How To Turn Water Into Wine.

I enjoyed reading this article from @Praise George. I think you will too!
Enjoy.

Praise George

How To Turn Water Into Wine.

Hello everyone. How are you doing today? I want to share with you this message the Lord dropped in my heart: how to turn water into wine.

The very first miracle that Jesus performed was at a wedding ceremony in Cana of Galilee. Being the very first miracle he performed, it will give us an insight into how Jesus operates, how he performs miracles and how we can align ourselves with his will to experience those same miracles in our lives.

There was an invitation.
Jesus was invited to the wedding. John 2:2, Now Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding.
It all begins with an invitation. An invitation is a powerful thing. An invitation gives you access to a place, to a person or to an event. In this instance Jesus was given an invitation to attend a wedding. An invitation…

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Accolades

Matthew 21 tells the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. It is interesting to read that the disciples had to go and untie the donkey from a certain spot. That means someone tied the donkey there.

That someone is not named but he or she played an important role in God’s kingdom. Accolade, especially the accolades of men, does not equate to heavy impact on an eternal scale. Simple obedience to God’s little instructions can lead to real greatness!

This individual was part of the fulfillment of a prophetic declaration which had been made hundreds of years before in Isaiah 62. Could this individual be you? Would you obey those simple inspired thoughts that come in the place of private fellowship with God?

Don’t despise your inspiration to do what is perceived as simple, insignificant or even weird. Be led by the Spirit and the Word (the Bible). Spend time with God in the place of prayer and meditation so that you can discern His voice. Then, simply obey!

God gives the best accolades! They last forever. 🙏🏾💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽
#realaccolade
#alisteningheart
#lovingthelord

She simply obeyed!

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Matthew 26:6-13. Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

  • What inspired this woman to do this? This was what we would call a prophetic act but as far as we know, she was not filled with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit had not been released to live within men at that time. How would she have known that she should take that bottle of perfume and pour it on Jesus’ head, in front of all those people?
  • It would have taken tremendous courage at that time to do something like this. She moved as God moved her. She simply obeyed an inspired thought and she ended up on an eternal platform!
  • We are all created by God in His image and He is able to speak to our hearts. We all have a choice, however, to obey the inspiration of the Lord or to discard it. Our consciences bear witness with us that we can do what is right and recognise what is wrong, inappropriate or unacceptable, from a very early age. This is made clearer when we see accidents caused by people ‘driving under the influence’. Without corrupting influences, more importantly with positive, biblical influences, we are able to follow God’s inspiration.
  • This woman’s solitary connection with Jesus changed her destiny forever. She gave all that she had; according to witnesses, she wasted her life savings on God (in obedience to an inner prompting) but she reaped eternal recognition.
  • From the point when she poured our this precious perfume to the point of her death, she probably couldn’t have imagined the far-reaching implications of her simple obedience. We still don’t know her name. We do recognise her action: an act of faith, a demonstration of her faith in God and in the Lord Jesus.
  • There was nothing to receive from this offering in the eyes of men. It was a ‘burnt offering’; poured out with nothing expected in return. She didn’t set out to give so she would receive; she just obeyed and walked away.

I am learning, like this woman, to fill my heart with God’s word so that I can obey the leading of the Holy Spirit and walk away. I am learning not to seek out or to understand the multiple ramifications of obeying these promptings, but simply to ascertain that the inspired thoughts do not go against God’s word. I am learning to ‘walk on water’ when I hear or I sense the Lord encouraging me to come.

Walk by faith; believe that your obedience is bringing God pleasure and is fulfilling destiny and He will glorify Himself through you.

Blessings.

Joy

Help! What time is it?

UNDERSTANDING THE TIMES YOU ARE IN

There is an incredible need to be well aware of the physical, spiritual and economic times that we are in. The global economic trends are a pointer to the need for discernment in investment, in the workplace and in business practices and relationships. The same applies to the physical and the spiritual atmospheres we currently create around ourselves. There seems to be the need to belt up, closely analyse and reflection on the varied elements of what we call our ‘status quo’. Let’s examine three stories (case studies) from the bible to help us with our reflection.

