“It is finished.”
It is more than just a sentence…
It is the final verdict from the lips of Jesus,
Meaning, the work is completely done…
Just as it was planned from the beginning.
The price of justice is fully paid for.
The sacrifice is complete and adequate.
I am forever ransomed, redeemed
My sins are totally forgiven…
A new beginning is now mine.
The veil is rented in two…
The great chasm bridged, blockade removed.
Access to God the Father is granted
By the sacrifice of God the Son.
My relationship with the Godhead fully restored.
The battle is over… won and lost
My Jesus is the victorious One.
The seed of the serpent bruised His heel
But the Seed of the woman crushed the head of the serpent.
Satan is defeated, shamed, disgraced forever…
Nothing has been left undone…
My past, my present and my future
All fully taken care of by His blood.
The work of redemption is complete.
Nothing can undo what He has finished.
P. S: If you like this poem, let me know by clicking on the ‘Like’ button below 👇👇
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day knew very well that Jesus truly resurrected. But they were too ashamed to openly acknowledge it or let their subjects hear it, so they hatched a grand conspiracy to cover up the resurrection story.
I am not setting out with this post to fundamentally prove that Jesus rose from the dead because I believe He did. But I am taking a look at the official falsehood that was concocted to suppress the truth of the resurrection.
If Jesus did not rise from the dead as some people ignorantly claim, there would not have been any need for the religious authorities of the day to invent a theory with the sole aim of trying to refute the resurrection story as we know it.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a historical event that took place in time over two thousand years ago. As followers of Jesus we ‘know’ this by verified Biblical records as well as the fact that the living Jesus now lives in our hearts by the Holy spirit.
“When I first began examining the evidences (sic) for Christianity, I discovered that [the] belief in the Resurrection does not constitute a blind leap into a dark chasm but rather a step into the light. Indeed, the evidence for Christ’s resurrection is so overwhelming that no one can examine it with an open mind desiring to know the truth without becoming convinced of its truth” —Hank Hanegraaff, in Jesus’ Resurrection: Miracle or Myth?
It is unfortunate that some people in the modern world have chosen to dismiss the Biblical account of the resurrection story as a work of fiction or a product of deluded minds. But you see, anyone who denies that Jesus rose from the death does so at his or her own risk, one that has an eternal consequence.
Doubters may continue to doubt, but it does not change the fact that Jesus died and rose from the dead. He is no longer in the grave.
Before Jesus was born of a virgin, there were prophecies that He would be born that way. The purpose of His birth was also foretold and it was fulfilled to the later.
To fulfill the purpose of the redemption of mankind, Jesus had to die. But He assured His disciples that He would rise again from the dead. Whether or not the disciples understood or believed Him at the time is a different ball game.
In the final analysis, Jesus obediently walked the tortuous way to the cross, endured the excruciating pain on the cross and was laid to rest in a cold grave.
But Jesus came out of the grave, victoriously. As the Psalmist had proclaimed centuries earlier, the power of the grave could not hold Him for long. He came back to life. “For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave,” Psalm 16:10.
Recall too that during his earthly walk, Jesus Himself had proclaimed that He would die but He would resurrect. At one instance, He declared, “…The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.” Luke 9:22.
The Chief Priests Did Not Forget The Prophecy
The records in the Gospels show that the religious authority of the day remembered what Jesus said about rising on the third day. In order to block the perceived loophole, they decided to seal the grave properly and also set capable soldiers to keep watch over it, to ensure that Jesus’ body would not be stolen by His disciples.
Matthew’s account states that “..the next day, … the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead..” Matthew 27:62-66.
Having secured Pilate’s consent, the gravestone was sealed up and soldiers were put on the watch to ensure that Jesus’ body would not be taken away and thereafter report that resurrection had taken place. But that was not the kind of resurrection Jesus had foretold.
For instance, after chasing out traders from the Temple, Jesus proclaimed that if they killed Him He would come back to life in three days:
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. John 2:19.
Not only did Jesus resurrect as He promised, the rising happened in a most spectacular way: There was an earthquake and a heavenly angel appeared in blazing light and glory and the guards passed out at the sight of him.
“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead [men]” Matthew 28:3-4.
An angel rolled the stone away and Jesus walked out from the grave victoriously. Hallelujah!
Why Did An Angel Have To Rollaway The Stone?
Matthew Henry explains that “… Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone Himself by His own power, but He chose to have it done by an angel to signify that having undertaken to make satisfaction for our sin, He did not break prison, but had a fair and legal discharge, obtained from heaven. He did not break prison, but an officer was sent on purpose to roll away the stone and open the prison door, which would never have been done if He had not made a full satisfaction.”
Jesus did not break ‘prison’. He got a heavenly discharge. He Resurrected with power and glory.
What about the soldiers? They witnessed the resurrection but could not withstand the accompanying awesome display of heavenly power, so they fell down and became half dead.
Enter The Conspiracy…
When the soldiers awoke from their near-death slumber, they went into town to the elders and the chief priests relating the events of the resurrection as they had witnessed it. But after collecting huge bribes, they were forced to change the resurrection story to agree with the wishes of their paymasters.
The guards were made to twist their testimony to say that the Disciples of Jesus had taken His body away by night. As shameful and unthinkable as that arrangement was, there goes the grand conspiracy they hatched with which they tried to cover up the fact that Jesus had truly risen from the dead.
And when they were assembled with the elders and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him [away] while we slept. Matthew 28:12-13
That conspiracy between the chief priests, on one hand, and the guards on the other thereafter gave rise to the so-called stolen body hypothesis, which according to Wikipedia, “…posits that the body of Jesus Christ was stolen from his burial place. His tomb was found empty not because he was resurrected, but because the body had been hidden somewhere else by the apostles or unknown persons.”
Unfortunately, many people then believed the lie that His body was stolen by His disciples. But we know better: Jesus truly rose from the dead, with power and Glory.
The grave is empty. His disciples didn’t steal His body away as the religious authorities claimed. Jesus arose from the dead with power and glory, just as He promised He would.
Jesus lives forever. And He is coming back again to judge the world.
Only a living man can speak. Jesus spoke and has been speaking, saying “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death” Revelations 1:18.
Jesus is alive and we know it. Therefore, the ‘stolen body’ conspiracy could not and will forever remain incapable of suppressing the fact that Jesus resurrected from the dead.
What is your take on the step taken by the authorities of Jesus’ day to cover up the resurrection story?
What is your greatest joy in life? Would you mind giving an honest answer to that question right now?
Before you continue reading this article, pause for a moment. And with your eyes closed, ponder a bit on the above question.
Once you have come up with an answer you are convinced about, hold it up against the brilliant light of the Scripture quoted below. (The purpose of doing that is to ensure that what you hold as your greatest joy on earth properly aligns with what God says should be your greatest joy).
Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
From the above passage of the Scriptures, you can see at least three reasons to glory in life:
Intelligence – The wise man glories in his wisdom;
Strength – The mighty one glories in his might;
Wealth – The rich man glories in his riches.
But God wants the reason for your joy to be beyond the fact that you possess some high level of wisdom, intellectual power, physical strength, wealth or achievements in life.
He wants you to rejoice in the fact that you know Him as “the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth.”
If your greatest joy is based on the things of the world, then your joy will be temporary. But a joy based on your knowing God will have no ending.
