How About Sharing The Gospel With A Smile?

Why can't you smile as you share the gospel? Good news is fir sharing.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is goodnews and goodnews is for sharing. But do you share goodnews with a frown on your face? No!

How come you always put on a very ‘serious’ face whenever you share the gospel? How about sharing the gospel with a genuine smile plastered on your face?

This last Sunday morning, I was driving to church when I noticed a middle-aged lady standing at the edge of my street handing out some gospel tracts to passers-bye. Such practice is a usual sight in the part of Lagos where I live, so there is nothing spectacular about it.

But as I looked closely at the lady, I observed that she was wearing a very serious look, not smiling at all. Her hands were handing out the supposed printed messages of love but her face didn’t show any happiness or enthusiasm. That got me thinking!

“Why can’t she just put on a smile while dishing out those leaflets to her target recipients?” I asked myself under my breath as I waited for my turn to negotiate the intersection next to where she stood.

I didn’t mean to judge her but I couldn’t resist thinking about the observation as I drove along to my destination. But before I could push the thought any further, it dawned on me that many Christians make the same mistake while sharing their faith with other people. (I am not exempting myself either).

I recall an incident in that regard in the year 2000. I boarded a city mass transit bus to work. I took the opportunity to openly share the gospel with everyone on board. (Unlike what is obtainable at present, preaching, advertising etc were not banned on some public buses then).

My voice was loud enough to be heard in all corners of the vehicle. So I declared the gospel message to my audience to the best of my understanding….

  • “Jesus loves you, He died for you and is calling you into a personal relationship with Him…”
  • “Only Jesus can save you. There is no other name through which you can be saved….”

I went on passionately along those lines for a couple of minutes with all the energy and enthusiasm in me. But I didn’t realise how too straight-faced I was until I overheard a co-passenger say something like,”This is not a quarell here, we got your message.”

Really? I was preaching like it was a quarrel? Of course I didn’t realise it. But whether the comment was unwarranted or not, I got the message…

A natural smile flowed from my heart to my face as I heard that comment. My voice had been too tough and my look so stern, may be. I took the unsolicited correction and began speaking in a more loving way, without compromising the message.

Since then, I have come to know better on how to carry my face or body language while sharing about Christ with someone – be it on a one on one basis or with a larger audience. It doesn’t mean the gospel should be preached with levity or with a “take it or leave it” kind of attitude.

Agreed that the message of the gospel is a serious message. But it has to be delivered in love.

  • Realise that the gospel is better shared with love, with a smile than with a frown.
  • The gospel is a message of love. It should be shared in love.
  • Let not your attitude confuse your hearers.

I mean, you tell someone that Jesus loves him or her wearing a frown on your face? How do you reconcile that? Let me say it again:

  • The gospel is goodnews.
  • Goodnews is for sharing.
  • The gospel is goodnews that should be shared with joy and enthusiasm.
  • The gospel should be shared in love, always.
  • If you are telling someone that the Lord is good to you, don’t show otherwise; don’t look like God has forsaken you. As you preach the gospel to someone, don’t let it be a case of “Your message is lovely but the look on your face betrays it.

    Sharing the gospel is a divine call. Why can’t you share a smile as you share it?




    ©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

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    Conversations With Atheists 1

    Are Atheists not destined for the love of God?

    Earlier in the year, I published 16 Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know. It was a sequel to a previous blog, To Those Who Say There Is No God. Both posts were specifically written with atheists in mind. And as expected they elicited all manner of reactions from people, especially avowed atheists.

    Some of the discussions that followed To Those Who Say There Is No God, have been previously published in the series When You Encounter An Atheist For The First Time. Beginning with this post, we shall be starting a new series titled Conversations With Atheists.

    The purpose of the series will be to highlight some important parts of  the online interactions I had with some people who commented on 16 Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know, with a view to opening up the issues for further discussions and impressions here and beyond.

    But first, we will need to take a look at some extracts from that referenced background post:

    • Even though I believe that God exists, I am aware that there are people from around the world who do not believe in His existence.
    • Life is meaningless if God did not exist.
    • The fact that some people do not believe in God does not diminish Him by any measure.
    • The Bible is the manual of life God gave to man. It is the final authority on anything there is to know about God and His creation.
    • God loves you even if you don’t believe in Him. The fact that you don’t believe in God does not mean that He is angry with you. In fact, He loves you too much to be angry with you.
    • It is true that there can be many ways to arrive a given destination. But when it comes to going to God, Jesus Christ is the Only Way.
    • According to the Bible, anyone who says God doesn’t exist, is a fool.

    • You can turn from atheism to God. Your life on earth is your only opportunity for you to know God, if you miss it you miss out forever.
    • You became an atheist by choice; you were not born as one. You get to know God by choice too.
    • God is big enough to handle any (mis)guided thoughts you might have about Him. But nothing can be sorted out without your cooperation.
    • You yourself know that you are not perfect; you are not without blemish. In order words, you are a sinner who needs the forgiveness of God. If you would make up your mind to seek Him in faith, you would find Him
    • You may not believe in God but you should understand that you are still answerable to Him. One day, you will stand before Him to explain how you lived your life here on Earth and what you did with the offer of grace by His son Jesus Christ.
    • There is a future reality called hellfire. You don’t have to go there if you decide to accept Jesus Christ now that you are still alive.

    Many WordPress bloggers liked the post. But there were some readers that didn’t, as indicated by their comments. The comments and my responses to them will form the basis of Conversations With Atheists Series.

    Needless to say, some of the comments from the professed atheists who responded are too abusive and unsavoury to be reposted here. We will therefore make do with extracts from some of the ‘reasonable’ conversations. (But if you don’t mind reading the largely offensive vituperations of the militant atheists that invaded my corner of WordPress as a result of that post, you may want to refer to the comment section of the original post).

    God and Atheists

    Let the conversations begin with this reader/commentator who felt that he is not destined for the love of God

    Commentator 1
    I don’t really know what I was expecting when I opened this page. But I have to admit I wasn’t expecting this.

    This posts makes precisely no attempt to meet atheists at common ground or to have a message that might resonate or anything. It’s just an opportunity taken to preach, claimed to be aimed at atheists but very much written in the language that could rightly make someone think other religious people were the audience; almost literally preaching to the choir.

    Surely you have encountered the basic point that the Bible is only convincing to people who already believe…

    I don’t mean this to come of rude, but I think it would benefit your writing for atheists if you actually take a moment to really think about the message you want to send, instead of just threatening them with Hell (which they don’t believe in) and telling them they’re wrong (they already know you disagree with them and so would say that).

    My Response
    Thank you for reading and commenting. The purpose of the post was to present the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it is to the atheists, not to establish a common ground as you expected.

    … The issue of Hell is not a threat (I thought I mentioned that in the post) as you took it to be. It is an avoidable terrible future reality I tried to mention in love. The fact that you don’t believe in it doesn’t preclude its existence.

    But wait a minute, let me be a bit curious: how come it was the mere mention of hellfire that caught your attention more than the love of God for you as explained in the post?

    Commentator 1
    I’m not currently destined for the love of God.

    My Response
    My understanding is that God loves us all, including you! So I would like to ask you why you feel “not currently destined for the love of God.”

    Commentator 1
    First of all, to avoid patronising conversation later on, I want to point out that I am having this conversation from within the Christian narrative, even though I don’t accept it as true. That’s probably too obvious to need pointing out, but I’ve had the ‘atheists can’t talk about that stuff’ argument used against me before.

    Anyway, I’m going to be sent to Hell by virtue of not being able to believe: (1) a God exists; (2) a human sacrifice is a good thing; (3) perfection was ever a reasonable expectation of a person.

    My Response
    The death of Jesus Christ was a perfect sacrifice, without which the redemption of the human race would have been impossible. It is however not an approval for human sacrifice as you suggested.

    God raised Jesus from death and He is alive forever. Therein lies the eternal hope of all men, including you.

    Food for thought.

    • Do Christians have a “common ground” with atheists?
    • Why would someone say that God giving His Son to die for the sin of mankind is an act of human sacrifice, or is it?
    • What would make a man close his heart to the love of God, to the extent of believing that God’s love is not for him?

    What do you say?


    ©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

    Who Is Your Internal Consultant?

    Holy Spirit and you, Victor Uyanwanne

    Consultants possess expertise in their given fields. They are often willing to help out in solving other peoples’ problem if they are engaged for that purpose, usually at a fee. Consultants can help you or your business:

    • Clarify ‘issues’ through research or data analysis;
    • Improve operational efficiencies;
    • Solve specific business problems;
    • Make informed business decisions;
    • Meet other specific needs you may have as their client.

    As good as they may be, no consultant is all-knowing and all-powerful; they are often limited by the level of their knowledge, trainings and experiences in life. But the Holy Spirit does not suffer from any limitations. His wisdom is unfathomable and His power is limitless.

    The Holy Spirit has been given to you by God as your ever-available Internal Resource. That means you can have Him as your personal Consultant to help you clarify issues, make better decisions, solve problems and improve your overall personal efficiency and effectiveness in life.

    What is your relationship with the Holy Spirit like? Do you see Him as your biggest Partner in progress? Don’t you think your relationship with Him can be better than it is right now?

    Several years ago as a new believer in Christ Jesus, I read Dr. David Yonggi Cho’s Holy Spirit My Senior Partner. In that book, Dr. Cho shared how he had been walking in close relationship (or partnership as he put it) with the Holy Spirit in his ministry and life.

    He talked about the need to depend on the leading of the Holy Spirit for best results in our lives and circumstances. For instance, as a young preacher then, he said he would never stand before the congregation to preach to them except he had received a specific message from the Holy Spirit to share with the people.

    That way, he was able to preach timely messages that met the specific needs of someone in his audience. It is not surprising then that Dr. Cho refers to the Holy Spirit as his senior Partner.

    Just like Cho, all believers in Christ can have a meaningful partnership with the Holy Spirit at their individual levels. The good news is that He is already a willing and competent Partner, just waiting for us to engage Him. That is why He is in us in the first place!

    As I examined the Bible Scriptures over the years, it has become very clear to me what role the Holy Spirit should play in my life as a Christian. He is my:

    • Helper
    • Guide
    • Comforter
    • Enabler
    • Teacher
    • and all….

