God Wants You to be all that You can be! Cont…

It is not that always God is against us succeeding in some of our heart felt desire and goals we set. God is not so against our plans, but about us setting the right goals and about our attitude toward them. God created us to make something of ourselves, our families, our environments, our world. However whatever we do, it must be done in the set will and design of Gods purpose for us. Find our purpose for being here, and we find Gods will. God wants humanity to recognise His sovereignty in the world, and in our lives, and by that to choose the path that is right for us. His desire is that we be all that we should be, the preacher, the prophet, the poet, the king, the path he set for us. For God, it is about accomplishing our great human potential, under the guiding, and watchful eyes of God.

The Apostle Paul had a goal of destroying Christianity before it spreads further in order to preserve his Jewish heritage. God stopped him along the way, because both his goal and direction was wrong, “hard to kick against the pricks”. He was kicking against a sharp edge, the edge of Gods gospel, the “Good News” message of Jesus Christ. His saving grace offering to humanity, His redemptive blood offering to wash away the sins Satan brought. That frees us from our captive state of sinning, and be lifted into the righteousness of God. The power of love that cannot be defeated by hate; the gates of hell cannot prevail against God’s kingdom of Grace and Love through Christ. God did not dismiss Paul even though he was committing a grievous sin against the kingdom of God.

God knew what Paul needed, a change of heart, a change of plan, a new purpose and new direction, a converted soul. God recognised that Paul had the passion, the energy and skills that could be utilised, God could used him, and used him, God did. God can and will use anyone the same as Paul.  After his conversion, Paul was used like no other human being, and the world is never the same. He blazed a trail of Gospel spreading, gospel missions, preaching all over the then known world. In his many journeys to spread the gospel, he suffered like no other, including shipwrecked, rejection by his fellow Jews, beatings and flogging. He appeared before kings, Queens, councils, to witness and defend his mission in life, “called to be an apostle” of Christ.

Paul appeared before heads of state, but never lost touch with the common man, because God was directing him now. We all can be like Paul, but we must find our calling, our purpose in God’s universal plan, the grand design. It is never about what we like, or what we want, but more about what God desires for us. Then like a stroke of magic, a miracle, a still small voice speak to us, we can find ourselves somewhere, even if our direction  was wrong at the start. When we are willing to change, to make ourselves pliable in the hands of God, we will affirm it was not so tough after all, and if it were, I made it because God kept us.

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GOD WANTS YOU TO BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE

How often have we start moving in one direction, meet opposition and hey presto we quit? We have the great ideas born of dreams, and with incredible desire, but once the real work started, approached even, just around the corner, almost in sight, we give up, shut up shop, throw in the towel, quit, why? We become quitters, labelled nearly man, and we wondered why we never succeed? Fact is many of us wore ourselves out on the road to our goals, yet we never get it, we never understood why we quit! We have many hopes and dreams, but had no plan, never understand we need to be in it for the long haul. Many runners enter a 100 metres sprint dash, but never understand that a 1500-meter race takes endurance, stick-to-it-iv-e-ness, staying the course. We never planned for the long haul.

Many people give up and give in to tiredness and the various disappointments that mapped out our lives. Just before the point when the good times about to roll in, just before we reach our goals, we lost purpose, we feel de-energised, become listless. This happens to even to the strongest willed person. All of us face difficult times at one time or another, we want to achieve something, but we suddenly realised the path is not as clear-cut as it seems before we got started, just not what we expected! Our dreams crumbling before us, frustratingly we look up and wonder why the race is so hard to run.

It is not that we stopped dreaming, it is because we never planned for the journey, for the long haul. My mom when we would regularly give in, tried to energise us by repeating, it is never too late for a shower of rain or Rome was not built in a day. The bible reminds us, “The race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise, or wealth to the brilliant, or favour to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all” (Eccl. 9: 11). Of course, for some, our goals are OK, but the direction we are taking to get there is not right. Still for others, clearly, the goal is wrong, not what God wants for us, so both goal and direction needs changing.  Therefore, what are our lives goals, and do they fit into God’s plan for us? Please while considering an honest answer, remember that our goals changes while we get older. (To be continued…)

Appreciating and Accepting God is Love.

