So what is truth?
This is the question Pilate asked Jesus and did not wait for Jesus to answer the question?
So we ask…what is truth?
Acts 5: 38-39
“38: and now I say unto you, refrain. From these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39): But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it;lest haply yeah be found even to fight against God.”
Noise or no noise; persecution or hatred; Questions or subliminals; polemics
You see, persecution is the fuel of the gospel, not money, not power, but PERSECUTION.
Acts 8:4 The Bible says so.
In conclusion, I will sing out loud these words “the church is marching on, the church is marching on, the gates of hell shall not prevail, the church is marching on.
If you have ever persecuted the church or the good news message, this one is for you
“Onward Christian soldiers
Marching as to war
With the cross of Jesus
Going on before
Onward then, ye people
Join our happy throng
Blend with ours your voices
In our triumph song
Christ the royal master
Leads against the foe
Forward into battle
See His banners go
CROWNS AND THRONES MAY PERISH
KINGDOMS RISE AND WANE
BUT THE CROSS OF JESUS CONSTANT WILL REMAIN.
Have a blessed week ahead beautiful people.
Wait this won’t be complete if I don’t add this.
To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.
Please, confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior now. And let go of the past mistakes and hurt.
Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. (Matthew 22:17-21)
In a world all too driven by the material, it is so easy to take the above passage at the superficial level.
A question about whether or not to pay taxes is rendered plain. The questioner seeks to hold Jesus for speaking against Caesar; He flips the coin and lays a stumbling block at their feet – give unto God what belongs to God.
Christ came with a new world order; a new message that gives credence to the Father only. Yet, somehow by the traditions of men we render God commandments void. We make them of no effect when when we focus on half an leave the other half untaught an undone. We are no more concerned with building the walls of Jerusalem, and going beyond laying the foundation of the Temples, we are more about our own businesses; building our walls, putting roofs to our houses and the likes. We forget the purpose for the liberty we enjoy: life: freedom from bondage, that His people shall call Him God, and He shall call them sons. But we have stopped at foundation level, we have left th weightier matter undone – perfecting holiness.
We are all to familiar with Malachi, where God tells the people, you have robbed me for you have not given me tithes and offering. We ignore the earlier chapters of the book where he talks about unrequited love, honour not given and reverence being withheld. I remember all to clearly, once a colleague shared a story of her husbands dream with me. In the dream he found himself being pursued, shouts of “thief, thief, thief, thief” as he ran from the mob. He woke worried, and shared the dream with his wife. After a few hours of soul searching they conclude to pray. After the prayer the wife asks the husband “have you been paying your tithe?” He admits to having failed in keeping with this duty.
I wanted to ask, is it only in tithe and offering we (can) rob God. But I mused to myself what other areas do we rob God? How would we not rob God, when we do not know what belongs to Him. How would I not steal from Him, when I cannot say with certainty what is His?
In the book of Malachi, these burdens of the Lord are shared with the prophet:
1: I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? (V1)
2: A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear (reverence)? (V6)
3: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? (3:8)
Let’s go over these again: He is robbed of love He deserves; of honour he should receive; and fear or reverence that should be accorded to Him.
Yet, when He asks will a man rob God? Focusing on tithes and offering, all too confidently we cry out, all these I have kept from my youth.
We (choose to) forget He told the rich young man “go, sell your possessions and give to the poor… . Then come, follow me (Matt 19:16 – 21).” In another verse he says “ye have omitted justice, mercy and faithfulness (Matthew 23:23) NIV”. If he wanted the money he would not have said pursue righteousness or ask for 10 percent as tithe.
In the key text for this piece, He tells the Pharisees, the money and the property which you buy with the money all belong to the man whose image is on the denarius – Caesar, so give it to him.
In reference to Jesus’ reply of “Give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God”, Ravi Zacharias says “the man should have said, what (then) belongs to God? And Jesus would have said whose image is on you?” In another podcast he says “…in whose image are you made?”
God asks for 10 percent of your earnings but says you should worship with your whole (100%) Spirit, heart, mind and might.
Let’s take this William Blake’s poem in closing:
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee,
Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Thanks for stopping by!
You can listen to the podcasts that got me thinking and writing, what belongs to God, here:Whose Image is on you and Made in His Image.