    But whether I am completely depending on Him to be all He should be in my life is a different matter altogether. I know the story is not too different for many believers I have come across over the years in my Christian journey.

    Truth be told, all of us ought to be depending on the Holy Spirit for directions and guidance in life more than we are presently doing. We will suffer for it if we don’t. We will be happier if we do. For instance if you want the best results, you can use the leading of the Holy Spirit, in the following areas of your decision making:

    • Who to marry.
    • Where to invest in.
    • What job to accept or reject.
    • Which social organisation to join.
    • and so on and so forth.

    There is no limit to the areas of guidance the Holy Spirit can give you. He is there for you in whatever aspect of your life – from the mundane to the spiritual.

    Along this line recently, I read the personal testimony of Steve Sawyer wherein he referred to the Holy Spirit as his Internal Consultant. That expression embodies the spirit of this post. So I am borrowing those terms from him for the purpose of this discourse.

    In that article, Sawyer explained that the Holy Spirit is His internal consultant because:

    • The Holy Spirit is always with him;
    • The Holy Spirit can answer any question he has with His Truth, because the Holy Spirit IS Truth;
    • The Holy Spirit teaches him every day the best way to respond to anyone in any environment or context.

    It is not hard to see that all the above points are in line with what the Bible tells us the Holy Spirit will do in our lives. He is the Spirit of Truth and He guides us into all truth. He is in us as the voice that tells us what to do if we will listen to Him.

    In this complex world where you have to make important decisions, wouldn’t you want to have accurate guidance and direction in all areas of your life? That is possible if you make the Holy Spirit your Internal Consultant.

    What do you say?

    How You can Know God At The Friendship Level

    Rick Warren's 3 levels of knowing God

    There are two kinds of people on Earth: Those who believe that God exists and those who don’t. Amongst those that believe God exists, whether they do know God to the extent of having or contemplating a friendship relationship with Him is a different thing altogether.

    Over the past few months that I started this blog, I have had myself writing some articles specifically addressed to atheists – those who say there is no God. The latest of such articles being 16 Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know.

    In this post, I will be talking to those who already believe God exists. But I must add that it is not enough to believe that God exists without knowing Him personally.

    Apart from believing that God exists, there is the need for you (and of course everyone else) to get to truly know God and know Him at a deeper level. That is why, as Christians we invite people to know God by calling them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, His Son.

    Without a personal faith in the finished work of Christ, no one can know God at a friendship level. You shouldn’t miss that point.

    Distinguished and best-selling Author, Rick Warren, in one of his devotional articles, stated that there are three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.

    As the title of this post suggests, our focus here is mainly on knowing God at the level of friendship. But allow me to put in a word or two about the named three levels as I understood them:

    1. Recognition level

    At this level, you know that “God is there,” but you don’t know Him personally. In other words, you know that God exists but you have not yet entered into a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, through whom only one can get to know the true God.

    1. Acquaintance level

    You are at this level if you know God just a little, but that’s all. Even though you may have come to know God through acknowledging Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are yet to develop that relationship into a deeper level of robust friendship.

    1. Friendship level

    At this level, you have come to know God very well. You are not perfect, but you now know God as your Father.

    You have established a healthy relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ and you are staying committed to that relationship and you know it. You see God as your friend and you relate with Him as such; you talk to each other.

    We can be friends of God

    Knowing God at a deeper level

    God wants you to know Him and know Him very well. In Christ, He has offered you an eternal friendship relationship. This friendship will flourish to the extent you are willing to investing your time into it through regular fellowship with Him.

    To know God at a deeper level, you have to know Him at the friendship level. And this level is not exclusive to some people. We are all called to seek a deeper level of relationship with God.

    In James 4:8a, we read the words, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” You see, you are the one that should intentionally draw near to God in order to know Him deeper – at the friendship level.

    In Christ Jesus, God is already fully drawn to you. I may as well say this: You are as close to God as you want to be!

    Once you have established a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, it means you have entered into the most valuable relationship of your life. But like all good relationships, it has to be consciously cultivated and nurtured for it to develop into a deeper level of friendship.

    To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her. Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.

     

    Do you desire to know God at the friendship relationship level? Feel free to leave a comment.

     

    ©2016 CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

    6 Simple Reasons To Forgive Offences

    Benefits of forgiveness

    Everyone needs forgiveness.  On the other hand, everyone needs to offer forgiveness too. And as you well know,  ‘everyone’ here includes you!

    “If there is no offence, there will be no forgiveness,” they say. And if someone offends you, you have the choice to either forgive or hold a grudge. Either way, there is always at least a benefit or a consequence.

    Giving forgiveness to your offender may not be easy, but it is worth your while to extend it wherever it is needed.  Other wise, you would be shooting yourself in the leg if you hold on to the offence, without forgiving.

    Here are 5 simple reasons you should learn to forgive others and let go of that vengeful feeling you may have against anyone who offended you:

    1. God has forgiven your offences and He expects you to forgive others too.

    We have all fallen below God’s standards. But by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, He is no longer holding our sins against us; we have been forgiven.

    By the same token, you should no longer hold anyone’s offence against them: forgive them! It is more beneficial to give forgiveness than to hold it back.

    1. Unforgiveness is a big weight, free yourself from it.

    Some offences against you may appear too terrible and hard to forgive. But guess who suffers more when you refuse to forgive others? You! That’s right, you!

    I once heard someone say that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting another person to be hurt by it. That’s absurd. Isn’t it?

    You may choose to disagree with me but it is in your best interest to forgive anyone that offends you. The burden is too heavy to bear if you don’t forgive.

    1. Don’t you expect others to forgive you too?

    No one is perfect – and that includes you! It is self-deception to think that you have never needed or will ever need forgiveness from anyone.

    Meaning that if you ever expect to be forgiven when you do wrong to others, (which I know you will, because you are still human), then you must show the same gesture to others who wronged  or offended you.

    1. Happiness and unforgiveness don’t mix.

    Personal happiness is one of the most pursued goals in life. But a heart that refuses to forgive will never find true personal happiness and fulfillment; You reduce your chances of finding happiness if you deliberately fail to show forgiveness to others.

    Offering forgiveness is a veritable avenue to let off some toxins impeding your emotional health. Just as tobacco smoking is injurious to your health so is unforgiveness unhealthy for your emotional well-being.

    I AM FORGIVEN

    1. You have the capacity to forgive, no need pretending otherwise. 

    “I am unable to forgive,” you might say. That’s not true my dear. No matter how deeply you might have been hurt, you can still forgive if you chose to do so.

    It is even easier if you allow God to work through, and in, you. By the power of forgiveness God has put in you, you can forgive any offence against you.

    Use that power of love that is already in you to forgive others their offences. You will be happier for it.

    1. Forgive yourself to be able to forgive others.

    Forgiving others entails forgiving yourself. If you can’t forgive yourself, neither will you be able to extent forgiveness to other people.

    Do you love yourself? Then you must forgive yourself so that you can forgive others or even receive forgiveness  from other people too.

     

    Is there any offence against you that you are yet to forgive? You would continue to be hurt if you choose not to forgive. But you will enjoy a sense of release and peace if you will decide to forgive that offence today. It might be a tough decision but you can take it.

    Those who say revenge is sweet have not tasted the power of forgiveness. Has  giving or receiving forgiveness ever benefited you? Please leave a comment.

     

     

    ©CopyRight 2016| Victor Uyanwanne

    3 Solid Things That Will Make a Christian not Suffer Identity Crisis

    The real you is not the one that stands in front of the mirror every morning. The real you is inside of you. The word of God is the mirror that will reflect your true identity. As a Christian, your true identity is in Christ. It is only in Christ (the Word) that you can discover your true identity….

    (Victor Uyanwanne in 11 Powerful reasons you should improve your interest in the Bible).

    I know who I am.

    Your identity is who you are. And as a Christian, who you are is important, but who you are in Christ is far more important.

    That brings me to this important question: Do you know who you are? Or better still, do you know who you are in Christ?

    You should know who you are! If you don’t:

    • You will go through life not maximizing your full potentials;
    • You will suffer from identity crisis; being unsure of yourself, unsure of why you exist in life;
    • Your self-esteem will not be at the right level;

    You will end up being unhappy or depressed, emotionally. And of course, you deserve better than that! That’s why I am writing this post.

    I know who I am.” That’s the title of the monstrously successful hit song by popular Nigerian worship gospel singer, Sinach.

    There is no time I play that song that I don’t get inspired by its lyrics, which are deeply rooted in the word of God. I could never be depressed or unhappy with a song like that on my lips.

    But just like many other Christians, there were times I wasn’t so sure about who I am in Christ. I would often ask myself questions such as Am I really saved? Are my sins truly forgiven?

    Does God love me personally? Am I completely acceptable to God? Does He have a purpose for me? Am I Sure I am qualified for Heaven?

    Looking at myself back then, those were not easy questions to resolve. But once I began to look more in the word of God than in my feelings, the pictures became clearer. As I began to see myself in the light of God’s word, my doubts began melting away.

    I am not saying I’ve got everything figured out yet. But at least, I am not where I used to be; I now have a firmer grip of my real identity in Christ than before.

    Having said that, I don’t deny that it is possible for a Christian to suffer an identity crisis. But you don’t have to, or why should you?

    Many of the identity issues you might face as a Christian will arise if you continually focus on something different from what God says you are. Whatever you might have gone through in the past or you may still be going through presently, they should not make you confused  about your true identity.

    Who God says you are is your true identity. At any point in time, you ought to be able to say “I am what God says I am.” That is to say, you have to always align who you think you are with who God says you are.

    How can this be achieved?

    As a Christian, here are 3 three sure ways out of the problem of identity crisis:

    1. Knowing who you are in Christ.

    It is good to have a very firm grasp of who you are in the Lord. Who you are by your spiritual birth is far more important than who you are by your natural birth.

    In other words, who God says you are matters more than who others, or you, define you to be.

    At a crucial point in His lifetime, Jesus was cross-examined by the authorities of the day. “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” They asked him.

