The Deepest Form of Worship

Recently, while reading the story of Job, I took some time to ponder on the extent of his faithfulness to God.  Rather than feel bad and downcast, the first thing Job did was to worship God. Despite all that Job passed through, he did not curse God like his wife suggested. Job never doubted the faithfulness of God. After Job was informed about the destruction of everything he had, including his children, he fell down and worshiped God. He got news that some raiders came and carried away all his earthly possessions, the ones that were not carried away were destroyed by fire. As if that wasn’t enough,a house collapsed on all his children and they all died. He lost everything in one day and his response was worship;can you imagine that?

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in really dark and low points. During such times it looks as if we have been forsaken and the world would fall on us. It is okay to feel bad during difficult and challenging times, but dwelling too much on our down moments is not what God expects from us. How we respond during such times is a reflection of our character.

During your last downtime how did you react?  What was your response like the last time you failed? Did you throw a pity party or blame God for your misfortune? Or did you do what Job did; worship God? I know how difficult it can be to praise when you are in pain but you know what, that is the deepest form of worship. The worship that costs you something is the real deal. Everybody can sing praises to God and thank God when things are rosy and sweet but how many people can truly say God still deserves the worship when times are hard?

We need to realize something which perhaps will change our attitude towards worship. Irrespective of what happens to us, God remains a good God. Even if you say He isn’t, it doesn’t change the fact that He is God. God is not God because we say so; He is God because He is God. As a matter of fact, He does not need us to be God. So why not quit blaming God for your problems and start giving him praise in spite of them because whether you think he deserves it or not does not change anything about Him. He is still God and  He is the only one that can bring you out of whatever situation you are. Cultivate the habit of surrendering all to God through worship, and He’ll lift you.

Are you your brother’s keeper?

One Saturday evening, while a young man, Tola, was returning home from work, he saw Sharon coming out of the motel beside his house. On that evening, Sharon was dressed in a very revealing outfit. Known to be a very dedicated Christian and committed member of the choir in the church Tola attends but lately, Sharon has become a shadow of what she’s known for.

Sharon had tried to get a job but most of them wanted her to “do something” before getting the job. It was really frustrating for Sharon because she had all that was required to get the job, except for the daunting request for her body.

After numerous trials Sharon got a call for another interview. This time she made up her mind to do whatever she was asked to do as it seemed her “holiness” was not getting her anywhere. It was when Tola saw her that he realized he had not been seeing her in church. He felt like walking up to her and talking to her but then he thought she might just embarrass him besides, it was none of his business so he decided to mind his’.

The decision to give your life to Christ made you become a part of God’s family: you became a son or a daughter of God. Therefore, other believers became your brothers and sisters. As human beings, we love our natural family and always put them first before other people but unfortunately we do not apply this to our spiritual family; other Christians. We do not act like the one body that 1Corinthians 12 says we are.

God has given each of us the responsibility to look out for one another. Our commitment should not just be to God but to other Christians; our spiritual brothers and sisters. This is why it is unfair for you to refuse to correct someone doing something wrong.

We should not detach ourselves from people who we feel are wavering in their faith.  We need to go after such people; get them back because they are more vulnerable when they are isolated. The devil likes to isolate people before attacking them because he knows that they are defenseless; they have nobody around to help them.

The kind of church God wants to build is that which is made up of a group of people; a group of people living as one. That implies that there is no such thing as minding your own business; everybody’s business is your business. We are stronger together than on our own.

What we need to know about prosperity

There are various ideologies about prosperity. Someone once said that prosperity is not for the children of God alone, but for anybody who obeys its principles and laws. For instance, principles such as hard work and giving are very vital to prosperity. The bible says “give and it shall be given to you”. It does not say be born again and it shall be given unto you. Once you give, whether you are a child of God or not, you will receive. This explains why people who do not know God are actually rich.

The pattern of thought of some Christians is so unbelievable at times. I find it funny and disappointing: they see someone who is very successful and conclude that he got his wealth through crooked means. Some people will see a rich man and assume that he did rituals. I see such thoughts as a way of justifying personal laziness and mediocrity.

Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying that everybody we see as successful got there through legitimate means. Though there are some people who cut corners to get rich, but not everyone does. I wonder if it has ever occurred to those people who criticize successful people that there is such a thing as hard work. Hard work births results; and one of such is prosperity. You can’t compare someone who stays up all night with someone who sleeps for 8 hours or even more. They can never be on the same level. Success is not magic; it does not just happen. Success is a result.

Just imagine what will happen if hard work (which is what people who don’t know God do because that’s all they have) is combined with the God factor. The ease with which success will be attained and the measure of the success would be mind-blowing. Christians are meant to dominate and rule this world-being the representatives of God. It is however sad that most of us are not making use of what we have. Let’s stop folding our hands and allowing the people of the world to run things. We need to pack up our beds and get to work!

How to respond to people who hurt you

Everybody has been hurt at some point in one way or the other by someone. However, what matters is not the fact that we were hurt but what we do after that.  Instead of brooding over the pain and the person that hurt us or thinking of ways to get back at the person, there are ways that we can respond that would make the bad experience turn out for our good and the person that hurt us would realize his wrong at the end of the day. The best revenge is not hurting the person that hurt us; the fact that someone treated you badly does not mean you should treat them badly or treat other people bad because of the wrong someone did you. The Bible says we should not be overcome by evil but we should overcome evil with good. Getting back at someone for hurting us degrades us. We are much more than that.

