Prayer Warrior 2

Just then, a women who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself. “If I only touch his cloak, I will be whole” (Matt 9:21-22). The woman was healed as Jesus confirmed to her. “Your faith has made you whole.” That was another approach that really ridiculed the enemy. He wouldn’t roll up his sleeves to fight a furious goat.

The devil came troubling the sea. He threatened to capsize the master’s boat. He waved so heavily that “the waves swept over the boat (Matt 8:24,)” but how did Jesus react? “He was sleeping in the boat.” The disciples thought he was not aware or concerned. He was aware, but that sleep (absolute peace and calmness) was his response. The devil was not worth interrupting his rest for. That battle was already won before he stepped in to the boat. For the little faith of the disciples, Jesus was forced to speak to the wind. Who speaks to winds these days?

And who would have thought that Peter learnt from Jesus that day? Herod the king had just put James to the sword and he was next. “The night before Herod was to bring him to trial (Acts12:6)”, Peter deployed the master’s approach. “Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.” You know the rest of the story. The master’s approach will always deliver!
In the face of the enemy, Jesus announces his victory. That was not the place to begin gymnastics. Jesus’ practice was to receive power in the presence of his father, and exercise the authority over the devil. He didn’t teach us ‘fighting the devil.’

Our approach today seems like we are going the way of the sons of Sceva. “The man who had the evil spirit, jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.” (Acts 19:16) Our approach today, is that of a struggler, who has to fight because he lacks the authority, such that is only available to those that have been with the father.

Prayer Warrior, the next time you go out to coordinate a deliverance sessions without dwelling with the father first, you may not be that lucky. Today, we hear of demon possessed people, tearing the suits of pastors, the person to be delivered slapping the ‘prayer warrior.’ We hear of deliverance ministers paying with their lives or that of their relatives. If it didn’t happen to Jesus, it should not be heard of you.

At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father thank you because you have heard me and I know that you always hear me…” (John 11:41-42). Obviously that was not his first time of mentioning that issue to God. Jesus had settled Lazarus’ resurrection with God before that scene. He simply came to demonstrate the victory that was already won.
Emulate Jesus. Go back to your homework. Rebuild your prayer altar. Build a fellowship with God. They say the man who has knelt before God can stand before any man. It’s true!

“After he had dismissed them, he went up to the mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”(Matt 14:23) Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane and he said to them, sit here while I go over there and pray. (Matt 26:36)
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35). That was his battle ground.

Obviously the battleground where Jesus won all his battles was on his knees, alone with the father. In fact, he had already won the battle of Calvary on his knees.

We Need To Know

I need to tell the unbeliever about the Matthew chapter 14 story. Jesus was not in the boat and the boat faced a fierce storm. When Jesus stepped in the boat, the wind ceased. I need to tell the unbeliever to let Jesus into her life. When she does, the winds of her life shall cease. She needs to know.

I need to tell the unbeliever the Luke chapter 8 story. Jesus was in the boat, yet the boat faced a fierce storm. I mustn’t hide that from him. And of course because Jesus was in the boat the wind ceased. If he lets Jesus in, every storm arising against him shall have to listen to Jesus’ command. He needs to know.

I need to warn the believer about Jesus taking a nap. Jesus took a little break in the boat and that was when the wind came. The believer now needs to know, that the Jesus he accepted, he must hold firmly to, even to the end. He must not allow Jesus a break in his life. Not a single moment when he’ll be without cover. Wherever and however he has allowed Jesus a break, he can always go back and make amends. He should never face the storms alone.

We all need to know, we will always need Jesus.

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

One Word

Let us not be carried away by ordinary political games.

Let us not be distracted by the inabliity of our nations to subdue their respective problems.

Bombings, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Kidnappings, Rape, Legalization of Homosexuality, Flood, Fire…even the mysterious loss of a whole aircraft with its 239 occupants. The list is endless.

Jesus mentioned all these things to us.

“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other… So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors…Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

Don’t be carried away by what does not count in eternity…our Lord will soon be here.

One word is enough for the redeemed!

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

One Word

Let us not be carried away by ordinary political games.

Let us not be distracted by the inabliity of our nations to subdue their respective problems.

Bombings, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, Kidnappings, Rape, Legalization of Homosexuality, Flood, Fire…even the mysterious loss of a whole aircraft with its 239 occupants. The list is endless.

Jesus mentioned all these things to us.

“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other… So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors…Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

Don’t be carried away by what does not count in eternity…our Lord will soon be here.

One word is enough for the redeemed!

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

BringBackOurGirls

In the days of Daniel, the government (the king, the magicians and the astrologers) was clueless on what to do concerning a particular situation they found themselves.

In the days of Joseph, the government (also the king and his magicians) had no clue on how to handle a particular situation. They were completely helpless.

In Nigeria today, the goverment is not only helpless but clueless on how to #bringbackourgirls.

In Daniel’s age, God came through for them by revelation to Daniel. In Joseph’s age, God also came through for the nation by revelation to Joseph.

Today, may He come through for us by revelation to #bringbackourgirls. Amen!

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

Aceldama; The Field Of Blood

The fish sits at the belly of the ocean, it watches quietly as the hook brings the bait deep and deeper. The worm- so red and fat could no longer struggle as the hook has taken life out of it in no time at all. Right before its eyes the bait has come deep down, the fisherman waits patiently dangling the food in its eyes.

“Should I go for it?” The fish thought in itself. It could count a good number of its dear family members who have gone for such food and suddenly disappeared. Some strange powers seem to have drawn them out of the water. The rest of the lives of the few who have escaped disappearances, have not remained the same. With terrible cuts in their mouths they have returned, not being able to eat, they became sick. Thin and thinner they became, until they became food for the rest of other fishes. The fish knows, there’s no good reason to go for baits. The experience never ends well, yet after few minutes, it jumps at the bait and the rest is history…

Many times in our lives, harmful things come up for grabs in appealing packages. We know how harmful they could be and how far we are supposed to stay away, yet staying away remains one of the most difficult decisions to make.  Like the fish, we stay for a while deliberating; “should I do it, should I not?” We weigh the consequences against the benefits and sadly, most times, our decisions our based on the results of the arithmetic. When the benefits seem to outweigh the consequences, we go for them. When we know for sure, that no one will ever get to know, it’s always easier to do.

Bible tells the pathetic story of a certain Mr J. Iscariot. There came a way for him to get rich quick. He knew it was wrong, yet the money was hard to resist. The fishermen kept dangling the red fat bait in the face of the fish. We might not be able to estimate how much the money will be in contemporary currencies, yet we cannot be wrong to say that if the money was enough to buy a plot of land in Jerusalem, it definitely was a huge amount of money; the type we still find very hard to refuse today.

Like Mr Iscariot, at the first request, our hearts say an instant “No!” But we keep checking out the rewards and weighing the consequences. We keep considering until we finally create a reason seemingly good enough to take the wrong steps. “I’ll do it! It doesn’t mean anything!” And like the fish, off we go, jumping at the bait and history begins from there.

Like we always do, Judas had probably said to himself; “This is not as bad as it seems. What exactly will my wrong be? I’m not the one who wants him killed. I’m not the one who will kill him. That they will kill him does not depend on my acceptance of this offer. Either I take it or not, they will kill him. After all, is he not a public figure already? This is nothing but a big coming from the blues for me.”

