Can God be Impressed? 3

Key Text: Psalms 116:12

“What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me?”

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Fellow travellers, hope you all enjoyed the movie “indescribable”? Amazing isn’t it? There is a sequel that will just leave you mouth agape! I will paste the link below for your pleasure.

Our God is fearfully awesome and His creation and creative abilities are way beyond the scope of human comprehension. In other words, we can’t wrap our limited minds around an unlimited God!

So why would God, the awesome Creator of the stupendous universe ever really notice any of us? In part 1 of this discourse, I stated clearly that we cannot impress God. He can’t be impressed. He is the only one who can impress Himself. When He created in the beginning, He said it was good. But no man can ever impress God. We should never try to impress Him. This will lead us into religion and striving and we will only end up miserable. Let me say it clearly. God is already impressed with Jesus Christ. He is not looking for us to impress Him. However, He remains very interested in what we do and can be pleased with our actions and tickled by our meagre means of honouring Him.

Today, I want to consider a man who so pleased God that God called Him His friend. Not many people in the bible have ever recieved such complement from God. For a man to be the friend of God is almost absurd. But it is true. Abraham was and remains a friend of God.

In Genesis 22, we read the story of God testing Abraham by asking for his loved son Isaac as a sacrifice. God instructed Abraham to take Isaac up a mountain in the region of Moriah and offer him as a burnt offering. Abraham took the lad and went as God instructed bound him and was about to plunge the knife into his heart, when God restrained him and showed him a ram caught in a thicket as a substitute offering for Isaac.

Then God said in Genesis 22:11-12 (NKJV) 11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

This act of obedience by Abraham so moved God that He reconfirmed His covenant with Abraham and added a few more points to make absolutely clear His intention towards Abraham and his descendants. Please read these words: Genesis 22:16-18 (NKJV) “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

God expanded the promise by stating that the descendants of Abraham will possess the gates of their enemies, that is they will have dominion and the biggest one of them, IN YOUR SEED all the nations of the earth will be blessed. This SEED is Jesus Christ.

In a what can only be a divine exchange, God asked Abraham for his beloved son Isaac to be offered as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah, but instead of that God stopped him and showed him a ram as a replacement for Isaac; then God eventually offered His only begotten Son on the same Mount Moriah as a sacrifice for the redemption of all mankind, and all who put their faith in Jesus Christ and what He did on that mountain 2000 years ago are referred to as children of Abraham. What an awesome God. Selah!

What am I trying to say. We can’t impress God, yet our actions can please him. Our thoughts, actions, words all have a way of making Him happy or otherwise. I know we all would love to bring a smile to the face of God. (A thought just crossed my mind, what if you said something to God just this moment that puts a smile on His face and all the angels see Him beaming and wondering what just happened and then he lets them hear what you just said).

I learnt a song in school as a child that seems just so apt for this moment. Here are the words.

Wise May Bring Their Learning
Hymn Lyrics

The wise may bring their learning, the rich may bring their wealth,
And some may bring their greatness, and some bring strength and health;
We, too, would bring our treasures to offer to the King;
We have no wealth or learning; what shall we children bring?

We’ll bring Him hearts that love Him; we’ll bring Him thankful praise,
And young souls meekly striving to walk in holy ways;
And these shall be the treasures we offer to the King,
And these are gifts that even the poorest child may bring.

We’ll bring the little duties we have to do each day;
We’ll try our best to please Him, at home, at school, at play;
And better are these treasures to offer to our King;
Than richest gifts without them yet these a child may bring.

Let this be our prayer today!

Part 2 of Indescribable.

Can God be Impressed? 2

Key Text: When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

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This question is rhetorical. I am not really asking for answers but to use this question to call out some deep thinking in us and perhaps through this we can be inspired to act with deliberate precision.

God is the Creator! If you look at the world, the universe, the cosmos, you will discover that God’s ability to impress is totally unattainable. He is totally alone in that realm. I watched a movie called ‘Indescribable’ and was completely blown away by the splendour of His created world. Really simply Awesome. If you have not seen this movie, please watch it. I will attach a link at the end of this piece.

