Love and Submission in the Family – Not A Transaction
Unless you went for window shopping, whenever you walked into a shopping mall, you definitely had things to buy. As you walked along the aisle, putting things into your cart, you were well aware you had cash in your wallet or purse, or you had your credit or debit card with you. The cashier handled your payment and issued you a receipt. Now everybody was happy. They had your money, and you had their goods. Transaction completed.
The above scenario is a familiar one, and somehow, we have come to see life mostly as a transaction—“give and take” or “take and give” and that attitude has been brought into marriages since two parties are also involved. The Apostle Paul gave a set of instructions for Christian households regarding relationships in Ephesians 5:21-33. Two phrases that readily come to mind are: “Wives, submit to your husbands…” and “Husbands, love your wives…” Many people have misconstrued these two injunctions to be a deed of partnership and have reduced marital relationship to a mere transaction.
So you hear men say, “I cannot continue loving this woman if she doesn’t submit to me,” and women, “I will submit to my husband if and only if he proves to be loving.” This is not marriage; at best, it is a transaction -“Pay Before Service!” Where marriage is seen this way, the problem becomes that of who gives first, and this further complicates things. Paul started his discourse on marriage by saying in verse 21, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” and the Bible also commands us almost everywhere to love one another. You see? The Husband is the Chief Loving Officer (CLO) and the wife, the Chief Submission Officer (CSO) in terms of overall responsibility, but each one has “love” and “submission” in their job descriptions because they are first Christians before they are couples. For example, Titus 2:4 says, “…Teach the young women…to love their husbands…”
The principle of love and submission is to be done by both husbands and wives. They should both be loving and submitting. I cannot stress the importance of loving each other enough. There are also times when a wife can have a superior idea or make inputs in grey areas that the husband didn’t take note of from the outset.
Love each other. One of the most striking things about God’s kind of love is that you can teach yourself to operate in it. Carnal love is completely motivated by the emotions or senses, but God’s kind of love comes from the heart, and although feelings are definitely affected, they don’t motivate or deter God’s kind of love. God’s kind of love is a choice you make on the basis of what God said, and then act on it in faith until it becomes a reality in your spirit, soul and body.
Make a commitment today to always be proactive in putting love and submission on the table in your family, and you will experience a home after God’s heart.
To be continued next week.
– Tope S. Aladenusi
How do I get past the pain of the past years? I do not think I can forgive this, this is too much! Can you imagine? She … He…
These are the voices of many people in different forms of relationships today. Everyone has been hurt by someone they thought they could trust. It hurts because we trusted, and got disappointed!
The effect of the rolled over pain and unattended disappointments have left strains in a lot of families.
Many marriages today are very far from their places in destiny because of one disappointment or the other. Spouses are unable to get past the pain of disappointment to healing and fulfillment. How do we get to this place while being led by the Word of God? This is the question I pray this article will answer.
Every relationship thrives on the ability to forgive and forget. Everyone must come to accept forgiving and forgetting as a lifestyle and the key to having fulfilled relationships.
For some time now when I see couples, I keep seeing the wonder of what lies between them. For every couple having a great time together, laughing and working together, there lies forgiving and forgetting. Hurting one another is inevitable where two people are working closely with one another and especially in marriage. A friend used to say,” I can only step on your toes because we are close enough to each other”. Offense is inevitable in any relationship of any kind: the closer the relationship, the greater the possibility of offense. Someone once said there are very few people who can hurt you like your spouse and children. This is the fact of life we must live with. But when there is an offence what do we do? How do we get around it to get to our perfect destination of Peace and Harmony?
So many families are under the captivity of unforgiveness, brothers and sisters in discord because of longstanding sibling rivalry, husband and wife relationships heavily strained because of past offences. And in some cases, the marriage ends in divorce. How do we ensure our relationships do not become part of the statistics?
- Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
- And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
- And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:
- For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.
- And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
- And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
- And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, what is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?
- And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.
- And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem.
- And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, here am I.
- And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
- And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, what seekest thou?
- And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
- And the man said, they are departed hence; for I heard them say, let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
- And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
- And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
- Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.