    “I Am” was Jesus response. No mistake about it. He knew who He was and He embraced it with all His heart, even though it carried a fatal consequence – He was condemned to death! (Mark 14:61-64).

    Jesus Christ never suffered an identity crisis, why should any Christian for that matter?

    1. Embracing who you know you are in Christ with all your heart.

    It is one thing to know who you are in Christ and another to completely embrace it with all your heart.  Sometimes you may not feel like you are what God says you are. But it doesn’t depend on how you feel about it. It is a matter of the integrity of God Himself.

    You have to apply faith and accept that you are who God says you are. Stand on it even if your senses try to tell you otherwise.

    Embracing your identity in Christ is the key to guaranteeing that you will not be caught up in the quagmire of an identity crisis.

    1. Living your life according to your revealed identity in Christ.

    In Christ, you are a new creation, old things have passed away. The point has been made that who you are in Christ is your true identity. And that’s the identity you should live by.

    “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9.

    I know you are familiar with the things spelt out in that quoted scripture above. If you embrace them with all your heart and live by them by faith; If you see yourself in the light of who God’s say you are, you will never again suffer from identity crisis as a Christian.

    I know who I am in Christ.

    Let’s take a further look at who you are in Christ:

    • A new creation. Old things have passed away in your life. You have been reborn.
    • Disciple of Christ. You are not a ‘nobody’. You know and follow Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
    • Light of the world. You show the way; you are a trailblazer. Your light shines forth even in darkness.
    • Ambassador of Christ. You are a VIP (very important personality); an approved representative of Heaven on earth, with full benefits attached.
    • Salt of the Earth. The world needs the flavor God has put in you.
    • Son of the most-high God. You are valuable. It cost God His only begotten Son to get you to become His Son too.
    • Royalty – You are a royalty, you became one when you got born again.
    • Holy and righteous – God has declared you guiltless. Your sins are completely forgiven.

    The Bible didn’t leave us in doubt about who you are in Christ.

    Knowing, embracing and living by the revealed identity you have in Christ are solid things that will make you not suffer the issue of identity crisis. And your life will take on a new meaning if you can get to the point where you can boldly say: I know who I am!

    How does knowing  who you are in Christ help you overcome any problem of identity crisis? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.

     

    ©CopyRight 2016 | Victor Uyanwanne

    16 Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know

    You should hear this if you are an atheist

    … Belief in God isn’t blindly based on acceptance of the Bible as truth, or simply because the argument makes sense, but because when we begin to truly look for him, we begin to find him everywhere. In nature, in science, in supernatural experience, and perhaps most compellingly of all in the transformed lives of the people who have already believed in him – Martin Saunders, Contributing Editor, Christian Today.

    As a follower of Jesus Christ, I know that God exists. But I also know there are atheists everywhere around the world – people who do not believe in the existence of God.

    Just like Jesus wants us to do, I owe it to such people in particular and to humanity in general, to tell them about God. Not just because of the earthly benefits but for the eternal significance as well.

    That was why I earlier published To those who say there is no God. The post was an open letter to all those who believe that God doesn’t exist. The comments it generated gave rise to the When you encounter an atheist online for the first time series previously posted on this blog.

    As you well know, I can’t force anyone to believe in God. But I can at least let them know some things that may help them make up their mind in the affirmative. After all, acknowledging Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and personal Saviour remains a decision everyone has to take by him/herself.

    So if you are an atheist, here are 16 sobering truths I wish you to know.

    1. God exists – whether you believe it or not.

    I had to say that first because it is the main thrust of this discourse. This article is of no effect if God does not exist. What is the point of life if there was no God?

    Sorry to disappoint you: the fact that you do not believe in God does not diminish Him one bit. He is an all-sufficient God. Even if you change your mind and decide to believe in God today, it still does not add to His value.

    But you know what? It is in your best interest both in time and in eternity to acknowledge Him. I hope you will find the impetus to continue reading after hearing that!

    2. To know God, check the Bible

    The Bible is the manual of life God gave to man. It is the final authority on anything there is to know about God and His creation.

    If in your search for God, you have not checked the Bible, then you have been looking in the wrong direction. And if you have checked it before, you have to check it again. This time, do it in faith.

    God has revealed Himself to mankind through the Bible. The Bible has the correct answer to all the questions about life and the after-life. If your disbelief in God has come from reading other books, it is now time you read the Bible with an open heart and with faith.

    3. God loves you, I thought you should know.

    Contrary to what you might have heard about Him, God is a loving God. As the Bible puts it, “God is love.” God loves you even if you do not acknowledge Him yet.

    You don’t believe in Him, He loves you. You hate Him, He still loves you.  Because of that love, He does not want you to perish in your ignorance of, or disbelief in, Him.

    He would rather have you come to Him humbly in faith through His only Son Jesus Christ, whom He allowed to die in the hands of wicked people for your sin and those of mankind.

    4. God is not angry with you.

    Has anyone ever told you that God is angry with you? That will not be true! The fact that you don’t believe in God does not mean that He is angry with you. In fact, He loves you too much to be angry with you.

    God should have been – and He has every right to be – angry with you for not believing in Him. But His Son Jesus Christ has paid the price for you once and for all. For now, you are covered by His abundant grace.

    The only thing that can provoke God eventually is if you fail to acknowledge the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for you before you leave this earth. If that happens, there is nothing God can do for you again; His anger would then no longer be restrained on the other side of this life.

    Anyone who fails to believe in God while alive will be eternally separated from Him after death.

    5. Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.

    That is an audacious claim, I know. But it is not outrageous.

    It is true that there are many ways to arrive a given destination. But when it comes to going to God, Jesus Christ is the Only Way; there is no shortcut and there is no roundabout way.

    There is no other way to God apart from through Jesus Christ.  That fact cannot be overemphasized.

    Jesus Himself declared unequivocally: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:16.

    6. You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.

    I guess you know that already! There have been people before you who did not believe in God and there will still be people after you who will not believe in Him.

    For instance, Marilyn Adamson confessed in her expository article Does God exist?: 

    I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly…

    However, the fact that you are not alone in the disbelief in the existence of God should not give you any comfort. Being in a state where you do not believe in God is not the best place you can be.

    What are you if you say there is no God?

    7. The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God.

    You should hear that word as stated in Psalms chapter 14:1:

    A fool says in his heart there is no God.

    That is it. According to the Bible, anyone who says there is no God is a fool. Such persons may or may not be educated, lowly or highly placed in the society, if they do not acknowledge God, they are fools. That may sound harsh I know, but then it is the harsh truth.

    So you can see that it is wisdom to acknowledge God. It is foolishness not to.

    I know there are people who think they are wise so they think have no need of God. But for such people, the Bible says, “In professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

    No matter how you feel about it, there is no wisdom in saying there is no God. If I say there is no God, it means I am foolish.

    The only good news after this is that this kind of foolishness can be cured. The cure is to turn to God in faith through Jesus Christ.

    8. There have been people who turned from atheism to God.

    Sad to say, some people have died in their atheism, thereby sentencing themselves to eternal damnation. But thankfully, there have also been people who moved from atheism to faith in the true God.

    For instance, freelance writer and lecturer, Philip Vander Elst tells his own change story in the expository article  From Atheism to Christianity: a Personal Journey. He gives us a glimpse into who he was before he came to acknowledge God:

    Growing up in a non-Christian family with intellectually gifted but unbelieving parents, I used to think that belief in God and the supernatural had been discredited by the advance of science, and was incompatible with liberty. Religious faith seemed to me to involve the blind worship of a cosmic dictator, and the abandonment of reason in favour of ‘revelation

    Similarly, in Five atheists who lost faith in atheism Martin Saunders, a Contributing Editor for Christian Today, writes about some “former atheists who found that their belief in nothing ultimately led them nowhere.” These people were intellectuals who departed from their avowed atheism to robust faith in God. That can be your story too!

    9. Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.

    The nine months spent in your mother’s womb prepared you for the life on earth. Similarly, your life on earth prepares you to be birthed into eternity.

    Therefore, your life on earth is your only opportunity for you to know God, personally. If you miss it, you miss out eternally.

    I don’t want you to miss out. Hence, I am writing this post to you as an individual.

    The point is, if you do not get to establish a personal relationship with God through his Son Jesus Christ while you are still alive, you will inevitably be faced with the stark reality of being forever separated from God. That’s not something to look forward to, I must say.

    10. Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.

    That’s a promise, trust me! God is big enough to handle any (mis)guided thought you might have about Him. But nothing can be sorted out without your cooperation.

    As Saunders stated, “when we begin to truly look for [God], we begin to find him everywhere. In nature, in science, in supernatural experience, and perhaps most compellingly of all in the transformed lives of the people who have already believed in him.”

    You were not born an atheist, just as I was not born a Christian. I became a believer in Jesus Christ and so can you.

    At some point in your life (or is it over a period of time?), you came to believe there is no God. You have your reasons, rightly or wrongly, for the claim that there is no God. But He is such a gracious God that He would not force you to acknowledge Him.

    Therefore, if you would make up your mind to seek Him in faith, you would find Him. This is a guarantee because God said through prophet Jeremiah that:

    “… ye shall seek me, and find me [God], when ye shall search for me [God] with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13

    11. God has numerous children and He has room for you too.

    The key is in your hands! God created everyone but not everyone is His ‘child’. I hope you didn’t find that confusing?

    The children of God are those who believe in Him through Jesus Christ. You may say you do not believe in God. But it is that same God that you don’t believe in that created you.

    Does God exist?

    It is true He created you but He cannot force you to become His child. Becoming his child is something you would have to do out of your own volition, without any force from me or from anyone else.

    To become a child of God, you have to be given the right. As the Bible says “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to … But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become sons of God” John 1:12

    The good thing is that the right to become a child of God is yours for the asking… even right now!

    12. If you die today, where would you spend eternity?

    Would you not want to find an answer to that question before it becomes too late? That’s a question not only for you but for all humans. There are only two possible options – eternity with God or eternity without Him.

    Fortunately, anyone who believes in God through His Son Jesus Christ has already settled that issue. For such people, there is nothing to fear; their place is in God.

    You already know that the fact that you don’t believe in God does not preclude you from dying. And death is the gateway to eternity.  Once you die, you have lost all the chances of ever knowing God.