I first began to perceive the truths of Jeremiah 9:23-24 at a crucial point in time during my undergraduate days.
One mid-morning like that while reading my Bible, the scripture quoted above literally leapt off the pages of the Bible right into my heart with a force so meaningful that I was left without any iota of doubt on the fundamental reason I should glory in life.
I was doing relatively well in school then, despite the harsh academic environment of that time. My grades were moving up against all odds. I thought that was a good reason to praise God.
“Yes, it was,” you might want to agree with me. But God had to put things in better perspectives for me. He graciously showed me that there was a greater reason I had to rejoice than academic progress.
Now I know better… so I am sharing it with you, with the hope that you will see some light in it too.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, your greatest joy in life should not be based on the fact that you passed your exams, you got promoted at work, you bought a dream car, moved into your dream home, married your dream spouse, or had some other great goals you have accomplished.
Those are not bad reasons to be joyful. But your joy has to be based on something of eternal significance and not on things of ephemeral value. It has to be based on your relationship with God, not on things of the world.
For emphasis sake, l will have to say it again:
Your greatest joy should be that you know the Lord.
Your greatest joy should be the joy of your salvation.
Your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the Book of Life.
Jesus validated this position during one of the feedback conversations He had with His disciples as recorded in the Gospels.
According to the account in Luke chapter 10, Jesus had sent out seventy-two of His followers to go preach the gospel of the Kingdom around the neighbouring towns and villages. These specially appointed men went out and accomplished the evangelistic mandate given to them by their Master.
More so, they returned with joyful testimonies, declaring that demons were subjected to them in the name of Jesus.
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
You would have thought that the identified reason these rookie evangelists were filled with joy was good enough for them to rejoice as they did. But Jesus raised the bar when He responded to them saying, “…do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
“That your name is written in Heaven should be your greatest joy,” Jesus says.
Therefore, whatever you are able to accomplish on earth – whether in spiritual or secular things – should not be your greatest joy. Neither should your joy be in what this world can offer you. Rather your greatest joy should be that your name is written in the book of life in Heaven.
If you are not sure your name is there already in the book of life, you can get it in by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour now. There is no other way to achieve that.
What is your greatest joy in life? Share your views.
Every 1st April is marked as fools’ day around the world. Many people celebrate this day by playing different so-called harmless pranks, called April fool.
But this post is not going to be a prank, neither am I going to shout “Äpril fool” at you to show that you have fallen victim.
The post is going to touch on an important matter that reveals the identity of a person you are already familiar with, or at least have heard about one way or another – a fool!
In remembering the fools around the world today, let us begin by asking this simple question:
Who is a fool?
And then provide the answer:
A fool is someone who is unwise, lacks sense, and lacks judgement. Fools don’t want to learn the truth. They laugh at the truth and turn their eyes away from the truth. Fools are wise in their own eyes failing to take in wisdom and advice, which will be their downfall. They suppress the truth by their unrighteousness…. Fritz Chery, Biblereasons.com
The above is a familiar definition of who a fool is, and I will agree with you on that. But beyond that obvious meaning, let us look at it from another perspective, a better perspective I should say.
In exploring a better perspective on the topic, it is good we refer to the Scriptures for the perfect answer. Does the Bible tell us who a fool is?
Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!
The Bible passage is quite clear. But in case you missed it, let us say it again: anyone who says there is no God is a fool. So the next time someone tells you there is no God, please do not take offense. Just remember that person has just revealed who he is: a fool, a big one at that.
If you are one of those fools who have said there is no God, and you happen to be reading this post, I owe you no apologies. In the first place, I do not even expect you to be offended that you are called a fool. Why should you?
Since you are comfortable saying boldly that there is no God, in the same vein, you should be comfortable answering your Biblical name: a fool.
Today is your day. Enjoy it. But remember that one day, you shall stand face to face in judgment with the God whom you fail to acknowledge here on earth.
You have read my take on remembering the fools’ day today. What is yours?
Gentle warning: This post is extremely personal. But don’t take it personal.
In the previous post, I stated the fact that some people are single for life and satisfied. But I went on to explore the idea that I could not have been unmarried for life and be completely fulfiled.
My well-thought out humble conclusion then was that:
As for me, I see marriage as a calling I had to embrace because I could never have been totally satisfied with a lifelong celibacy.
To put things in a clearer perspective, I am using this post to advance five reasons I believe that I could not have been completely satisfied if I had remained single for life.
Like I stated in the first part of this post, this is a personal experience I decided to share with you. So do not be offended if your own experience or perspective is radically different from mine.
1) Marriage is my calling
Marriage is part of God’s general plan for humanity. I believe strongly in it, and I always will.
I may have many ‘callings’ in life, but celibacy is not one of them. I made up my mind about that long before I eventually walked the altar to say, “I do.”
Marriage is honourable. Most people will not disagree with that! So embracing marriage means embracing an honourable institution established by God Himself.
God made it possible for me and many other countless people to be married… And except you feel called to a lifelong celibacy, I believe you should be open to marriage too. Don’t you think so?
2) Two are better than one
Marriage gives a veritable opportunity for a beautiful synergy in life between two people who are divinely bound in a holy union – a kind that singlehood does not offer me.
I reckoned that I am stronger with a spouse for life than without one. The total union of two separate people to become one in marriage unleashes the power of synergy, which is in line with God’s plan and purpose.
Why would I choose to go along in life as a ‘lone ranger’ when I could legally have a great person of the opposite sex to go along with me all the way? Like I said in the previous post, I prefer my “married me” to my “single me.”
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves… Ecclesiates 4:9-12.
Marriage is my legitimate opportunity to build my own family as God intended, so why should I flunk the choice?
3) Sexual fulfilment
Apostle Paul once declared in unequivocal terms that, “It is better to get married than to remain unmarried and continually burn with passion.” That’s one of the frankest statements in God’s word as far as managing your sexual affection as a single person is concerned.
Christian values teach us that the only kind of sex approved by God is marital sex. So any act of sex engaged in outside the walls of marriage amounts to living contrary to the will of God.
I am aware that many people will not be comfortable with me saying that. But I have to say it because it is not my idea but God’s. And God knows best!
In the light of that, it means that as a single man who wanted to please God in this area, I would not engage in sex except I was legally married.
However, I definitely would not be able to live without sexual expression for the rest of my life, without disobeying God. You can talk about exercising self-control, but let us leave that lesson for another day.
Let us read what the Bible says here:
But I say to the unmarried and to the widows, [that as a practical matter] it is good if they remain [single and entirely devoted to the Lord] as I am. But if they do not have [sufficient] self-control, they should marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion . 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 AMP
Early enough in life, I learnt that both premarital and extramarital sexual experiences are not part of God’s perfect plan for His children. So I had to choose the committed marriage option to meet my sexual needs.
Any thing outside that would have led me to committing avoidable sexual sin, which has its own inescapable consequences.
Sexual sin is self-destructive. It’s like a fire. A fire in the fireplace can do you a lot of good. A fire in the living room will mess up your whole house! And that’s precisely the case with our sexuality. It is a fire to be kindled only within the fireplace of marriage. Outside of that safe enclosure, it can do all kinds of emotional and physical damage. Single And Satisfied – Tony Evans
4) The need to have children
I do not want only sexual satisfaction by getting married, I want to produce offsprings too.
