BLESSINGS OF ENEMIES - A divine mystery

 

By Colin Nwoye

Bacteria cause diseases scientists say. Yes bacteria in food cause health problems. But it is a paradox that Scientists say bacteria in the stomach are helpful and to kill them is unhealthy as the stomach will lose its balance. If bacteria in food are enemies, then bacteria in stomach are friends, therefore there must be enemies who bring benefits to us. Yes friendly enemies from within.

The enemy brothers of joseph sold him but their hatred triggered God’s love and landed him a job no Israelite of his time had, a Prime minister. Enemies of Daniel threw him into lions’ den to be food to hungry lions but their act turned Daniel into celebrity as human friend to lions. Enemies of Shedrack, Mesach and Abednego threw into furnace to be baked but they ended up giving the trio free skin tan as the heat exfoliated their skin, gave them free collagen and Vitamin E and made their skin glow like babies, a treatment that was not available in beauty Spa that time and costs fortune now.

 

Walking In Truth Rewarded

2Kings 20: 1-6

In human circle, when you have walked before someone in truth and much more with a loyal heart, you become devastated to hear or know that same person announced your life is coming to an end.In our text, Hezekiah did not see his condition- sick and near death as the need for his life to come to an end, rather he understands that before he should die, he must set his house in order and that God declaration through His prophet is in the future, ' .....you shall die.......' He was never frightened by God's word through His Prophet. This is because he knows his God and that He is ever truthful to His words (Psalm 33:4) especially when everything He has commanded is fully obeyed. This make Hezekiah to do the right and appropriate things with God. 

He did not plead with the Prophet that delivered God's message but Hezekiah do away with distraction, but in solitary and solitude, set himself aside to communicate with his God, that is he prayed, vs 2-Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD.

Importantly, he presented his own testimonial against God's standard and defended it. In verse 3, "Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. He established that he has walked before God in truth. Not only that, he qualified his testimonial of walking in truth with a loyal heart and conviction that he has done what was good in God's sight. He made known to God by weeping bitterly that he is not ready to die according to God's timing for him. Finally, he made an open request to God by saying, 'Remember now,' Immediately, God, who is truthful to His doing, did remember the covenant He made with David, his father, heard him and recognised his tears for not wanting to die. Instantly, God gives a new word to Hezekiah through his prophet, healed him, added to his years on earth and grant permit to worship him again- vs 4-6.

Be admonished! Walk before God in truth and with loyal heart, do good in His sight and no matter your situations, conditions, circumstances and prophecies against you, like Hezekiah, God will turn your sadness to joy, sickness to health and death to life. Surely, He will remember His everlasting covenant for your generations. Be blessed. Shalom! 

Preacher Olukunle

Divine Help Ministry

 

Judas betrayal of Jesus was free visa to the land of the dead to collect the keys of death and overcome the powers of darkness permanently. Death of Jesus was blood shed for us to live. Enemy Judas blessed us as Christians. No more sin offering and mostly the law was overcome by grace and love spread on the cross for us. Praise God for death of Christ through betrayal of Judas as the era of law was period of zero forgiveness and killing was common for atonement of sins but Christ brought us freedom from the law with His blood. He activated GRACE unlimited.

Some people would not have owned their properties or started their own business if they were not kicked out of family house and family business by enemy brothers. Yes, the perceived enemy brothers were used to give you a kick to leave your comfort zone.

Some have learnt to trust God more because of disappointments from enemy friends. Some learnt to fast and pray fervently because of enemy threats and activated God’s divine protection. Some have multiple businesses because of frustration from an enemy boss who denied them pay rise.

The blessing of enemy is a divine mystery I received by revelation. If you pray for all enemies to die by fire, if they die, whose envy will cause angels to activate God’s blessings for you?

The bible says ‘Thou prepareth a table before me in the presence of my enemies’.  Yes my enemies. If they get angry, thou anoint my head with oil. If they get bitter, my cup of goodness overflows. If they push me through valley of death, God kills my fear factor. He restores my soul and if water of business is turbulent he takes me to quiet water where there is no rush so I can eat green profit and lie down drink sweet cool water. If they shit bee, goodness shall follow and I change my address to live the house of God and enjoy safety forever. Halleluyah!

The bible says ‘Count it pure joy when you face trials and temptations of diverse kinds as it is for your good and maturity’.

Muscles develop only through lifting weights - resistance training. Resist the devil and he will flee. Through prayer resist the devil of financial failure, devil of ill health, devil of stagnation, devil of marital unhappiness, devil of depression and he will FLEE.

Prayer: Ask God to send an insider enemy that will kick you out of your comfort zone into divine prosperity and security, so you will say like Joseph said to his brothers that “what you planned for my evil turned to my promotion”. Amen.

God is still God. He is in charge of all. He is the overseer. James 1:2-4

Before sin came, there was a LAW.-Genesis 1:17. To every sin there is an individual represented by the middle letter of the word sin “I”. The purpose of the Law is to illuminate sin and make it obvious (where there is no law, there is no sin). Man fell because he allowed sin and the Law illuminated and exposed him. He was sent out of the garden which signified GRACE- a place where he was never meant to struggle. As soon as man left the garden, he got into the real world which was also part of the creation but was not where God intended to put man, there was no GRACE outside. He had to struggle to live. He lost God’s glory and became empty. In the real world, sin reigned and Satan dominated as John 12:31b, John 14:30 refers to him as the prince of this world. Man became exposed and prone to whispers of Satan’s deceptions of various faces and attractions. In the Garden of Eden, Satan could only sneak in by appearing like one of the beautiful works of creation, in form of the serpent but in the real world outside the Garden, he could whisper loud and clear without control.
The first child that was ever born was born outside the garden (the place of GRACE). He was born into a world which had part of it filled with sin. No wonder sin can never be separated from the nature of man. Have we ever wondered why this same first child (Cain) was capable of killing? He was never brought up to kill, he was raised the same way Abel was raised but because they lived in a world filled with sin, he was able to kill. From that point onward, sin became pronounced in its entirety. Polygamy became a normalcy, getting drunk, and all sorts of things but Praise be to God, in the midst of all these, Genesis 4:25 says At that time people began to call on the name of the LORD, which means there still remained a people who knew and feared God. The Old Testament of the Bible tells of many ways man continued to digress from the plan of God. Instead of tracing their steps back to the Beginning, they continued to devise and invent all sorts of immoralities that can have no other name to it apart from SIN. Even God got fed up in the time of Noah and destroyed His own work of creation (not only man was destroyed). Even at that, man still fell. We will always fabricate names (homosexuality, sodomy, bestiality, bi-sexualities etc.) to justify our sinful nature in order to appear like we still belong to this GOD. When God saw the limitations the Law brought, He thought of something else to do. He sent Prophets and teachers of the law but it offered no lasting solution to bringing man back to Him- Isaiah 6:8.

Man is stuck and glued to sin since the fall; we cannot separate ourselves from sin because the middle letter “I” clearly represents us. We will always fall if we operate outside grace. Then out of LOVE, God sent His only Son to come and save us-John 3:16. His name is CHRIST; He took up the letter “I” but no longer is it in the middle nor is it giving meaning to sin, but His own “I” represented LIFE! Through His death on the cross, He bled and died so that through His blood we might have Life. The blood is the Life of any living thing that has blood, take the blood out and there is no life. Hallelujah!!! He brought GRACE back so I could fellowship with God like it was in the Beginning.

