OUR LIGHT AFFLICTION


When the Bible talks about our light affliction, what is it saying? Is it talking about every bad thing we experience as humans? Is it talking about the after-effects of our wrong choices? Sometimes, Christians who are poor think poverty is their light afflictions but we must define what light affliction is in the context of what the Bible is talking about. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:17

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

Light affliction is not the general problems that humans go through; it is the discipline, discomfort and contentment that we are willing to endure for the sake of Christ. Light affliction is not a misfortune but the sacrifice of self for the sake of our faith. The Bible says in the previous verses in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

There are times we are pressed on every side, this pressing might be an experience of discomfort and even lack; not because we lack ideas but because we have prioritized Jesus over every other thing. There are times we might get confused because we left so many things behind just to live and walk with Jesus and it seems we aren’t being rewarded, there are times we get persecuted and rejected because we decide to stand on God’s word rather than subscribe to the world’s unhelpful philosophies and there are times we get struck down and beaten! This is what the Bible refers to as light affliction. Not all afflictions you experience as a believer is a light affliction.

For example, the believer may be poor not because he is a believer but because he didn’t work on the ideas he had. The believer may not give birth to children, not because she is a believer but because she isn’t medically fit to have a baby. A Christian may fail exams and not do well in school, not because of their faith but because they didn’t study hard. These things are general human problems they are afflictions but not the “light affliction” that God’s word talks about. 

Let’s see it this way: It is painful to be pregnant for nine months but these pains can never surpass the joy of carrying your baby and watching the baby grow! It is a kind of light affliction in the human sense because it is not something you are perpetually going to experience for the rest of your life. Your baby will outlive the nine months of pain and the travails of motherhood become a shout of joy. A student must be willing to go through years of discipline and commitment but if you can pull through to the end, the glory of being skilful in your area of study can’t be compared with what you went through.

Now, let’s bring it to the Christian context. Light afflictions aren’t truly your unfortunate experiences of life which every other person goes through regardless of who they are. Being wealthy or being poor has nothing to do with religion or race. Your light affliction as a believer is the carrying of your cross and following Jesus. For example, friends may leave you because of your faith in Christ, families may reject you because of your faith and you may deny yourself certain pleasures and opportunities just because it is a compromise of what you believe. However, the promise we have is that they are light afflictions as long as they are for the sake of Christ and it is an introduction to an eternal weight of glory.

The Bible says that we should present our bodies as living sacrifices. Sacrifices are normally dead for them to be used but we are living sacrifices in the sense that we have a choice, we can decide to walk away but then we willingly give up our rights, pleasure and time for the sake of Christ and for the sake of others whom Christ has committed to us. This means we may have opportunities for revenge but because our life isn’t our own anymore we stay clear of vengeance! This means we may get opportunities to engage in illegal means of living a wealthy life but because we have been laid on the altar of Christ, we give up such opportunities.

Sometimes, we are too afraid to go through our light affliction, but for every glory, there must be willingness to endure something! For every fame, there is a shame attached to it. Just like you must go through pains to bear a child and go through the stress of schooling just to obtain certain knowledge, skills and get certified; you must also go through certain light afflictions as a Christian but these things don’t last forever! It is just for a time. This may never sound like what you want to hear but if you desire the glory, you must be willing to bear the shame! You must be willing to get rejected by friends, to be laughed at because of what you believe and be criticized! Jesus never promised that it would be easy, He said in Matthew 16:24

“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your way, take up your cross, and follow me.”

Picking up the cross doesn’t mean the burdens of life. It would be pride to say that the problems you are going through which is common to everybody are a “cross” that you are carrying for the sake of Christ. The cross isn’t the natural burdens of life but the willingness to lay down your own life for the sake of Christ. This doesn’t mean you must experience extreme consequences of following Christ but it means that you “must be willing” to experience these things if they come. Jesus passed through His light affliction but each time He looked ahead to see the weight of glory waiting for Him, He kept enduring.

For everything you go through for the sake of Christ, there is a weight of glory waiting for you! I don’t know what that glory is, I don’t know when it is going to come but one thing I know is that even this entire life will not be enough to contain it.  You are meant to endure your light affliction, you are meant to stay through it and your light affliction is your capital for glory! You cannot evade the process of glory and the path to glory is filled with ups and downs, it isn’t smooth. Greatness becomes a curse for anyone who skipped through all the process to the top. It is these processes that train us for greatness.

Your light affliction is the journey to destiny. Abraham had a promise but he lived all his life without seeing that promise manifest the way he might have envisioned it but he trusted God and kept walking! Today, we are called the Children of Abraham. As a believer, you outlive this earth and even if you have to endure these afflictions all through your stay on earth, there is always a greater hope! The Apostles went through all manner of persecutions but they were looking at the weight of glory ahead of them, they were seeing these glories in Jesus!

