Blog

WHY SHOULD I PRAY?

Sometimes we just don’t ‘feel like’ praying or sometimes we ‘don’t have the time’ to pray, yet, prayer is the most important part of anyone’s life. Prayer builds our identity, our knowledge of our creator and leads us into the purposes and plans God has for us.

So, here are five reasons why you should persevere in prayer and pray –

• Converse with God

Praying is literally talking to God, just as you would with a parent / guardian, a sibling or a friend. What do you do with them? Pour out your heart, share yourself with them, listen to them and know them more.

He is always there, not only to hear you, to converse with you.

If you’re wondering or are struggling to pray to the true God, begin now by going to Him and talking to Him. You can converse with him wherever you are, because he is everywhere, at all times. He is the parent, friend or sibling who will never go far from you, no matter what. He is always there, not only to hear you, to converse with you. And He always speaks, in alignment with His word, the Bible.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord .. Isaiah 1:18

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. Psalms 25:14

• Let ‘go’ and let ‘GOD’

Oftentimes, we tend to keep our problems or circumstances right in front of our eyes, up close. Our human mind pushes us to think of all the probabilities and possibilities of something going right or wrong. But with all our limitations, there is honestly no problem/circumstance that assures us of a permanent solution. This makes us anxious, burdened and hopeless.

That is why we need our creator, who is ruler over all things, to lead us into the plan He has for us. Only He can bring joy and peace in our hearts in the midst of uncertainty, because only He knows how to lead us through.

When you pray, you begin to focus on how God can lead you. So now, the problem or circumstance you are in starts diminishing in comparison to God’s greatness and power. When you pray, you give God the charge and you let go.

Praying constantly and consistently in the midst of uncertainty is very important, if you want to be peaceful and joyful.

When you pray, you give God the charge and you let go.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

• Stand in the gap

Have you seen someone hurting and wondered what you can do to help? Or Seen someone’s bad behaviour and wondered how it could change? Or Seen a community, city or nation reel under threat and wondered how things would be back to normal?

When you pray for a person’s bad behaviour, God changes their heart and mind. When you pray for a nation, God brings about a revival.

The truth is, God is sovereign over all things and He alone can take control of hearts, minds and even nations. God, in the Bible, says that He just needs someone to stand in the gap and intercede for others.

When you pray for a broken heart, God does the mending. When you pray for a person’s bad behaviour, God changes their heart and mind. When you pray for a nation, God brings about a revival.

“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30

• Fight the real enemy

A lot of times we get caught up fighting against people. Sometimes we win the fight, sometimes we lose the fight.. but, either ways, end up distancing from the person. That is not what God has called us to. In fact, God tells us that anyone who loves God must love their sisters and brothers (1 John 4:21).

Your family and friends are not your enemies, the devil is.

But.. this is not easy. Our emotions and our heart are deceitful, making it hard for us to let go and not fight people. That is why we need to pray. When you pray, you war against the real enemy – the devil. Your family and friends are not your enemies, the devil is. When you pray, God’s angel armies fight the devil and that’s when you remain at peace with your family or friend.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6 : 12

• Unveil the supernatural

When God created man and woman, the Bible says He created us in His likeness. God wants us to be like Him in every way – His character, His glory and His power. He wants us to display His glory here on earth, as it is in heaven.

When you live your life outside of prayer, you live on human capacity. But when you live your life in prayer, which is dependence on God in everything, you live in God’s capacity

That’s why Jesus taught the disciples to pray like this – “..your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:10

When you live your life outside of prayer, you live on human capacity. But when you live your life in prayer, which is dependence on God in everything, you live in God’s capacity – which is beyond natural. Praying leads you to witness God’s miracles in your life and lives of people around you. You, then, begin to live a supernatural life, the Kingdom (of heaven) life – which is what Jesus asked us to pray for.

If you want to start praying again, begin by just simply conversing with God. He is there. He is lisening. Right now and always..

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

SET APART AND FOR A PURPOSE

Sanctification explained

The word sanctification comes from the word ‘Hagiosmos’, which means ‘set apart from everything else and dedicated for God’s use’. In simpler words, ‘being made Holy for God’.

In the Old Testament, there was the ‘Sanctuary’, which comes from the same root word as sanctification. The sanctuary is a place set apart and dedicated for Yahweh to dwell, also known as the Most Holy Place. And then, in the New Testament, we see how God sets apart individuals and not just places for this very purpose. God is setting apart individuals by sanctifying them from within.

1 Corinthians 6 : 19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

“It is the blood of Jesus, offered without blemish through the spirit, that sanctifies all those who believe in Him. This means, a person must put his or her faith in Jesus for the work of true sanctification to begin in them.”

So what really brought that difference between the two testaments? What brought the change from the ‘sanctuary – a place’ being sanctified to ‘individuals’ being sanctified? The answer is Jesus Christ!

What Jesus prayed to God in the Gospel of John, chapter 17 is very crucial for us to understand sanctification.
Jesus prayed in John 17 : 19, “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”

Here, first of all, Jesus says that He was sanctifying himself. And, how do we see that He sanctified himself? Going by the meaning of the word sanctification, He set himself apart, kept himself pure and without sin. He did not give into the pleasures of the world. Nor did he use His God-given gifts to make his life comfortable, unlike so many men do for their personal gain. Rather, He made himself available for God, for the purposes that God intended for Him – for the Cross, for humiliation, for insults, for pain, for flogging, for resurrection. And He declared all these even before they took place.

Luke 18:32-33 says, “He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”

Secondly, when Jesus prayed for his disciples to be ‘truly sanctified’, it is important to note that the disciples had already left everything and everyone behind, yet according to Jesus, ‘true sanctification’ did not even begin in them thus far. So this shows us that mere human efforts cannot help a man sanctify himself or make himself holy. Likewise, the offerings and sacrifices offered by people year after year in the Old Testament could not sanctify them.

Mere human efforts cannot help a man sanctify himself or make himself holy.

People can do wonders in personal and professional lives, and still not be separated from sin and the consequences of sin, which is death. Because of which, they are not truly ‘holy’ to the Lord. Each and every person needs Jesus’ sanctification to truly be sanctified. It is the blood of Jesus, offered without blemish through the spirit, that sanctifies all those who believe in Him. This means, a person must put his or her faith in Jesus for the work of true sanctification to begin in them.

