01. December 2017 · Comments Off on HOW BRIGHT IS YOUR LIGHT SHINING? · Categories: Identity, Jesus Christ, Light, Relationship

You are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14,16 AMP).

Beloved, I remember when someone once asked the question during one of our gathering; what does our feature text mean and as Christians, how can we apply it to our daily living? The general consensus was that regardless of what we are passing through, we should always live a life that sends a positive message about our God to our neighbours, colleges, friends, and everyone around us.

I remember a story I heard about a time a non-believer was on an airplane and all of a sudden they were alerted that there was major turbulence or something more serious. However, while everyone was panicking, this non-believer went about saying confidently that nothing was going to happen to the plane. When asked why he was so confident, he said it was because he saw Billy Graham board the plane with them.

Isn’t that something? A non-believer being assured of the fact that because of you, they are safe. That your grace would cover them and the fact that your GOD IS ABLE. The one thing I hope is that Billy Graham also felt that way.

Beloved, as the light of this world, how do people in your neighbourhood, your workplace or wherever you find yourself see you?

It makes me think of the time Paul and Silas were locked up in prison. The Bible tells us that… About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, AND THE OTHER PRISONERS WERE LISTENING TO THEM. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once ALL THE PRISON DOORS FLEW OPEN, AND EVERYONE’S CHAINS CAME LOOSE. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” (Acts 16:25-31 NIV)

Beloved, has your action or lifestyle provoked anyone to ask the question; WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED? HOW BRIGHT IS YOUR LIGHT SHINING?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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12. November 2017 · Comments Off on THE PASSING AWAY OF OLD DESIRES · Categories: Change, Choices, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Identity, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Salvation, Sin

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)

Beloved, I remember once when I was on the plane travelling. I hadn’t slept the night before so was hoping to catch a nap once on board but had to struggle to stay awake just so I wouldn’t miss the free meal served on the flight. However, to my disappointment, when the meal finally arrived, though it looked good, however, because I had a cold, my taste buds were gone. I couldn’t taste a thing. I did everything to try and clear my noise but to no avail. As for the food, I tried to add salt but still no taste. My blocked senses prevented me from enjoying my food. It got to the point where I had to say; “what’s the point?” I’m getting no pleasure whatsoever from eating this meal. I’m just wasting calories that could be used on something else. I was only eating and imagining how the food tasted based on my past knowledge of how it should taste.

As usual, the Lord started to minister to me. He started making me see that that’s how sin should feel to a born-again believer with a regenerated spirit. Though it may look attractive and seems like it should feel good to the flesh but that’s the old self trying to inform your mind. However, that old self is dead so if peradventure you find yourself falling into sin, it shouldn’t give you any pleasure. You have to get to the point where you say; “what’s the point?” I’m really getting no pleasure out of this.

Beloved, I once heard that when a pig falls into mud, it says; yes, this is home. It gets comfortable and it rolls and rolls in it. But it’s not the same with a sheep. They fail in the mud and immediately cry out for help. That should be the condition of every Spirit-filled believer that has allowed the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in them so He can begin the work of transforming us into the image of Christ. It’s… [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight (Philippians 2:13 AMPC).

I’ve previously shared of how we tend to interpret the following verse wrongly. When the Lord says … Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4 NKJV),… we think it means He would give us all those things we’ve been longing for. However, what the text is really saying is that He would plant desires in your heart that you start to long for.

Beloved, are you still deriving pleasures from old things that should have passed away? Or are you allowing the Lord to be at work in you to give you new desires?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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16. October 2017 · Comments Off on COME OUT OF THE LAND OF DESPAIR · Categories: Identity, Jesus Christ, Restoration, Trusting God

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; DO NOT DEPEND ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

Beloved, the thought that one’s situations can change in a matter of seconds is sometimes very hard to grasp. We look all around us and think that there’s no way it can ever happen but our feature text says … DO NOT DEPEND ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. However, that’s where we get stuck. We try to reason things out and are quick to conclude that there’s no hope. We then find ourselves in a state of despair. We feel nothing will ever turn out well.