Our world today is filled with all sorts of evil. The Family has been continuously attacked like it was in the beginning. Sin is a part of our world after all Satan is the prince of this world. We claim to have Human rights to go against God’s order. We say we were made in the wrong bodies, hence deserve the right to still profess we love God. We say we could marry animals after all God made them all. We say it is okay to tell lies, and divorce one another. Yet we claim we love the Lord. James 1:13-15 says “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else, Temptation comes from our own desires (which abounds in the world), which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. Can any parent be proud of a child that calls him/herself a killer or boko haram or religious extremists who kill others? I doubt it! So can God be proud of a killer, homosexual, liar, fornicator etc?

Homosexuality is not a sin bigger than telling lies; sin is sin no matter how it comes. That is why the Bible says we should flee every appearance of evil. But to defend sin in the name of Human right as God’s children is wrong. Only those who are in CHRIST live under grace, others are just in the world created by HIM but without GRACE. Sin whispers every now and then, and if we yield, we will be deceived. No wonder Jesus said we are in the world but not of the world. If any man be in CHRIST, he is a new creature, old things have passed away and behold all things have become NEW. THE BEGINNING holds the solution; even Jesus took the disciples back to the BEGINNING in Mathew 19: 4- "Haven't you read," He replied, "that at the BEGINNING, the Creator 'made them male and female” Shalom!!!

Culled from Prophetess ‘Bola Alabi-Garuba’s Message

Prince Olukunle Adeleke

Messenger of His Word

Divine Help Outreach

Tel no: +44 7894 868 983

Email: prince_c12@hotmail.com

THE MURDER OF TRIALS BY FAITH

How could ‘Faith’ murder ‘Trials’? This sounds illogical but if clearly understood it becomes logical and possible. Murder is the crime of deliberately killing someone. If someone murders someone or commits a murder, they kill someone deliberately. This is not what I am referring to here…although the phrase would enhance my analysis.  I am using the word ‘murder’ here so as to emphasise how dangerous our difficult circumstances could be if we do not take a ‘serious and deliberate’ approach to stop it from damaging us.

Faith is a strong religious belief in God and all that He could do and not do. If you have faith in God, you believe you can trust or rely on Him, therefore you would continue to hold on to God even in difficult circumstances. These difficult circumstances are unpleasant things that a person may experience, and we may equally refer to them as ‘Trials’.  So what are the correlations between these three words (Faith, Murder, and Trials)?

Steadfastness is produced in us during trials only when we wait in faith for God to act on our behalf. Faith means believing in God by having personal relationship with Him. The book of Hebrew 11 verse 6 says But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him The Bible defines faith in Hebrew 11 verse 1 as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The literal meaning of this definition is that when you believe it, you will see it. Faith endures trials. Trials come and go but a strong faith will face them head on and develop endurance. Our endurance through faith produces steadfastness during our trials. Feelings should not control our faith but our faith should control our feelings. God is unhappy with unbelief as expressed in the book of Psalm 78 verse20-22 Behold He struck the rocks so that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed. Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people? Therefore the Lord heard this and was furious; so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel because they did not believe in God and did not trust in His salvation

How can our faith produce steadfastness during trials?

By knowing God, His Power and His word

The book of Mark 9 verse 23 says Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” this is similar to the word in Mark 11 verse 22 that says “Have faith in God”. By receiving God’s faith you will be moving out of the natural realm into the supernatural realm of divine power and ability. The steadfastness produced is not within our power but through His power and word. Our role here is to believe and the end results lie within the power of the Holy Spirit.  An example is the prayer of the righteous ones for healing will save the sick as in the book of James 5 verse 14 and 15 ‘ the power to raise up the sick is the Lord’s and not elders power.The book of 1 John  5 verse 4 tells  us that it is our faith that brings victory for us to overcome life issues, therefore, during trials ,storms, tribulations and temptations of life, our faith should speak steadfastness because it’s the carrier of victory.

Persistence

Let us look at the account of a widow looking for justice in the book of Luke 18 verse1-7. This widow was persistently coming to the judge of this certain city asking for justice from her adversary and the judge would not harken to her request but after her persistence request the Judge agreed saying  yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her lest by her continual coming she weary me” .The same way if we persistently hold on to our faith in God we would be able to ‘murder’ our trials through our faith. Jesus Christ said in the book of Mathew 17 vs 20 "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”. Also in Mathew 21 vs 21 He said "I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.” We live by faith not by sight. Faith in the Lord does not rest on our wisdom rather on God’s power.

In our distress and persecution we must hold on to our faith and even make it stronger so that we could be strengthened and rewarded by God. Allow your faith to murder your trials so that you can be free and be a winner. There are so many examples in the Bible where some Biblical icons had exercised their faith in the Lord. To murder our trials by faith we must endeavour to live by these men’s examples. The Book of Hebrew 11 vs 1-39 says“1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith Abraham, even though he was past age--and Sarah herself was barren--was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." 19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones. 23 By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. 29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. 31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised".

God is the only one that can turn situations around even during our storms of life if only we operate in faith,same as He did for Joseph. Faith brings focus on Jesus who is able to bring our expectations into fulfilment. Looking at the author and finisher of our faith during our trials produces steadfastness. The book of Hebrew 12 verse 2-5 encourages us to stand strong in faith and focus on Jesus who also endured the cross, despising the shame and now sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God interceding for us. This should give us the assurance of his backing and support to run the race set before us with endurance. This is also related to the account of John in the book of Revelation 2 verse2-3I know your works, your labour, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience and have laboured for my name’s sake and have not become weary”.

Faith activates action during our trials. Let us look at the story of a woman with the issue of blood in the book of Mark 5 verse 28-30. In her distress when all hope for help from human knowledge is lost, the faith in her arose when she heard about Jesus, the giver of hope, she came behind Him and touched His garment and immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up and she was healed of the affliction. She believed touching the master healer will bring forth her healing. This is how she ‘murdered’ her trials with ‘faith’. You too ‘can’ activate your faith in order to murder your tribulations. It is possible because all things are possible in ‘Faith’.

But how could you have faith or develop your faith? Romans 10 vs 17 tells us thatConsequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ”. Deliberately seeking faith in order to overcome your trials is how you could MURDER YOUR TRIALS BY FAITH!

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Breakdown before Breakthrough (Joseph)

Watch Video on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs1yvo4Z3Qw

This was the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob. Just in case you are wondering who Jacob was, see the family tree below:

 

From the above chart, you can see that Joseph was a great grandson of Abraham. Abraham himself was the grandson of Noah. In the book of Genesis God had covenant with Abraham that He would bless him and increase him with great nations. Through so many obstacles and challenges Abraham had Ishmael and Isaac by Sarah and her slave maid – Hagar. To cut a very long and interesting story short, Abraham had two grandsons – Esau and Jacob. Jacob eventually had thirteen children born for him by four women, two were his legitimate wives and the other two women were his wives’ maidservants. But JOSEPH was born by Jacob’s legitimate wife called Rachel. Rachel happened to be Jacob’s heartthrob, the love of his life who bore him two sons – Joseph and Benjamin. The second legitimate wife of Jacob was Leah, who happened to be Rachel’s senior sister. It was however recorded in the Bible that Jacob was naturally a one man one wife person but unfortunately for him he was forced to marry Leah as a condition to be met before he could ever marry the love of his life- Rachel. Children born by the two maidservants happened out of lack of self- confidence, unhealthy and destructive competition between Leah and Rachel in the attempt to win the love of Jacob.

