What Are You Grateful For?

There is a saying in Nigeria that if you look carefully within or around you, you will definitely find something to be thankful for.

In other words, everyone has one reason or another to feel some sense of gratitude.

Look within you or around you.  Look back over the course of your life… l believe you should find some reasons to be grateful.

I dare say that it would not be correct for you to say there is nothing about you to be grateful for. So please don’t even go there…

Recently on my Facebook page, I asked this simple question:

Victor Uyanwanne asks a question on gratitude

The responses I received to that question are what I present to you in this post, with the hope that you too will join in the conservation aimed at identifying the things you are most grateful for in your life.

Interestingly, I didn’t have this post in mind when I asked that question. But as I examined the feedback I received, I began to feel the need to use them as basis to write this post.

The following points are the feedback I received from 4 respondents as the things they are grateful for:

1. My salvation. My parents for being there in my formative years. And many other things;

2. For God’s elaborate salvation plan that included me.

3. My salvation, and other priceless gifts too numerous to mention!

4. The legacy bequeathed me by my dad and mom.

All the responses came from very mature people (all of them over 50 years of age each). I would take that to mean that they know what they were talking about.

From the responses of these friends on Facebook, I was able to see that there are majorly two things they are grateful for:

1. For the salvation they have;

2. For the roles their parents played in their lives.

If necessary, I will explore this two reasons in subsequent blog posts. But here, let us just continue the conversation by having you identify what you are grateful for in life.


See also: What is your greatest joy in life?


Are you ready? Let me set the ball rolling.

Just like the above respondents, I am grateful to God for the salvation of my soul. But I’m more grateful that it happened early enough in life for me.

I gave my heart to God before my fourtheenth birthday. This has helped me in so many ways…

It helped me to form my values based on the word of God, shapened and steered my character – as a teenager then – in the right directions.

With my heart already dedicated to God, I found it easier to overcome peer pressure and other teenage vices that would have certainly led me in the wrong direction in life – away from God.

The core values that were instilled in me at that stage of life, have continually proved very useful in my adult life. For that I’m very grateful.

Let me not make this post about me only. It should be about all of us. So permit me to ask you the same question:

Looking back over your life these past years, what are the things you are most grateful for?

Kindly provide your answer in the comment section and thank you in advance for participating.


©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

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Echoes From My Heart 4

Words of inspiration from my heart

1. God knows what He is doing, even when it doesn’t appear so. Our walk with Him is a walk of faith, so we should just trust Him.

2. When you magnify God, you are dignified. Your personal dignity comes from your relationship with God. No true self-worth without an identity with God.

3. When anything or anyone is important to you, you will create time for it or for him/her. If you feel you don’t have time for God, it shows He is not your priority.

4. Many people are looking for love, but are unwilling to embrace God’s love for them. Be different because you will never find unconditional love anywhere else.

5. God is not mad at you. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross has appeased God’s anger towards humanity. So rather than run away from God, you should run to Him.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Stephen Hawking: Why I’m Sad About Him

Stephen Hawking
Source: Hawking.org.uk

It is no  longer news that the popular British physicist Stephen Hawking has passed on at the age of 76 years.

However, as his life is being celebrated around the world, it is imperative that we reflect on a few things we know about him.

In this post, we will take a look at some things we know about Stephen Hawking and the only reason I feel sad about him.

Writing  in Christianity Today about the death of Hawking, James Macintyre, described him as “the peerless scientist and leading atheist whose curiosity about the universe shaped our understanding of modern cosmology.”

Similarly, a statement reported to have been released by Hawking’s family announcing his death also recognised that “He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world.”

Snippets from Hawking’s biography

  • His full name is Professor Stephen William Hawking and was born on 8th January 1942  in Oxford, England;
  • He wanted to study mathematics at the University College, Oxford. But Mathematics was not available there, so he pursued physics instead;
  • In addition to the Phd he obtained in 1965, Hawkings had 13 honorary degrees in his life time;
  • At the age of 21, he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease which made doctors think he would die within 2 years. But he lived for additional 53 years;
  • He became wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication;
  • He published many books but the most popular ones include: A Brief History of TimeBlack Holes and Baby Universes and Other EssaysThe Universe in a NutshellThe Grand Design and My Brief History.
  • He had three children and three grandchildren.

We would all agree that Hawking was an extraordinary man by all means. But the only thing that makes me unhappy about him is to have heard that he remained an atheist throughout his life. And if that  report is true, then it saddens my heart to note that death has now made it too late for him to change his mind about the question of God.

Unfortunately, the same God whom he rejected on Earth will be the same God whom he, just like everyone else, would face in judgement.  As the Bible clearly states,

“Everyone must die once, and after that be judged by God”

(Hebrews 9:27, Good News Translation).

 

Reference:

Stephen Hawking, Brief Biography; http://www.hawking.org.uk/about-stephen.html, accessed 14/03/2018

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

5 Things That Do Not Make You A Disciple Of Christ

Many people claim to be Christians but they are not. And if one is not a Christian, he or she cannot be  called a disciple of Christ.

Without a personal faith in the finished work of Christ, one could not be called a Christian.

Things that don't make you are ChristianIn this post, we will examine 5 things that though they may appear good in themselves, they are not sufficient to qualify one as a Christian or a disciple of Christ.

1. Having Christian parents.

Yes, you are not a Christian simply because your parents are Christians.

Anyone can become a disciple of Christ irrespective of whether their parents know Christ or not. It is a personal decision. This is where those who see themselves as cultural Christians miss the point.

