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This Easter

Hello, hope we all had a good weekend? The first quarter of this year is almost over.

Yesterday marked the commemoration of the Easter week on the Christian calendar. It starts with Palm Sunday and ends on the next Sunday, Resurrection Sunday. Easter represents the last week of Jesus before He died on the cross, and resurrected again. The significance of this is, Jesus died to bring redemption to man, and He being raised from the dead means, He is Lord and has victory over death.

Today, my focus is looking at some events during that time to learn some lessons.

“On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” John‬ ‭12:12-13‬ ‭

1. They didn’t know what they were celebrating- these people celebrated without understanding the meaning of what they did. Hosanna means “save now”. These people saw Jesus as a savior and a king of Israel. They cried for salvation in hope of been saved from Roman captivity, hence their zest. Jesus didn’t come to save them from Roman captivity, hence his name “savior”- he came to save them from their sins. He didn’t come to set up a kingdom, hence his name “King of kings”- his kingdom is not of this earth. Easter has lost its meaning due to commercialization. We get excited, and the meaning of it is lost in translation.

“So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing.” John‬ ‭13:4-5‬ ‭

2. Leadership is by serving- Jesus just had press and publicity upon his entry into Jerusalem, yet when he finished eating with his disciples, whom he led. He demonstrated humility by washing their feet. He was also a teacher, but stripped himself of his garments and his prestige to do a job which was reserved for servants. During this time, it is perhaps time to redefine leadership in the spirit of Easter. It is about serving people.

“When the disciples who were with Jesus saw what was going to happen, they asked, “Shall we use our swords, Lord?” And one of them struck the High Priest’s slave and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “Enough of this!” He touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Luke‬ ‭22:49-51‬ ‭

3. It is a time of forgiveness– the last miracle of Jesus before his crucifixion was done on an enemy, who came to arrest Him. This week, we are also celebrating forgiveness by letting go of any grudge, hurt or bitterness. The essence of Christianity is love, and it often shows in our relations with humans when we can forgive at will.

“But we are able to see Jesus, Who was ranked lower than the angels for a little while, crowned with glory and honor because of His having suffered death, in order that by the grace (unmerited favor) of God [to us sinners] He might experience death for every individual person.” Hebrews‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭

4. Death is defeated- the good news out of this week’s celebration is, Jesus died so that we don’t have to die. Receiving Jesus into your life means He died for you, so that you don’t experience death, which in a biblical sense, is separation from God in the hereafter. His death abridged our relationship with God, and defeated the power of death. When a Christian dies, “though he is absent from the body, he is present in the Lord”. That to me, is good news!

So I hope in today’s reading, you have gained some context to the Easter season. Wish you a good week and a blessed upcoming new month.

Look forward to reading your comments as always, and also responding. Please like and share today’s post. Subscribe to this blog if you haven’t.

Till, I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Dealing with Discouragement

“David and his men burst out in loud wails—wept and wept until they were exhausted with weeping. David’s two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel, had been taken prisoner along with the rest. And suddenly David was in even worse trouble. There was talk among the men, bitter over the loss of their families, of stoning him” ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭30:4-6‬ ‭

Hello and glad to come your way again. By now, nobody needs convincing that life is hard. There is nothing as painful as an unpredictable blow. Life can be a drag… at times.

This Bible verse is a picture of discouragement. Have you seen people (especially men in this context) weep till they are exhausted by their own weeping? Picture this in your mind’s eye.

There was a king called David. He and his men of war had come home to a ransacked place; their city in Ziklag was burned and their families were taken captive. The sorrow got so bad that the men who were with David wanted to kill him. They saw him as the blame for their misfortune. It can be very painful when you are in pain and people are plotting to kill you on top.

I take a lot of solace in this story, because you see one man’s decision that turned a discouraging and helpless situation to one of victory and hope. Please make time and read the whole chapter of I Samuel 30. I believe there lies a lesson for each reader today as we look at David’s resolve and what he did.

“…But David felt strengthened and encouraged in the LORD his God.” ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭30:6‬ ‭

1. His faith- David knew where to go when he was at the lowest of the low- his faith in God. I have two questions for you today: what is your faith in & where is your faith? We have all faced times which mirrored that of David’s or even worse, and what will keep us going is our faith life. For a long time, religion has been relegated to the doldrums of obscurity until last year when a pandemic hit, which hasn’t really gone away at the time of writing. A recent study shows that 67.8% of adult Americans are “Bible curious” meaning they want to learn more about scripture. The good thing about God is, He is merciful and ever loving to accommodate us if we will come to Him.

“David said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the holy vest.” Then David asked the LORD, “Should I chase the people who took our families? Will I catch them?” The LORD answered, “Chase them. You will catch them, and you will succeed in saving your families.”” 1 Samuel‬ ‭30:7-8‬

2. His prayer life– there is a popular book of the Bible known as Psalms which was authored by David. He wrote them mostly from his prayer times. Apart from been an intelligent leader, he also knew how to pray. That was what made him one of the most successful kings in the history of this world. Many see prayer as complicated, or you need to be some sort of guru to do that. The verse above was David’s prayer. It is that easy to pray. If you want to deal with discouragement, prayer must be in your armory. Let me leave you with this scripture to encourage you in Jeremiah 33:2-3, “This is GOD ’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as GOD: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’”
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So David and his 600 men set out, and they came to the brook Besor.” ‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭30:9‬ ‭

3. Goodwill- I am talking about his friendly disposition here. Honestly, I get confused when I read this story, because I asked, “weren’t these the “attempted murderers?”” The same people that wanted to kill him are now lockstep with him on a mission. This teaches me a lot on emotional intelligence. A mistake we should avoid when going “through it” is to antagonize relationships. The angels we are praying for are already our relationships we have today. If you read further, David and his men showed kindness to an Egyptian boy lying in a field by feeding him, who led them to the place of the captors. May God bless us with good relationships and may we have the wisdom to sustain the relationships for keeps!

