Category Archives: LOVE

The great turnaround pt2

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Bible Study

Theme: The Turnaround

Text: 2King 4:1-4; Gen.1: 26-31

(Contd.)

This is a follow up of the earlier study on the above theme. In my initial write up, I tried to look at the definition of the term Turnaround and the Church’s perception of this meaning, looking at some Bible characters and incidents.

 I proffered then that turnaround means different things to different people depending on which prism of the term you are looking at it. 

However, I think the most ideal and acceptable form of turnaround should be the one knowing about Jesus Christ; His reason of coming to the world, his ministry as relating to drawing man from darkness and the brink of God’s damnation to the Light He represents; and bringing us to a new relationship with God as the chosen people.

We also look at the trend in society and how the church is unwittingly being drawn into the evils and pleasures of the world. (Rom.1:27-31)

 It is necessary now therefore that, the turnaround should start from the church by praying against this evil machination of men and turn them toward Christ.

God Expectation of Man in creation: Gen. 1:26-31

We are continuing from that point in the discourse today. I want to look at the reason of our creation in the book of Gen.1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God, created he him. Male and female created he them…28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth, and SUBDUE IT: AND HAVE DOMINION OVER THE FISH OF THE SEA, AND OVER THE FOWL OF THE AIR, AND OVER EVERY LIVING THING THAT MOVETH UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH’…..31. And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.”

Awesome, that is. Do you hear what I have just read? God conceived an enormous power and authority for man. He did not only conceive it, But He also did it and handed over to man such great power (Words in emphasis in the above text) to exercise over His creation.

So, what went wrong? Where did we miss the mark and got it all wrong? Why can’t we operate even the minutest power of what God has given to us? Instead, we cringe into our cell at the slightest threat of danger?

Our desire for turnaround should not deviate from this original concept of God in creation.

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The story of the Computer:

All of us reading this write up to have one type of computer system we’re reading this with. It may be your desktop computer, or a laptop, or even your smartphone. They are all a derivation of the computer invented by Charles Babbage.

 When Charles started with the Abacus to solve the arithmetic solution, he did not realize he was opening the door to a new era of IT revolution. He was merely concerned with a device to help him solve some complex calculations. Even at that, he had a reason for attempting to invent a new tool.

The Computer has since turnaround to become the greatest discovery of man. It has evolved from a mere calculating machine to military war equipment; from the mainframe gigantic machine to a minute device in our palm to solve all things: computing and logical operations.

The computer as a machine cannot function on its own; it will just be a piece of metal, plastic, rubbers, and wires. It becomes effective when sets of logical instructions are inputted into that physical configuration. These instructions are the programs that make the computer to become an effective and efficient device invented to solve all our computing, arithmetic, logical, and information needs.

The inventors and programmers invented the machine (the computer) to solve all complex human needs. When a computer system could not meet these expectations it is no more useful to the user.

When God created man from the dust of the earth, the man was just a mold of tissues without any life, or ability to function, or to execute God’s desire for someone to coordinate His creation in the world.

In Gen. Chapter 2:1-8. “…7. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man becomes a living soul….”

So, we see, man becomes a living soul, and in the image of God with all power to exercise dominion over God creation after He (God) had breathed life to him and he becomes a living soul, to executive God’s desire in the world he has created.

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The Virus and computer programs.

Every computer user knows that our system can sometimes become irrational and fails to executive any instruction we input into it. It can boot off at will, change its setting from what we intended it to do and refuse to comply with us.

What causes this is the invasion of our system by Virus. These are malicious programs that invade our system and disable the operations of the original programs we have in the system and making it irrational to our instructions.

A virus is like the operation of the Devil’s influence in the life of believers, or any human being, to disobey and disregard the instructions of God; for him to work in the precepts and order of God, to have dominion in everything He had created.

Man becomes filled in his own ways and a start indulging in acts of evil as the devil becomes his main operating System, having rendered him unworthy before God to exercise his potential, due to disobedience.

