FALL DOWN, WALLS OF JERICHO, FALL DOWN!

Abraham obeyed God whole-heartedly in his time, and He (God) promised to give him and his descendants, the Israelites, Canaan; the land full of milk and honey as a possession (Genesis 17:8).  But His promise did not materialize until about 500 years later, because the Israelites disobeyed Him.

Eventually, they crossed River Jordan, and reached Jericho, a great and affluent city on the eastern side of Canaan.  There they got stuck, because of the impediment caused by its huge, scary, and impregnable walls.  Available archaeological reports showed that its outer wall was 6 feet thick and 20 feet high, and its inner wall was 12 feet thick and 30 feet high.  In between the walls was a well-guarded walkway, about 15 feet wide.  You can now see that we are not talking about mundane walls here.  But God came to their rescue one day, and gave Joshua a fool-proof battle plan, which helped them to overcome the dreadful walls. The plan involved Joshua having the Israelites march around Jericho silently for six days, and loudly on the seventh day. Even though the plan appeared ridiculous, Joshua followed it to the end, till the walls collapsed and they entered/possessed the Promised Land with ease (Joshua 6:1-20).

Like the original walls of Jericho, there are figurative ”walls of Jericho” afflicting people these days as well. Sadly, there are very many of them all over, and they can equally be huge, scary, and impregnable. They also make life extremely difficult for those they afflict, and they can kill if care is not taken! But thank goodness that they can fall down with ease, with the help of God (Luke 1:37). Hallelujah!

Now, let us consider a few of them, and cite bible passages contradicting them, so as to prove that they are really not supposed to be a part of us. 

  1. Sicknesses: ”Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).
  2. Childlessness: ”Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3).
  3. Poverty: ”Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you” (Hebrews 6:14).
  4. Hunger: 25 ”…do not worry about … what you will eat or drink… 26 Look at the birds of the air… your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).
  5. Failed Business, Ministry, etc.: ”The Lord will… bless all the work of your hand…” (Deuteronomy 28:12).
  6. Wayward Children: ”…I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders…” (Isaiah 8:18).
  7. Lack of a life partner: ”…a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31).
  8. Sin:  ”…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Having realized that ”Walls of Jericho” are mere aberrations in human lives, I believe you will be interested in knowing how you can overcome yours. Well, to start with, you must admit that you cannot do it on your own (John 15:5).  Next, you must not allow them to intimidate you, and you must trust God to fight them for you (2 Chronicles 20:15) through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Finally, you must prayerfully cast them upon Jesus Christ without delay, since He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).  Before long, He will come to your rescue, and you will see them falling down with ease, and your joy will be full in Jesus name (Matthew 11:28).  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!                                           

(c) Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2013

THE REASONS FOR OBEYING GOD

Isaiah 1:19 says: ‘’If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land’’. 

As you can see, the passage above demonstrates that obeying God is loaded with goodies.  But it is not always easy to obey anyone without knowing the reasons why we ought to.  It is for this reason that I am doing this write-up titled, ‘The Reasons for Obeying God’, to point us in the right direction. But before then, if you wish to know some of the benefits accruable to those who obey God, then I suggest that you read my article titled, ‘The Benefits of Obeying God’.  You can access it on my website, by clicking the following link: http://mindofchrist.org.uk/the-benefits-of-obeying-god/.

Here are some of the reasons why we ought to obey God.  Because:

1.  He desires it: ‘’And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you … 13 to keep (obey) the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13). 

2.  It is the right thing to do: ‘’But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘’We ought to obey God rather than men’’ (Acts 5:29).

3.  It shows that we trust Him: ‘’Then Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘’Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in Him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God (Daniel 3:28).

4.  It shows that we love Him: ‘’If you love Me, keep (obey) My commandments’’ (John 14:15).

5.  It shows that we are His friends: ‘’You are My friends if you do whatever I command you’’ (John 15:14).

6.  It promotes happiness: ‘’Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps (obeys) the law’’ (Proverbs 29:18).

7. It promotes safety: ‘’You shall observe My statues and keep (obey) My judgments, and perform them; and you will dwell in the land in safety” (Leviticus 25:18).

8.  It promotes long life: ‘’My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep (obey) my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you’’ (Proverbs 3:1-2).

9.  It brings about eternal salvation: ‘’And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him’’ (Hebrews 5:9).

10.  It will generate heavenly rewards: ‘’Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad’’ (2 Corinthians 5:9-10).