But with all that God does and God is able to do, He often gets tickled by what we mere mortals do. He seems to have this uncanny ability to be intrigued by the reaction of His creation.

Psalms 8 (NKJV) 1 O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!

Today let’s look at another story. In 2 Samuel 7, (Please read if you can) David had just finished building his magnificent palace. He had brought the ark of God to his back garden. He however felt unfulfilled and thought he had one more major feat to perform. Build God a house. Yes, build God a befitting house. Not just a simple tent. This simple thought of David really struck a deep chord in God’s heart. Though God told David he could not build this house because he was a man of war and has shed too much blood, but his son Solomon will build this house for Him. God was so touched by David’s lofty ambition, that God responded with equal and surpassing gesture and promise. He simply told David you want to build me a house? I will build you a dynasty. Actually your dynasty will be everlasting. Not only that, I will make sure that you have a son to always sit on your throne. This promise is what brought the Messiah, Jesus Christ to the lineage of David. He is THE SON OF DAVID. He is the eternal King of Israel and His throne is in Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel.

What are you contemplating in your heart concerning the Lord. How can you make His heart glad?

Let your actions be inspired to express love to a God who loves us so much and has given us so much.

Tomorrow we travel deeper and further…

Enjoy the movie and be awed.

Let’s Pray: What an awesome God you are. Let me always be in awe of you and let my heart be inspired to make you glad. Thank you for being my God and Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Can God be impressed?

 

Key Text: Proverbs 10:1 – (NKJV) A wise son makes a glad father…

 

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If we agree that God knows everything and God is never taken by surprise by anything or anyone, then He can hardly be impressed by anyone. Yet, the bible is filled with examples of God taking note of individuals, recognising and rewarding their actions.

I have been brought up with the notion that God is not impressed by anyone, that we really do not need to seek to impress Him, and I still believe that, but I have a very different understanding of this now. God loves us unconditionally. God is pleased with us, not because we did anything right or wrong, but because we simply believe in His Son, Jesus Christ and that is all. We can’t impress God, yet we can please Him. We can’t earn His love, yet we can make His heart glad. We can make His heart rejoice.

Let’s look at an example from the bible. In Numbers 25:7-13, we read the story of Phinehas a grandson of Aaron. Numbers 25:6-13 (NKJV) .

7 Now when Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation and took a javelin in his hand; 8 and he went after the man of Israel into the tent and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel. 9 And those who died in the plague were twenty-four thousand.

10 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned back My wrath from the children of Israel, because he was zealous with My zeal among them, so that I did not consume the children of Israel in My zeal. 12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be to him and his descendants after him a covenant of an everlasting priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.’ ”

God noted his actions and made a covenant of peace with him and his generations. Was God impressed? Was God pleased? Whatever your verdict, God was moved to act. He noted this young man and his act.

Proverbs 27:11 ‘My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, That I may answer him who reproaches me.’

God looks and notices our actions and though what we do does not alter His unwavering love for us, our actions can gladden His heart or sadden it.

Since our relationship with God through Christ is a loving one, then it is only right for us to seek to please and gladden the heart of the One we love.

Today, just think about what you can do to make God smile. That’s it in a nutshell, tomorrow we would look at this more deeply.

Let’s Pray: Father God, thank you for loving me unconditionally and eternally. Because of this great love, I want to always bring joy to your heart. Grant me the simple understanding that Your heart can be gladdened by my actions. This I ask in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

 

The Riches of His Grace

Key Passage: Ephesians 1: 3-14

 

Key Text: Ephesians 1:7 –In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

 

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During the rainy season in Africa, the clouds can get really dark and the rains really heavy, especially around the equator. But it is always so calming to see the beautiful rainbow form in the skies just as the rains begin to subside.  As a child I did not know the significance of the rainbow, but it made me happy to see it and I always wondered where the rainbow ended, as I had heard that there are great riches at the end of the rainbow. (There is a popular fable that says there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow).

Today the rainbow means something completely different to me. It reminds me of God’s promises to Noah that he would never again destroy the earth with water and that every dark foreboding cloud has a limit to its effect. The rainbow is so beautiful, so rich, and so perfect; you really have to acknowledge that God is a master craftsman. But the rainbow is only a natural phenomenon, expressing the incredible mercy and grace of God.

