Many are looking for those things in life which will bring them personal fulfillment and independence. How they love not to depend on anyone for anything, they are walking through life with a search for the ideals rather than the real. Many now seek those pleasures that are gained from one’s fulfillment of the desires, failure of which leads to disappointment; they set their hearts and soul to achieve that which they see as the one that would give them contentment. This could be in the form of respect and therefore go for knowledge, status, achievement, wealth and anything with a perceived value in the society. Satisfaction has its roots in feelings and thought, all desires find their origin in the soul and heart; they make you feel, think and want. They are perceived desirable and are realized through instincts and functions of the human body and mind. You thus set your mind on something that is supposed to bring pleasure and contentment, you therefore dance, drink, marry, study, steal and many others. The more you try to satisfy them the more you find a bigger groaning you then engage in hard work to achieve it through, beautiful homes, luxurious cars and anything else in order to attain status and acceptance in the society. You then become miserable; for you never seem to have enough, making it more acute the struggle to fulfil these desires. If by any nature you are able to fulfill them it brings arrogance and self-sufficiency, but life is not about independence but interdependence. People need to fellowship because they are fundamentally different from each other. God is the ultimate source of satisfaction, Christ becomes the center and fulcrum upon which life revolves, this doesn’t remove the perplexities of life but that you may know the joy of being used for mighty purposes by the Almighty God and through this have your life transformed and dignified. A Christian then as Trueblood puts it, is a person who confesses that amidst the many confusing voices heard in the world, there is only one voice that wins his full assent, uniting all his powers, intellectually and emotionally into a pattern of self-giving. Many humans seek for the ideal ignoring the real; they assume that their views and values, standards and points of view are without argument the best for them. When the reality therefore differs […]
Have always heard this saying, “Let go and let God,” this is a statement that I have used often in my sermons like it is the gospel itself. Reading through a book a friend put in my hand a few days ago, I have come to see the limitation of the statement. As much as the statement has basic foundational truths, it also opens a door to responsibility-less Christianity. It makes you embark on this journey where you take a ride with Christ and masks the struggles that a believer must contend with all the days of their Christian lives. Christianity is a life of obedience. Obedience is act of the self-will. To bring this self-will into submission to the will of Christ is a daily struggle greatly dependent on the Holy Spirit who became your guide at your new birth. However spiritual you think you are, you will never overgrow the tension between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit, the more spiritual you become the more sin you see in your life and the more dependent you become to the Spirit. You realize that the Bible is not just a book to be believed but a guide to our life to make us like Christ and a guide is only good when his instructions are obeyed. Gal. 5:17, For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. Once you become a believer you realize you have not arrived but started the journey of becoming like Christ, it is not a performance scorecard, but a dependence on the mercies on God manual, that if it must get us to the image it points us to. It must be obeyed to the later; it must be followed in its entirety. That is the only time His mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23). Every Christian believer must see their own need to grow for them to seek the ingredients that make that growth possible and this need is the daily hunger that requires daily manna from God. You realize that without Christ, the living bread of life (John 6:35, 48). The point therefore is that our relationship is not based on how good or bad we think we […]
Whenever you are charged in a court of Law evidence is always gathered by the prosecutor to determine whether you are guilty or not guilty. The guilty verdict is never passed on hearsay; it means that a conviction based on evidence has been arrived at. I am aware in this time of judicial merchandize where the things would favor the person with the deepest pocket, we can still trust somehow in the gathering of evidence against you. A not guilty verdict will normally be a result of insufficient evidence that you committed the crime you are charged with. If you and I were charged in a court for being a Christian, what verdict would be passed on you? Is there enough evidence against you that would return a guilty verdict or what would be brought against you would only be circumstantial evidence and so you would be acquitted? What is the evidence that will be adduced against you? First and foremost is faith; this is not belief. Though the new birth is a work of the Spirit, it has evidence in the physical realm with what we do. Faith is understood to mean a complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Many of us see faith as a synonym to belief but belief alone cannot amount to faith. In essence, faith is more an action more than a mere mental ascent to facts( Ro 10:17). Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. We hear many things that bring us much knowledge but not all we hear translates into faith; for faith is an action not mere belief, that is why James insists that saving faith if it is not accompanied with action is dead being alone (James 2:17). So what really evidences your claim of faith? Our faith cannot be measured by how many church services we attend in the week, or how many overnight prayers, fellowships, church activities we involve ourselves with but with how we treat those around us. In Heb 11:1ff “faith” is taken to means “reliance,” “trust.” Here “Faith is the substance, “the guaranty” of things hoped for, the evidence (or “convincing proof”) of things not seen.” This faith is illustrated by Abraham, Moses, Rahab, was simply reliance upon the word of a trustworthy God. Such reliance enabled these believers to treat the future as […]
Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside another disciple in order to encourage, equip and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. (Creg Ogden, 17) What was Jesus model; select a few and pour out your life in them. Jesus never concentrated on building an entourage, with his power and position that would have been easy, for many would come to him for food, healing, comfort, and all the things that would alleviate the suffering of man for nearly all of us are running away from such. When people were impressed with his great signs and believed in him, he could not entrust himself to men that John would say in John 2:25, “He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.” With the ever changing hearts of men, nothing remains the same. Disciples can never be produced en-mass on sifting superficial impressions and emotional capital that is only for a short season. He concentrated on those who would apply his authority like he would and not abuse it for selfish gain. Paul exhorts Timothy when he says in 2Ti 2:2; And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Paul draws us to the main point of his reaching out to others, “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me (Col 1:28-29)”. His desire was that Christ be formed in those who believe (Galatians 4:19), with eyes set on the multitudes he wanted to do it a soul at a time. We have to be able to attribute the change in the people we disciple from their growth in the image of Christ in them. But even though each is called to the work in their own unique way and no two disciples are ever the same yet they all have a part in the wider body of Christ. Every human seems to have their own tailored conception of who God is, often, this is a projection of the God we wish existed; as someone has put it “creating a God in our own image.” For some He is white, for […]
Reading your Bible as a Christian gives you more insight into the mystery of the universe than Moses or King David or Solomon ever had. Reading gives you unimaginable understanding. We don’t understand “the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:3) through mystic incantations, or mental meditations, or even through bare prayer. Rather, Paul says that it is by reading what he wrote that we can understand what was not made known in its full significance “to the sons of men in other generations” (Ephesians 3:5). From this, we ought to infer that God wants us to pay attention to the words of Scripture and know how they are being used. So when we come to our Bibles, let’s put off the twin errors of laziness and hopelessness. We cannot afford to lazily drift in the words of God — we must put forth effort to understand what God intended for us to understand through the biblical authors. But even when it’s hard to understand, read with hope, knowing that God through reading his word, God desires us to understand the greatest truths of the universe — and he will help us do it.
How to prepare a seminar and a lesson Preparation of a seminar: A seminar is a gathering of people for learning or reflecting on a specific item to meet or address the specific need of the community or of a church. Objectives of the lesson: The objective of this lesson is to help the participants in how to prepare a seminar or conference that will bring and maintain a change and transformation in the life and ministry of the participants so that they may reach the expected results in their homes, churches and community. Introduction: – People do organize seminar for the sake of report or routine – One of problems in our life and in our ministry is how to maintain the results of any successful training or teaching we offer. One of the reasons is the fact that people do not take time to prepare the seminar or the lesson. – There is need for spiritual transformation and change and help the church and especially believers and church leaders how to prepare a seminar and a lesson for effective and permanent change. – One of the weaknesses we find in the ministry today is the fact that churches do not take time to learn how to do things the way they should be done in their Christian life. Preparation of a seminar The objective of a seminar. 1Corinthians 9:4-27 A seminar should have a clear, specific and measurable and concise objective. That is to say that at the end of the seminar the participants should have reached somewhere. What is the need/problem that is there? What are the consequences? What is the greatest consequence that directly affects the lives of people, of the church, of the community or of the nation? Teaching a lesson is communicating knowledge on how to do things. Causing to accept, to persuade Handing down or pass on a body of knowledge or a set of traditions or doctrines, not head knowledge but a new reality that interprets the way things are, affecting our cultures, our values, our motives, our attitudes and our actions. It implies discipline, practice, and memorization of scripture (Ephesians 4:11-13). A lesson of a training conference or seminar should meet the objectives of the seminar and addressing the real need in order to bring a solution to the problem that has been found. Therefore they should be well fixed in prayer and wisdom, […]