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The Anti-Virus and Reformatted system:

So, how do we get a system affected by a virus to work again? We install an anti-virus; this is a program designed to search out the virus from our system, so it will become responsive to our instructions and command; once this is done, the system will come back to its normal operational capability.

However, some viruses may be very stubborn that mere anti-virus would not be able to flush them out of the system. When this happens, we have to reformat the system; this is the installation of a new operating system to remove all the programs and applications installed in the system, and re-installing new programs and applications. This will bring the computer set to its default mode.

We now have a system that will work effectively to every command and instruction we input into it. Our computer has now got a turnaround; a reversal to an efficient and effective electronic device, serving our expected function.

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God Desires for our Turnaround: Gen.1:26-31; Deu.28, Num.13:23; 14:10-12; Eze.18:4; John 3:23;

Despite this great love and expectation God has for mankind, we allow Satan to influence our soul and control our actions against the love of God. Man becomes the computer affected by a virus that has become erratic to the control and expectation of the owner; in this case, we become repulsive to God’s word and direction, rejecting every move God made to restore us to our intended state.

All through the scripture, we discovered this rebellious attitude of man to God. We moved God to the point of declaring that “the soul that sinneth it shall die.” “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “The wages of sin is death.” And so many terrifying condemnations and curses God placed upon man, yet man still walks under the control of a virus-infected heart.

The Great Turnaround: John 3:1:16; 2Chrol. 7:13-14; Joel 2:25; Rom.12:1-2.

But God still loves us so much, “He give His only begotten son, whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” How do we get to believe in the Son? “If I shut up Heaven that there be no rain…If my people which are called by my name…”

The first step is to understand your present situation as hopeless and points directly to God’s anger and judgment. We then humble ourselves to God and call upon his name. He is faithful then, to listen to us and turns us around to himself.

When Nicodemus visited Jesus Christ in the night, He made it clear to him that for anyone to comes into God’s kingdom and be endued in the old-time power and authority; he will be “Born Again.” 

How’s that possible? As Nicodemus asked the LORD that night, a lot of us are still asking the question today, or deceptively walking as “Born Again.”

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 It is meant to reformat our heart so that every traced of the old Adamic nature in us be flushed out, so we could regain our default setting; a new man as in the image of God with power and authority to have dominion over everything that walketh on the surface of the earth.

Paul also emphasized the point when he begged us in Rom. 12:1-2, say,”…2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

It is like saying it in another way, to reformat our thinking and thought pattern to what God expects from us, in accordance with His will. 

King David says it differently in Psalm 1:1-3. He wants us to stay away from the people that will corrupt our hearts with the virus of disobedient, but instead to “…delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law doth meditate day and night. 3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

This is the proper turnaround we need in this dispensation. And to walk in that newness, the Preacher gave us a guide in Prov. 4:23. “keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Whatever thing we turn out to be; whatever people reckon us to be; whatever God sees us be, is not the façade we display in public, or in the church. God sees the content of our hearts, the motive of what we are doing. Our turnaround must start from our heard and we should guide it diligently or else it will become corrupted with a virus.

Is your heart corrupted by a virus that you are not obeying His word and keeping His commandment? Pray for a Turnaround today.

(Concluded)

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The Great turnAround

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Theme:          The Turnaround

Text:               Matt. 4:16; 1Cor. 15:19

I was to talk on something else this week but a chanced attendance in a bible study class prompted me to x-ray the above theme with all its complexity, and decided that I should look at it from my own perspective.

Def. Turnaround: What does it mean? I will try as much as is possible to stay away from the dictionary definitions of the word but to explain it from the context of how it is used in the church today.

 It means when a situation is reversed from its initial position; which natural could be a negative trend, to a more favorable and acceptable position. It could result in the change of fortune, status, financial or business breakthrough, or success in an examination, or business.

This will come about as the result of adding some inputs into the original or previous composition of the situation.

 The point I am making here is that believers, when asking for a turnaround from God, trust Him to make their situation become favorable from a perceived adverse trend they are facing.

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The Position of the Scripture: Matt. 4:16-25; John 1:1-14;

The first text had two implications; verse 16, ‘The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.’ This introduced the lesson we are dealing with here.