Have you ever wondered the world without colours? Everything in black and white and shades of grey? I can’t even visualise that. It would be rather ugly. God is the God of rich colours.

The grace of God is rich and colourful. The grace of God made Him choose us before the foundations of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love. His grace made Him adopt us as sons in Christ Jesus. His grace made Him accept us in the Beloved. His grace gave us redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. His grace made Him grant us the forgiveness of our sins.

Not only these, but His grace made Him bring us back from the dead, because we were dead in our trespasses, raised us up and seated us with Christ in the heavenly places. In the future, as we reign with Him, we would be displayed to all as the objects of the riches of His grace and kindness.

Much like the rainbow, the grace of God gives us hope of a brighter day, a better tomorrow and a glorious future. WOW!

Finally, when we get to heaven, we would see something quite amazing. The rainbow is all around the throne of God. The rainbow comes out of a God of colour and beauty. A God of grace and mercy. The rainbow really does have something exceedingly valuable at the end of it, not a pot of Gold, but a throne of grace and mercy. Have a grace-filled colourful day!!!

 

Let us Pray: Father thank you for your grace. What an amazing God you are. Thank you for the rainbow that it speaks of the riches of your grace and mercy. I thank you for making your throne a throne of grace and mercy. Father, help me to live a life full of the colours of your grace. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 

 

Finding Grace

Morning Dew

First published 2nd January 2013

Key Passage: Gen 6:8 – “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”

 

Today, let us consider Noah. A man who was living in a perverted world, in a totally godless generation, and at a time God had decided to judge to world.  But he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

This grace made Noah stand out in his generation. This grace made Noah to walk with God. Thjs grace made Noah to become a candidate for God’s mercy and compassion. May you find grace in the eyes of the Lord today.

This word called grace here is the Hebrew word chen, pronounced Chayn. It means favour, grace, kindness, beauty, pleasantness, charm, attractiveness, loveliness and affectionate regard.

This type of grace makes you stand out in the crowd. It makes you become irresistible, compelling and attractive. It is God’s spotlight on a human being. It is also God’s favourable disposition towards a person. The effect of this on a person’s life cannot be overstated. Things just work for you. You are in the midst of everything good happening to you, even when you are not trying.

For Noah, because he had this grace, God told him His plans. God gave him the plan for the ark and God saved his family and condemned the world.

Today, we have this favour through our Lord Jesus Christ. In Luke 4:19, Jesus made a proclamation that he has come to “Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord”. This is like saying I have come to announce to you that you are now in the dispensation of God’s favour. Every believer in Jesus Christ can walk in the same grace Noah found with God. This favour or grace is yours today!

This is why God commanded Aaron to pray the following prayer over the children of Israel and today we would close with this prayer.

The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face to shine upon you

and be gracious to you;

the Lord lift up his countenance upon you

and give you peace.

In Jesus name.  Amen

Why LIGHT?

Key Word:

John 8:12-30 – Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

 

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The God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel is a very intentional, purposeful and strategic Person. He never does anything just whimsically or randomly. Every activity of His is very intentional and designed with a purpose that sometimes transcends the understanding of men.

That is why Moses wrote in the of book of Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

God in His grace and mercy sometimes unravels, reveals and open to us some of His mysteries. His intention in doing this is for us to learn and understand His ways and walk with Him more closely and intentionally. Psalm 103:7 makes us realise that God made Moses to know His ways. The models, patterns and systems He operates, but the children of Israel only knew His acts.

He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I would love to experience more of God’s acts any day, because His acts are awesome, incredible and mind blowing but the deeper place to go with God is to know His ways. This means you can really be used by God to do what He wants to do, because you have some understanding of why He does what He does.

So why LIGHT?

The first thing God did in creation was release light. Is this a mere coincidence or a random action? No. God is a God of order and in declaring let there be Light, He was establishing a pattern, a model, a system, a WAY that will always be for all eternity.

Let there be Light is resounding and reverberating through all history and eternity.