    Your present life is the only chance you to make the decision about where to spend eternity – with God in Heaven or with satan in hell. There is no sitting on the fence between the two choices.

    Failure to choose God is already an automatic choice for hellfire. Hope that doesn’t sound too harsh?

    13. The question of sin cannot be cured except in Christ.

    There is no substitute to Christ at all! Even you yourself know that you are not perfect; you are not without blemish. In order words, you are a sinner who needs the forgiveness of God.

    I didn’t say that to condemn you, but rather as a kind of reality check. You have to know this (in case no one ever told you before now): just like all humans, you are a sinner because you were born that way.

    Sin is the nature of all men. You cannot solve the problem of sin on your own; you need help – God’s help.

    The only authentic remedy for sin is in the blood Jesus Christ. All it requires is a simple faith in His sacrificial death and resurrection. It is only in believing in God through Jesus that your sin nature and its eternal consequence can be permanently dealt with.

    14. You are accountable to God, now or later.

    This is inescapable! You may not believe in God but you should understand that you are still answerable to Him. Whether you chose to accept Him or not you will still be accountable to Him for your actions.

    One day, you will stand before Him to explain how you lived your life here on Earth and what you did with the offer of grace by His son Jesus Christ. I thought you should know that too.

    15. There is a future reality called Hellfire.

    Many people don’t like to hear that word ‘hellfire’. But I care about you too much not to warn you about it!

    It is the final destination reserved for everyone who rejects the salvation that Christ offers. The place was originally meant for satan and his angels. But sadly, anyone that rejects God has sided with satan and so will ultimately end up where satan himself will be confined to too, forever.

    You don’t have to go there if you decide to accept Jesus Christ now that you are still alive, otherwise, hellfire will be an inescapable reality. This is not a threat; it is the truth I just tried to share in love.

    16. Very far from God is not too far yet.

    You might think that you have gone a long way in the journey of your (wrong) belief that God doesn’t exist. But I would say you are yet to reach the point of no return. God is ready to accept you as his son/daughter if you give Him the chance now.

    Once you realise that you are on the wrong part, the honourable thing to do is to retrace your steps. Anyone who fails to acknowledge God is already on the wrong path.

    If you don’t want to end up in the wrong destination, you should not continue on the journey in the wrong direction. The prodigal son found his back to his father, so can you!

    Forget about the wrong things you might have been told about God. Dismantle your previous mindset and seek God yourself with all your heart and with faith.Give Jesus an invitation into your heart and I can assure you He will honour it.

    Would you acknowledge God through His son, Jesus Christ now?

     

    P.S: To you that believe in God through his Son Jesus Christ, if you have any sobering thing you would want an atheist to know that doesn’t fall into any of the ones listed above, do me a favour by commenting. You may be the voice that someone may hear to turn to God. Those that have contrary opinions are also welcome to comment.

     

    ©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

    What if Christ had not risen from the dead?

    By Victor Uyanwanne

    Benefits of Christ resurrection from the dead

    Easter affords us Christians around the world the opportunity to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on a larger scale than most of us would normally do. But apart from this, our lives should actually reflect the resurrected Christ on a daily, continuous basis.

    Therefore, we should be able to say:

    For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

    And

    …. that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4.

    As I said in my previous post, “The resurrection of Christ from death is the foundation of our Christian faith, the assurance of our salvation and the hope of our eternal glory.” But here is a natural question to ask:

    What if Jesus had not resurrected from the dead?

    Paul addressed that issue in his first letter to the Corinthians: 

    12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. I Corinthians 15:12-19.

    From this familiar passage, we can surmise that if Christ had not risen from the dead:

    • Our preaching of the gospel would have been in vain. It would have been an exercise that has no eternal significance. All preachers would be liars, and the gospel would be a deception.
    • The Christian faith itself would have been nothing. Christianity would have qualified as a dead religion, devoid of power and the life of God.
    • Our sins will remain unforgiven. We would have been eternally separated from God.
    • There would have been no hope of redemption and salvation for mankind. Mankind would have been lost in sin forever.
    • Those that died in Christ would be lost forever. There would no assurance of Heaven and our hope of ever seeing them would be dashed.
    • As Christians, it would mean that we are losers now and hereafter. It would have been a double tragedy. As Paul puts it, we would be the most miserable people on earth.
    • There would be no resurrection of the dead. There would be no hope beyond the grave. Everything about life would have ended here. No reward for the righteous and no punishment for the wicked.

     

    But now that Christ conquered the powers of hell and resurrected from death, we can be sure that:

    • The preaching of the gospel is not in vain. The gospel is not a fraud. In fact, preaching gospel has become a necessity because the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

     “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel” 1 Corinthians 9:16.

    • The Christian faith is valuable. It is the Way to God the Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. No other way.

    There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

    • There is hope of redemption and salvation for every man alive. With the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, “the grace which brings salvation has appeared to all men” Titus 2:11.

    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13.

    • There is hope for anyone that believes in Jesus Christ either in this life or in the life to come. Our future in Christ is assured.

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3, NIV

    • It is a proof that there will be resurrection of the dead. As Christ arose, we have a glorious hope that transcends the shores of this earth.

    But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 1Corinthians 1:12.

    Jesus arose from the dead with power and glory. Sooner or later all believers in Him will go the same way. Hallelujah!

    Christ’s Resurrection from Death: What’s in it for me?

    By Victor Uyanwanne

    Jesus ResurrectionSeveral years ago in my church in Lagos, as teenagers then, we were asked to make a presentation on the topic: “The birth or the death of Jesus Christ, which one is more important?”

    We were divided into two groups. The first one proposed that “the death of Jesus Christ was more important than His birth.” The group asserted that if Jesus had not died for the sins of the world, mankind would have been doomed forever.

    They posited that “It was the death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus that brought salvation to mankind.”

    Hardly could that be faulted by any Christian. But there was a little challenge. Or wasn’t it?

    I was on the opposing side and the lead speaker as well. My team and I had our profound arguments to advance too, to counter their position and establish ours that “the birth of Jesus Christ was more important than His death.”

    “If Jesus was not born in the first place, He would not have had the opportunity to die for the sins of the world,” we argued.

    Interesting!

    The congregation clapped and clapped as each group dished out their arguments and counter-arguments. But there was no set panel of judges to decide which group won or lost the debate. It wasn’t necessary to have one, I guessed.

    In the end, there was no victor and there was no vanquished. The moderator, an elder in the church, simply climbed the pulpit and declared: “Jesus Christ was born to die. Both His birth and death and resurrection are all important.”

    The congregation again clapped and cheered until we (all the debaters) exited the stage, happy.

    Born to die, but resurrected in power

    Yes, Jesus was born to die. But that’s not the complete story. The complete story is that He resurrected on the third day and now He is alive forever.

    It is because of His death that man can live again. It is in believing in His death and resurrection that every man can have eternal life.

    Without the death and resurrection of Christ, the Christian faith would be useless. And all Christians  would be big time losers!

    As I write this post, I am fully aware of the period we are in – Easter period. About three months ago, we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ and now we are celebrating His death and resurrection, which Easter represents.

    At Christmas, we said, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” In the same vein, at Easter too we can also say the same thing because that’s the truth. He is the reason we celebrate Easter, a commemoration of His eternal defeat of death and satan and all the powers of hell put together.

    The resurrection of Jesus from death is the greatest event in human history. All the powers of hell were unleashed to stop the event from taking place. But the power of God prevailed and Jesus the son of God arose from the dead with all power and might.

    In the resurrection of Jesus Christ, satan was completely disgraced. Paul gives us an insight into what happened:

    And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:15.

    The good news is that Jesus won the victory for you, for me and for everyone else that believes in Him. We ultimately will be resurrected to reign with Christ eternally.

    Jesus victory is my victory, and yours too!

    The resurrection of Christ from death is the foundation of our Christian faith, the assurance of our salvation and the hope of our eternal glory. Thinking about this alone should give us pure joy.

    Happy Easter to you and your family.

     

     

    Victor Uyanwanne is on a mission to inspire as many people as possible in as many ways as possible in as many places as possible to achieve their goals and lead a balanced life.

    No Longer In the Grave

    Written by Victor Uyanwanne

    Resurrection of Jesus Christ
    Easter Celebration

    The Lord I serve

    Is no longer in the grave

    On the third day

    He came out alive

    Some Angels rolled the stone away

    And my Saviour came forth

    The Lord I am serving

    Is no longer in the grave.

    I penned those words about thirteen years ago. I was on holiday in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria during the 2003 Easter celebration with my elder brother and his family.

    On the Easter Sunday morning, I stayed in bed reading Luke’s account of the resurrection episode (Luke 24:1-7):

    On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’

    As I meditated on that Scripture, the Holy Spirit quickened my heart and a heavenly song welled up from within me. I jumped to my feet and I began to sing in other tongues and then later in English (which I perceived was the interpretation of the tongues):

    “No longer in the grave.”

    Yes, Jesus is no longer in the grave. And it was not His disciples that stole Him away as alleged in the propaganda churned out by the religious cum political authorities of that era.

    Jesus Christ resurrected from death with great power and majesty. God would not allow His Son to suffer decay:

    …..because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay Psalm 16:10.

    Speaking by the Holy Spirit, Peter tells  us that:

    But God raised him [Jesus Christ] from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” Acts 2:24.

    That’s the crux of Easter celebration: Jesus Christ, crucified and buried in the grave, conquered death and rose from the dead and never to die again.

    That is what separates Christianity from other faiths. No religious leader in history resurrected like Jesus did.

    All other religious leaders (before and after Him) died and remain rotten in their grave. Death still kept them in its grip till date. But for my Lord Jesus, it was impossible for death to hold Him captive. He died and came out from the grave alive.

    Jesus Himself declared:

    I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18.

    Jesus Christ is no longer in the grave. He has conquered death once and for all. And He is alive forever.

    Like Sheep in the Midst of Wolves

    Written by Victor Uyanwanne

     

    Sheep in the midst of wolves

    You are living in a world where it is not so cute being a Christian any more.  As a Christian living out your faith, you will often have to face hostilities – whether subtle or pronounced – from some people you come in contact with in your daily life.