Such was Mephiboshet’s case… who was crippled as a child. He was five years old when the report came from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle. When the child’s nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled. But as she hurried away, she dropped him, and he became crippled (2 Samuel 4:4 NLT).

His misery started at an early age so he grew up accepting his fate. What else was he to do? Father and grandfather dead and he was crippled but then he didn’t see this coming. No leaning on his own understanding could work this one out… ONE DAY David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” … Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.” “Where is he?” the king asked. “IN LO-DEBAR,” Ziba told him…” (2 Samuel 9:1-4 NLT)

LO-DEBAR means a place of no pasture, barren land, land of desolation; basically, nothing’s happening there but that fateful day was his moment to leave that Land… David sent for him and … When he came to David… David said… I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will EAT HERE WITH ME AT THE KING’S TABLE!” Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to A DEAD DOG like me?” (2 Samuel 9:5-8 NLT)

DEAD DOG? What a state of despair? Anyway, that was in the past. SO, WHAT WAS HIS NEW STATUS?… from that time on, Mephibosheth ate regularly at David’s table… all the members of Ziba’s household were Mephibosheth’s servants. And Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem and ate regularly at the king’s table (2 SAMUEL 9:11-13 NLT).

Beloved, from a man with no hope for the future to a property (s) owner with many servants who now dines with the king – all in one day. Now, if this happened because of a man’s promise, why can’t you believe the Lord’s promise to change your situation? It’s time to come out of the land of despair and start believing God for what seems impossible.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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24. September 2017 · Comments Off on ADDRESSING DIVISION IN THE HOUSE · Categories: Holy Spirit, Identity, Jealousy, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Spiritual Growth, Talents

Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ… I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose (1 Corinthians 1:7, 10 NLT).

Beloved, when I first started to meditate on 1 Corinthians 1, the first thought that came to mind was “The Struggles of a gifted house” and ‘house’ here isn’t just limited to a church or ministry but even one’s household or every environment that is heavily stocked with gifted people. Unfortunately, in such environments, you often find competition where one wants to outdo the other and the focus is then on the gift. Such was the case with the Corinthian Church which was a very gifted house but unfortunately, this is what causes division in the Church.

Apostle Paul who was addressing this condition in the church went on to say… some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.” Has Christ been divided into factions?… (1 Corinthians 1:11-13 NLT)

What happened was that Apostle Paul taught the gospel in Corinth for a while but then, he left Apollos to preach and teach in his absence. However, when he was away, he began to receive disturbing reports of the discord taking place in the church in Corinth.

Apparently, Apollos was a very eloquent speaker; a gift he used to preach the gospel (Acts 18:24) and so, you can imagine that people began to take sides. However, Apostle Paul felt this was worldly and a sure sign of immaturity. He said… when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in Christ… for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other… Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,”… After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants… I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it… It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS THAT GOD MAKES THE SEED GROW. THE ONE WHO PLANTS AND THE ONE WHO WATERS WORK TOGETHER WITH THE SAME PURPOSE… (1 Corinthians 3:1-8 NLT).

Beloved, Apostle Paul said comparing ourselves with each other is not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12). It is immature and it causes division in the body of Christ and it’s a condition of the heart we must address. After all, are we not ONE BODY but with many parts put together to fulfil the Lord’s purpose (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)?

SELAH!

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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10. September 2017 · Comments Off on KNOWING WHO YOU ARE · Categories: Identity, Jesus Christ, Relationship

Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “YOU ARE THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because My Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. NOW I SAY TO YOU THAT YOU ARE PETER (which means ‘rock’)… (Matthew 16:15-18 NLT).