Light is sight. Light is vision. Light is clarity. Light is knowledge. Light is understanding. Light is insight. Light is wisdom.

If you were asked to go in and arrange the furniture and tidy up a dirty room and when you got to the room it was pitch black. What would be your first step? The answer is obvious. You allow the light in. But let’s go deeper. Now that you have turned on the light, you discover that all the furniture is all jumbled up and the room is in quite a mess. What would you do next? You would start arranging the furniture, right? Again obvious, but as you start to arrange the furniture, you stumble on a dusty picture and you dust it off and look at it. Alas, it is a picture of the room in its glory days. All the furniture pieces are in the right place in this picture, up to the minutest details. What would you do? Would you not find it easier to now tidy up the room and set everything in order perfectly?

Well, this is precisely why we need light. In the systemic order of God, LIGHT comes first. Darkness must be removed before we can start the process of building. That is why, God is Light and His Son is Light and we believers are the Light of the world.

A person’s life can only be fully restored and fully lived in the Light of HIS LIGHT. So, without Jesus in our lives, we live aimless, fruitless and futile lives. Without Jesus we really have no life. He is our Life and our LIGHT.

In solving riddles, conundrums, enigmas, problems we need accurate diagnosis. This is LIGHT. We need a course of actions or a plan. This is LIGHT. We need clarity about the solution or the prognosis, a vision of the future state. This is also LIGHT.

Light is first in order of systematic solutions to any problem. Get light and you are half way there. How I wish the rulers of this world will learn to allow God’s light to shine into the befuddling situations that confront them. How easily they would solve these great problems. God knows everything and He will help those who ask Him.

Are you tired of the darkness? Let Jesus in!

Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.

Wisdom is light. So, LET there be LIGHT!

 

Let’s Pray: Father of heavenly lights in who there is no variableness shine your light into our hearts today and granting us wisdom and insight into the conundrums of our lives. Teach us to let your light shine into our darkness and then help us to see what you want us to see, so we can be who you want us to be. This we ask in Jesus name. Amen.

 

First LIGHT!

 

 

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Key Word: Let there be LIGHT! Genesis 1:3

Let there be light! This is the first recorded statement God made in the bible, but truthfully God must have been speaking from all eternity and beautifully creating His complex universe. But for us on earth, this is God’s first word and remains the first law of solving every conundrum and every enigma. The problem of mankind is not money, fame, sex, power, glory or anything else that has been packaged and concocted by the chicanery of men to deceive people. The greatest need of man is LIGHT! Pure and simple. Light.

Without light, simple things become very complex. Without light, fear thrives. Without light, evil broods and lurks and the insidious flourishes. Without light men go into hiding. Without light, disease spreads. Without light men die. Light is the first and primary need of man.

The first chapter of the book of John states it so succinctly:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of menAnd the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it.

John’s Witness: The True Light

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That[b] was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His [c]own, and His [d]own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the [e]right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:

Light is a person. Yes a PERSON. His name is Jesus. He is the true LIGHT that gives light to all men. 1 John 1:5 tells us that ‘God is LIGHT’. So any life without this Light is a live in darkness and a life that is a habitation for all types of evil and ugly manifestations.

Is it any surprise then that when God was going to begin the process of creating an ordered world from a disorderly and chaotic state, a state of nothingness or without shape or order, He began by releasing light!

Consequently, anyone who wants to have an ordered life, a meaningful life, a beautiful life and a purposeful life must start with the reception of the LIGHT! This is the first step. Receive the Light of Life. Receive Jesus Christ, His incarnation, His sinlessness, His atoning death and His glorious resurrection and then you will have the light that will help you to know the next steps.

Today I declare over you, Let there be LIGHT!

 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, You are a God of design and order. Your patterns are clear to all who desire to know. Today, please grant me Your Light. I believe that Jesus Christ Your only begotten Son, came to the earth as a man, lived a sinless life, died the death of a sinner and rose from the dead. I believe He did all these for me, so my sins can be forgiven and I can have eternal life. Today I ask for Jesus to come into my life and save me. I put my trust in Him and Him alone. My your Light shine in me now and forever more. Amen.