Rachel was barren for so many years before she finally had Joseph, followed by Benjamin. In fact she died immediately after she gave birth to Benjamin. You could imagine the kind of pain Jacob must have gone through when he eventually lost Rachel despite his hard work and effort to marry Rachel..

Let’s talk about Joseph! Joseph grew up with his father-Jacob and his eleven brothers and one and only sister called Dinah. I have a feeling Dinah must have been very spoilt and pampered person for being the only girl….lol. Well, Joseph’s two first brothers ( Gad and Asher) were born by Leah’s maidservant, and the last two brothers ( Dan and Naphtali) were born by Rachel’s maidservant…the substitute wives.  This means the house of Jacob was headed by an illegitimate son. And the legitimate children were in-betweens.

THE BREAKDOWN

Joseph grew up with all his brothers and sister together with their father. Naturally Joseph should be the Jacob’s favourite child considering his love for Rachel and the compassion he could have for Joseph for having lost his mother at a very young age. But that was not exactly the case. Jacob’s love for Joseph was born out of Joseph’s loyalty and obedience to his father disagreeing with his brothers’ mischiefs. I’m not entirely surprised at his brothers’ brutal and murderous behaviour considering the common say in Africa that children born out of wedlock usually misbehave. However I have no evident statistics to back this up, therefore please don’t quote it. Despite Jacob’s constant effort to show his children the way of the Lord, his sons still fell short of that grace by killing people and attempted to kill their own brother- Joseph.  How scary that realisation would have been for Joseph ! Brother planning evil for another brother?. In Africa, this is what we call ‘family war’, and in Yoruba language ‘Ogun ile’. This kind of war still happens in our present day. Joseph’s brothers were so jealous of him because he was their father’s favourite. I learnt from this event that parents must never show favouritism to any child despite the shortcoming of the others. It is an ill wind that would blow the entire family no good. It is rather appropriate to apply wisdom in treating our children bearing in mind that no child is the same. If not for what God had planned in the life of Joseph, Jacob would have lost him for real if his brothers had agreed to kill him rather than to sell him to the Egyptians.

Joseph went through a lot as a child being the only brother to his junior brother-Benjamin and he had to cater for him in his own little way executing the duties of a mother whenever Benjamin needed it.  It wasn’t so sweet for him too to experience huge surge of hatred from his other brothers for reasons not very clear to him. To be born into a prestigious family and later ended up being a slave and a prisoner was enough to cause him mental depression or even take his own life. To know that his father was still alive but was deterred from seeing him is another huge problem in his life. A man who was rightly born by his mother and father into a family that he was meant to be celebrated became the ‘tenth-in-command’ with no honour.

Joseph was definitely broken by all his ordeals, especially his experiences in Egypt. But he remained calm, loyal and honest through it all. How many of us could do that nowadays? Being given the opportunity to sleep with the Queen and then decline it?  This however reflected the values that Jacob had imparted into his son-Joseph, the same value imparted into his other brothers but not embraced by them all. Though brought up by the same father, in the same home yet very different.. Jacob would have loved his first born – Gad to be his heir and be very responsible but God did not plan it that way, He had made a leader out of Joseph the 10th child. Throughout his ordeal in Egypt, Joseph never complained or denied his God once. That was amazing and something to emulate. He believed passionately in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob even when he was threatened to be killed, he held on firmly to his God, his belief and the training his father had imparted unto him. How awesome! I wonder how many of us could truly do that nowadays. Some of us had thrown our values into the sea in foreign lands in exchange for green pastures, land full of honey and milk. Many of us had disobeyed God in numerous ways just to have a temporary survival. Many of us had been unequally yoked just to get ‘foreign’ citizenship/nationality…we’ve seen Christians marrying people of different religion out of convenience for legal papers despite God ‘s commandment that we should not serve any other god. A lot of us had turned ‘legal papers’ into an idol which we indirectly worship day in and out by praising and highlighting the importance of such papers over the power of the Most High. The discipline found in Joseph is mostly far- fetched amongst us nowadays.

Yes, it wasn’t easy for Joseph but he held on to his God. God was always with him. This explains the fact that as children of God, if we are loyal to God and obey him, He would always be on our side. But it does not mean that we would never go through challenges. It doesn’t mean that we would not be broken. It doesn’t mean that things would always go smooth with us. Our period and times of challenges are the periods of our BREAKDOWNS, when God is testing and moulding us for our greatness, the promise land and our callings. If anyone says to you “I was called by God ‘ and there’s no evidence of times he was broken down in some form or the other, please be reluctant to believe that he had been truly made great by God.  No one is called by God for a particular ‘assignment’ that had never had a breakdown. This was evident in the lives of Abraham, Moses, Noah and even Joseph. Times  of our breakdowns are the times God is preparing us for the assignment before us.

I passionately believe that God is always merciful, kind and has His own strategies to take us to the next level. After breakdown….breakthrough must come. Let’s see what happened to Joseph when his breakthrough did come.

BREAKTHROUGH

From the Bible illustrations and account of Joseph as well as the Movie of Joseph that we had watched earlier, we could see that Joseph’s breakthrough came when he least expected it. In fact he never expected such a great breakthrough. I’m sure that in his mind he would have been believing God for his release from Prison and his return to his family (father, brothers and Sister). That must have been what any prisoner would look forward to knowing that they are innocent. But God surprised Joseph. May the good Lord surprise us all in Jesus’ name.

 Joseph was dumbfounded by the announcement that he would be next in command to the king of Egypt. Wow! How awesome!! This is equivalent to an illegal immigrant in UK cleaning the Buckingham palace and later being called to become a personal assistant to Queen Elizabeth due to a robust performance appraisal by his/her employer at the Palace. This is likened with Mandela (ex- President of South Africa) being called from 27 years of imprisonment to become an honourable President of South Africa. How about Obama being the first Black President of  United States of America and his wife now moving and dinning with Queen Elizabeth . God is still working in our lives today only if we are obedient and loyal to Him.

Another thing that struck me about Joseph’s character is that he easily forgives. He forgave everyone that had ever wronged him. That was awesome! He was a very compassionate man. No wonder God chose him for that greatness and leadership. To be a leader we must first learn how to serve and forgive. To move on in life we need to learn how to be tolerant of others despite their shortcomings. I was amazed to see Joseph embracing his brothers back into his life, providing for them and making them great too in essence. Wow! How many of us could do that?? Forgive someone who had attempted to kill you?? It’s really hard. Easy to watch the movie, easy to read the story but it is never easy to be Joseph. But we must aspire to be if we want God to take us to our greatness.

Mark this: There’s no breakthrough without a breakdown.

Joseph’s attributes:

·         Joseph was a caring and loving father

·         He acknowledged God and  stuck to Him

·         He declined fornication and refused to sin against God

·         He forgave so easily

·         He never kill or stole despite challenges

·         He was confident and stood up for his values

·         He honoured his father

·         He was a man of integrity and honesty

·         He was a great servant and a merciful leader

·         He was hard working and organised.

·         He believed in family values and togetherness

And for all of these, God was with him and everything he touched FLOURISHED.

 

Author:Lara Hanson.Brown.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Click here to watch the movie of Abraham: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J09SAoioTI

I felt greatly honoured when African Movers (UK) asked me to write about Abraham. Why? Abraham was the man God affiliated His name with. When  God sent ‘Moses’ to deliver the Israelites from slavery, Moses asked God for His name and God introduced Himself to Moses saying  ‘I AM WHO I AM’. This is what you are to say to the Israelites:’ I AM’ has sent me to you. God also said to Moses “ Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – has sent me to you’ This is my name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation” (Exodus 3 vs 14-15).