You are privileged if you have Christian parents. But that does not automatically make you a Christian or a disciple of Christ.

To become a Christian, you will have to enter into a personal relationship with God by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Your parents cannot do it on your behalf; it has to be a personal, conscious decision only you can take for yourself.

 2. Being a member of a local church

Christians go to Church, but truly speaking, not everyone who goes to Church are Christians or disciples of Christ.

Being a registered member of a local Church is good, but it is not the ultimate. Many people are members of the physical church, but they are not members of the spiritual one. Such people are not disciples of Christ.

The Church is the spiritual body of all believers in Christ on Earth irrespective of where he or she lives.

Despite being a member of a local church, you are not a disciple of Christ if you do not belong to the spiritual church, which salvation in Christ offers automatic membership to.

Church
Source: Pinterest

3. Giving a part of your income to God.

Some people feel that because they regularly give the tithe, donations or other forms of giving to the church they have earned their rights to be Christians or children of God. Far from it!

Irrespective of your level of financial support to a local church, you still have to get to the point of having to have personally committed your life to Christ in faith before Heavens can recognise you as a bonafide child of God.

Unfortunately, so many people there are that give money in church every Sunday who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. And as such, they are not disciples of Christ.

4. Fasting and praying.

You can engage regularly in prayer and fasting but that doesn’t make you a disciple of Christ.  A good Christian should fast and pray as the needs arise, but fasting and prayer doesn’t make you a good Christian.

For your prayer and fasting to be meaningful, you have to have a personal relationship with the Lord to whom the prayers are directed.

Without complete trust in the finished work of the Cross, prayer and fasting profits little or nothing.

5. Doing good

Anyone can do good to people; even atheists do some form of good deeds.

You do not have to be a disciple of Christ to do some form of good to other people. But you cannot earn being a child of God or a follower of Jesus Christ by doing good. It is however expected that the disciples of Christ should do good.

In summary, having Christian parents, belonging to a local church, praying and fasting, doing good deeds are good in themselves but they are not what make you a Christian or a disciple of Christ.

To be a christian truly, you will have to have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. In other words, you must accept Jesus as your Lord and personal Saviour.

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

Be an Atheist if You Want

Atheists are people who say there is no God. I mean, that is what they say! But it doesn’t mean their position is correct.

It couldn’t be, because we know better: God exists. But do you know what, it doesn’t really matter; whether people believe that God exists or not, it does not invalidate who He is.

Being an atheist does not reduce who God is

Be an atheist if you want. Remain one if you have been. But know that it is in your better interest to believe in God than to believe that He doesn’t even exist.

For the records. God is God all by Himself, and He will continue to be God all by Himself till eternity.

Neither you who do not believe in God nor I who does believe in Him have anything to add to who God is. He is the all-sufficient One.

I believe in God at my own risk. You disbelief in Him at your own risk as well. So what’s all this argument about whether God exists or not?

I am convinced that God exists and I try to live my life to please Him. So it is understandable if I am filled with God-consciousness  every time. In fact that is what is expected from me.

How about you? It should be a different thing all together, but it isn’t.

You are convinced God doesn’t exist. Right? Why then don’t you get on with your life and forget about all this diatribe on the notion of God’s existence? Can you do you that? May be, you can’t after all!

Honestly, I don’t even understand you! Why do you get yourself so worked-up trying to prove that the non-existent God does not exist? It doesn’t sound logical… Are you even sure of what you claim?

I say that God exists, you get displeased. Why? Should you be annoyed about Someone who is non-existent?

You have said with your own mouth that God doesn’t exist yet all your discussions and writings are not complete except there is a reference to God. Why should you be bothered so much to talk about God if you truly believe He doesn’t exist?

Somehow, I believe that even though you call yourself an atheist, you know in your innermost heart that God exists, but you just don’t want to acknowledge it. As usual, you will deny that you know… But I am hardly surprised.

May be we should settle it this way: I believe in God through Jesus Christ, leave me to enjoy the benefits of it here on earth and in the world to come. You deny that God exists, feel free to savour the ‘benefits’ of that here on earth and in the world to come.

One day, both of us, individually, will stand before the God whom you deny…

Are you all right with that? So continue to be an atheist if you want. Don’t give it up!

Did I just say that you can remain in your atheism? Oh please pardon me! What I really mean is for you to come out from atheism to God and out of foolishness into truth.

  • Foolishness, because atheism is foolishness. According to the Bible, only a fool can say that God doesn’t exist. (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). It is deception to think that it is wisdom to deny the existence of God.
  • Truth, because God exists and it is something you will get to acknowledge one day – either willingly on your own while you are still alive on earth or by default (force) after the breath of life is gone from you. By then, it would have been too late.

 

Every one must confess there is God - Victor Uyanwanne
Billy Graham. Source: Billygraham.org

For those who arrogantly declare that God does not exist and rail against any mention of His Name, the Scriptures declare all people everywhere will one day confess that indeed there is a God… Until then, we must understand that all men—atheist, agnostic, secularist, humanist, moral and immoral, educated and uneducated—are under God’s judgment apart from saving faith in Christ… Billy Graham

Perhaps I should say this as a parting shot:

The God that you say doesn’t exist loves you unconditionally. All He wants from you is a relationship with Him by faith through His Son Jesus Christ.

What do you say?

©Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

When You Find Yourself Answering Questions on an Atheist’s Blog

Victor Uyanwanne

Recently, I commented on a post appearing on the blog The Closet Atheist. Following that comment, I found myself also responding to other comments clearly directed at me by some readers of that blog whom I perceived to be atheists.

Amongst other issues raised, the author while relating his experience in a so-called secular university in defence of the purported claims of an unnamed professor from an unidentified Christian college, ostensibly suggested that Christians think that atheists must be savages – brutal and vicious, lacking in morality – because they have rejected the notion of God…

My initial response to that post and part of the conversations that later ensued between other readers and I form the bulk of the texts presented in this post:

My initial response…

The point of being a Christian is not on the basis of simple morality… It is about having a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. One is not a Christian if that understanding is not there, including the so-called Christians cited in your statistics.

Even if someone rejects the notion that God exists, that doesn’t automatically make such one a ruthless savage, contrary to the picture painted in the post. That much is clear to me and to most other true believers in God.

Besides, there are already enough laws in the civilised world to hold people accountable for their behaviours.

What should bother one is the eternal consequence of a disposition that rejects God. And it would be laughable to suggest that the Creator will have no way of holding His creatures accountable.

Let me add that the whole notion of God is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented: Misunderstood by those who don’t believe in His existence and sometimes misrepresented by those who do.

God loves everybody

For the records, God loves everyone -whether they believe in Him or not. And contrary to the picture you painted, He loves gay people too – although the gay lifestyle is what He doesn’t approve of – according to Biblical guidelines which clearly show that heterogeneous relationship is God’s perfect plan for mankind.

God gave us a special gift called freewill. Unfortunately some of us are using it against Him. But we can never outsmart Him. In any case, we make our choices and our choices make us.

The aftermath…

God’s love and hellfire?

One of the readers took the reference to God’s love out of context by bringing in the issue of hellfire, saying:

“So, he (God) loves us so much he invented Hell to reinforce that fact? Sheol wasn’t good enough, so he had to up the ante? Misunderstanding is not the sole province of unbelievers. Believers seem to believe what they want to believe and disregard the rest.”

Well, I was obliged to respond to that as well:

God loves us so much He has made a way for us to have an eternal relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Hell wasn’t originally meant for human beings. It was meant for the devil and his demons. Unfortunately, anyone who rejects God has sided with the devil. As a result, such people will end up where the devil himself will end up.

Believers in God don’t believe what they want to believe as you suggested. What they believe about God is what God’s book, the Bible, says about Him. It is another thing if one doesn’t accept the authority of the Bible.

Talking about Freewill

The reference to freewill in my initial comment appeared to have been misunderstood by some of the readers of that blog who commented.

One of them questioned, “…People rape, murder, abuse, rob and torture because YHWH has given them free will? So, his sovereignty allows their heinous crimes to happen?…”

“…Yes God is responsible for giving humans the freewill,” I replied, “but He is not responsible for what we do with it…

We would be mere robots if God took away our freewill. That’s why it is important He left it with us. He gave us the CHOICE…”

Along the same line, another reader scoffed the idea that we have freewill saying, “Some guy is raping a woman and he says, “But officer, free will!”. Would that fly in court? lol.”

To that I responded:

That was never implied in my comment. But I did say that everyone would be held accountable for whatever he or she did with their freewill.

Of course, freewill as an excuse to commit rape (or any other  crime at that) will not fly in court. The rapist will be judged according to the law.

In the same way, God will eventually judge everyone who rejects Him based on their freewill.

The moral compass inside every man

Speaking further, another reader opined, “The moral argument for God’s existence just shows an ignorance of the field of ethics in general. There are many accounts of morality without God, but apologists won’t even address them. Most of the time they pretend that they don’t exist.”

To that claim, I simply pointed out that:

God is the original Source of morality. Inside every man is a moral compass called the conscience. And whether we agree or not, it was God who put it there.

Feel free to lend your voice to the discourse.

Atheists Know There is a God, But…

Atheists know there is a God even though they wouldn’t admit it. And it seems to me that the more their hearts condemn them, the harder they try to put up the front that denies the existence of God.

If atheists truly believe that God does not exist, why does it bother them so much when we say He does? I believe their conscience is working them up!

There is no excuse good enough to justify a disbelief in the existence of God.

The Scriptures tell us that the things in us and outside us bear evidence that God exists. So one must have suppressed this knowledge of God over time to reach the point where one can willfully and deliberately assert that there is no God.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1:20-22.

Professing to be wise, they became foolish

That statement aptly describes the situation of atheists. Their so-called wisdom in denying the existence of God is at the same time their foolishness.

Just like every human being born into this world, they were not born without an inkling of the knowledge of God. Rather, out of their own sheer volition, they gradually stifled the voices in their hearts which tell them that there is a God.

And in “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” I could say I have observed that firsthand more than a few times…

In the last one and half years, I have written some posts specifically targeting atheists or those who say there is no God. Following those posts, I have also been involved with series of online conversations with some atheists, both on this blog and across my Twitter handle.

Atheists

During our discussions, I could see that many of them tend to assume an air of superiority in knowledge. They seem to want to show that they have read so many books, and have known much about the universe, life and existence to know that God does not exist. And nothing could be farther from the truth!

We know who the foolish one is

Granted, some of the atheists I have encountered are quite knowledgeable! To that extent, they appear to think that we believers must be foolish to believe that God exists. But any form of knowledge that denies the existence of God is not a correct knowledge.

