We live in a country where we have little or no value for the human life. The security of lives and properties which is a fundamental necessity for the existence of a society are greatly lacking. We live in a place where people can die from very absurd reasons and unimaginable conditions. If you are […]
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVE?
For man, physical action is all we care about. We are quick to praise people or groups of people for what they do or say but for God his focus transcends the physical, as he told Samuel,
“…For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7 NKJV).
So to God if the motive is wrong the act is wrong.
Little wonder Jesus called his disciples to the action of the widow who dropped two little copper coins than the actions of the rich,
“Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” (Mark 12:41-44 NKJV)
In essence Jesus is saying the size of the offering does not count it is the motive, how counter cultural, today churches celebrate the largest giver and perhaps heaven is celebrating the lowest giver.
When teaching about prayer, Jesus also spoke on motive in prayer,
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.” (Matthew 6:5 NKJV)
Which is true they did, their major aim was not to get their prayers answered but to be seen by people.
Why do you do the things you do? Even the seemingly spiritual things, like prayer, Bible study, giving tithe and offering, singing, witnessing, giving to others etc. What motivates you to do the things you do?
Is it to be admired by men?
To be celebrated by men?
To show you are wise, brilliant, smart, learned or gifted?
Any act motivated by what men will see, think or say about you is not acceptable before God no matter how great the act may be.
The question then is What is the right motive?
The answer is the Adventist Youth motto;
“For the love of Christ compels us,…” (II Corinthians 5:14 NKJV).
For years I recited it without truly knowing what it meant and not because I was reciting the King James version “constraineth” which is archaic but because I failed to look it up and think on the meaning of what I was saying.
Paul said what motivated him and his fellow apostles to go through all they went through was the love of Christ, they loved Christ so much they could go to any length for him, the love of Christ led them to love others even more than themselves.
Many times preceding the miracles of Jesus is the phrase “he had compassion on them” all Jesus acts was motivated by love that led to compassion.
When the love of Christ is your motive there is no limit to what you can do for others infact you do your duties more effectively and efficiently because you do it like you are doing it unto God (Colossians 3:23).
In this week, let the love of Christ be your motivation to do all you do.
Have a fulfilled week, keep basking in His love.
It is close to a year since I last posted anything written by me here and perhaps this is a way to say I am back, I pray I do not return to my shell any time soon.
The Unseen Watcher was written after reading Daniel Chapter 5 and a commentary on it, I will like you to read the book of Daniel chapter 5 on your own (preferably the whole book of Daniel on your own and I am sure you will be blessed). After reading I will like your comments, thoughts and reactions on it. God bless you, Amen.
The UNSEEN WATCHER
There is one who watches us though we can’t see him;
They say he sees us even when we think no one is watching;
That nothing we do, think or say goes by without his notice;
Some say its a fable, others say its true;
It is said that he even knows our thoughts and hears our voice;
That he keeps a record of all we say, think and do;
We are told there will be a time he will be seen;
That we all will be judged based on the records he has taken about us;
Some hate him, some love him while some claim they are indifferent about him;
If only we could see him now, many often say;
yet he keeps watching;
There is a book about him, it reveals who he is, why he is watching and so much more;
There is someone watching us, though we can not see him;
O! What will be your fate if this is true?
The need of this generation 1 ended with the conclusion that the need of this generation is the manifestation of the sons (children) of God, people who in this last days will be like Noah because Jesus said our time will be like the time of Noah.
Now, we are to look at those peculiar things that was lacking on others but present on Noah that he was singled out as God’s messenger and his family were saved but before we look at the peculiars, lets note what was not peculiar.
The non peculiars are; his humanity (he was not an angel), his marital status, work, social/societal relevance, his age, language and even his ancestral lineage which boasts of Godly men like Enoch, his great grand-father who walked with God and never saw death and Methuselah, his grand-father who still holds the all time record of world’s oldest man to ever live on earth and whose death was actually a pointer to the flood itself (Gen. 5:21-29) though this should not be surprising because “God has no grandchildren, all he has are children” as the bible does not make mention of any time God described anyone as that, this is a wake up call telling some who think because their parents, grand parents or even great grand parents had/have a very good relationship with God and lived/live a righteous life will make them a peculiar person for God that they are wrong, as my mum will always say to me “Salvation is individual”, we are not judged as a group or a family but we are judged individually according to our works (Rev. 22:12).
What made Him peculiar?