Remaining unmarried for life would have meant that I would not have been a parent, except of course I became one out of wedlock. Not even in my dreams did I ever consider that an option to take!
Marriage has afforded me the great privilege of having my own legal children. And I am loving it…
I am aware some people get married and decide on their own not to have children. But that is very unusual in my part of the world. (Apologies to the couple who are trying so hard to have their own children but to no avail yet).
I believe also that it is part of God’s will for my life to have children.
Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward. As arrows [are] in the hand of a mighty man; so [are] children of the youth. Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. Psalms 127:3-5.
5) One person to love for life.
For the most part of my single life, I always longed for the time I would get committed to one lady for life – totally and completely. To love and to cherish her for the rest of my life.
Marriage provides me with the best chance to fulfill that longing. In marriage, I have a trusted companion to love and to cherish for the rest of my life.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church… For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Ephesians 5:28-32.
If you are presently living single for life or in a committed marriage, please let me know what you think about the post.
Jesus Christ was single for life and satisfied with it, so was Paul the Apostle. But I know that not everyone would be single for life and be fully satisfied as well. Definitely not me!
I have also heard some other people say they are single and satisfied. But in most cases, it turns out that many of such people are only temporarily single because somehow, you will get to find out that they are only waiting for the right partner to come along.
I wouldn’t know if that applies to you or not. In any case, just follow me on this short journey…
You are presently single but you have plans to get married when you meet the right person and other conditions are right. I understand that feeling because I was once there.
That one is a temporary singlehood. However, that is not the kind of singlehood I am talking about here.
I am referring to you being single, staying single for life and without any desire for entering into a committed marriage. I would call that a permanent singlehood.
That is the situation I do not understand because I have not been there before. And I do not even want to be there because I firmly believe in the institution of marriage.
This is my sixth year being married. And with all modesty, I can gladly say that I have found more fulfillment in being married than in being single.
It is not to say that I did not have a fulfilling life as a single man. No, far from it! I had an incredibly joyful life during my singlehood.
In fact, I was so happy when I was yet an unmarried man that I once had cause to ask my myself, “Would I still be this happy when I get married?”
Notice that I did not say “…if…” but “…when..” I got married. The reason is that marriage has always been part of my plans in life. That is to say that I never had an agenda of ever living an unmarried life in my sojourn on earth.
Back to the question I asked myself when I was still a bachelor: would I be happy in marriage as I was in singlehood?
It would have been largely presumptuous for me to have that question answered in the affirmative before I got married. But now that I am married, I can categorically state that I have found my life happier and more fulfilling than when I was a single man.
Just as Apostle stated that “it is better to marry than to burn,” I could stretch that to say that it better to be married than to remain single for life.
This is just my experience I am sharing with you. I am by no means trying to generalise the issue because I am very much aware that your experience may be completely different from mine. Is that not so?
On the other hand, this is not a call for everyone to get married. Even the Bible recognises that marriage is a choice; no one should be forced into it.
I was not forced into marriage in any way. It was a journey I deliberately embarked upon by my own freewill. And I am loving it!
It would have been a huge disservice to myself had I chosen to be single for life. That’s not my calling at all, but marriage is. At the appropriate time, God led me into it, by giving me the right partner.
Of course, it is not that remaining single and being an unmarried person for life is a sin, neither is getting and staying married. But just that like every other major decision you have to make in life, there are always pros and cons to consider.
In as much I would like to recommend to you to get married (if you are not married yet) and stay married for life, it is up to you to decide for or against it. For one, I know that God’s will for most of His children is marriage. And I made my decision along that line a long time ago.
Being single has its own benefits and getting married has its own benefits too. But I prefer the later.
Now that I am married and have found fulfillment in marriage, it has become clearer to me that I could never have been single for life and be satisfied with it completely.
But like I said before, I am not suggesting that you could not choose to remain single or celibate for life and be satisfied at the same time. Good luck to you if that’s what you want.
As for me, I see marriage as a calling I had to embrace because I could never have been totally satisfied with a lifelong celibacy.
Part of the requirements for living the Christian life is walking in love. And you cannot successfully walk in love without walking in forgiveness.
There are many great acts of forgiveness in the Bible we can learn from. In this post, we will examine three of the greatest acts of forgiveness ever recorded in the Bible:
1. Joseph forgave his treacherous brothers.
Joseph was a beloved son of his father, Jacob. He usually wore the multi-coloured robe his father gave to him.
Joseph later had a dream from Heaven that pointed to the events of the future. But his brothers seriously hated him for it. And out of sheer jealousy they disrobed him in the wilderness, threw him into a deep pit to die a gradual death.
On a second thought, they changed their plans, retrieved Joseph from the pit and sold him off to slavery. One thing led to another, Joseph found himself as a slave in Portiphar’s house in Egypt.
Subsequently, Joseph served a term in prison over a spurious allegation of sexual assault on his master’s wife. But after interpreting a couple of dreams while in the prison, Joseph was recommended to interpret a disturbing dream of Pharaoh’s. And by divine arrangement, Joseph became the second in command in Pharaoh’s Kingdom.
Years passed. Severe famine ravaged the rest of the world, except Egypt.
Egypt did not experience food shortages at that time because through divine wisdom and counsel of Joseph, an unprecedented stock of food supply was kept in Egypt.
Back home in the land of Canaan, food scarcity had reached an unbearable proportion. This drew Joseph’s wicked brothers to Egypt in search of their necessary food.
Consequently, they found themselves at the mercy of their long ‘forgotten’ brother who had now become a mighty man in the land of Pharaoh and was in charge of the nation’s food supply. This was Joseph’s ample opportunity to take his own pound of flesh.
As the indisputable prime minister of Egypt, he was in a veritable position to take out a revenge on his brothers and severely punish them for their treacherous behaviours in the past. But not a great man like Joseph; He wouldn’t repay his brothers in their own evil coin. Rather he forgave his brothers and showed them much mercy.
Not only that, he rationalised his multiple travails, which was set off by his brothers’ betrayal, as part of God’s grand design to protect their family’s future interest.
4Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years, there will be no plowing and reaping. 7But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Genesis 45:4-7
2. Jesus forgave those that crucified Him.
Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem and the neighbouring towns doing nothing but good. He healed the lame, the blind, the deaf and dumb, and other people with diverse kinds of sickness.
Jesus fed people in their thousands. He taught them divine wisdom like no other teacher or prophet before Him. He even raised some people from the dead.
Despite His widely circulated good deeds, the authorities of the day conspired against Him. They found Him guilty of trumped up criminal charges and had Him mercilessly nailed to the Cross to die alongside two condemned armed robbers.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:24
You would think that Jesus, with all the heavenly power at His disposal, would severely ‘deal’ with these people who unjustly crucified Him. Instead, He extended uncommon forgiveness to them by pleading with the Father not to hold these peoples’ sin against them.
3. Stephen forgave those that murdered him in cold blood.
Stephen was an unknown disciple of Jesus Christ; He went in and out with the apostles and other disciples unheralded until the need to appoint deacons arose in the early church.
By general consensus, Stephen was deemed a man full of good reports, wisdom and the Holy Ghost. Therefore, he was privileged to be selected alongside six other deacons to serve in the food distribution ministry of the early believers.