- And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
- And Reuben said unto them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.
- And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
- And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
- And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
- And Judah said unto his brethren, what profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
- Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
- Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
- And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
- And he returned unto his brethren, and said, the child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
- And they took Joseph’s coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
- And they sent the coat of manycolours, and they brought it to their father; and said, this have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or no.
- And he knew it, and said, it is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
- And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
- And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
- And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard. (Genesis 37:3-36).
Just like Joseph I am very sure you have the right to feel offended. Being angry really is not a sin. Scripture confirms it to us in Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:” Really you have a right to feel offended but how do we ensure that SIN does not take hold of your anger.
Offense always leads to bitterness where not properly taken care of.
We cannot prevent offenses but we have the power to take care of them when they occur. Our Lord
Jesus taught us through the Bible that we should forgive as many times as we are offended.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Mat 18:21-22
Just like Joseph, you have every reason to be offended but going further down the passage above, our Lord Jesus told a parable of a servant who refused to forgive little after he had been forgiven so much. Jesus concluded that the servant was WICKED. To refuse to forgive is to act wickedly, unfortunately we do not act wickedly against the person alone but even against ourselves. Nelson Mandela said “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”
Keeping offense takes us off the path of trusting God! When we keep offense we take over, instead of allowing God to defend us.
I hear someone say this lady does not know what she is talking about, I should just forget that I read this. This is the more reason you must forgive.
Why we must forgive
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.(Matthew 6:12)
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14 -15)
I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. (Isaiah 43:25)
We forgive first for our own sake, for our own healing. When our Lord Jesus Christ was teaching us how to pray He said forgive us just as we forgive others!
We need to forgive just as much as we require forgiveness ourselves. And do not we all need God’s Forgiveness?
We need to forgive because we must get to our place in destiny. I believe Joseph got to destiny because he forgave. He had forgiven his brothers even before his first encounter with them after they sold him off.
The story of Joseph is one that thrills me every time I read or think about it. After reading and meditating on his story I wondered how he was able to forgive his siblings.
He had every right to be bitter against them and even God. He got revelations from God about his future and instead of having things fall in place from then on, his life seemed to go haywire. His own brothers sold him into Slavery, his master’s wife wanted to sleep with him and when he stood his ground in the fear of God, he landed in prison.
At some point I thought he would have just given up on God, but he did not. Rather, he held on to God the more; and little wonder, even in the prison he was interpreting dreams.
We cannot afford to lose hold of our God-given promises because of bitterness. As I write, I sense some people are not just bitter against their spouses, but even their in-laws and this is creeping into the relationship they have with their spouses. I pray that healing will come for every hurting soul.
We are forgiven as much as we forgive ourselves.
Forgiving after a broken heart!
It can be very difficult after a heart has been broken too many times by the same person. I will not just speak scriptures and walk away. Nothing heals the heart more than the Word of God! Yes your heart has been stepped upon without care but you need to take responsibility for your heart.
What do we do about the unrepentant we need to forgive?
How do we forget?
Decide to Forget
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. (Isaiah 43:18)
You and I have the responsibility of choosing to forget. Choose to let go. You will have flash back of the pains and disappointments but as you decide to forget and act contrary to your feelings of revenge you will get to the place of healing and wholeness.
- And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
- And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
- And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
- And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
- But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:15 -20)
See everything as working together for your good. As much as people act wrongly against us, it does not change God’s plan, it is part of His plan. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” (2 Corinthians 4:17). When we face injustice as Christians, we should remember that Jesus Christ suffered much more injustice for our sake. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” (Philippians 1:29)“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Things work together for good only when we are in line with God’s love and purpose. Being in line with God’s love and purpose is to forgive and forget.
Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”(Luke 17:4 –The MSG)
What to do next?
This is the very difficult part. There is no simple answer other than letting the Holy Spirit guide you in all your ways.
Our Lord Jesus promised never to leave us without comfort and He keeps this promise through the Holy Spirit, the Seal of our redemption. The person you need to forgive may not be repentant, and may be your spouse or someone you cannot readily get rid of. Yet you need to keep on holding on to the Word of God and allowing His Spirit to guide you in all your ways. Ensure you have no resentment and be open to God about your feelings. Sometimes we are hurt and heaven knows we are, and we ought to feel hurt. The best part is that we have a High Priest that is moved by our issues. He understands betrayals and hurt more than you think. He can get you through this also.
