Category Archives: Fresh Word

Right Relationship with God by Ven. S.O. Oladejo

Text: Matt. 5:20-26

Theme: Right Relationship with God

From the passage, we had a statement once made by our Lord Jesus Christ which staggered his hearers. This statement is preserved for us by St Matthew in the opening verse of the passage read “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter the Kingdom of God”. This statement staggered the hearers of the Lord because of the reputation enjoyed by the Pharisees among the Jewish people.

The Scribes were the most noted of the teachers of the law while the Pharisees were the most celebrated professors of religion. The scribes and Pharisees had such a reputation among the rest of the Jewish people that they were looked upon as super comfortable to be as good as they were. Many of us do not care about Christianity. Many of us are doing practically nothing about the message of salvation given to us by Jesus Christ. Some do not even bother to teach even their children the way of Christ. The Scribes and Pharisees made some efforts, what effort are you making about serving Christ in your daily life in order to support your Church and taking Christ to others?

Our Lord saw and observed the righteousness which the Scribes and the Pharisees claimed for themselves and found it inadequate for entry into God’s Kingdom. He therefore, urged His followers to exclude the badness and exceed the goodness of the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees in order to qualify for heaven. Jesus Christ saw that the pre-requisites for entry into the Kingdom of God were absent in the righteousness established by the Scribes and Pharisees. Their righteousness had no length, breadth, height nor depth because it lacked repentance, forgiveness, humility, love and grace. They practiced their religion to please or bribe God not because they love God. They had so much stress on the ritual aspect of the Law that they cast aside the spiritual side of it, which is more essential.

Like the Scribes and Pharisees, many of us create barriers between ourselves and others for selfish purposes. When we had a favour from someone, we see him as a brother, but when we should do a favour for a neighbor, we try to put a barrier in between for our own righteousness. Therefore, to exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, we must first of all accept our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because He is the way, the truth and the life, and apart from Him, we can do nothing.

Secondly, we must love others as God loved us. Jesus Christ commanded us to love. He knew that the basis of happiness and peace in the world is love. The world itself was created in love and on love God created man in His own image, Jesus Christ came to establish love in the world. Love will remove all barriers created by man’s prejudices against his fellowman. Love is capable of healing all our ills in this country which decrees, creation of states, equitable distribution of revenue (national cake) or Youth Corps cannot achieve.

Let us pray: Come Lord and reign over us as our rightful King. Rule in our hearts and fill them with Your love, rule in our hearts and bring every thought into captivity to Yourself, rule in our lives and make them holy like Your own, for Yours is the kingdom and power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Ven. S.O. Oladejo

HOW TO CELEBRATE LENT BY Revd Kola Salako

 

Lent is a Christian tradition that is observed in many denominations. It is the hallowed forty-day period of sacrifice leading up to Jesus’ death and Resurrection. During Lent, Orthodox Christians, Catholics and some Protestants prepare for Holy Week by fasting, praying, and reconciling with the Lord. These forty days are a wonderful time to rethink everything and to allow ourselves to take up our crosses as Christ once did.

Decide on your Lenten sacrifice. Lent is a season of solemnity and sacrifice commemorating Jesus’ exodus into the desert; our sacrifice is a reminder of the sacrifice of self Jesus made to save us from our sins. Because of this, it is a Lenten tradition to sacrifice something for these 40 days.

Think about all the trivial things in your life that shift your focus away from God. Do you find that you dedicate more time to sending text messages and posting status updates than to prayer and time with God? Do you have a habit of eating junk food excessively? What is something your life could do without?

In addition to sacrificing something, include something special in your Lenten routine, instead of just removing the negative resolve to be more mindful of others’ needs, spend more time with your family, pray more, and forgive old grudges.

Some families decide to set aside their spare change during these 40 days and do something with that money. Either donate it to the church or to a local charity, or spend it on goods for those in need. It’s a nice touch to this season, focusing on those that don’t have anything to sacrifice in the first place.

SATAN WIELDS IGNORANCE OF THE WORD AS A WEAPON: by Canon Sam Akinlawon

Though we have more access to the Bible than any generation before us, most Christians still have never read it all. The abundance of biblical access, on smartphones and bookshelves, generally hasn’t resulted in an increased personal knowledge of the Word. And yet our generation speaks very authoritatively about God and the Bible.

Technology is a shield, providing the opportunity to say with confidence what we would rarely say in the presence of others. We can easily hide behind screens and pseudonyms touting opinions and outrage with cowardly confidence.

Lack of knowledge plus authoritative opinions: This is a dangerous combination. I’m afraid, like Hosea’s audience, that if God were “to write for him [and us his] laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing” (Hos. 8:12). How can we recognize what we fail to become familiar with?

THIS IS WAR

“Did God actually say . . .?”

Mistrust of God’s Word is thrown at Eve like a grenade. This is an act of war the serpent’s words are the first shot at God and His people.

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die’” (Gen. 3:2-3).

In her response, Eve misquotes and subtly distorts God’s clear command. She enlarges God’s prohibition (neither shall you touch it), and she lessens God’s punishment (lest you die, as opposed to you shall surely die).

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (4–5).

With growing uncertainty about God and His Word, the serpent’s explanation of how things are becomes attractive. That first bite of forbidden fruit was made possible by Eve’s lack of knowledge of and trust in God’s Word.

THE DANGERS OF IGNORANCE

Most Christians have never read the entirety of the Bible. They may read it frequently but only parts of it. But daily reading parts of the Bible doesn’t mean you know it any more than daily reading. Ignorance of the whole of God’s Word makes us easy targets in the war Satan has waged against God. Lies can slip through undetected like poison gas because we’re just not that familiar with the truth.