If I follow this up with the next text in John 1:14, the light here is pointing to Christ as the light coming to the world that was in darkness, and His coming has brought light and life into an otherwise dark world. Let’s look at from verse 4, ‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5. And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehend it not…9 That was the true Light, which lighted every man that cometh into the world.’  That is a turning around for the world.

 The second implication; unfortunately, is where most believers are hinging all the hope of turnaround, that the Lord provided a large catch to Peter who had toiled throughout the night without and catch. And if we take the account from the book of Matthew 4: 17-20, Jesus asked them to follow Him to be Fishers of men (Soul Winners) and they followed Him.

But in Luke 5: 4-11, we saw the full account of what transpired; ‘Now when He had left speaking, he said unto Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.’  5. And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at the word I will let down the net. 6. And when they had this done, they in-closed a great multitude of fishes, and their net broke…10… Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men…11. And when they had brought their ship to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.’ That also was a great turnaround.

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Acceptable Turnaround: 1 Cor.15:10-23

While there is no one fixed standard turnaround for the believer, there is one that comes out clear that is needed by all. The turning around to accepting and walking with Jesus Christ is one turnaround every believer should crave and pray for.

Peter, despite the great turnaround he had with a net breaking catch, abandoned all and followed Christ. When we look to only our desires for what we need to meet our worldly desire and pleasure as a turnaround, then we are missing the mark.

Paul, re-echoing the call of Christ to follow Him, put it more directly in 1Cor. 15:19, ‘If in this world only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Doesn’t this look frightening to hear? That if our coming to Christ, trusting in Him, hoping in Him, loving him, and believing in Him is only for just about the things of this life; then we are of men, people, nation, creations most miserable, to be pitied, desolate etc.

 What is your purposing for coming to Christ and praying for all the things you are praying for? Are you paying only for a great job, finances- and I am telling you, I need these more than anyone else- breakthrough in marriage, breaking of curses, barrenness, etc. all these the Lord will do for us if we have a turnaround in our love toward God and our neighbors, living a holy life, focus on the heaven journey. These should be the things we should hope for as we pray for a great turnaround. (Phil.4 8; 1-19).

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The Sate of our world in turnaround:

We have come to a stage in our world where the love of self has become prominence over our love of God.

 We are now concerned more about our personal life-style, and self worth as against the love of God and the Kingdom.

We no longer ponder on the question ‘What will it profit a man if he gains this world and lose his soul…’ Matt.16:24-27.

How often do we stand and gaze up to heaven to say, “Lord, I thank for saving my soul.”

These days it does not matter what we do to get money or position, to be known as a man and woman of Timber and Caliber, to drive exotic cars, and have handsome men and beautiful ladies at our becks and call. Let’s look at God’s mind concerning these in the following scriptures; Jer.22:17; 17:9; Isa 59:7; Psm. 106:29-46, and Prov.1:11.

We have become brazenly distorted in our reasoning that we have decided to bring the evil into the church. We have come to an era where politician  come to the church to seek for prayer from ‘Pastors’ to go for an election where they shamelessly  scheme, plot, connive with the  all manner of characters to kill and maim fellow human beings.

They did not stop there. They come to the church with the blood of the innocents dripping in their fingers to make a thanksgiving offering wining and election; riding in the blood of their victims.

And the ‘Pastors’ gleefully indulge them this privilege and merry with them in their ‘Success.’ They are gradually taking the church into the dark abyss of God’s anger and destruction. Yet we Praise God and worship their riches.

These are things we should pray for the Lord to turnaround. We should pray against the evil that has taken over our land. Rom. 1:27-32.

(To be Contd)

5 Lovaves of Bread and 2 Fishes

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THE 5 LOVES OF BREAD AND 2 FISH (Fill My Cup O Lord)

John 6:12 “When they were filled, he said unto disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain that nothing be lost…

Therefore they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.”

I have always been fascinated by the events in this story. I would want to be very practical as I try to reflect on how five barley loaves in the hand of a lad would result into the satisfaction of 5000 people and still have a leftover of 12 baskets full of fragments.