Pray sincerely telling God exactly how you feel and watch a miracle begin in your heart! He will fill you with so much love than you can ever imagine! You are on your way to healing!
Rules of Engagement for Couples
From experience I have found that it is necessary for couples to set rules for what can and cannot happen in the event of any disagreement. It is interesting that often we assume our marriages will just work out fine, especially for Christians, but today we have found that it takes a deliberate attempt by both partners no matter how Spirit filled to make it work.
Decide as a couple limits of how far you will ever go in the case of a disagreement.
No Physical Abuse, name calling, bringing up the past except that is what the discussion is about. No dragging of third parties into the argument, stick to the matter that needs to be addressed. Respect your partner’s feelings. There is so much that we could share, here is a link you can go to for more information.
Maybe you are reading this article and your marriage just came out of a terrible storm and the wounds are still fresh, this is good information for you.
To the Forgiven
You know you have done wrong and you have been forgiven, it is not time to forget completely it ever happened. It is time to build back confidence into your partner. Your partner is trying to do the right thing by forgiving you, so you need to make it easy by “bearing fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Make deliberate efforts with the help of the Holy Spirit to take your family far away from yesterday.
To the Forgiver
Thank God you have taken the road to freedom which is forgiveness. Now, it is time to forget. Forgetting takes deliberate effort not to go back there, for your own sake! Your mind will wander back to the pain, please make deliberate effort to offload your mind of your hurts, do not push them back, bring them up and deal with them. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you do the right things to renew your love. Fill up your being with God’s Word. Nothing heals like God’s Word.
God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the Bible is loved and taught,
Homes where the Master’s will is sought,
Homes crowned with beauty Your love has wrought;
God, give us Christian homes;
God, give us Christian homes!God, give us Christian homes!
Homes where the father is true and strong,
Homes that are free from the blight of wrong,
Homes that are joyous with love and song;
God, give us Christian homes,
God, give us Christian homes!It’sFamily month in my church and this has been the Hymn for the month so far.The more I sing this hymn, the more I realize that this is what all my strivings for my family is about. Maybe you are like me too! So I decided to share my interpretation with us. I pray this is a blessing to someone and please share your views too as comments!
A home where the Bible is loved and taught!
I remember going shopping for a Bible with my 5+ plus son. We wanted something in print big enough for him to read and simple enough to read too. We found one! We have since read it, fought about its care and so much! Lagos is hectic so every Saturday we try to read it together and I encourage him to do so too on his own. Baby brother is jealous now and wants to read the Bible like his big brother; I hope I am doing something right. My prayer is that these boys one day will be well taught and read in the Word, living the Word in their Generation and same for everyone who passes through my home.
How are we making the Bible Loved in our home? Do we have long lasting structures to enshrine God’s Word in our homes? We need to evaluate this.
A Home where the Master’s will is sought!
How often do we question the actions in our homes, especially our own actions in line with the Word of God? What standards do we employ in making decisions? How do we correct the wrong we see in our home, in our spouses, children, helps? Are we seeking His will? Can my child or yours see that God’s will is your priority?
A Home crowned with Beauty Your love has Wrought
What kind of home will have beauty wrought by God’s Love? Would it be a home that never had a bad season or a Home that has risen beyond all the pains, hurts, and deaths to become a beauty only the love of God could work out?
A Home where the father is true and strong
Home where daddy has risen above the knowledge of this world and has become a true father haven learnt from the best Father (Jehovah God) about how to be a true Father. A father who relies not on his own strength but lives through the faith in Jehovah God and the work of the cross. A Father who has moved on to be seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus!
A Home that is free from the blight of wrong
Could it be a home that has escaped the corruption in this world because every fabric of the home is tied to the WORD of God? Or could it be a Home where No decision is made without seeking God’s will?
A home built purposely on the WORD of God!