Judas did what he had to do. What’s in a kiss? And before he left that scene where he did ‘nothing much,’ his account was credited with the agreed big deal.

Unfortunately, Yes, like it always end unfortunately, with the proceeds of the  big deal, Judas could only buy “ACELDAMA; THE FIELD OF BLOOD.”

[KJV] Acts 1:19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

What exactly do you think you will benefit if you take that wrong decision? Judas could not have ever thought about Aceldama when he made up his mind to simply kiss his friend Jesus. When he was weighing the consequences, there was no way he could ever have thought he could lose his life and soul in the process. Unfortunately, he did. He lost all that he had before taking that wrong decision.

[KJV] Acts 1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

[KJV] Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

While the fish considered the consequences of jumping at the bait, there was no way it could have imagined that simple ‘harmless’ decision would take it out of the river forever. It would end up suffocating in the fisherman’s net, then in the death cold freezer for days, then cut into several pieces, boiled or worse still, fried. The process would seem endless till it ends up as mere faeces…

What bait is the devil dangling in your eyes continually as you go through life? What has been your reaction? Are you sure you are not setting up a deal to buy Aceldama?

That illegal hundred thousand naira, that huge amount been offered to you as a bribe even though you didn’t ask for it. That fine girl/boy that wants you just once. Just once! That money smiling at you from someone else’s purse; she wouldn’t even feel anything if you take it. Those illegal files you are told to create…Will the proceeds not end up being your fee for Aceldama?

If your life were to be for sale, would you take that price for it? No! But that’s what the devil is doing; trying to buy your life from you for a hundred thousand naira, or a night’s sleep on a strange bed…

The consequences we never can foresee, far outweighs the little benefit we can derive, if ever there is any.

The devil has no other mission behind whatever he offers any man than to steal, kill and to destroy.

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole.

A Poisonous Resolution

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          There’s no mentor anywhere on earth who would ask you for more. On the second and third reviews, I couldn’t but admit that achieving just half of what I had written would be enough for a great year. After all they say, “When you miss your aim at the sun, you’ll get a place amidst the stars.”

I must be honest to say that the past year was fulfilling, I have had more than I asked for. I shouldn’t be surprised too, because I was hard working. Even when I wanted to be lazy, there was always something or someone chasing me, so there was no room to be lazy. I’m happy I worked hard, and happier that I was adequately rewarded. Now that the business has grown bigger, this office will no longer be suitable for us in the upcoming year, we should move to a bigger office, most likely on the Island; that would be an ideal location for our fast growing business. Our networks, both of customers and branches have gone sky rocketing, it would only be wise to get more cars for a better coverage of these locations. I still do not think I’m making the best use of the opportunity I have, being the only one in this business in the whole area, efforts must be doubled to ensure that I make more profits this New Year. If I keep going like this, I should be planning to retire by age 40. If I will be honest with myself, I think to an extent, I’m having a good life. No pride intended.”

If my business is growing this fast and I’m getting to work extra hard, I need to pay more attention to my personal life too. In this New Year, instead of being tensed up by every little thing like in the previous years, I will cultivate the habit of saying to myself always; “Take it easy.” Enough of going for lengthy hours without food this New Year, I will have to improve my diet. Reduce my intake of sugar; reduce my alcohol intake, eat more fruits this year than junks. Get more hours of sleep as much as I can.”

“The future starts now. From the huge profit I made last year, I must embark on a building project this year. What would be my achievement if I don’t have a house I can call my own? And if some extra balances show up, I won’t hesitate to get myself another good car. I’m the one doing the work and I deserve whatever enjoyment I can find. This is my resolution for this new year, so help me God.” And just when I thought I needed someone to fill my ears with a reassuring “Amen”

I silently heard God whisper in my ears; “You are a fool!”

          I have never really considered the story of the rich man in the bible until lately. On a closer look, I discovered how much his story mirrored my life and how he has been the mentor I had always followed unknowingly. Just in case you still don’t know the story I’m talking about, it’s the story of the rich fool. It was the end of a season and the beginning of another. He recorded a huge success in the just concluded year and sat down to do his resolution.

 “He said to himself, what should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops. Then he said I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones.  Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself “My friend, you have enough stored away for many years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink and be merry! But God said to him, you fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you’ve worked for?” Luke 12:17-20

God seemed to be saying to the rich fool. “I have spared your life all through these past years. Even when you never gave me attention, I was there for you. This last year was worse, you spent all of it on your business and gave me no attention, yet out of mercy I wasn’t mad at you. I even bestowed my blessings on the work you did and gave you good success, hoping that you would realize through all that I exist. I have seen your New Year resolution and I’m very angry with you.

I have seen the way you have planned to spend the New Year and I’m so disappointed. Do you think your life is all about you? You think that life is yours and must be spent for you alone? Not even the faintest plan for me! You don’t even have me or anyone in your thoughts at all!! All your plans for the year are about “I, me and me alone.” This year, in fact tonight, I’m bringing your selfish life to an end. I can’t afford to keep you out there, wasting my breath and resources when I have people who will make better use of them.

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth, but not have a rich relationship towards God. That’s what happens when you fill your barn with self and not with God.” Luke 12:21. (NLT & MSG).

          I encourage you not to spend this year for yourself alone. Maybe in the years past it’s been all about you. Your life is not for you alone. If God makes a review of your life today, will he be able to find a reason to still keep you? If God assesses your resolutions for the New Year, will he not be disappointed in you? Should it be all about you? There’s more that you can do for God. There’s more that you can do for people around you? There’s a neighbour around you who has an addiction he wants to get over. You can help him walk around it. There are children who need people to show them love; a visit from you once in a while can put smiles on their faces. You get very angry when you get to church on Sunday and the seats are very dusty, you can make it your duty to clean them up. How about resolutions to remember other people in your prayers?  How about a strong determination to spend at least 5 minutes in fellowship with God every day? How about taking responsibility for those people who have nobody to care for them in the world? How about praying more? What about studying the more? What about witnessing for Christ the more? What do you think will please God to have you do? Why not re-sit and make a wiser plan for the New Year?

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me…” Matthew 25:40

         At the judgement, your life won’t be assessed by whatever you did to yourself, no matter how lovely. It’s going to be about what you did for others, and what you did for God. How sure are you that you are not being foolish?

                                                                                                                                               Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

 

 

 

Twentyfourteen: Of Him That Loved Us

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes…

Why are we ashamed of showing the world who we really are; Christians, children of God?

Everywhere in the world people never get tired of pushing what they stand for into our faces. Worldly music, worldly fashion, foul languages. All of these are seen everywhere in the world.

In a bid to belong, we Christians often find ourselves dancing to their tunes, thus hiding our identity under theirs.
Is this not supposed to be a world where everyone stand and speak for what he believes?
Why do we have to hide in toilets before we can pray in our offices?
Why do we have to speak in low tones because we are talking about Jesus?
If we hide the right things from the public, while the wrong people do theirs in the open, how do we expect the right to overcome the wrong?

