THE BENEFITS OF OBEYING GOD

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 1:1-3:30) were young Jewish men who served with their comrade, Daniel, in the palace of king Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. They were exceptionally gifted, strikingly good looking and God fearing and owing to their sterling qualities, they got rapid promotion to the highest echelon of governance in Babylon.

At a time, the king made an image of gold and ordered everyone to fall down and worship it at the sound of certain musical instruments. He also ordered that whoever disobeyed his instruction, should be thrown into a burning fiery furnace. But contrary to his expectation, the young men disobeyed him, instead they obeyed God’s commandment which says: ”You shall not make for yourself a carved image …; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…” (Exodus 20:4-5). And for this reason, they were bound and thrown into the burning furnace but God saved them.

Above popular account contains some model benefits that come with obeying God.  Let us go into them in turn.

1.  Divine Protection.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the burning fiery furnace but four men, all unbound and unscathed, were later spotted in it; the fourth being like the Son of God.  That means Jesus was on hand to protect them.  This confirms what the bible says in Isaiah 43:2 viz., ”…When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you”.  Friend, as you walk through the ‘fires’ of life each day please, choose to obey God and He’ll protect you all the way through in Jesus name.  Amen.

2.  Divine Promotion.  The young men were summarily promoted after disobeying the king’s commandment and obeying God’s.  Please let us not be under any illusion that their promotion was initiated by King Nebuchadnezzar.  No it wasn’t!  As a matter of fact, it was from God and the Psalmist corroborated this clear as follows:  For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another” (Psalm 75:6-7).  Therefore, if you genuinely desire promotion in any area of your life, for example, your health, family, education, professional calling, ministry, finance, business, etc., please pray to God about it as from now on.  Obey whatever He tells you about it strictly as well, and you’ll have it in Jesus name.  Amen.

3.  Divine Blessings.  Their willingness to obey God and the resultant promotion must have enabled them to enjoy loads of breath-taking blessings in Babylon.  This proves that Isaiah 1:19 is right.  It says:  ”If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land’’.  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were willing and obedient, and they ate the good of the land of Babylon.  If you are willing and obedient too, you shall eat the good of the land where you are domiciled in Jesus name.  Amen.

4.  Divine Evangelism. The King was astonished when he discovered that the Jewish young men were unharmed inside the burning fiery furnace, so he blessed God, and made a critical pronouncement compelling his citizens to transfer their allegiance to God with immediate effect.  In Daniel 3:28-29, he said: ”Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this”.  This is a divinely engineered Evangelism!   If you make it a priority to obey God too, you will be noticed someday, and people will glorify God through you, and transfer their allegiance to Him: ”Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

5.  Heavenly Joy.  I believe a lot of souls must have been won for God because of the king’s heartfelt pronouncement, and there must have been great rejoicing in Heaven as a result: ”Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).  No doubt, that was a huge feat, which you too can replicate it if you win souls for God.

6.  Heavenly Rewards.  I believe a lot of souls must have been won for God because of the king’s heartfelt pronouncement, and there must have been great rejoicing in Heaven as a result: ”Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents’’ (Luke 15:10).  I also believe that the young men must have been suitably rewarded in Heaven:  ”Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8).  Likewise, if you win souls for God on earth, be rest assured that it shall be counted as a big deal for you (Proverbs 11:30), and you will be adequately rewarded also in Jesus name.  Amen.

As you can see from above, it is advantageous to obey God at all times so; I encourage you to do more in this regard henceforth so that you can partake in the resultant massive benefits. If God asks you to serve Him more, please obey Him, if He asks you to change your job, obey Him; if He wants you to start a specific business, obey Him; if He asks you to propose to a particular sister or to accept a marriage proposal from a brother; Obey Him; if He asks you to study a particular course or to learn a particular trade, obey Him; if He asks you to change your location so that you situation can change, please obey Him; etc. and in the end, you’ll have every reason to rejoice in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

C Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2010

THE BENEFITS OF TRUSTING GOD

I am doing this write up as a follow up to the one I did last week titled ‘The Reasons For Trusting God’, which you can access on my website by clicking the following link http://www.mindofchrist.org./?s=the+reasons+for+trusting+god;

Proverbs 3:5-6 says: ”Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths”.

Above is a very popular passage, and it highlights the fact that trusting God is beneficial.  Please permit me to mention a few of the benefits of trusting God here, hoping that you’ll be motivated to trust Him more. They are:

1.  Divine Confidence.  The Psalmist’s life was laden with fear on numerous occasions, but on each occasion, he trusted God, and then gained divine confidence to overcome his fear.  He referred to one of such occasions in this fashion: ”…In God I have put my trust; I will not fear.  What can flesh do to me?’’ (Psalm 56:3).