The author of Hebrew points us to this vital truth, in Hebrews 9 : 14, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

God’s purpose of sanctification in the lives of individuals is two-fold –

  • BEING SET APART

God’s work of sanctification is to free people from bondage of sin, addiction, the power of satan and worldly philosophies (which at times comes from your own family and friends).

A lot of people, after accepting Jesus as their personal saviour, are taken on a guilt trip by the devil about what happened, what they could do or couldn’t do in the past. Satan also constantly works to make people slaves to him by making them slaves to sin, slaves to people, slaves to idols; causing them to forget the sanctification power of God in them that set them apart.

Press on to be rooted in Christ by a constant and continual renewal of your mind with God’s word and by remaining in communion with God

As Christ desires, let us throw off everything that entangles us and makes us slaves to sin again and instead let us keep ourselves pure and holy. Through all these experiences that we go through, we know that sanctification is an ongoing process until we die. No, it is not a one time event. So, press on to be rooted in Christ by a constant and continual renewal of your mind with God’s word and by remaining in communion with God. Both of these are very important for the sanctification process to fully take place in our lives.

“to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” – Acts 26:18

Paul reminds the believers in the church in Corinth, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

  • DEDICATED FOR GOD’S PURPOSE

God is sanctifying us so that we can fully represent Him in this world, be his ambassadors, share His Gospel, be that aroma of fragrance to the people who are oppressed, suffering and ailing, to share His love and to share the truth in love.

Let us embrace our calling and purpose on earth and do it diligently.

Most often, we are not prepared to face a situation that requires us to give a reason for our hope in Jesus. It could be because of lack of courage or the feeling of not being equipped. We tend to avoid such opportunities that God creates in our lives. Let us remember that we are sanctified by God for this very purpose. Let us embrace our calling and purpose on earth and do it diligently.

The apostle Peter, reminds us in 1 Peter 2 : 9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”

MIRRORING OUR HEAVENLY FATHER | God of Justice : Part 3

Principles of a Just God

Have you ever come across a child, observed their behavior – both good and bad, and immediately thought about who their parents are? It comes naturally. Not because parents are solely responsible for the child’s character, but because every child, in some way or the other, mirrors their caretaker’s behavior.

Over the past two blogs, we talked about our heavenly father being a Just God and then how He wants us to be Just in every way and every time. Today, I want to share with you some basic underlying principles from the Word of God on how we can become daughters and sons who mirror our Just Father in an unjust world. Simply because when we become His children, we become aliens and strangers to the world which lives on its own principles. Children live by the principles of their parents or guardian, not strangers.

Are you and I claiming to be sons and daughters of God, but not displaying Jesus in our talk, actions and living? Then I’m afraid, if we do this, we may not enter the kingdom of heaven, as Jesus said in Matthew 7 : 21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

The truth is that we are called to mirror Him here on earth as it will be in heaven. Today, let us choose to make that commitment. Let us not misrepresent Him, half represent Him or not represent Him, let’s mirror Him as He is – a Just God. We can mirror our heavenly father only when we live, think and talk based on His principles that are all about love, justice and mercy.

So how do we do it? The commonly known ‘Golden rule’ is the foundational principle to every other principle in the word of God when it comes to living for God.

Let us not misrepresent Him, half represent Him or not represent Him, let’s mirror Him as He is – a Just God.

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7 : 12

If we can begin to apply this in every facet of life, we will be living testimonies of Jesus across this world. All we got to do is treat others the way we would want ourselves to be treated. Would you want to be helped? Then help. Would you want to be given second chances? Then give. Would you like to grow? Then allow others to grow, better still, help them grow.

There are principles based on the basic principle of doing to others what you would have them do to you –

  • FREELY RECEIVED TO FREELY GIVE

When Jesus began His ministry here on earth, the word of God records His first miracle as turning water to wine for a wedding, where the family ran out of the drink for guests (John 2). We see that He gave so freely the grace, the power and anointing that He already received. Not to say, the greatest thing that Jesus gave freely for us was His life. He died on the cross for our sins, iniquities, shortcomings, weaknesses and insecurity, when he had no err in Himself.

If we realise that everything that we have is freely given to us by God – spiritual bondages of pride, insecurity and double mindedness will begin to break away from our lives.

If we understand and practice this principle of our Just Father to give freely because we have freely received, it will be the first step to a completely transformed mind and character. Yes! If we realise that everything that we have is given to us freely by God – spiritual bondages of pride, insecurity and double mindedness will begin to break away from our lives.

When Jesus was sending out the disciples to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God, He told them this one principle to be servant leaders – which is a root characteristic to being ‘Just’. He said in Matthew 10 : 8, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you received; freely give.” As believers in Christ, we have received God’s unending love, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, healing, provision and so much more. What Jesus was saying is that if you received it freely, you give it to others too freely. Not at a cost. Don’t only give because they will return it, give because God asked you to. Don’t only show mercy because they deserve it, show mercy to the one who didn’t do anything to deserve it. Freely you have received it all, freely give it all.

  • MERCY AND FORGIVENESS BEFORE JUDGEMENT

When Peter asked Jesus how many times to forgive someone, you can imagine that he was coming from a place of despair of forgiving the person over and over again to the point where he felt ‘really when should I stop forgiving this person and judge them for what they did to me?’. So Jesus then shares a beautiful parable to explain how someone who has been shown mercy should show more mercy to anyone who wrongs them (Matthew 18 : 21 – 35).

Being Just begins with being merciful and forgiving. Yes, this is a paradox. But it is the truth.

God who is holy, blameless, blemishless and spotless, so willfully sacrificed His only son to bring forgiveness to us, who sinned against him. Then who are we, full of our own faults, weaknesses, and imperfections, not to forgive a brother or sister who wronged us?

Being Just begins with being merciful and forgiving. Yes this is a paradox. But it’s the truth. You may ask how. You see, first of all, when we ourselves are being forgiven and shown mercy by a perfect God , it is only just for us to forgive and show mercy to our fellow imperfect beings. Secondly, when we are merciful and forgiving to someone, we are being just by giving them another chance at being the true, holy, pure creation that God created them to be.

  • BETRAYING COMPARISON

If we want to be just to those around us, we first need to understand and value everyone around us the way God understands and values them.

Jesus put this so well in a parable He shared with his disciples. He talked about how a master paid the same wages (that he had vowed to) to the worker who worked the whole day and also to the worker who just worked towards the end of the day.

When the workers who worked the whole day told the master that he was being unfair. The master simply reminded them that they were paid what they were told in the beginning.

Look how simply because they compared themselves to the other workers, the wages that they would usually be happy and content with seemed less.