If He invites you to the bar, invite him to church.
If he asks you to sleep with him, ask him to pray with you.
If He doesn’t respect your values and asks you to pick up the phone and tell a lie, be bold enough to tell him you tell truths only.
He thinks you’ll be a good material for their cult, don’t you think he’ll be a better material for your God?
He’s pushing his things into your face freely, why are you ashamed of yours?

The Year 2014 is that year to show the world who we really are. That year when we must tell them, we are for Jesus and we want them in. If they can freely show me their things, I must show them mine. We must show them Jesus. We must make our values so pronounced that they will be the ones who need to hide before they do the wrong.

At http://www.gracedpages.wordpress.com it’s our year of showcasing Jesus to the world. We ask you to please join us in this course and let’s do the one-duty we owe our Lord Jesus.
We need to stop wishing our friends were Christians. That might be all we have been doing all the while. We need to do the two major things that can work. We need to PREACH to them and PRAY for them. We really need to stop WISHING and HOPING they were Christians.

Welcome to 2014; dedicated to the service of Him that loved us and gave himself for us…

Welcome to manifestations!

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

Do you still think?

I bet only God can explain how these thoughts managed to filter into my heart.

An unusually cool afternoon it was, walking home from Kalabari National College, Buguma: one of the oldest post primary schools in south-south Nigeria. I had blocked my ears with my headphones. I tell you, you would walk miles in that mood and feel nothing. Did I say mood? No, mode. That was a mode. I wasnt interested in any other thing than to sing or even dance along. I had become a studio. Suddenly, despite all the padding, a thought filtered in. Where it came from, I was soon to discover.

The lifestyle of a youth in our society have undergone terrible metamorphosis.

The “i-things” have really changed us. The i-Pod, the i-Pad, the i-Phone, the i-Goodies… great inventions I tell you.

Late Steve Job, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates…these men have changed our world for better if not the best. These are men, who sat down to think. What we enjoy is a product of their ideas and thoughts. But, come to think of it. Have we not become so occupied by the product of someone’s thoughts, that we dont have time to think, ourselves? When was the last time you did a thinking exercise? When was the last time a good idea dropped into your busy mind?

If sincerely “its been a while,” you definitely need a redress.

All the i-things conviniently eat up our days without our knowledge.
Our free periods, formerly times of rest, and deep reflection, the mobiles have occupied.
Your phone: the first you check in the morning, the last you press before you sleep.
As good as these things are, and as much as they have become necesities of the present age, care must be taken.
The devil is happy that you can no longer fix your thoughts on constructive things.
Why not consider spending some of your free periods without your mobile? “Doing what?” You ask.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK on these things.(1)”

Of the principles of life, one of the best remain, “THINK!”

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.(2)”

How do you understand the will of God, when your heart is always busy with the i-goodies. He wont hijack you for a talk. He wants your devotion. You could spend a whole day doing and listening to good things on your mobiles and the many gadgets sorrounding you, and in it, still be a fool.

DONT BE A FOOL FOR GOOD THINGS, BE WISE FOR THE RIGHT THING.

God wants you to think. Thats why He gave you a mind. Use it! Technology has simplified all things save for thinking. You have to do it yourself.

 

1. (Philippians 4:8)

2. (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

Someday Soon

Someday soon…

Someday soon, 1,596 people will gather because of you but you won’t be able to say hello to any of them.

Someday soon, they will slaugther 12 cows in your name, but you won’t be able to take a bite of beef.

Someday soon, many teary eyes will long to see you lying down, eyes closed, but you won’t even be able to wonder why they are crying.

Someday soon, people will pen down great commendations for you in a special book beside your glazed picture. Some of those commendations were never mentioned in your ears.

Someday soon, there will be a party thrown in your name, celebrating you; roads blocked, canopies spread but you will be packed in a decorated wood, being made ready for disposal.

Someday soon, some well dressed guys will throw you around in this decorated wood while a band will sing praises of you, praises you’ll never be chanced to hear.

Someday soon, Posters, Invitation Cards, Pamphlets and all sorts of souvenirs will be produced, all carrying your most beautiful pictures, but you won’t even see or use any of them.

Someday soon, all your friends, family and loved ones will gather to say byebye to you, but none of them will expect you to respond.

Someday soon, all your loved ones will gather and none will make any attempt to shake your hands or hug you.

Someday soon, your best friend will dream about you, wake up and pray fervently never to see you in his/her dreams again.

The big thing is never this event. The big thing is what becomes of the real you after this event.

Someday soon, all that will matter after all will be what you have done for the God who gave you life, either directly or indirectly.

Someday soon, you”ll receive a reward of all you have put your heart, energy and life into, either good or bad too.

Unavoidable, irreversible, unpredictable.

If I were you, I’ll spend each day preparing for someday soon.

Someday… very soon.

“And just as it is appointed for all men once to die…Heb 9:27”

Olowookere Oluwatobi and Akinwumi Adeoye

Church Wasn’t Fun Today

Is the Church today putting heads together or sharing a Spirit?

We all agree with the pastor, shaking our heads and screaming. The drummer and the keyboardist know how and where to put in effects each time the pastor drops a ‘bombshell’.

We all go home telling ourselves how Pastor really vibrated.
“O boy, Pastor is becoming something else. Pastor made a lot of sense today”. Yet our lives do not change any bit.
On the other days, it’s the other way round; “Church wasn’t fun today at all.”

Pastors need to quit telling the church things that sound logical alone. Pastors really need to quit reading books and coming to tell the church what they read somewhere.
Pastors need to start ascending the heavens to bring down God’s word for his congregation per time.

I read about Saul the persecutor of christains. An encounter with God changed his life forever. At that point, Paul the Apostle emerged. How come members leave services, heading straight to ‘Damascus’ to continue their evil works? Are you sure they met God in the service? They definitely did not.

Jacob was the one who said at Bethel; “Surely, the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not.” He wasn’t even aware of God’s awesome presence until he began to see the manifestations. His life never remained the same after meeting God there. How come members ‘meet’ God and still go back to their old ways after service. Are you sure God was present at all?

Every person who had an encounter with God in the bible had their lives changed. Ours should not be different. Something new should follow us each time we come into the presence of God. Encounters with God don’t just come and go.
They make very evident marks on lives.

How come you claim the Holy spirit is always present in your services and your congregation never get to meet him?

Our gathering unto God shouldn’t be ordinary forums. Our messages in church shouldn’t just be to impress the people. Our fellowships are not schools. They are not places where we either put heads together or rub minds together. They should be Spiritual gatherings indeed, where we share a Spirit. Nobody meets with God and remains the same.

The mad man of Gadara, Jairus whose daugther was raised, Peter’s mother-in-law, the ten lepers, Peter and the other fishermen…even Lazarus who was dead. All will forever remember the encounter they had with Jesus. Should ours be different?

Hebrews 12:22-24 talks about the nature of our ideal gatherings. You’ll be surprised what it says;

” No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven. who have now been made perfect.
You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.”

How on earth could you have met with all these people and still remain the same?

As a church goer I need to learn, that my “being blessed” in a Service, Mattins or Mass is never a function of how beautifully the Pastor preached. It is not a function of how badly he preached either. My blessings in church has nothing to do with how good or bad the choir is. My blessings in church depends solely on whom I have gone to meet; the Almighty God.