1. Grace: This I call the great qualifier because without it every other thing is nothing. Some may say Grace is a new testament factor so how come Noah is considered in terms of grace? Genesis 6:8 answers the question “But Noah found GRACE in the eyes of the LORD” this proves what Romans 5:20 and 1Timothy 1:9 tells us that grace was provided before the world began. Every Bible hero have been saved on the foundation of grace as Paul in Ephesians tells us its by grace we are saved (Ephesians 2:8,9). Grace is favour/gift we do not deserve due to our sin (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6) but is given to us all the same through Jesus Christ (1Timothy 1:9). The human race still exists today and will exist after Christ’s coming not because some were very righteous but because of God’s grace.
2. Choice: With the earlier mention of grace, one may be inclined to ask; Is God selective with his grace? The answer is in the popular bible verse John 3:16, “For God so Loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him will not perish but have everlasting life.” God’s love is not for a selected few and the same is with grace which is an element of His love the reason it is listed among the peculiars is because God has given us a right, this right was what man exercised and fell, that right is called choice, we have been given the ability to choose what we want that is why in John 3:16 a clause “whosoever” is there. The ball is in our court, God has offered us grace we have a right to accept or reject it, Noah accepted it and to be like Noah we should too.
3. Faith: Noah is listed in the ‘faith hall of fame’ as “heir of righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7), what greater faith is there to believe that there will be flood when rain has never fallen before, it was scientifically incorrect but that was Noah preached. Noah walked by faith not by sight (2Corinthians 5:7) and his faith was based on the word of God (Romans 10:17), Noah saw things from God’s point of view not the wise men’, scientists’, meteorologists’, historians’ and even theologians’ of his time view. This is the faith God requires of us, believing, acting and living on what God says in his word not popular culture.
4. Use of Influence: Noah spent about 120 years preaching his ‘mad’ idea (2Peter 2:5) and how many humans were in the ark when the floods came? Eight (Genesis 7:1, 1Peter 3:20). Well such an evangelistic effort may be called a failure but if we see this people were his family members, we will see Noah was someone who was diligent enough to convince his family members to believe his idea. If it was us would our family members believe us? For what purpose do we use the gift of influence God has given us, Good or bad? Tells us how more like Noah we are.
A quick review, the need of this generation is the sons of God, men and women who will choose to accept the gift of God offered through Jesus Christ, men and women who will believe, act and live based on the word of God as found in the Bible, men and women who will use their influence on others for good and influence people around them to make right decisions but it does not stop there, Noah has one more peculiarity and that is that he did his work.
His work and our work would be the consideration on THE NEED OF THIS GENERATION 3 which is sub titled OUR WORK.
It is almost a norm amongst all humans that if we are asked ‘what do you need?’ we end up telling the questioner what we want which most times is not necessarily what we need, in fact we are so carried away by our wants that we do not know actually what we need. As its applicable to individuals, its applicable also to communities which is not that hard to see because the communities are made up of individuals.
I’m sure when you saw the topic and you thought through what the need of this generation is, you will possibly think of worldwide economic stability, peace and all the rest but this is not the need of this generation, yes it will be good to have peace, economic stability, more employment opportunities and all other things but this are just what we want, they are not necessarily what we need in this generation.
So, what do we need? Since we have noticed that we easily misplace need for wants and we can not identify our need ourselves, it would be reasonable to say an external being is well suited to identify this need for us, As for me, I believe that such being that exist is GOD the creator of us all in the first place.
God gave us a book the HOLY BIBLE in it we find God’s words to us, there in Romans 8:19 we are told “the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God” (King James Version)
from the text, we can identify that the need of this generation and other generations before it is the manifestation of the sons of God.
Who are the Sons of God?
The sons of God are not angels as some have us to think so but are actually those who have accepted Jesus Christ into their lives because the bible tells us they have been given power to be called sons of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:14), Ellen White under the inspiration of God in her book Education identified the need of the world/this generation as; “The greatest want of the world is the want of MEN, men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, whose conscience are true to duty as needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heaven fall”
(NOTE: the use of the words ‘Son(s)’ and ‘Men’ does not exclude the female gender, it is more of a generalizing word that is synonymous with Child(ren) of God).
What are they expected to manifest?
From the quote above we can see that the manifestation is definitely not of material possession but of a godly character similar to that of Christ( who is the greatest need of the world) while he was on earth, this same character was portrayed by the heroes and heroines of the bible e.g. Noah, infact I will go further to say the need of this generation is Noah-like people.
Well, Jesus says in Matthew 24:37,38 that “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”
Are we at The time of the coming of the Lord/Is our time “as it was in the time of Noah”?