A Home that is joyous with love and song;
Home where the Spirit is in abundance and wells of joy are released from time to time! Dad bursts into singing, children love to sing! Hymns are a source of entertainment! Praise and Worship is not a Sunday –Sunday Event!
This is what every Christian couple should be about! This is the song both husband and wife should sing, asking God for strength to be that person who will allow God work out the answer to this prayer in his or her marriage.
Next time we will continue with the next two verses!
May His peace reign in every troubled home in Jesus name.
Imagine an attempt to classify the people in the world by their love for God. Maybe that stretches your imagination a bit with over 6 billion people on earth. Why don’t you try to classify the people in your work-place, business or school into those that would likely say they love God and those that do not share such sentiments? Have you ever wondered how Christianity does not have exclusive preserve to the concept of God or a supreme being with supernatural powers? Most world religions claim there is a god somewhere who desires loyal subjects. The enthusiasts of these religions show their convictions by affirming love for their supreme being.
Love makes people act in certain ways; it determines what they do and draws the boundaries on what they choose not to do. This is more so, when there are negative repercussions for actions not in accordance with the wishes of the loved one. However, despite the fact that most Christians claim love for God, we find people called by this very honorable name doing things which they know He will clearly not approve. Certain complacency seems to have set in with the church in which the grace of God is taken for granted. We frustrate the grace of God!
Rather than utilize the grace which God has given us to fulfill His purpose, many believers are taking this grace for a ride. But this should not be the case as Titus 2: 11, 12 states “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age”.
Our God loved us enough to take our place and die the death we deserved. Yet, He seems to be the most ignored one from the actions of the people who claim to believe that the death He died was to rescue and restore them. The magnitude of Apostle Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 5: 14, 15 sends shivers down my spine—“ For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
True love for God is displayed when we willingly let go of our own best formulated plans for his ultimate plan which is ultimately far better than ours. He knows the end from the beginning and can order your steps to that expected end which He has planned for those who love Him. The hope of eternal life which we have should lead us to live purposeful lives here on earth. Sometimes this means giving up comfort, friends or family, but the rewards we get from God are eternal. (See Matthew 10:37-39). I read about the killing of some Christian aid workers in Afghanistan last week, yet the organization they work for plans to stay on in the country to minister. A knowledge that life doesn’t end with the temporary enjoyments which we see around us should motivate godly living based on our reciprocal love for the One who laid His life down for us. I have heard it rightly said that one ought to live only for something that is worth dying for.
Can you imagine the hurt Jesus felt when Peter and the other disciples went back to fishing soon after his death? They toiled all night and did not catch any fish however, as they were working in their own strengths. People who had been chosen to be fishers of men were fishing for measly fish again in despair. Extraordinary miracle workers were back to being ordinary fisher men! Oh what shame! Many of us used to be firebrands at some point especially at the beginning of our walk with Christ; we were drunk with the wine of new love. “I will always love You” was our song… but now, a few years down the line, we have turned cold, we have forgotten the love songs we sang and the promises we made to God. Jesus is however reaching back to you in forgiveness and expectation with the question: “Do you love me more than these?”
– Dr. Ifelayo Peter Ojo
*All scriptures from New International Version of the Bible
Next week we will discuss ‘Trusting God’. This series will continue our discussion of purposeful living in our earth-walk as citizens of the heavenly kingdom here to make a difference.
Every family requires these three elements for survival in the world we live in. Yet, many of us have overlooked their importance to our own peril. Many people in our world have lost any sense of faith in the ability of God to come through in their relationships with their spouses or children; they have no hope that things will get better because they have been disappointed many times; and their love has waxed so soft that it’s almost completely melted away in the face of the harsh heat of reality.
I hope to challenge this vicious cycle fading faith, hapless hope and lethargic love in this new series on the role of the ingredients of faith, hope and love in family life and child care. The plan is to restore our faith, renew our hope and refresh our love so the wheels of family life can run smoothly once again as they get oiled with these graces. The family remains the functional unit of society and almost every societal ill can be traced back to a breakdown in the family structure. Christian homes which should serve as a model for the world like a city set upon a hill are sadly not exempt from this unfortunate situation of decay… How do we return and take our place in the plan of God for the world? How shall the sons of God be manifest in this dying world?