I should get to a point where either Pastor does well or not I will meet God in church. Either the service goes right or not, I will not leave the presence of God without an encounter. It is God I go to meet in church.

The presence of God, especially the gathering of his Holy people remains a place of encounters, a place of change and a place of divine turn-arounds. If we have anything short of these…something needs to be done fast.

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

Doing it God’s way.

“God should have really shown He is the almighty. He should have created the whole earth in one second. Why did the creation have to take him six days? In actual fact, is He not all-powerful? Why did He have to rest on the seventh day?” Many questions like these have emanated from people who read the letters of the bible.

“On the first day, God created light. On the second day, God created firmament. On the third day…”
Do you remember those nursery rhymes? Don’t be surprised that’s the basis for some people’s questions.

Well, to such questions and arguments I have no two answers. God chooses to do what he wants, whenever he wants, wherever He wants, however He wants, to, with and for whomever He wants. All of these don’t change whom God is. God is God. God is sovereign. Even if it takes him 5years to draw a line on your piece of paper, He is still God Almighty.

God almighty dropped some lessons for us at creation, the ones I call “seeds of excellence.” I can only appeal that we take a pause from our normal work routine, and pay attention to some of these things.

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God did not finish all his creation in one day.Even though He is the almighty God and could have spitted the whole thing out of his mouth all at once. He took his time to do it bit by bit.
Patience!! We should learn to be patient with the execution of our ideas, assignments and all that we do. The fact that you know what to do, you have all the resources at hand doesn’t mean you should just rush through it. God demostrates it is better done; bit by bit. No Rushing.
One of the greatest words ever spoken remains; “Rome was not built in a day.”

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After each day’s Job, God took his time to go over again. That was why the bible said, he looked and saw that it was good.

Yes, we say no man is perfect, but God says we can do perfectly like he does his things. How? Go over things again like He does. By that, you take away all errors and be sure that your work is good.

I shouldn’t do a job and immediately give my Client/Boss. I should check it out again and assess myself. I shouldn’t rush through an exam and just submit to the examiner. I should take time to go through my scripts again to ensure no mistakes.
If God almighty who would never make mistakes reviewed his work, who are you?

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At close of business each day, the way God looked at his job and passed comments suggested that he always knew it could be better.

Have you read your Genesis? God would come up the next day, go back to the job and add something new. He did that continously until the seventh day. He was never satisfied with yesterday’s achievement.

We should never be over-satisfied/ complacent and sit down in the same place because of a huge result/success. It can always be better. No matter how good it is. We can always improve on every beautiful thing, just like God.

Whatever you have is not the best you can have. It can be better. Whatever you have done is not the best you can do. Look at it again, you can do better.

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God Almighty had the ability to be a one-person committee, but He chose not to. “Let us make man in our own image,” He said.

“Let us” suggests a way of asking for people’s opinion on a matter.
“Let us…” suggests a way of asking for help in executing the project.
God didn’t need anybody’s help for anything, but He chose to bring other persons in. He definitely did that to show you something.

On earth, you will always need help. You weren’t created an island and you mustn’t act like one. Man is designed to need each other. Even when it seems like you have all you need. Always seek people’s opinion. Always ask for help. You will need it.

“Come now, Let us reason together…,” that’s God again.

If the creator will ask His creature of its opinion. How bigger are you than your fellow man? Always seek help/assistance.

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God looked at all that he created, and saw that it was all very good. God saw all. The bible says God finished his project. (Genesis 2:1) God didn’t stop the project until it was all done.

How many times have you begun things and you stopped by the way? God dropped a lesson for you at creation. Never stop until all is done. It may get difficult, you may face oppositions. There maybe unforseen challenges. It may be taking longer than you thought.

Just put on that godly attitude; “Never stop until it is done.”

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God rested on the seventh day. I mean God-all powerful, rested on the seventh day. He had to, for your sake. God didn’t rest because he was tired. God never gets tired. He decided to rest. As a man, your strength goes out as you work. You should learn to decide when to rest. Don’t wait till you break down before you are forced to rest. Always make a decision to rest even though you are not feeling tired yet. Rest should not be a reaction, it should be a decision.

Back in my secondary school days, a muslim classmate always came top of my class. I felt insulted, so I decided to check out what he was doing extra. I started writing “IJN” on my scripts when I noticed he writes “BRR” on his. Guess what? That made no difference. While I was the “wuruwuru-to-the-answer type,” he, on the other hand, did his own things very carefully. Good success is not a gift. It is a reward.

“…But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me…” 1Cor 15:10

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

Have you heard?

This is how they begin;

“Have you heard? There was an autocrash last night. Everyone in the bus died. One even happened last week, they were all burnt to ashes. This life, eh!

So, have you heard that only two people passed that man’s exam? Almost everyone failed. No one passes his exam in one sitting. That man, eh!

I don’t think you heard that armed robbers collected Mr Kilanko’s car at gun point last week. No cars are safe in this community.

Mrs Audu’s daugther suddenly dropped dead two weeks ago. And its not yet up to 4 months her husband died. This life, eh! Anybody can die anytime.”

So you mean you’ve not heard those two great songs; “if I die” by Dagrin and “I’m gonna die tonight” by Tupac?

Then as their friend, your thinking begins to change;

“Accidents can happen anytime.

What if this car suddenly catches fire and we all get burnt?

I am not likely going to pass that exam, no one passes it in one sitting.

My mind tells me that thieves are coming to collect my car like that of Mr kilanko.

What’s this life? Anybody can die anytime. I heard about Mrs Audu’s daughter.”

HAVE YOU HEARD?

Have you heard that you need to change your friends? Have you heard that you need to change your favourite channel from ‘crime?’ Have you heard that you need to watch the music you listen to? Enough of the lies they engrave on your heart.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he…

Don’t wait until your life begins to follow the path of the wrong information they feed you with.

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

When It Doesn’t seem to Make Sense

Noah! Just listen to yourself. Is it possible? Does it make any sense to you? I guess you need to see a Doctor. You are definitely out of your mind.

I’m trying to get a picture of what it looked like for Noah, when he was passing God’s message about the coming rainfall that would destroy the whole earth.

Let’s be sincere with ourselves, would it have made any sense? Even now, does it make any sense to you? Rain had never fallen on the earth before that time. Noah now came to say that the world would not just experience one, but be destroyed by it. Abeegi, His message truly wouldn’t have made any sense.

Did this make any sense too? When the Israelites were to go against Jericho, and the thick high wall was there to overcome. God’s message came: “Get my people to march around the wall 7 times and afterwards let them shout.” What was that? Would that shout bring down the wall? It would take them days to dig into this wall. That wall would take three chariots riding side by side. (I mean three Prado Jeeps now.) Imagine that thickness! What on earth was God saying? Why the marching and the shouting? Why the ‘march-shouting?’

Maybe Angel Gabriel wasn’t listening to himself when he was delivering the message to Mary. You know some people are like that; they just talk. Abi? He was saying that a virgin who at that point hadn’t slept with any man, would become pregnant and give birth to a bouncing baby boy. And worse still, her boyfriend would still join her in doing the naming, and they would call his name; Emmanuel. If I were to be at that scene that day, I would simply ask him to go back and re-receive the message he was sent…or he should check the next flat. No be here them send you, bros!