 

 

The Deception of Believing Our Circumstances

Key Passage: Genesis 19: 30-38

Key Text: Genesis 19:31 (NKJV) “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth.

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This tree is in Lebanon. They call it Jesus tree. Zoom it and see . It’s Unbelievable!!!!👇

Once again, the Bible dissects the proclivities of human errors with clinical precision. One thing you can be certain of is the unyielding, razor sharp edge of the sword of God, His word. No quarters, no mercies, no quibbles just plain truth.

Today the surgical knife opens up the daughters of Lot and the incestuous actions they engaged in to birth two enemy nations of Israel called Moab and Ammon.

Lot had chosen to live in the fertile flood plains of the Jordan and dwelt in the most corrupt twin cities knows as Sodom and Gomorrah. These were the cesspool of degradation, debauchery and licentious living of their time. So debased was this society that God had to come down to see for Himself if what had been coming to Him was as heinous as He heard. Finally God decided this cities we too far gone to be redeemed or restored, only to be destroyed.

But before destruction can be executed, Lot and his family had to be evacuated and secured in a safe haven, then the fire and brimstone could fall. Destruction ensued after Lot and his two daughters were evacuated, and his reluctant wife, became a pillar of salt (another story for another day).

On getting to a location just short of Zoar, Lot decided to find his abode for the family in a cave. Here the drama unfolded.

The two daughters, names withheld, decided there were no more men in the earth and they will never be married, so they best get their father drunk and sleep with him to produce or preserve his generations.

Just read the piece from the Bible. It says it best.

Genesis 19:30-38 (NKJV) Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave. 31 Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
34 It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.” 35 Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day.

Human beings are prone to exaggeration. We often magnify our situations and circumstances beyond the scope of what they really are. We are quick to justify our evil or tenuous position by overstating the facts so we can feel right taking such actions.

The daughters of Lot believed their circumstances. They were deceived by their situation. They acted out of irrational fear and incomplete facts. They acted very human and neglected the realities of a God who is omniscient.

Let’s examine their thoughts again. They said there are no more men on the earth to marry them. Their father’s lineage will not continue. Absurd? Well let’s cut them some slack. They saw Sodom destroyed and all the men dead. They now lived in a cave and saw no one around them. They believed they were the only ones left alive on earth.

They were wrong. Very wrong. But they were just being human. We all have been guilty of such irrational thoughts. We have at interesting times wrongly assumed we were in a predicament that has no solutions. We have panicked and acted irrationally, because we believed our circumstances and were as such deceived.

Lot’s daughters were in good company. Abraham reacted to the famine and ran to Egypt. Elijah believed he was the only one left on the earth of the true prophets of God, until God told him plainly, that He had 7000 more prophets who were undefiled.

What must we do then? Well, we need to remember that when there seems to be no way out or in, there is a way up. Just like the Psalmist penned, “I will lift my eyes up to the hills, from where comes my help, my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.”

God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. There is a way through and a way out with Him. Don’t believe your situation over the loving and imminent intervention of God in your situation or your predicament.

Your situation is a fact, but His word is the truth. Truth will always trump facts everytime. Truth will not be rushed, but truth will eventually rise and shine and prevail.

Lord deliver us from the deception of believing our circumstances! In 2018, know for sure God has the final say. Have a blessed New Year!

Should we tithe?

Morning Dew

 

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In view of the recent controversies and debate on tithing, I dug up a piece I first wrote and published in 2013. It still rings true and even more so with this latest debate.

Key Passage: Malachi 3: 8-12

Key Text: Malachi 3: 10 – “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.”

 

Half knowledge can be dangerous. Those who profess to know must understand that they have a great responsibility towards those they are leading. Recently an article was published that said ‘every Pastor that receives tithes is a thief’.  The arguments the writer espoused were quite compelling and in most of the parts rang quite true. Also, he was in a sense ‘playing to the gallery’, because he like many others are totally fed-up with the ostentatious lifestyles of some of the Pastors and church leaders in that particular country. Some Pastors have either bought private Jets or have been ‘blessed’ with one. This appears too much for a country where most of the citizens are living under the breadline. Worse still, is the simple fact that most of the church members are poor and perhaps the arguments that these resources could be used more judiciously to alleviate some of the poverty issues in the church, are justified. I am not going to call this one or judge, as I personally know that these church leaders are accountable and know that they would give account. I also believe that they have acted in their best judgements, based on the demands of their ministry.