Isn’t this so applicable to us?

We don’t appreciate, help, support and encourage and sometimes become unjust to people whom we compare ourselves with. In that process, we end up carrying out injustice to the person, who God so dearly loves.

When our friends are getting married one after the other, we tell God that He is being unfair to us by not letting it happen as yet. When someone else gets a job so easily, we question God for not making it happen to us. But what we don’t realise is that God never told us or gave us a word that He will get us married or get us that job that early. He would do it, but at the right time. In fact, at this time, God probably wants you to be doing something else to help you grow and fulfill the purpose He has for you.

Comparison causes us to be unjust to those around us. We don’t appreciate, help, support and encourage, sometimes become unjust, to people whom we compare ourselves with. In that process, we end up carrying out injustice to the person, who God so dearly loves.

We need to betray comparison and become just to one another, loving one another the way Christ loves us.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. – John 15 : 12

  • GENEROUS LIVING AND GIVING

This is what Jesus told the disciples in Luke 6 : 30-36, “…Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back…”

A person who is generous from their heart will be just in all their actions.

Being generous has been something that Jesus talked about and the disciples reiterated over and over again in their letters. It is not only about finances, it is about being generous in giving and living in everything, from your love to your belongings. A person who is generous from their heart will be just in all their actions.

You see, generosity causes us to think beyond ourselves and step into the other person’s shoe. It automatically makes us treat them the way we would like be to treated. Yet, generosity begins from acknowledging that all we have belongs to God.

So are your homes open to the lonely and brokenhearted? Do you generously show love to the old person who just needs someone to talk to? Are you staying up to look after the sick?

In fact, generosity is a channel to justice. Let’s learn to be generous to all those around us, setting an example of Christ’s love.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9 : 11,12 – “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God”

God wants us to not only put our faith in Him, but also be like Him – JUST in all we do. It begins with living out the principles that He laid out for us in His word.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

A GOD WHO DELIGHTS OVER THE JUST | God of Justice : Part 2

But let justice roll on like a river,

righteousness like a never-failing stream!

AMOS 5 : 24

What was your response when you saw a distressed and needy person? Or an aged person struggling to cross the road? Or a foreigner, a woman, a child being mistreated? Or an innocent person being falsely accused? Did your heart break? Did you feel an anguish in your heart? Did you do anything about it?

These are not questions I’m asking you. But, these may be the questions that God will ask you, as a believer, on the day of the judgement of the living and the dead.

You see, a just God desires His people to be like Him – full of justice and love.

Jesus said this when He was talking about how, on the day of judgement, God is going to separate the sheep from the goats. Wonder why He used the example of sheep and goats, because both of them have a shepherd or goatherd, right? Well, I read this somewhere and I’m requoting it – “The sheep follow their shepherd, the goatherd follows the goats”. The quote pretty much sums up what Jesus was trying to say. God’s sheep will follow God, yield to His voice and obey Him, but the goats rather go their own way and the goatherd goes behind them. Earlier, in many parts of the world, sheep and goats looked identical and it was hard to distinguish between them. Yet, the shepherd always knew his sheep.

Now, when Jesus spoke about separating his sheep from the goats, he talked about one measure through which he was distinguishing them. Jesus says in Matthew 25 : 40 – “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Remember, both the sheep and goat are part of the flock – Yet, on the day of judgement, there will be a filtering of the sheep from the goat. The sheep will be those having God’s heart and doing what He would do – being just.

You see, a just God desires His people to be like Him – full of justice and love.

Yes! Your worship, your devotion to God, your bold proclamation of your faith is important, but along with it, what is more important to God is that you show justice and the love of God in everything you say or do.

In the same passage Jesus describes it like this – He says to the sheep in verses 25 – 26 – “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

In my previous blog, I talked about God being a ‘Just God’ (do read it, if you have not as yet) and today I’m taking you through how His heart is for you and me to be his arms and feet of that justice. He wants us to carry His heart of justice to the weak, the downtrodden, the helpless, the orphan, the widow, the broken, and the lonely.

If you call yourself a believer in Christ, preach His word, worship Him, talk about your faith in Him but don’t carry out his heart of justice in your daily living – you will be put onto the left side, separated as a goat and not His sheep.

Do you look down on your colleague who may be isn’t as culturally adaptive as you? Or mock a classmate who is always reserved and shy? Do you shift loyalties from one person to another just to please someone? Beloved, no one who does these things can please God in any way, even if they are serving in church or leading a flock or even saying they are believers in Christ. This is exactly what Jesus held against the Pharisees. In Luke 11 : 42, Jesus says “”Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”

Yes! Your worship, your devotion to God, your bold proclamation of your faith is important, but along with it, what is more important to God is that you show justice and the love of God in everything you say or do.

In Micah 6:8, the prophet says,He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

When we don’t act justly to defend the cause of someone victimised by injustice, no matter what the consequences, we are going against the will of God. And, God takes it very seriously. We have read about what happened to Sodom – God destroyed the city because of their wickedness. However, when God spelt out the sins of Sodom that He held against them through prophet Ezekiel, He says that they were arrogant, overfed, unconcerned and did not help the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16 : 49).

God not only detests us carrying out injustice, but He also dislikes us being ignorant and unconcerned about injustice. In fact, those who withheld justice to the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow were cursed according to God’s law (Deuteronomy 27:19).

Now, the question is how do we exercise justice in all we do and for every single person around us?

Jesus lays down a foundational principle for us to be ‘just’ in everything we do. He says in Matthew 7 : 14, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Although this is difficult to practice, it is as simple as that. If you can constantly look at those around you and respond, converse and act with them by treating them the way you would like to be treated, you will be ‘just’ in all you do.

There are enough scriptures that point out to us to ‘seek justice’, ‘administer justice’, ‘continue to remember those in prison and those being mistreated’.

God not only detests us carrying out injustice, but He also dislikes us being ignorant and unconcerned about injustice.

The prophet says in Isaiah 1 : 17 – “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Go out there beloved, there are many hurting, lots of them hungry and needy, hundreds homeless, thousands helpless. Become God’s hands and feet that reach out to the broken.

Truly, God has prepared His kingdom for those of you who seek justice for the weak, poor and needy.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

A JUST GOD | God of Justice : Part 1

The LORD loves righteousness and justice…

Psalms 33 : 5

SERIES : Part 1

The woman left desolate, the little child deserted by parents, the hungry, the broken, the afflicted, the poor, the oppressed, the foreigner, the lost – God’s heart beats and breaks for them. He longs to save them, help them and build them up again. And, He does. He always does. He is a God of Justice. He is the Savior of the weak and the poor. He came for the lost.

