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WHAT PART DOES FAITH PLAY IN LIVING A HOLY LIFE?

Hello there. How have you been in this first month of 2019? I hope you are doing well. Let me say, Happy New Year! 🙂 This is my first blog of the year and I am excited. It has been a minute since I had a blog up but I plan to write more on diverse topics this year.

I do hope that you’ve set clear goals for this year and clear timelines to achieve these goals. Creativity involves two processes: Thinking then Producing. You have to visualize first what you desire to attain then work towards it. I do wish you all the best in that. On my part, I plan to engage more in films, photography and design this year. Do follow my work and inspiration on social media.

Now on to the core of this blog…a few months back as I was meditating during one of my devotions, a question popped up in my stream of thoughts: “What part does faith play in living a holy life?” This was after my evaluation of a profound change in how the Lord had helped me overcome a few addictions that had troubled me for such a long time. Sometimes when one is faced with failure after failure, there is a temptation to take the easy way out. I am here to encourage you to keep walking straight on. Don’t give in. Don’t give up.

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I do enjoy action and hero based movies. The scenes are pretty much along the same story lines. Victory is assured when you set your strongest champion at the forefront of the fight. Now victory over sin is complete when you allow Jesus Christ our ultimate savior to take the lead. 1 Corinthians 15:57 exclaims “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Only in Christ do we enjoy victory and strength to accomplish all expectations set for us. Christ has already won so we don’t need to fight and win a new battle. We only need to connect to the victory grace flowing from Him and apply it in our own lives.

What you encounter is determined by what you carry. When you carry Christ in your being, then all you will encounter is victory and whatever challenge you face will only be setting the stage to much greater victory. I believe the answer to my question on the role of faith is contained in one word – SURRENDER. You live a victorious life when you live a life surrendered to Christ and His ways. Faith keeps you focused and surrendered on the grace of God to carry you through rather than being dependent on your own strength.

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The definition of faith as given in Hebrews is: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). The Bible is not short on detailed encounters on how different people have experienced God, heard from him or even seen Him/a part of Him (in the case of Moses seeing God’s back). It all started with them possessing faith; Unshakable confidence in the realness of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God. However, the greatest of these men and women had more than faith, they had developed trust. The difference between faith and trust is a ‘relationship’. Trust is to have confidence in somebody. Trust is thus formed based on a working relationship with a particular person. Oswald Chambers said “The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person.” Trust takes it a step further from just having the knowledge of a person to actually meeting them, talking to them and sharing life experiences with them.

Salvation was not meant to be ‘boring’ or restricting in the enjoyment of God given life. Salvation is a source of freedom and the life after is meant to usher and lead you to the source of that salvation – God. It is in the presence of God that one finds ultimate joy. “When you are rightly related to God, it is a life of freedom and liberty and delight, you are God’s will and all your commonsense decisions are His will for you unless He checks.” – Oswald Chambers.

My parting shot will be to urge to value your gift of salvation and honor it. Don’t follow God by feelings. God can only lift you when you express faith in him. He requires to see your dependence on him just like a toddler is depend on the father to lift him/her even when they fall. Honor your prayer time and use it to develop a greater relationship with God. May you walk a victorious life! Until the next piece, feel free to leave a comment below or share this blog with someone. Shalom.

HEAVENLY TREASURES

Matthew 6:19-21 [NIV]

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

A treasure is something that is highly valued. Earthly treasures are quantified in possessions such as gold, houses and these expire with time. Heavenly treasures on the other hand are not limited by TIME. However, just like any other treasure, you have to search for heavenly treasures. Yeah, if you have watched any pirate movie, the general theme is centered on crossing vast oceans and going around the world in search of treasure. You have to get knowledge, sacrifice and work hard to get to what you desire.

One misconception we must break is that heavenly treasures will only be obtained when we get to heaven. Jesus sacrifice on the cross gave us access to the heavenly realm and we can pull what we access there and pull it to the earthly realm. We can make them to be a part of who we are. They can be principles or values that revolutionize how we live in the world of men. Whenever we receive such treasures, we are meant to grow them.  Yes, cultivate the godly treasures within you by experience and the Word of God then bring them to the surface by prayer and obedience.

