God, Thanksgiving and Security

I will narrate a personal testimony in this write up to support the indisputable fact that God is the provider of flawless security.  Back home in Nigeria, I worked and lived in a town located within the potentially prosperous but appallingly neglected and poverty stricken oil producing region (the Niger Delta).  The town was infested with all shades of criminals including armed robbers and at a time, almost all the people that I know there had been robbed and all of them had terrible stories to tell.  We were not spared.  At about 1.30am one day, a gang of about ten (10) fierce looking, marijuana smoking, noisy and fully armed robbers invaded our residence and from the outset, it was clear that they came to steal, kill and 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 his earth shaken miracles especially the ones that he performed 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 above accounts, my wife and I joined our hands together and we gave thanks to God before asking him to rescue us.   Our prayer was short and it went thus: ‘’Father we thank you because each time we call on you, you answer us.  Today, save us from the cruel hands of these armed robbers and let their invasion end right now in Jesus name.  Amen’’.  Then we sat down on our bed and waited patiently for God to act.  In next to no time, one of the robbers told his comrades in a subdued but determined voice that he was no longer interested in the robbery operation because according to him, we were up to something sinister and that a palpably frightening power which he wasn’t ready to confront, was backing us.  Some other members of the gang also supported him and before we knew what was happening, all of them fled from our compound in disarray thus confirming 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.  With thanks, we trusted God for our security and he did not disappoint us.  To him be all glory, honour and adoration in Jesus name.  Amen.

Related development

At the moment, our world is full of insecurity as demonstrated by gangsterism, terrorism, wars, natural disasters, economic crunch, worrisome health alerts etc.  Nobody is sure of anything anymore and governments all over the world are doing everything possible to put things right all to no avail.  What then should we do as children of God? I believe this is the most auspicious time for us to turn our attention to God more than ever before since it is apparent that no human intervention can bail us out successfully.  We should sincerely pray to him to stretch his infallible security to cover our lives and the lives of our loved ones, our health, properties, jobs; ministries, businesses, savings, mortgages, pensions etc prevailing global situations notwithstanding and he will. Remember that his security apparatus towers well above ours and the Psalmist attested to this fact in Psalm 127:1 where he said:  ’’Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain’’.

We relied on God’s sound security in time of grave danger to our lives and properties and he did not disappoint us.  He will not disappoint you too in Jesus name.  However, the attitude of thanksgiving as espoused by Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:6 is very essential in this business.   In the passage, he said: ‘’Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;’’.  As from today; make it a routine to give quality thanks to God before presenting your requests to him.  He will definitely surprise you at some point in Jesus name.  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

Go out and Fish!

One day, Jesus Christ was walking by the Sea of Galilee and He saw Simon Peter and Andrew casting a net into the Sea and He said to them, ”Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. Immediately, they left their nets and followed Him (Matthew 4:18-20). They later became very successful in their generation.

‘Fishers of men’ is a phrase that is frequently used in Christendom and for the purpose of this write up, we shall look at some aspects of it. Firstly, Fishers of Men by definition are people who have set all things aside to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and winsouls for Him. They are very close to God’s heart and He ensures that they are duly rewarded. Now, let us look at some of their rewards.

1. Overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit

One of the foremost rewards accruable to Fishers of Men is the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit. He has amazing power which He confers on all willing children of God, including Fishers of Men. And this power propels them to function for Jesus Christ without restraint (Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit also teaches them all things including things to come, reminds them of all things and guides them into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13). It sounds reasonable to conclude therefore, that the Holy Spirit is a priceless entity which every person ought to embrace in order to do well in life. And you can have Him on board your life if you become a Fisher of Men.

2. Huge personal returns

Being Fishers of Men also confer huge personal terrestrial and extra-terrestrial returns on people and Jesus Christ confirmed this position in Matthew 19:29 as follows: ”And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life”. So, if you are interested in having mind-blowing personal returns that transcends this world then, you have got to work towards becoming a Fisher of Men forthwith and you’ll have them in Jesus name. Amen.

3. Ability to do wonders

Fishers of men also have the ability to perform signs and wonders and Jesus confirmed this point like this: ”And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues 18. … they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”(Mark 16: 17-18). The Apostles, being Fishers of Men, performed countless signs and wonders and they became hugely relevant to their generation. If you want to be relevant to yours too, then be ready to do things differently; be ready to perform signs and wonders in the name of Jesus. Be ready to become a Fisher of Men as from today.

4. Fool-proof personal security

Fool-proof personal security is another top reward of Fishers of Men. And Jesus Christ captured this point in Mark 16:18 thus: ”They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them…”. So, if you covet a fool-proof personal security in this age and time of sickening insecurity then, consider becoming a Fisher of Men henceforth and you’ll have it in Jesus name. Amen.

We have seen that ‘Fishers of Men’ are people who have set all things aside to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and win souls for Him. And in return, He rewards them handsomely with the presence of the Holy Spirit, huge personal returns, ability to perform signs and wonders, fool-proof security, among others. It is therefore attractive to join them.

