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Not That I Don’t Have Faith

Faith is a very common word use in different sects of spiritual believes to inspire one thing, and that is HOPE. The root word from which we get ‘faith, the noun is PISTIS, the verb is PISTUEO. FAITH – PISTIS means belief, firm persuasion, assurance, firm conviction, faithfulness to which an end is assured. Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (NLT). Faith has an aura of light at the end of the tunnel written all over it but with many questions about what happens before the light comes.

Does faith fail? Yes it does! But why?

Faith is one word we misuse obviously because most of us don’t really understand how it works. Note this, you can have faith and still fail, do you know why? Faith has some terms and conditions attached to it. Faith can’t work in a vacuum, it needs some condiments to make it deliver.

Elisha and the Widow’s Oil
A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.”
And he said to her, “ There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.”

Reference 2 Kings 4: 1-7 (NKJV)

Faith would only work well, when you fulfill your own part of the bargain, when you make available certain atmospheres for it to flourish. There 3 basic things you need to make your faith work for you;

1. Believe: You have to believe in something of higher significance; believe in God, His Son, His prophets, in possibilities and importantly in yourself. The widow took the words of Elisha and acted on them because she believed. She most likely had many questions but she was able to shut those questions and scepticism up because she believed not only in the God of Elisha but also in Elisha and the possibilities of miracles. Science has revealed that there is a part of the brain known as the “God Spot”, and its main function is to aide our believe system, and that is why everyone believes in something; that part of the brain must be filled. So it now depends on you as a person to determine what would fill that space in your brain. But if faith is what you throw around and rely on, then you will have to fill the God Spot with God.

2. Be ready to follow instructions: For faith to work, instructions have to be followed. There would be certain things that would be required of you depending on what you are exercising faith on, and you will have to do them for your faith to work. For instance, if you are trusting God for a new job you will have to apply or make your availability known to people, if you are trusting God for a child you will have to have a man to copulate with, if you are trusting God for financial empowerment you will have to meet people and so on that’s how it works. Elisha gave the widow instructions and she followed them to the letter, faith would require you to follow instructions, to be obedient and be detailed. Remember, the story of the Fishermen and Jesus, they had tried all night long but they caught nothing. When Jesus came into the picture he asked them to throw in their net one more time; that was an explicit instruction. Yes! It was the same water, in fact the same spot they had tried all night long but then they had to obey that instruction and the result was abundance of fishes. One could have expected Jesus to command fishes to start raining from the sky but No! there are processes to life, you have to do certain things before certain things can happen.

3. You would have to Work your Faith: Faith without Work is dead (FwWD). There are no shortcuts, if you don’t work for anything you can’t earn something and it is the same with God. With faith comes work, they go together. The widow had to do the pouring of the oil, that’s work you know? Have you tried filling a bottle with oil before? Trust me, just one bottle can be exhausting not to talk of filling many pots. Many people will tell you they have faith yet they are not ready to put their best efforts forward; my brothers and my sisters, it doesn’t work that way. Even the woman with the issue of blood had to work her way through the crowd to get to Jesus, before she could exercise her faith. In scheme of things, it is usually Faith Work Faith then Result. Let me point this out, most people’s faith gets disappointed because they hoped faith would work without them working. Remember, there are processes in life; even luck requires some real work of positioning.

Don’t throw the word “faith” around in ignorance and oblivion of what is required of you. Fulfill your own part, be diligent about it, follow instructions and be steadfast in believe. It might take a while before you see the results but trust me it will be worth every second you spent waiting. God can do beyond your expectations, keep trusting, keep hoping, something beautiful is coming your way.

Not That I Don’t Have Faith

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THE BREADWINNER

One of the major reasons for crisis at homes and/or in marriages is assigning roles and responsibilities. Society has taught us what a man should do at home and what he should not do (same goes for women).

Who should ‘win the bread’ for the family?

Our society has taught us that it is the responsibility of the man to provide all that the family needs to survive, but like I always say the best person to tell you how a product will work best is the manufacturer (every other person will only give you their best guess).

Marriage was ordained by God making Him(God) the only one who can give us the most practicable instruction/ guide on how it works.

In the book of Genesis 1 vs 27, Bible says ” So God created man in His own image and He created them male and Female ” at this point man was perfect and has all it takes to provide for the house without failing in anyway.

But in Genesis 2 vs 21, God caused Adam to sleep and Eve was removed, so Adam can be helped.

Adam became “imperfect” and can no longer provide all that is required to run a home. Some of the things needed were deposited with the woman, while others remained with the man.

We carry different grace to function in the marriage!