Friend, it is evident from all above that there are good reasons why we ought to obey God.  Many people before us, such as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:1-30) did, and they reaped good benefits.  People are still obeying and benefiting from Him to date and you too can be one of them if you wish.  So, if He asks you to serve Him, please obey Him, if He asks you to help someone in need, obey Him; if He asks you to propose to a particular sister or to accept a marriage proposal from a brother; Obey Him; etc.  Please obey whatever He asks you to do, and in the end, you’ll have every reason to rejoice that you did, in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord! 

(c) Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2013

JESUS BEING WITH YOU!

The disciples of Jesus Christ encountered many difficulties before and after His crucifixion. They were treated very unkindly everywhere they went and they were sore afraid and unsure of what the future had in stock for them. Essentially, they were like sheep without a shepherd. However, reprieve came their way on the third day with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He gladdened their hearts, allayed their fears, encouraged them and gave them the great commission with the assurance of His perpetual presence with them. He said ‘’…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of age’’ (Matthew 28:20). That was the impetus they needed to face challenges, subdue them and become positive role models till now.

To some extent, the situation of the world as it is today can be likened to some of those encountered by the disciples. As a result of our present excruciating Economic, Social and Political climates, a lot of people are battling untold hardship while fear cum uncertainty has become a regular feature of our lives. Governments are panicking, grown-ups are moaning, children are crying, hope is receding and time is going. Without doubt, we need help and Jesus Christ is the only one who can provide it on a platter of gold (Psalm 121:1) and today, He is saying ‘’…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of age’’. So, cheer up!

As we know, Jesus being with people is replete with several benefits some of which I’ll like us to consider for encouragement in this write up. They are:

1. Direction. In his confused state, Apostle Paul, mindful of the presence of Jesus Christ, asked for direction and He gave it to him (Acts 9:1-18). And that marked the beginning of his success story which is the envy of all Christians up to now. It sounds reasonable therefore, that if you desire success in any area of your life and become the envy of all then, you must be prepared to ask Jesus Christ for direction and He’ll give it to you. Prophet Isaiah strengthened this stance when he said: ‘’Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying ‘’this is the way, walk in it’’ (Isaiah 30:21).

2. Peace. Peace is an essential universal commodity and Jesus Christ possesses the ability to give it to you freely if you ask Him. Please note that you don’t need any special prowess before taking this step; all you need is the audacity to do so. Remember that Jesus is the prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6) hence; He is best suited to dish it out and His brand of peace is available for all at all times. He confirmed this in John 14:27 by saying ‘’Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you…’’. So, go for it right now!

3. Security. Jesus Christ is the only person who can guarantee the world a foolproof security and the Psalmist proved this view to be true in Psalm 127:1. He said: ‘’…Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain’’. So, if you want foolproof security in various areas of your life as from now on then, ask Jesus Christ and He’ll organize it for you (John 10:27-28).

4. Salvation. Zacchaeus was a notorious tax collector and a first class sinner but salvation came his way the day Jesus went to his abode. And immediately, his odious past became unimportant and he went on to become a very decent person and an excellent candidate for heaven (Luke 19:1-10). You too can obtain salvation from Jesus Christ today if you ask Him and you’ll be able to enter the Kingdom of God unencumbered at the right time (John 3:3).

How then can Jesus Christ be with you such that you’ll be able to enjoy the abovementioned benefits and more? Well, first, you must seek Him diligently and you’ll find Him (2 Chronicles 15:2). Invite Him to take charge of your life as your personal Lord and Saviour; that is, you must be born again (if you aren’t yet). When you are through with this step then, He’ll dignify you with His presence and shower you with His mind blowing blessings (John 15:4-5). Friend, this is a step that is worth taking and by the grace of God, you will not lose out and your joy will be full in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

The Name of Jesus; A Strong Tower

In Proverbs 18:10, the bible says: ”The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe’”

Above passage, is often quoted by Christians to flaunt the Power in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!  We shall examine it more closely in this write-up, but before then, let us first pay particular attention to the word ‘tower’, which is central to it.

Towers are stately edifices, found in several locations in the world and they usually exhibit glowing attributes such as greatness, strength, dignity, reliability and magnetism (they magnetize people to themselves, as striking tourist attractions).

In the olden days, Towers were built for security purposes! When sentries climbed them, they could easily pick out enemy locations far afield, thus making it easy for steps to be taken to annihilate the enemies before they come close enough to cause havoc.  These days, they are frequently used to support electric power transmitters, radio and television antennae, rockets and missiles prior to launching, etc.