Beloved, ‘Identity crisis’ is a period in a person’s life characterised by uncertainty and confusion; a time when one is uncertain about who they really are and what they’ve been placed on this earth to do. This happens to many people and as a result they answer what other people call them; they allow people to define them. They end up having multiple personalities because they want to please everybody. They also look to various things to give them their identity… success, power, wealth, control, outward beauty… you name it. But like we see in Peter’s case, when you tell Jesus who He is to you, He in turn tells you who you are.

If only we could put in as much of the effort that we spend in chasing after people and trying to gain their approval; If we could channel that effort into seeking Jesus and getting a revelation of who He really is, then be sure to find your identity in Him… ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being… (Acts 17:28 NIV) and He has said… apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NIV).

Beloved, if in Him you live and move, then the answer to the question about where you are going should be where He is going. Stop fighting for the driving seat. Also, stop trying to seek people’s approval. That’s how you find freedom to be who God has called you to be. You will find you are no longer afraid to even fail. What will people say? What about what Jesus will say. He knows you might fail. He also knows you will get back up. He said… Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has asked excessively that [all of] you be given up to him [out of the power and keeping of God], that he might sift [all of] you like grain, BUT I HAVE PRAYED ESPECIALLY FOR YOU [Peter], that your [own] faith may not fail; AND WHEN YOU YOURSELF HAVE TURNED AGAIN, strengthen and establish your brethren (Luke 22:31-32 AMPC).

Beloved, if you are in any kind of identity crisis and tired of people tossing you about, why not turn to Jesus. Start by spending quality time in worship…Tell Him… Lord, you are the Alpha and the Omega… the Lion of the tribe of Judah… my Redeemer… And then He would turn around and say O yeah… You are…… allow Him to fill the gaps.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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31. August 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T ALLOW PEOPLE CAUSE YOU TO DOUBT WHO YOU ARE · Categories: Identity, Jesus Christ

The Lord said to satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].” (Job 1:8 AMP)

Beloved, we know the story of Job who after the calamity that befell him, his friends had something to say. So, they took it in turns to let him have it. They tried to make out that the predicament that he was in was his fault. They said it was because of his sin. One in particular called Bildad had this to say about Job as Job tried to defend his innocence. He said… “If you would [diligently] seek God And implore the compassion and favor of the Almighty, Then, if you are pure and upright, Surely now He will awaken for you And restore your righteous place (Job 8:5‭-‬6 AMP)‎.

IF YOU ARE PURE AND UPRIGHT…

Beloved, the thing to note about this as we’ve read in our feature text is that this was actually the way God described Job when satan came like a roaring Lion looking for who to devour. The Lord said…‎ Have you considered My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man‎.

The Lord repeated this again the second time satan came to ask for more… The Lord said to satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God]. And still he maintains and holds tightly to his integrity, although you incited Me against him to destroy him without cause.” (Job 2:3 AMP)

However, we see his friend trying to convince him otherwise because people would always have something to say and they would want to prove that they know what’s up‎.

Bildad was not alone. Jobs other friend, Elihu also said… ‘Job ought to be tried to the limit because he answers like wicked men! ‘For he adds rebellion [in his unsubmissive, defiant attitude toward God] to his [unacknowledged] sin; He claps his hands among us [in open mockery and contempt of God], And he multiplies his words [of accusation] against God.’” (Job 34:36‭-‬37 AMP)

HIS UNSUBMISSIVE, DEFIANT ATTITUDE TOWARD GOD…

But didn’t God tell satan that Job was… one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].”

Beloved, people would always make assumptions about you but their assumptions are not always a reflection of how God sees you. The Lord knows who you truly are and what is in your heart ‎so this isn’t the time to spend all your energy or lose sleep trying to defend who you are. Remember… when a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7 NKJV).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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01. July 2017 · Comments Off on THE VALIDATION TEST · Categories: Identity, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Spiritual Growth, Victory

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God…” (Matthew 4:1-3 NKJV)

Beloved, everybody goes through trials. But then there are periods when they come all at once; one trial after another. You are barely out of one before another one hits you. You feel like you are in a boxing match; blows coming from everywhere. You fall down and just as you are trying to pick yourself up, another one hits you from nowhere. At such times, no matter how much you know about the word of God, you can’t make sense of anything. You’ve prayed and prayed and no relief. It’s at such times that you question the very core of who you are but don’t faint until you hear from Jesus.