But the issue of tithes is a contentious one, and most people believe that pastors are fleecing the sheep, by demanding the tithe. This is the issue. The tithe is 10 percent of your produce. It was widely practiced in the Old Testament and Jesus spoke about it once, in a sense affirming the practice, but also instructing the religious leaders to pay closer attention to the weightier matters of the law.

I would clearly say here, that Pastors should not demand the tithe quoting Malachi 3, and scaring the believers with the curse. This is a stretch of the truth and as such should be stopped. No one is cursed because they are not tithing. People in the old testament were under the law and as such, they were compelled to tithe. But Romans 10:4, tells us “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Those who profess Christ as Lord are no longer under the law nor are they bound by the law. But does that make the law wrong?

Here is my view; the bible is the whole counsel of God. Whatever is in it is for our admonition and direction. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” So if you chose to obey a command of God, not as trying to fulfil the law, which is actually a sin, but as a principle and an evidence of your changed life and heart, then you cannot be wrong. Let’s look at something quite extreme. The Law commands us not to murder. But because we are not under the law does not make it right to murder, but because we are saved and redeemed, the law of God works naturally in us, so we do not murder or steal or commit adultery etc.

Again in 1 Corinthians 10:11 – the bible tells us “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” Referring to the Old Testament as it relates to the New Testament believer. Abraham was a ‘tither’, I am sure Isaac tithed and clearly we see that Jacob understood the principle and pledged his tithe.

Let me say this unequivocally; Tithing is a biblical principle and practice that is steeped deeply in the honour of God and the worship of God. It’s origins are based on men who clearly placed a premium on their worship of God and were moved by the awesomeness of God to decide that the first tenth of their income belongs to God. So is this practice wrong .

Also in Leviticus 27:30-32 -we read the following:

“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. 32 And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsman’s staff, shall be holy to the Lord.”

The tithe belongs to the Lord. It is His own and though we are no longer under the law, we nevertheless, respect God enough to honour His word and honour His name. So we tithe, not as a way of fulfilling the law, but as an evidence that God is our God and what He says we do.

I totally disagree with the Pastors that teach tithing as a law to be fulfilled. Who bludgeon the people of God with the word of God scaring them into feeling they have committed a grave sin if they chose not to tithe. Some even go as far as ostracizing the non-tithers in the church. This is shameful and deplorable and I abhor this. Tithing would not make you a child of God. It will not take you to heaven. And most certainly does not make you a member of the church of Jesus Christ.

However, I totally affirm the principle of tithing, as a voluntary act of worship and honour to God. I believe that it truly has spiritual dimensions beyond just giving. It shows where one’s heart is. Jesus said clearly where your treasure is there your heart will be. So as a ‘tither,’ you have elected to practice the principle of ‘God First’ and you give this tithe as an act of worship and honour to God.

So it is a matter of choice. Albeit and informed choice, that some of us tithe. We also recognise that the ministry is not cheap and needs to be funded, so we willingly pleadge and give our tithes to the local church as part of our personal act of worship and honour to God, whilst we understand that what we have given will help sustain and resource the ministry and work of God. We are not bound to tithe, but we bind ourselves to the principle of tithing. Period.

So please continue to worship God with your tithes and offerings and remain blessed!

Let’s pray: Father God, We thank you for your word and the liberty we find in the understanding of your word. Father, please help us to throw out that which is not good and hold on to eternal truths. Help us not just to be hearers of the word, but doers also. Thank you for the grace to be a tithing member of the body of Christ. Keep my heart pure and undefiled, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.

 

Nigeria will yet be exceedingly Great!!

 

My Proclamation!

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I wrote this blog two years ago and reading over it, I don’t feel I should change anything in it. Join me in Proclamation of God’s counsel over our Nation!