When we read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, one of the constant understanding of God that comes through is His love for justice. He cannot overlook an unjust act, whether it is meted out to His creation or by His creation. He will act swiftly to bring justice to the one suffering.

In fact, this God, who is a just God, brought us the greatest gift of redemption by going through utmost injustice of laying down His only true and holy Son, Jesus, for our iniquities and mistakes. His justice made Him sacrifice His son for us and justify us for every sin and unrighteous act of ours, and the same justice will cause Him to judge the living and the dead in the ultimate judgement of humankind.

You may be going through injustice in some way or the other. May be you are being mistreated in a foreign land, you are dealt with unjustly at your work place or college, you’re oppressed by people around you or even spiritually and mentally, you are needy and can’t find help, you are cast out from everyone, everywhere. Today, this word is a word of encouragement, understanding and reminder to you that the God of Justice is near you and He will not forsake you.

This is the heart of the one true God –

  • HE LOOKS OUT FOR THE OUTCAST

Have you ever thought that no one looks at the oppression you are facing? No one sees and no one cares? Well, let me take you through the story of a slave woman who was mistreated by her mistress and was not even part of the nation that God wanted to bless through Abraham’s descendants – Yet, when she ran away from her mistress and was in a hopeless place – God SAW her. God rescued Hagar.

In Genesis 16 : 13, it says, “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.””

God sees you, beloved. Your suffering, your loneliness, the oppression you go through, the rejection you face, the helpless state you are in, your poverty and your hunger.

He is the real superhero that we all long for and hope for. He is watching over us and He will come to save us at the right time.

Here’s what the Word of God says in Psalms 68 : 5-6,9-10, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance. Your people settled in it, and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.”

God is always on the side of those in need, those crushed in spirit. He sees them and he comes to their rescue. He is the real superhero that we all long for and hope for. He is watching over us and He will come to save us at the right time. As the Psalmist says in Psalms 103:6 – “The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.”

He is just a call away, a cry away, a shout out away. Call unto Him and He will surely hear you.

“He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.” – Psalms 146 : 7-9

  • HE LEVELS UNEVEN GROUNDS

One thing that the Lord intends to do and is repeated over and over across the Word of God is – Leveling uneven grounds. Additionally, in their contexts, what God is trying to convey is to set things right where they are not. More so, in the context of the oppressed and the poor.

A lot of times, we are trying to fight our oppression, our poverty or our loneliness on our own strength and in worldly ways. But, the heart of God is to level uneven grounds and to lift up the weak and the poor. Only, only if we rely and trust God and His justice rather than worldly temporal solutions, we would receive such an abundance of blessing and deliverance.

Isaiah prophesised several times of God saying that He will ‘not forsake the blind, poor and weak’, that He will ‘go before them and make the crooked places straight’.

In Isaiah 42 : 16, He says, “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.”

The heart of God is to level uneven grounds and to lift up the weak and the poor. Only, only if we rely and trust God and His justice rather than worldly temporal solutions, we would receive such an abundance of blessing and deliverance.

In fact, God’s word as a promise says that He will make the poor inherit the throne of glory, lift the weak up and seat them among princes, and make the childless woman a mother of many children (Isaiah 45:2, 40:4 and Psalms 113:7-8).

Beloved, God intends to set everything right that is not right. He won’t leave you where you are, He promises to lift you out and place you where He has created you to be – a glorious place.  If you are in a place of injustice, remind yourself today that the God of justice will lift you up from the ashes and place you in the highest of places. He will make all the crooked paths straight.

  • IT IS GOD’S TO AVENGE

So often, we long to ‘pay back’ for the injustice that we face. We want to fight back for justice. In today’s world, everyone wants to fight for justice; except without any weighs or balance to it.

Yet, do you know what God says we must do when someone we love or we ourselves face injustice? We must trust and commit it to the Lord and He will avenge for us.

In Deuteronomy 32 : 35, God says, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.”

Do not fret because if we trust God and commit every injustice meted out to us into His loving hands, the word of God says that ‘He will make our righteousness shine forth as the dawn’.

In fact, in Isaiah 35, we see how God is blessing those who face injustice and are facing troubles for no wrong. In verse 4, this is what God says to them – “Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

What did the Israelites, who were mistreated by the Egyptians, do? In Deuteronomy 26:7, it says, “Then we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.”

Do not fret because if we trust God and commit every injustice meted out to us into His loving hands, the word of God says that ‘He will make our righteousness shine forth as the dawn’. He will avenge on our behalf. He is a God who avenges, a God of Justice. All we need to do is cry out to Him and He will save us.

Nevertheless, also remember, God is a forgiving, compassionate and merciful God. So, if someone who has been unjust towards anyone else repents for their mistake, God will surely forgive them. And, He expects us to forgive too – as Jesus prayed in Matthew 6:14 – “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

  • HE TAKES EVIL AND TURNS IT FOR GOOD

While He is just, we also need to constantly remind ourselves that He is God – Sovereign over all. The Bible says that He never sleeps nor slumbers, even the hair on every person’s head is numbered, He knows our thoughts and the deepest secrets of our heart.

It may be the most unbearable and unpleasant thing to face at the time, but hold on because you know that the God of Justice can turn it around and work it for the best of you.

Can this Sovereign yet Just God not work all things for our good? The good news is – He has always worked it out for the good, is working it out for the good and will continue working it out for the good.

Look at Joseph’s life, which is narrated in Genesis. He was insulted and rejected by His own brothers, sold as a slave, falsely accused and thrown into prison, forgotten by those whom he saved and yet in the end, God used all of it to make him Prime Minister of Egypt and not only that, God also blessed Israel (Jacob) through him. That is why in Genesis 50 : 20, Joseph declares – “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

I have always come across God using all injustice and suffering that His people go through for their own good. He works it out for the good. It may be the most unbearable and unpleasant thing to face at the time, but hold on because you know that the God of Justice can turn it around and work it for the best of you.

With bold assurance in this fact, Paul declares in Romans 8 : 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

He cannot overlook an unjust act, whether it is meted out to His creation or by His creation. He will act swiftly to bring justice to the one suffering.

Beloved, like Hagar and Joseph and thousand others who received justice in the face of injustice by calling out to the one who is JUST, come to this Just God who went through injustice to give you life eternal. Trust Him with your life and watch how He makes your righteousness shine forth like the dawn.