I am not surprised that God did not introduce Himself as the God of Adam and Eve being the first human beings He had created. Due to the sin committed by Adam and Eve they had been separated them from God. Subsequent sins committed by their descendants brought about the destruction of the earth by flood. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s obedience and faith in God, must have been the reason why God had decided to affiliate His name with theirs. His ways are really never our ways.

God is a very humble God too by simply introducing Himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Many would have expected Him to introduce Himself as the President of Heaven and Earth, or The Head of the Universe, or the Galaxy, or Honourable God of All, Chief of the World, or The Creator of the Universe etc. But God simply affiliated Himself with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That was something worth noting. That explains how important Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were to God. At least these three men were not the only human beings on earth at the time, yet God affiliated His name with theirs.

Someone reading this might ask: Who is Abraham and why is he so important even up to our present days? To go into this literature I’m assuming you have watched the movie above about Abraham. Please do so before you read this article any further so that you could grasp the points I’m going to raise.

The following chart gives us the family tree that shows who Abraham was:

Note: This chart does not show the entire family line of Adam and his sons. Seth was a brother to the popular Cain and Abel. Adam had Seth when he was 130 years old and had so many other sons and daughters even after. Seth was the father of Enosh, and Enosh was the father of Kenan and the line of fatherhood goes down until Noah was born by Lamech.

The following chart shows Noah’s lineage:

Noah was the father of Shem. Bear in mind that Noah other sons but for the sake of this article we are focusing on Shem as the direct lineage of Abraham. Shem had five Children namely Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. It appeared Abraham descended from the lineage of Arphaxad one of the sons of Shem as indicated in the chart above. To cut a very long and interesting introduction short, Terah was the father of ABRAHAM.

Looking at the position of Abraham in the lineage of Noah, one would wonder why God chose Abraham to be the father of all Nations and awarded him with blessings. Having watched the movie it transpired that Abraham himself did not know God nor His name. He wondered who God was each time God spoke with him in the beginning. Even Terah his father did not know God as he was amazed to hear from Abraham that a particular God spoke with Abraham. It appeared that the lineage of Noah worshipped another god despite Noah’s experiences and association with God. Could it be that Noah never imparted God’s way to his children? Or perhaps he did but his sons forgot God after the death of Noah and as each one of them started having their own families? These are questions that I’m still searching answers for. However, it is sad to note that Abraham never heard of God before despite the fact that his fore-father was the one God used to refine the earth after the flood. Whatever may have happened in the generation of Noah’s sons down to the generation of Tetra, the father of Abraham should not be applauded. No wonder God never introduced Himself as the God of Adam, Noah, Shem, Ham or Japheth. It was however noted in the Bible that from these three sons of Noah the people on earth were formed and scattered all over, that is, you and I. Interestingly out of the black pot came white milk….ABRAHAM. Abraham too had two other brothers namely Nahor and Haran so he was not the only child.

In Genesis 12 vs 1-3 God spoke to Abraham to leave his country, his people and family to a land unknown to him and for doing so He would make great nations out of Abraham and bless him abundantly. And all the peoples on earth will be blessed through Abraham, that is, you and I. This is why oftentimes you hear people sing or say Abraham’s blessings are mine.”. This is one of the reasons why Abraham is so important up till these days. His blessings are attached to our own blessings as the covenant between him and God still stands up to this present day.

Now that we have analysed who Abraham was, let’s look at his characters and the legacies he left for us.

ABRAHAM’S LEGACIES

·       God’s covenant

God had a covenant with Abraham that he would bless him, increase him, keep him safe from all harms, curse those who curse him, bless those who bless him, deliver his enemies into his hands, would be his shield, and make great nations out of him. (Genesis 12 & 15) .Through Abraham we are all blessed, safe under the umbrella of the Almighty, we are victorious over Satan and his agents, and we are to increase from generation to generation. Not surprising that Nigeria’s population alone is over 160 million.

·       Righteousness & Faith

Abraham believed God and he remained righteous. Despite the fact that Abraham had no idea of where God was taking him, yet he followed God’s instructions and guidance until his very last day. Despite so many ordeals and challenges in his marriage and on the way to the promise land he never for once complained to God or betrayed Him. Despite his long term bareness Abraham remained faithful to God, and God referred to him as His friend.

·       Direct Communication with God

Abraham was endowed with a great opportunity of speaking directly with God, an opportunity that none of his fore-fathers and Uncles never had, except for Noah. So today we too can have direct communication with God if we are holy and obedient.

·       Perseverance

What could have been worse than being taken away from one’s comfort zone into various wildernesses? Abraham was living with his father and brothers when God called him to leave his country and family for a journey he had no idea of. What could have been worse than leaving his wife (Sarah) for King Pharaoh in pretext that she was his sister in order to save his own life? Also being a righteous man with integrity he must have felt really demeaned when he was compelled to sleep with his slave girl so as to bear him a child.  What would you say about when God tested Abraham to sacrifice his son -Isaac?. What a pain?  I wonder how he must have been overwhelmed by grief and fear. But Abraham went through so many challenges, yet he persevered.

·       Love and Care

We saw in the movie above and read it also in the Bible how Abraham was caring to Sarah, his son Ishmael and even to Hagar the slave girl that bore him Ishmael. He was always listening to Sarah, respected her feelings and views even when they hurt him so badly. He understood the value of marriage and how to maintain it. Even after the death of Sarah, he cared about her corpse being buried in a nice way paying for the land that befits her status.

When Abraham was forced to chase Ishmael and Hagar out of his home, he was bitter at the decision, but he never failed to provide them with what seemed their ‘immediate needs’ for their survival and believing that God would see them through. Abraham also had so many other family members that he cared about and he ensured he did his best throughout their journeys.

·       Humility, Contentment and Forgiveness

Abraham was an Uncle to Lot. So Lot was one of the family members that set out on the unknown journey with Abraham. Due to incompatibility they had to separate. Out of greed and great disrespect to Abraham,Lot chose the best part of the land for himself , a land well watered (Jordan). Abraham was calm and accepted the land that was believed to be less favourable. Abraham’s care, maturity, humility, and contentment were highlighted by that action. And the minute he knew that Lot was in trouble in Sodom and Gomorrah being held a captive during the war, Abraham did not hesitate to go over there to rescue him.

·       Change of Name

What is in a name?  A lot of people would ask. But note this, when God has a plan or an assignment for someone in order to elevate them He would change their names. He changed Saul to Paul, He changed Sarai to Sarah, He changed Jacob to Israel, and for Joseph to attain his status in Egypt, God indirectly changed his name from Joseph to Zaphenath-Paneath through King Pharaoh. In the same vein God changed Abram to Abraham.

This legacy of change of name applies to us today when we are being elevated in various ways. A married woman becomes a ‘Mrs X..and some people practically change their names if they feel the names do not befit their new status.

·       Success

When Abraham eventually got to the land that the Lord had promised him, he became successful with all material wealth and honour. This is a legacy we are left with by Abraham.

·       Obedience

Without going into much details it is obvious that Abraham was very obedient to God from the time he did not know God to the time he had known God and familiarised himself with God. He obeyed God by leaving his own home land, family and people. He obeyed God when he was asked to sacrifice Isaac. He obeyed God throughout his journey.