CASE STUDIES

 

King David (1 Samuel 30: 1-31)

Just around the corner from a great victory over a formidable enemy, distress, contention, and a form of defeat or failure assaulted David. The enemy kidnapped the families of David’s men, including his own wives. Imagine going out to war and vanquishing the enemy, only to return and meet a raided camp! In response, he encouraged himself in God – he remembered the faithfulness of God over the years and he believed that God had the answers to his current problems. He deliberately spent time seeking God’s opinion concerning a course of action – he did not go in his military might. He asked God for specific instructions concerning his response to this affront by the enemy. He understood that the battle was won by the wisdom and direction of God Himself and all the glory must, therefore, go to God alone. He was not selfish with the booty – all the warriors had a share. He believed in the team, active and inactive.

Prophet Elijah (1 Kings 17, 18, 19)

Elijah had many highs and lows in his lifetime, some he seemed to manage well and others not so well. His most popular high was when he called fire from heaven on a sacrifice during a time of famine. That was swiftly followed by his most popular low point; when Queen Jezebel threatened his life and he fled. A careful study of chapters 17 to 19 will reveal a great deal of passion, faith, as well as uncertainty and, in his peculiar case, a transfer of baton.

Samson the Judge (Judges 13, 14, 15, 16)

Samson was a man ordained to be different, selected from birth the bring deliverance to his nation. He needed to fully understand his specific instructions for life and walk by them – regardless of what anyone else thought. He started off abiding by his unique code of conduct but then veered off course when he was drawn away by his sensual desires. In this case, he had specific instructions concerning relationships and marriage which he disregarded, and which ended up costing him his dignity, his honour and ultimately, his life. Such a high price to pay!

Summary

These three men had some understanding of the times they were in but responded differently. We – of necessity – must seek to understand the times we are in economically, physically and especially spiritually.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

It is a good idea to make a note of the thoughts and ideas that come to mind as you reflect on these questions over a few days. 

Economically:

  1. What’s my budget for expenses? What ‘spare money’ can I play with?
  2. What can I save? What do I need to save?
  3. What can I invest? In business, in myself for career development, in property, etc.
  4. What can I give to the kingdom?

Physically:

  1. How am I taking care of my body? Do I have a healthy lifestyle?
  2. Where am I in terms of my relationships with people? Am I at peace?
  3. Single – Am I ready (getting ready) for the responsibility of marriage? How am I preparing?
  4. Married – Am I building up stronger ties with my spouse and my children? What’s my household like?

Spiritually:

  1. Do I know what God is saying about this season?
  2. Do I believe I must hear God’s specific instructions to be successful?
  3. How am I building up myself in the knowledge of God?
  4. How do I preserve myself from defilement, compromise, fear and doubt?

Know who you are; know your season; know your instructions for life!

Joy

Am I a real friend?

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Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people, between communities and or nations.

When I call you a friend, I am assuming that there is a level of connection between us that extends beyond association based on proximity in neighbourhoods, community, workplace or family ties. My friend is someone I care about and someone I pay attention to. According to goodtherapy.org, Friendship is a close association between two people marked by feelings of care, respect, admiration, concern, love, or like.”

I reflect on the concept of friendship today as I am struck by the words in the book of James. James 4:4 highlights the importance of friendship with God.

  • Can I truly say I am a friend of God – we all sing the song anyway, so…?
  • Do I have a close association with God?
  • Do I care for and respect Him – His wishes, desires and needs?
  • Do I admire Him?
  • Do I show concern about His wishes, desires and needs?
  • Without a positive response to all of the above, how can I truly say that I love God?
  • Do I even like Him?

I am aware that for some readers, a reference to the Supreme Being with such simple, humanistic terms may seem offensive and belittling. Truth is, God wants to walk with us like He did with Adam and Eve (Genesis 3); God wants to be friends with us!

Check out Abraham. In Genesis 18:16-32, we see the conversation between the Lord God and Abraham over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. It reads like a conversation between people who have mutual respect for each other’s opinions. This friendship was confirmed in James 2:23, “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God.”

Am I really a friend of God? A better question would be: how can I become God’s friend? How can I have a close association with Him that is marked by feelings of care, respect, admiration, concern, love, or like? I know God is willing so I guess I just need to look to Him and express my interest in getting to know Him more. Could it be that simple? Can I just say hello, and He will answer me?