Atheists may be wise in their own eyes, calling us, believers, uninformed. But between they and us, the Bible is very clear about who the foolish one is:

The fool says in his heart that there is no God… Psalm 14:1

Those words were spoken over two thousand years ago and they still hold as true today as they have always done. According to the Bible, it is the person that says God doesn’t exist that qualifies to be called a fool, not the one that believes in His existence.

Another thing I observed from my conversations with atheists is that they are not absolutely sure that God doesn’t exist as they would want to claim. In their unguarded moments they do make claims or raise objections that presuppose that there must be a God. Yet they are reluctant to admit it.

In other words, I could surmise that many atheists are living in self-denial when they say that God doesn’t exist, because deep in their hearts they know that they are wrong.

A wicked, loveless non-existent God, Really?

On one occasion, a self-professed atheist got carried away during our conversations and he kept saying, God is wicked, God doesn’t love humans, God enjoys to see people suffer, etc. Really?

I couldn’t hold back asking him, “How can the God you say doesn’t exist be wicked and loveless? How can He even enjoy the suffering in the world except He exists in the first place?”

You see, that atheist knows there is God. May be what he doesn’t understand is the nature or character of God.

It is one thing to doubt the goodness; of God and another to claim His non-existence. I think that so-called atheist got it completely mixed up…

No matter how hard they try, atheists would never be able to prove that there is no God. (We know He does exist!). The more they try to do so, the more of their folly they put on display.

All atheist know there is God

God exists, and anyone who seeks Him with all his or her heart will find Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jeremiah 29:13.

When a Princeton educated atheist cried out to God

It is a hard truth, but it still has to be said again: Deep in their hearts, atheists know there is a God, but they just don’t want to admit it.

In his book, The War Is Over,  Andrew Wommack expressed it better when he wrote that:

(Atheists) know that there is a God. It is just a lie (when they say there is no God). You don’t have to try and convince people of their need for God. Everybody in their heart already knows it. Every body!

For emphasis sake, let’s echoe it again: everybody, including atheists, already know in their hearts that there is a God… They may deny it or suppress the knowledge, but they still know!

To further illustrate his point, Wommack tells of an experience with an educated atheist who cried out to God to save him when he faced enemy-attacks during the Vietnamese-American war:

While I was an American soldier in Vietnam, many told me they were atheists. I remember one guy, a Princeton educated atheist, made me look like an absolute fool because he was a better talker than I was. But when the bombs started dropping and the bullets began to fly, this guy cried out to the God he said he didn’t believe in… saying “Oh God save me!” It’s all just a mind game let them get into a life-and-death situation and they will say, Oh God help me!”

The question is, if the atheist Andrew refered to truly believed there was no God, why did he cry out to Him for help when his life was in danger?

Your comments are welcome.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

Echoes From My Heart 2

1. If what you hold so dear to your heart is taken away from you, will your centre still hold?

2. If you have not made peace with your Creator, nothing on earth will truly satisfy you.

3. You may not know what is in someone’s heart until you hear him or her speak.

4. Good counsel can sometimes come from unexpected sources.

Getting your hope back

5. Understand that sometimes, your friends may not give you the best advice.

6. My life is not floating. It is anchored on God.

7. Without God, life doesn’t make a complete sense.

8. The prosperity in the church of God is a welcome development. The devil and his cohorts can continue to be pained.

9. If you have lost hope in life, please get it back.

10. God is bigger than all your problems. Focus on Him and not on your problems.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

Being A Cultural Christian Is Not Enough

I’m A Christian Atheist.” How Possible?

Recently, I heard something on an international news channel that I consider worth talking about here. An aged author and ostensibly an intellectual man who was being interviewed about a book he wrote (amongst other things) was asked:

“You are an atheist and a Christian. How is that possible?”

“I’m a cultural Christian: I’m a Christian by my culture, but not one by my belief,” he replied.

Really? An atheist and Christian in the same breadth?

Can someone be a Christian who does not believe in God?

The answer is obvious!

Unfortunately, this man in question is not the only one making this type of “cultural” mistake. There are people around the world who think that they are Christians simply because of the home or geographical location they were born into.

Those things as factors may exert some influences on who you become but they are not what will make you a Christian. And of course, being a Christian goes beyond being born into, or living in, any of the so-called christian nations.

I would like to further explore this topic in subsequent posts, but here it suffices to say that being a Christian is not about the culture you were born into or the one you live in. It is about you having a personal relationship with God through faith in His son Jesus Christ.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12

Unlike the man mentioned above, it is not enough to to see yourself as a cultural Christian; you should be a Christian by heart as well.

In the first place, being a Christian presupposes that you believe in God. And in fact, a Christian does not only believe in God, he or she also believes in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

It is therefore a mistaken identity to be called a Christian if you don’t believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.

What do you think?

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

Does God Have A Purpose For A Child Born Out Of Rape?

Disclaimer: This post is not an endorsement of rape. It is a humble reflection on the realisation that God can bring out utmost good from a bad situation (such as pregnancy from rape) if we let Him.

God has a purpose for everyone, including a child who is a product of rape. I hope that is not contrary to what you may have been told before now? If it is, feel free to leave me a comment at the end of the post.

However, the fact that God does have a purpose for children born out of rapes does not mean that it is the will of God for such rapes to happen. Rapes happen as a consequence of the depravity of the human nature, not by divine orchestration.