This Just A Thought series is inspired by Ravi Zacharias’ Just A Thought one minute serial podcasts on the RZIM website.
How can you say you want to spend eternity with God and do not spend time with God now?
At the beginning of this year 2017, I told my self, I would give God thanks differently with my worship and praise.Often times, I find myself in position where I am asked lead prayers either in a church or small gathering. And when we want to charge people into given thanks and praising God, we do so by reminding them of other people’s misfortune, which in turn is a positive thing for them. Yes true.
Is that true worship?
I want to thank God sorely on the basis of purpose. Worship Him because that’s the reason for my being. I find it bothering, how it seems that when I thank God for life It’s an indirect reference to the death of others. Or when I appreciate God for the food on my table, it’s because I know many are hungry. I think this position of thought is jaundiced. We cannot give God thanks only because we see the opposite around us.
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you – 1Thess 5:18
Giving thanks essential to worship, the later our purpose and that’s the only reason needed. If we need any other reason, it fails to meet the requirements of true worship – in spirit and in truth.
And also, our inability to see that it is not only the things we have must thank God for, but also the things we do not.
Our thanks to God should come from the depths of our being, from the very core of our essesnce. It should not have to be encouraged by the misfortunes of others but sorely on the basis of purpose.
© francis Oluwaseun IGE
The year has started, and I can say things are looking quite brighter than the last. Already there are friends getting engaged; a new career appointments and I have seen movie this year and sense I will be seeing many more. I like the brightness already and I hope the light does not die out.
I gave my first New Year sermon weeks ago. And as is my practise, I always ask to know what the Holy Spirit intends for the flock. So, I was more than glad when very early on the 31st of December I received my daily dose of A Slice of Infinity in my mail titled: A New Year with New Hope written by Ravi Zacharias. As I read through I was happy, it seemed as if he (Ravi) had seen my sermon note (well, since my sermon was already ready by Friday morning,*winks*) and liked what he read. The text for my sermon is quoted above.
As I read the article, I got a better understanding of what the Holy Spirit intended for all. 2016 was dramatic in a lot of ways. I remember sharing on my Facebook page sometime back, how 2016 had surprises in different sectors and for different people. In football for the English premiership fans they saw. Leicester win the League; in Politics, Brexit won the UK memorandum and Hillary Rodham Clinton lost presidential elections, the Allepo crises, and the economic situation of Nigeria, just to mention a few.
It is in spite of these odds and many others that we go into the new year, hoping it to be a happy one. It is with all the heart break that many hope to find love, get a better job, change houses, get healed and maybe even travel outside their countries of residence.
A life without hope is a life without justifiable faith, a life that rests in a hollow, self-aggrandizing reaction to reality.- Ravi Zacharias
Faith is what helps us to hold on when there is nothing in view. We must look beyond the ugly realities and beautiful past, see the promised rainbow. We must have not just the faith in our ability but faith in God who is able to finish that which he begun 2000 years ago.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart beyond the reach of proof – kwoteapp.
Having learnt so many things from the past year, we must take that new level of knowledge, walk in faith, knowing that our hopes would not be disappointed.
The writer of the epistle to the Corinthians shares with us what’s most key to having a better life – a life that embraces, and conquers all odds. He says that Love is the principal thing.
German Philologist, Friedrich Nietzsche says, “Love is not consolation. It is light”. It is light that allows us see through the thick mist that shrouds our reality. It is light that we see in people of a different worldview to ours that helps us take them in, when the world system teaches other wise. But we have this light in us to recognise it in others.
You see, love is our true destiny and we do not find the meaning of life alone, we find it with others. And to have others in our life we must be available to them. Better put, the only way to have a friend in our life, is to first be one.
Let me share this story of a couple a friend related to during a teaching. The husband had shared with his wife his greatest affirmation of his love for her on the wedding night. He said, “for everything you would ever do, I forgive you”. She did not quite get it. Later in the marriage when she would do something or a disagreement would come up, and the husband would say to her, more like a reminder and re-affirmation, “I have already forgiven you”. Here on, it began to dawn on her the meaning of those words on the night they took their marital vows.
