:6).

Friend, you may have laughed in derision before concerning God’s promises for your life; that does not matter any longer!  What matters now are that if you make up your mind to seek him, you will find him, and you will laugh joyfully at the end of the day.  So shall it be in Jesus name.  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu.

Dr Stoney is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies

 

Try Jesus!

Matthew 9:20-22 narrates the story of a woman who had a flow of blood of twelve years duration. It is on record that she spent all she had on physicians, yet, her condition did not improve.

Please permit me to quickly add here that in her part of the world, hemorrhaging women are considered impure, and so, are avoided. No one is expected to support them in any way too. Theirs was indeed a very pathetic existence! However, reprieve came the way of this woman the moment she touched the hem of the garment of Jesus Christ.

Many lessons can be deduced from the story above, but for the purpose of this write up, we shall only consider the following.

1. Long standing problems are not restricted to a particular person, group of people, or age and time alone

There are loads of instances in the bible, and in these days, when people had to endure long standing problems. This woman’s case is a classic example. Naaman’s is another! He was a reputable general in the Syrian army, but he had Leprosy, a long standing, degrading, and disfiguring skin problem (2 Kings 5:1-14). What about the man who had an infirmity for thirty eight years (John 5:1-9)? These examples and others, confirm that long standing problems are not restricted to a particular person, group of people, age, or time alone. King Solomon confirmed this position in Ecclesiastes 1:9 as follows: “That which has been is what will be. That which is done is what will be done. And there is nothing new under the sun’’.

2. It pays to seek help from the source of ultimate power

The woman went everywhere and consulted a large number of doctors, all to no avail. Going to Medical Doctors for professional help on its own is a very laudable idea, because God gave them their great skill, and every right thinking person should consult them (Ecclesiasticus 38:1-15). Nevertheless, we Medical Doctors sometimes find it rather hard to restore some patients back to full health. In such situation, affected patients should not lose hope; they should simply switch over to the source of ultimate power; Jesus Christ, for deliverance. He confirmed being the custodian of ultimate power in Matthew 28:18 as follows: “…All authority (power) has been given to me in heaven and on earth’’.

3. Victory is certain if we seek help from the source of ultimate power

Thank goodness the woman sought help from Jesus Christ; the source of ultimate power. She touched the hem of his garment, and straightaway, her long standing hemorrhage, body weakness, helplessness, hopelessness, loneliness, rejection, isolation, shame, and sorrow came to an end. She became a brand new person; clean, pure, whole, and unstoppable, to the glory of God.

Friend, it is evident from all indications that seeking help from the source of ultimate power is synonymous with astonishing success, and you too can get all things done through Him. No wonder why the legendary Apostle Paul said: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13) ’’.

Perhaps you or somebody close to you is struggling with a long standing problem at the moment, and help seems to be nonexistent; don’t worry; the right time has come for you to seek help from the source of ultimate power; Jesus Christ, the son of God! Please convey your concerns to him in prayers today. You may even have to fast at some point, if need be (Matthew 17:21).

Supposing you have prayed and fasted on several occasions in the past, but it seems you are getting nowhere, please don’t give up! Just try again and again, because very soon, you will come out triumphant over your problem, and your joy will be full in Jesus name (John 16:23-24). Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu.

Dr Stoney is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies

If the Lord is God, Follow Him

Happy New Year! I heartily rejoice with you for making it through year 2007 into 2008.  To God be the glory.

Without wasting time, let us look at 1 Kings 18:21.  In it, Prophet Elijah said ‘’How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him…’’.

Elisha made this pronouncement as a challenge to the Israelites many of whom had by then forsaken the commandments of the Lord and had followed Baal-a foreign god.  He later challenged the prophets of the god to a contest in the name of the Lord and he made a mince meat of them.  On account of this, many people came to believe that indeed, the Lord is God and they followed him.

That the Lord is God suggests that he is a supernatural being; exceedingly powerful and there is no limit to what he can accomplish (Luke 1:37). Following him by countless of people therefore should be expected and it is full of benefits such as:

1.  Divine security.  In Daniel Chapter 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were thrown into the burning fiery furnace because they refused to worship the gold image made by King Nebuchadnezzar but they were not harmed.  We can conclude from their action that they chose to follow the Lord having realized that he is God and they were protected divinely.

If you want divine security (which is a great deal better than all earthly security arrangements put together) in all aspects of your life and in the lives of your loved ones in 2008 and beyond then, be prepared to know that the Lord is God and to follow him.

2.  Divine promotion.  Joseph was construed in the book of Genesis as someone who followed the Lord having realized that he is God.  In the course of his life, he suffered intense persecutions; he was sold into slavery and even jailed at some point but he never compromised his stand in the Lord.  In the end; he was divinely promoted from prison to power and from zero level to the level of a hero.

Are you interested in being promoted in year 2008? If yes then, rejoice!  I bring good news based on Daniel 11:32 to you.  It reads: ’…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. If you get to know that the Lord is God and you follow him, you will be strong and you will carry out great exploits.  In a nutshell, you will do very well and you will be promoted divinely in the name of Jesus.

3.  Divine intervention. In Genesis Chapter 12, the Lord told Abraham to relocate to a foreign land with promises that could only be made possible via divine intervention.  He obeyed and for doing so, God gave him children (after he and his wife had been written off as far as child bearing was concerned), riches and great glory.  God also allowed him to die at a ripe age and to be buried decently.

I believe that you too have needs; some of which have been intractable.  If I am right then, get ready for divine intervention this year!  But you must do the right thing first.  You must be prepared to know that the Lord is God and you must be prepared to follow him.

At this point, let me mention that the starting point for knowing that the Lord is God and for following him is by accepting Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and savior (John 14:6).  Congratulations if you have done so in the past.  I do not have any shred of doubt in my mind that you are well positioned to reap the benefits of knowing that the Lord is God and of following him (i.e. divine security, divine promotion, divine intervention etc).  So go ahead and ask God for them today (John 16:23-24).  Do not vacillate.  But if you haven’t taken this innocuous but monumental step up till now, please do so without further delay; tomorrow may be too late.  And if by chance you are uncertain about your salvation, please rededicate your life to Christ today.  Indecisiveness may prove very fatal in this matter (Revelation 3:16).

Finally, let me use this opportunity to ask God to make every facet of your life and the lives of your loved ones easier and better than they were in 2007.  And perhaps you started 2008 crying, may you end it smiling in Jesus name.  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!