God has shared His wishes, desires and needs in the Bible, so that would be a great place to start. Read through His word so that you get to know Him more. Ask about Him from others around you. Most importantly, reach out to Him every day; He’s only a prayer away!

Joy Isa

 

 

THE MIND: THE POWER OF INFLUENCE

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The mind is like a computer memory – it records data and feeds us back when we require it to or when we stimulate it. Our beliefs and convictions are stored in the mind and so the mind is really a powerful place. Psychologists say that, in up to 15% of cases, people with certain illnesses such as High blood pressure, Low blood pressure, hypertension and people who have heart attacks need to work on their minds.

 

Man is a spirit, lives in a body and has a soul (mind). We spend hours on end looking after the body – spa treatments, food, exercise, etc. We sometimes feed our spirits by attending church services, reading the Bible, praying and worshiping; which also constitute spiritual exercises. What do we do with the soul, the mind?

What do we deliberately do with the mind? Most times – nothing. The mind has become the junkyard where everything is dumped and the resultant effect…. Garbage in, garbage out.

 

Let’s consider some examples to help us understand how the power of the mind. In a classroom, a teacher meets two children. John has memorised his times tables and can chant them correctly but always in order. James understands the reasoning behind times tables and is, therefore, able to think through given problems at random. Because the James has engaged his mind in an analytical capacity, he doesn’t need to chant in order to recall his timed tables facts. Most athletes, apart from having a coach, have a ‘mentor/chaplain’ type person to give the periodic ‘pep-talks’ that are a vital moral booster. One retired Pro-basket ball player was asked to give advice to some rookies and he said, “If you don’t believe you have what it takes to go out there and beat Michael Jordan, you ain’t going nowhere in Pro-basket ball.” Top executives of multinationals are all hiring motivational speakers to empower their staff to excel.

 

 

What’s all the fuss about the mind? Proverbs 4: 20-23 sheds some light on the matter:

“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ears to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” NKJV. Verse 23 is translated in The Message/Remix as: “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” The Bible often uses the word ‘heart’ to refer to the nucleus of your soul, which is your mind; not necessarily your physical heart that keeps the body going. We are advised to guard our hearts because that’s where life starts.

When the Israelites, led by Moses, got to the land of Canaan, spies were sent in to sample the land and its people. The feedback from the majority was hopelessness and as such God could not take them in to conquer the land. The battles that had not yet been fought were already lost. Numbers 13: 30-33,

“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, ‘Let us go up at once and take possession for we are well able to overcome it.’ But the men who had gone up with him said, ‘We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we are.’ And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out saying, ‘The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from Giants) and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight and so we were in their sight.”

Even if they felt they were grasshoppers, how did they know for sure that the Giants thought the same of them?

When Joshua and the Israelites had crossed the Jordan and were advancing towards Jericho, they were not exactly confident. Spies were again sent in to sample the land and its people and the feedback was unbelievable. The people of Jericho had not seen them yet, but only heard about their exploits; really and truly, the battle was won!  Joshua 2: 9-11,

“…I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.”

The Israelites who went out with Joshua and Caleb transposed their own opinion of who they were onto the Giants. We are also guilty of such transpositions. The following is a paraphrased version of an actual story in the life of a newly married couple.

Jolly June was an intelligent young girl who heard repeatedly from her mother that you could never trust a man. She meets and marries Bright Ray – a devout Christian. Bright Ray gets a new job which gives him a higher profile and longer hours at work. Jolly June goes in to visit once and sees the hot babes in miniskirts that are Bright Ray’s new colleagues. Her mind begins to wonder about the contents of the meetings at odd hours. Bright Ray comes home one night smelling of smoke, garlic and perfume – alarm bells begin to ring! Jolly June begins to harass, moan and nag and after a while, Bright Ray gets fed up of not being trusted. He considers his options:

  1. Give in to and try out the temptations?
  2. Walk away from his untrusting wife?

Our mindsets can really break or make us. In the two scriptures we looked at, we saw examples of the mind ‘breaking’ the people. Now let’s see the mind ‘making’ a man.