You see, I had always thought when we love we must forgive. Yes, because it is not only the right thing to do, it is our duty. However, in light of a new understanding recently received, It is apt to say that forgiveness is impossible simply by the seed of love alone, we need an equal quantity of faith in the mix. To love, we need faith, and faith works by love. That is, the kind of love that protects, that trusts, that hopes and more so, perseveres.
And If we are to have a brighter year, if we are to triumph in 2017, we need to open up, let go of the hurt in exchange for light, so much that we become beacons of hope in our small sectors or units.
Enjoy the rest of the year.
francis Seun IGE
You can read my Lessons from the Road Less Travelled I : Taking a cue from 2016.
francis Oluwaseun IGE is full time minister of the Gospel with The Redeemed Christian Church of God currently serving in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.
It is the first month of 2017. So Happy New Year is still in order.
Whilst, I was caught up with church planting in December last year, I tried to think what my first post for 2017 should be about. There was a lot I wanted to write down; though there was barely time to punch key pads without being distracted, I like to think it was more to procrastination, I did not write this earlier. Now that my drafts box is full, I am left with either to delete and start clean or see which is worth sharing.
As the year drew to an end and the new one began, I one-two-many personal testaments of what kind of year 2016 was. This reminded me of the beginning of the year, when you read such decrees and proclamations as ” My year of divine favour”, “My of fulfilment”, “My year of next level promotion” just to name a few. So when at the end of the year, and I read things like, “2016 was filled with disappointments”, “thank God 2016 has come and gone”, and many of such comments I can not remember now that expressed emotions as pain, hurt, disappointments, tears and heart break, etc I understood them because I also had my fair share of delays and disappointments. I’m sure everybody has something to say about 2016 being the year of drama. I particularly remember one post from a distant friend where she said “I got hurt the most in 2016”. I was tempted to ask if this statement had to do with her career goals or relationship goals?
I learnt a lot in 2016. It was a year of learning and growing in new dimensions for me. I was stretched in ways I never saw myself doing on my own, and I’m happy I was not allowed to have my way times I insisted to. I largely spent more time by myself with myself. Probably, went out on a date-kind-of-night not more than three times. Hence, as I read through all of those condolence messages and epitaph worthy quotes for 2016 I could not but ask, what did you learn from all these experiences you people had? From the comments I read only few people pointed out what they learnt from their experiences. It was like these folks were interested in burying 2016 they forgot to take the hand over notes for 2017.
I believe that we must take away something from our experiences; it must in a way break us, as well as mould. Our experiences must kick start dead cells in us or purge our excesses.
Apostle Paul said in Romans 5:3-5
we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulations worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; And Hope makes not ashamed;
We are not allowed to think, believe or expect God would take us through a journey and there would be no lessons. With God there is always purpose.
Like Ravi Zacharias shares with us in His podcast, ‘Lessons from the Road less travelled’, he says “God always takes us through different experiences – trials and tribulations for learning some of life’s most important lessons that would be important for building a strong life”.
He reminds us of a scene in the book of Deuteronomy as aanalogy.
Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. 8:2 NLT
In this Bible verse, Moses reminds the children of Israel how God took them through the wilderness for forty years, a journey that could have been completed in 14 days or less.
That process, as heart rendering, ego humbling, character proving, and faith trying as it might have been had a purpose. If the children of Israel were to get it right with God they had to go through the Long road. There is place we have to be, a time in our life that must come to pass, a person we must become and to get through or attain this height the preparation process is important. What Ravi calls the Long road in some Christian circles is referred to as the wilderness experience.
So, if you want to forget all of 2016, I suggest you don’t forget the lessons you learnt. And if it happens you already left the lessons and took the humour, you probably should do some retrospective pan and see what else is there to glean from last year’s experience. Because your hopes for 2017 will need the foundational lessons of 2016. And Paul, in Romans 5:5 concludes “hope maketh not ashamed (KJV).” Another version renders it, “hope does not disappoint (NIV).”
Happy New Year!
francis Oluwaseun IGE
PS: I figured this is one of the few that should be shared.
This post is a spin off of, and or was inspired by Ravi Zacharias’ Just a Thought serial podcast titled “Lessons from the road less travelled”.
Hopefully, this is the first of the many spin offs that would come from the Just A Thought serial podcasts. You can listen to to other podcasts on the RZIM website.