·       Transfer of Knowledge & Grace

Why did God affiliate His name with Abraham, Isacc and Jacob? Abraham was the father of Isaac and Isaac was the father of Jacob. Bible accounts that Abraham's fore fathers and even his own father worshipped idols -another god. They had no knowledge of God despite Noah's experiences with God. Noah's three Children never imparted the way of the Lord to their children, the obvious reason why their children never knew God and failed to transfer His knowledge and existence to them. BUT since Abraham had had an encounter with God, embraced God and had communion with Him, he never failed to teach his children the way of the Lord. He was not hesitant to do away with the other gods that his father and fore father had served, he was not concerned about what the society would say about not carrying on with his descendants customs because he had realised a better and resarding way. Having taught and shown  his son Isaac the way of the Lord, Isaac too transfered that knowledge and grace to Jacob. No wonder Joseph too carried (see the article above about Joseph) God along throughout his ordeals and life in general. What Abraham had done was simply an eradication of a generational curse that was associated with serving other god. Isaac became free of worshiping idol, Jacob was free of the same and subsequently Joseph and his household.

·       Embraced God

As soon as Abraham met with God, he embraced God and all that He stood for. Though foreign to him and instructions of God sounds strange, yet he followed God blindly.

I conclude that if we believe that Abraham’s blessings are ours, if we believe that we truly descended from the lineage of Abraham and God had used him to create the new earth, then we must claim the legacies he left behind together with his attributes. I pray that the Lord affiliates His name with ours and our generations. May we never serve another God but the true 'I AM' ...the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac.

Author: Lara Hanson-Brown.

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Welcome to Christian Corner on African Movers (UK). My name is Rebecca Coker, and I live in UK. It is my great pleasure to contribute to this page to share my religious belief with you all. After reading this piece below and you feel you are ready to give your life to our Lord Jesus, please do not hesitate to find any Bible believing church in your area to fellowship and contribute to the building of the Kingdom of God. Also if any gospel songs played on this page ministers to you, add value to your spiritual life please do get a copy of the CDs in any African Shop in UK or other Christian shops in your area to show your appreciation to the Artist of your choice. Let’s celebrate the talents in our Artists by buying their products. Together we move Forward!

In this article I will be sharing with you the reasons behind ‘Holiness’ and the benefits it brings.

Holiness can be defined as the state or character of being holy. Holiness is important to God and it should be important to us as believers. T he Bible says without holiness we cannot see God.(Heb12 v14)-“ Pursue Peace with all people and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

God specifically instructed His children to be holy. (LEV 19V2 ) says “Speak to all the congregation of Israel and say to them  you shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy”. I will even say it is a command for those   who are genuinely following the doctrine of God and obeying His words. (1 Peter 1v15-16) says ”But  as He who calls you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct because it is written be holy for I am holy”

The acts of holiness are not as difficult as such as some of us always  perceive.  It is a matter of determination and obedience to God’s commandments. Looking at the book of Psalm 15v 1-5 and Psalm 24v3-5 we can see some acts of holiness as follows:

  1. Walk uprightly - which means focusing on God and walking with Him with confidence without any distraction. Be upright in your dealings.
  2. Work righteously means being in right standing with the Lord without any deceit and injustice.
  3. Speak the truth by not speaking lies, deception, no pretence nor hypocrisy but always being truthful.
  4. No backbiting ” if you can say it at my back  then say it in my presence, anything short of this is pure backbiting”. It is better and rewarding if you can use your lips and tongues to glorify God, sing hymns and praises. Don’t utter negative statements.
  5. Do no evil to your neighbour. Destroying with whatever means, stealing, killing, oppressing, ignoring, condemning, lying against your neighbour in any way are all acts of evil.
  6. Let your live honour godliness and not wickedness.
  7. Live life of giving and helping the poor.
  8. We can only approach His Presence, His holy throne and sanctuary if our hands are clean, we are not engaged in idolatry or vanity of life, not swearing deceitfully and having a pure heart.

Lack of holiness can even lead to unanswered prayers as we can see in the book of Isaiah 59 verse 1-8”surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save nor His ear too dull to hear but your iniquities have separated you from God, your sins have hidden his face from you so that he will not hear........................................”Also the book of Proverb 6 verse 16-19 says “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to HIM- Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood ,a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet are  quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

REASONS FOR HOLINESS

  1. God’s commandment directs us to be holy. Gen 17 v1
  2. Holiness opens the gate of heaven for us to see God.Heb12v14
  3. Holiness affords us constant opportunity to fellowship with God. 1John 1v3-7
  4. Holiness is required for spiritual growth and to do great exploits. John 14 v12

BENEFITS OF HOLINESS

  1. Holiness brings blessings of the Lord and His peace PS92V12-14
  2. Holiness brings promotion , victory and supernatural anointing. Heb 1 v9,DEUTH 28 v7-9
  3. Holiness brings answers to our prayers. 1Peter 2 v12,ps34 v15-27
  4. Holiness brings divine security. Pro 18V10
  5. Holiness brings God’s divine presence. JOSH 3 V5-7,`3,17

In conclusion, living unholy life will lead to divine rejection and eternal condemnation. It is wise to ask for the grace to live holy life and to make a decision today to be holy.

Author: Rebecca Coker

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Dear Heavenly Father,

 We come to you and we lift up all to you that are hurting, lonely and sad. There are so many causes for loneliness...death, divorce, singleness, disability, estrangement, custody issues, addiction, illness, military duty, incarceration, just living far away from those we love. There are so many reasons for a person to feel alone, but you are there Lord and you understand. You were alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, you were alone as you had to bear beatings and shame. You were alone as you hung on that cross and felt the weight of everyone's burdens and sins. You understand every pain and heartache and you are there for us...never leaving our side. No one is more faithful than you Lord...You will never leave us alone...we are grateful to you Lord!

 Lord, we ask that you would bring words of encouragement to each sad and lonely heart. Please bring compassionate people into their lives who will see and understand the need for companionship and comfort. May all believers feel the calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the lost, lonely and hurting people around them. May we all reach out to the best of our abilities, to those we know that are home bound, or in a nursing home or hospital, or are just eating a meal alone because they have no family. Lord, please move people to have hearts of compassion...may we all see with your eyes and love with your love. Remind those who are alone that the best way to overcome our own loneliness, is to reach out to others that are hurting...the best way to have a friend is to be a friend. Help us to stretch past our comfort zones to be all that you call us to be Lord. Father, as many are suffering from sicknesses, family problems, and finances may we keep our focus on you and not who we may or may not have by our side. That is the best way to cope with our losses and our loneliness or any problem for that matter....to keep our eyes focused on you. Thank you for your immeasurable love. Thank you that you carry our burdens. Thank you that far better things await us than what we can imagine. Lord, you promise you are near to the brokenhearted, that you hear their cries, that you will bind their wounds and that you will turn their mourning to joy. Please meet the needs of each one praying with us. In Jesus Holy Name...AMEN!!!

Inspirational Thoughts by Simone Myrie

 

Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, let go of negative emotions such as revenge, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. Forgiveness is different from condoning (failing to see the action as wrong and in need of forgiveness), excusing (not holding the offender as responsible for the action), pardoning (granted by a representative of society, such as a judge), forgetting (removing awareness of the offence from consciousness), and reconciliation (restoration of a relationship.( Source: Wikipedia)‎.