    There seems to be people everywhere who oppose you simply because you chose to live out your life for Christ. The opposition could come from unsaved family members, your neighbours, your colleagues at work and even from people you meet on the street or in shopping centres.

    But why is it like that? The answer is not so far-fetched: people love darkness more than light.

    And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.   For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.   But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
    John 3:19-21 KJV

    Please read on from my newest article LIKE SHEEP IN THE MIDST OF WOLVES published on Naked Christian blog.

    Thank you.

    To Those Who Want To Live in The Wisdom of God

    There are so many remarkable characteristics of Jesus Christ that we see from reading the Gospels. We can see His love and compassion for the people, His unparalleled knowledge of the Scriptures, His power over natural forces, His positive leadership traits, His eloquence and boldness, His humility and obedience, His faith and His wisdom.

    Why can’t you as a Christian always display these sublime characteristics as Jesus Christ did? More specifically, why can’t you as a Christian in your everyday living demonstrate heavenly wisdom in dealing with people, things and situations like Jesus to bring glory to God?

    To those who want to live in the wisdom of Christ, please read my recent article published on  Naked Christian Blog:  5 WAYS THE WISDOM OF GOD WILL MAKE YOU MORE CHRISTLIKE

    6 Unique Reasons You Should Embrace The Love of God

    St. Valentine

    It is Saint Valentine’s Day once again. Suddenly our love for one another is awakened again.

    But beyond the usual focus on couples’ love, friendship love and family love that pervades the air in times like this, how about talking about the love of God for us too?

    The love of God is the greatest love there is. It is the love for all seasons.

    Those who neglect the love of God will never ever be able to truly love. It is God who gives us the capacity to love.

    God has put His love in our hearts.

    And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:5.

    Valentine’s day should not make you go searching for love in the wrong places. Neither should you go doing things that make it look like you are desperate for love.

    God’s love is already given; and God’s love is for you. It is reliable and available every time.

    Here are 6 Unique Reasons You Should fully embrace the Love of God

    1. You are already infinitely loved by God.

    Even if no one else loves you, be aware that God loves you beyond measure. He loved you before you were born, He loves you till now and will continue to love you for the rest of your life.

    God proved that His love for you has not limit when He gave His son to die for you.

    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV

    1. God’s love for you is unconditional.

    If God was looking to love only those that measured up to His standards, then He would have no one to love, because none of us would qualify.

    God loves you because God is love. His love for you does not depend on what you did or what you didn’t do. He loves you irrespective of your individual performance – whether you measure up or not.

    Does that sound too good to be true? But it is the gospel truth!

    1. God’s love is all inclusive.

    Whether you are a Christian or not, whether you believe in God or not, whether you are black or white, male or female, whether you are homosexual or heterosexual, God loves you.

    Whatever you are and wherever you are in the world, God loves you. There is no one in the whole wide world that God doesn’t love.

    God loves you the way you are. But He will never leave you the way you are. His love is a life-transforming love –  His love will change you for the better.

    1. Nothing can separate you from the love of God.

    God will never walk away from you. He will never break your heart if you embrace His love. And no circumstance is strong enough to separate you from the love of God.

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35 NIV

    God is the most faithful lover there is. He sticks with you in good and in bad times, every time.

    1. You can experience God’s great love which He offers to you freely.

    God’s love has been bestowed on all mankind; It is already given to all.  All you have to do is to receive it. You receive it through simple faith in Jesus Christ.

    Receiving the love of God into your heart will be the greatest experience of your life. It will transform you in many ways.

    1. If you accept the love of God into your life and live by it, it will preserve your heart on earth and prepare it for eternity. This is a bargain that is available only in Jesus Christ. You cannot get it anywhere else.

    Your heart will never be satisfied until it embraces the love of God. Valentine’s Day love will come and go but the love of God remains. God’s love is love for all seasons. Embrace it now.

     

    ©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

    11 Powerful Reasons You Should Improve Your Interest In The Bible

    Why you should read the Bible

    Read the Bible Often

    The Bible is the authentic life manual for every Christian to live by. Yet not all Christians take reading the Bible as seriously as they should.

    There is something in the Bible for everyone to benefit from; ‘milk’ for the babies and ‘meat’ for the adult. Therefore every Christian ought to make reading the Bible a priority in their daily lives.

    THE BIBLE IS WITHIN YOUR REACH

    In addition to the traditional hard copy Bibles we are all used to, the use of technology has greatly enhanced access to the word of God. From the Bible apps on our smart phones and tablet devices to the relevant Bible softwares on our laptop and desk top computers, we can easily and conveniently read the word of God.

    If you haven’t been reading your Bible as you should, the problem is not that the written word of God is not accessible to you. The issue is that you have other things taking your attention.

    You shouldn’t be too distracted, too lazy or too busy to read the Bible.

    IT IS TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE

    Would you want to drink the ‘milk’ and eat the ‘meat’ in the word of God on a regular basis? Here are a few questions for you to ponder on. (If you will answer ‘yes’ to any of them, it means you should be reading the Bible more frequently than you are currently doing):

    1. Do you want to know or love God more?

    God knows and loves you fully already – whether you read the Bible or not. But if you want to know or love God more, you cannot afford not to read the Bible. God has revealed Himself to us through His written word.

    The love of God, His power, integrity, mercy, justice, provision, protection – and other things about Him – are all clearly shown in the Bible Scriptures. Through fellowshipping with Him in the word, you will get more and more acquainted with Him and His ways.

    1. Do you see reading the Bible as an absolute necessity?

    It doesn’t work well for anyone to force you to read the Bible regularly; the choice has to be yours. But except you consider it absolutely necessary, you may not be able to cultivate the self-discipline that will help you ensure regular reading of the word of God.

    As a Christian, the Bible should not be a book you read only when you have the time. It should be a book you intentionally create time to read, daily. If you love God with all your heart, you should love and read His word too.

    1. Do you value the word of God?

    If you value the word of God enough, you will create find the time to read it –  no matter how busy you are. It was Job who said he valued the word of God more than his necessary food (Job 23:12).

    Job wasn’t as privileged as you are in this generation; he didn’t have the word of God ‘compiled’ in one document for him as we have it in the Bible. Yet, he paid attention to it whenever God spoke to Him, esteeming it more than his important meals.

    Like Job, how about saying, “I won’t eat breakfast today until I have read the word of God?” I am not suggesting that you become legalistic about it. I am just saying you should value the word of God enough as not to neglect reading it regularly.

    1. Do you believe the Bible is still relevant for your life today?

    The Bible is not a book to be confined to ancient history, as some ignorant people say. It contains timeless principles of life that you can live by even in this information age.

    There is hardly any situation you face in your daily life that the Bible hasn’t addressed – directly or indirectly. From leadership issues to interpersonal relationships, from marital to business affairs, from health matters to conflict resolutions, and so on, the Bible offers time-tested principles you can successfully operate by. But how can you operate by them if you don’t know them in the first place?

    1. Do you want to know your real identity?

    The real you is not the one that stands in front of the mirror every morning. The real you is in side of you. The word of God is the mirror that will reflect your true identity. As a Christian your true identity is in Christ. It is only in Christ (the Word) that you can discover your true identity.

    You may never appreciate your true identity until you look in the mirror of the word of the God. The questions of who created you, who you are, what happens to you after this life: The answers to these questions and more are addressed in the Bible.

    1. Do you accepts its’ authority as final?

    The Bible contains the word of God. On its pages you can find God’s final verdict on the issues of life. If you don’t hold the word of God as the highest authority in your life, you may not be so interested in finding out what He says by reading and studying the Bible in faith.

    For instance, the people of the world practice sex outside of marriage and consider it normal. But God’s final word in the Bible shows that both premarital and extramarital sex are against His will for His children. God approves sex but only within the confines of marriage. If you don’t know it how would you take a stand on it?

    1. Do you desire your prayers to be more effective?

    James tells us that one of the reasons for unanswered prayer is ‘praying amiss’. You pray amiss if you fail to pray according to the will of God.

    Studying the Bible is a fundamental way of knowing the will of God. The more you understand God’s will, the more on point your prayers become and so the more effective your prayer becomes.

    1. Are you committed to doing what the Bible says?

    A key requirement of Christian discipleship is doing the will of the master. To do the will of God you have to know the will of God. To know the will of God you have to study the word of God.

    The word of God is the will of God. That’s a relationship that can’t be disconnected. James advised, “Don’t only hear the word, do what it says.” Hearing or reading the word precedes doing it.

    1. Do you want to be able to share its’ truths with other people?

    One of your greatest privileges as a Christian is that of communicating the message of the gospel of Christ to other people. How can you share it properly if you don’t know it well enough?

    For instance, Philip was able to correctly explain a passage of Isaiah to the Ethiopian Eunuch because he was familiar with it. I know the Holy Spirit is there to help you in sharing the gospel, but you have to regularly plant the seed of the word in your heart by reading, studying and meditating on it.

    1. Do you want to better understand the events of the future?

    The Bible is historical as well as prophetic. There are many things spoken about in the Bible that have come to pass already. There are still some more that are yet to come to pass.

    For instance, one day, Christians will be taken away to meet with the Lord Jesus Christ in the sky in the event commonly known as the Rapture. Reading the Bible will give you an unparalleled insight into some of the events that will happen hereafter.

    1. Do you take care of your physical body?

    We are often advised to take good care of our body by eating good food, exercising regularly and having adequate sleep. Doing all those will promote physical well-being. How about taking some steps to promote your spiritual well-being? Reading the word is a key consideration.

    The word of God is food to your spirit as physical food is to your body. You maltreat your spirit man if you fail to nourish it regularly with the word of God.

    The Bible is the written word of God. If you love God with all your heart, you should love and read His word too. Read it regularly not with a casual attitude, but with the kind of seriousness and faith it rightly deserves. Don’t wait until you have the time before you can read the Bible. Create the time to read it.

     

    ©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

    What To Do When You Fall To Your Lowest Point

    Written by Victor Uyanwanne

    The Prodigal Son's story

    Sometimes you feel your back on the floor even when you would rather be up there in the sky. “Life is not fair,” so goes the common saying.