When an angel told Zechariah that his wife, well stricken in age would be pregnant and give birth to a son, What was the angel feeling like? That was how one funny angel also went to tell Abraham, that his wife Sarah, 90, would give birth to a son. Haba! Oga!! How would that make any sense? Sarah by then wouldn’t be experiencing MenoPAUSE, she must have been at MenoSTOP. ( if there’s anything like that)

The red sea was in front, smiling at the foolishness of the Israelites. “Did you guys forget I’ll be here before taking this route?” Pharaoh and his Soldiers were coming behind. Moses the leader looked up to heaven and asked: “Oluwa, Mo mo pe iwo lo ran mi nise…help us Lord.” And God said, stretch the rod in your hand towards the sea. “Rod ke?” When God could just have made a ship arrive to take them all through. That message didn’t really make sense o.

When the prophet got to the home of the widow of Zarephath, the woman said “the food in the house is the last for me and my son, we will just eat and await death next.” Wow! The prophet replied; “go in now and cook that last meal for me to eat.” Oh! So that the woman and her son would die faster? Was that the best a man of God could offer a widow and her son dying of hunger?

I’m sure you remember Jesus of Nazareth at Cana in Galilee. “Oga, Wine don finish.” He replies: “wine don finish? Ok nah, oya! Begin dey serve water.” What would have been your best response? “Oga, pure water still dey, if you wan drop money, drop am make we go buy wine. Which one be serve water?”

BUT COME TO THINK OF IT…

After Noah’s ‘foolish’ message, he built the ark, the first rain ever fell, and the whole earth was totally destroyed. The Thomases never had the opportunity to tell him He was right.

The Israelites obeyed by marching and at the sound of the trumpet, the wall of Jericho fell, worse than an earthquake. Who would have thought that was God’s plan?

After Gabriel delivered the most ‘foolish’ message ever, to the human race, the same virgin believed him. She believed that message, got pregnant, still without sleeping with anybody, and gave birth to the greatest gift ever given in human history; the saviour of the world.

John the Baptist was the result of a love play by parents well-stricken in age. Two old people who believed. Pa Abraham and Madam Sarah went to bed one night and all of a sudden, the strength of their wedding night paid a visit. It was more beautiful than their wedding night because this actually produced the child of promise; the exact content of God’s ‘unrealistic’ promise.

When the Red sea saw the rod of Moses, it forgot the art of smiling, and executed God’s orders. A dry land appeared in the midst of a parting sea. And a whole nation passed through safely. When Moses obeyed without questioning, the message that seemed not to make any sense made a whole lot of sense.

When the distinguished ladies and gentlemen tasted the water, or should we call it wine now? They asked why the best wine was not served first. So, by taking the orders of Jesus without questioning. Water became the best wine.

God dey talk, you carry sense dey check am, you get sense?

You see, God’s messages and instructions might not make any sense to you. In fact, most times, they don’t. They aren’t meant to make sense. Whenever he speaks to you, your whole duty is to believe and obey.

Noah built the ark, the Israelites obeyed by marching, Virgin Mary believed that message, Two old people believed, Moses obeyed without questioning, and by also taking the orders of Jesus, water became the best wine.

Today if you hear his voice, what would you rather do?

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord, for as the heavens are higher than the earth. So are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

1Cor 1:25 finishes it all. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men.”

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

Father can, and Father will.

Father is always right!

A child accepts things just because of one reason; his Father said so, and his father is always right.

A child hasn’t seen anything. He has zero experience. He has never seen a thing work,yet he is very sure it will work. He can tell exactly how it works.There are no two reasons He is so sure; Daddy said so.

A child could tell you stories of things that happened long before he was born. He would narrate it exactly the way it happened. He is so sure of what he says just because it was daddy who said so.

What a complete trust a child has in his father!

He gets to school and takes his mates up on an issue. He wouldn’t argue with the teacher despite the fact that he doesn’t agree. That was not what daddy said. Daddy is always right.

“Very soon I’m going to have this toy,” He says. Not because he has the money, not because he knows where to buy it, but because father has promised to buy it for him. He is very sure that his father is capable of buying it for him. Whatever Daddy says, Daddy does.

Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”
Luke 16:17

Jesus talked about the simplicity of a child. I ask myself; “how simple is a child?” And this is the best I get:” Daddy said so, and Daddy is always right.”

It has been hard to get into God’s peaceful kingdom in certain areas of your life because you haven’t approached with the simplicity of a child. You have to believe and put all your eggs in that one basket; “because God(daddy) said so.”

I’ll be healed, not because I use these drugs, because daddy(God) said so. He said I’ll be healed.

I will not die, not because I’m so careful but because daddy said I will not die.

I have what I need already, not because I earn a lot of money or because I’m hardworking but because Daddy has promised that I shall not want.

Jesus said; this rest will not come except you approach it as simply as a child would. “Just because of my Daddy.”

Forget about how good you are, how hardworking you are, how careful you are, how good your doctor is, how gainful your employment is, how beautiful your grades are. All that matters is just one thing, that childly approach;

MY DADDY IS ABLE, AND HE WILL DEFINITELY DO IT.

Are You Also Born to Kill?

A very long time ago, I met a soldier who almost became my friend. Was he from America? I really can’t remember. We had a discussion that lasted for days. Each day we met, we picked from where we stopped. It was a really long one. Many of the things he said; I really can’t remember, but of all, there’s one I can NEVER forget.

“I was born to Kill”

For days I wondered how on earth a man would think murder was the reason for his existence. For many days I thought about it; What could have tainted a man’s conscience that much? I recall how he explained to me the genesis of it all. He tried to explain to me how he discovered what his ‘talent’ was. It all started from home. Hated by his parents, his brothers and sisters, rejected by his very own people, had to run away and face life on his own. How his sister was raped by a step brother and how he awaits his opportunity to force life out of the man’s mouth anyday he gets it. Infact that was the only thing that could ever give him Joy, and nobody could ever convince him about a change of mind.
For him, that was his nature. There was nothing else he could do better.’ Seriously, is he not right? Is that not his nature? Don’t we all have our peculiarities; the ones we call nature?

“I hate people who do this, I hate people who do that. That’s me. That’s my nature. I don’t share my things with people. I don’t ‘send’ anybody. (Not mindful of anyone). It may not go well with you, but sorry that’s just me. That’s my nature. Infact, I am a principled person, I don’t do this, I don’t do that. No matter what you do, I’m not going against my principle.”

Permit me to ask; “Are you really sure that’s your nature? I understand God did not only create us in his image, he also gave us his likeness.

 God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature… God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God’s nature…”(1)

He, exhibiting love as a nature, created us in his likeness to love. Are you really sure your claim is real?

A certain rich man never really knew himself until it was too late. He had money. He was more than convinient. Had enough to eat and throw away. Probably slept on a water bed. Travelled to more than 42 countries of the world. Had no time for anyone, not even his own brothers and sisters, not even a stinking Lazarus who sat at his gates; covered with sores all over. He would close his eyes anytime he is being driven past the gate because this Lazarus would raise his hands up to beg for food. Mere seeing those hands could make him vomit. That was his ‘nature,’ he thought.