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.” (Matthew 3:16-17 NKJV)

Beloved, ….THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED… is validation and endorsement from God. God put His STAMP OF APPROVAL on Jesus. But then what happens next? Satan came with the “If You are the Son of God” questions…

Unfortunately, many of us have been through the kind of trials that have made us question our identity. The kind that would make you say; “maybe I’m not really saved; maybe God doesn’t love me; maybe it’s payback for my past; maybe… maybe… maybe…”

But that’s the devil speaking. He confronted Jesus with… ‘If You are the Son of God…’ several times and every time Jesus answered and said, “IT IS WRITTEN”…

That’s why we need to know what is written. That shuts the devil up. Seeing that Jesus knew His identity and authority as the beloved Son of God and couldn’t be tempted in that area, He then tried to buy Jesus over. This time not with the ‘If you are the Son of God’ tactic but more like; “OK, we both know that You know who You are but let’s negotiate. Let me buy you over. However, Jesus… said to him, “AWAY WITH YOU, Satan! FOR IT IS WRITTEN, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” (Matthew 4:10 NKJV).

Beloved, Jesus passed the test because He was able to put satan in his rightful position… “AWAY WITH YOU, Satan”.

There are so many tests we will face as beloved children of God but for every test, you should be able to say… AWAY WITH YOU, Satan! I know who I am… FOR IT IS WRITTEN… However, the question is; do you know who you really are? Please know today that you are the beloved, son/daughter of the Most High God. Don’t ever allow the enemy steal your identity.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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23. May 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T FALL FOR THE COMPARISM TRAP ‏ · Categories: Comparism, Contentment, Identity, Jesus Christ, Relationship

When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song: “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!” This made Saul very angry. “What’s this?” he said. “They credit David with ten thousands and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!” So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David (1 Samuel 18:6-9 NLT).

Beloved, I remember listening to someone say that the reason David got into so much trouble with King Saul was because of people and not anything that David personally did. David was very faithful to Saul. He went wherever Saul sent him. Saul was very pleased with him and so made him a commander over the men of war. However, we see from our feature text that people started comparing both of them and as a result, Saul became Jealous and from then on had only one thing on his mind which was to get rid of David. As a result, he began to watch his every move. He followed him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc wanting to know what he was up to and where he would be so that he could track him down. Poor David who displayed no element of pride was now constantly on the run.

Beloved, how does this apply to us? Well, we do this every day without realising it. We compare our children to other people’s children and even to one another. We say can’t you see what your sister did yesterday. We compare our spouses to somebody else’s forgetting that the grass always seems greener from the other side. We compare our friends, our staff and other work colleagues to one another and before you know it unhealthy competition starts to lead to something else.

So, what could the women have done? I’m not saying they should deny the fact that David was successful but they could have replaced “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands” with “David has killed ten thousands”. There was no need for the comparism.

Beloved, we need to allow people to be the best at their level. Train your child to be the best at who they are. Set them up to run their own race. As for you, first of all, don’t let people compare you to others. Don’t allow them put you on a pedestal too high for you. They may just be setting you up for a fall. Secondly, don’t spend the rest of your life trying to be who God hasn’t called you to be. Be the best you that you can be. Be happy and content at your level because… [it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain (1 Timothy 6:6 AMP).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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14. March 2017 · Comments Off on THE PRICELESS VALUE OF KNOWING CHRIST · Categories: God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Identity, Jesus Christ, Power and Authority, Relationship, Revelation, Spiritual Growth, Suffering