A prayer: Lord, I pray for any person reading this blog, who has faced or is facing any kind of injustice – small or big, that you come and heal their broken hearts and give them the strength to trust you. Lord, you are their avenger. I pray that you may work all things out for their good and level every uneven ground in their lives. Bless them, Lord. In Jesus’ matchless name we pray, Amen.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

GOD FIRST – Giving Him the highest place

If we say we are believers in Christ, there is a pertinent question to ask ourselves. The question is – ‘Am I a lover of God?’. You see, when the Pharisees asked Jesus what the greatest commandment is, He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Why do you think Jesus said that loving God with all that we are and all that we have is the greatest commandment? It is because that is God’s greatest desire. He wants us to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind. He’s not a God who will force Himself on us. He is a God who showed us the greatest love of all and with that love gently summons us to embrace Him. That is why, it is so important for us, as believers, to be lovers of God – because it is God’s greatest commandment and more so, His greatest desire.

I love a statement that I’ve been reading for a few years now, here and there – “When people tell me say that I take this Jesus thing too seriously, I say, Well Jesus took me pretty seriously when He died for me on the cross”. It’s true, God, our Father, and our Lord Jesus took us very seriously when Jesus DIED for us. How hard would it be for us to LIVE for him?

So what does it mean to love God with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength? Loving Him with our everything would mean putting God first in our heart, soul and mind. It means placing Him above yourself, people and everything in this world. The word ‘FIRST’ literally means , ‘foremost in position, rank, or importance’. Is God foremost in all aspects of our lives?

It is so important for us, as believers, to be lovers of God – because it is God’s greatest commandment and more so, His greatest desire.

In fact, in 2 Timothy 3:1‭-‬5, Paul tells Timothy how people who know God might become in the end times. He says, ‘But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.’

He points out at all that they shouldn’t have become and the one thing they should have become. They should have been LOVERS OF GOD. I do believe that since it has been more than 2000 years after Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God, and the end may be nearer than we anticipate.

There is no middle ground – we are either putting God first or putting Him last.

Are we going to be lovers of God by putting GOD FIRST, or are we going to be these lost people in the end times that Paul is talking about? There is no middle ground – we are either putting God first or putting Him last. It is time to check our hearts and lives and see where we’ve placed Him and if we are truly LOVERS OF GOD.

As lovers of God, GOD SHOULD BE OUT FIRST –

1. FIRST ONE WE LOOK UP TO –

The Psalmist knew well where He could find all his answers and purpose. That’s why He says, ‘I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord , the Maker of heaven and earth.’ (Psalms 121:1‭-‬2).

Who are you looking up to? Your own self? Family? Friend? If you think the creation can be looked up to, how much more the creator?

We shouldn’t become lovers of ourselves and others, rather grow to become lovers of God. And the best part is we always have the creator to go to, who loves us and is ever present to help us, lead us and guide us, as He says in Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

2. FIRST ONE WE RELY ON –

Too often we find ourselves relying on or trusting tangible things (things that give us a hundred percent guarantee of results), yet God calls us to trust in Him, His wisdom, His timing and above all, His omnipotence.

Things of this world like money, people, career, earthly possessions can be here today and be washed away tomorrow, but God is the only one who will remain.

Noah relied on God, that is why when the entire world was washed away, He was saved.

Too often we find ourselves relying on or trusting tangible things, yet God calls us to trust in Him, His wisdom, His timing and above all, His omnipotence.

Let God be the one you rely on first and foremost, because only He remains and only He can save.

3. FIRST ONE WE OBEY –

Have you come across a situation where your near and dear ones tell you to do something, but God directs you differently? In these situations, we tend to quickly obey these close people and disobey God. Most of the time, our own desires stand in our way of obeying God wholeheartedly. Our pride, wicked ways, evil desires and selfish gain. That, however, only goes on to show whom we place first in our lives and in obedience.

Who created us? Who laid down His life for us? Who is everlasting? If the answer is ‘Jesus’, then doesn’t He deserve our foremost obedience in everything in life? No wonder Jesus said to his disciples in Matthew 16:24, “…Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

4. FIRST ONE WE DESIRE –

Paul pointed out to Timothy that in the end times people will be lovers of pleasure. This is one thing that we see our generation moving into. In fact, living for pleasures has slowly made its way into the church too. It’s not wrong to have a good meal or enjoy, yet when the thing we’re wanting is replacing our desire for God, we know we’re placing the pleasure above God.

King David has realised that nothing on earth can satisfy the human heart, except God himself. So he says to God in Psalms 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”

When the thing we’re wanting is replacing our desire for God, we know we’re placing the pleasure above God.

5. FIRST ONE WE THANK AND ARE GRATEFUL FOR –

Of ten lepers who were healed by Jesus, only one came back to thank Him. You know why? Simply because He knew that Jesus was the one who healed him.

In all circumstances in life, as believers, we know that God is sovereign over us and helps us no matter what. Yet when something turns out for good, do we actually go back and thank God? Do we realise that He is the one who turned our situation around? Or do we go on praising other people and ourselves for what happened?

Let God be the first one we thank and be grateful for because if not for Him, we can do nothing.

In another instance, we find ourselves grumbling over something that God gave us rather than being grateful that He gave us that thing/person in the first place.

Let God be the first one we thank and be grateful for because if not for Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)

In a time such as this, let us be found and known as LOVERS OF GOD, as we put Him first in everything – heart, mind, soul and strength.

POSITIONED TO THRIVE

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

PROVERBS 3 : 5,6

Cacti are meant to grow in extremely hot conditions because they can store up a lot of water. They can also typically take in a one-time heavy rainfall. But, can they survive in continuously damp or wet soil? The answer is no, they rot.

This is exactly what will happen to us if we position ourselves in an environment that is not meant for us – we will rot (a process of deterioration). On the other hand, when we position ourselves in the right environment, we will see how we thrive, grow and accomplish all that God has ordained for us. Unlike plants who cannot control where they are positioned, we, human beings, can very well position ourselves. God has also given us His Spirit to discern when and how to do it.

If the environment we position ourselves is not where we are created to be, we will shrink, dry up and struggle to survive.

Looking at the life of Joseph, one of the sons of Israel, we can evidently see how he intently chose where he positioned himself in the midst of challenging circumstances. In fact, he was placed in the most uncertain places – a pit, a prison and a palace – yet, he thrived in all of them. How did he do it? It is only by the way he positioned himself. One of the things we read constantly through Joseph’s story in the bible is ‘the Lord was with him’. If we want to accomplish what God ordained for us like Joseph did (by becoming the Prime Minister of Egypt), this aspect of positioning ourselves in the right environment is something we have to learn from him.