For a little boy to hold five loaves of bread in his hand, would mean that the bread must be very small.

There is no record in the Bible of these bread packed in a backpack or a school bag; meaning, they must have been held in a polybag – most probable – for the lad to eat while listening to the Master’s teaching: the parents must have been very diligent people to care so much about their son.

These loaves were handed over to Jesus who thanked God and handed them over to the disciples to distribute amongst the people. The people were asked to sit in a group of, possibly five rows of a thousand people each.

The elasticity of the bread started from the distribution point down the chain; for as they were broken the bread to give out to a person, there was an addition to the part in the sharer’s hand and the bread was not getting any smaller in any way.

And as the people munched on the part given to the, it was not also reducing; every bite they took was filled back by the Divine elasticity until they were all satisfied.

So the twelve baskets of fragments left over when they were all filled was the cumulative of leftover from the 5000 people that had eaten and filled.

So, where is this story taking us to? There were a lot of instances in the Bible where there were inexhaustible supplies of the provision from the Divine Spring, or reservoir.

In the book of Exodus 16: 13-15, “And it came to pass that at evening, the quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning, the dews lay round about the host……And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, ‘It is manna: for they wist not what it was,’ And Moses said unto them, ‘This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.’”

So, throughout the long sojourn of the children of Israel through the wilderness, the Lord provided for them an inexhaustible supply of food and meal according to their desire.

This was however quite different from what Jesus Christ had intended for them and for us also who believed in his name.

I John 4:1-14, when he was discussing with the Samaritan woman in the city of Sychar, by Jacob’s well, as the issue of drinking water came up, the woman insisted that the water from the well has a high pedigree as being the well their forefather, Jacob, and his children had drank from.

Jesus drew her attention to a much purer and inexhaustible water he alone could provide; verse 10, “Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘If thou knowest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked him, and he would have given thee a living water.’” That is an inexhaustible water to drink.

That threw the woman off balance for a while, but as he concluded that statement in verse 13-14, “Jesus answered and said unto her, ‘whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; 14. But whosoever drinketh of the water of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give hive him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’” She concluded that this was much more than a mere flash in the pan talk. Praise God!

At this point, an understanding came unto the woman and she requested of him to give her that water to drink. FILL MY CUP O LORD!

Something also happened in 1st King 17: 1-16. Elijah visited a certain widow at the prompting of God in the city of Zarephath at a time when there was a great famine in that city. The woman barely had a one-time meal she intent to take with her son as the last meal; for she cannot tell where any other one would come from.

But can you imagine what the man of God asked her to do, considering her situation? Verses 13-16, “And Elijah said unto her, Fear not, go and do as thou hast said; but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth……16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the which he spake by Elijah.”

Here again, we see a link of the inexhaustibility of the Divine Spring upon a people, just like the 5 loaves of bread.

The significance of all these points to what the Lord told the Samaritan woman by the well of Jacob. He said in verse 13 of John chapter 4, that “Whosoever that drinketh of the water that I shall give, shall never thirst…….”

Our interest here is; what is about the water Jesus is alluding to? We will promptly return to the story of the inexhaustible feeding of the 5000 people with the 5loaves of bread.

John 4:1-26.

In verse 27 of John Chapter 6, Jesus told the people that he alone can give a meal that will endure forever; “labor not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life , which the Son of man shall give you; for him hath God the Father sealed.”

How is that possible, I can hear someone asking? But Jesus referred them back to the food Moses gave to them which was not an everlasting supply but was just a shadow of what Jesus Christ was coming to represent.

Let us check what the Lord said to us in John 6:32, “Jesus said unto them, verily, verily I say unto you, Moses gave you not the bread from heaven, but my father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from Heaven and giveth life unto the world……..

….I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst… And this is the father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day…

…And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him may have everlasting Life: And I will raise him up at the last day….”

At this point, I began to understand the meaning of the 5 loaves of bread and the 2 fishes. It is not about the bread or the fish per se; it is all about the 12 baskets that were the leftover of the 5 loaves of bread: It is about Jesus Christ.