This is the story of a young man David, going out to deliver provisions to his older brothers who are in a war camp in the Valley of Elah. Unknown to him, his brothers and the rest of the warriors had been terrorised by Goliath, a Philistine giant who had challenged the Israelites to settle the war with a single duel. When David arrived and delivered the provisions, Goliath showed up again and repeated the same words:

“…Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. Bit if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us… I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we may fight together.” 1 Sam17:8-10, NKJV

All the Israelites heard the same words but one man responded differently.

…What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 1 Sam 17:26, NKJV

David’s response was different because his mind was full of the experiential knowledge of God’s power. No one could dissuade him; his mind was set on what he believed and God backed him up! The Israelite warriors were also set in what they believed and so couldn’t imagine ‘fighting’ such a man. They trusted their skills, their armour and because that couldn’t win this particular battle, all hope was lost for them.

There is an on-going battle for the mind that we must win in order to maintain our position of victory in Christ. Goliath was a sight – certainly not for sore eyes- and his words matched his size. There are many ‘Goliaths’ in our day but let us consider just one: The Goliath called TV Series. What we see and what we hear especially about family life can quickly become what we believe. The airwaves are full of such twisted values; far removed from what God originally intended. Little wonder that our lives are advancing in the same direction. When all we see is unfaithfulness in families, it comes as no surprise and we even begin to anticipate similar behaviour from our spouses and our children. Questionable behaviour results in you arriving at such dire conclusions mentally, that your thoughts would make a good script for an episode in any of the leading TV series. The Bible says – to the pure, all things are pure; blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God; all things are lawful but not all things are expedient.

We really must go for therapy at the Spa of Righteousness and get a cleansing of the mind.

“ And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Rom 12: 1-2

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy –meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do and the God of peace will be with you.” Phil 4:8-9

I trust that you’ve been stirred to re-think your mindset or disposition about who you are and what you believe. The next step will be to come up with a specific, strategic plan to deliberately feed on the right nourishment that will result in a sound mind.

Joy Isa

Through the eyes of a child

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It is often so hard to wake up in the morning, after only 6 hours of sleep. I thought I heard the doctor tell mum that I needed 10 hours.

Life is just too much trouble. It’s no fun getting to school with a rumble in my tummy and having to wait until the short break before I eat breakfast. Lunch is just as bad because it is cold and the water is warm. Thank God I have juice today.  Then comes homework. I think the teachers just like to punish us by drowning us in homework! It takes forever to do the work and by the time I’m done, I’m so tired!

I wonder what happened to the good-old-days mum and dad talk about when they were little. Why don’t we have parks anymore where I can play? Why are there so many cars on the road so I’m not allowed to ride my bike? Why are there no trees to climb anymore? I wonder why?

This is the story of the average Nigerian child who lives in Lagos. From as young as 6 months, children are shipped off to different schools and daycare centres at dawn, only to return at dusk. From the various road expansion projects and the current financial instability causing parents to work longer hours, to the vibrant social life of Lagosians resulting in late nights even on weekends, children have literarily been taken off the ‘urgent and important’ quadrants of their parents. These precious gifts from God – who we all work so hard for – are often overlooked in the scheme of things.

We provide good quality education, we provide toys and computer games, we provide nannies and drivers, we even provide ‘lesson teachers’ to support what the schools are doing. The one thing we seem unable to provide is that which is needful – quality time engaging our children. “There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

At this point, I can almost hear the sighs and hisses of guilt-struck mothers and fathers wondering what to do. Where do I get the time to spend quality time with my family? What do you mean by quality time? Does that mean I can’t take my much-needed siesta after service on Sundays because I need to spend time with my children?

Quality time, through the eyes of a child, is this:

  • The time taken to notice that my uniform has become too small and I need a new one even though it’s not the end of the school year;
  • The time taken to listen when I moan about my classmates calling me names;
  • The time taken to teach me to tie my shoe laces for the 14th time so I don’t trip on my way up the stairs in school;
  • The time taken to hold me and tell me I’m special when I feel my peers are all better, faster, taller, better looking and smarter than I am;
  • The time invested in sharing your personal experiences that can teach me to stand tall in the face of pressure;
  • The time taken to share your world with me and ask my opinion on ‘important’ stuff;
  • The time taken to attend my school concerts and assemblies so I can show you off to my friends;
  • The time taken to call me during the day, just to say you care;
  • The time taken to pray with me, strengthening me to face the world alone as I venture off to college;
  • The time taken to take me for my driving test, cheering me as I run the cones down;
  • The time taken to be my parent, my teacher, my friend.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives liberally and without reproach and it will be given him.” James 1:5. Praise God we can receive wisdom for improved time management, free of charge, from the Creator and the Redeemer of Time.