  • Resisting Temptation –

Sometimes we willingly or unwillingly find ourselves in a spot where we are tempted. It becomes very difficult for us to fight it out and overcome it.

Yet, the right thing to do at the time is to resist it – by moving away from it.

You see, you cannot always choose the situation you are placed in, but you can choose where and how you position yourselves in it.

In the midst of a serious temptation to commit adultery with Potiphar’s wife, Joseph said ‘..how can I sin against God?’ and ran away from there. He resisted the temptation. The Bible clearly tells us that no other servant was in the house that day; Joseph could have given into his flesh. But, because he was conscious of God, he realised that the best thing to do when no one else was there in the place was to move away from there. Joseph positioned himself in an environment where he does not give way to temptation. We really don’t know how different Joseph’s life would have been had he positioned himself differently by staying in that place and not resisting the temptation. However, because Joseph knew that it was not God’s will for him to be there or do that – he was able to position himself rightly.

Don’t underestimate the importance of positioning yourself in the right environment in the midst of temptation. It can change the trajectory of your purpose and calling!

What is that temptation that you keep facing? Sometimes you need to completely move out of the place where you’re being tempted, or move away from the people causing you to be tempted or remove the thing that causes you to sin.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Position yourself to resist temptation, and you will watch yourself thriving. Joseph might have been falsely accused and sent to prison for resisting – but in due time, he was made the second in-command of the entire nation!

Don’t underestimate the importance of positioning yourself in the right environment in the midst of temptation. It can change the trajectory of your purpose and calling!

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4 : 7

  • Persevering through trials –

Another place we often find ourselves in is TRIALS. Be it struggling with depression, loss, a dead-end or an uncertain circumstance. Joseph found himself in these kind of situations quite often – thrown into a pit and sold as a slave by his own family (brothers), sent to prison for no fault of his, betrayed by people. Yet something that stands out is how Joseph thrived through it all. Nowhere in his story do we read that he was defeated by the circumstances he faced.

Maybe you are the only believer in your family and are being questioned for your faith every day, or maybe you are in a place in life where nothing seems to be working out, or maybe you have just lost someone or something who you depended on – it could be anything. The question is – Are you allowing the situation to determine your response or are you positioning yourself to face it?

Learn to trust and lean on God to help you position yourself in the right environment, even in unlikely places.

When Joseph was sold as a slave to Potiphar’s household – he did not lament about being sold off by his brothers, instead he trusted God (we read again – God was with him) and depended on God to face the challenge. What happened? He was able to work at Potiphar’s house so well, that Potiphar entrusted everything in his care. When he was put in prison – Joseph refused to mourn about being innocent of the accusation, instead he did what he was given to do in the prison with utmost sincerity (again by trusting God and God being with him).

Joseph learnt how to position himself correctly in the right environment despite being placed in tough places only by leaning on and trusting God.

Each trial is unique and so the way we position ourselves in them is unique. So, who can guide and direct us how to do it? God can. Learn to trust and lean on God to help you position yourself in the right environment, even in unlikely places.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. – Jeremiah 17 : 7-9

We have the choice to position ourselves in the right environment by seeking God’s direction and grace to do what is right. And, resisting temptation and persevering through trials will always help us position ourselves correctly to face all that comes our way.

Let us be cacti that are positioned to thrive – be it in the desert or a hilly region. The choice is ours!

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

TRAINING THAT LASTS ETERNALLY

GROWTH METER: MERE INFANTS OR MATURE IN CHRIST?

Series : PART III

About the series

A lot of us have come to the point where we believe in Jesus. Some of us are also dedicated to go to church, participate in church activities, and sometimes even lead groups, worship, children’s ministry and so on. But, when it comes to our walk with Jesus, we move on with life and watch ourselves constantly going back and forth with the core aspects of our faith like overcoming sin, our very belief and faith in Jesus, indecisive about what is good and evil and so on. Why is that? It is simply because we are not making efforts to GROW, to MATURE in Christ. There are three portions of Scripture where our growth in Christ is compared to the growth of an infant to adulthood – and this is a great growth meter for us to see where we stand in our life. In this three-part series, we are going to learn why we should not be infants and instead become those who are mature in Christ and how to do this.


We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. Nevertheless, solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.

Hebrews 5:11 – 6:3

Training – we come across this word so often in our lives – be it school, college or work. Any training is to help one grow from knowing very little or nothing to excelling in a particular task or subject. Today, laypersons are taking up training classes and becoming professionals in so many things.

Think about it. If a layperson needs training to grow in a particular field here on earth – how much more do we, believers, need to grow in Jesus Christ to become like Him? We repeatedly say that we want to be like Jesus – but the truth is, we cannot become like Him unless we train ourselves in His character, mind and ways. And, this is a training that will not be rewarded here on earth alone, but has its reward in eternal life.

One of the sign that shows us that infants are growing up well is in their ability to digest food from liquids to semi-solids and then solids. An infant needs to be gradually trained to digest semi-solids after liquids and then gradually fed solids until the child can actually chew and swallow solid food. It is a process, yet it is an intentional process that parents undertake to help the infant grow and mature.

Training yourself to maturity in Christ is a training that will not be rewarded here on earth alone, but has its reward in eternal life.

Therefore, while addressing a group of believers, the author of Hebrews tells them that they cannot be fed solid food because they still need milk. While they ought to be teachers, they still need to be taught.

The author is pointing out at their lack of growth in the Lord. So, he is telling them how a mature person is someone who has trained themselves to distinguish good from bad by constant use of what they learnt from the beginning. Whereas, a person who is an infant still needs to be trained in elementary teachings of the faith. What are these elementary teachings? The author mentions it – repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites (baptism), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

This is the clearest distinction between someone who is still an infant in the faith and someone who is maturing in Christ. Are you constantly going back to the essence of your faith in Jesus? Doubting and questioning your faith in His life, death and resurrection? Are you thinking twice about being baptized? Debating about leaders or mentors or if gifts exist in the first place? Confused about how those who pass away in the Lord will live eternally? Or not sure about heaven and hell? Well, if these are questions you keep going back and forth with – you know you are still an infant in the faith and need to be taught these elementary teachings.