But beyond serving on tables, God’s hand became mighty upon Stephen to the extent that through him a great revival broke out in Jerusalem.
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” As a result, many people turned to God through his ministry and there was much joy in the city.
His increasing followership and the resultant citywide testimonies on the mighty acts he accomplished, revealed a man who was operating by nothing other than the authority of Heaven. But while Stephen was riding on this beautiful tide of evangelistic miracles, signs and wonders he performed in the land, the religious authorities of the day became offended by him.
In the end, they had Stephen arrested, taken to the outskirts of the city and brutally stoned to death. But before he yielded the ghost, He lifted his hands and prayed for the forgiveness for his traducers and killers.
Stephen showed such a great disciple he was by following the example of his Master Jesus in forgiveness.
“Father please do not hold this sin against them,” he prayed.
There are many examples of acts of forgiveness in the Bible, but these three examined under this post could never be missed out. These are three of the greatest examples of forgiveness in the Bible you can emulate.
Joseph forgave his brothers who sold him into slavery. Jesus while dying on the cross forgave all those who crucified Him. Stephen though being unjustly stoned to death, extended the gesture of forgiveness to those that murdered him.
In the light of these, can you justify any wrong done against you as too grave to be forgiven?
I have found out through my own experience that part of the joy of blogging is having people following your blog, regularly reading your written thoughts and sending you feedbacks through their comments, likes, emails, reblogs etc.
I take it that you too do not mind sharing in the joy of blogging as it were. But as you already know, it is not always easy getting people to follow your blog. And there could be many reasons for that.
As far as I am concerned, here are 8 Simple Reasons I am not following your blog:
1. I don’t even know that your blog exists in the first place.
Your blog does not show up on the first pages when I do specific key word searches on Google. Neither do you leave a trail on other people posts by liking them or putting in some appropriate comments.
Without having any of the above leads to your site, how am I supposed to know that your lovely blog is tucked away in one hidden corner of WordPress?
2. You are not following my blog
I do not mean to say that if you do not follow my blog I will not follow yours. In fact my blog stats show that as at now, I follow twice as many blogs that follow mine.
Just that like an average blogger (I’m not sure I am up to that yet😀), once I notice that anyone has followed my blog, the next natural thing I do is to head to the person’s blog to see what is on offer.
I cannot guarantee that I will follow you back once I see that you have followed my blog. But I guarantee to always checkout any blog that follows mine to enable me make up my mind on whether or not to follow back.
When you don’t follow me or leave a comment or a like on my blog posts, it becomes a bit harder for me to discover and follow your blog.
3. I got to your blog, but your posts care less about my core values.
Sorry if that is you, I will not follow your blog. For instance, I stumbled on a blog one time. I saw that all the posts I managed to read thereon seem to have centred on promoting ‘unwholesome’ sexual behaviours.
I am not judging that blog, but I could not follow it because I did not want to be receiving posts bothering on promoting sexual perversion.
My point is that it is much easier for me to follow blogs whose values I share than to follow those whose values are completely different from mine. Please raise your hand if you are with me on that!
4. The first three posts I read on your blog did not make much sense to me.
Some blogs make sense but the contents are in conflict with my values. Some others I have come across did not make much sense for me to opt in.
Usually, when I encounter a new blog, I would try to read three posts on the site (usually the last three). I may not follow the blog if I did not derive any value reading them.
To follow you, I will have to like at least one of the first three posts I read on your blog. Is that too much to ask?
5. Your picture is not on your profile.
This point may seem inconsequential to you. But believe it or not, it matters to me and to some other WP users too.
I find it easier to follow blogs that have the profile pictures of their authors than the ones that do not have or have inanimate objects instead of a real person’s face. You know that faceless individuals on the internet are usually troublesome. Engage them if you want, but sometimes one would rather avoid them.
6. You did not join any blogging community.
I have found out that by belonging to a specific community of bloggers (on Facebook for instance), I have discovered and followed new blogs. If you do not belong to any of such community of bloggers and actively participate there on, the odds against discovering your blog have just increased.
7. Your blog language is totally different from mine.
Needless to say, English is my blog default language. If your blog is set to another foreign language, I am sorry I cannot follow you. This is because I do not not understand your language, so it is of no use to follow you.
I know one can reset the default language on your WP blog, but that means I will have to spend extra time and energy doing that.
Usually, it is easier for me to move on to other blogs written in English than to be involved in the task of changing your blog language so I can read it.
8. No one has recommended your blog to me yet.
I have followed some great blogs simply because they were recommended to me by some other bloggers. Just like in advertising, word of mouth (or written) recommendations on WP promotes blogs too. That means, at least in part, that I am yet to follow your blog because no one has recommended it to me yet.
Why are you not following some blogs yet? We will like to hear from you.
Several years ago, I attended a Bible Study service in one familiar church. The study that fateful evening had centered on the baptism of Jesus Christ at the River Jordan.
For the most part, I was tremendously enthralled by the descriptive heavenly experience Jesus had at His baptism as recorded in the Gospels. The heavens were opened and the Holy Spirit openly descended upon Him like a dove.
On the other hand, I could not help but ponder over the fact that this spectacular experience of Jesus’ at the Jordan has remained a very unique experience in the history of Christianity till date. Matthew’s account of that event tells us that:
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him (3:16, NIV).
Luke puts it this way, “…the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased”” (3:22, NIV).
“Does anyone have any question arising from this study today?” the Bible study facilitator had asked at the end of the study.
I flung my innocent hand up in the air. And having been acknowledged, I asked, “Why is it that the heaven does not open unto us and the Spirit of God does not descend bodily upon us during water baptism in this era like it did on Jesus Christ as we saw in the study?”
“Victor, are you comparing yourself with Jesus?” yelled one church elder from the far corner of the hall where he was sitting.
He must have felt that my question was controversial or ill-conceived. But I was convinced I asked the question because I wanted to know more, without any ulterior motives.
“Jesus is Jesus and we are not Jesus… We as mere humans should not expect to have a water baptism experience with the heavens opening and the Holy Spirit descending as on Jesus the Son of God,” he further stated.
In my heart as a young adult then, I felt that was not the best answer I could possibly get for that question. But I could not really push any further, else I could have been accused of challenging an elder inappropriately.
Thankfully, the Bible study facilitator stepped in and tried to salvage the situation by giving what I could call a more acceptable explanation to me. He explained that we can receive the Holy Spirit even before, during or after water Baptism.
“What matters”he opined, “is that we can receive the Holy Spirit, irrespective of whether or not He came upon us in a very spectacular way, as was the case of Jesus.”
I can identify with that summation because from my own water baptism experience, the heavens did not tear open (smiles), neither did the Holy Spirit descend on me in a spectacular way like it did on Jesus. But I still was baptized and I still have received the Holy Spirit.
Actually I had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit before I even had the opportunity of having the baptism by immersion in water.
What was your own experience? I hope you would not mind sharing.
You are as close to God as you want to be, because He has already fully drawn close to you.
How close are you to God? Do you feel as close to Him as you would want to be?
Without an exception, everyone of us has been given the privilege of being capable of drawing close to God as much as we can be.
If you want to be closer to God, you can. If you feel alienated from God, it is not His fault.
Where you stand with God presently is your choice. You can either move closer towards Him or farther away from Him. Again it is up to you!