I did not say it was God’s plan to have me raped.  That’s insane! Human beings make their own decisions, good and evil, and we all live with the consequences of those every day.  I don’t believe the “rape pregnancy” was a gift.  I believe my son was — not BECAUSE he was conceived in rape, but in spite of it. Jennifer Christie, A rape survivor, in My son was conceived in rape, but his life has dignity and a purpose.

It is God’s will that even when rapes happen (and  pregnancies result), we can trust Him to bring out some good out of the horrendous experience. He is the only One that has the absolute capacity to bring good out of such evil.

One good outcome from such ‘evil’ cases I heard about, forms the basis for writing this post.

Over one weekend recently, I had a swell time listening to some soul-lifting messages on SoundCloud. In one of the messages, the late popular International Speaker, from the Bahamas, Dr. Myles Monroe, said something that I found very interesting and worthy of further exploration.

“It doesn’t matter whether you were born within or outside wedlock,” said Dr Monroe, “God still has a purpose for you. One of the greatest men in the world today is James Robison and he was a product of rape. He is doing many great things for humanity…”

James Robison
James & Betty Robison Photo Credits: JamesRobison.net/about

Pastor James Robison, a product of rape? I wasn’t sure about that claim but it got me really curious. So I had to check it out…

Prior to the point where Robison was mentioned in that message as a child born out of rape, Dr Monroe was explaining the fact that God has a purpose for every one of us, irrespective of the circumstances of our birth. And that purpose was pre-determined long before we were conceived.

As he put it, “Your purpose in life precedes your conception.” In other words, God had determined your purpose even before you were formed in your mother’s womb.

I agree with the assertion because it is in line with what God said to Jeremiah, for instance, when he was being called to ministry:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5.

God knew Jeremiah even before He was formed in his mother’s womb. And He had a purpose for him before he was born.

Isn’t it wonderful that God has had a purpose for you too even before you were born?

Our finite mind may not be able to fully comprehend the import of that in all its ramifications. But God cannot lie. As He said He knew Jeremiah before he was conceived,  and had a purpose for him that preceded his birth, then that’s the truth we can hold on to!

Consider the case of our Lord Jesus as well. Even before He was born, God, through an Angel had announced both His name and purpose to His ‘father’ Joseph:

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. Matt. 1:20-21 (Emphasis mine).

Back to the question of God having a purpose for a product of rape. Yes, even a child born out of rape has a purpose from God. Let’s take a closer look at the case in point.

The James Robison’s case

I didn’t know very much about Robison before now, so I had to do some findings to cross-check the claim that he was born out of a sexual encounter that his mum was forced into. And it didn’t take me much time to find that information available in the public space corroborated the story.

In an interview with Scott Ross of the CBN’s 700 Club, Robison himself summarised the circumstances of his conception as follows,

[I am] a product of rape. My mother was a practical nurse and was raped by the alcoholic son of the elderly man she cared for. It was a forced – I don’t think we would call it violent – but he forced his affections on her, and at age 40 she conceived me.

Today, this so-called product of rape is now a notable pastor, televangelist, theologian, author and a founder of an international humanitarian agency which  embarks on many relief efforts, bringing smiles to many needy people across the world.

So indeed God can use anyone, even a product of rape, to do great things. But we will miss out on them except we give them a chance for life. Pastor James Robison is a living example!

When pregnancy results from a rape, many people will take it as a good enough ground to abort the baby. But there can be an exception to that kind of natural response if one understands that God has a purpose for everyone including those that are products of rapes.

Do you have a comment? If yes, talk to me in the comment section.

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

The Spotlight Is On You

Every day, you watch other people do their thing. They get the applause. They get rewarded or awarded…

They are the cynosure of all eyes. No one seems to have  noticed you. And you wonder –

When am I going to be on the centre stage?

The truth is that right now, you are already on the centre stage of life. Believe it!

The Spotlight is on you, now –  whether you realise it or not.

And even if no one seems to be watching you, remember God is watching.

All eyes may not be on you, but God’s eyes are on you

Act well…

This life is your one chance to leave a positive mark. You cannot live it twice.

Make the most of it.

No compromises. Do your best and be your best.

Wherever you are, whatever you do, the spotlight is always on you because God is always watching you.

 

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

A Conversation With A Jewish Atheist

Some Jews do not believe in God

Introduction

I see myself as a follower of Jesus Christ, who believes in the existence of the Sovereign God and whom I fully recognise as the Creator of heaven and earth and the entire universe. Having grown up in a religious country – although I did not get to accept Jesus  Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour until I was  a teenager – I can recall no time in my life that I ever doubted the existence of God.

But as I grew older, it began to dawn on me that not everyone believes that God exists. Not only that, I also came to realise that there are people whom it is that they do not believe in God, they as well either go out of their way engaging in (fruitless) exercises to ‘prove’ that God does not exist or make all efforts to discredit the notion of God in the hearts of people. These are some of the kind of people I have encountered on this platform.

Before I began posting on this blog, I never got to meet an avowed atheist face to face (I still haven’t met one yet). But after a few posts deliberately targeted at the (unknown) atheistic audience, I began to be engaged in multiple online conversations by self-proclaimed atheists on the internet. Some of those conversations were reasonable while many others were nothing but properly orchestrated hostile attacks from faceless people who claimed God does not exist.

As it turned out, one of the people who engaged me in a most reasonable manner told me he is a Jew but he does not believe in God. A few years ago, the thought of a Jew that does not believe in God, would been nothing but preposterous to me; I would have sincerely thought that all Jews believe in the existence of God, although I am aware that many of them deny Christ His Son. But the sad reality is that even though the revelation of the true God came by the Jews to the world, most Jews in the modern world have turned secular, without retaining any belief in the supreme Being.