If anyone believes in Him, he will become a part of Him and since Jesus lives forever. We that believe in Him will also live with Him in an everlasting Life.

Eternity

The topic of Eternity is as infinite and timeless as the eternity itself, meaning that there is no compact understanding of how we can define ETERNITY.

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But for purpose of this study, we will attempt to look at some Authorities to help us understand what eternity means, and what its implication it has for the believers in particular, and the human race in general.
In doing so, we will start our study today by looking at: 
(i) The definition of eternity; 
(ii) How believers understand eternity, 
(iii) How to obtain a righteous eternity, 
(iv) The hindrances to obtaining such, and 
(v) The Reward of the believers’ eternity.
DEF: So, we will start today’s study by looking at the definition of eternity:-
1. A time without an end;
2. State after death;
3. The time that seems without end.
Meaning the quality or state of Eternity:
a. Having no beginning and no ending—God.
b. Existing at all-time- forever the same. True, unchanging
c. Lasting forever.
Having everlasting or infinite duration, e.g. how long can human, or any living thing live or stay alive? There is a time limit-duration; but God lives –eternal-from everlasting to everlasting.
From the above definition, we could see that eternity means endlessness – forever, and everlasting, infinite. The only being, thing, personality, that has that quality is God.

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HOW DOES THE BELIEVER UNDERSTANDS ETERNITY
So, having known the attribute of God to be of eternal, the believer must understand God to be forever, and everlasting. 
(a) He has been from the beginning, which is infinite, and lives forever; an everlasting father. (Isa. 9:6)
(b) He lives in eternity and will bring this understanding to the heart of those with contrite Spirit- the believers (Isa. 57:15)
(c) Christ came to reconcile a world gone astray so we can also become eternally united with God. (1Ti. 1:16-17)
(d) God created Heaven and earth when nothing existed. He is from the beginning and has prepared us to be with Him also forever and ever. (Heb. 10-14)
(e) We as believers are born again not with a corruptible seed, but with the blood of Christ; thus we are with God through Jesus Christ, and living in eternity (When God created man, He said ‘Let us make man in our images’ though he was made from the dust, God breathed His Spirit into him and man become a living soul.)


OBTAINING THE GIFT OF ETERNITY
At this point, if we are really sons and daughters of God, we should realize we are of God and living in eternity with God.
(a) The first step for anyone to begin to walk with God, having realized that He lives in eternity is to believe in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:14-21)
(b) We need to search the scripture for us to have this understanding to live in eternal life with God. (5:39)
(c) We should forsake the love of this world if are to walk in eternal life –love not the world’ what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul…’ (Mark 10:19)
(d) Let us not look at the physical things we see and possess, but our focus should be on spiritual; the things we see are temporal but the invisible thing is eternal.
THE HINDRANCES TO ETERNAL LIFE
Having this understanding of eternity or eternal life, why do we still war in our conscience against the word of God and Spiritual life? Here are some reasons, Independent; Deceived; Faint Heart, and Selfish. These are not totally exclusive but they are a foundation to most of the battles confronting the believer.

We will look at the hindrances and reward of eternity in our next study.

Don’t Play God on a Man

 

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You know nothing about him

You do not know the hours he spends

weeping in his lonely home barricaded behind

the dark shutters fluttering from the midnight breeze;

dripping dews bathed the tender rose garden in the courtyard

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Crying to God to lift him out of the miry clay

clinging to him and threatening to suck him

into the dark bowel of uncertainty and despair

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You never knew the hours he spends in the dark

recluse of a dimly lighted room worshiping and praising

God despite the threatening dark gloom of uncertainty;

For the wonders and precious things, the Lord hath done.