In the book of James 4:8a, we are given this inviting challenge:
Draw near to God and He near to you…
Put in proper perspective, it is not that God has not drawn close to you. But you will never know how so close God is already drawn to you untill you first draw close to Him. That is why it feels like the closer you draw to God the closer He becomes to you.
You are the one that determines how close to God you want to be.
You know whatever is hindering your drawing nearer to Him. If you would remove your hands from it and clear the doubts in your heart, you would draw closer to God.
The fact is that God is no longer far from you. If you are not ‘feeling’ Him, realise that you are the one that is not close enough to Him. He is already as close to you as He could ever be.
God gave His son Jesus to die for you. This eternal sacrifice dealt a final blow on the chasm that hitherto separated you from God. Even now, sin is no longer enough reason to cause a separation between you and God.
Do not run away from God because of your sins. Rather, you should run to Him despite your sins.
The price of your past, present and future sins has been paid for in Christ Jesus! His blood covers your sins, so that even when you err, the invitation is already there for you to come boldly to His throne of grace and obtain mercy.
Also, God gave you the Holy Spirit to live in you so that you will always have His ever-abiding presence. Wherever you go, the Holy Spirit goes there with you.
You are never alone. You have His assurance that He will never leave you nor forsake you. He is with you always till the end of the world.
I am fully convinced that God is with you. What I am not sure is whether or not you are fully with God. That is between you and Him.
But if you have fully declared yourself for God, know that He has already committed to being close to you to the fullest possible limit. The remaining part of the challenge for both of you to draw close to each other rests with you to fulfill.
The post you are about to read was the very first content published on this blog. As I said in the post before this one, this blog just turned two years old.
To further commemorate the milestone, I am reposting the pioneer post here for you to read. It was initially published when there were no followers on this Blog. That tells me that you may not have seen it yet.
Now that I have you, kindly indulge me as I present to you, “We Know,” the very first and oldest post on this blog. I guarantee you will find something useful in it.
We know we have potentials,
But we are not doing enough to develop them.
What is the use of a vibrant energy,
That remains buried and untapped?
We know the future is bright,
But we keep living in the past!
How can we ever enter and enjoy the future,
If we don’t ever leave the past behind?
We know our lives could be better,
But we hesitate to do things to improve on them.
Why are we waiting and delaying?
The room of improvement is never filled up!
We know we are not so perfect,
But we fail to work on our weaknesses!
Can a dirty china become clean,
If it has not been washed at all?
We know we don’t like to be criticised,
But we never cease from doing it to others.
What makes us think we would be likeable?
When our words ache like pain?
We know we like being appreciated,
But we think other’s don’t deserve the same.
If we want appreciation to come around,
We ought to start giving it first to others.
We know we ought to make more progress in life,
But we fear to take the first steps forward.
How can we get to where we want to be,
If we don’t put one foot in front of the other?
We know we crave for love and forgiveness,
But we ourselves are never generous with such.
How can we be so very surprised?
That we don’t get loved and forgiven by others as we want?
We know we crave respect and admiration from others,
But we are less concerned about our self-respect.
Why then are we so bothered that we don’t get so respected,
As much as we think we deserve?
We know how good it feels to be welcomed,
But we don’t always spread our hands to welcome others.
Yet we wonder why people don’t always warm up to us,
Like the insect to the nectar in a flower.
We know we are not without blemish,
But we are always quick to cast the stone on others
Why don’t we treat other people
As we want to be treated?
We know Rome was not built in day,
But we cry and worry over every little slip.
With our heart filled with so many worries,
How can we enjoy a deep sleep at night?
We know we shouldn’t go to bed when the roof is on fire,
But we pretend it’s just a little flick of flame.
Why then do we wonder and cry aloud,
When all we have is turned to ashes?
We know every seed produces after its own kind,
But some of us are those who sow corn and expect a harvest of potatoes.
Who would be ever so disappointed,
As much as someone like that would be?
We know we should say ‘I am sorry’ sometimes,
But our pride keeps us from saying it.
Doesn’t it matter to us that our friends and family are hurt,
When we fail to say “I am sorry, please forgive me?”
We know it’s good for us to give.
But we hoard the things we ought to share.
Have we forgotten the Master’s rule:
“Give and it shall be given to you?”
We know we should give thanks in all things,
But we say all things are not okay to give thanks, so we complain.
Are we now wiser than the Master,
Who said, “give thanks in all things?”
It’s been exactly two years since this blog was started. I was a little nervous then when I hit the ‘publish’ button to push out the first post on the blog.
I had mild anxiety because I wasn’t very sure of what to expect on the blogosphere. The only thing I felt sure of was that finally I now have a properly coordinated avenue to share my thoughts with anyone who would be interested in reading them from anywhere around the world.
Before that time, I had my written thoughts spread on my diaries, notepad on my phone, various files on my laptop and some others I shared on my facebook page.
The blog is now providing wholesome inspiration for the family, life, and living – from a Christian worldview. More than I had previously envisaged, the positive impact has been great on me as well as on my readers. But I will quickly add that there is always room for more improvements.
To a very large extent, I have had fun writing this blog for two years running. For instance, you can imagine the pure joy I felt when a reader told me my post blessed her richly; or when a pastor-reader told me that my post gave him a handle to his Sunday sermon, or even when I reached the 100th WP follower milestone – although that threshold has since been surpassed in the last year.
I don’t know about you, but for me, the blogging journey has been more fulfilling than frustrating. Apart from the fact that I have learnt a lot along the line, that my posts have resonated with many people is also quite encouraging. Many thanks to all my readers who have given some positive feedbacks.
Of all the 116 posts published so far on this blog in the last two years, the 6 simple reasons to forgive offences has been most popular, going by the observation that it has garnered the highest number of individual post ‘likes’ on the blog till date. There have been other outstanding posts as well, the summary of which I had already written about.
The site statistics further show that I have readers from across all the continents of the world, although the majority of the readers are located in the United States of America.
When it comes to the most engaging follower of the blog in the past two years super granny Anne of Freedomborn – Aussie Christian Focus in far away Australia stands out as the topmost commentator.
Anne has a great heart for God. She equally loves the scriptures, always quoting relevant verses to back up her comments either in direct response to my own posts or in further response to some other readers’ comments. I strongly recommend her blog to you if you are not already following her.
These two years on the blogosphere have not been all rosy and smooth all the way. There have been discomforting moments I experienced too.
I can recall having more than a fair share of backlashes generated by a few of my posts. For instance, I was negatively attacked by some (mostly faceless) people on WordPress and on Twitter when I published some posts bothering on atheism.
Understandably, the posts drew the ire of some avowed atheists. Despite the fact that I shared the truths of the gospel in love in those posts, they were very angry at me for doing so.
But if atheists claim there is no God, why does it bother them so much when we say God exists? That’s a question I will appreciate a well-informed answer to.
The flip side of the negative criticisms was that one of the posts on atheism, 16 sobering things every atheist should know, turned out to be one of the most liked posts of the blog. I can only be glad to have shared that post.
Contrary to what some readers claimed, the post was my most audacious attempt to reach out to atheists with the living gospel of Jesus Christ.
On the whole, this journey of two years in the world of blogging has been a time of touching lives and being touched too, inspiring people and being inspired too. I have no doubt that in the next two years in the blogosphere, I will still be here fulfilling my vision of “providing wholesome inspiration for the family, life, and living – from a Christian worldview.”