No wonder Paul said “to die is gain but to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21) and no wonder Stephen saw Jesus when he was being stoned to death (Act 7:56). Their eyes were all on Jesus and not on the afflictions. People’s rejection of you because of your faith isn’t an indication that you are doing something wrong, it is a sign that you are on your way to being crowned with glory. How to live through the light afflictions is to fix our gaze on Jesus. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:2

“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne”

There is a joy awaiting you after the afflictions, some of these joy starts from this earth but it doesn’t end on earth because the glory is eternal! Some of us live in the parts of the world where we may have to die for the sake of Jesus while some live in the part of the world where the worst they would experience is to be rejected by friends and families but whatever class you fall into, Jesus said in Luke 18:29-30

“no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will fail to receive many times more in this age—and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Take a look at Joseph, he had a dream and all the while he was dreaming, he never knew there was a price to pay for that kind of glory but we know the end of the story for Joseph, we know what became of him later and we know that whatever he went through was a means to glory. Sometimes, your light affliction is experienced in service too! There are times it is not so interesting to serve, there are times telling people about Jesus becomes dangerous to the flesh, there are times we have to make sacrifices and do something the flesh doesn’t want. But because we know where we are going, we can endure that light affliction. If we can’t endure it, we wouldn’t have been asked to do so.

Your light affliction may be staying hungry because you had to give to the poor, it may be getting rejected by friends and family, it may be getting persecuted in your workplace or by the government because you stand firm in Jesus, it may those times people laugh at you and call you a coward because you have chosen to love your enemies… Whatever your light affliction is, you can walk through it and always remember, after the night comes the morning. The affliction is light because the weight of glory attached to it is nothing to be compared!

The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:10

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory through Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”

God bless you!

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IS JESUS STILL PREPARING A PLACE FOR US?


Before the death of Jesus, He made a promise to go away and prepare a place. Is that still so? Is He making many mansions ready for us? Are we entitled to a flat, semi-detached house, a room, a skyscraper or a mansion? How ready are you getting for the house? Will you be coming with your properties or will Jesus ensure each house gets furnished?

Well, I’ve got a news flash for you! Jesus isn’t preparing a place for us anymore. The place is already prepared. He isn’t building mansions as we were taught, the place He already prepared for us is Himself! Let’s do a little study:

“In My Father’s house, there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when (if) I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.” – John 14:2-6 AMPC

Jesus, before His death said He was going away to prepare a place, it was a pre-New Testament promise because He didn’t say this after His resurrection, He never implied it again. When He said He was going away, He was talking about His death. There was a place in the Kingdom of God, that place wasn’t for the unsaved and by the salvation made available to us by the death and resurrection of Jesus that place became available for anyone who is in Christ Jesus. Look very well and notice He said: “I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also”. This greatly reveals to us the place Jesus was talking about, He was referring to Himself as the place being made ready for us because only in Him can we truly be with God. He is the place for the believer!

And Jesus further said, I am the way, the truth and the life! Now get this very clearly, Jesus being the way doesn’t mean He is the road to the place! Being the way here implies that He is the point on entrance into a brand new life and He is also that life. Being the truth implies that He is the reality of that place and being the life implies that He is the “making-alive” of any man. There is no other way to access the father because He is the father (John 14:9-10).

Note that when He said He will be back, He wasn’t talking about what we call the “Second Coming”, He was referring to His resurrection and ascension! We aren’t expecting diverse mansions in heaven, Jesus is big enough for every one us. No wonder we are seated with Him in the heavenly places. Jesus said He will take us to Himself so that we can be wherever He is. No wonder the Bible says

“And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” – Ephesians 2:6 AMPC

This is our present reality and not even about rapture! We are joined together with the Lord and we have become of one Spirit with Him! (1 Corinthians 6:17). This way, we were raised up together with Him and was made to sit down together in the heavenly realm because we are inside of Him as our dwelling place.

We are not expecting any other mansion better than Jesus! He is our home! We may not know the level and the height of the beauty of this place in Christ where we are. We will get to know this when the flesh wears off! Jesus wasn’t talking about mansions and buildings when He said he was going to make a place! He was talking about making homes for us and He is our home for in Him we have our dwelling place and in Him we find rest!

So, it no longer relevant to think that Jesus is still preparing a place for us in heaven, He isn’t building new houses neither are there any angelic contractors who had been delaying in finishing the buildings. Remember, Jesus said He is preparing a place, not places! He is that place which has been prepared by the reason of His death, burial and resurrection! The Bible says in Act 17:28

“For in him we live and move and have our being.”

The believer isn’t struggling to make heaven at last, the believer is in Christ already and the believer is currently functioning from the heavenly sphere! We have joint seating with Jesus because we are in Him already! While there are so many dwelling places in the Kingdom of God, Jesus prepared a specific place for us! This place is a place even the Angels and 24 Elders aren’t dwelling; they have their place and that’s why Jesus said there are many places. But the specific place Jesus made for us is Himself that we may dwell where He dwells! We are seated on the same very seat where Jesus seats by the virtue of us being in Him.

Isn’t this why we pray in the name of Jesus (John 14:13)? To pray in His name as I wrote many months ago is not just to have a routine of ending our prayers with “in the name of Jesus”, it means He has given us His own authority, it means He has placed us exactly on His own stead. This means to speak like Jesus! When we pray, we aren’t praying through Jesus, we are standing in the place of Jesus to talk! To pray in the name of Jesus means to stand by His own authority. And the Bible says “as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

With this understanding, I believe you are set for the extraordinary!