Ellen White in Desire of Ages had this to write about the time of Noah ” How was it in Noah’s day?…God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was evil continually.”Gen,6:5. The Inhabitants of the antediluvian world turned from Jehovah, refusing to do his holy will. They followed their own unholy imagination and perverted ideas. It was because of their wickedness that they were destroyed and today the world is following the same way”(Desire Of Ages Page633.2) Is that not true today as it was then?
We can find the anti-antediluvian practices in Matthew 24:38; Eating, Drinking, marrying and giving in marriage this things you will say are not wrong but when put in place of God or done against God’s will it becomes a problem (Exodus 20:3,) now think of any perverseness attached to those practices e.g. We can find acts like gluttony and binge eating and drinking when God calls for temperance, eating unclean foods/animals and drinking alcohol and other substances that impairs proper reasoning, same-sex marriages, marriages between believers and unbelievers, lavishing money on ceremonies, injustice and many other atrocities was done then and I believe the ones listed already rings bell right?
So now you will agree if you did not know before that we are in the last days which is similar to the times before the flood. A reading of the account of the flood in the book of Genesis, we will discover that Noah was singled out as God’s messenger and with his family was saved from the flood. It will be therefore right to consider and emulate the qualities found in Noah that helped him prior and through the flood even as we expect the coming of the Lord. This (what qualified Noah) is what would be considered in THE NEED OF THIS GENERATION 2.
There was a Yoruba man travelling from Akure to Abuja with his personal car but on the way he was attacked by thieves who stole his car and all other things that were with him, they even beat him severely and left him for dead. As he was calling for help with the little strength he had left, a pastor who was also a Yoruba man was driving along the road, he saw the injured man but sped off acting like he did not see him. A Yoruba man who was a deacon in his church driving by, saw the injured man he slowed down his car looked through his mirror, trying to see if the injured man was yoruba or not, he drove off since he could not actually tell if the man was yoruba and also in fear of the questions he would be asked in the hospital. Then came along an Hausa man, on seeing the injured man, he parked his car, alighted and went to help the man, he did all the first aid he could do and then put off his babariga to cover the man took him to his car and drove to the nearest hospital, on getting there he paid all the bills necessary for the man’s treatment and feeding, he also left some extra cash for any further expenses and promised to come back to settle any bill later on that note he went on to continue his journey.
The story above would look familiar to some most especially if you have heard/read the story of The Good Samaritan which was narratted by Jesus(Luke 10:30-35).
(note:the story you read earlier is just a fictional adaptation of the good Samaritan story to the Nigeria context, it is not to portray that any enmity exists between the Yorubas and the Hausas)
Reading the verses prior to the story of the good Samaritan, one will notice that the story is a response to the question asked by a certain lawyer, “who is my neighbour?” but this story goes beyond just answering the question but also illustrating the redemption story, infact Ellen G. White in her book The Desire of Ages (a classic on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, a must read for all) writes; “In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus gave a picture of Himself and His mission. Man had been deceived, bruised, robbed and ruined by Satan and left to perish; but the saviour had compassion on our helpless condition. He left his glory to come to our rescue. He found us ready to die, and he undertook our case. He healed our wounds. He covered us with his robe of righteousness. He opened to us a refuge of safety, and made complete provision for us at his own charges. He died to redeem us.” (Desire of Ages, Chapter 54, The Good Samaritan, Page 503).
In the redemption story; we (the human race) are the certain man, the thief is Satan and the good Samaritan represents Jesus.
The story of the good Samaritan does not just illustrate the redemption story alone, it also illustrates the nature of true religion. In the story of the good Samaritan and the life of Jesus we find an illustration and a fulfilment of the principle of the law which calls us to “love your neighbour as yourself”.
So when Jesus Christ told the lawyer to “Go and do likewise”, He was telling us all to do more than just profess to be children of God but also act it. He(Jesus) showed us that been the good samaritan is not just been a charitable and helpful person it is been like Him.
It is alarming to see professed children of God/Christians (not excluding me) say statements like “I am not the good Samaritan” when someone asks us for a favour, when that is exactly who God wants us to be; according to Isaiah 58, God tells us he does not need our empty fasts what he wants from us is to do good deeds stated in the text as loosing the chains of injustice, setting the oppressed free, sharing our food to the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless and clothing the naked and Jesus also said doing these deeds are vital to determining our eternal destination (Matthew 25:31-46), this good deeds are expected to be done in-respective of who the person is, the social status, race, tribe, colour of skin or even religion.
It is time we professed christians start doing the works of the one we claim to follow.