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death, SO THAT ONE WAY OR ANOTHER I WILL EXPERIENCE THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD! (Philippians 3:10-11 NLT)

Beloved, in our feature text, you almost get the sense that Apostle Paul is speaking as if there’s a danger of missing and coming short of knowing Christ and so was desperate to do whatever he needed to do. This was not because he thought he could do anything to gain his salvation. NO! This was a holy and reverential fear of shortcomings and probably the reason he urges us to… continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

Apostle Paul knew that there was some pressing forward to do. He needed to keep pressing on and needed whatever help he could get from our High Priest who had been there, done it, got the victory and has made help available for our own journey (Hebrews 4:15-16).

The reason Apostle Paul makes this statement in Philippians 3:10-11 is to know Jesus in a way that transformed him both spiritually and morally. He knew this could not be done in his on strength so was willing to do and suffer anything to gain access and experience the mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead. That same power dwells in us and is working in us to change us (Romans 8:11).

Beloved, Jesus Christ has made available for us the power we need to change into His image and likeness and personally, I don’t want to dance around that power but tap into it and see it working in my life – I want to know and experience all of Jesus and I’m not deceived. It may take some tears, some suffering, letting go of things and dying daily to self.

Apostle Paul went on to say… Finally my dear brothers and sisters… Not that I have already attained this—that is, I have not already been perfected—but I strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus also laid hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have attained this. Instead I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead, with this goal in mind, I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14 NET).

Beloved, we would not reach complete perfection until when Christ returns to take us into His eternal kingdom but it is my earnest prayer that we ask for the strength and grace to press on and strive towards the price. I pray that God opens our eyes to understand what we need to do to know Him more… the strength to surrender to His will in our garden of Gethsemane, carry our cross and to allow what needs to die in us die so that we can live for Him.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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04. March 2017 · Comments Off on GENUINE LOVE WILL TELL YOU WHERE YOU ARE MISSING IT · Categories: Action, Discipline, God's Plan, Identity, Jesus Christ, Trusting God

As Jesus was starting out on His way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to Him… and asked… what must I do to inherit eternal life?” …Looking at the man, JESUS FELT GENUINE LOVE FOR HIM. “THERE IS STILL ONE THING YOU HAVEN’T DONE,” HE TOLD HIM. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions (Mark 10:17-22 NLT).

Beloved, recently, I was listening to a prominent preacher say something that made me laugh. He said “away with this new, ‘feel good’ God many are presenting in our churches today who would not point out your wrong doings. He went on to say that the fact that the Father chastises you is proof that you are a legitimate son of His (Hebrews 12:6-11).

As I was meditating on our feature text, I remembered what he said. Here, we see this man wanting to know what to do to inherit eternal life and out of genuine love for him, Jesus told him that “there is still one thing you haven’t done.”

Beloved, this tells me ‎that genuine love would point out the things in your life that would make you miss what the Lord has for you. You can’t tell me that you would see a child putting their hand in fire but say nothing just because you don’t want to offend them. Is that genuine love?

Today, we hear many people say “don’t talk to people about their sin or wrong doing. It is better to just love them and make them feel good but can you back it up with one Scripture?

Well… there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12 NKJV).

The emphasis here is on ‘seems’ because what seems right to man may not necessarily be right.

The problem here is what our understanding of chastisement is and this is mainly based on how our earthly parents and other authoritative figures i.e. teachers chastised us‎. Recently, a pastor was telling me that a pastor he knows told him that He sees God as a wicked God who is always out to punish him but this perception is based on his own relationship with his earthly father who was just mean.

Beloved, what we need in the body of Christ is to heal this wounds people carry so they can see God correctly. Yes, He would point out where you are missing it but that’s because He genuinely loves you. When you have genuine love for someone, you have their best interest at heart.

Beloved… All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT). Let’s rid ourselves of our ‘it is better to do this’ opinions and go back to what the Bible says.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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