Blessings

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CHURCH GROWTH IS WARFARE


“Church growth is warfare.” – David Abioye

I heard Bishop David Abioye make the above comment at the just concluded international ministers’ conference 2019 and it stirred something in me. What exactly is this warfare about? Is it just about prayers? Is it just about engaging in a fight against forces of darkness that cause people not to desire to be in fellowship? For me, it is something beyond that! It is something beyond wanting people to come to Church meetings and start going out! Jesus didn’t ask us to “call them and win them” He rather asked us to go! How do we go? Where do we go? This is what the fight is all about.

When we preach the gospel, show Jesus via our love walk and win souls, we are fighting! We are marching in our battalions with a weapon of love, a weapon that can’t be marched with anger, hatred, bitterness, ignorance and any kind of weapon that has been fashioned and will ever be fashioned.

We are fighting from the place of victory and we are the offenders and not the defenders! The Church is on a march, pulling down gates and walls and then bidding the un-churched, the rejected, the hopeless, the unworthy and ‘whosoever’ to come! We make the step first, we go out to them, reach out to them and ask them to follow! We don’t just sit in our cosy buildings and announce “well, the door is open. Come check us out!”

“The Church is on a march, pulling down gates and walls and then bidding the un-churched, the rejected, the hopeless, the unworthy and ‘whosoever’ to come!”

They are coming to the life source itself, they are coming to be plugged into the source and become dispensers of life and light! They aren’t just coming to live, they aren’t just coming to have a drink or eat the bread! They become a fountain of overflowing living waters through whom others will drink and have life. Therefore, we must show Jesus in words and in deeds because we are in warfare!

You don’t finish your harvest and leave the farm produce at the farm! You take your yam to the barn, you take your grain to where it will be safe and in the same way, after reaching out to souls out there, you bring them to a place of nurturing and growth! This is the purpose that our Church gatherings serve. We don’t leave our harvest in the open, we take them in, train them and make them ready to be enlisted as senior officers of our armed forces who can stand in the war front!

“You don’t finish your harvest and leave the farm produce at the farm!”

With love, we are running a cheap but effective model of advertisement and we are showing the world what exactly is obtainable in Christ. The vulnerable should come to fellowships and feel a love that protects, the uncultured should come to fellowships and see a love that changes people patiently from the inside out! The hungry should come to church and see a love that feeds him or her to the full! The Church should be popular for love!

Love is a peaceful weapon of war with which we pull down strongholds. Our campaign is that of love, our expression is love and our resources for growth is love! You think it is the night clubs, the awesome technicalities of secularism, the ease of life and permissibility of excesses that keeps people in the world? No, it is simply the degree to which they haven’t experienced this love that keeps them away from ever wanting to be in fellowship! This isn’t about growing a name, a denomination, loyalists to man or achieving fame with numbers. It is about pursuing an increase, an increase which is the crowing of our willingness to walk the walk of Christ, it is about the body of Christ in the generic sense and it is about raising people who are loyal to Christ.

“You think it is the night clubs, the awesome technicalities of secularism, the ease of life and permissibility of excesses that keeps people in the world? No, it is simply the degree to which they haven’t experienced this love that keeps them away from ever wanting to be in fellowship!”

How to fight more is to love more! How to be a fierce fighter is to be a fierce lover. How to be an unapologetic fighter is to be unapologetic about our stand in God’s love. You see them in their worst? Say to them “there is a better place for you, a place of rest and freedom. That place is Christ!” This is how to fight! Church growth is warfare.

Let’s fight!

A FREE GIFT FOR YOU!

WALKING AND LIVING BY AND IN THE SPIRIT | Understanding Romans 8:1-11


To walk in the Spirit doesn’t mean to do good works, it means yielding ourselves to the leading of the Spirit which of course will result in doing good works. For example, my body wants to go to swimming pool but I have a leading to go and preach the gospel to certain people, I will have to suppress my desires and do the demands of the Spirit. Perhaps, I saw myself is a very bad situation, my flesh may give me reasons to live in fear but I will respond back with God’s word which says “the Lord is with me”… I am subjecting my flesh to the leading of the Spirit. I will keep taming my flesh until it becomes normal to always respond to God’s spirit more quickly. Sometimes people want to use certain verses in Romans 8 to make us think that living by the Spirit means struggling to do things right! To live by the Spirit is not the same thing with “being led by the Spirit”. Let’s look at some verses and have a brief study.

Verse 1 says “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”


I came across a Christian who was teaching people that to be in Christ means to do good works. We are not trying to push out the importance of good works but we shouldn’t be teaching false doctrines based on it. HOW CAN WE BE IN CHRIST JESUS? It is by believing in Christ Jesus as our saviour (John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21), we don’t come to Christ by doing any works… We don’t remain in Christ by doing any works. Our works cannot sponsor us to stand right with God.

Verse 2 says “For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death”


In Christ, we have been set free from the Law of sin and death! The law of sin comes with death but the law of the Spirit of life has set us free from that death! The wages of sin is death, which is what is obtainable from the law of sin! But the gift of God is eternal life; this is obtainable from the law of the Spirit of life. The law of the Spirit of life would say “come unto me all ye who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest”.