How then can this happen, so that I can rake in good rewards you may wish to ask? Firstly, you must accept Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and Saviour; i.e., you must be born again if you aren’t yet. Next, you must prayerfully get involved in soul winning activities and finally, leave the rest to God to perfect. You can be sure that He will not disappoint you in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

c Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2009

Focus on God; Have a Miracle

We shall be looking at 1 Samuel 1:1-20 which captures the plight of Hannah in her quest for a baby after a long spell of childlessness in this write up.  This is a popular account from which a couple of points can be deduced.  We shall consider some of them in this write up.

1.  Tribulations are an unavoidable part of this world.  Hannah experienced great tribulations in her quest for a child.  Her plight sadly exemplifies what many childless women go through especially in societies where childlessness is frowned at.  They are regularly despised, degraded, provoked, oppressed and ultimately side lined.  They may even be ejected from their matrimonial homes or killed if care is not taken.  However, childlessness is not the only tribulation on earth.  There are many others and they come in different shapes and sizes.  Be happy though, because whatever yours may be is not unrecognized or undefeatable by Jesus Christ.  This we can confirm in John 16:33 where he said: ‘’…. In this world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’’.

2.  You must be sincerely tired of your current unacceptable situation before you can have a release from it.  Hannah was sincerely tired of her state of childlessness and that was the reason why she went to Shiloh to seek the face of God for an acceptable solution in the first place.  In the same vein, you must be sincerely tired of your current, perhaps, excruciating situation before you can have a release from it.  And the good news is that reprieve is possible and readily available through Jesus Christ.  This he confirmed in Matthew 11:28 when he said: Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Involve Jesus Christ in your unwelcome situation today and you will have a release from it ultimately.

3.  Always keep calm in the face of provocation.  Whenever you are provoked, please keep calm and refrain from behaving rashly.  Peninah provoked Hannah sore but she kept her cool.  Prophet Eli even called her a drunk yet, she did not complain.  In the end, the man of God prophesied unto her that she would have a son within one year and it came to pass.  If she had behaved rashly in the face of provocation, she would have probably missed her long awaited miracle.  This bring to fore what Apostle Paul pontificated in Ephesians 4:31.  That is: ‘’let bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice’’.

4.  Expressing genuine and enduring love is always beneficial.  Elkanah expressed genuine and enduring love to Hannah his wife throughout her ordeals and his action proved very soothing and helpful to her.  This is an excellent example that we must endeavor to emulate.  If you want your condition to change for good then, consider expressing genuine and enduring love towards others.  It is the wish of Jesus Christ that we should do so (Matthew 22:37-40).  Please remember that love ‘’bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7).

5.  It is rewarding to make a vow to God.  If you have been trying to grapple with an issue for a long time without success, perhaps it is time for you to make a vow to God concerning it.  Hannah did and she had a baby boy.  Jacob also did and the Lord kept him till he returned to his father’s house (Genesis 28:10-22).  What about Jephthah? He made a vow to God and he conquered the Ammonites without much ado (Judges 11: 29-33).  If you make a vow to God concerning your heartfelt desires, they shall surely come to pass, possibly more quickly.  You can vow to use your money, talents, position, clout etc to the glory of God.  However, you must ensure that you redeem your vow to avoid infuriating him (Deuteronomy 23:21). 

6.  Be focused on God; your miracle is on the way.  Immediately Eli made his pronouncement on Hannah she believed him, changed her countenance, became happy, ate her food, and the next day, she joined others to worship the Lord.  That is, she focused on God and her miracle came to pass.  If you act in the same vein, God will be attracted to you (Psalm 22:3) and your miracle will not elude you (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Let me reiterate here that you cannot easily receive any meaningful miracle from God if you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your personal Lord and savior.  If you haven’t then, do so today because tomorrow may be too late.   It is my heartfelt prayer that the points highlighted above will guide you into your enduring miracle in Jesus name.  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

Being on the Lord’s Side

In Exodus 32:1-35, the Israelites demanded a god from Aaron and he obliged them with a gold calf which they worshipped and sacrificed to. They did these in the absence of Moses and as expected, God was displeased with them and he punished them severely for their act of defiance. But prior to that time, Moses challenged the Israelites this way: ”Whoever is on the LORD’s side—come to me!” (Exodus 32:26).

Above is now a common challenge in Christendom and it is largely used to determine the stance of each individual in the Lord. Not being on the Lord’s side is fraught with grave consequences as the Israelites later discovered whereas; being on His side is replete with loads of benefits that includes:

1. Healing

Healing is a prominent benefit of being on the Lord’s side and this claim can be supported with many biblical examples. For example, Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-14), a top-notched General in the Syrian army, was a leper. No doubt, he needed healing and he tried all he could to get it without success until he switched over to the Lord’s side. This he did, by approaching Elisha, a man of God, for help at the prompting of his wife’s Israelite slave girl. Perhaps like Naaman, you too need healing in your body or family, finance, business, ministry, reputation, etc. then, switch over to the Lord’s side today. Remember that He is no respecter of persons. Whatever He did for Naaman and others in the past, He is prepared to do for you too in Jesus name. Amen.