Un-forgiveness is a silent and hidden disease that eats us all without our realisation. It is a silent killer that we often don’t talk about or recognise. Un-forgiveness is an act of hatred towards a fellow human being for a wrong done.  Before Jesus Christ made me to realise how dangerous un-forgiveness is to my physical health, spiritual growth as well as personal development I often used to ponder why Jesus Christ thought we should forgive our enemies and love our neighbours when enemies appear dangerous and some neighbours don’t worth loving considering many to be adversaries. It wasn’t until I watched the movies of Jesus Christ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9gaH2SU1bo)  where He was teaching His disciples about forgiveness and love of their neighbours that Jesus made me realise a few things. Few months ago I had asked three Pastors this question, ‘Is it possible to forgive your enemy when you know that they want to kill you or had killed your loved one’? The reply I got from them all was that ‘you have to pray and fight to destroy your enemy especially when he/she refuses to repent and leave you alone’. In my spirit I wasn’t so satisfied with this answer but I did agree with them logically because they are the ‘men’ of God and must know what they were talking about. Not so long after that, I had a divine visitation by the Almighty who directed me to the truth about forgiveness. As the Bible says Jesus Christ is the ‘Truth’, the ‘Way’, and the ‘Light’. His words are the ‘truth’ of life, His ‘Way’ leads us to our destinations to those that seek His direction and follow Him in truth, and His ‘Light’ reveals all that is hidden in the dark and clears the way to follow.

Of course I had read it before and many times in the Bible that we should forgive our enemies but it just never made a great sense to me. I have also witnessed many Christians of the modern age gathering together at night, in the day time and wherever possible all praying ‘against’ their enemies for God to kill and destroy them. Each time I hear such prayers I get really scared and baffled because I know the consequences of God’s wrath upon anyone that He decides to punish and destroy having read what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah…and many others.

We all believe that God is ‘Love, and that Jesus Christ came and died for the ‘atonement’ of our sins. I have also read that Jesus Christ died for ‘ALL’, and that He had ascended to heaven to prepare the Kingdom of God for those who believe in Him, also that He does not want the death of a sinner. The Bible also states that when Jesus Christ was on the cross He said ‘Father forgive them for they know not what they do’. He said that even when He had the power to destroy all His accusers but He didn’t. Whilst I pondered on all these facts, I brushed them aside and decided to pray against all my enemies that refused to repent so that they don’t overtake me in the spiritual realm nor in the physical. I carried on with the Pastors’ advice. As I had rested for this decision, I had a divine visitation from Jesus.

I always have a Sabbath day fellowship with my kids teaching them about God using the Bible, Christian TV sermons, Christian music and Bible movies to analyse the words of God. On this particular Sunday the Lord asked me to watch the movie of Jesus Christ with them and so I did. After the movies, we were all filled with passion and compassion, cried on each other’s shoulders and when we were done, I asked the question ‘So girls, what do we learn from this movie of Jesus Christ et el’? .. My 11 year old daughter answered ‘”Well Mummy, I’m scared because Jesus said we should forgive our enemies and we should forgive them ‘all’ , but how possible and why?. My heart raced at hearing this question because I had battled with the same question for years and recently. Before I could open my mouth to answer my daughter she carried on  saying ‘ I really don’t want to forgive my enemies because they are so stupid, Samantha  bullied me in school and stole all my friends  just to spite me, it hurts…’’. As my daughter was narrating her ordeals in school and analysing her enemies one after the other, the spirit of God spoke through me and said:

“Why would you allow someone who didn’t make you to break you?’ Why do you allow someone who couldn’t create you to kill you?’ And why do you think it is so difficult for people to forgive? Jesus Christ did not set aside the calibre of those enemies that are meant to be forgiven rather He said 'FORGIVE THEM ‘ALL’, He knew that some enemies must have killed your loved ones or perhaps destroyed your life one way or the other, He knew that someone must have committed the greatest atrocity against you or your family member, yet He said ‘Forgive them all’.

What is in this forgiveness for you? And why is it so important to Jesus that you forgive? What makes it so wrong for you to pray against your enemies? The answers are numerous but all pointed towards the fact that God is ‘Love. Let’s analyse a few points here:

Why is forgiveness for you?:.A longitudinal study showed that people who were generally more neurotic, angry and hostile in life were less likely to forgive another person even after a long time had passed. Specifically, these people were more likely to still avoid their transgressor and want to enact revenge upon them two and a half years after the transgression.

Forgiveness is therapeutic .Studies show that people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments. Forgiveness improves physical health, when people think about forgiving an offender it leads to improved functioning in their cardiovascular and nervous systems. A Study at the University of Wisconsin found the more forgiving people were, the less they suffered from a wide range of illnesses. The less forgiving people reported a greater number of health problems.

The research of Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University, and author of the book "Learning to forgive" presented evidence that forgiveness can be learned based on research projects into the effects of forgiveness, giving empirical validity to the concept that forgiveness is not only powerful, but also excellent for your health was presented with a Champion of Forgiveness from the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance on Forgiveness Day (first Sunday of August) for his teaching forgiveness as a life skill.

In three separate studies, including one with Catholics and Protestants from Northern Ireland whose family members were murdered in the political violence, he found that people who are taught how to forgive become less angry, feel less hurt, are more optimistic, become more forgiving in a variety of situations, and become more compassionate and self-confident. His studies show a reduction in experience of stress, physical manifestations of stress, and an increase in vitality. (Source: Wikipedia)

When you forgive someone you are free of emotional burdens that eat you up like ants. You are happier and stress-free. The time you spend on pondering why someone did you so wrong and what you want to do about it would now be spent on something more valuable in your life. The time you spend in Church praying against your enemies could now be spent on praying to God for progress and inspirations for your life. The time you spend worrying about what game your enemies are up to, and what they are planning would now be diverted in praising and worshipping God. The bitterness you had towards your enemies that made you moody all day long is now being converted into joy that you could now share with others around you. When people see you happy they want to be around you the more. You will now have more friends than enemies. The stress you had by worrying about the schemes of your enemies that gave you a high blood pressure that led you to taking blood pressure tablets every day is now disappeared whilst you regain your health again. Jesus Christ said’ How many of you by worrying could add a strand of hair on his/her head or colour to it?. When we acknowledge the existence of our enemies, we tend to psychologically embrace them by dwelling on their schemes their personalities, your pains, and they become huge obstacles in our lives.

Apart from the medical and psychological reasons why we should forgive our enemies, there are also spiritual reasons why we should forgive them too. The Kingdom of God at large was created for the followers/believers of Jesus Christ, the son of God and there are rules and regulations (manly the Ten Commandments) that we must follow to get there, one of which is ‘LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR’. Your enemy is also your neighbour and you know fully well that if you don’t forgive your enemy you’ll become unrighteous in the sight of God and heaven is definitely not for you. So why would you allow someone who didn’t create you to kill you. Kill you in the sense that when you die your soul dies too instead of going to heaven to live eternally. If you refuse to forgive your enemy you have basically and practically allowed your enemy to kill and destroy you some more. One, you could die of heart blood pressure through stress and other related illnesses , and two you’ll definitely die eternally not raising up with Jesus on the Judgement day. So what’s your profit? Would you rather not forgive than to lose your life both here on earth and in heaven? In our Lord’s prayer He said “Forgive us as we forgive those who had sinned against us”.

In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of the importance of Christians forgiving or showing mercy towards others. The Parable of the Prodigal Son  is perhaps the best known instance of such teaching and practice of forgiveness.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus repeatedly spoke of forgiveness, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Matthew 5:7. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25. “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.” Luke 6:27-2. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37.

Elsewhere, it is said, "Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 .