Cultivate the godly treasures within you by experience and the Word of God then bring them to the surface by prayer and obedience

Proverbs 2:3-5 [NIV]

3 indeed, if you call out for insight

    and cry aloud for understanding,

4 and if you look for it as for silver

    and search for it as for hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord

    and find the knowledge of God.

Most of what God has endowed us with has to be searched for. The problem comes about when you don’t know what is yours. If you don’t know something exists, you will never be bothered by it. If you don’t know that something belongs to you, you will never search for it. Your search can only start when you realize that you have lost something or when you realize that something is yours and belongs in your hands. You will definitely labor to make sure it gets back to you.

Believers living a Christian life have the hope of the return, the resurrection out from among the dead, and eternal rewards to motivate them and provide focus for their endeavors. Hebrews 11:6 [NIV] says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Our love for God and desire to please our Lord encourages us to labor for him out of love and to store our treasure in heaven, rather than to build temporal fortunes. I came across Paul Ellis teaching while researching for this blog and what he had to say about heavenly treasures blew me away.

Genesis 15:1 [NIV]

After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram.

    I am your shield,

    your very great reward.”

Whatever the treasures of heaven may be, they are nothing in comparison with Jesus, who is the Reward for those who seek him. There is a difference between inheritance and heavenly treasures. Our inheritance comes to us through grace alone; when we accept the Lord Jesus as our savior and are adopted as sons into God’s family, while heavenly treasures can be worked for and accumulated. Now there is a totally different way that we can view what ‘heavenly treasures’ are. What are eternal rewards? What is our heavenly treasure? The answer may surprise you, but it is people.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. (Ps 127:3)

This Psalm is not just talking about biological children. God has bigger plans for you and they involve spiritual children. Lots of them. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands. Millions. Don’t limit God. Just as Abraham was called to be the father of many nations, so are you. Jesus said those who followed him would be fishers of men. What is a fisherman’s reward? It’s fish, or people in this case. What is the reward of the one who sows and waters the good seed? It’s a harvest of people. What is treasure that never wears out and cannot be stolen? It’s people. In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus introduces God as our heavenly Father. In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus says he is a Father who rewards us. And what is a father’s reward? It is children.

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When Jesus exhorts us to store up treasures in heaven, he is not saying, “Store up me.” How would we do that? He’s saying, “Be fruitful and multiply so that when this moth-eaten, money-grubbing world passes away, you will have treasures in heaven—spiritual children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.” God isn’t your average Father with average dreams. His desire is to grow the world’s largest family and He treats people like treasure.

Deuteronomy 7:6 [NIV] “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”

Don’t take people for granted. One of the things that distinguishes a son from a servant in the house is the son having the same desires of the father. If God values people, as a son of God, you also have to value people. You have to expose them to the gospel and pull them into this large beautiful family.

You are your father’s treasure.

Watch the video of the week below 🙂

 

All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise stated. Drop your comments and thoughts on the above post in the box below. Like and share the post if you have been blessed. See you on the next one.

THE PARADIGM

I compare salvation with a tree that’s growing. When sprouting, people may stamp on the tiny shoot and crush it- these may be those discouragers who try to make you give up on your salvation.
When the tree reaches a certain height, people start noticing it. Likewise, when you work on your salvation, your growth will be noticed. People will see that you are growing in Christ and may even avoid crushing you. Some may be that hedge around you helping you understand what you have not yet grasped fully and encouraging you, but some may still try to snap you into two.
Finally, it becomes a fully grown tree. The tree becomes so strong to an extent that people can even lean on it or shelter in its shade when it is hot.

As a Christian, your target should be to grow spiritually to a point where you can support and lift others and also bring more people into salvation. To be the one who is an example to the weak Christians, to be the one whom they can depend on when they need help. So at what level of growth are you at among the ones I have highlighted?? And if you have not accepted Him who gave His life for you….now is the time to do so.

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I have a vision. A vision that I will speak life to a dying world. That I will bring that somebody to the knowledge of my loving savior. That my life will reflect the love shown to me. A love that can’t be compared to any other. I have been anointed to be a change. To be that lighthouse when one is sailing among rocks . To be the candle in the darkness when one is groping to find their way. To glorify the Jesus in me. My mind and spirit is set; knowing that there is no obstacle too high, no sickness too great and no dream too big. Me and God are a majority.