God himself decided to make some women more comfortable financially than their husbands ( not because the man is Lazy). Will it not be unfair on God’s part, if He is asking a man to provide what was not given to him?

Little wonder He(God) said both the man and the woman shall become one and must operate as one in all their dealings.

Man can cook, if he is better than his wife in that aspect, woman can provide the bread( if financially better than the man). Let me also point out this fact that irrespective of who is doing what, it is wisdom for the couple to know they are actually an instrument in God’s hand to build a happy home. The provider of the bread is God and may choose whosoever He pleases to provide through.

Come to think of it, all that Adam and Eve needed to survive was provided by God( the breadwinner), He only ask Adam to take charge on what to be touched and what not to be touched (Leadership).

Most will quote 1 Timothy 5 vs 8 here saying ‘Any man who cannot provide for his House is worst than an unbeliever’. What Bible expects a man to provide here is Leadership (1 Corinthians 11 vs 3-5) God expects you to Lead the family not only by word of mouth or backing orders but by examples in action and devotion to making your home a happy one.

Live as one and never allow the society to rule your home. Embrace the role you find yourself within the capacity God has given you. Don’t exploit your partner’s weakness, rather compensate, complete and complement your partner by all means possible. You are one, live as such and build a home that everyone in the family wants to come back to.

THE BREADWINNER

Why The Devil Is Winning

Why The Devil Is Winning


This is not another preaching or a talk about God, I understand you know a whole lot about that, even more than I do. This is not about the devil, because a prominent Pastor once said, ‘we talk too much about the devil, we give him too much credit while we take less responsibilities for our wrongs‘. However, this is a talk about you and I, the way we reason and the thoughts we nurture. It was said that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince people he doesn’t exist, yet I feel there is more to why the devil is winning than this trick.

Recently, I was offered a tract by a customer to show his gratitude for the service I just rendered. When he handed me the tract and said ‘thank you’, it felt somehow to me, money I understand, souvenir I understand but tract!?! Anyway, I collected it, it was looking so unattractive and I was really not interested in going through it, I was so sure it’s the same old story, so I decided to pass it on (I had to respect the hard earned money it took to print the tract). I tried giving it to different people that I came across that day but none of them took it home, some said, it is the same story, others said, they don’t need it while few just collected it and left there on my table. At last, I took it home and decided to go through it. It was the same story as I guessed and ended with give your life to Christ but something was different about this tract, it didn’t focus on heaven or hell, rather it was more about earth and why the devil is winning. I thought about it for a while, I soon slept off and forgot about it all.

Then this morning I was chatting with a friend and while we were at it, series of discussions we had led me back to the tract and these words kept echoing in my head “why the devil is winning”. As much as I wanted to demonstrate my faith and say, ‘yes to God’s victory’, realities of time suggest that gradually, the devil is claiming more souls. So I want to share with you just five (5) of reasons why the devil is winning and I hope after reading this you would be part of the comeback team for God.

1. We believe in self righteousness: Most of us believe we don’t need to be a believer to be a good person. We believe with good deeds we can win the heart of God. Here is the twist, devil is not afraid of our good deeds, in fact the devil is unmoved by our good deeds, because the devil knows that without Christ, even the best of deeds are like filthy rags before God. Come to think of it, even when we claim to be all about good deeds and behaviors, we can only be good to those who are good to us and that doesn’t make us good enough for God.

2. Godly things don’t seem interesting to us: We are young and vibrant, we want to have fun, dance, sing, flirt, take pictures, feel sexy and be famous. All these seem right, since we are not harming any body but unfortunately we are harming ourselves. Some say do it in moderation but who determines what is moderate? The devil knows that our body would always win in our battles with our head when there is no Holy Spirit in our lives. I am not saying fun is wrong, I love fun too but without the Holy Spirit in us, fun will always lead us to a funny position with the devil.

3. Freedom and rights: This is one good thing with a bad after taste. Currently some schools have forbidden prayers or the use  the name of God in their schools, some TV stations consider the use of God as derogatory, people want to be free to choose; association, sex, partner, worship etc. People reserves the right to dress the we they please, but then when you are your brother’s keeper, you would spare a thought for what your sexy dress might be doing to him and his thoughts.  When we remove God from our daily routines, something else will definitely fill the void, that’s as sure as the sun rising from the East.


4. When it comses to God, we think we have time: How many times have we said, “oh I can’t make it to church today, I will go next week or I have not gotten a fine church yet, I will get before the end of the month or Sunday is the only time I do my laundry so I can’t make church etc.” We believe with God, we can do it when it pleases us and some of us will round it off by saying “God understands”. Yes God understands our weaknesses but unfortunately, the devil does too and the devil takes advantage. Yes, there is time with God but then the devil also knows corruption is an infestation that eats deep with time and gives little room for retrace.