Jesus asked for God's forgiveness of those who crucified him. "And Jesus said, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'" Luke 23: 34.

Considering Mark 11:25 above, and Matthew 6:14,15, that follows the Lord's Prayer, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins," Forgiveness is not an option to a Christian, rather one must Forgive to be a Christian.

As Christians, how could we pray the Lord’s  prayer if we have not forgiven our enemies or those that had offended us? And how do we expect forgiveness from God if we had failed to forgive others? Un-forgiveness hinders prayers so why do we refuse to let go if it? Forgiveness brings many benefits to us than to the one we have forgiven, therefore in essence when we forgive we are only doing ourselves some  ‘good’ and not the culprit. The one who forgives is a winner of ‘all’ things. A fool destroys himself/herself by holding on to ‘Forgiveness’. Let it go!

Why is it so important to Jesus that you forgive? Well, if you study the Bible you would notice that the only reason and purpose that Jesus Christ came to the world and died for us, making Himself a sacrifice for the atonement of our sins is simply because He did not want us to die eternally, He wants us to enjoy the Kingdom of heaven, and more so that we enjoy the company of each other on earth, live peaceably in one accord and in love. Since God is love, and we are made in His image, He wants us to demonstrate that love among ourselves. So how would it profit Jesus Christ if we now pray against one another in the notion that the person we are praying against is our enemy?  The one we are praying against is that person whom Jesus Christ died for on the mount of Calvary, and the God we are praying to, to destroy our ‘enemy’ is the same God that created that person that is referred to as our enemy’. If God did destroy ‘all’ our enemies considering that each one of us do have at least one enemy, how many people would be left to reach the Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ had prepared for us? How does it profit Jesus Christ that His blood was shed for those He later destroyed as requested through our prayers?.

Well comrades, if we do really believe in prayers, and do believe that God answers our prayers, and we do have faith in Him to answer prayers, why don’t we turn our prayer requests round. Instead of praying to God to destroy our enemies knowing fully well that He has the power to do, why don’t we rather pray to God to change the heart of our enemies, make them better persons, and for God to save their lives so that they too might know the Lord. If God has the power to destroy our enemies, He also has the power to save our enemies and make them better persons. And if our enemies become better persons, definitely we have earned more friends on earth and in heaven, and by so doing we have helped Jesus Christ to accomplish his dream or purpose of salvation for all. If your enemy becomes a better person, surely your neighbourhood has become a better place so is your town, your nation, your continent, and the world eventually.

Why is it so difficult to forgive? Many people would answer this by saying it is because we are hurting and that the atrocity committed against the victim is huge and unforgivable? But I’m sure Jesus Christ would answer the question differently. The reason why we find it difficult to forgive is mostly because we do not know or realise whom we are in Jesus, our heavenly identity, how great we are to God, and what he had purposed for us. As we fight not against flesh and blood but the principalities and power, therefore our prayer focus for our enemies is for God to destroy the principalities and power that is behind their negative attitude, intention or plans against us. There are so many things that makes a beauty turned a beast therefore it is those things that we want to battle against, and not the beauty that turned a beast. Why would a mother be against her child?, or why would a father slept with his daughter?, why would a friend or colleague become envious of his/her friend/colleague, why do a father killed his only son?, what makes people join occult?, why divorce?, why adultery?, why would anyone bear false witness against his fellow human being?, why is there no peace in the world? etc. If we analyse these questions we would find that the bottom line is that ‘there is no love in the world’. Where there is love all these problems would never have existed.  Love is powerful and can achieve many good things. It is more beneficial to love than to hate. If you love your enemy despite all atrocities done to you, you’ll be surprised that he/she would have a change of heart towards you and would become a better person. Jesus said we should make peace with all including our enemies. If He said it, there must be a reason for it and definitely rewarding.

Let’s seek first the kingdom of heaven and all other things will be added unto us including protection against the Principalities and Power. Baffle and disappoint your enemies by forgiving them ‘all’. When Nelson Mandela forgave all his enemies he became the world champion, epitome of love, a celebrity, a conqueror, and un-elected president of the world.  Mandela baffled and disappointed his enemies, and in so doing he conquered, and brought freedom to all and sundry. Jesus Christ too forgave all his enemies, and by so doing He became the Prince of peace, the King of the Universe, and the Lord of lords. When Joseph forgave all his naughty brothers he was crowned with glory and honour, and brought liberation for his people at large. As you can see, there are so many benefits in forgiving our enemies. And the reason why we find it difficult to forgive is that ‘un-forgiveness’ is a tool that Satan uses to de-stabilise us, dis-unify us, and blindfold us so that we can’t see the light, walk in the light and dwell in the light, and finally lead us to our destruction. It is a satanic strategy that we must recognise, wake up against and fight like a war.

The heart that knows peace is the heart that is capable of forgiving. And to love is to live. Love is the most powerful asset that a wise man strives to possess and ensures he sustains. In it lie answers to all our questions and solutions to all our problems, and love is the only reason why we are in the world, and the only way to survive and live a blissful life.

Biblical references to forgiveness::

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Isaiah 43:25-26

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.  Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.

Acts 3:19

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

Isaiah 1:18

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

Hebrews 10:17

Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."

Daniel 9:9

The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;

Colossians 1:13-14

For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Psalm 103:12

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Numbers 14:19-21

In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now."  The LORD replied, "I have forgiven them, as you asked.  Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth,

Micah 7:18-19

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.  You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Matthew 6:9-15

"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. '  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Mark 11:25

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. "

Matthew 26:28

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

What steps can we take to achieve the spirit of forgiveness?

·         Take your hurts or pains to the feet of Jesus, pour it all out to Him

·         Ask God for the grace to be able to forgive

·         Pray daily for the spirit of forgiveness reminding God that you don’t want to miss your salvation and eternity.

·         Recognise who you are in the Lord, your identity with God.

·         Stop praying against your enemies, rather pray for their salvation

·         Believe God to fight your battles for you and leave them for Him

·         Walk and carry yourself as a conqueror, the untouchable and a child of the living God

·         Remove fear in your thoughts and plans.

·         Don’t dwell on the past so that your future is not hindered

·         Talk about your hurts but more about how you have forgiven.

·         Have pity on your enemies as preys of Satan and make it your duty to remember them in your prayers

·         View the world as ‘vanity upon vanity’ and worry not about tomorrow

·         Focus on your relationship with God and your salvation

·         Do not criticize or judge your enemies, leave them for God

·         Do not dwell on your pains rather use them as ladders to move up the next level

·         Thank God for your pains because you have learnt from them

·         Do not give audience to the music of your enemies, focus on your mission in life

·         Make your enemies your project , call it ‘Turning a beast into a beauty’, and work on it until you achieve positive results

·         In very situation learn to give God the glory no matter how painful

·         Put your past in its place, have a change of heart and live for now and your future

·         When you remember your hurts, remember Jesus, Joseph, and Nelson Mandela, then SMILE. Ask yourself ‘What would Jesus do if He was in my situation’? You’ll sure get an answer that would heal you almost instantly.

Remember that a person who forgives is the one that has ‘FREEDOM’. If we forgive them ‘all’ the world will be a beautiful place to live and our Kingdom of heaven will start right here on earth.