    Sometimes you reckon it is your fault; some other times it is not. But this is not about apportioning blames as much as it is about doing the right thing.

    But, “What should you do when you find yourself on your lowest ebb?”

    The choice is yours: either remain on the floor and be trampled upon to death or you do whatever is necessary to get back on your feet. It might not be easy but it can be done.

    “It is okay to fall, but only when you don’t stay down”. That was a line I borrowed from a cartoon movie I happen to watch on Disney Junior with my three years old son. I think the wisdom in it is clear. It is not falling that is bad, but falling without getting up.

    When you do fall (we all do sometimes), don’t stay down. Get up and pick up your life again.  You can’t go anywhere lying down.

    This was a lesson learnt in a hard way by a man driven by his youthful exuberance to the brink of oblivion. Despite his grievous mistake early in life, he rose back on his feet. His human dignity was restored when he took the hard decision to go back home.

    Welcome to the world of Kito.

    Kito was a tall, handsome and promising young man. He was every lady’s dream man. Every lady wanted to have him and every young man wished they were him.

    Kito was born into a wealthy family. His father was one of the richest and kindest men around.

    Unlike some other young men of his age, Kito had everything going well for him. He was born into a wonderful family, was always well fed, had the best apparels to wear, owned the coolest ride in town and had a retinue of servants at his beck and call.

    However, Kito felt he needed something more from life: freedom – absolute freedom from parental control and freedom to explore the worlds afar off.

    Kito woke up one day and made an uncommon request to his father.

    “Daddy, please give me half of your life savings. I am entitled to it as one of your only two sons.”

    Lord Yom was dazed over his son’s unusual request. He stood speechless momentarily, pondering and gazing endlessly into the cool morning sky.

    “I can’t believe my ears. What has come over this boy?” Yom managed to mutter under his breath.

    That kind of request had never been heard of in the history of the people of his culture and beyond.  No good child ever demanded the sharing of the estate of a father who had not yet passed on.

    Irrespective of the negative perception of his request, Kito had made up his mind. There was no going back on the idea of heeding the alluring invincible call from the outside world.

    Kito, who had relatively been a good boy all along, was about to rewrite history – in a negative way.

    As one poet puts it, Kito was:

    A chosen son! A precious child, free and pure!
    Parents watched over him! Protected, and secured.

    He grew into a man. Was seduced by Satan’s charms.
    Christ’s commandments forgotten. The devil, inflicted harm.

    Kito’s loving father was saddened by his son’s unpalatable decision to leave the home. Reluctantly, he obliged the young man with the half of his estate as he had requested.

    Having received what he asked for from his daddy, Kito ventured out into the far country with prepaid debit cards fully loaded with enough cash to do all kinds of financial transactions and support a frivolous lifestyle.

    “At last, I am free to live my life freely the way I want it,” Kito assured himself. But he was so shortsighted he couldn’t see very far into the future.

    With the confidence of a man with a huge balance in his bank account, Kito travelled far and wide to the most exotic places in the world.

    He lavished his portion of his father’s hard earned money like there was no tomorrow. He began to throw wild parties, with plenty beautiful ladies in attendance.

    Multiple fair weather friends found hiding places in Kito’s nest, exploring the advantage to the fullest. To them, life with Kito was a life filled with enjoyment.

    The Prodigal Son Partying Away
    Partying Away. Photo credit: burienlittletheatre.org

    With enough cash flowing out from Kito’s deep pockets there were no dull moments; everything was well taken care of. Drinks, food, women were freely enjoyed at Kito’s expense.

    Kito did not invest any portion of the huge wealth he extracted from his father; neither did he engage in any productive venture to earn additional income. He spent all he had until there was nothing more to spend.

    Then came the harshest economic down-turn in town. Kito became confronted with an awful reality: when you keep spending everything you have without investing any part of it or earning additional income to it, one day you will have nothing left to spend.

    This simple economics proved a hard thing for Kito to understand until it was too late. He had spent all his resources before he knew it; he checked his pocket and found no cash left to spend.

    When he tried, as usual, to get some currency from a nearby ATM, the machine vomited the card with an alert message indicating “insufficient fund.”  His heart became broken.

    “What is happening to me?” Kito asked himself, so far away from home.

    He wiped his eyes to be sure he wasn’t dreaming. But then the harsh reality had begun to dawn on him: He has fallen to his lowest point.

    Life was no longer the same with Kito. No more money to spend. Nothing to call his own. No friend to help him out.

    Without cash, the ladies found no reason to keep him warm anymore. His friends had deserted him. Kito was left alone to bear the brunt of his indiscretions.

    Worst of all, he could no longer afford to pay his rent. Consequently, his landlord threw him out into the streets where the elements took turns in teaching him some hard lessons he would never forget.

    Things moved from bad to worse for Kito until he had no more food to eat. He began to associate with some pig farmers with the hope that he could at least be given some pigs’ food to eat. But he got nothing from the make-shift employers while the unpalatable economic realities in the land lasted.

    Spending without Saving

    For several nights at a stretch, Kito went to sleep on an empty stomach. As the hunger pangs continued to buffet his stomach and with no one around to call a friend anymore, Kito came to his senses. He realised that even the servants in his father’s house had a better economy than the one he found himself in.

    “Why don’t I go back to my father?” he soliloquised.

    It was a hard decision which he had to take because he knew he had thoroughly messed up his life. He wasn’t sure his father would receive him back. “But it was worth it to try”, he finally reasoned.

    Kito decided it was time he made a radical change. With the decision to return to his father, a new beginning was ushered in for Kito:

    • With a remorseful heart, Kito took a decision to return to his father;
    • He acknowledged he had sinned not only against his father, but against God too;
    • To his pleasant surprise, his father accepted him back, forgave him of the past misconducts;
    • His father even threw a talk-of-the-town welcome home party for him;
    • His relationship with the father was fully restored as if he never offended his father.

    Kito reached his lowest point in life, but he didn’t remain there. He returned to his father remorsefully and was met with abundant grace and unconditional love.

    Just like Kito, all of us have gone astray like sheep without a shepherd at one point or another. Some of us have fallen from grace to grass. It is now time to go back home, where love and grace await us.

    When you reach your lowest point and you don’t know what to do, return to the Father – God. He will help you sort out things. There is enough grace in God to accommodate your inadequacies.

    My dear friend, you were created to be in a relationship with God. May be right now you feel like all is not well that relationship with Him. There is still hope for you because God longs to have you back.

    This is a call to make a new beginning with God. His love and mercy are enough to accommodate all your mistakes and indiscretions.

    Your lowest point should not be your ending point. No matter how far away you think you have gone from God, you have not reached the point of no return yet. Like Kito, take your chance and return to your Father.

    God is gently calling out to you, “Come back to me, I am here for you.” Will you heed the call?

    —————————–

    This article was inspired by the “Parable of the Prodigal Son” as told by Jesus Christ in Luke 15:11-32.

     

    When You Encounter An Atheist For The First Time Part 3

    Written By Victor Uyanwanne

    Marilym Adamson Quote

    We are now in the third post in the special series highlighting an online discussion I had with an atheist. In the last post, we saw the said atheist claim that he was a ‘devoted Christian’ for several years before he switched to atheism.

    In response to that, I sought to know if he ever had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. His answer to that question together with my own comment forms the basis of this post.

    The Atheist, TAB

    It wouldn’t matter if I told you that I had a “personal relationship with Christ” because you would just come back with I wasn’t doing something right and missed it.

    The long and short of it is, there is no god. There is no Jesus. Modern religion is just the Zeus stories evolved into some place where we cannot go to prove whether the gods are there or not.

    I don’t believe in anything of this sort because it cannot be proven. To quote Hitchens, what can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.”

    It’s all rubbish. I chose to reject the god worldview and live simply as my own man with the world around me as it is.

    Good sermon though. You got it down. It’s a shame that it misleads so many people away from a life of curiosity and learning to one that is simply satisfied with not knowing and looking forward to a world for which there’s no proof or evidence for.

    My Response

    I read your comments again TAB. I am glad that you also took some time to read mine.

    I am convinced you got the message already. So there wouldn’t be much use repeating myself. But allow me to say that Zeus compares in no way with our Lord Jesus Christ, who died and resurrected. Did you ever hear that any god claimed to have died and resurrected?

    Dear TAB, God is real and so is Jesus Christ His son. The proof is in me and in anyone that believes. If you seek Him with an open mind and with faith, you will find Him.

    Allow me to end this comment with a quote from Marilyn Adamson, who once didn’t believe in God:

    When it comes to the possibility of God’s existence, the Bible says that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God.1 On the other hand, for those who want to know God if he is there, he says, “You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you.

    I would like to hear your thoughts.

     

    Still ahead: When You Encounter An Atheist For The First Time  Part 4

     

    WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER AN ATHEIST FOR THE FIRST TIME Part 2

    WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER AN ATHEIST FOR THE FIRST TIME  Part 2

    Written By Victor Uyanwanne

    Hell is avoidable

    Welcome to the second post in this special series of my encounter with an atheist.

    In When You Encounter An Atheist For the First Time Part 1, I began sharing my experience on an online encounter with an atheist who responded to my previous post, To Those Who Say There Is No God

    In this continuation post, we will see what the said atheist categorically thinks of God, amongst other things. As with the first post, both his comment and my response thereto are presented here unabridged.

    The Atheist, TAB

    “I guess I should elaborate a while. I was a devoted Christian for about 15 years before I converted [to] Judaism. I no longer believe in God and have not only rejected Jesus, but [I have] also blasphemed the Holy Spirit.
    The god of the three monotheistic faiths is a sado-masichistic (sic) tyrant who creates us sick and demands us to be well, at the threat of eternal hellfire. What a spoiled twat. Who needs that?”

     

    My Response

    TAB, thank you for throwing more light into your position. Now I know where you stand on the belief in the existence of God.

    When you said you were once “a devoted Christian…” I would really like to know exactly what you meant by that. [I am asking because] I am familiar with a few people who call themselves “devoted Christians” simply because they go to church regularly, help the needy, gave money in church, fast[ed] two times a week, ate holy communion, par[took] in Christian events and all that. But they have not come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as their individual Lord and Saviour.