Blessings.

JI

 

 

 

Lead us not into temptation

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It is interesting that the Lord Jesus would ask us to make this a prayer: lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13). What is the deal with temptation anyway? Isn’t the problem with sin?

My thoughts led me to a number of areas but what hit me the most was what I rediscovered in James 1:13-15. “Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one. But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.” [AMPC]

Every person is tempted – it’s not peculiar to you or to me! No wonder the Lord Jesus said we should “watch and pray lest you enter into temptation…” Matthew 26:41 [NKJV]. I like the Amplified translation: “All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation…”

This happened when the disciples who Jesus had asked to pray with Him at the Garden of Gethsemane, just before the crucifixion, kept falling asleep instead of praying. I find that we are caught up in similar circumstances: we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life as we know it and are mostly spiritually ‘asleep’ and unable to watch and pray. It explains why we get drawn away by our lusts and passions so easily. It explains why we give in so easily when we are tempted. We need to pray.

It makes sense to simply obey God’s word. Then there is no need to struggle with anything really. We have the help of the Lord! We have the Holy Spirit to support us with life as we know it so that we can be spiritually ‘awake’; meaning that we can be spiritually cautious and active, receiving grace not to yield to temptation. This is such an encouragement! We are not alone; we don’t walk this road alone! Praise God!

So, what do we do now? Simply pray, as the Lord has encouraged, so that we do not fall into temptation. I like how one minister of God put it. He said: I have the potential to commit adultery, to murder and to do all the evil in the world that any man can think of. It just won’t happen today! – Andrew Wommack.

Our daily connection with God and dependence on the help of the Holy Spirit ensures that we are delivered from the temptations that come with each day. There’s no need to worry about falling short of God’s expectations tomorrow or sometime next week. Matthew 6:34 says:

“So, do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” [AMPC]

Pray and receive grace for today.

Blessings!

The Trap

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Reading through my bible study notes for the past year, I got to a page in ‘March’, and I have not been able to proceed. An interesting thought caught my attention and I must share it, but first some background. In the second book of Peter, Chapter 2, the first few verses tell us about what we have access to as we know God more. Let’s look at verses 2 & 3.

New International Version

“2- Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  3- His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness.”

The Amplified Version

“2- May grace (God’s favour) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3- For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).”

Reading through these, many nuggets can be taken away. One clear one for me is this: the more I know God, the more I am at peace. This, therefore, means that when I am agitated or afraid, it is a good time to increase my personal knowledge of God. That means I must read the bible for myself, in a version I understand, so that I can connect with the content and that way I get to know more about God. It is interesting that from this scripture, my peace is not increased by spiritual warfare but as my knowledge of God increased. Philippians 4:6-7 does encourage us to present our requests to God by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, and then God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds. We do understand that prayer is communion with our Father and our Lord. I see the need for a personal connection with God in fellowship (which is a combo of prayer, worship and bible study) to increase our levels of peace and free us from the “fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts” that we will be faced with in the coming years.

The second nugget is that I am called (destined) to be with God; to share in His nature. His divine power, His Holy Spirit, has provided all that I need for life and godliness. I find it amazing that I don’t need to struggle with lust, greed, pride and all unrighteousness; I must draw on God’s divine nature within me and let the knowledge of God progressively increase so that my flesh dries up and His divine nature is manifested through me. I must yield to the whispers of the Holy Spirit, which I can only hear as my connection with God is deliberately strengthen. Weak connections cannot transmit 4G signals! The coming years are times when 4G signals will become the minimum standard and we will need to upgrade to straight satellite connections. Think about that over the next few days and let God show you how this applies to you.

Verse 4 of second Peter is the main thought I’d like us to focus on.

New International Version

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

The Amplified Version

“By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.”