David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1-58) were two differing people.  While David was an ordinary shepherd of average built, Goliath was a visibly huge warrior of Philistine extraction.  David was humble, but Goliath was very mouthy and loud.  At a time, Jesse, his father, sent him to the war front to deliver supplies to his brother.  It was there that he saw how rude Goliath was to God, and he offered to fight him.  He trusted God to give him victory over Goliath and his army, and he was not disappointed.  God is still in the business of replacing peoples’ fears with divine confidence to date.  He will do it for you too, if you allow Him!

2.  Divine Direction.  The renowned King Solomon mentioned this benefit as follows: ”Trust the Lord with all your heart….And He shall direct your paths’’ (Proverbs 3:5-6).

In Acts 9:1-19, it is recorded that Saul (later Paul) haunted and arrested the disciples of the Lord in the synagogues of Damascus, and brought them bound to Jerusalem to be persecuted.  But one day, God arrested Him in a spectacular way, and asked him to proceed to a man called Ananias, who later laid hands on him.  Consequently, he regained his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit.  Saul trusted God, and he was given divine direction, which ushered him into his remarkable ministry on earth.  You too can do remarkably well on earth if you wish; but you must be prepared to trust God first, and He will give you divine direction to your success in Jesus name.  Amen.

3.  Divine Strength.  God is willing to give you enduring strength continuously, provided you put your trust in Him.  Prophet Isaiah gave credence to this notion when he said: ”Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:4).

Judges 16:1-31, gives an account of how Samson, a judge over Israel, and a pain in the necks of the Philistines, fell for Delilah.  His close relationship with this woman, led to his downfall and ultimate death.  But before he died, he repented of his sin, turned his heart to God, and He forgave him.  Not only that, he trusted God to avenge the humiliations the Philistines meted out on him.  God later gave him a mind-blowing strength, which he used to push the pillars of the temple where numerous people gathered together to be amused by him.  Consequently, the pillars collapsed, and everybody in it, including Samson, was killed.  If you are truly sincere about staying afloat, and doing well on earth, then you need trust God for divine strength, and He will unleash it on you beyond your imagination in Jesus name.  Amen.

4.  Divine Victory.  In confirming the availability of this benefit arising from trusting God, the Psalmist said: ”Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

Jephthah (Judges 11) was a mighty man of valor who grew up with his half-brothers in Gilead.  At a time in his life, he was due for his inheritance from their father, but his brother denied him of it; just because his mother was a harlot.  He later fled for his dear life and lived in a location called Tob, where he met some worthless blokes and raided with them.  After some time, his people were attacked by the Amorites and their existence became threatened.  Then, the elders of his clan went looking for him, because they knew he was the only person who could save them.  Of course, he obliged them but not until after he had extracted a promise that they would make him their overall head from them.  Jephthah was so sure of victory that he made a vow to God in return, and He was not disappointed.  Perhaps you desire outstanding victory in certain areas of your life, e.g. your work/walk with God, health, finance, business, education, relationship, family set up, etc., please trust God for it, and it will come to pass in Jesus name.  Amen.

Friends, as you can see, the benefits of trusting God are stunning and I believe you’ll be happy to enjoy them too.  If so, please pray to God to give them to you straight away. In addition, make sure you do not stop trusting Him even if you have to repeat your prayer time and again because He will surely reward you at some point (Hebrews 11:6). May the good Lord fill your heart with joy and your mouth with praise as you trust Him continually in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

(C) Dr. Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu.

KNOWING GOD, BEING STRONG AND DOING GREAT EXPLOITS

Prophet Daniel, while encouraging the faithful said: ‘’…the people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits’’ (Daniel 11:32).

This is a very popular bible passage and one of my favorites because it proves that knowing God is profitable.  And we can appreciate it a lot better by breaking it into three parts and examining each independently.  The parts I am suggesting here are Being Strong, Carrying out Great Exploits and Knowing God in that order.

1.  Being Strong.  On becoming born again, I developed immense strength which propelled me to start taking part in several Christian activities.  I started witnessing to people in drama, speaking engagements, talk shows, televangelism, creative writings and designs, mentoring, etc. These were things I would have been too busy, too unconcerned, too hesitant, and too impatient to embrace under normal circumstances. But, I took them on with dedication almost round the clock yet; I had ample strength left to attend to my patients the way I should.  I later discovered that I was not alone in this state; other Christians are likewise affected and I became interested in knowing why.  Soon, I found relief in Nehemiah 8:10 which says ‘’…the joy of the Lord is your strength’’ and straightaway, I knew that it is the joy of the Lord within us that makes us so strong.  This intensity of joy and strength awaits you today if you covet them.