Maturing in Jesus Christ is an option for all of us. It requires an intentional effort of knowing Him more, practicing what we learn from Him and obeying Him in every decision – be it big or small.

Yet, if you train yourself in these elementary truths day after day, minute after minute – you will be taken forward into maturity where now the elementary teachings will become a sure and firm foundation and you will be able to discern good from evil. What this means is that you will slowly and steadily grow in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and becoming more and more like Him.

Maturing in Jesus Christ is an option for all of us. It requires an intentional effort of knowing Him more, practicing what we learn from Him and obeying Him in every decision – be it big or small. One cannot be going to church Sunday after Sunday and maybe even serving in church, but not practicing what they have learnt from the Lord, and expect to grow in Him. No! Growing in Him is by consciously training yourself by knowing Him through His word and through prayer and being completely obedient to Him – in the easy as well as tough decisions. As the author of Hebrews says, by constant use train yourselves – Are you constantly meditating on God’s word to know Him deeper? The Psalmist says in Psalms 1:2 – Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Are you prayerful and praying in the Spirit at all times? Paul says in Ephesians 6 : 18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Are you acknowledging God always and in every area of your life? Proverbs 3:6 says, ‘in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ This is how we need to train ourselves to become mature in Christ.

Being taken forward in maturity in Christ would mean that now you are not questioning God’s existence when trouble strikes you, but you trust in Him and are actually thinking about how to share about Him to others even in the midst of a storm in your life. Maturity in Christ means you are not fighting people who do something against you or hurt you or treat you badly, but you are fighting against principalities and powers of darkness in the spiritual realm through prayer. Maturity in Christ would mean you have left your petty ways of gossiping, fighting, and arguing and instead you are focused on loving everyone the same way.

We know we are growing in Maturity when we are growing –

  • In Jesus’ Character –

Hebrews 1 : 3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…”. Jesus is like the Heavenly Father in every way – compassionate, kind, patient, loving, zealous and more.

The more we grow in a relationship with Jesus, the more we will grow in His likeness and character. That is why John says in 1 John 2:6, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did” Ask yourself every single day if you are growing in His likeness, imitating His character.

  • In Jesus’ Ways –

Jesus said He came to save the lost (Mark 2 : 17). In fact, when we read the gospels, we see that Jesus preached the good news about the Kingdom of God and healed all who came to Him, drove out impure spirits. He moved in the power of God.

When Jesus was talking to the disciples about ascending to heaven, he said this in John 14: 12, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

He said we would do greater things than Him. What does that mean? He wants us to move in the power of God. He wants us to save the lost, to heal the sick, drive out impure spirits. Are we moving in the power of God? Are we maturing to become more like Jesus in the way He moved and did things?

  • In Jesus’ Mindset or Thinking –

One of the things that Jesus spoke about a lot was about the heart and mind. In fact, He said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. He also said that the mouth speaks what the heart is full of (using the example of trees and their fruit). He talked about how what comes out of you is what defiles you rather than what you eat.

You see, Jesus knew that everything we think and understand decides what we believe and how we act. That is why He spoke about our thinking and the place of our hearts so much.

In fact Paul tells us to become like Jesus is our mindset or thinking, who being in the likeness of God did not consider equality with God (Philippians 2 : 5-7). Are we growing in thinking like Jesus? Are our thoughts aligned to His word?

Like the author in Hebrews said in Hebrews 6 : 1 – “Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity…”

A GOD-LED OR WORLD-LED LIFE?

GROWTH METER: MERE INFANTS OR MATURE IN CHRIST?

Series : PART II

About the series

A lot of us have come to the point where we believe in Jesus. Some of us are also dedicated to go to church, participate in church activities, and sometimes even lead groups, worship, children’s ministry and so on. But, when it comes to our walk with Jesus, we move on with life and watch ourselves constantly going back and forth with the core aspects of our faith like overcoming sin, our very belief and faith in Jesus, indecisive about what is good and evil and so on. Why is that? It is simply because we are not making efforts to GROW, to MATURE in Christ. There are three portions of Scripture where our growth in Christ is compared to the growth of an infant to adulthood – and this is a great growth meter for us to see where we stand in our life. In this three-part series, we are going to learn why we should not be infants and instead become those who are mature in Christ and how to do this.


Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.  I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

1 Corinthians 3 : 1 – 3

When we try feeding infants solid food, they either throw up, cry or push the food away. Some infants accept the solid food, but they vomit it out because their body is still not ready to digest it. Some others do not even accept it because they cannot enjoy it – one bite and they will zip their mouths and cry if you try giving them more.

Apostle Paul understood this aspect about infants very well. That is why when he was addressing the church in Corinth, who were quarreling, having strife and jealousy among themselves, he told them that they were behaving like mere infants in the faith. What Paul was saying was that he could not talk to them like those who have matured, who can digest solid food, simply because they were still worldly. He is saying this because even if he talks to them about deeper truths of God, they simply will not accept it or even if they do hear him out, they will spit it out.

When he says ‘worldly’ – he is pointing out to their attitude, their understanding and lifestyle. As we read the book of Corinthians, we understand that believers in the church in Corinth were jealous of each other and having fights among themselves because they were simply making decisions based on worldly values and perspectives rather than making God-led (Spirit-led) decisions. They were getting into fights with each other and not talking to one another. They were jealous of each other, so much so that they rejected people – including Paul himself. They were divided based on idolising men (choosing either Paul or Apollos), they took each other to court instead of talking things out among themselves, one expected women to behave a certain way and other expected another. All these divisions and fights came up because these people were thinking, living and talking like the world – based on the principles of the world.

The Mature in Christ are people whose lives and minds are rested on the Kingdom of God and Kingdom values.

This is exactly why when Paul begins dealing with the issues among them, he starts off by saying that he can’t talk to them as ‘people who are led by the Spirit’.

In fact, Paul goes on to tell the Corinthians that they are behaving like mere humans. Why is Paul questioning them for behaving like ‘mere humans’? It is because he knows that those who are led by God live as though earth is not their home. They are people whose life and mind is rested on the Kingdom of God and Kingdom values.

That’s right! Being mature in Christ would mean being wholly dependent and led by the Spirit, living every moment and making every decision based on what God desires.

Maturity, according to the word of God here in 1 Corinthians 3 : 1-3, is living according to God’s standard and God’s leading. Maturity is what Abraham did, when he obeyed God and left his land to go to an unknown land that God promised to give him, not worrying about his security. It is what Rahab did when she hid the Israelite spies because she understood that the God of Israel is the living God, not fearing mere men. It is what Ruth did when she went along her mother-in-law after her husband’s death at a young age, not worrying about what her future would look like. It is actually what Jesus Christ did when he died on the cross forgiving those who rejected and crucified Him.