Famous world Towers include Galata Tower (Istanbul, Turkey), Big Ben (London, UK), CN Tower (Toronto, Canada), Eiffel Tower (Paris, France), Leaning Tower of Pisa (Pisa, Italy), and Tokyo Television Tower (Tokyo, Japan).

Any person or anything, which exhibits some of, or all the qualities of a typical tower (viz. greatness, strength, dignity, reliability and magnetism, etc.), can be called a ‘Tower’; figuratively speaking.  And there are many people, institutions and governments worldwide that fit this picture.  However, the name of Jesus outclass all of them, because of its huge benefits to mankind each time it is invoked (Mark 16:17-18, Philippians 2:9-11) or better still, each time people run to it.  No wonder it is fittingly called ‘a strong tower’!

Whenever people invoke or run to the name of Jesus, many things happen.  Some of them are:

1.  Healing.

In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus said:  ”And these signs will follow those who believe: In My namethey will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”.

In Acts 3:1-10, a certain man lame from her mother’s womb, had the unique opportunity of meeting Peter and John face to face, when they came to the temple to pray.  Actually, he wanted alms from them, but he got much more than he bargained for that day. At some point, Peter looked at him intently, and said: “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk’’.  And instantly, his feet and ankle bones received strength and so, he leaping up, stood up, walked and entered the temple with them-walking, leaping and praising God.  And those who knew him, recognized him as the ex-beggar, and they were stunned at what the name of Jesus did for him.

Friend, if you need healing in any part of your life, like your body, family set up, business, career, ministry, education etc. then, call on the name of Jesus Christ today, and you’ll have it at some point.  Amen.

2.  Deliverance from Demons (Evil Spirits).

Jesus confirmed this stance in Mark 16:17, this way:  ”And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons…”.

In Acts 16:16-18, a certain slave girl, possessed with the spirit of divination, and who brought her masters much profits through fortune telling, met Paul and Silas as they were going for prayer.  And she followed them endlessly, yelling ”These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation”, until they got greatly annoyed with her.  Then Paul turned, and addressed the spirit in her like this: ”I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her” and he came out that hour.

The name of Jesus is still available for use to cast out demons to date.  Therefore, if you have any inkling that you are in bondage of any kind, and you want to be free from it once and for all, then stir Jesus Christ into action right away.  Call on His name, and He will deliver you.  Please remember that ”… if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

3.  Remission of sin.

While preaching to Cornelius’ household, Apostle Peter confirmed that the remission of sin is possible through the name of Jesus.  This he did, by saying:  ‘’To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins’’ (Acts 10:43).

In Acts 2:14-42, precisely on the day of Pentecost, Peter gave a moving sermon, which stunned his listeners a great deal, and in their stunned state, they addressed the Apostles as follows: ”Men and brethren, what shall we do” (v37)? Then Peter responded, ”Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (v38).  Afterwards, many people received his words gladly, and they were baptized.  And that day alone, three thousand souls were added to the Church (v41).

Friend, we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), and unless we repent, there is no way we can attain the Kingdom of God (Ephesians 5:5). However, if we call on the name of Jesus Christ today, and confess our sins, He will forgive us, and we will have remission of our sins (Acts 10:43, 1 John 1:9) and in the end, we will attain heaven in Jesus name.  Amen.

4.  Salvation.

Apostle Peter made allusion to the inclusion of Salvation as one of the benefits of invoking or running to the name of Jesus, as follows:  ”…for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved(Acts 2:12).

You will recall that a slave girl once tormented Paul and Silas without a break until Paul, in anger, cast out the Demon manipulating her (Acts 16:16-18).  There and then, her owners framed them up, and they were imprisoned unduly.  But God intervened, and set them free in a bit (Acts 16:25-26).  And the keeper of the prison, supposing the prisoner’s had escaped, drew his sword and wanted to kill himself, but for the quick interjection of Paul that they were still around (Acts 16:28).  And so in awe, the man said: ”Sirs, what must I do to be saved (Acts 16:30)? And they replied ”Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household”.  And without more ado, he and his household were saved that day!

You too can be saved today, in the name of Jesus.  But being righteous is of utmost essence here (Proverb 18:10).  And being righteous, starts from being born again!  Are you born again? If you are; very good! In that case, you can go ahead and invoke the name of Jesus Christ as you wish, and you won’t have to struggle to be healed, delivered from Demons, have remission of your sin, etc. anymore.  However, if you are not born again yet, please invite Jesus Christ into your life right now.  Ask Him to take charge as your personal Lord and Saviour, and He will not snub you; this is a promise (John 6:37)!

 

Jesus is Lord!

c Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2010

You will recall that we mentioned earlier on