In this post, I present to you an online conversation I had with a Jew who claimed he does not believe in God. Enter the conversation, in its original state!

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Rejection of all religions

Jayson: 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.

Me: Jason, 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 helped me 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 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 attempting to reach God, whereas Christianity is God reaching out to man.” 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

Thank you.

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More Insights on the journey to atheism

Jayson: 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 also blasphemed the Holy Spirit.

The god of the three monotheistic faiths is a sado-masochistic tyrant who creates us sick and demands us to be well, at the threat of eternal hellfire. What a spoiled twat. Who needs that?

Me: Jason, 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 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 two times a week, ate holy communion, partake 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.

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 with Satan. 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. We definitely need that God who has made a way of escaping hell through faith in Christ. Regards.

Conversations with atheists 2

Did Jason ever know Jesus as his Saviour?

Jayson: 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.

Me: I read your comments again Jason. I am glad that you also took 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 that any god claimed to have died and resurrected?

Dear Jason, God is real and so is Jesus Christ His son. The proof is in me and in any one 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. 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.””

At this juncture, Anne of FREEDOMBORN … AUSSIE CHRISTIAN FOCUS (lent me a helping hand with answering Jayson)

Great Message Victor, I was wondering if Jason has died and come back to be so certain there is no God or Heaven or Hell. We have our assurance through The Holy Spirit and as you shared Victor, we can see God in Creation so there will be no excuse. Also The Bible confirms God’s reality without a doubt; there are Truths that only God could have known when He had man record them, such as that the world was round when everyone believed it was flat because they had no other way of knowing and D.N.A which you can read about on the link below, also proves we could not have evolved from animals and there are other Truths too that only God could have known.

Creation – https://freedomborn.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/wow-a-new-missing-link-has-been-found/

Having been an Atheist for almost 30 years, (well I was one in my head not my heart or I would still be one), I was deceived as a young Teenager that I came from an Ape and Jesus who was my Best Friend and the Bible were just made up. I know Satan’s lies and God’s Truth shows without doubt they are lies.

I don’t accept that anyone has the right to reject their Creator but they do have free will to choose to do so and they are also choosing their own Destiny which will be a eternal suffering, it is clear Jason hasn’t asked the right questions so does not have the right answers, sad but True!

Christian Love – Anne.

Me: Thank you Anne for your contribution. Your points were very clear.

Finding the proof of God

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Jayson: Victor, you seem very nice and patient. I’m sure you’re a pleasant person to be around.

I may need to define proof in this case. Something that can be seen, tested, and repeated, like gravity. You can test gravity. Anyone can. It hasn’t been disproven yet.

You can’t test god. There is no way to see that someone is there. I could find no proof of him as much as I wanted to. And the proofs mentioned in the link: Points 1-4 have explanations in science. They’re not explanations that require faith. They’re explanations that you can see for yourself in local university or college. You can email the people who study the world and universe around us. You can also study their tests and see their failures and successes. Points 5 & 6 are completely subjective. 5 especially – last I looked, there was no one chasing me. I’m 100% confident of it. 6 is also incredibly subjective as any other worshiper of any other god, Islam is a hot topic now so I’ll go with that, can state the exact same thing about their god or belief.

Death and resurrection is a common theme in other religions. Yes, I’ve heard of other gods that died and resurrected. Here’s some proof for you: http://listverse.com/2013/03/30/10-resurrected-religious-figures/

Finally, there are over 5000 gods worshipped today. Isn’t it convenient that yours is the right one? And that the thousands of others have the same conviction of faith about their gods as you do with yours. Very convenient. And yes, Jesus has many counterparts in other ancient religions. I should have been more specific mentioning Horus, an Egyptian god, instead of Zeus. Though the Greeks and Romans have their counterparts predating Jesus’ time. Sorry for the rabbit trail…

What’s not tyrannical about a being that is solely responsible for bestowing life, tossing his creation into hell for a disease he’s not responsible for, to be punished terribly for eternity? God has to keep this person alive to suffer. Forever. I don’t think tyrannical is a strong enough word and doubt that one exists in any language to accommodate that level of savagery.

I’ll close with a small thought experiment. I’m interested to hear your response to this question more than anything else.

Stare at a dark sky and consider any one of the dots of light… “for any length of time and then try to convince yourself that God created the whole Universe for one of the 10 million or so species of life that inhabit that speck of dust [in this case Earth]. Now take it a step further: Imagine that everything was made just for a single shade of that species, or gender, or ethnic or religious subdivision. If this doesn’t strike you as unlikely, pick another dot [another star in the sky]. Imagine it to be inhabited by a different form of intelligent life. They, too, cherish the notion of a God who has created everything for their benefit. How seriously do you take their claim?” Excerpt From: Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan. “Pale Blue Dot.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/dm6Yz.l

Me: Jason, thank you very much for the generous compliment. That was huge coming from you.

Permit me to add that I have not always been like that. It was the ‘knowing’ of Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour that gradually transformed my life. What you described of me as being “very nice and patient” is a veritable manifestation of what we refer to as the fruit of the Holy Spirit (in this case, love and patience) in the life of a believer in Christ. Religion didn’t give them to me but Relationship (with Jesus Christ) did.

I am glad you had time to explore the “Is There God” link I recommended. Did you notice that it was written by a former atheist? That speaks volume on its own!