God the chief designer and architect, love the world.
Set out the blueprint, then created the universe,
He created the heavens and the earth, and all things therein.
All living beings, all humanity, me included, I am blessed.
Satan and his multiple assassins better get use to our Blessed state in Christ. Satan and they cannot and will never win, ten of the blessed will put ten thousands of Satan’s agents to flight. God had a remedy for the sin and death problem, Satan brought. What is His name?Jesus! We need to say that name more often. Every power in heaven and earth will bow at His throne, bow to that name JESUS.
Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God, who knew no sin, BUT BECAME SIN FOR US. He heals our sicknesses, and diseases, that plagues humanity. He took on death, that I might live. I am healed by the wounds at His side. He forgives us from all our sins, remove our guilt – thank God, in Jesus I am forgiven! Satan brought war, destruction and death to the world, and to our individual lives. Jesus brings a message of peace, and hope and love, and will soon to usher in world peace, a thing mankind fail to initiate.
Go defends, us, the poor, the downtrodden, the dispossessed, from Satan’s attacks, “Satan is the accuser of the brethren”. Christ is the liberator for us all, all mankind who are in chains. Why? “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3: 16).  I appreciate and accept Him not only for what He has done, BUT FOR WHO HE IS! Hallelujah, God IS LOVE and HE LOVES ME.

Stand up for what you know to be Right.

Great lesson in self belief, fortitude, courage, and strength can be learned from the life of Mohammad Ali. This champion of the people has left us, but his memory will live on. He inspires many whether you are black or white and any colour in between, rich or poor.

When I was a young boy, I admired Mohammad Ali, for who he was, what I and many people considered the greatest of champions. As I grew older I realized his fame supersedes the boxing skills. His iconic presence supersedes, his the boxing ring, so I grew to admire him for what he stood for, his humanity, his fight for racial equality, social justice and peace transcends his race and culture, even religion. Today the same people, the ones who wanted him in prison, condemns him for his anti American rhetoric lives to praise and honer him. More white than black people are coming out of the woodwork to praise him, they now recognize his great quest for human freedom that transcends colour, creed or race. Forget his religion, not many of us accept his religion, but he was simply a man of the people, he became the most recognized, and the most loved human being of his generation. He gone and done more for race relations and human self worth and value than most other sports icon.

He was conscripted to fight in Vietnam, but he refused to fight in an unjust war. He said, “I got no quarrel with them Vietcong”. He refused to travel ten thousand miles around the world, to kill brown, innocent and poor people, he had no quarrel with. He brought down the might of the American justice system, he was given a five year sentence, and stripped of his boxing license. His livelihood was taken away, and even with a family to feed, he did not bow and maintain his stance against injustice. The system realized their error and later restored his license after three and a half years. He said black people are denied basic rights in America, he said, “White people just don’t want their slaves to be free. That’s the whole thing”. A lesson for all of us, injustice anywhere, is injustice everywhere, slavery anywhere is slavery everywhere, we are not free anywhere if freedom is denied anywhere. Ali spent the rest of his life fighting Injustice in America and his voice was heard all over the world he became a global icon, not known only in the field of sports, but in all realm of humanity. They great Nelson Mandela paid homage to him, a true human and global icon, who shows many how to live and care for others. Many statesmen, presidents, kings and queens, prime ministers, world leaders, struggle to be even recognized, but once his name is mentioned he is instantly recognized in any corner of the globe.

He bragged and he boast, some even say cocky at times, he often proved the doubters wrong. “I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale; handcuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail; only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick; I’m so mean I make medicine sick”. Brash yes, but he had self belief, and he often proved just what he said. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want”. I wish every man, every boy and girl will look at this and learn from it. You must be free to say what you want, do what you want to do, be what you want to be, but, you are not a carbon copy of anyone else, you are an original”. People want often to put you in a corner, tell you to be quiet if you speak out against injustice, against an unjust system, point out nepotism.

The message of Christ proclaimed by Paul is,It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Gal. 5: 1). This is spiritual freedom, though it has connotations for physical freedom, so both are intended. Many people are free physically but remain spiritually and emotionally bound. But Christ message of salvation liberates us spirituality. So that even if we are physically bound our minds liberates us through the gospel. Onesimus a slave to Philemon a poignant case, “Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me” (Philemon 1: 11). We must never be what people wants us to be, neither should you let criticism shape you. Most often people will reject and crush you if you did not do what they say, follow in the path they mapped out for you. Many system will go further grind you down and destroy you, keep you out, or keep you quiet, but in the name of God, stand up and shout, let your voices be heard. Don’t accept the chocolate sticks they dangle before your eyes, so you may go against your conscience, and turn a blind eye to wrongs and injustice.