It is when we shine as lights in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation. It is when our faith is so strong that nothing else matters; our hope is so tangible it is almost palpable and our love- our pure unconditional love is so real that it overflows in selfless actions.
I will introduce the subject of faith as a necessary family life ingredient today with the following story of the Syro-Phoenician woman’s encounter with Jesus when He walked this earth:
From there Jesus set out for the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house there where he didn’t think he would be found, but he couldn’t escape notice. He was barely inside when a woman who had a disturbed daughter heard where he was. She came and knelt at his feet, begging for help. The woman was Greek, Syro-Phoenician by birth. She asked him to cure her daughter.
He said, “Stand in line and take your turn. The children get fed first. If there’s any left over, the dogs get it.”
She said, “Of course, Master. But don’t dogs under the table get scraps dropped by the children?”
Jesus was impressed. “You’re right! On your way! Your daughter is no longer disturbed. The demonic affliction is gone.” She went home and found her daughter relaxed on the bed, the torment gone for good. [Mark 7:24-29 (The Message)]
This woman wanted her daughter healed by Christ- she believed and knew that Jesus could cure her daughter and she didn’t get daunted in her faith even when He told her that healing was first for the children then left-over scraps could be scrambled by dogs. She knew Jesus had the power to heal and she wasn’t going to give up at the initial words which some would have felt was discouraging at the least or even found insulting. Jesus recognized her faith and granted her heart’s desire!
We see also the faith of a parent in the story of Jarius- a ruler of the synagogue who wanted healing for his daughter as well before further complications arose and the little girl was dead. Yet, Jesus said to him- “Don’t be afraid; just believe”. These same words are for you today- do not entertain fear in your parenting, let the power of Christ be manifest as you tackle the affairs of daily living in this world; whatever the situation may be in your home, however complicated it may seem; take the words of Jesus to heart- “Don’t be afraid; just believe!”. Remember we are joint heirs together with Christ; for as many as received Him even to as many as believe on His name- to them He gave the power to be called sons of God. Healing is the children bread. You can experience it in every area of your family life. When faith is present, contradictions don’t faze us, the cares of this world don’t break us, we have our faith grounded in He who was and is and is to come! Hallelujah…
We’ll continue with the subject of faith next week before we delve into hope and love in the family… till then, continue in God’s grace.
Dr ifelayo ojo
(Revelation 2: 4,5)
They raised their arms, swaying in tandem with the praise; I gnashed my teeth in despair.
They supped in the same table with Him; I ate the crumbs from their feast.
They beheld His glory; I couldn’t see past the veil on my face.
They jumped in joy; I mourned in sorrow.
What had happened to me?
I decided to quit.
The exit door was huge, but old. I could see the stain from the palm of the last man that used it. The mark was still fresh. How many had left through this door? How many came back? The story goes that it is easy to leave but very difficult to come back.
Heart hitting hard on my ribs, I grabbed the handle. A click, a hilarious shout! I retracted my hand and looked back. A beautiful young woman just came in through the small entrance door. I shook my head in shame. Such was the hilarious welcome-shout when I first entered the kingdom. Then, I was enjoying everything – the music, the worship, the fellowship. What had happened to me?
What happened to my zeal to serve the Lord at all times? What happened to my passion to please the king in all circumstances? What happened to my desire to do His will at all cost? Ashamed of remembering where I had fallen, I quickly grabbed the door handle and turned it hard. Then, everything became dead silent. No more worship, no more music – I was dumb-dead to everything happening inside.
A tap at my back and I turned. Standing behind was a man in white apparel.
“Why do you want to go?”
His countenance was full of care as He asked. His warm smile proved wrong my belief that nobody cared any longer about me in the kingdom.
“I’m no more useful here.” I kindly told Him.
He looked at me with pity. “It’s very cold outside,” He warned. “If you leave, you might not make it back. Stay with us. We love you.”