Verse 3 says “For what the Law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man, as an offering for sin. He thus condemned sin in the flesh”


Jesus was condemned for my sake. What I couldn’t do because my flesh is powerless to do them, God sent Jesus to make up for it and Jesus declared “it is finished”… That is how my freedom story began! I was supposed to die because of my sins but Jesus took it up from me and died my death so that I can live His life.

Verse 4 says “so that the righteous standard of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”


You see that? My life is no longer according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. God’s standard has been fulfilled in my spirit because I do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit! Living by the Spirit and walking by the spirit are two different things. I can only walk by the Spirit because I am now living by the Spirit. When I walk by the Spirit, I am allowing the life I live in the Spirit to come into reality in the physical. My good works are results of who I am and not the results of who I should become.

Verse 5 says “Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”

This is an outline of the difference that has come to be! What I do is different because of how I live. My mind is set on the things of the Spirit because I live according to the spirit. Why are we discussing this SPIRITUAL matter today? Unbelievers don’t care about these things! It is irrelevant to them. They are only concerned with the things of the flesh.

Verse 6, 7&8 says “The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s Law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God”


We see further that the mind of the flesh isn’t friendly to God, it lives opposite to what God demands! It doesn’t submit to God’s law and it cannot do so. Those are controlled by the flesh cannot please God in any way! But then verse 9 assures me that

“You, however, are controlled not by the flesh, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”


You see that? Once we have the Spirit of Christ, we belong to Christ and Jesus said in John 10:28-30 that nobody can pluck us out of his hands! This is an assurance of my place in Christ.

Verse 10 continues “But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit gives you life because of righteousness.”


Because Christ is in the believer, although the body of the believer is dead because of sin, yet the Spirit gives the believer life because of HIS own righteousness. It is God who works in us both to will and to do!

In verse 11, Paul wrote,

“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who dwells within you.”


The life we live now is not our own life and it cannot be maintained by our own works. Whatever good work we do today, it is because of what God is doing in us and we have yielded ourselves to do them. A believer in Christ Jesus is saved for good works and not by good works.

GOD BLESS YOU.

UNMASKING DEPRESSION BY GEORGE O.N

THE BURNING BUSH | When men are on fire!


THE BURNING BUSH | When men are on fire!

There is something about the burning bush experience that Moses had. When a bush or any material is burning, the fire is sustained by whatever is burning but come to think of it, the bush was on fire but the bush was not the sustaining power for that fire! The fire was just burning and yet the fire was sustaining itself!

Kai! This is the mystery of the Holy Spirit!

You are not the one sustaining the fire of the Holy Spirit! The question is, are you ready to burn? Are you available to be the instrument on which God’s fire keeps burning into generations? The fire of the Holy Spirit is self-sustaining, it doesn’t grow stale, it doesn’t grow old… It is always oven fresh!

Hei… Hei… Listen to me,

If you are ready to burn, open up yourself and allow the fire of the Holy Spirit burst out of you! Your oil cannot sustain it, you have been anointed by the Holy Spirit Himself and all He needs you to do is to go ahead and burn!

When you come across that sick person, stop negotiating if this one needs medical attention or not, go ahead and give what you have first! Peter said to the man who sat by the beautiful gate “I’ve got no money or drugs to give you but I’ve got the anointing, I’ve got the fire, I’ve got the power of the Holy Spirit working inside of me… I’ve got the healing anointing! Now, take it! Rise up and walk!”

“The fire of the Holy Spirit is self-sustaining, it doesn’t grow stale, it doesn’t grow old… It is always oven fresh!”

That is how to burn!

When you are walking on the road and God tells you “lead that boy or girl to me” don’t be scared! Your flesh may be shy but your Spirit is bold! Switch off the flesh and switch on the Spirit. You may not feel like it because the flesh is weak but your Spirit is willing, your Spirit is ever ready to respond to God! Be stubborn to that flesh, it may not want to go but it is not the Master and therefore it has no say here. Drag that body to the mission and when you get to that boy or girl, you say to him or her “hey dear! God sent me to you! He wants you right here and now!” Come on, this thing is not child play!

In Acts 8:26-40, Philips was on his own and God’s word came to him saying “rise and go towards the South, to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This road is a desert area, Philip could have argued with God saying “is anything happening there? What is important about that dessert?” But no! Philip was a man committed to service! He wasn’t serving two masters and he must have said to God “Yes Sir! Anywhere you lead me, I go. I’ve got no choice.” Philip moved immediately and guess what he saw? A court official, a staff to the Queen of Ethiopia and this man was returning from Jerusalem, he had gone for service. He was reading the book of Isaiah and the Spirit said to Philip “this is why I sent you here. Go and join him on his chariot!”

What? God, are you kidding me? Are you serious? Is that how you look for your own trouble? This would have been my question to God. But this wasn’t Philip’s question to God. He went ahead, against the possible unwillingness of his flesh and Philip approached him without any high and magnified salutation. Philip was going on the command of the King of Kings, He was going with an authority superior to any authority! This consciousness gave him so much boldness. And he asked the learned government official “do you understand what you are reading?”