On the contrary, the Spirit of God teaches us to bless those who curse us, to love the unlovable, to forgive the worst of sins, to embrace the lonely.

In today’s world, it is so easy for us Christians to be ‘worldly’, to go with the flow, to please the world and live the way culture demands us to and according to our flesh. The Corinthians were doing that, they were going with the worldly culture – that demanded idolising someone, that demanded showing themselves greater than one another and that demanded fighting their way forward. The world and flesh refuses to submit to correction, refuses to love those who are against us, and refuses to forgive those who have hurt us. On the contrary, the Spirit of God teaches us to bless those who curse us, to love the unlovable, to forgive the worst of sins, to embrace the lonely. The Spirit of God teaches us to trust God and take steps that seem like foolishness in this world but wisdom in Him. Like Mary, the mother of Jesus, who didn’t let go of the child she conceived as a virgin, instead bore the shame in society to bring forth the Messiah, the savior of the world. Like the disciple Peter, who walked on the water when the waves were crashing and heavy winds were blowing. Paul says in Galatians 5 : 22-25 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Maturity in Christ means keeping in step with the Spirit and living according to God’s standard.

Are you being God-led or World-led? Introspect and ask yourself.

Say this prayer with me if you desire growing out of infancy to maturity in Christ – Lord, would you help me to grow from infancy by living according to this world’s standard to maturity by being completely led by your Spirit. Give me the spirit of discernment to discern between what is from you and what is not, that I may walk in step with you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family

STANDING ON SOLID GROUND

GROWTH METER: MERE INFANTS OR MATURE IN CHRIST?

Series : PART I

About the series

A lot of us have come to the point where we believe in Jesus. Some of us are also dedicated to go to church, participate in church activities, and sometimes even lead groups, worship, children’s ministry and so on. But, when it comes to our walk with Jesus, we move on with life and watch ourselves constantly going back and forth with the core aspects of our faith like overcoming sin, our very belief and faith in Jesus, indecisive about what is good and evil and so on. Why is that? It is simply because we are not making efforts to GROW, to MATURE in Christ. There are three portions of Scripture where our growth in Christ is compared to the growth of an infant to adulthood – and this is a great growth meter for us to see where we stand in our life. In this three-part series, we are going to learn why we should not be infants and instead become those who are mature in Christ and how to do this.


So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4 : 11 – 16

Have you seen a little baby, an infant, moving around? I’m a mother of an infant now and I often observe that my child does not stay on a particular object or in a particular space for more than a few seconds. She does not even know which object is good for her and which is not, and so she goes around trying to touch, pick and put everything that she comes across in her mouth.

When Paul addresses the church in Ephesus, one thing that He tells them is that all the works of service is for the church to be built up until we become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then He points out to this aspect about infants – how they easily believe and follow anything that seems good to their senses. He says in Ephesians 4 : 14-15, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

What does Paul mean by ‘infants being tossed back and forth by the waves’? He’s talking about how when tough situations hit some people, they are tossed back and forth. They are not stable. At one point, they say I will pray about the situation but in no time they question if God can possibly answer, help or deliver them. Being tossed around means – not fully trusting God, instead also following the opinions, suggestions and ways of the world.

For some people, who are like infants, these waves are their emotions. They feel really good when someone says something that they can hear and accept, but get utterly offended when they are corrected, rebuked or even redirected in another way. They feel happy when appreciated, but feel upset and snubbed if their work is not acknowledged. They show love to those who are good to them, but mock or ignore those who are not. They feel jealous of those doing better than them and feel boastful or superior over those that they assume are not doing as good as them.

Another aspect of those of us who are like infants is that they are blown by every wind of teaching and deceived by the craftiness of certain people. They are people who blindly believe certain teachings, traditions and beliefs, which have been passed down or taught to them, without checking what the word of God says about those things.

If we remain infants in our faith, it is as if we know the very basic things and think we can survive on that knowledge.

Just like a little baby is clueless and gullible, those who remain as infants in their faith in Jesus Christ, tend to lose track and are easily stirred by teachings, emotions or circumstances that come their way. This is simply because they know very little and try to face the world with that. This is, in fact, why infants need parents supervision all the time. If we remain infants in our faith, it is as if we know the very basic things and think we can survive on that knowledge. No! That is why, Paul tells us that we should no longer be infants, but grow and become mature in Christ.

So who is mature in Christ?

He answers that too. He says that mature people speak the truth in love. They speak it and they live it.

A person who is mature in Christ is completely reliant on the word of God and surrendered to God’s will. Everything that such a person does is based on the word of God as a solid foundation. That is why, if trials, temptations or even wrong teachings come their way, they are not moved. They constantly seek God to learn His truth and put it into practice to become mature in Christ.

Jesus also taught His disciples this key instruction. He used the example of a wise man who builds his house on a rock and a foolish man who builds his house on sand (Matthew 7 : 24-27). Jesus compares the man who builds his house on sand to someone who hears the word of God, believes it but does not practice it. And, he compares the wise man who builds his house on a rock to someone who hears the word of God and puts it to practice. Waves come, wind blows – the wise man’s house stands, while the foolish man’s house is destroyed.

This is exactly what Paul was saying too. If we believe in the elementary truths about Jesus and then remain satisfied with that without living out God’s word in every area of our life, growing in our calling and understanding deeper truths of God, we will remain infants – easily tossed around. But, that is not wise and that is not what God desires of us.

A person who is mature in Christ is completely reliant on the word of God and surrendered to God’s will. Everything that such a person does is based on the word of God as a solid foundation.

What God desires of us is to mature – to reach a point where we can know and speak His truth in love. We can grow towards maturity in Christ when we diligently seek Him in prayer, grow in our knowledge and understanding of Him through His word and obey Him in the smallest to greatest decisions of our lives.

Peter says in 2 Peter 3 : 18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…”

Let me tell you, we are all on the journey of reaching complete maturity as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13 : 12, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

So, the question to ask yourself is – Am I easily tossed around by situations, my emotions, wrong teachings or beliefs? Am I able to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus? Am I growing closer to Him in prayer?

Grow in maturity by standing on the solid ground of believing and practicing God’s word in every area of your life, unlike infants who know very little and are easily swayed by whatever comes their way.

If this post touched your heart and changed your life, share it with friends and family