Your observations that her “Points 1-4 have explanations in science. They’re not explanations that require faith. They’re explanations that you can see for yourself in local university or college” are very correct. Sincerely, you got the point there! Even the writer subtitled the article as “….straightforward REASONS to believe that God is really there” (emphasis mine). I assume she had people like you in mind when she penned that piece.

It has never been that the evidences that God exists are not there. But it’s just that some people have chosen to close their minds on them! Recall that you had indicated you were only interested in ‘things around you,’ that you don’t believe in God. I had also mentioned that even things we see around us have eloquent evidences that prove the existence of God, as the article you read so succinctly explained.

You see Jason, it is not everything, however, that can be seen or tested. But the fact that they can’t be tested doesn’t preclude their existence. For instance, we were told in elementary science that we can’t see air. But who will doubt that it exists? “Of course no one!” you would say.

Secondly, I know you do not see gravity with your eyes, but you acknowledged that it exists. In the same way, it is true we don’t see God but we know by faith that He exists. And some of the physical evidences of God’s existence you already have acknowledged to have been scientifically established. Those evidences were neither the product of the so-called evolution nor the aftermath of the ridiculous big bang theory. But they are the handiwork of the Creator God.

However, don’t you know that science itself is very limited in some way? It can ‘test’ only things in the physical realm – things that can be felt, heard, tasted, seen and perceived. But beyond the experiences we get in the physical world (as passed to us by our natural five senses), there is also the spiritual world, which science at its best cannot explain. That’s the truth my dear Jason!

God is a spirit and the Bible says those that worship Him must worship in Spirit and in truth. It is not everything about God that can be scientifically proven. Can you subject a Spirit Being to the crucibles of science? Impossible! This is where faith comes in. “Without faith”, the Bible says “it is impossible to please God.” I guess this is where the lacuna exists for people like you who doubt the existence of the living God!

You said that death and resurrection are common themes in religion. Well I can assure you that those concepts do not compare to how Christianity speaks about them. The crux of Christianity is the reality of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the salvation of mankind. This alone sets Christianity light years apart from the so-called other religions.

Jason, Jesus Christ is the only One whom I ever know who declared “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18). He was dead, but He resurrected, never to die again. Are those gods you mentioned still speaking or changing lives today as Jesus Christ is doing? I would say an emphatic NO!

I explored the link to the purportedly resurrected gods you forwarded to me. I observed (not surprised though) that there was nothing fantastic about the so-called gods you referred to; nothing inspiring – all dead stories of dead selfish gods. It leaves me curious why you seemed to have faith in them and yet you claim you don’t believe in the living God that we are talking about here, whom it was that raised Jesus Christ from the dead!

For the records, Jason, I was not born a Christian. In fact no one is born a Christian. (Hope that didn’t surprise you). One becomes a Christian only when one is able to willfully and knowingly by faith ask Jesus Christ to be one’s Lord and Personal Saviour. It is not something inherited, not something that can be forced. It is entirely by choice – the choice of the individual God-seeker.

Those who say they are Christians by birth or by association have only experienced religion and not the Relationship that Christ offers. So I did not believe in God out of convenience as you suggested, but out of my discovery of Him as the only true God, who gave His son to die for me to restore my relationship with Him.

Therefore, again Jason, I say that it is incorrect for you to say that God is a tyrant who threatens to throw us into hell if we don’t believe in Him. Don’t you realise that if what you said was true of God, you wouldn’t be alive here to be engaging in this discourse with me? Because He sure has the power to throw you into hell at once! (Pun intended please). Indeed, God is a God of love, mercy and grace! You believe, you receive!

More so, the first commandment of God remember, is, “Thou shall not have any other God before Me.” So I do not reckon with any of the over 5,000 gods you referred to. But that doesn’t stop me from loving the people that follow those gods; (as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are able to love people whether they believe in our God or not). I can only wish and pray that the followers of the other gods (some of them at least) will one day come to the knowledge of the only true God. After all, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way” until some of us embraced the saving grace God made available to all mankind in Jesus Christ.

If you say Islam is ‘hot’ these days, may be it is for those who are looking for religion. But some of us are not looking for a religion… What we have is a relationship with God through Christ. The difference between the two is enormous.
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Many years ago, a classmate of mine who is a renowned adherent of Islam asked me why I follow Jesus Christ. I answered Him it is because Jesus said He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH and THE LIGHT and that He is the only way to God. I asked Him in return if their Prophet ever said any such thing. He said no. Someone else later told me that their Prophet even said he didn’t know ‘the way’ when his disciples asked him to show them the way. Are you still surprised that I am following JESUS CHRIST, THE WAY? Smiles!

Finally, Jason, I did not really get the clear relationship between the ‘experiment’ you used to conclude your comment and the point of our discourse. It was just too hypothetical to be taken as a valid basis to advance a serious argument of this nature. But I didn’t fail to notice that the writers alluded to God being the creator of the universe. (That alone is significant).

Their argument seemed to bother on ‘whom’ the creations were made for, rather than on whether or not there is a creator in the first place. In any case, as my closing response to that, I will use the following quotations from the Bible which clearly identifies the Creator and the purpose of all creations:

“Thou art worthy, o Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou [God] hast created all things, and for thy [God’s] pleasure they are and were created” Revelation 4:11.

Jason, I know this was a very long response. So I thank you immensely for your time.