    The next questions I would ask would be these: Did you ever come to the point of having a personal relationship with God, by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Personal Saviour and living by His grace? How did you arrive at the point of not believing in God anymore as you indicated?

    I am not to speak for the other so-called monotheistic faiths you referred to. But for the avoidance of doubt, the God that I believe in is the One who “… so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This God is calling us (all mankind) into a personal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ who died and resurrected for our sake.

    This God is a God of love and He could never be a tyrant as you called Him. Only someone who hadn’t known God would describe Him as such; those who truly know Him know better than that.

    At creation God created man in perfect state of health. It was the corruption of sin that gave birth to the issue of sickness (and other evils), which you wrongly attributed to God. If for anything, God wants us well – in spirit, soul and body.

    Hell is not a threat from God as you put it. It is a real place prepared for satan and his angels who rebelled against God.

    [Please allow me to add that] it is not the will of God that anyone should perish and go to hell, but rather it is the will of God for all to come to repentance and be saved through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Unfortunately rather than accepting the Lordship of Christ, many people have sided [or are siding] with satan [till date]. For such ones, hell is a beckoning reality.

    But to anyone who is still alive, hell is absolutely avoidable if they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. [To answer your ending question directly, I would say] we definitely need that God who has made a way of escaping hell through faith in Christ.

    Please share your thoughts – whether as a believe in God or as an atheist.

     

    STILL AHEAD: WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER AN ATHEIST FOR THE FIRST TIME  Part 3

     

    ©Copyright | Victor Uyanwanne

    When You Encounter An Atheist For The First Time Part 1

    Written by Victor Uyanwanne
    RELIGION AND CHRISTIANITY
    The Difference between Christianity and Religion

    I have never met an atheist face to face before. But I was fortunate to encounter one who recently visited this blog and was kind enough to leave a comment.

    I had just published on my blog a post entitled To Those Who Say There Is No God.” In the post, we construed an atheist as one who believes that there is no God. The following points were also covered in the post:

    • I am a Christian and so I believe there is God;
    • There are enough pieces of evidence within and around us to prove that God exists. And so I wondered how some people find it so easy to claim that God does not exist;
    • That according to the Bible, anyone who says there is no God is not wise;
    • That Jesus Christ Himself told us during His earthly walk that He is the ONLY WAY to God.

    Following that post was a protracted online discussion with an atheist blogger who engaged me over his claim that there is no God. The full content of the online exchange between both of us has now been packaged into a five-part series to be posted on this blog, beginning with this one. (Note that instead of his real name, I will simply refer to the said atheist blogger as TAB.

    The Atheist, TAB

    I grew up “spiritual” with no religious training other than the random christianity events for holidays. As an adult, I became a Christian, then got into messianic christianity. Then I rejected christianity and became a Jew. Then I rejected that too. I can’t say with 100% certainty that there is no god, but I’m about as certain as saying there probably aren’t unicorns either.

    Ultimately, it was my incessant needs to have questions answered. Religion couldn’t answer them. I found the natural world to provide a better source of understanding the world than a sky man watching me.

    My Response

    TAB, thanks for stopping by and for commenting. As you found out, engaging in the so-called Christian holiday events doesn’t make one Christian.

    To be a Christian is to ‘know’ God. To know God, one has to begin with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which is based on faith.

    It is not religion or religious training that can save anybody, but faith in Christ. Anyone who talks about being a Christian without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is involved in mere Religion, not Christianity.

    It is good that you have not come to that point of categorically saying there is no God. I hope I understood you well there? If yes, then I take that to mean that you still have an open mind about this ‘God exist or not’ stuff.

    When it comes to ‘searching’ for Him, God speaking through prophet Jeremiah said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). This shows that anyone who seeks God with all his heart will find Him. You can say it is guaranteed!

    I am not talking about religion in the common sense of it because religion is not what makes the difference. The difference comes from beginning a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

    In my own case, I found that knowing God through Jesus Christ has helped me [to get] answers for the questions that most troubled my heart. So if you don’t mind, I would gladly recommend that you establish a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ. Only then will some things begin to add up for you.

    You said the natural world have helped your understanding [more] than the Man in the sky. First, we believe that God put the natural world in place too. In fact, the Bible has it that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1). Although some people do not agree, nature itself speaks eloquently of the existence of God.

    Simply put, the natural world was created by God. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20.

    Secondly, my own concept of God includes the fact that He is inside of me through the Holy Spirit, not some unimaginable being out there in the sky as you put it. I totally understand if the last statement didn’t make any sense to you.

    In conclusion, let me add that what God offers us is a close personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, not religion. This is what true Christianity is all about.I once heard a preacher explain it like this:

    Religion is man[kind] attempting to reach God, whereas Christianity is God reaching out to man[kind].

    Understanding this simple analogy will make a whole lot of difference in anyone’s life.

    If you have the time, you may visit the link [below] for some [more] answers:  http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html?gclid=CKjkj8Hg38kCFScFwwod0dILxg

    PS: To all my readers, please let me know what you think – whether as a Christian or as an atheist.

    Up Next: When You Encounter An Atheist For The First Time Part 2

     

     

    To Those Who Say There Is No God

    Written by Victor Uyanwanne

    Does God exist?

    The online Oxford dictionary defines atheism as “Disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.” On the other hand, Merriam-Webster  explains it as “a disbelief in the existence of deity” or “the doctrine that there is no deity.”

    In this brief discourse, atheism shall be construed simply as the “belief that there is no God.”

    Let me be upfront with this: I am a Christian and so I believe in the living God (the God with capital ‘G’). Those who follow this blog would know that already.

    That said, I find it hard to fathom why some people find it so easy to claim that God doesn’t exist. I respect the fact that everyone has the right to believe what they want. But sincerely, to think that there is no God beats my imagination.

    To my mind, there is enough evidence in us and around us to prove that there is God who made all things. There is enough evidence to prove that our life and existence and the earth we live on couldn’t have been a result of a random explosion that occurred at some point in history.

    Recently, during an online interaction, I mentioned to a fellow blogger that I have never been in a close contact with any atheist. I have heard about a few notable public figures whom reports say they don’t believe in God. But I have never met any of them personally.

    I am moved with compassion whenever I hear that someone doesn’t believe in God. “I wish they knew better!” I would say to myself, because “I know God exists.”

    Several centuries ago, one of the greatest men that ever lived on earth declared in Psalms Chapter 14:1 that “A fool says in his heart there is no God.” The same thing was repeated in Psalms 53:1.

    From these scriptures, we can see that anyone that says there is no God, is not wise at all. If that assertion came from me, you could discountenance it. But as it is the written word of God, one ignores it at one’s own peril.

    Some other arguments about God are far easier to understand than to say that He doesn’t exist at all. For instance, some people reason that there are many ways to God. But in Christianity, we say Jesus Christ is the only Way.

    In fact, Jesus himself during His earthly walk made some audacious claims about this when he said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”

    What was Jesus saying? Simply put, He meant “There is God (the Father) and I am the only Way to Him.”

     

    Upcoming Post:  16 Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know

     

    ©Copyright | Victor Uyanwanne

    WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE UNPARDONABLE SIN?

    WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE UNPARDONABLE SIN?

    By Victor Uyanwanne

    The answer to the question may surprise you. Why did I say so? Because, it probably may not be what you think. Please read on.…

    The word “blaspheme” means “to speak evil of; defame; or revile.

    For us as Christians, we believe, and rightly so too, that there is no sin that is too much for God to forgive. We believe it, we talk about it and we even sing about it.

    In one of the verses in Fanny Crosby’s evergreen hymn “To God Be the Glory,” we normally echo with all assurances that “The vilest offender who truly believes, That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.” That’s a great promise from a great song.

    Yet, during his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ, at one point in time stated that “All manner of sin and blasphemy shalt be forgiven unto men: but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

    ANDREW

    What does Jesus mean by “blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men”? Was He really saying that not all sins can be forgiven? Is the promise of forgiveness not for everyone? Is there any sin the blood of Jesus is incapable of cleansing? What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? Who can commit the unpardonable sin? Can an unbeliever commit the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

    “Therefore, the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost that Jesus warns about must be the willful reviling of the Holy Ghost with knowledge of what is being done

    A quick search on google.com along these lines produced several explanations by different people on the issue of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. But I found the one given by Andrew Wommack in his daily devotional article, The Unpardonable Sin, to be of most relevance to my quest. The text of the said article is reproduced below for your further reading.

    Over to Andrew……
    —————————————————————————————-

    THE UNPARDONABLE SIN

    MATTHEW 12:31, “Wherefore I say unto you, “All manner of sin and blasphemy shalt be forgiven unto men: but blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.”

    LUKE 12:10; MATTHEW 12:24-31; MARK 3:22-30

    The word “blaspheme” means “to speak evil of; defame; or revile.” In context, Jesus is saying that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is attributing the working of the Holy Spirit to the devil. Many people in the Bible did this, including Saul, who became the Apostle Paul. However, we see in 1 Timothy 1:13, that Paul said he received mercy concerning his blasphemy because he had done it “ignorantly in unbelief.” Therefore, the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost that Jesus warns about must be the willful reviling of the Holy Ghost with knowledge of what is being done.

    This parallels Hebrews 6:4-6, where qualifications are placed on those who can fall away from grace. This passage indicates that only a mature Christian can commit such a thing. Likewise, with blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, rash statements spoken against the Holy Spirit in ignorance or unbelief by those who don’t really know what they are doing can be forgiven.

    From our human perspective, no clear line can be drawn as to when someone becomes accountable for blasphemies and has committed this unpardonable sin. We can be assured that God knows the hearts of all men and that He will judge righteously concerning this. However, God’s Word does show us that when anyone becomes a “reprobate,” they lose all conviction from God (Rom. 1:28).

    Therefore, anyone who is convicted and repentant over having possibly blasphemed the Holy Ghost has not yet reached the place where it is unpardonable or they wouldn’t care. Keep your heart tender and sensitive to Him. Listen to His voice speak to you through His Word today.