You can never tell the close-knitted fellowship and bond

he has with the Lord for everything He had done for him

 

The facade he displaces in the church, and the public,

amongst the congregation were mere expressions to maintain

The harmonious comradeship and love the church, the society

and the congregation requires of him to be in the ethics of

human cult and acceptability;

Thus, you can’t play God to a man whom

you cannot tell the composition of his heart

 

Neither can you play God to a man  that lives

in  the sphere of evil, dine with Satan, whose mouth

is full of guile outside of the church gates;

Being a representative of Evil

Yet he plays the keyboard on Sundays

Preach with oratory eloquence to the congregation,

a miracle worker, a super church worker,

and a societal symbol of philanthropists

These are all a facade of deception

to reckon on societal acceptability

 

But there is a God, who sits in a lofty

height on his throne in the Heavens

He sees through the facade we display;

He sees and acknowledges the heartfelt

Praises and Worship we render to Him

He sees our commitments and services

He felt the pains and travail we bear

for his Namesake in the world

Thus God rewards us in due season

according to our deeds, whether

they are righteous or they are not

For He is God and does not play God to Himself

He is our Love, our sustainer, and our hope;

He is our strength, and our defender, our shield,

our refuge, our healer, our savior

He is our Sanctifier; He is God

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What do you go out to the wilderness to behold?

(Concluded) Matt. 11:10

This is a description of someone without character, who is pliable to any given doctrine or ideology.

So, Jesus was asking them if they went in search of a man that does not have a character or belief. No, they went to see a prophet who gave then information of a coming Messiah, the Christ, and the coming King.

 So, having gotten this understanding, let us returned to the significance of the question as it relates to our generation of Christianity.

What did you go into the wilderness (Church) to behold? More directly asked; why did you come to Church; here it does not matter what denomination you attends?

Did you come to church for healing of any ailment, to be free from satanic oppression, to be free from poverty, to gain admission to a higher institute, to travel abroad, to have a life partner, or to be free from bareness? The reasons of our coming to church are endless.

On the other hand, do we come to church to worship God, to have fellowship with Him, or to prepare our life for the Kingdom of God?

If we will be truthful to ourselves, we will agree that very few people come to church for the second reason; to worship God and have fellowship with and prepare for eternity.

However, one certain truth is that, for any reason giving above that brought us to the wilderness (church), we are here to meet the Prophet; we come seeking God to help us solve the myriad of problems that we cannot solve on our own.

As the disciples of John come to Jesus when they heard of the miracles he was performing, and the world was coming to Him to heal them of all their diseases; so are we running to churches today for Him to heal and deliver us of all our infirmities.

He is able and willing to do that, but on one condition; “seek ye first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and these things will be added….” (Matt. 6:33).

Some of us find these conditions repulsive so we prefer to stand at the gate watching others going in, or persuading them not to go in, that the whole gospel is a scam.

They are like the rich young man who, though was captivated with the working of Jesus and showed a willingness to follow Him, could not, when Jesus asked him to sell off his possession to follow Him. The Bible recorded that the man became very sorrowful. (Matt. 18:23)

Gallery Images of Jesus and all his disciples.

Others thought they could act the seeking of the kingdom by coming to church and acting out as true believers; but because they would not retain Him in their heart, they are still going around living all the abominable lifestyles of the world, for they think they can mock God; they are playing the game of Ananias and Sapphira, his wife…. (Acts 5)

If not, how can one explain the present state in the world where millions of people are professing to be Christians and yet the crime rate and violence has increased astronomically?

It has gotten so bad to the extent where places marked as worship centers have become culpable in some evil practices as the killing of human beings to lay the foundation of the supposed church building; sure, you heard me right, ‘pastors’ are being arrested for laying the foundation of their church building with corpse: ABOMINABLE.

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The good news however is, there are still millions and millions of people who are genuinely following after the Lord with the heart, their soul and their might; for such is the kingdom of God.

For those believers are one that heard the call of the Lord, and the warning and admonition of Jesus Christ.

In John gospel 14: 1-4, Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye will may be also. And wither I go ye know and the way you know.”

So, the true believers heard this saying and abide in the Word. They are not swayed by the new refrain of the later day religion and teachings that have become prevalence in our churches today.

A new crop ‘pastors’ have turned the church of God to mercantile shops, healing centers, solution centers. They have made the gathering of the believers, social clubs for all their worldly pursuits.