Now dont just go ahead doing this deeds because you want to make it to heaven, that would be selfish and no different from a person who does philanthropy because of his political ambition. So the first thing to do is get right with God by developing a true and close relationship with Jesus because without this there is no way we can do this deeds because our natural inclination is selfish and this calls us to be selfless, once you have begun this relationship with Jesus join the Good Sam Club (a name gotten from Dwight Nelson’s The Chosen devotional), dont get me wrong the Good Sam Club is not a club that you pay registration money and dues, its just a term for people who are willing to obey Jesus’s command to “Go and do likewise”.
Are you one of such people deciding to do as the good Samaritan did in whatever way you can?
Enlistment lines are open for all.
Well, I dont know if this is the title of a book or novel but recently two gardens “caught my fancy”. It is not like I went to those gardens but I read about the events that took place in those gardens and I’m captivated to the extent that I am motivated to write about it.
Here are the two gardens and the events that took place therein;
GARDEN 1: THE GARDEN OF EDEN
It can be remembered as the garden created by GOD, the habitat of Adam and Eve (the first humans ever). Eden; A land flowing with milk and honey, surrounded by four rivers; Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, Euphrates (Genesis 2:8-15)
Adam and Eve were given all they would ever need Shelter (the garden, *there was no rain and scorching sun*), Food (the tree of life and other fruits except one i.e. the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), Water (the four rivers), Pets (all the animals *there were no wild animals*), Work (taking care of the garden) and most importantly friends (God and the Angels).
Sadly, we would also remember the garden of Eden as the place where the first sets of evil occured on earth; the first lie (Genesis 3:4), first disobedient act by man (Genesis 3:6,7), the first time man knew they were naked (Genesis 3:7), the first time man was afraid of the presence of God (Genesis 3:8), the first sets of blames were traded (Genesis 3:12,13), the first ever sets of curses (Genesis 3:14-19), the first ever animal was killed (Genesis 3:21) and man was pursued out of the garden GOD created for us (Genesis 3:22-24). As a preacher said mankind lost 3 items when we left the garden of Eden;
1) The tree of Life for longetivity of life
2) The garment of Light for confidence
3) The face to face dialogue with GOD for constant communication and true friendship.
We can therefore conclude that the events at the garden of Eden ended in pain and disappointment for man and GOD and joy for satan.
GARDEN 2: THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE
This garden was planted by man unlike Eden, also there is no specific information of the topography of the garden in the bible all we know is Jesus Christ during his lifetime here on earth went there to pray.
Jesus Christ (who Paul calls the second Adam) sent to the world as a fulfilment of the promise of grace (Genesis 3:15) embedded in the first ever curses, at the closing hours of his sin-less and loving ministry went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray with the cross staring him in the face.
Jesus went to wrestle with the Father. As the weight of the sins of the world (the generations before, the present generation and the generations yet unborn) pressed upon him, Jesus prayed that if it were possible the cup be passed over him adding that GOD had the final choice (Matthew 26:39), his sweat was like blood (Luke 22:44).
In that Garden the destiny of the human race hung in the balance. Jesus crave the support of his closest friends, but they all fell asleep.
He drank the cup of woe all alone. Another being was there, the same who was at Eden, Satan the slimy old serpent. Now he tempted Jesus to abandon his mission to save the world “they are’nt worth it, none of them care, look at them all sleeping!” he said to Jesus but unlike our first parents, Jesus refused to listen to the malevolent voice, he refused to entertain doubt.
Accepting the bitter cup from his father’s hand, he went forward to calvary. Therefore, at this garden, man and GOD won and satan was defeated because God came to the rescue of man from the mess of Eden through Jesus Christ. At the garden of Gethsemane all man lost at the garden of eden, man was given the assurance that it will all be regained through faith in Jesus.
The two gardens call us to prayerful contemplation of the price of our salvation.
There we see how much was lost but also how great the grace of our wonderful Lord is.
Ellen White (a renowed christian author) urges us to carefully study and compare “the garden of Eden with its foul blot of disobedience …..with the garden of Gethsemane, where the world’s redeemer suffered superhuman agony when the sins of the whole world were rolled upon Him”.
The pleasure of the garden of Eden turned to pain but thanks to GOD, the pressure of the garden of Gethsemane was turned to victory.
In our endeavours in life, we have our periods of disappointments, failures and pain, which can be seen as our Eden experiences but we should remember that it is for this purpose that there is a Gethsemane experience a point where GOD gives us assurance that he can turn our pains, disappointments and failures into joy, appointments and success.
Turn to Jesus today he would do it again and this time in your personal Life.