One of the ways to respond to hurt is being and doing what they said or think you can’t do and not just that, being the best at it. Imagine how that teacher that thought you were the dumbest person in the world would feel when his son tries to apply for a job in your company. How sweet!

Another way I have learnt to deal with hurt is to be happy irrespective of what people have done to  hurt me and live life to the fullest as though they did not even exist and as if I was never hurt. Someone embarrassed you and treated you like trash; tell yourself you are not who that person says you are but who God says you are. Perhaps someone rejected you and didn’t think you are worth keeping; I want you to know that even if you are not precious in the eyes of someone, there is someone else out there that values you. The best feeling is when someone appreciates everything about you that someone else took for granted.

Imagine the look on the face of that person that said you can never amount to anything when he sees you soaring high and successful. How do you think the people who took you for granted and looked down on you would feel when they see how great you become?

Anytime you think about people who hurt you, forget about the hurt and work on proving them wrong. Show the people that said you couldn’t that you can. Show the people that said you were not good enough that they were too blind to see what you are really made of.

Make up your mind to be fine and happy in spite of their opinion. Don’t let the pain make you hate. Hurts will eat you up inside and reduce your capacity to reach your best. Don’t let bitterness steal your sweetness. Rise above the pain and bring out the treasure hidden inside of you.

 

 

 

 

It’s not all about you

I was walking by one day when I heard two friends arguing. One of them said something I know a good number of people are familiar with: ‘It’s my life. I can do whatever I want’.  That is a very wrong mentality that too many people have. The same wrong orientation many of us have imbibed and this goes a long way to influence our actions, decisions, approach and attitude to life. Whether we like it or not, our life does not belong to us alone. Even if we do not have family and friends or anyone close to us, there is no way someone will not be affected either directly or indirectly by the things we do.

Think of it this way, if you buy a plot of land and someone has a farm just next to you, would you say, “it’s my land;I can do whatever I want with it” and then, you wake up one day and decide to set it on fire without thinking of how it would affect the farm next to you? It can as well be likened to a drunk driver who gets an innocent road user involved in an accident; someone he probably doesn’t even know at all.

If you think your decisions and actions are your business and no one else’s, you need to think again. Life is not and will never be all about you.  Our choices and decisions do have ripple effects. Whatever choices and decisions you make, no matter how insignificant they seem, will not affect you alone but everybody around you. It will affect even people who do not know anything about the decision you made. A lot of people did not choose the circumstance and situations they find themselves in, but they found themselves there because of a decision someone made.

This is my charge to you: life does not revolve around you alone. Stop making decisions based on what you feel or what you think is in your best interest alone. Think about other innocent people around you that your life will affect.

Love is not a fight

It’s amazing how thin the line between love and hate is. One moment you feel like you can’t live without this person and the next, you can barely stand each other. Love is patient and kind. It is not selfish neither is it proud. Love is not easily provoked. It bears all things and endures all things.

When we love someone, it shouldn’t just be a feeling but a decision because the feeling would not always be there. There would be times when what we feel is nothing close to love. It is at such times that our decision to love that person will make us fight for our love and not fight each other. I want to share the lyrics of a song by Warren Barfield with you;it sums up everything I want to say:

“Love is not a Fight”

Love is not a place

To come and go as we please

It’s a house we enter in

Then commit to never leave

So lock the door behind you

Throw away the key

Work it out together

Let it bring us to our knees

Love is a shelter in a raging storm

Love is peace in the middle of a war

And if we try to leave

May God send angels to guard the door

No love is not a fight

But it’s something worth fighting for

To some love is a word

That they can fall into

But when they’re falling out

Keeping that word is hard to do

Love is a shelter in a raging storm

Love is peace in the middle of a war

And if we try to leave

May God send angels to guard the door

No love is not a fight

But it’s something worth fighting for

Love will come and save us

If we’ll only call

He will ask nothing from us

But demand we give our all

Love is a shelter in a raging storm

Love is peace in the middle of a war

And if we try to leave

May God send angels to guard the door

No love is not a fight

But it’s something worth fighting for.

The Other Person

The desire to be understood is a trait that all human beings have in common. Regardless of the colour, race, status and background, everyone, no matter how tough seeks to be understood. Although some people may not want to admit, we all need someone who understands us: what we feel, how we feel and what we are thinking.

Our emotions is an integral part of us which affects other areas of our life. There are some people we consider to be so tough, those we think that nothing gets to them, but this is not true. Everyone has feelings. Though they might not show it; they might look all put together and perfect on the outside, deep down, they have pain and may be nursing some fears. This implies that we are all the same; we all have a need to be understood.

There is a kind of unending craving to be understood as precisely as possible. The question however, at this point is, if this need can be met. I would say , yes it can. There is at least one person that should understand us and I choose to call such a person “the other person”.

A lot of people are going through torture because “the other person” is not meeting their need to be understood. At this point, my question is, who is this other person? How did the person come to be “your other person”? Was it because the person was good-looking and hot? Or was it because he/she made you feel special and treated you like the only person in the world? Or you were so blinded by love that all you saw was everything on the outside and you didn’t bother to look a little closer at the inside? Do you really connect or the person is just fun to be with?

Not everybody can understand you. You must also note that it is not everybody that can feel what you feel; the fact that someone is cool and charming does not mean the person will be able to confront and resolve issues between you two when they arise because conflicts will come. It is only someone who truly understands you and understands how you really feel that will respect your differences, be considerate of your feelings and be patient with you. Only someone who truly understands you will stick with you and be there for you, regardless of the situation. So, who is “the other person” in your life?