A white reporter told this story while shedding tears at the news of Ali passing. Holding back the tears he said that while travelling with Ali to south America, where Ali was handing out hundred dollar bills on the street to passers by. His minders tried to prevent him and asked why he was doing it. His response was that in America it is a hundred dollar bill but to the Americans it is worth ten thousand dollars. Another white man told the story of Ali being in a hotel in London, and felt trapped. H e got up asked them to take him somewhere, he ended up at the Great Ormond Street Hospital where they treat sick children. They showed pictures of him meeting with sick children some now hangs on the walls of the hospital for lasting memories. He went where he was not invited, and stayed and identified with the sick, the poor and needy.

He in his heart of heart knew it was not the poor who oppress others, it was the rich. He rejected the splendor and riches to identify with the common people. He was a conscientious objector, never settled for second best even if and when they block his path. He found another way, find alternative answers, he never bowed to pressure. They Satan’s assassins will try to block our path to growth, to advancement or improvement in life. The message he left is don’t give in threats. Don’t accept bribery and enticement to cover up wrongs. For in the final analysis God is our judge, and they will come to see and confirm that what we say was right after all. Its good to know that the LORD is on our side. We must stand up for what you believe in and fight. Stand against what we see and know is wrong and let no man or system imprisoned us and put our conscience into chains! We are free men/women in Christ, be brave and stand against injustice.

The Rough Road Leads to Summit of Joy

No matter how rough and rocky the road that we travel on,

There is justice, for us somewhere, if not in this life, certainly in the next.

Early in life, I was struck-down with debilitating back pain.

I had difficulties, walking and standing even sitting for long periods.

Doctor’s diagnosis varies, yet operations were prescribed for remedy.

Friends, would laugh and jeer, they asked, how will you have a family?

The same kind laughed and jeered when I chose to walk with God.

 

Family, friends, church and I continued praying, hoping for a miracle.

Suddenly, it went, no operation, I am free from back pains for years.

By His grace, I am still walking with God, and I have three sons!

I have pains, still suffer lots, but mostly they are spiritual, and emotional.

Through the sufferings I learned, it is the rough road that leads to summits of joy.

No matter the forms of rejection, we encounter, we are more than conquerors in Christ.

We have to work hard for what we desire in life because it will not come to us if we give up the fight. The human flesh is weak, but with Christ, we can be strong and courageous in spirit. Through Christ, we know that we can do all things. Living besides the negative preachers, we must constantly remind ourselves that we can do anything if we put our mind to it. If and when they put us down or criticizes us, we must keep on believing in ourselves and turn our negatives into positives.

Remember James encouragement, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1: 2-4).  Therefore, the spice of life is not dwelling on our pain, but about loving someone, even as God has loved us, in spite of our failings. Search for a place deep inside ourselves where there’s joy, and the joy of the Lord will kill the pain of a disappointing life. The great beauty in our lives is recognising and accepting that, God love us constantly, and we are here because of Him!

What it is to be “me”

.Sometimes as humans, we focus a lot someone else’s life

At the onset, nothing is wrong with looking flatteringly at success

Especially if our image of them, Peter/Paul fills us with awe and admiration

However, sometimes we look with destructive motives, born out of past hurt or envy.

Paul don’t fit the bill, Peter don’t tick all the boxes, they’re not my type

Worst still if negative blather about them invades our consciousness

However, there is no harm in wanting to be successful as someone,

Wishing to be in there shoes, be as successful, be admired as they are.

The dangers comes when, admiration turns to hate. It becomes no longer wanting to be like them, but replacing them. This kind leads to murder, I want what Paul has, I want to replace Peter. The world is filled with lots of admirable people, and who deserve respect. Nevertheless, we should not necessarily want to be them. We must be happy being ourselves, who we truly are; nobody knows what it is to be you.

Only when we find our true self, and being ourselves, developing our own identity, can we be happy. We do not know what it is to be Peter or Paul. Never walked in their shoes, do not know what it took them to be where they are. Never saw their struggles; their sacrifices their parents fight to put them through college. We never experience their sleepless nights, or lonely days, when they were sick, or in hospital. Wanting to be someone means understating their lives, how they got to where they are. Then ask the question, am I willing to go through that level of pain to be successful?

We want to destroy them, because we listen to Satan’s voice. Notwithstanding, I am not here trying to give an image of a fairy tale perfection, no human is. Nevertheless, as humans, we tend often to listen and act upon what Satan inspires, rather than God. We destroy each other, because of what they have or who they are. However, our brothers and sisters are not our enemies, Satan is. He caused us to fuss and fight, he caused friction in the body. We must love our brothers still, and even when we are smacked in the face, we turn the other cheek (Matt. 5: 39). Spirituality leads our acknowledgement that we are sinners saved by grace. The whole shebang, my hopes, my dreams, my aspirations, I am just being me.