  • We escape the moral decay/corruption that is prevalent in the world by flight. There’s no easy way to avoid moral decay and unrighteousness; we must deliberately turn away, avoid, all that will erode our morals. You know what affects you and I know what affects me. The point is that the world continually throws up acidic principles which will numb our consciences and rot our values. It seems clearer to me why I need to progressively increase my personal connection with God – God’s living water is alkaline and it will wash away the acidity of the world so that I am renewed! Halleluyah.
  • We have everything we need which pertains to life and godliness. To truly live a life that has value in time and in eternity is possible because God has given me that access. Through my direct connection with God, I can live well; I can access divine empowerment for life on earth and I can also access eternal life! That’s awesome.
  • We must not fall into the trap set by covetousness (lust and greed). This makes sense on all levels. There is a trap set to slowly entice us away from things of eternal value and to erode our consciences so that we become numb. Our eyes see so much which we are encouraged to ‘aspire to get’. Yet, those things have no real value. It just occurred to me that there is a trap set that I must not fall into! That is freaky.

No one wants to feel trapped, swindled, defrauded, or cheated. There is a deliberate movement to promote modern-day idolatry among us. Most of us practically worship at the altar of our possessions: our cars, our exotic homes, our jewellery, our degrees, our hour-glass/six-pack bodies, our human connections (our group chats for example), and so on. We really need to stop and review.

How on earth did we become so vain, self-centered when we are supposed to be like Christ? Why aren’t we becoming more like Christ and sharing in the divine nature, which is the life God has called us to? What is going on?

It’s the trap. The trap of the world: lust and greed; lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life (1 John 2:16). In the coming years, we must not get caught in this trap. We must partake of the divine nature such that we can escape the corruption that is in the world through lusts. If you feel trapped already, there’s a clear way out. Be deliberate about your personal fellowship with God – go into your closet and shut the door (Matthew 6:5-6). Spend quality time with God using the combo of prayer, worship and bible study; upgrade to a spiritual 4G connection and then do a further upgrade to direct satellite feed. We need this in the coming years to truly live. The trap is set but because we know it, we can escape it. Halleluyah!

Joy Isa

We must choose!

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Must I really choose?

choicesMaking a choice is something that comes naturally to all human beings; choosing which drink to have or which type of food to start with at a buffet; choosing which movie to watch online; as an infant, choosing which friend to play with on the playground. We make so many choices on a daily basis based on environmental factors, our emotions and the needs that present themselves before us, amongst others. According to a publication by Roberts Wesleyan College, adults make about 33,000 choices every day; making 226.7 decisions daily on food alone!

With such an amazing capacity to choose, it is interesting that a number of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ find it challenging to choose to do what God expects at all times. We have the word available to us, however, we do not choose to “meditate on it day and night” (Joshua 1:8). We have bible apps in multiple translations, reading plans and devotionals on a wide range of topics of interest, however, we do not see the word as “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path” on this journey called life (Psalm 119:105).

In Romans chapter 6, the Apostle Paul presents an interesting analogy of choice, relating it to the concept of slavery which was relevant to his time. He compares slavery to the continual surrender of a person’s will, which in our time we would compare with addiction. When we continually yield to a craving, we are considered addicts. When we continually and diligently follow the expectations set out in our job descriptions, we are considered workaholics – addicted to our jobs. Let us examine what Paul says in Romans 6.

Romans 6:16 [AMPC version]

16 Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?

Romans 6:19 [NIV]

19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 

In simple terms, we are enslaved to whatever we yield to, to sin or to righteousness, so we must choose.

As we have the capacity to make an average of 33,000 choices each day, it will be useful for some of those choices to have eternal value. We can make the choice to fellowship with God, to prioritize our time with God above time with anyone else (John 15:7, Matthew 6:33, Psalm 91:1-2). I find that this seemingly simple choice can be herculean when one lives in a bustling city, where the drive to and from work alone can be a real trial of your faith! When you think about it though, you can choose to spend your precious time with your Precious Lord and Friend. If you truly love Him, then you must choose to spend time with Him every day.

Joy

Reference to publication by Wesleyan College: http://go.roberts.edu/leadingedge/the-great-choices-of-strategic-leaders