Thursday, 27 January 2011

Billy Graham's pieces of advice to younger generation

He was asked, "If you could, would you go back and do anything differently?"

He answered, "Yes, of course. I'd spend more time at home with my family, and I'd study more and preach less. I wouldn't have taken so many speaking engagements, including some of the things I did over the years that I probably didn't really need to do—weddings and funerals and building dedications, things like that. Whenever I counsel someone who feels called to be an evangelist, I always urge them to guard their time and not feel like they have to do everything.

I also would have steered clear of politics. I'm grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes crossed the line, and I wouldn't do that now."

Billy is a man that many of us can look at as an example. I'll take heed to this advice. I hope that you equally do.

Read the whole Q & A here.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Enemies of the cross

“For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ” Phill.3:18 NLT

A careful examination of this passage shows that the people Paul is calling enemies of the cross of Christ are not men outside the church. Perhaps, they were once disciples and believers in Christ but now have become enemies of the cross. That is why Paul talks about them with tears in his eyes. Why tears? Firstly because they have been deceived and lost. Secondly they have the potential to deceive and become a bad example to others. Hence Paul’s admonition: “Pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example” Phil.3:17.

Also from Vs18, it’s as if these people have some cloaks on them which can deceive except you look very carefully. It’s as if there are things in their lives that you look at and you conclude that they are disciples except their conducts. If you look at the way they live, you will discover that they are REALLY enemies of the cross of Christ.

There are 4 characteristics Paul gives us here for these enemies of the cross of Christ:
1. Their god is their appetite: The reason why they are in the church and teach and say what they say is because of their belly. Their appetite drives them. There are people that have been pummeled with the deception: ‘sow seeds into the life of the man of God’. So since last December, they have been sowing – seed for children because it was Christmas (pity those who are either childless or have problematic children), seed for cross over because the year was coming to an end, seed of new year because the year just began, seed for covenant after the fasting and prayers, seed for the new month, seed for the new week, Easter/resurrection seed so that every dead around you will rise, seed of quarterly thanksgiving, harvest seeds, pastor’s birthday seed, pastor’s marriage anniversary seeds, promotion seed, favour seed etc. I can go on and on to list the different names that deceivers have used to exploit gullible and vulnerable men and women in order to enrich themselves. All they scheme is how they can get more to satisfy their appetite.
2. They brag about shameful things – in fact, they glory in them: A man once was telling a story how he gave “Holy Ghost” slap to his interpreter on the stage because he was making some mistakes while he was preaching. He lost his temper and slapped another man’s servant in front of the congregation and has the audacity to talk about it without remorse! A brother abandons his wife and children and gets entangled with another woman and some churches still carry him in honour even give him some positions because he has money. Lord Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word of God. But we have changed it by the way we live saying, ‘man shall not live by the Word of God alone but by any bread you can lay hands upon’. Many shameful glories! Somebody just finished killing another person he considers to be his enemy by 12.00am in the midnight through ‘dangerous prayers’ and witchcraft using the ‘name of Jesus’ and comes in the morning to give it as a testimony and we brag about it.
3. All they think about is this life here on earth: When the Bible is saying that we should set our minds on things above, the enemies of the cross say no we should set our minds on the things of this life. The cross gets us to die to this world and be alive unto God but they teach contrarily. They teach both by word and deeds that we have to be very much alive to this world. The components of the world have to do with the lusts of the eye, lusts of the flesh and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16). All the rat race and scheming for privilege, power and position even in the churches focus us here and make us forget that we are citizens of heaven. They make us live as enemies of the cross of Christ.
4. Their future is eternal destruction: Paul concludes that eternal destruction is actually the end of those that live as enemies of the cross of Christ it is not possible to live for this world and heaven at the same time. We cannot set our minds on both the things that are above and the things of this world altogether and expect to carry our cross daily. These all lead to confusion in this life and eternal destruction in the life to come. No wonder Paul was saying it with tears in his eyes.
May God help us not to live as enemies of the cross Christ! Amen.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Beware of liars

This is another year that the Lord has granted us the privilege to enter. He has ordained everything that concerns you and all that are yours. As you walk with Him in relationship and obedience, He will perfect all that relates to you and bring you to a place of fulfillment. He has promised, “Never will I leave you and never will I forsake you”. Heb.13:5

However, you have to ‘beware of dogs’ Phil.3:2. Those wicked and mutilators of God’s Word. They come in different garbs and tend to speak for God but the truth is that their god is their appetite. They will speak and declare all kinds of things even when the Lord has not spoken.

At the beginning of every year, people are full of expectations. By our make up, we want new beginnings and look forward to better things. This is not bad in itself. But if you do not remember that the God that saw you through 2010 is still alive and watches over you and will definitely see you through 2011, you will become gullible. Nothing makes January more divine than February. Nothing makes March more divine than April and every other month. After all, we must not forget that the world has used all kinds of dating systems before now and what we are using today was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582. There is nothing divine about it.

The fasting that many of us do at the beginning of the year is for us and not for God. It is for us to prepare ourselves for whatever God may want to do just like every other time we set apart to seek His face. It is not a way to bribe God for the year. Some of these liars may even confuse us to sow some certain ‘seeds’ for 2011 as if we have to invest for the year and go and sit down with a hand-fan telling our hearts that we have paid our bills.

There is nothing that makes January different from December in divine agenda. What God does in our lives is an ongoing thing. This January and in fact 2011, God will continue what He has been doing in your life in December 2010 and through the past years. They are all connected. For example, if there is any demand of obedience that God was making on our life last December, He will not suddenly change it just because one man declared 2011, ‘A year of laughter’, or ‘A year of new favours’ or any other tag like the ones you see on car and door stickers. For your personal spiritual health, the best thing to do is to listen to God’s instructions and obey them. If you do, you will be blessed.

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11 NIV

Your life here on earth is like a single string that connects your birth and your death. It has no breaks. The plan God has for your life connects from one end to the other and beyond. It is only by following Him will that plan be accomplished. 2011 is only a part of the piece where the plan works out. God bless you!