2.  Carrying out Great Exploits.  Great exploits by the way, are stunning feats and there are many of them all around us but I found those captured in Mark 16:17-18 most eye catching i.e. casting out demons, speaking in new tongues, overcoming deadly substances/situations and healing the sick.  Imagine how useful you can become to this generation if you are able to carry out such great exploits.  It is the aforementioned strength that enables us (Christians) to carry them out through Jesus Christ and Apostle Paul confirmed this position in Philippians 4:13 when he said‘’I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’’.  You too can do all things, including carrying out great exploits, through Christ if you wish.

3.  Knowing God.  Knowing God leads the way to being strong and being able to carry out great exploits (Daniel 11:32) and it is only possible through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).  However, one needs to be born again first.  How then can one be born again you may wish to ask? Very simple!  To begin with, you must confess your sins and then ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and He will (1 John 1:9).  Next, invite Him to take over your life as your personal Lord and Savior and again, He will (John 6:37).  When this is over and done with then by faith, you are truly born again and well positioned to know God intimately (John 3:3).

Friend, this is another grand opportunity for you to be born again if you are not up till now-please don’t misuse it!  And if you are already born again, I rejoice with you heartily.  Without doubt, you do possess enormous strength!  Therefore as from this moment, go out and carry out great exploits not only for yourself, but for humanity and for God as wel,l and you can be rest assured that your efforts will be adequately rewarded at some point (2 Chronicles 15:7) in Jesus name.  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

God our Refuge!

In Psalm 46:1, the Psalmist referred to God as ”… our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble” and I cannot agree with him less. It is for this reason that I want to narrate the testimony below, to shore up his position and to glorify the name of the Lord.

In March 1999, Madam Diamond (not her real name), was brought to us in our Benin-City, Nigeria base for medical attention. She complained of a three months history of severe unremitting headache, sleeplessness, severe weight loss, right sided body weakness, recurrent vomiting and blurring of vision. Prior to coming to us, she was seen by many brilliant doctors and their general impression was that she had a swelling in her brain which would have been better removed surgically. But they didn’t want to do anything heroic on her on account of old age (she was about seventy years old then) and frail state of health amongst other reasons. She was therefore placed on some strong pain killers and sedatives with the aim of making her as comfortable as possible before she passes on. Her condition soon deteriorated rapidly and when she got to us, we immediately referred her to an expert who couldn’t help her much due to the reasons advanced earlier. However, we did not lose hope-we took her case to the highest level; to God our refuge and He did not disappoint us.

One afternoon, during a prayer session, the Holy Spirit prompted us to substitute her strong medications with ordinary Paracetamol tabs (a mild pain killer) and Valium tabs (a mild sedative). I was completely taken aback by this ‘bizarre’ but clear directive. Why would the Holy Spirit want us to treat her with such flimsy medications when very potent ones had failed I asked myself time after time? In the end, I discussed the new development with Madam Diamond and her husband and to our surprise, albeit delight, they asked us to go ahead with God’s plan without delay and we did. And for the first time in a very long time, she slept soundly only to wake up later in the evening with no more than a mild headache.

I repeated the medications again before she went to bed in the night and by the time she woke up the following morning, she was completely free of all symptoms.  That is, God healed her totally and we rejoiced and praised the name of the Lord with her heartily.  Madam Diamond is still alive and well to date (2010); twelve years after!

In retrospect, I thank God for showing us that he is still capable of caring for us, His people, whenever we run to Him for refuge. He also confirmed what Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:27 that is: ”…God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty”. He healed Madam Diamond using a very flimsy means and He can do same again in all situations including yours and at all times.

Friend, this God, our refuge and strength, who healed Madam Diamond, is willing to meet you at the deepest point of your need(s). He wants to give you a new beginning. He wants to heal you, give you a credible means of livelihood and sort out your finances for you once and for all. He also wants to give you a happy home, a successful career, a blooming business, a thriving ministry etc. Finally, He wants you to attain Heaven when you are through with this world. But you have to ask Him (in prayer) to help you first and He will not disappoint you (Matthew 7:7, Isaiah 43:19). Please do not dither; act fast and act now in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

c Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2010

Let God Arise…

In Psalm 68:1, the Psalmist said: ‘Let God arise, Let His enemies be scattered…’ This is a very popular biblical passage and it is frequently invoked whenever there is a need to remove festering encumbrances from people’s lives.  Now, before I go on with this write up, I will like to ask a question and that is: Does God really have enemies? Well, the widely acclaimed answer is yes He does!  And you can confirm this by scrutinizing the world closely and you will unearth several people, institutions, governments, etc that are waging war against Him relentlessly.  These are some of His enemies but the good news is that they cannot defeat Him because He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).

Just like God, we also have personal enemies to contend with and they can be quite nasty.  Nevertheless, we should not be intimidated by their activities because they can never overcome us (Isaiah 54: 15, 1 John 4:4).

At this point, let us consider some of our common enemies and see how we can deal with them.