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

By a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, And by a prophet he was preserved. Hosea 12:13

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Hebrews 11:3

So Jesus answered and said to them, “ Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Mark 11: 22-23.

 

Fellow Nigerians and Friends of Nigeria Worldwide,

I am convinced that the best days of Nigeria are not behind Her but ahead of Her. These elections are only part of a larger plan God has been working out concerning this nation and we can all be assured of one thing, God always accomplishes His vision. He is both the Author and Finisher. Nigeria is not a conception of any man, though God used men to create the nation, God clearly rules and reigns in the affairs of men and nations. So as we go to the polls this weekend, please do not despair. This country will not fall or fail. This country will move on and become greater still. Can I ask you to join me in proclaiming good over this nation? I know it may appear simplistic, but the word of God clearly says that life and death are in the power of the tongue. This tells me that what we say is important and can be for good or bad.

I believe that if we all speak good to Nigeria, by the power vested by God in our words, Nigeria will turn and become a greater nation.

God gave me a perspective that completely blew my mind about Nigeria. I saw the nations from the heavens and a lot of so-called first world an advanced nations were in serious darkness. There were only small specks of light in these nations, but Nigeria from heaven’s perspective is a well-lit nation with large swathes of the country flooded with light! This is not natural light, but the True Light. The Light of God. So I am greatly encouraged by this and believe that Nigeria is somehow moving towards greatness and the issues confronting us today are just part of our growth pains and part of the process of us developing as a nation. Nigeria is destined by God for greatness. Our best days are ahead of us, not behind us.

Please join me in proclaiming these statements daily for as long as God gives you the grace and let’s see what God will do with our words.

  • God has a plan for Nigeria, it is a plan of good and not evil, to give us a hope and a future. Nigeria has a great and prosperous future!
  • I thank God that I am a Nigerian. God did not make a mistake making one. I know and trust His judgement.
  • God will extend peace to Nigeria during these elections like a river. There will be no violence in our land. We speak peace to Nigeria. We declare peaceful elections and we declare fair elections.
  • Nigeria will arise and shine and the glory of God will be seen upon us!
  • Let God arise over Nigeria and let His enemies and our enemies be scattered.
  • Nigerians will eat the fruit of Nigeria and foreigners will not cart away our fruit.
  • All Nigerians will know the peace and prosperity of God. All Nigerians will experience a lifting up.
  • Nigeria will be led by righteous and just and equitable leaders.
  • Nigerians will dwell together in unity and God will command His blessings upon us!
  • Affliction shall not arise a second time. We will not go to war and we will not disintegrate.
  • There will be great rejoicing in our land and in our tents and in our homes.
  • We will be a celebrated nation. No longer shall we be scorned and despised, but we will be respected and celebrated. Nigeria will take Her place in the world and among the nations.
  • Nigeria will not fail!
  • Nigeria will boom! Our economy will boom. Our industries will boom. Our education system will boom. Our healthcare system will boom. Nigeria will boom!!!
  • The youth of Nigeria will find new expressions for their energy in creativity, technology and entrepreneurship.
  • Our youths will love righteousness.
  • They will be full of hope and their hope will not be dashed.
  • Our brightest minds will return and be part of the new Nigeria.
  • Nigeria will be free of corruption. We will have accountable leaders.
  • It is well with Nigeria. It is well with me.

The Promise

For the mountains shall depart

And the hills be removed,

But My kindness shall not depart from you,

Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”

Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

“O you afflicted one,

Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,

Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,

And lay your foundations with sapphires.

I will make your pinnacles of rubies,

Your gates of crystal,

And all your walls of precious stones.

All your children shall be taught by the Lord,

And great shall be the peace of your children.

In righteousness you shall be established;

You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;

And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.

Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.

“Behold, I have created the blacksmith

Who blows the coals in the fire,

Who brings forth an instrument for his work;

And I have created the spoiler to destroy.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,

And every tongue which rises against you in judgment

You shall condemn.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,

And their righteousness is from Me,”

Says the Lord

Isaiah 54:10 – end

“The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,

And give you peace. Amen and Amen.

Pastor Charles and Abiodun Abraham

24th March 2015