Author: Lara Hanson-Brown

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Kabiyesi Iba!
Oba Ajiki, Oba ajiki
Olorun adeda, aseda, Ameda, Aweda
Akoda aye, Asheda orun
Oba tin be ki bebe o to maa be
Arugbo ojo, ogbo ti kii gbo, ogbo ti kii-ti
Alapanla to so’le aye ro,
Omini mini ti n mi ile aye, oba to fi aye se apoti itise
Ajanaku ti n mi’gbo kijii kijii…Eerin lakatabu, okunrin ogun
Ogbamu gbamu oju orun osee gbamu, ojiji awamaridi
Gbongbo idile Jesse, Kiniun eyaa Judah, ekun oko Faraoh, Eru jeje leti okun pupa
Eleyinju ina, Alagbada ina, alawotele oorun, Inajojo, Eru Jojo


O tele bii eni teni, o wa ta sanman bii eni taso
Abiyamo lojo ija, abiyamo lojo isoro
Olowogbogboro tin yo’mo re lofin aye
Kabiesi ti awon agbaagba merin le logun nforibale fun, ti won ke mimo, mimo, mimo
Alamo tin mo ori eda
Mimo ninu awon orun, Baba mimo, Omo mimo, Emi mimo, metalokan Edumare,
Oba mimo, tin wo mimo, Ti'nso mimo, tinje mimo

Oba to ngbenu wundia shola, o gbenu adelebo sogo; ohun naa loro gbe’nu omo eniyan fohun; O tun wa fikale sinu omo adari huurun
Ariiro ala! Oba to gbe iku mi ni isegun, obirikiti oba to pa ojo iku da laye
Olorun Abrahamu, Olorun Jakobu, Olorun Isaaki
Olorun Shedraki, Mesaki ati Adbenigo

Abetilukara bi ajere, Eleti gbohun gbaroye eda
Arewa ti n be lorun,
Oba waa, oba woo, oba wawa wowo
Pari pari ola, Oba adagba ma paro oye, Adagba matepa ojo
Alewi le se, Alese le wi, Kabiyesi alade wura, Oba tinje emi ni lojo gbogbo
Oba tinje emi ni mase beru, O ranmo nise faya ti,
Awiiro alaafia, Oba ti kii ku, Oba ti kii ku, Oba ti kii sa,
Ato fara ti bi oke, Ataye ro bi agogo, Oyigiyigi oba ogo, Oba Aterere kari aye
Ashoro kolu bii ogiri gbigbe

Atobiju oba iyanu, Ologo mimo, Ologo didan, Oba aseyi owu, Oba awimayehun, asoro ma tase,

Ogbagba ti n'gba alailara, Oba to lohun gbogbo, to si le sohun gbogbo
Oba to n'gbenu orun s'ogo, Baba fun alaini baba, oko opo, Oba ti ngba okan irora lowo ibinuje
Oba ti n si ilekun kan teni kan oleti, Oba tin ti ilekun kan teni kan ole shi
Olodumare oba nila ti nfi oba je
Oda da to da gbogbo aye, Omimo to mo iye awa eda to da
Egbo lehin eni ada loro, a ko ma ti’ka lehin

Oba nla ti nfi ola wo ni bi aso
Otiti nla ato fi ara ti bi oke
Ounje nla ato fi bori ebi
Baba mi, oro nla, ojo nla tobori Ogbele
Oju kansoso nti wo igba aye
Olorun ajulo, atobiju iba re
Ogbamu gbamu oju re ko se gbamu
Aye ka o won o ri o ka, Aye wa o titi won o ri o
Won ba o nibi toju gbogbo aye lo
Eni ti n se ohun titobi, ti a ko le se awari
Ohun iyanu lainiye, Oba aiku, Oba airi

Olutunu, Olugbeja, Oludande, Olupamo
Olukoni, Olupese, Olubukun
Adani, alani, ajuni, apani, afunni, ajini, apeni, arini, amuni,
adunni, asoni, akoni, ayinni, awani, atini, aboni, afani, atoni……..
Olorun ti ki rin irin ajo, oba ti kii sipo pada
Okan naa lana, okan naa loni, okan naa titi ayeraye
Olubukun julo, Alfa Omega, Ibere Ogbon, Opin Imo
Akiiki tan Eledumare, Ologo julo iba re

King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Lion of Judah, Beginning and the end
Ancient of Days, Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent God
Alpha, Omega, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah Elohim, Jehovah El-Elyon, Jehovah Rapha, Jehovah Tsidkenu, Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Sabbaoth, Jehovah El-Roi, Jehovah Shammah, Jehovah Adonai, Jehovah El-Elolam, Jehovah “El-Soji” – Kabiyesi King of all centuries
Onederful, twoderful, threederful, fourderful…………

Source: Kemi Olasupo

In the beginning, the pencil maker spoke to the pencil saying” There are five things you need to know before I send you to the world. Always remember them and you will become the best pencil ever made .In the same manner God created us to go through various phases of life that will make us stronger and wiser to live a successful life. Let us see the following steps;

  1. You will be able to do many great things but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hands........meaning   you will allow yourself to be held in God’s hands. Also allow others to access you for the many gifts you possess. You can not use anything you possess only for yourself but for all destined to partake of the blessing.
  2. You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time by going through various problems in life, but you will need it to become a stronger person. You are not immune from the   problem   of life as a believer   and no one can guarantee you trouble free life. The only promise we have is that God will see us through all the challenges of life.
  3. You have the ability to correct any mistake you might have made as we have eraser embedded in pencil. God expects us to correct our mistakes, repent of all our sins and turn away from them. Forgive others of their mistakes and wrongdoings against you.
  4. The most important part of you will always be what’s inside of you. How much of God’s values do we possess inside of us? This will only reflect in your attitudes and attributes.

No matter what the condition, you must continue to write. You must always leave a clear legible mark no matter how difficult the situation. As a believer, on every surface you walk you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation of life you find yourself, you must serve God with all your might, spirit and heart.  With God all things are possible.

Source: Lara Hanson-Brown

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PSALM  23 redefined FOR PRAYER POINTS

THE LORD IS MY SHERPHERD-......Ask the Lord to help you to develop a relationship with Him comparable to the relationship between sheep and shepherd.

I SHALL NOT WANT...........Ask   the Lord to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  Ask for the spirit of contentment.

HE MAKES ME LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES..........Ask the Lord  to give you rest and restoration in all areas of your life.

HE LEADS ME BESIDE STILL WATER..............Ask the Lord to refresh your spirit anew,

HE RESTORES MY SOUL...........Ask the Lord to save your soul and grant you healing in all areas of your life.

HE LEADS ME IN THE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.............Ask for the grace to live a righteous life and ask for His guidance always.

FOR HIS NAME SAKE.............Ask the Lord for His purpose alone to be established in your life.

YEA THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH.......Ask the Lord to give you testimony in times of your storm.

FOR THOU ART WITH ME........Ask the Lord for His faithfulness and His continuous presence in your life.

THY ROD AND THY STAFF THEY COMFORT ME.........Ask the Lord to make His word alive in you spirit and that the word should bring comfort to you and your family.

THOU PREPARE TABLE BEFORE ME IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES.....Ask the Lord to bless you for your enemies to see and glorify the name of your God.

THOU ANOINTEDF MY HEAD WITH OIL....Ask the Lord to anoint you afresh in order to do great exploit.

MY CUP RUNS OVER.....Ask the Lord to bless you abundantly so that you can be a blessing to others.

SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY SHALL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE......Ask the Lord for His favour, mercy and goodness all the days of your life.

I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER.......Ask the Lord to grant you grace to make heaven so that you can live in eternity and be secured at the present age.

Author: Rebecca Coker

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