Thank you for reading! Your feedback will mean a lot to me.
Everybody is looking for love. And to love and be loved is one of the greatest feelings in life.
What kind of love are you searching for this Valentine? What kind of love have you experienced before? You might have experienced a form of love in the past. But I will like you to experience the greatest kind of love there is.
Whether it is the love for the members of your family, love for a partner, friendship kind of love, none of them can last forever. But there is one special kind of love that will never pass away. That is the kind of love that supersedes all other kinds of love.
It is called the agape, the God-kind of love. It is the kind of love that made God give His Son for you. It is the kind of love that made Jesus Christ go all the way to the Cross for you.
More than anything else, you need to experience the God-kind of love. It is the kind of love you should live by. In it you will find true meaning for your life.
If you are yet to experience the love of God, you are not safe yet, either in this life or in the one to come. The good part is that God’s love is already given to you – made available in Jesus Christ to everyone.
All you need to do is to accept it and let it transform your life. No one can receive it for you.
Have you ever checked out my About page? I thought I should ask you that question and then offer you a veritable opportunity to do it if you haven’t already done so. But even if you have read it before, you still have something to gain by reading it again.
For most blogs, the about page is usually one of the most frequently checked-out pages. This blog is not an exception to that behavioural pattern.
Over the past several months that I have been writing on this blog, there have been concrete evidence that my about page has been frequently visited, read, liked or commented on. This is your chance to read it (again).
Time changes things. Dreams do change over time too. The things you cherish today can become obsolete in no time. That’s what I found out about having a dream car.
Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order. Obsolescence frequently occurs because a replacement has become available that has, in sum, more advantages compared to the disadvantages incurred by maintaining or repairing the original…;Typically, obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity… Wikipedia
That last sentence from the above quote “…obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity,” captures in part the spirit of this post. Read on, you will see why.
As a result of the passage of time, what was once a dream car for me has (well, expectedly) declined in popularity, leaving nothing but only unfulfilled memories. It is not that I am sad about the unfulfilled childhood dreams. But I am glad that I had dreams as a child that once in a while pop up in the physical reality of my adult life.
For instance, on my way home from work recently, I saw something that brought back memories that made me smile. It is the car you see in this picture above. I was caught up right behind it in a very slow moving traffic. So I had the ample chance to take that photo shot.
“Why did I smile,” you may ask? I smiled at the sight of the car because right then I remembered when that same type of car used to be my dream car. That was about 28 years ago… when yours truly was just a boy.
Then, I was still in primary (elementary) school. I had a strong liking for the referenced model of car. And I had imagined that I would one day drive it when I grew up, had become an undergraduate or a bachelor.
“How wonderful it would be to cruise around in such a nice ‘sport’ car” I had envisioned. Yes, right or wrong, I had the thought that the car was ‘sporty’ yet classy for me. But that pre-teen dream of driving it or owning it never came through. In fact, I didn’t even get to own any car as an undergraduate.
But much time has passed since then… As you might rightly expect, the once-upon-a-time dream car now looks so obsolete to me; so much so that I can’t even desire it any longer.
I say so because it is like nothing I want now. I drive a ‘nice’ car now, alright. But it is not my dream car yet.
Of course, when it comes to having my dream car, the bar has been pushed higher over time. From dreaming about having something simple and classy, my idea of a dream car has now metamorphosed into having something more fantastic than the one I had as an elementary school pupil.
I now desire a sophisticated vehicle properly fitted with appropriate functionalities, better than the modest one I currently own. But then I ask myself, why have a dream car, when the one you desire today can easily become out of fashion tomorrow?
New models of cars are churned out each year, with better fittings and functionalities. So why continue to have a dream car without having the strong economic power required to make the dream come through?
But keep in mind, this is not just about dream cars only. It is about all our pursuits as human beings. The things we cherish so passionately today gradually will usually decline in popularity over time. Sooner than later, we find ourselves back to where we started – feeling unsatisfied and wanting for more.
In the final analysis, only dreams of eternal value are worth pursuing. Only things that will count in the light of eternity should truly count for us.
One of the Disciples of Jesus by name, Thomas has been branded the “doubting Thomas,” by all and sundry just because he refused to believe the report of the resurrection of Jesus until he had to see Jesus face to face. For a long time in my life, just like many other Christians, that was the only thing I knew about this disciple Thomas: he was a doubter, so I learnt. But I have now found out that he was more than a doubter.
Unfortunately, Thomas has become “a victim of bad press” over the years. Hence, people always talk about his (understandable) failure to believe the Resurrection story without a physical proof more than they talk about any other thing about him.
But if you check the Bible, you can find some interesting things about this disciple that is worth rehashing. Let me refresh your memories with the following:
3 unheralded qualities of Thomas The Disciple:
1. Thomas was humble but inquisitive.
One of the greatest declarations Jesus ever made in His lifetime on Earth was: I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6.
This statement alone sets Christianity light years apart from the so-called other religions of the world. Imagine the audacity of Jesus in declaring categorically, “I am the Way to God, none other except me.”
Jesus either meant every word in that statement or He was an imposter. But you can be sure that Jesus is the One He said He is: the Only Way to God!
Do you know that it was Thomas that asked the all-important question that gave rise to that mind-blowing revelation by Jesus? Thomas’ humility was on display when he asked that question in order to learn.
At a critical point in time, Jesus had announced to His disciples that He was going away from them, speaking indirectly of His impending death, expected Resurrection and subsequent ascension to Heaven. But that puzzling speech from the lips of Jesus proved too hard for the bewildered disciples to fully comprehend. Yet they kept their ominous peace without asking further questions.
Jesus apparently had assumed that His disciples knew where He was going to when He told them He would be going away from them. But it was Thomas who bailed them out by humbly saying to Jesus, “Master, we don’t even know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:5-6.
If Thomas had not asked that question, Jesus might not have had the awesome opportunity to declare that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life: the ONLY way to God.
Thomas Vs Nicodemus With Jesus
Compare this exchange between Jesus and Thomas with the ever popular Nicodemus’s encounter with Jesus in the night. This notable religious leader too is often criticised in some circles for going to see Jesus secretly.
But that singular visit provided the Lord Jesus Christ with the most auspicious opportunity to introduce the concept and meaning of being born again to Nicodemus and by extension to all of us. Perhaps we might not have had it explained that way if not for Nicodemus’s secret visit to Jesus.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… John 3:1-7
Just like in Nicodemus’s case, this interaction of Thomas with Jesus proved most advantageous. For one Thomas did not pretend that he knew what Jesus meant by keeping mute like the other Disciples. He was humble and inquisitive enough at the same time to ask the right up questions and thankfully, he got the right answers from Jesus.
2. Thomas was a man of courage and loyalty.
No one will doubt the loyalty of a disciple who is willing to die with or for his master. That was the case of Thomas and Jesus.
Did Thomas ever express any willingness to die with Jesus? The answer is definitely, ‘Yes.’
Jesus once had a near-death experience while in Judea. The people there wanted to kill Him but He managed to escape from them.