    —————————————————————————————-

    ©Copyright 2015│Victor Uyanwanne

    THINK MORE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF

    THINK MORE ABOUT YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF
    By Victor Uyanwanne
    31/03/2015

    On my fourth wedding anniversary recently, while doing an online search on WordPress, I was fortunate to stumble on a Seth Adam Smith’s article, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

    On the surface, the title of the article appeared to me to be somewhat discouraging marriage. And to be honest, at first I found that very unacceptable because I have always looked forward to being married; I got married and established my belief that marriage is for me. So you can imagine how infuriated I felt when I first saw the audacious title, “Marriage Isn’t For You.”

    “How could he say that?” I queried into an empty air. Anyway, out of sheer curiosity, I proceeded to read the article. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that there was more to the article than its title seemed to portray. I came to realise that the article didn’t say one should not get married, neither did it say that one made a mistake by getting married. But it succinctly embodied the principle, amongst others, that married people should think of their spouses and their needs more than they think of themselves.

    Furthermore, I came to realise that I totally agree with Seth on the ideas he pushed forward in the article. “You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy…,” he opined. Even though he credited his father with it, the wisdom he expressed in the statement appeared simple in nature, yet very profound: “… Love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others.”

    I believe the assertion is in line with what Apostle Paul told the Philippians several centuries ago: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Phil. 2:3, NIV). For our purpose here, we can paraphrase this to say, “Spouse, don’t be selfish towards your partner. Be humble; ascribe more value to your spouse than you ascribe to yourself”.

    Therefore, in saying “marriage isn’t for you”, I came to the understanding that Seth meant that “Marriage is about the person you married,” not necessarily about you.

    SETH & WIFE
    SETH & WIFE/www.dailymail.co.uk634 × 353

    In Seth’s own words:

    .… A true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?””
    “And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered”  (Emphasis mine).

    In the final analysis, it became more obvious that in marriage relationships:

    • We should think more about our spouses than we expect them to think about us.
    • We should give to our spouses more than we expect them to give us.
    • We should love our spouses more than we expect them to love us.
    • We should give more honour to our spouses than we expect them to give to us.
    • We should forgive and tolerate the bahaviour of our spouses more than we expect them to do for us;
    • If we don’t like it when our spouses annoy us, why do we not care a hoot when we annoy them?

    I am convinced that if we sow happiness in our spouses, the fruit will show up in our own lives.

    References:
    http://sethadamsmith.com/literal-odyssey/marriage-isnt-for-you/ accessed on 26/03/2015

    http://sethadamsmith.com/2013/11/02/marriage-isnt-for-you/ accessed on 26/03/2015

     

    PUT YOUR THOUGHTS DOWN IN WRITING Part 1

    PUT YOUR THOUGHTS DOWN IN WRITING Part 1

    By Victor Uyanwanne
    24/03/2015.

    You have good thoughts come into your mind often. Everyone does. It is what you do with the good thoughts that come to you that matter.

    Actually, your thoughts – whether good or bad – do not necessarily stay with you permanently; they come and go at their own speed. But some of them are so important you should not let them escape from you just like that. Keep track of them and you will be surprised what they can metamorphose into.

    One way of keeping track of your important thoughts is to reduce them to writing. By that I mean you should translate there from ordinary thoughts in your head to a readable form in your hand. That way, you will begin the process of giving form to them.

    Whether it is a goal you are setting for yourself, a vision of your future or a plan of action, if you are serious about them, please put them in writing. In the Bible, even God said to the prophet, Habakkuk “Write the vision. And make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it” (Hab.2:2). (To be continued).

    THE VOICE GOD LOVES TO HEAR MOST

    THE VOICE GOD LOVES TO HEAR MOST
    By Victor Uyanwanne
    16/03/2015

    When you are in love, you like to hear the voice of the person you love. Whatever that person has to say, you are always ready to listen. In the midst of several other voices angling to be heard, the one you want to hear most is that of the beloved.

    Think about this: God is in love with you and He wants to hear your voice ALL THE TIME. Because He is in love with you, your voice is the voice He wants to hear most.

    If God is in love with you and He wants to hear your voice, then you should be talking to Him more often. He will never be tired of hearing from you, so don’t be tired of talking to Him.

    You can talk to God in prayer. You can to talk to Him in songs.

    When you sing to God, He will never say you have a bad voice. No matter how your voice sounds, God will never complain.

    God wants to hear your voice, today and always.

    WHAT TOLERANCE REALLY MEANS

    WHAT TOLERANCE REALLY MEANS
    By Victor Uyanwanne
    13/03/2015

    I have always been interested in learning new words and I have usually made conscious effort towards achieving that aim. I remember way back in school when we were much younger when we used to keep “New Words and Meaning” notebooks as a deliberate strategy to enhance our knowledge of English words. Those notebooks were really helpful then in building our capacity to understanding English as a second language.

    Somehow, I have carried the habit of learning new words into my adult life, but with a different strategy. Thanks to the revolution in ICT! For instance, I subscribed to an offer by my telecom service provider to send me one new English word and its meaning, every day. I have been enjoying this service for years now without fail. This service has afforded me a convenient medium of learning the meaning of many new words and also refreshing my memory with the ones I already knew their meanings.

    Along this line recently, while at work, the text message alert on my phone beeped as usual. When I checked the new word that was ‘delivered’ to me, the meaning I saw totally opened a new perspective to me on what I thought I already knew about that word. That was when it hit me to write this piece. Please read on.

    What is the word we are talking about here? “Tolerance”! That’s it. I know the word is not new to you as people frequently use it; what I don’t know is how much of its real meaning you really have understood and applied in your own sphere of influence.

    You may probably have been tempted to think that tolerance strictly means to put up with something or someone with very nasty, horrible, terrible or poignant attributes. smiles! But look at this definition below and compare it with what you already know about the meaning of the word:

    “Tolerance: Willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from your own.”

    I don’t know about you, but the definition above opened up an entirely new vista to me, of which I am glad. It shows for instance that tolerance didn’t say we should put up with evil or bad things or bad people, as some people may think. But it clearly portrays “willingness to accept behaviour and beliefs which are different from [our] own.”

    Now let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of the said definition:

    • Willingness to accept
    • Behaviour and beliefs
    • Different from your own

    To be honest, tolerance should be required wherever there are inter human relationships because you will always meet people whose behaviour and beliefs are different from yours.

    Due to a number of varied factors such as genetic make-up, family background, religion, education, geography, exposure, life experiences etc, all of us believe different things and behave differently from one another. That means that at any point in time in your chequered life, you will always see people who behave or believe differently from you. In order to coexist harmoniously with such people, you should be willing to accept such different behaviour or beliefs, if they cannot be changed.

    Talking about changing people’s behaviour and beliefs, experience has shown that many people are aware that some other people do not share their behaviour or beliefs. But sometimes they are unwilling to accept such other people who do not share their outlook. This is often the beginning of unnecessary conflicts.

    However, you may only try to effect some changes on peoples’ bahaviour or beliefs if possible to suite yours; but you shouldn’t try to use force. You can’t change anyone who doesn’t really want to be changed. You can only influence such persons.

    When it comes to changing someone’s behaviour or beliefs, influence should be the operating word, not force. Otherwise, you must bring to bare the willingness to accept their behaviour and beliefs which you perceive to be different from your own and which you cannot change. That, my friend, is the real meaning of tolerance.

    Bear in mind that tolerance is a seed; as you sow it, you will reap the sweet harvest. Besides don’t you realize that others would have to tolerate you too? I believe you know that not all your behaviour and beliefs are acceptable to everyone you come in contact with! Although, I cannot guarantee it, they too ought to be willing to accept your behaviour and beliefs which are different from their own. There is no worthwhile relationship that doesn’t require tolerance in between.

    Like all good habits, tolerance doesn’t just happen to us; it has to be cultivated deliberately and ‘open-heartedly’. It is very important to cultivate it because you will need it if you desire to build a meaningful, harmonious and long-lasting relationship of any kind with people.

    Here are a few areas where we can apply the principle of tolerance:
    • At home, between spouses , amongst siblings or other family members;
    • At work , between you and your boss, colleagues or direct reports;
    • In your neighourhoods, amongst cotenants, etc
    • Amongst your friends, classmates in schools etc
    • In churches, with members and leaders alike;
    • In other organisations /relationships, etc
    • In fact, anywhere you come in contact with humans.

    People are different. You are not everyone and everyone is not you. Therefore, there will always be differences in behaviour and beliefs between you and others. There would be conflicts all the time in all kinds of human relationships if the principle of tolerance is not imbibed. The extent to which you realise this differences and how well you are willing to accept and manage them depict your level of tolerance at any given period of time.

    YOUR DESTINY IS GREATER THAN YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION

    YOUR DESTINY IS GREATER THAN YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION
    By Victor Uyanwanne

    Mark 6:3-4
    You carry a greater destiny than your present occupation.

    Jesus was a carpenter by occupation but his destiny was to save the entire world from sin. By the circumstance of his earthly birth into the family of a carpenter father, he learnt and practiced the earthly father’s trade until it was time for him to step out in faith to fulfill his greater calling in life.

    The occupation you have now might not be your ultimate call in life.
    By the reason of the family you were born into, and the environment in which you were brought up working alongside other external and internal factors, you chose a career path for yourself. But that is by no means all there is to you. Just like Jesus, your ultimate purpose in life weighs far more than the profession you may have taken for yourself or found yourself in.

    People will not know your divine destiny, hence they will naturally underestimate your worth and capabilities. But God will not make that mistake because He made you for a purpose, which He is ready to accomplish with you if you let Him.
    What you owe God and yourself is to discover and pursue that destiny. Please don’t settle for less.

    This was inspired and written while in Lagos traffic, while reading Mark 6 via my BB phone. 9:21pm, 19.07.2013.

    GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S INCAPACITY

    GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S INCAPACITY

    By Victor Uyanwanne

    The challenges of life are far too many for a man to handle all alone. That is why God gave a woman (a wife) to the first man He created, to be of help to him. Therefore marriage is God’s answer to man’s incapacity to meet the demands of life alone without help.

    To those who are married, please protect the sanctity of your marriages. To the yet to be married, please seek to be married and trust God to give you spouse from above.