5. We believe we know: When it comes to God vs devil, everyone is an expert. We believe we need no tutoring, it is the same preaching since we were young, nothing new, a twist of prosperity has been used by some church to lure some of us back but majority would still argue that  you don’t need God to be rich. Here is the truth, you might not need God for anything in this life but He is the only thing you need for afterlife. Yes, it is the same preaching but the truth is, no matter how many times it has been told, it won’t stop being the truth. The devil knows the constant battle in our heart before we make a choice and each time he counts on our ego to keep leading us back to him. 

Devil is winning because of the little things we take for granted. What we wear, the kind of friends we keep, our shyness when it comes to talking about God, not talking to our kids about God, putting morals above godliness, wanting to belong etc. We are the end days’ army, the team ‘comeback’ of God, we have to do our bit to right some of these wrongs, not just because it is a safer earth when God is winning but because we owe ourselves the peace that comes with godliness. 

Do Not Be Ungrateful

A friend shared this on Facebook and I could not resist sharing it. There are days we feel like things are not working right and after much prayers and fasting nothing drastic really happens, we are tempted to question God’s faithfulness, perhaps His powers but when you read this you will understand why you have to think twice…

“Some days ago I was about to go to bed and I was unhappy because I have been praying for some things that I haven’t received yet. I became grumpy and wondering if God could even hear me or is He busy attending to other people and has forgotten me . I slept with that feeling. I woke up in the morning and prayed, after praying a word dropped in my spirit! “DO NOT BE UNGRATEFUL”! I jumped up and said CHAI (In Patience Jonathan’s voice) and immediately I asked God to forgive me for my ingratitude! 

Some of us sometimes behave this way, when we ask God for things and the answers seem not to be forth coming, we become grumpy and start behaving like disgruntled elements! Throwing tantrums all over the place like little children! What about the times that God provided for you? Put food on your table, healed you from one illness or affliction, gave you a job, admission into school, protected you from known and unknown enemies? Etcetera etcetera. What about the gift of life? Do you think you are alive by your power? 

The world is deeper than the ordinary eyes can see or the ordinary mind can fathom! We are all still here not because of our works or because we are too good. Isaiah 64:6 says that our righteous acts are like filthy rags! We are still here by His Mercy. So drop that attitude of ingratitude and put on the attitude of thanksgiving! Bearing in mind that only the THANKFUL gets MORE.”

Iyobosa Enomah

Most times what we so desperately want is not what we should have at the moment, while other times the process is already in motion but then what we are hoping for is more of magic than miracle and God won’t do that. 

Patiently Waiting with a Heart of Thanksgiving is all we need, without giving up, without relenting, backing down or hating others.

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3

CHANGE OF NAME 

CHANGE OF NAME 


“Can you introduce yourself, please”? “I am Fagbenro Ogunyakin”. “What?! I thought you called yourself a believer!” Conversations like this has been part of our society. In this part of the world, people bear ancestral names as their last name. Although it is informally called “father’s name”, it is not literally so. Our ancestors were not opprotuned to have been exposed to the truth of the gospel- they worshipped the gods they understood, had communion with them and lived based on their principles. As a result, they bore names that reflected their belief. Presently, things have greatly changed. Most people no longer associate with their ancestral deities. However, the family name which they bear, reflects them. The question is, “should those names be changed?” 

It has been observed that some people revamp their names thereby modifying the meanings. For example, “Fatoyin”, which means, “Ifa(a Yorubaland diety) deserves praise” is changed to “Oluwatoyin” meaning, “Almighty God deserves praises”. This is because it is believed that the name one bears has a stronghold on his or her fate and future. On the other hand, others who have such names as first or last names, go ahead to answer them even when they personally have no connection to the deities. They believe that names have more effects spiritually than it does physically. So, they would rather disassociate themselves with those deities and ancestral covenants than change their names which they were christened. Which approach is advisable and more efficient? 

As Africans, we would always be attached to a belief system. Those belief systems will continue to affect our ideologies, productivity and the achievements we make out of life. Either it comes in form of the names we bear or the way we should be addressed, it is what defines us. The success of an average African man begins from his brain and ends up as his mindset. Firstly, he thinks of it then believes in it and forms his life around it. Nothing else will work for him unless it gets its way into his head for a rethink. So, be it an obvious change or a spiritual one, ensure that everything that defines you, conforms with your ideology.