Then all of a sudden, when it became too late in the fires of hell, and he discovered whom he really was. Somewhere within him, love was hidden, covered by what he thought was his nature. “Father Abraham, let Lazarus go preach to my brethren, though this pain is much, let me be the only one to come here from my father’s house.” What a love! But it was too late to show love.
“Father Abraham, Let Lazarus dip his finger tip into water and drop it on my tongue.” The same Lazarus who was covered with sores all over, in whose direction he wouldn’t even look to avoid vomiting. So vomiting at the sight of the needy wasn’t really his true nature. He could even drink water from their hands.what a good nature he had, but it was a little too late.

A passion for evangelism was hiding somwhere in his heart. “Let someone rise from the dead to go and preach. I’m sure they would listen.” Before then, he had probably thought his hobby was “travelling.” It was a little too late for him to discover whom he really was.(2)

Like the Soldier I met, “Do you also think You are born to kill?” Have you also put many Lies together to defend your misbehaviours? “That’s me! That’s me!! I never bend my principles for anything. I can’t preach, I don’t have the voice. That’s my nature. How can I love someone who hurt me so badly? How can I forgive the man who raped me? How can you ask me to forgive the man who killed my father?

Check for the real you on the inside. The real you as created by God. That’s you!

The real you is loving,
The real you is peaceful,
The real you is Joyful
The real you is patient
The real you is kind
The real you is good
The real you is faithful
The real you is gentle
The real you has self Control.

That’s your Nature, that’s YOU!!

1. Genesis 1:26
2. Luke 16:19-31

Olowookere Oluwatobi Ayowole

God give us Christian Homes.

God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the Bible is loved and taught,
Homes where the Master’s will is sought,
Homes crowned with beauty Your love has wrought;
God, give us Christian homes;
God, give us Christian homes!

God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the father is true and strong,
Homes that are free from the blight of wrong,
Homes that are joyous with love and song;
God, give us Christian homes;
God, give us Christian homes!

God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the mother, in Queenly quest,
Strives to show others Your way is best,
Homes where the Lord is an honored guest;
God, give us Christian homes;
God, give us Christian homes!

God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the children are led to know
Christ in His beauty who loves them so,
Homes where the altar fires burn and glow,
God, give us Christian homes;
God, give us Christian homes!

A PEEP INTO HEAVEN’S BOOKS

 

Surprises to me, is one of those few things that make our lives very interesting.

Of the many things that happen to man on earth, I believe one of the most beautiful is the fact that everything do not go as we plan them. Some things just come like a bolt from the blues and we say to ourselves “this is a surprise. Isn’t this more beautiful than we thought?” Surprise, obviously is one of the spices of life.

I have come to realize from God’s words that with him, we are in for many surprises, many of which we will get when we get to heaven. If for the surprises alone, I plead with you not to miss heaven.

Jesus Christ already hinted us, that on the judgment day, our many surprises will start from the things that will be on record about us. He gave this example:

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying,

 ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  (Matt 25:34-46)

Is that not surprising? While it’s going to be a pleasant surprise for some, it’s going to be the other way round for the others.

As I dwelt more on this, I realized that our walk with God goes far beyond the reach of our two legs. Sometimes, because it is called “walk” we think it is the physical things that matter, whereas, the things we see are temporal, the ones we do not see, that happens in our hearts are the ones that matter in eternity.

“As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2Cor 4:18

In fact the most substantial part of our walk with God is done in our hearts, and that is where our judgments start from. For every action we make, there is a motive and all motives God will judge. Unfortunately, many hearts are not right with God. The bible tells us that on Judgment day, everyman will be judged according to his deeds.

 “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done.  (Rev 22:12)

Some of the deeds that have decided people’s eternity are written in the bible for us to see, so that we can assess ourselves properly in the light of what God wants.

Who does not know the story of Abraham?  God asked him to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering to him on the altar. God wasn’t going to allow Abraham to kill his only son. Who does not know that Abraham did not kill his son? But check out the deed on record in heaven’s books concerning Abraham;

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?  (James 2:21)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” Hebrews 11:17-18

In heaven’s books, I am not sure if they had enough space to write all the stories of how God asked him not to kill Isaac and how God provided a ram for sacrifice. All that matters is what is on record; that Abraham actually killed his son.

In Abraham’s case, he ate his cake and had it. Men always say; “You can’t eat your cake and have it.” Abraham would have loved to keep his only son Isaac, who was his only hope for tomorrow. That’s like keeping your cake for tomorrow’s hunger right? But I tell you, when God says “eat your cake,” just eat it. With God, you can eat your cake and still have it.

 In Abraham’s heart of hearts, he had already burnt Isaac to ashes before God Almighty, even though God held him back from slaying his son. The state of Abraham’s heart was placed on record.

There is a lot of noise out there about the man Jephthah.  Lots of people say they don’t know if He actually sacrificed her daughter as a burnt offering or not.  What matters to me is what God has placed on record about him in heaven’s books.

And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”  (Judges 11:30-31 emphasis mine)

And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow that he had made. She had never known a man, and it became a custom in Israel. (Judges 11:39 emphasis mine)

It is written concerning Jephthah that he actually fulfilled his vow unto God by sacrificing his daughter.   Like Abraham, I am not so sure if there is any space in heaven’s books to write whether Jephthah actually slaughtered her daughter or not, or how he went about it if he did it. All that matter is what was written. In Jephthah’s heart of hearts, he had already burnt her daughter to ashes before the God he vowed to. And that was placed on record for him

You see, whatever I know there won’t be space for, in the heaven’s book should not matter to me in my earthly sojourn. All that matters should be what God sees and what will be placed on record concerning me; the things in my heart.

The spirit of a man, the bible says, is the candle of the Lord. It searches the inward parts of the belly. Whatever is settled there is settled with God. “Guard your heart with all diligence” he keeps warning us, “for out of it springs the issues of life.

Now you have taken a peep into heaven’s record books. What do you see written concerning you?

What has been going on in your heart? Are the good things men see on the outside, the same as what God sees on the inside? Will it be a pleasant surprise for you on judgment day? Or will it be a rude shock?

If you can read these, please take a second thought on eternity now?

 What is heaven writing about me?

Are Testimonies Mangoes?

A child of God was sick, so he prayed, “Father if you deliver me from this sickness, I will give you thanks.” I ask, what if He doesnt?
Another servant of God was in crisis, so he pleged, “God if you deliver me from this crisis, I will serve you for life.” I also ask, what if God chooses not to deliver him?

The above are examples of things we hear in church these days. Countless number of times, this happens we all dance… “o tope, o mama tope o, ore Jesu, o tope.” Meaning, what the lord has done worths giving thanks. Hmm…sounds nice!”

That really sounds nice but I don’t think it is. When I consider the likes of Daniel and the other hebrew men who said “its ok if He saves us, and if he chooses not to, its alright,” or Esther who asked her people to pray and fast for her and still said “after all of you, a whole nation have fasted, if God still decides I die, let it be!” These people say to God. Even though you stand against me, I will stand for you. My relationship with you is not based on the good things you do for me, but on your love for me and mine for you. What if God refuses to grant you what you want, will u still serve him?