Me? Those pleading and caring words hit me hard. Am I still loved the way I am? I couldn’t believe it. Shaking terribly, my hands slipped off the door-handle and I fell down on my knees. With tears running down my cheeks,
I promised the King of kings that I would return to my first love.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. (Rev. 2:4,5)
– okenna igbokwe
|It is quite understandable why many of us have a little challenge in spending time to pray. The demanding nature of work, coupled with many other distracting things that calls for our attention like entertainment shows on TV, family responsibilities, time limit, amongst many others are all legitimately responsible. Most times when we take out time to communicate with God it appears to be when there is a problem perhaps resulting from a threat, conflict, needs, etc. Ranking top on the list is ‘needs’. For some others, why we spend time to pray is for a smooth sail of the day, or thanks to God for something done. Bottom line, pockets of motivation and especially external ones are responsible for 90% of time we spend praying. It was discovered that once these motivations are out of it, we seem to get easily disinclined to pray. At such time, we end up reciting the Lord’s Prayer of Matthew 6:10, and Luke 11:2.
We need not be motivated or put on our heels like we are for our jobs with pay perks and promotions. I studied the motivation behind Christ death for humanity, perhaps there are some hidden reasons aside the ones I know. I discovered that the motivation is still love, which as many as will accept it will be translated from eternal condemnation to life, and equally worship him eternally. Interestingly, that worship refers to having a feeling of profound love and admiration for Him.
Beyond these motivations that we occasionally experience, there is a fundamental lifestyle expected of us to express; it is our Agapao (Love) life. Love saw us in the miry clay, brought us out and set our feet on the rock to stand. Love gave us a new name and filled our lives with that very nature of God (Love). If our lives consist of this, it is therefore natural for us to express it. A rose expresses its nature which is its beauty and fragrance. A parrot expresses its nature which is talking. We are love beings let us express it.
It is not in mouth proclamation or expression of carnal lust, but in duties and responsibilities. Love took Christ to the cross and earned him a sit at the right hand of God interceding for us (Romans 8: 34). Love should make us be appreciative of these gestures and live up to our responsibilities. Paul in Romans 15: 30-32, entreated the believers at Rome to strive together with him in prayers for Christ sake and the love of the Spirit.
Friends let us gain mastery over all forms of distraction that will not count before God when we are giving account of our lives spent here on earth. Let’s minimize their influence in discharging our duties towards the body of Christ. For Christ sake and the love of the Spirit, I charge us to spend time relating with God in prayers.
– adeyiga awomuti
|In the midst of a world marred with foolishness and disobedience, people hating and maligning one another, we were misled by others and slaves to evil desires. Our lives enthralled in wickedness
We hated others and they hated us.
Love is the seeds of all seeds. It is the coating that should be on every seed. Love is the manure that fertilizes all seeds and ensures a harvest. Love is the greatest. You become wealthy and prosperous by giving and the greatest giver and motive for giving is love.
To every problem love is the solution. Love satisfies every need. Don’t ignore love. Many do and make a shipwreck of their lives. When a man walks in love he has all his needs met. Love brings to reality biblical prosperity…having more than enough to meet the needs of others and yourself and having peace within and without.
In Romans 13:8 the bible commands us to “owe no man anything but to love one another”. 1Co: 13:2: And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing.
When you give love and give in love your labor and seeds become profitable.
Now love is the recipe and solution to the crises in your home. You believe money will win your wife’s respect and affection…. you are wrong. Do this instead. Eph: 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church….” Giving is a proof of the sincerity of love 2Cor 8:8, 1 John 3:16. Love your wife and children, sacrifice time and give to them, listen to her foolishness, help her weaknesses, come down to her level, in love and with love take her to your level. Grow with your children. When you sow the seeds of love in your home your harvest is ensured. All hell cannot stop you from prospering. Nothing can overcome love. Poverty prevails because you are alone. Win your spouse and children and enjoy the strength of a threefold cord.
Ec: 4:12: And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. The discord in your home is the reason for your lack. Life and labor is unprofitable because you are not working in love. Spend time together as a family. Pray, smile, gist, correct, plan, give, help one another.
Finally, let us all labor in love ministering (giving, helping, attending) to the needs of the saints. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
– emmanuel aladenusi