For example, when suffering comes, some will say it is spiritual attack and blame it on Satan. This doesn’t seem wrong. But the Bible informs me that God does indeed bring about trouble, even and especially for His own people, for His own good purposes (Isa. 48:10–11; 2 Cor. 4:7–11). It is not that Satan is not involved (as we see in the case of Job) but that God is also involved and sometimes the initiator of the hardship in the first place.

With all the authoritative opinions around us about God and His Word, how can we recognize the one true and living God? The answer will always start not with learning to spot the counterfeits but becoming intimately familiar with the real thing.

MAKE A PLAN

If you don’t know all of the Word of God, why not attempt to change that? It likely won’t happen in a year, or even five years. But have a goal to make progress—not to complete a task but to know a Person. This is about beginning a lifelong journey in knowing the God we love, the One who saved us. Your initial complete read through the Bible is hopefully the first of many.

Familiarity with God’s Word is one of the best protections we have in this war the serpent still wages against God and His people. May we be so familiar with all the revealed facets of His character in His Word that each did-God-actually-say missile is easily spotted and rejected while still miles away.

God Bless  you

2018 DAILY CONFESSION/DELARATION BY CANON M.I.FAMUSIWA

I thank you Lord for seeing me through the just year 2017 . With God, nothing shall be impossible for me, I receive the grace to live above sin . I submit my flesh to the dictates of the Holy Spirit. I will obey the word of God in all circumstances. I ask that you release upon me an unexplainable hunger for you, that I might pursue you daily through the study of your word. No matter what I experienced last year, this year shall be different. It shall be full of enviable and notable testimonies for me. From far and near, my God shall send help to me daily. Jehovah Jireh shall provide for me and settle all my bills. I command the winds from the four corners of the earth to begin to work for my good this year. The moon, the stars, the sun, the sea, the earth, the night and day shall answer no more to the manipulation of my enemies. All my challenges and ugly experiences shall turn to my testimonies this year. All my disappointments shall turn to my appointment; all my wasted years shall be compensated. The favour of God shall lift me up above limitation; I receive God’s anointing upon me that will make my hand produce great miracles and wonders to outperform my contemporaries in order to make me stand out. My business will deliver great result and outperform my competitors, no matter where I find myself I will be a carrier of God signs and wonders; I will not record any loss this year. I decree and declare that as I step out this year no one will reject me and my Services. Sorrow and bad news shall be far from my address. Progress, joy, strength and victory shall be my portion. I will never be a liability to my family, I shall be spiritually, financially and emotionally stable ,my marriage shall not surfer barrenness, poverty and dryness. Goodness and mercy shall locate me this year; I shall eat and be satisfied. I will end this year on a note of Joy and gladness, people shall ear my own testimonies this year in Jesus Name. AMEN.

WHY IS IT DIFICULT TO FORGIVE BY REV, AKINYOOLA

 

There’s a reason you and I struggle with forgiveness, but I don’t think it’s because of how deeply we’re been wounded by another.

The main reason we often don’t forgive those who offend us is because we have several misconceptions about what forgiveness really means.

Do any of these conditions (or excuses) sound like yours?

  • I’m still dealing with the consequences of how that person hurt me, so I’m not about to forgive that person.
  • Why should I forgive a person who has never apologized?
  • I’ll forgive him when he proves that he has changed.
  • What that person did to me wasn’t right so I can’t bring myself to let him/her off the hook.
  • Why should I forgive a betrayal and unrepentant?

The concept of forgiveness is one of the core doctrines of Christianity. It is quite difficult, and in some ways impossible, if we believe, we might first receive an apology from the person who offended us. Likewise, we will have difficulty forgiving another person. If we are expecting that person to show remorse or evidence of having changed; we can also tend to believe that if we forgive someone, we are giving them a license to hurt us again. Mostly, we withhold our forgiveness because we don’t feel like the person deserves it.

We remain in chains of emotional bondage to those we refuse to forgive. By withholding forgiveness we are saying “You will never be able to make this right”. But what we are ultimately saying is: “I will always hold unto this pain” when you’re stuck like that you end up living with the burden of bitterness. Instead, you can live freely by freely forgiving. When God forgave us of the debt of our sin, He expected us to then forgive others of their debt toward us (Eph. 4:32)

Here are some misconceptions we have about forgiveness that often make it difficult for us to forgive someone:

  1. We think forgiveness is excusing a person or letting them off the hook: when we admit that our offense was real, it hurt and it’s inexcusable but so is our offense to God, we can forgive another person just as God has forgiven us.
  2. We think we can forgive only when the offense no longer hurts: what can heal our hurts speedily is when we choose to forgive. You will begin to heal emotionally when you release that hurt or make things right again.
  3. We think we must wait for an apology: If an apology by the offender were necessary in order for you to forgive, then you would never be able to forgive someone in order for you to forgive, then you would never be able to forgive someone who has died and never come clean with you. We are commanded to forgive an offender regardless of that person’s remorse or efforts to gain our forgiveness.
  4. We think we must meet face to face or resume the relationship: forgiveness happens in your heart when you release another person from the expectation that they will never be able to make right the hurt they caused you and when you stop identifying that person by their offense.
  5. We’re afraid we won’t be able to forget the offense: To forgive and forget is something only God is capable of (Isaiah 43: 25). We have memories and perhaps for our protection, or tend to remember hurtful things. When the offense comes to mind, remind yourself. “I have released that person from his/her obligation towards me” and move on, mentally and emotionally.

The forgiving life is a channel through which people may be won for Christ. When you forgive others, you are showing the manifold greatness of God’s grace, mercies and generosity. Can you make that first move to forgive your offenders and release yourself? You won’t be letting the other person off the hook only but you will, instead be releasing yourself to live freely by freely forgiving.