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. John 8:59
However, Jesus later received a special message from Mary and Martha that their brother, a friend of Jesus’, was terribly ill unto death (John 11:1-3). So Jesus began to make plans to visit them again in Bethany. But all His disciples except Thomas, were like, “Master, you dare not go back again to Judea because you almost lost your life the last time you went there.
Our man Thomas, unlike the other Disciples, did not protest the decision of Jesus to go back to Bethany despite the assumed danger ahead. He showed uncommon courage by not only encouraging Jesus to go back there, he also showed a great deal of loyalty to Jesus by offering to go with Him or even to die with Him, persuading the rest disciples to do the same.
Jesus eventually went to Bethany. There He performed one of the greatest miracles ever: bringing Lazarus to back to life.
3. Thomas was outspoken and influential.
Thomas was not a man to die in silence. He was one that spoke his mind whenever he had to. For instance:
When the other Disciples did not say anything when Jesus thought that they should know where He was going, it was Thomas who spoke up and informed Jesus that they did not know the way, neither did they know where Jesus was heading to at the time.
When the other Disciples protested to Jesus going back to Judea due to the threat to his life, it was the same Thomas who insisted that they should all go with Jesus despite the perceived death threat.
When the other Disciples informed Thomas that Jesus had risen and appeared to them, Thomas was still able to stand his ground, maintaining a very independent opinion that until he saw Jesus with his own eyes and felt His pieced body with His own hands, he would not believe.
From these examples, one can safely surmise that Thomas had the ears of the other disciples: they listened whenever he talked. In other words, Thomas had a good level of influence over the rest of the disciples.
Beyond the popular belief that Thomas is a doubter, let’s also begin to see that:
He was a humble person, admitting it whenever he didn’t know or understand what Jesus said;
He was bold enough to ask imperative questions that provoked revelations from Jesus;
He was a fearless and loyal disciple of Christ who was willing to risk his life with Jesus;
He was very outspoken and more influential than he ever got credit for.
When you hear the name ‘Thomas’ in the Bible, what comes to your mind? If you are like most people I know, I guess your mind will immediately think of ‘the doubting Thomas,’ the incredulous member of the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ.
Thomas came to be associated with that uncomplimentary adjective when he understandably doubted the impossible news that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. This was because as at the time the risen Jesus showed Himself physically to His followers, Thomas was away to only-God-knows-where.
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. John 20:24
While Thomas was AWOL, the news of Jesus’ Resurrection had broken out amongst His disciples giving them great joy. And Jesus had presented Himself to His disciples too. But Thomas would take none of that, saying, he would not believe the resurrection story until he saw Jesus face to face.
The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. John 20:25.
Talk about someone who says seeing is believing! That was our man, brother Thomas. Don’t you know at least one person in your life that is like that, who will not believe anything except he or she sees it? Or maybe you are even like that yourself!
Thomas had his wish come through, but not immediately. It took another eight days before the doubting disciple became a confirmed ‘believer’. That was how long it took before Jesus appeared physically again to the Disciples.
Of course, Jesus was not ignorant of the fact that Thomas had not believed the Resurrection story. Hence He said to him, “….Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.” John 20:27.
It sounded like Jesus was saying to him, “Thomas, why do you doubt so much? Here, come touch me, feel me now… Are you convinced now?”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:28-29
At that juncture, all the doubts in Thomas had vanished. With the overwhelming evidence right before him, he had no other choice than to acknowledge the ‘First Born from the dead’ as both ‘Lord and God.’
Beyond the popular view that portrays Thomas as a doubter, a sceptic or an incredulous person, the outcome of this recorded exchange between the resurrected Lord and His hitherto unbelieving disciple, Thomas, affords us one of the indisputable written firsthand evidence of the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ available to us today. It is a valid record that after His Resurrection, someone actually touched Jesus by the nail marks on His hands and feet, and His arrow-pieced side.
This showed a solid and indisputable connection between the same Jesus that was crucified on the cross and the One that resurrected and showed Himself to His disciples that He lives.
Beyond being labelled a doubter for seeking a physical proof before believing that Jesus had resurrected, Thomas should be appreciated for the role he played in having Jesus present Himself again to His disciples (and to the world) in order to further verify His resurrection from death through a conscious physical examination of the resurrected body.
In what way do you relate to Thomas behaviour? Was his doubt justified? Your comments are welcome.
I want to be a happy father to my children and a happy husband to my wife. After all, a grumpy man would not make a good companion to anyone – family or not family. This is part of the reason I have realised that I should strive to always have my emotions under control…
It seems logical to think that unhappy parents may not be able to raise happy children. And I don’t want to be caught in that web.
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.
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.
Various situations could arise in your marital relationship that may want to force a communication gap between you and your spouse. But don’t allow for a breakdown in communication between you both. If communication fails, many other things will fail along.
In a thorny situation in your marriage, know that your spouse is not the thorn.
If your spouse wears an unusual outlook, you as the other half should show persistent care (by asking) to find out what the problem is.
If your spouse slows down in communicating with you, that’s not the time for you to withdraw from him/her.
Be strong for your spouse by whispering to him/her that you are there for him/her
Jesus was more than a baby. He is the God-incarnate. As the Saviour of the world, in Him lies the eternal hope of mankind. Here are some special things about Him that set Him apart from any other man in recorded history:
Jesus’ miraculous conception by a virgin.
His conception by a virgin and birth were both undeniable fulfilment of Prophecies.
He wasn’t born to earthly royalty, but angels heralded His birth.
The birth of Jesus is the proof of God’s love for the world.
Jesus was born to die.
Jesus is the only man in history with the complete tripartite cycle of birth, death andresurrection.
He is the only one giving eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.
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! If you are an atheist, here are 16 sobering truths I wish you to know:
God exists – whether you believe it or not.
To know God, check the Bible
God loves you, I thought you should know.
God is not angry with you.
Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God…FOOL.
There have been people who turned from atheism to God and so can you.
Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
If you die today, where would you spend eternity?
The problem of sin cannot be solved except in Christ Jesus.
You are accountable to God, now or later.
There is a future reality called Hellfire, for everyone who rejects Jesus.
It is a brand new year. A new beginning. How about spending the whole year following your passion or doing what you love? It is not impossible to do so! And this post will show you why.
I was going through a blog recently when I came across what I would consider a brutally honest statement that got me thinking deeply. “I have never done anything that I truly loved, except for mommyhood,” said the author of that blog.
The curious part to me is that the author said she possesses three academic degrees. So I took it that her statement quoted above couldn’t have been because she didn’t have any good opportunities at all. But rather because, she probably had not found one that sufficiently fit her love and passion at the “right price.”
“As far as getting paid to do something [is concerned],” she explained, “it has been hard to find a truly good fit for me.” While pondering on the issue, it didn’t take too long for me to see that many people have been caught up in the same job quagmire – against their innermost desires.
If you are one of such persons, maybe it’s time to have a rethink! By that I mean, it is either you find a way to love what you do, or you find what you love and begin to do it.
If you are for the latter option, then make a change! Take the risk…Branch out! Or how long are you going to continue doing what you don’t love?
“As long as it pays my bills,” you might want to say. That’s a familiar answer, I know. But if that matters to you more than self-actualisation or personal fulfilment, then the choice is entirely yours to maintain the status quo. Nothing more to worry about!
In that case, you may want to take my first suggestion: find a way to love what you do. But there are people who will argue that it is better to follow your passion than being stuck in a job you don’t like just because of the economic reward it offers – money!