What is your attitude to God when He is not doing the things you want? It is just natural to appreciate a person who gives you what you ask him. It will be supernatural to appreciate someone who does otherwise.

I realise God is interested in the state of our heart. While it is always right when He grants our requests, it is not always right when he refuses us. And thats the problem. God is never decieved by our attitude to him when things are good, he watches our attitude when things are not good, and thats our real attitude. Yes! It takes the supernatural to be grateful for the things you dont have, but where God needs you, is that supernatural realm. I do not mean God wants you not to have, I mean a heart that says “either Yes or No, thank you Lord.”

It is only recently too that I hear things like: “my testimony is not yet ripe.” Someone who was sick, noticed signs of recovery and came forward to share his testimony. “Thank God for my healing.” Few days later he died. And what I hear christains say is, “he didnt wait for his testimony to be ripe.” Now that’s a strange attitude. I think you owe God some appreciation when you see him at work him your life. Why disregard him by saying you’d better wait till he finishes his work. “I am waiting for this testimony to be ripe.” Are testimonies mangoes? Is God incapable of finishing what he started. Why wait till he finishes before you appreciate him?

Jesus said, except your righteousness exceeds that of the pharisees, you will never enter heaven. How? “If you love only those who love you, and you love God only when he is good to you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much because its just natural. If you are only kind to your friends, and you only thank God when he gives you something, how different are you from others. Even pagans do that because its just a natural thing. Move to the supernatural. Appreciate God in all things.

You are to be perfect in all things as your father in heaven is perfect. Remember he sends both sunlight and rain to both the good and the bad alike even though he is able to segregate if He wishes. (Matthew 5: 45-48 paraphrased)

Move to the supernatural! Appreciate God.

The day You lost your Miracle

She had been barren for long. It was a pain in her heart. She was an object of ridicule. Penninah taunted her. Many days she would cry but the child wouldn’t come. she was dedicated. She was religious. She wouldn’t miss the annual sacrifice for a thing. she was prayerful but her answer did not come.

The D day came when her maker remembered her. the day came when the Lord would answer her. He would wipe away her tears of many years BUT NOT WITHOUT A TEST.
Her miracle was just about 5 secs away. I don’t think she knew it. She knelt down to pray and just when she felt she was ascending the heavens, the pastor came in.

“Will you get up you drunk? Shameless woman. Its just 9am and you are this drunk.”
Salt over injury. Hannah should have flared up to answer the man in the tune with which he spoke. She wouldn’t have been wrong if she had kept silent and left the place, thinking “silence is the best answer for a fool.”
but what would have been her portion? “Sir, I am not drunk. I am just praying.” And the rest of the story was her miracle.
Hannah wouldn’t have been wrong to be annoyed, but she wouldn’t have gotten her miracle too. What if it had been you?

Patience!! Be patient! It is your test.
The day you lost your respect for that man was the day you lost your miracle.

A woman came to Jesus who wanted a miracle so badly. Her daughter was sick and dying. As soon as Jesus saw her, He saw a great faith. On the spot He was ready to deliver to her a miracle. Such faith must not go unrewarded, BUT NOT WITHOUT A FINAL TEST.

How best could she be tested. What test would match a faith as great as this?
“You dog,” Jesus said “Who will give you a child’s food?” Did she not have every right to flare up? Jesus had no right to call her a dog. If she had said “It is not your fault, I am the one who came for a miracle.” Would she have been wrong? “Yes I know I am a dog, Please let this dog eat of the crumbs falling from the child’s table.”
And the rest of the story was her miracle. What if she got offended and walked away? What would have been her lot? What about you? What would you have done?

Patience!! Be Patient! It is your test.
Every answer to your life’s question are tied to tests.

The result you strongly desire is tied to a test.
That problem keeps coming because you keep failing its test.
That guy you wouldn’t speak to again. That lady you never want to set your eyes on, any longer. That man you claim to have lost respect for.
That woman who offended you and you told not to call you again.
Patience!! Be Patient. That man, that woman is your test.
The day you lost them, was the day you lost your miracle.

Yes they offended you. Oh Yes, the offence was great, but if you need that miracle, you must let them go.
There is always a test to pass before your miracle. You cant avoid that test. Take a clue from Hannah (1Sam 1:15 & 16). Take a clue from the syrophenician woman(Mark 7:27&28).
Patience!! Be Patient! Don’t lose your miracle.

Tobi writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

God’s Plan For You

Trust

“… the famine was severe everywhere.” Gen 41:57 NIV

Like in the days of Joseph, it’s a difficult time for the whole world. No one had ever imagined that the year would be like this. With lots of the world’s population dead, a lot more very sick and in serious need of help, lots of businesses, dreams and aspirations gone, what could God be up to? What is the believer’s hope in times like this?

Joseph had earlier predicted that there would be famine and it was on the basis of this prediction that he was given a place in federal cabinet despite being a foreigner. The scriptures record that the famine came upon the land as Joseph had said. “…and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said.” Gen 41:54. Though a tough time for the world, it was a time of vindication for Joseph. God justified his own by not allowing his words to fall to the ground. God uses events like this to justify his people before the world. Perhaps you have been mocked before, because of your spirit-inspired words and actions, though a tough time for the world, it’s your time to be vindicated.

It was during this time of famine that Joseph’s dream of many years came to pass. “…So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. Then he remembered his dreams about them…” Gen 42: 6-9 NIV. The period of trouble for the world at the time became God’s instrument to make Joseph’s dream come true. God loves you so much that He can stop the earth from moving to do you a favour. (Not like he hadn’t done it before). Be on the lookout, the year seemed to have sabotaged the whole world, but not you. God is still bringing your dreams for this year to pass.

Joseph at this time of famine was the custodian of the keys to the storehouse, supplying food to the whole world. “Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people.” Gen 42:6 NIV. Imagine being the only supplier of a commodity that the whole world needs. Everyone buys from you. This was Joseph’s story at a time when the whole world was crying. I know it is already a hard year for many, but not for you – child of God. You will not just have enough to eat. You will have enough to spare. You will be a channel of blessing unto others.

Before the famine, Joseph represented the typical business executive who was doing well at the office but had serious family problems. He had not laid his eyes on his father or brethren for years. His own brothers tried to kill him by dropping him in a hole and later sold him to slavery. Family was a pain in the heart for Joseph despite his exploits, but during the famine, God turned it around. “And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.” Gen 45:15. These are the same people he hadn’t been able to please, almost all his life. God is using the events of this year to restore families: both the broken homes and the ones on the verge. Jacob had believed Joseph was dead, but it was at a time like this that he found his son, not just alive but as a world leader. God is using this time to restore people to himself, bringing them from the way of death and giving them life eternal. In this “difficult” year, God is restoring what you have lost.

This time will leave the human race split into 3 categories – The Victims (those who did not make it), The Survivors (those who made it but came out beaten and battered) and lastly, The Prosperous (those who soared and thrived despite all. Those in the category of Joseph). So much is being said in the world about managing to fall into the second category. What God offers his children is the third. It was said about Isaac in Genesis 26, that he planted in a year of famine and he reaped hundreds of folds. If you keep your eyes on Jesus, you will prosper despite all.