1.  Fellow human beings.  A lot of our enemies are human beings like ourselves but as Christians, we are expected to love them even though they hate us (Matthew 5:44).  But if they persist in making our lives unbearable then, we are at liberty to ask God to arise and scatter them and he will in Jesus name (Isaiah 49: 25c).

2.  Unseen forces.   The bible makes it clear that many of our enemies are unseen, incredibly powerful and unbelievably lethal (Ephesians 6:12).  We should therefore deploy all the deadly weapons at our disposal (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) against them.  We should also ask God to arise and scatter them in Jesus name.

3.  Poverty.  Poverty is a deadly enemy of mankind and its incidence is on the increase worldwide.  Remember that it is a curse and it is ruinous by nature (Proverbs 10:15).  Friend, if this terrible plague is trying to snuff out your life then, go ahead today and ask God to arise and scatter it in Jesus name (Galatians 3:13).

We also have many other enemies including: ill health, stagnation or regression in life, joblessness, debt, barrenness of all kinds, consistent lack of support, being unloved etc. No doubt, they are powerful, but God’s power towers well above them.  Therefore, let us boldly ask God to arise and scatter them and he will in Jesus name (Matthew 11:28).

Please be reminded that we have important roles to play in this matter if we truly want God to arise and scatter our enemies.  To start with, we must maintain a rock-solid relationship with Jesus Christ.  That is, He must be our personal Lord and Saviour consistently.  Is He yours? Next, Constant prayer to God through Jesus Christ is of utmost importance (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  We must also develop a strong faith in Him for good results to occur (Hebrews 11:6) and we must exhibit patience at all times (Matthew 10:22b).  If you do all above then, as you coast towards the end of year 2009 and as you behold 2010, the Lord will arise and scatter all your enemies.  So shall it be in Jesus name.  Amen.

Merry Christmas in advance!

Jesus is Lord!

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu (Dr Stoney)

Ellesmere Port, UK.

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

Of God, Outstretched Arms and Power

In Jeremiah 32:17, Prophet Jeremiah, while praying for understanding said‘’Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You’’.

This is a very popular biblical passage which has even been incorporated into melodious songs.  It essentially gives a clear insight into God’s limitless ability to perform wonders by his great power and outstretched arms. 

Before proceeding any further, let us look at what an outstretched arm means.  Simply put, it is an arm that is extended or stretched out.  And the procedure is expected to be done sensibly at all times.  For example, most people will refrain from outstretching their arms without cause while walking or running because of the fear of losing their balance, falling down and injuring themselves and others.  They may also damage valuable possessions and get themselves enmeshed in needless financial/legal imbroglio.  However, certain situations demand that we must outstretch our arms.  For instance, we have to do so to pick things up from the ground, to embrace people, to defend ourselves etc.  In short, we outstretch our arms mainly to achieve certain positive results.  The same reality is applicable to God.  Immense power and dazzling results occur whenever he outstretches his arms.  Let us consider a few of such results at this point.

1.  Creative powerJeremiah 32:17 clearly indicates that God created the heavens and the earth by his great power and outstretched arm.  In the same vein, I am trusting Him to create whatever is lacking in your life and in the lives of your loved ones, in your business, ministry, education, career, etc by his great power and outstretched arms as from this moment in Jesus name.  Amen.  Please be expectant!

2.  Healing.  Healing is another dazzling result that ensues whenever God outstretches his arms.  The same result is typical of Jesus Christ (John 5:19).  For example, in Luke 5:12-13, a man full of leprosy approached Jesus Christ for healing and without delay, He put out His hands (He must have outstretched his arms first), touched the man and healed him.  Do you have any health ordeal at the moment? If you do then, cheer up because help is around the corner.  Pray to God to heal you by his great power and outstretched arms today and he will in Jesus name.  Amen.

3.  Salvation.  Above all things, we need salvation to make it to heaven.  That is, we must be born again (John 3:3).  Friend, have you given your life to Christ previously and is he still your personal Lord and savior? If he is then, I say a big congratulation to you.  Without doubt you are on your way to heaven.  But if he is not, then this is a good opportunity for you to hand over your life to him and the good news is that Jesus, with great power and outstretched arms, is knocking at your door waiting for you to invite him in (Revelation 3:20).  Please do so promptly and I believe you will not be disappointed in Jesus name.  Amen.

Finally, remember that ‘’whatsoever you lay your hands upon shall prosper’’ (Psalm 1:3).  But you have to outstretch your arms first before you can lay your hands on anything or anybody.  And having done so; please don’t hesitate to lay your hands on any part of your body that is functioning sub optimally.  Repeat the same procedure on your child that is behaving badly or on your spouse that is not living up to expectation or on your business that is crumbling or on your ministry that is struggling, etc.  Then command them to prosper in Jesus name and they will.  A trial will convince you!

Jesus is Lord!

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!