But then, the question will be, “Is making good money and following your passion mutually exclusive in the long run?” Maybe not…
But who says you can’t possibly find a job that you love that pays your bills too? Who says more money will not follow you if you follow your passion?
Why then are you feeling stuck doing the job you don’t love? Could it be because you are afraid of making the necessary changes in your personal goals? Or is it that you don’t want to leave your comfort zone? Or vacate certainty for uncertainty?
Overall, it could be very frustrating spending your valuable time (life) doing what you hate. On the other hand, doing what you love in the long run can:
1. Make you happier in life;
2. Boost your self-confidence and enthusiasm at the job;
3. Bring you some level of personal fulfilment you might not find doing something else;
4. Mean less frustration for you on the job;
5. Enable you to make more impact in your sphere of influence; and hopefully,
6. Bring you more reward (financial and/or otherwise).
Are you already doing what you love? And are you getting paid handsomely for doing it? I believe that’s what the author I cited earlier was angling for.
You too should get to the point of doing what you love and making money through it as well. It is possible. That’s where the ultimate fun and fulfilment are.
If you are already there, please enjoy it and don’t forget to share your story so that millions of people out there can learn from you. But it has to be said that everything is not about doing what you love and making much money through it. Adding value to people’s lives also matters.
Thank you for reading my thoughts. Share yours in the comment section.
Now that the year is ending, you can choose to focus on the things that made you happy on dwell on things that made you sad during the year. I will urge you to choose the former.
At one point or another during the outgoing year, just like anyone else, you might have experienced what someone described as “the good, the bad and the ugly.” But that doesn’t mean you should ‘kill’ yourself.
It is time to move on…
You have survived the year 2016, and 2017 is there for you to conquer. Do not jeopardise your interests in the new year by dwelling so much on the mistakes of the previous year.
There are more opportunities awaiting you in the coming years than the ones you might have lost in the past. Stay focused… you will get to the promised land.
So as you review your goals for 2016, here are some suggestions I will like to give you:
Find more reasons to be cheerful than you can find to be tearful.
Count your blessings, not your losses.
Focus on your gains rather than on your pains.
Be thankful for everything, and regretful for nothing.
Appreciate people and begrudge no one.
Be grateful for the answered prayers rather than be bitter about the yet-to-be-answered ones.
Think of the faces that smiled at you more than the ones that frowned at you.
Celebrate the positive developments in your life rather than continue to regret over the negative ones.
Be positive about life, not negative.
Embrace the new year with renewed hopes and vigour.
Whatever might have happened to you in 2016 is now in the past. There is no use crying over spilt milk if things didn’t work out well – the way you expected them to. It is now time to be ushered into the new year with new hopes and new aspirations.
Happy New Year!
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As we round off the year 2016, I wish to use this opportunity to appreciate every one of you for being there for me throughout the year. Without you, this blog would not have been a success so far in any way.
That you spend your valuable time to read my posts and the feedbacks you have given me till now have greatly encouraged me to keep on writing. So from the deepest enclave of my heart, I want to express my profound appreciations to:
Every one of you that visited the blog and read any of my posts.
Your time here means a lot to me. Now I know that I am not writing for myself alone. Thank you for visiting and reading. I am glad that the experience has been rewarding to you as some of you were kind enough to let me know.
Every one of you that showed you appreciated my articles by hitting that delightful button ‘Like.’
You put smiles on my face each time you clicked the ‘like’ button at the end of my posts. I would not know you liked my written thoughts without this recorded kind gesture.
You can only imagine how grateful I am to have you show that you liked any of my posts through that sublime button. Please keep the flag flying.
Every one of you that went the extra mile of commenting on my posts.
Not only did you read my thoughts, you also let me know yours through your comments in my posts. It doesn’t matter whether you agreed with my opinions or not, your comments are always welcome. I made sure I read all of them.
To me, your comments are like a goldmine; there are always some treasures to pick from there. In the coming year, I will be sharing some of the things I gained from reading your comments on my posts.
Every one of you that lent your voices to my posts by reblogging them on your sites or sharing them through any of your social media handles.
Considering the huge volume of posts churned out by bloggers on daily basis, it is privilege enough for me that you read my posts. That you went the extra mile to sharing them with your own followers or audiences, friends and families, was really fantastic. Thank you so much for the kind gesture.
Every one of you that follows the blog either through your WordPress accounts or through email subscriptions.
I greatly appreciate your interest in my posts and the awesome privilege you have given me to continuously share my thoughts with you. Thank you for the immense trust and loyalty reposed on me. The relationship has been mutually beneficial, I must say.
Every one of you that gave one suggestion or another that helped improved the readers’ experiences on this site.
I thank you all for sticking out your necks for me. I am not tired of taking your suggestions. So keep them coming. Smiles.
Every one of you that I followed your blogs, read your posts, commented on your posts, liked your posts or shared your posts.
Thank you for being a source of encouragement, information, education, inspiration, and even entertainment. One way or another, your blog was a blessing in the outgoing year. I look forward to reading from you again in the coming year.
I appreciate you all very much for all your immense support. The outgoing year 2016 has been great and the coming one, 2017, promises to be even greater.
I will be here for you. Please be there for me, as we continue joyously on this journey of inspiring one another to higher heights.
Everyone else not mentioned in any of the above categories.
I know some of you know Me already.
But many of you are yet to know Me personally.
You must have heard about Me before.
As my Name is regularly called amongst the nations.
I can see you feel happy this special season.
And I really like that… but you deserve much more.
I can feel the special and colourful atmosphere.
Pervading across many lands around the world.
The special emphasis on love and giving this season.
The special music playing in homes and malls for the same reason.
The beautiful decorations all around are all noticed.
All is well and good and appreciable.
You say it’s about a Baby that was born by a virgin.
You are right; it happened several centuries ago.
But do you know I Am that Baby?
Much more than that… I am the Lord and Saviour.
You commemorate My birthday yearly at Christmas.
Celebrating it by all means and ways possible.
Eating the best of meals and drinking the best of wines.
Exchanging gifts amongst yourselves.
You and everyone seem to be happy.
As you spend your time and money.
Visiting people and visiting places.
And throwing parties here and there.
You do all that because of Me?… fine!
But do you know what I really I want from you?
I mean, am I not the One you are celebrating?
At Least I should get a special gift from you!
But do you know the gift I ask of you?
I don’t really want your money.
I don’t want your sacrifices either.
I don’t want whatever you have to give.
You care to know what I really want from you?
I will tell you once again and again:
I want you to know Me personally.
That’s what I really want from you.
You can begin by giving Me your life.
I have given Mine to you already.
That was why I was born, you know!
That was why I lived and died!
It’s time you rewrote your life’s story.
It breaks my heart that year in year out.
You celebrate My birthday religiously.
Without knowing Me the true Celebrant.
Yes, I am the One you celebrate His birth at Christmas.
I am the “Reason for the Season.”
In case you haven’t noticed it before.
My name (Christ) is the main part of Christmas.
Yes, I am Christ the anointed One.
I am Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Son of God.
I was born, I lived, and I died for you.
All I want is for You to know Me personally.
I knew you before you were born.
I invite you to come and know Me now.
So we can be together forever in glory.
Through this life and the one to come.