See, when that fire is burning! Fear flies out! Imagine Philip, a supposed illiterate, asking a government official if he understands what he is reading. But this is where I love the court official so much. He expressed so much humility, he didn’t look down at the commoner who came on foot! And he responded, “how can I understand it except someone teaches me?” This man admitted that he needed a teacher, he had the scroll right there but it wasn’t making any sense to him. It can only make sense with the Holy Spirit. He was reading Isaiah 53:7 and Philip started teaching him what that place talked about. It was about Jesus! Philip preached Jesus to a man who he was just meeting and this man in all humility shouted to Philip when they got to a place that had water saying “here is water! What would prevent me from getting baptized?” After Philip had baptized the court official, the Spirit of God carried Philip away and the court official couldn’t see him again.

This is how to burn!

Moses never saw that fire for nothing! It was in the place of encountering that fire that God sent him on a mission that changed the entire story of this world. We aren’t just looking at the burning bush, we are the burning men! The fire is on you already if you are a believer full of the Holy Spirit! What are you waiting for?

How many times has God asked you to preach in the bus and declare healing over the sick and you chickened out? How many times have you passed someone and God gave you a word for that person and you chickened out? Revival is you recognizing God’s power in you and going ahead to express it! The fire of the Holy Spirit hasn’t grown stale, it is still burning! God wants it hot, He doesn’t want it lukewarm. When He asks you to go and it seems the flesh is loud, shut it off by getting to a corner and speaking in tongues! When you pray in tongues, you are building up yourself! There is always this shot of strength that comes up when you pray in tongues! When the flesh seems loud, speak the language of the Spirit and move in the might of the Spirit.

“Moses never saw that fire for nothing! It was in the place of encountering that fire that God sent him on a mission that changed the entire story of this world.”

Stop stumbling into the flesh all the time, you stumble into the flesh when you start thinking of what your friends will say, besides if your friends are the ones who will discourage you from burning, run from them! The Bible says you’ve got no deal with the darkness. Remember I told us some days ago that we had Darkexit and it was a no deal exist! Don’t let anything come between you and your mission. Stand bold like Peter and live for Jesus.

Burn in your office, burn in your school, burn in your street… Burn everywhere! Be popular for that fire of God that burns in you without getting you burnt out! He is the one sustaining the fire, your own part is to burn!

Hallelujah!

~ George O.N

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | AVAILABLE IN KINDLE AND PAPERBACK

DARKEXIT | Mystery of the sons of God!


DARKEXIT | Mystery of the sons of God!

I was inspired to write on this by Favourwealth Onumba, I read her Facebook status which says “When God sees us today, He sees Jesus. That’s reassuring. “ And it seemed like I got a push to write on it, it came like a floodlight and I couldn’t resist it or do anything else but just lay hands on my keyboard and start writing. It is long but it is revealing!

One of the most amazing unravelled mystery about believers in Christ Jesus isn’t just that we are in good standing with God, it is not that we have been declared the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and it is not that we have been saved from darkness into God’s marvellous light, all of those are awesome and they are tangible truths about the believer in Christ Jesus. But one of the truths I consider more amazing is that it is no longer about you but about Jesus. God isn’t seeing us anymore, He is seeing Jesus. He looks at you and He is looking at His only begotten Son, Jesus. The death and resurrection of Jesus only multiplied Jesus.

Staring at this amazing truth in the face, Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” We may not have been there when Christ was crucified on the cross, but Christ was crucified on our behalf, He chose to carry our burden that we may live His life. This is why Paul said, “I no longer live but it is Christ who lives in me.” Do you understand this? Let’s look at the next phrase in that same verse, He said: “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” We may not grasp the truth here if we rush this verse, so we will look at it slowly again and am sure you’d be excited about the truth revealed herein.

“The death and resurrection of Jesus only multiplied Jesus.”

First of all, Paul identifies the beginning of his new nature and he starts with “I have been crucified with Christ…” He may not have been there when Christ was crucified, he was not among the two robbers that were crucified alongside Jesus but he was bold to say “I have been crucified with Christ”, not beside or behind Christ but with Christ! This is because Christ was crucified on his (our) behalf. In the spiritual sense of it, we were with Christ on that cross because Christ carried our sin problem to the cross! And then Paul went on to say tell us what been crucified with Christ had resulted to and he wrote: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” In Romans 6:7 the Bible says because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.” Because we died, our sins were dead and buried with Christ. This is a spiritual truth and may not make so much sense when we look at it from the perspective of logic. The moment Christ died, God considered us dead because the judgment of God on sin which says The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20) was met. The sin issue was settled.

In the resurrection of Christ, we resurrected with Him not as the old man that was stained in sin but as new creatures. These things didn’t happen physically, it happened in a spiritual sense, it is what Christ achieved by dying in our stead. It is for this reason that Paul said: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Because Christ died our death, we are now living His life, we are now all parts of Him and He remains the head of the body. Because these things happened in the Spiritual sense, Paul wrote further “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ” This means, as we live in the physical, we should live by faith in Christ who has made our new life possible by giving his own life for us.

“In the spiritual sense of it, we were with Christ on that cross because Christ carried our sin problem to the cross!”