Jesus said to the congregation that if they need to see a man dressed in soft raiment, they would have to go to a king’s house.

In the same vein, if anyone want to be millionaire let him go to the bank and establish a business; for healing, let him go to the hospital, for business break through, go to an investment expert.

But if must need all of these; and surely we need them, and in the house of God, we must, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness…” and they will all be added unto us.

 In some instances, even when we have the blessings of God, we tend to lose focus in the kingdom goal; that we must not. We should remain focus and continually looking unto Jesus Christ; for He also passed through the situation we are now when he came to us in human form, suffered the same affliction, persecuted even on to death; and now sits at the right hand of God. (Heb. 10:12)

For if we lay our emphases on things we possess, then, we may rightly put our desire of the Kingdom of God into a secondary position.

His admonition to us in this regard is that, “where your treasure is, there your heart is also …” (Matt.6:21) So “Put your treasure where moth and ant would not touch…” (Matt.6:19)  For all things in this world, gold, silver, the riches, wealth, our knowledge, houses will pass away, but only the word of God would remain. (Matt. 24:35). This does sound pleasant, is it?

 We are not only called believers, but we also have an inheritance that the Lord had promised us in his father’s house, on account of our believing in the name of Jesus Christ, wherefore, He has begotten us as His sons and Daughter. (John 1: 12). Now that sounds pleasant, isn’t it?

The icing on the cake is that, Christ is returning to takes us to his father’s presence; and he enjoins us to remain spotless and without blemish until he comes.

But yet again, with a proviso, “If there is any of you having this hope in him, let him purifieth himself even as he is pure.” (1 John 3:3)

Inclosing, let us refresh our selves of the question Jesus asked, “What do you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind…But what you went out to see? A Prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet?”(Mat. 11:1-10

What Do you Go out to the Wilderness to behold

Matt. 11: 1-10

In these days when the strive for earthly possession and status of recognition has become the trait in our society; and where believers are also drawn into the mesh, the above question cannot be more promptly asked.

Let’s pause briefly to ponder on what prompted this question from Jesus Christ.

From the verse 2 of Matthew chapter 11, John the Baptist, now in prison on account of Herodias instigation, heard about the ministry of Jesus Christ, his miracles and all his great deeds, sent his disciples to inquire about the true identity of Jesus.

In verse 4-6, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John these things which you do hear and see. 5. the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers cleansed, and the deaf hears, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6, and blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

These verses clearly state the mission statement of our Lord Jesus Christ. That his ministry is to preach the good tiding unto the meek to bind up the brokenhearted……. Is. 61: 1-4.

After the disciples of John have left, Jesus taught and preached to the congregation, and asked them the question, “what do you go out into the wilderness to see; a reed shaking by the wind, a man dressed in soft raiment…?” That if they need to see a man dressed in soft raiment, they would have to go to the house of a King.

No; they have gone out to see a Prophet, and more than a Prophet- yes, that was what John and his preaching represent – and the people went out to listen to him in the wilderness, and to be baptized and wash away their sins while waiting for the Messiah.

But, alas! When he came, they could not recognize him and acknowledged him as such.

The significance of that question of Jesus Christ is still relevant today in our church and Christian belief.

I will pause here briefly to throw in some light into the significant of the 2 words in the question; the wilderness and reed.

Wilderness could be attributed in a Christian’s life as the period of wandering about in search of the truth or solution to the way forward.

The Children of Israel wandered in the wilderness of Sinai in search of the promised land; so it is associated with time in our life when we are searching for our true calling in life.

The Jews went in search of a way forward in search of the Messiah, and when they heard about the exploit of John, they went to him to be baptized.

Reeds, on the other hand, is a plant or type of grass that does not have vertebrate that is blown about by the wind – it has no strength to resist the wind; thus it is blown to any direction.

This is a description of someone without character, who is pliable to any given doctrine or ideology.

So, Jesus was asking them if they went in search of a man that does not have a character or belief. No, they went to see a prophet who gave then information of a coming Messiah, the Christ, and the coming King.

(To be Contd.)