2. Confidence

Confidence is another striking benefit of being on the Lord’s side. In 1 Samuel 17:1-54, the Israelites went to war against the Philistines but because they lacked confidence, they couldn’t confront their enemies frontally. They were particularly afraid of Goliath, a champion. But David was not afraid of him or any one since he was on the Lord’s side (1 Samuel 17:45). So, with great confidence, he confronted and killed Goliath and paved way for the smashing of his feared army. God also wants us to exude great confidence in all ways and Apostle Paul confirmed this view in 2 Timothy 1:7 as follows: ”For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”. Do you desire great confidence to combat the issues affecting your life? If you do, then switch over to the Lord’s side today and you’ll have it in Jesus name. Amen.

3. Restoration

Restoration is a very visible benefit of being on the Lord’s side. In Matthew Chapter 9, Jesus Christ restored healing to the woman who had a flow of blood, sight to two blind men, speech to a mute man, and life to a girl that was dead. But one thing was common to all these people; they were on the Lord’s side since they went to Him for help. This same Lord is interested in restoring back whatever the Devil has taken away from you and He made this crystal clear in Joel 2:25 thus: ”…I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust …”. Do you need restoration in any part of your life today? If you do then, now is the time for you to switch over to the Lord’s side and you’ll have it in Jesus name. Amen.

4. Salvation

This is by far the most important benefit of being on the Lord’s side since it is the visa to the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10) was a chief tax collector and a great sinner. Definitely, he was on his way to perdition until he met Jesus Christ and switched over to His side. That same day, he received his salvation and became a candidate for the kingdom of God. You too can receive your salvation today and be well positioned for the kingdom of God if you switch over to His side.

In summary, being on the Lord’s side connotes being close to Him and this is full of benefits; some of which we have earlier considered. They include having healing, confidence, restoration and salvation. No doubt, they are mouth-watering and most people will do everything humanly possible to have them. You too can have them if you wish but you must be prepared to do the right thing first; you must be born again. You may even have to rededicate your life to Christ if need be. It is after these conditions have been met, that you can qualify to be on the Lord’s side and partake in His benefits (John 10:27-28). If you are not yet born again, please do so today! And you can be sure that Jesus will not reject you (John 6:37).

Jesus is Lord!

c Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2009

Don’t Look Back

Happy New Year!  I heartily rejoice with you for successfully crossing over from year 2008 into 2009.  To God be the glory.

In Genesis Chapter 19, the depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah was brought to fore.  It was so atrocious that God destroyed them eventually.  Nevertheless, he was kind enough to spare Lot and the members of his family via the assistance of two angels but with the proviso that they shouldn’t look back while their escape was in progress.  Unfortunately, Lot’s wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt.

Today, I will like us to pay a close attention to the statement ‘’don’t look back’’.  It can mean different things to different people at different times but we shall consider only two of such meanings in this write up.  First, it can mean ‘’don’t turn your head in the opposite direction; look straight-ahead of you’’.  I discovered very early in life that it is very hazardous to look back while moving forward as needless falls, various degrees of injuries and handicapping situations may ensue.  Death is also a possible sequel.  

It can also mean ‘’refrain from focusing on your past sins, pains, frustrations, deprivations, dashed hopes, defeats et cetera; press forward’’.  Again, I discovered from personal experiences that it is extremely difficult to make any meaningful progress in life if one keeps looking back in the context highlighted above since such action is capable of leading to more sins, more pains, more frustrations, more dashed hopes etc.  Death is also a possible outcome.  Lot’s wife looked back and she turned into a pillar of salt.  She lost her life.

Perhaps in 2008, you trusted God for a choice spouse or a child of your own, a good job, financial solvency, academic progress, professional advancement, good health, better relationship with the Lord, good standing in your society, improved family set up et cetera but your requests are yet to be met- please don’t worry and ‘’don’t look back’’.  Do not focus your attention entirely on things of the past. On the other hand, push ahead with renewed vigor and you will thrive fabulously at the end of the day in Jesus name.  Amen.  Apostle Paul captured this fact brilliantly in Philippians 3:13-14 when he said:

13.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14.  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Also, as you press on into year 2009, do not limit yourself in any way.  In the New Living Translation version of Isaiah 7:11, God challenged King Ahaz, to: “Ask the Lord … for a sign of confirmation … Make it as difficult as you want—as high as heaven or as deep as the place of the dead.

In the same vein, I challenge you this year to think big and to ask big from God.  Make your dream as comprehensive as you possibly can and by the grace of God, you will not be put to shame in Jesus name.  Amen.

Finally, let me encourage you with the words of Jesus Christ as recorded in John 14:1.  It says:” Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  Please let your heart be rock solid this year; be strong, be bold and be optimistic and it shall be well with you and all that belongs to you in Jesus name.  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!