To live by faith in the Son of God means to live in agreement with what God has done concerning us. The Bible says in John 3:16 “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.” You see that? Whosoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life. To believe means to live by faith in the son of God, that is to live in agreement with God. This is why the Bible says in John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” Now watch this very closely, those who receive Him are those who believed in His name and it is to them He has given the power to become Children of God. Power here means right. We received the right to become God’s children the moment we accepted Jesus. Jesus was the only begotten son of God but by the reason of what Jesus did, we became adopted in His name. 

Christ is the only means through which God would bring us to Himself. The Bible says “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” It is God’s plan that we are united to Him through Jesus and just as the Bible reports that God is pleased with Jesus, He is now pleased with us. This is because God isn’t seeing us anymore but Jesus. When God looks at us, He sees nothing but His dear son Jesus. If Christ now lives through me, it means the day I died with Christ was my end and my fresh new start began in Jesus and as Jesus. 

“We received the right to become God’s children the moment we accepted Jesus.”

Before the death of Jesus, He said in John 14:2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” Many people understand this to be that Jesus is going to heaven to build houses for us but that is not what Jesus was saying. Let’s take a constructive look at that statement again. Jesus didn’t say “I am going there to prepare places for you…” He was talking to more than one person but He promised He was going to prepare a place. What is that place? We find the answer in the next verse which says And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Jesus wasn’t talking about estates, it is something greater than that. He said, “…and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Wherever Jesus is, is the place He has prepared for us but it gets more interesting in the proceeding verse when He said: “You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas asked “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” and Jesus gave an answer that has changed the entire world today. He said “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It gets clearer here! Jesus said He is the way to this place He talked about but we also discover that the place He talked about is “the Father!” Amazingly, Jesus is one with the father and Jesus is the final destination of every believer! In Him, we find ourselves in God.

No wonder, the Bible says in the Epistle, Ephesians 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” We may not have experienced this in a physical sense, but it is true spiritually and we live in the physical by faith in the son of God. Take a look at that! When Christ was being raised up to heaven, we were being raised with Him. When Christ got seated with God in the heavenly realm, we got seated with God. When Jesus said to Mary Magdalene “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” He was simply saying “my Father has become your Father because you have become me.” The presence of Jesus in the heavenly realm has got us all covered. God isn’t seeing us and our weaknesses again, this will sound absurd to the legalistic mind but God is seeing Jesus and Jesus alone. This is why we have become the body of Christ while Jesus is the head of the body. When God wants to look at us, He looks at Jesus and when we want to look at God, we look at Jesus.

“Amazingly, Jesus is one with the father and Jesus is the final destination of every believer! In Him, we find ourselves in God.”

Christ is man, Christ is God and Christ is the union of divinity and humanity, the new creatures in Christ Jesus is the replica of Christ and no wonder the people at Antioch looked at the disciples of Jesus and said: “these men are a replica of Christ!” (Act 11:26). Does this mean God got blind when we got saved? Does this mean God forgot we were ever us? Perhaps God forgot I am George? No, God has simply chosen to see us on the basis of what Christ has done, His acceptance is on the basis of Christ’s qualification. Whatever is Christ’s has become ours too! God treats us just the same way He would treat Christ. The Bible says in Romans 8:17 “Now if we are his children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” The Bible says we are co-heirs with Christ which indicates that we share an equal inheritance with Christ. Some translation calls it “joint-heirs” and it rings a bell! We have a joint account with Christ and everything that belongs to Christ belongs to us. This is how God wants it, this is what God has ordained and decided even before the foundations of this world. And Paul wrote something amazing here saying “if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” There are truths that get me crying and asking God “who am I that you are mindful of me?” This is one of that truth! The suffering of Christ on the cross has also been credited to us and just as we believe that we died with Christ, we ought to also believe that we share in His glory!

“We have a joint account with Christ and everything that belongs to Christ belongs to us. This is how God wants it…”

When Jesus saw the glory ahead of Him that made Him journey to that cross, He wasn’t being fascinated by it for Himself, He was seeing us being united with our father in heaven, He was seeing the big family of God extending to the ends of the earth! This is what the Bible says concerning us in Galatians 4:7 “So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, you are also an heir through God.” We are now sons of God, we are now called by the name of God and we can pride in the love of the father knowing that we’ve got no further deal with darkness, no deal with ancestral curses, no deal with hell, no deal with the old things. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” In Christ we have become new creatures, the old things are passed away. It was a no deal darkexit! We left darkness without any deal, without any further agreement and our allegiance changed forever! The new life in Christ is here and that is the level at which we operate at the moment. The next verse says “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” The only way God would reconcile us to Himself is in Christ, God is pleased with us and He sees us in Christ alone. This is why we are continuing in the order of Christ, to reconcile men with God.

“It was a no deal darkexit! We left darkness without any deal, without any further agreement and our allegiance changed forever!”

Do you see that now? Christ took our place that we might take His place. This is the glory of anyone who believes in Him, you have been crucified with Christ and now He lives through you and when God wants to look at you He looks at Christ. As we begin to round off on this article, you need to know this truth for yourself. The Bible says in Colossians 3:3 “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” The word “hidden” is gotten from the Greek word “κέκρυπται” which means “to conceal or keep secret” and this explains that our life has been concealed in Christ. God’s love has been made perfect in us, the perfection of this love is manifested in a way that we have become just like God in Christ Jesus. The Bible says 1 John 4:17 “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world, we are like Jesus.” Are you still sceptical about your salvation? Are you still scared about certain things you are struggling within the flesh? Your body may not seem like it but you are just like God and the day Christ will appear, you will appear with Him because you are His body! (1 John 3:2)

You owe darkness nothing, this is why you should not continue in the deeds of the flesh because it doesn’t portray who you have become. You are just like Jesus! Hallelujah!