I hope as you read today, whatever phase you are in, can be dealt with depending on the decisions you make. May one man’s decision making inspire us to come out of any discouraging situation.

Thank you for reading and supporting the blog. You are indeed the lifeline of this!

Please subscribe to this blog, if you haven’t. Let me also know what you think in your comments.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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Boldness

“…The righteous are as bold as a lion”- Proverbs 28:1

Hello, good people! Trust the weekend went well? Happy to come your way again. Today’s post should cause us to think on the true meaning of the word we will talk on- boldness!

What is it? Before we go into it, firstly let us look at what boldness is NOT.

1. Boldness is NOT rudeness- I don’t think you can put them in the same bracket. What do you think? There are some who don’t exercise discretion when talking about an issue to another in the name of boldness. Not exercising discretion can be termed unruly. Some too believe whatever comes to their minds have to be said in the name of “I am not afraid of anyone”. Anyone who uses that phrase is afraid in the first place. It is just a defense mechanism and a mask to cover what one truly fears.

2. Boldness is NOT foolhardily taking risks- boldness doesn’t mean you suspend reason and critical thinking before taking a risk. In life, we all have to embrace the chance of a risk take. Some people will just avoid taking a risk to go on the path of convenience and familiarity, which is also not good. However, don’t take a risk with reckless abandon in the name of, “I am bold”. What is your game plan? Do you have a strategy? Take a risk thoughtfully and also calculating “the risk of being in a risk”.

3. Boldness is NOT the refusal to acknowledge your fear- fear is natural and part of life. To deal with fear effectively as an emotion before it becomes a spirit controlling you, you have to acknowledge that thing that causes you fear, and decide to deal with it head on. It is just like, you see a nervous person getting ready to speak in front of an audience, and you ask, “are you nervous?”. To which he replies, “No!”. You see him sweating, panting uncontrollably, hands are shaking, knees trembling, sipping water by the minute and visiting the bathroom ever so often- it’s a telling sign. It is okay to admit, you are nervous then you can now look at ways to relax yourself. Honestly admitting your fear or inadequacy is a sign of great strength and integrity. I challenge you reading TODAY to face your fear(s) head on. Admit it, and then deal with it, rather than feigning strength (which is not there).

4. NOT all extroverts are bold- being an outgoing or an overly expressive person is not the same as exhibiting boldness. On the other hand, not all introverts too are timid. You can’t define boldness by looking at someone’s temperament, which can at times be misleading. Some of the most fearful people I have personally encountered are extroverts. Just look a bit further beyond the physical make up of a person.

We will continue this subject and attempt to define boldness. Until then, I just left you with this thought provoking piece, which will bring a different insight on boldness in your quiet time.

Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love

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The Root of Bitterness

Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.” Hebrews‬ ‭12:15‬ ‭

Hello, glad to come your way again. I hope you are marching forward in the month of March?

Today, I want us to look at the subject on bitterness. From this passage of scripture, I want to draw our minds to some truths.

1. Bitterness starts as a root.

2. Bitterness affects (troubles) you.

3. Bitterness is a contagion- defiles many.

4. Bitterness grows!

5. Bitterness affects you receiving the grace of God. Grace has a very broad meaning. In this context, it means kindness.

I believe one of the things that can hold us back from progressing in this month, is bitterness. So, what is it? It is extreme wickedness. The origin of the name is from the contents of our gall bladder or bile which is known to be very bitter.

How does one become bitter? It comes from unresolved hurt. Any hurt we refuse to deal with gradually disintegrates into bitterness. Let me give you a typical example of such a case in the Bible.

“Esau, hearing his father’s words, sobbed violently and most bitterly, and cried to his father, “My father! Can’t you also bless me?”

Esau seethed in anger against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him; he brooded, “The time for mourning my father’s death is close. And then I’ll kill my brother Jacob.”” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭27:34, 41‬

Esau became hurt at his brother’s trickery in taking his birthright, which was his father’s blessing. In the Jewish context, first born sons had a privilege called the birthright which was a blessing spoken over by the father. It was believed such words of empowerment could cause one to prosper and affect one’s destiny.

Bitterness shows in one’s speaking. It is not rocket science to detect it. Sometimes, you point out to people, they are bitter and they will say, “oh no! Me?!” The funny thing is, speech is very indicative of your emotional state. A refusal to acknowledge you are hurt and also deal with it will plant a seed of bitterness in your heart which will grow and have deadly consequences. In Esau’s case, he thought of murdering his brother, Jacob.

How do we deal with bitterness? Understanding God’s love towards us and His forgiveness upon us will enable us to walk free from “this virus”.

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬

You can only be kind when you understand God’s love toward you. It will result in being tender hearted and easily forgiving. I pray may we understand God’s love this month. It will help us progress in our human relations free of ill will and contempt towards one another.

May every root of bitterness be plucked out as we read this, because we will make a conscious decision to deal with our pain out of unresolved hurt, no matter how unpleasant it is. At least, it is the first step to recovery here.

God bless you all!

Hope you were encouraged by this? Let me know in your comments. Please like and share today’s post.

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Till I come your way again…

Peace & Love