By Oluwatosin Ayodeji

When Men Are Cast Down…

When Men Are Cast Down…

Times are pretty hard and even the world’s smartest economists attest to this, recession is biting so hard, we can even see the bite marks on the rich and famous. The slogan now is adjustments, restructuring, change, downsizing, cutting costs and so on. “Things are hard” is no longer the excuse of the stingy, it is now the reality of the selfless. Things are so bad that even the faithfuls might want to beginning to accept that fact; I almost did until I understood Job 22: 21 – 30 emphasis on 29a, “When [men] are cast down, then thou shalt say, [There is] lifting up…”

Then I realized, I don’t operate based on what the economists say, how the rich and famous feel, what the trending slogans are nor what has become the reality of the selfless. I am a faithful, I trust a Father who is beyond the natural, I trust a God that delights in doing wonders and I serve a master who has everything, and has promised to satisfy me according to His riches in Glory…Wow! What more assurance do I need!

Now if you happen to share the same Father with me,then you have to know this applies to you too. Grace is like an inheritance, but if you do not know you have it, you cannot use it. Now I am telling you; you have it, it was given to you by your Father, tap into it and use it. You are above the economies of this world because the inheritance you share is not of this world and you do not operate within the limitations of the natural because your Father is the master of the supernatural.

When people are saying it is a hard time you will be saying it is a time you had more. When people are being sacked, you will be sharing testimonies of promotion. When other businesses are folding up, yours will be unfolding new branches and growth ideas. When others find it difficult to make ends meet, you would be tying both ends and helping others too.When most find it unbearable you will be bearing fruits of abundance. You are not of this world!

You are a child of the most high, you are the seed of Abraham with wisdom of Solomon, the heart of Christ and designed to fulfill purpose. Be what you have been designed to be, take bold steps towards achieving your dreams and trust your Father to make all things work in your favour.

What’s Your Passion?

What’s Your Passion?

When God gives you a vision for your life, it’ll burn within you like a fire that can’t be extinguished. The psalmist said, ‘My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burnt.’ So, what are you passionate about? What burns ‘hot’ within you?

When God calls you to do something, He creates within you both the desire to do it and the power to carry it out. Though you feel inadequate and unqualified, stand on His Word: ‘For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him’ (Philippians 2:13 NLT).
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Mahatma Gandhi had a vision of a free and independent India at a time when it was governed by the British. Henry Ford had a vision of every family in America owning an automobile at a time when people were frightened of his new invention. Daniel K. Ludwig had a vision of a self-supporting industrial region in the heart of the Brazilian jungle at a time when there was no industry, no electricity, and no city of any kind for hundreds of miles.

Where do such creative desires come from? God, Who is our Creator! And when God gives you a true worldview, you’ll never be happy living in a narrow mental framework.

Are there times when you’ll feel afraid and uncertain about what to do? Yes! Fear and faith are two sides of the same coin, and they’ll always be part of your thinking. But the one you choose is the one that’ll determine your future – and you get to choose!

‘My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned.’ Psalm 39:3 NIV (1984 Edition)

Shared by Fidel Afuda

The Cover

The promise
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Confession
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

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God your refuge
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence (diseases). He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge(shelter or protection); his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

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“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Reference
Psalm 91

Worry Is A Waste Of Time

Worry Is a Waste of Time

Worry is one of the most ineffective pastimes we can indulge in. Jesus Himself asked, ‘Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?’ (Matthew 6:27 NLT). Worry is the assassin of rest and relationships. It stalks us and hijacks our minds. While we may continue to function publicly, there’s a sinister force lurking within us.

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.’ Philippians 4:6 NLT

This enemy called worry disorients moods, destroys creativity, and depletes your sense of completion which comes from within and can’t be achieved by the acquisition of things. Why do we wrestle so much with things we can’t change?

One pastor writes: ‘It took me years to realise that when I went to bed I shouldn’t go with half my day wrapped around my head. I wrestled all night with issues that couldn’t be resolved until morning anyway. I can’t tell you how many days I went to work feeling like the worn heel of an old shoe. I was less effective, tenser, unable to perform to full capacity, and it took its toll on my relationships.’ Can you relate?

Here’s God’s prescription for worry: ‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus … Fix your thoughts on what is true … honorable … right … pure … lovely, and admirable … things that are excellent and worthy of praise … Then the God of peace will be with you’ (Philippians 4:6-9 NLT).

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Today let God set you free from worry.

By Fidel Afuda

Bless The Lord

Bless The Lord, Every Living Soul

Only God is worthy of our worship
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, (He) who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

For He is faithful and merciful
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever (because He is merciful). He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
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He knows and understands us, and has the best plans for us
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.

Every soul both on earth and in heaven worship God
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Reference
Psalm 103