“Your body may not seem like it but you are just like God and the day Christ will appear, you will appear with Him because you are His body!”

~ George O.N

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | By George O.N

GOD EXPOSED | Bible & Quran


Even before we came to this earth and identified with our earthly parents, we already had a father. Many people never realized this on time, we were told about God, we were told about His sovereignty, we were told that God created the entire world and is the Lord of all. Whether you found it in the Quran or in the Torah, one thing was common; God is the King of Kings, the Lord over all and for some people, His name is too holy to be mentioned by mere mortals who couldn’t attain God’s standard of Holiness.

However, there is something remarkable that we always disregard whether you are seeing it from the Quran perspective or from the Torah. In Quran 38:71-72, we see a report that says this “I am going to create a human (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.  So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.” and we also see an even more profound perspective in Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” God created man with an amazing intention, He wasn’t going to start bossing man around and He had always wanted the man to be honoured. If God made man in His image, He wanted much more than worshippers.

God didn’t say “let us create man to worship me” He already had worshippers who were created to worship Him but if the man should worship God, God wanted willingness to worship and therefore, in the beginning, there was no command from God to man, to worship Him. Making man in His image alone was a glory to be reckoned with that the fallen angel (satan) became aggrieved!

“If God made man in His image, He wanted much more than worshippers.”

After Satan had deceived man to seek an extra knowledge which actually doesn’t exist, the man left the ways of God and sojourned into the path of Satan; leaving Satan in control (Luke 4:6) and venturing into a futile search for God and what pleases Him. This was how religion was birthed, the man continued to try to please God by their own efforts but the more they try the more they failed because God needed no effort of man to make him perfect just as in the beginning. God already made man and bestowed on him all authority, honour and goodness but Satan made the man believe that there was more hidden from them. The only thing the perfect man never knew was rebellion against God in the search for more knowledge above what God has given.

As men kept searching for God and seeking for ways to get back to fellowship with God, religion kept thriving and the dimensions of religion kept expanding. Laws upon laws kept coming and even when God reveals himself to selected people, they couldn’t really explain what they see in the way that it explains the person of God and therefore they were very limited in their explanation of God because they were spiritually blind men.

Concerning this, the Bible reports in the new testament “…the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.” Various people all over the world sought for diverse means to reach God but God can’t be reached with human effort as it undermines the person of God! In seeking for certain covering and spiritual fulfilment, men began to make their own gods and this was one of Satan’s goals. While everyone wanted to deal with Satan and negative energy, the devil was inspiring them to stick to him in hidden ways.

“God needed no effort of man to make him perfect”

God decided to narrow down on just one people through whom He will spread the knowledge of Himself to the entire world. It wasn’t a strategy that would make sense in an instant, He was preparing a way to make Himself known by Himself. No Angel, or Prophets would explain God in a better light and so God was committed to making Himself known all by Himself. Because of spiritual blindness, the God who desired fellowship was seen as a God who was power-drunk. That was the distorted view of God that religion has. Both the Torah and the Quran presented God as a Master in a sense it presents us as His slaves to some degree. Describing the helplessness of man, Bildad said to Job in Job 25:6 “how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot– a human being, who is only a worm!” but seeing from the point of revelation, David cried out to God saying in Psalms 8:4-6 “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God (Adonai) and crowned them with glory and honour. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority— ”

While we wallowed in ignorance, spiritual loneliness and quest to have that vacuum filled up which only God would fill, God kept revealing Himself to the people He had chosen but they only saw it in types and shadows because they were spiritually blind as the corruption of this world still covered their sight like veils. Concerning this, the Bible says in Colossians 2:17 “These are a shadow of the things that were to come…” When God told the Israelites in Exodus 29:45 “Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God.” He was making reference to a spiritual Israel which the nation of Israel only represented as a type and shadows of what was to come.

Through the Prophets of old, God announced His plans for the Salvation of man and healing from the spiritual blindness that has ravaged the earth. Micah wrote in 5:2 of his prophecy “The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.” Isaiah also saw in a revelation as he wrote in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 “But the LORD will still give you proofs. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel… A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.””

“God kept revealing Himself to the people He had chosen but they only saw it in types and shadows because they were spiritually blind”

Many years later, in a very lowly manger in  Bethlehem just like Micah prophesied, a child was born and as Isaiah had written, He was born of a virgin. Some wise men of the East who understood the timing saw the star of God appear in the sky as it was written in Numbers 24:17 and they went to behold this child and bow in worship, acknowledging that indeed God, God is among men at this time. When Herod learnt of this and sought to kill the Child who was named Jesus, Hosea 11:1 was fulfilled as Jesus was taken to Egypt from where He came back to Israel. This also clarified why Jacob had to go to Egypt.