This is God’s plan for his children. This is God’s plan for you.

The Poorest of The Poor

This language would be one of the strangest things I have heard in the recent times. While it is not so good to be poor, to be the poorest of the poor is a complete disaster. According to the government, these are the people who need to be rescued urgently in these difficult times. The question is who are the poorest of the poor?

The Groundnut Seller?

Back in the days, one of my favorite snacks was the one – naira groundnut; about 25 – 30 grains neatly packaged in a transparent nylon bag. Unlike your neatly packed bottle of groundnuts obtainable at the best supermarkets today, our precious “epa one naira” was more of a poor man’s snack sold by the seemingly poor to the equally poor. Accompanied by gaari and cold water, this was the only thing we knew as lunch. One day, I bought this precious item from the wrong place. This woman has mastered how to keep some grains of stone in the nylon, practically reducing the number of groundnuts, yet retaining the size of the pack. For years, I wondered how someone could still be fraudulent over a N1 transaction. It didn’t matter if the innocent buyer hurts his teeth on the stone or swallows it, leading to what could be a serious medical issue. As long as she made the little extra kobo, she was fine.

The Danfo Driver and His Conductor?

I was dazzled one afternoon when on my way home, the danfo driver suddenly stopped. “E boole (Get down)” the conductor said to us in a very strong tone. We were nowhere near our destination and they had collected money. They knew all along they weren’t going to get there. That was not my first time of experiencing such, but this was different. They had collected my money and still had my change. While I tried to ask why they would drop us halfway, the conductor said something like “Ehn ehn, Ok. That’s where you will sleep.” That said, they drove off. So, not only did they drop me half way after collecting full payment, they made away with my change. I still wonder if some people have any conscience at all. It didn’t matter if I didn’t have another money on me to get home. It didn’t even matter if I was rushing home to save a life. As long as they can swindle me of that extra N150, they were fine. Some other conductors will hold on to your change for so long, till the stress of the traffic makes you forget it. That tricks works till tomorrow.

The Drink Seller?

When today we stopped to buy a drink from a woman around the corner, we had no inkling we had made the wrong move. Looking at the whole of the tray, I wondered if she would be able to give her family a good dinner even if she sold everything. I pitied her until we opened the drink; someone had replaced the original content with water. Like the case of the groundnut seller, it still baffles me, how someone can still afford to be fraudulent in a transaction worth as low as N200.

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Poverty, they say is a mentality. This is true. The scriptures confirm it. The poorest people of these world are not those people who are out in the sun and the rain working tirelessly to make ends meet. Selling groundnut, driving a danfo or selling drinks does not classify anyone as the poorest of the poor. Those are little businesses that are bound to grow with God’s blessings.  The poor, I mean the poorest of the poor are those people who believe they must cheat to make it in life.  Little do they know that it is the same mentality that has kept them down all along. With little acts of deceptiveness here and there, people invoke poverty upon themselves. Happy to have duped another man of N 1, N100 or N1,000 making themselves slaves of such denominations perpetually.  Indeed, they are the poorest of the poor and the palliatives required are not the two or three cups of rice being distributed. Such people need to be set free from deep within.

Are you one of them? Stealing a few office materials for personal use? Spending less and claiming more? Getting into exam halls with microchips? Snatching bags in traffic? Picking pockets? Stealing from the church purse? Taking advantage of other people’s unfavorable situations to make more profits than necessary? Hardworking when the boss is around but loafing when he’s absent? For anyone who would answer “Yes” to any of these questions, regardless of how fat your bank account is, you are among them – the poorest of the poor. Please change your ways.

Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel. (Proverbs 20:17)

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils. (1Timothy 6:9-10)

A Lesson From The Pestilence

COVID 19 has been revealing lots since it began in 2019. With many who believe the true source of this killer is still unknown, the knowledge out there is that it all began with  someone or some people who consider bat soups a delicacy in far away Wuhan, China.

Only few months back, it was the highlight of the news in foreign media. In Africa, we referred to it as a new disease ravaging China. We watched it move to the US and Europe, until we woke up to the news one morning that the unwanted visitor had finally arrived in Lagos, Nigeria.

From restricting public gatherings to 50, it came to 20. Then it became a total lockdown. As at the time of writing this, it is still not certain that there won’t be a further declaration of the stay-home order.

It became important therefore to drop the not so important things, abandon the not very important places, reduce movement to the barest minimum and hold on to only few important things so that life can continue, so that lives will be preserved.

Banks – the home of money, closed. Lagos roads – the home traffic jam, abandoned. One would wonder what happened to all those important places people always rush to. Schools – the seemingly most important place for every child, closed. Offices, where most workers spend the most productive part of their lives, locked down. Churches, even the houses of God, closed unexpectedly. These things should bring wisdom to us as men. In life, many things are good but only few things are necessary.

Firms, companies and other organizations that have invested so much in their staff simply switched to a work-from-home mode. It was possible because before the lockdown came up, they had already provided their staff with the tools and the orientation required to work at their convenience. Companies who abandoned their staff, investing in infrastructures and sharing the rest of the profit among the owners have had to shut down operations. It turns out that when things get difficult for a business, what will save it, is not the number of stories its head office has, or the number cars parked in the garage, or its staff strength. What will save it, is how much it has invested in its people.

On a typical day in Lagos, the roads are locked down in traffic. People rush from one end to the other. Every one is in a hurry, but since covid 19 arrived, the roads have been free. People chose their lives over those meetings and events they had always prioritized. The same life that was ignored pre-covid. Several people got their jobs done without hitting the roads.

With churches closed for an unbelievable number of weeks, has the church of God been closed down? No! This should bring wisdom to us. Are the people worshipping God? Yes! Has God been speaking to his people? Yes! Since the people last congregated in churches to offer prayers, praises and worship to God, has God been any little less than himself? No!

If the churches remain closed and the people are not able to gather in the cathedrals; our organs, instruments, lights and sounds purchased and maintained with millions of dollars are not used. Will God remain God? Yes. Will his kingdom be depopulated? No! We need to learn from this.

Success in ministry is not measured by the things we have concentrated on. The fact that we have a city to the name of the church, or that we have a cathedral, or that we have a large congregation, or that we have a fleet of vehicles or jets, or that we have been around for some time, or that we have a radio or television station, or that we have built a world class university does not mean we are doing well. Our success in ministry, depends solely on how many lives we have turned to God and how much of him is resident in our people.

This is the time to realize that all these extras are vanity. If they can become useless with a little tweak in government policies such as we have now, how much more useless can they be in God’s bigger frame of things.

As corporate organizations realize the need to invest more in their people, empowering them to deliver against all odds, God’s ministers should also begin from this moment to concentrate on the souls they are called for. Guide and empower them to know and hold on to God, come what may.  This is all that matters.

Help them set up an altar for God in their lives and their homes. Tell them the truth. Let them know that where they don’t have a personal relationship with God, church attendance cannot cover for it. Government can stop people from congregating, but they cannot sever our relationship with God or our service to Him.

There has been plagues in the past. This too shall pass. What must not be forgotten, is what it has taught us.

While the churches may be closed, the Church can never be closed.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matt 6:19-21