Even the Quran couldn’t hide certain truths about Jesus no matter how it is tried. The Quran said concerning Jesus in Surah 3:45 “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.” In Quran 3:39,45,4:171, it couldn’t be scraped off the Quran that Jesus is the word of God. In Quran 40:56, it is also agreed that God creates with His word! Quran agrees too that Jesus is the Spirit from God Quran 21:19. Although efforts have been made to deny the divinity of Jesus, it can’t be completely hidden as no other prophet in the Quran was given such attribute.

Concerning this Child, the Bible in John 1:1 records that He is the word of God, the same word with which the entire world was created. Although called the “son of God”, He was God in the flesh showing us the clear picture of who He is and who we should be. We were made to be like God in the flesh and Jesus being God in flesh was the clear example of who we were made to be. Jesus grew up possessing the very qualities of God, clarifying all the rumours that had been broadcasted about God. He was out to correct all the information given to us about God. The teachers of the law never understood Him but it was also His intention that they don’t understand Him because it will set the stage for the salvation of mankind.

“Even the Quran couldn’t hide certain truths about Jesus no matter how it is tried.”

In all the confusions arising from the teachings of all the Prophets, Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 (CEV) “Don’t suppose I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning.” We never knew the meanings of what these Prophets had written because they were codes and not reality, we had documented their teachings and made laws out of them not knowing it was only but a pointer to Jesus. Although Jesus knew that some things would be heavy for the people to grasp in their state of blindness, He said: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) Wait a minute! This is the Master He was talking about, the God of all flesh, the one who uses the earth as His footstool and He didn’t call Him master but “father!” He didn’t just call Him Father, He also said they are one.

Jesus went around doing good, healing the sick, supporting people with compassion in His heart and treating women so right that in Him, they saw the picture of the perfect man. Jesus was both the vivid picture of the perfect man and God all at the same time. In Jesus, humanity and divinity were pictured together. He went about forgiving sins and setting the captives free!

As that was never enough, Jesus took upon Himself the old judgment upon man which says in Genesis 2:17 “If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die”. The judgment had kept resonating as all men were labelled sinners because of the disobedience of one man from whom all men proceeded from. The devil thought he had won, he thought he had separated man from God and made men see God as a wicked boss but Jesus took up the sins of men upon Himself so that the judgment would be met on Him. This was the biggest and shameful defeat of the devil. No wonder He was called in John 1:29 “…the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Using the blindness of the world who never recognized Him, He walked up to the cross in pains. The pain was too much on His humanity that He cried out in Matthew 26:39 “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” In the face of this pain, he still opted for what He came to do which was to liberate man who couldn’t liberate Himself.

“Jesus took up the sins of men upon Himself so that the judgment would be met on Him. This was the biggest and shameful defeat of the devil.”

He got crucified, He died, He was buried and on the third day, after preaching Himself to the spirits of the dead and solving the problem of sin from the foundations of this world, He resurrected in glory as a new man! But wait a minute! This time, He didn’t just tell us about His father in heaven. Although He had made us know in “the Lord’s prayer” that God is our father, He made it so much more obvious after His resurrection when He said to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17 “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” By the reason of His sacrifice, we had become just like Him. We had become His brothers in the flesh and His children in the Spirit. We can now know God beyond “Master” and we can now call Him “Daddy!”

Jesus became us that we might become Him. And the Bible had reported in John 1:12 saying “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” He didn’t want us to just be His subjects, He didn’t just want us to bow and worship Him just like the Angels, He wanted our friendship, He wanted a union and He wanted us to recognize Him as our father. In John 3:16, we also saw that if we accept Him, He gifts us His own life!

The New Testament gospel presents us with an answer, a liberating answer of who God is and who we are in Him. The Quran called Him master, the Torah and the Prophets did same, some even made idols and referred the idols as Him but He came as Jesus, presenting to us a very clear picture of who He is! God is not just our God, He is also our friend and He is our father. Therefore, we are no longer afraid to mention His name and His name is Jesus.

“Jesus became us that we might become Him.”

Jesus brought an end to religion and brought alive the first intent of making the man. All God ever wanted was relationship and here we have it in Christ! The Bible says concerning them that have believed, Romans 8:16 “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” What wasn’t clear has become clear.

Nowhere else have we been presented with this truth, not in the Quran, not in any religion and even with the shadows of truth in the Torah and writings of the Prophets, there was limited information. It is only in the New Testament, in the manifestation of Jesus that humanity is clearly defined and the works of darkness greatly humiliated! The Bible says concerning us in Romans 8:14-17 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.””

What an exciting truth! We aren’t trying to find God anymore, God has found us and we are united with Him in Christ. You too can experience this truth for yourself. It takes you just one thing; to believe it! God is no longer a myth, He is exposed and what a blessing it is to be called “His children.”

“Jesus brought an end to religion and brought alive the first intent of making the man.”

God bless you.God has a family and it is a great privilege that we are members of God’s family. Religion cannot offer this, this is only possible in Christ. Imagine Jesus saying to us individually “I am your brother and we are seated together on the right hand of my father and your father.” Just as the Bible reports in Ephesians 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Hallelujah!

God bless you.

~ George O.N

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | By George available in kindle & paper back