Atheism vs Theism

JaysonThat was a long response! It’s been nice talking with you, Victor. We clearly have vastly different world views. I’m not going to counter this due to time and I feel it will not do either of us much good. I have given up on believing in God, and being Jewish, I have absolutely zero interest in adding a 2000 year-old Jew (that got into a lot of trouble with the Romans) to the equation.

However, I do want to point out that patience is not a character trait available only in Christians. I am Jewish (yes, a secular Jew), and have several secular & religious Jewish friends that are exceedingly patient. Additionally, I have several non-Jewish secular friends that are also patient. You can rest assured that you can meet people that are not Christian and possess immense patience.

Take care. Thanks for the fun.
Jason

Me: You got me smiling Jason. It’s been nice talking with you too.

I would say I agree with your position to a great extent this time around. But I was surprised to hear that you were a Jew. I know that Jewish people believe in God, even though some do not recongnise Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

I pray that one day, you find reason to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour. He is the only hope of mankind in time and in eternity.

God loves you Jason and so do I. Regards.

More conversations…

Some parts of this conversations with Jay had previously been published under the series, conversation with an atheist. After reading them, Jayson showed up again and so the conversations continued:

Jayson: Victor, thank you for keeping these posts true to our conversation.

When I began commenting on your post, it was mainly for being in a bit of a mood as I had recently discussed atheism with a new Christian, and was in a bit of an ire.

I was once a devout believer. If you, or your commenters had met me, you would have accepted me as one of your own. But it was in the midst of sorrow, hopelessness, and storm that I could not find his comfort, joy, and protection – the time when I needed it more than any other in my life. My wife was recovering from cancer and our best friend was losing their child.

The loss of faith was not instant. It took years to happen. But the questions those events generated could not be sustained by faith. Faith had no answers. Faith could not make sense of these events. In turn, these events opened my eyes to the suffering not only of humanity but also to the cold indifference of nature to all of life. Then there was the matter of the thousands other faiths that exist and the sincerity and devotion to which those people practiced and believed. Then there was the idea that if other life exists in the universe, if they held similar convictions of faith to their own gods, what would be the likelihood of us believing them?

The answers Faith provided were superficial and only created more questions. The answers to those were problematic in that they only led to conflict.

There are numerous directions to take the conversation. I’ve been working on a writing project for some months to put my own path into order. I’m considering to publish it, and if you think it would be helpful for you and readers to learn another worldview (not convince of disbelief), I’m happy to start putting something together. What do you think?

Me: Jason, nice to have you back here. Not being true to the discussion we had as published here would have amounted to misrepresentation. And I wouldn’t do that!

Sorry to hear about your wife’s cancer. I hope she fully recovered. And your friend’s child too…my heart goes out to them.

Concerning all the issues you raised, please allow me to respond later. For I now I am exhausted from the day’s work and so in dire need of a good sleep. Thank you.

Jayson: No worries. I wasn’t expecting a diatribe.

The following day….

Me: Hello Jason, please further to my earlier response to your comment, here are my additional thoughts as I promised. The issues you raised were many so I take it that my (usual) long response here will not bore you.

I really appreciate the fact that you commented on the initial post. Our exchanges so far have turned that post into one of the most viewed single item on this blog. I have you to thank for it.

Jason, I know by experience that (Christian) faith has answers; answers to issues of this life and the life hereafter. The issue is that sometimes, the answers don’t please the sensual person. More so, the Christian living is a walk by faith, not by sight. That’s why so many people do miss it.

Life can be so hard sometimes that we begin to question the love of God. But it doesn’t invalidate the love. In the midst of our crisis, God promises to be with us all the way. And He comforts us through the Holy Spirit, whom we know as our comforter. God never promised us a storm-free voyage in life, but He did promise a safe-landing.

With regard to the issue of unanswered questions you had, I concede that not all questions can be resolved on this side of life. But I will tell you that there are sufficient answers in the Bible to refresh an unbiased mind. Even the fact that we may never know everything in this life is also clearly stated in the Bible.  But “He is at peace, whose mind is stayed on God.”

Jason, except you are a NASA staff, I do not see why you had to worry if other life exists outside the earth or what ‘they’ believe ‘over there’ for that matter (Pun intended please). As for me, I am satisfied with Biblical explanation that God gave the earth to man to inhabit. The (unproven) possibility of life existing in other parts of the universe, could never stop me from believing in God, the Father of Jesus Christ.

The other thousands of faith you referred to exist because human beings, irrespective of geographical locations, have always felt the need to know “God”. So in a bid to meet this need, they invented various ways to try reaching the “God” they somehow “felt’ in their inner enclaves. This was what gave (and is still giving) rise to the multiplicity of faiths you talked about.

Sadly, these efforts of man inventing ways to please or reach God, have, and will, never be able to find the true God. That’s why there is so much frustration in religion, as you might have possibly noticed.

But you see Jason, Christianity in the truest sense of it is not a call to religion. Like I explained before, it is a call to a Relationship – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You may ask, what’s the difference? Simple, “Religion is man’s attempt to reach God, Whereas Christianity is God reaching man.”

Religion is doing all it can to try to find God. But God is saying, “I have already revealed myself through my Son, Jesus Christ. Believe in Him and you will have an eternal relationship with Me.” This is not a thing we can grasp by our five senses, Jason, but by our faith.

Finally, you asked what I thought about your work-in-process project to publish your worldview…. I would say, you are free to publish any of your thoughts or research findings. (By the way, does it really matter what I think about it? I doubt!). I read for information, but when it comes to finding/knowing God, the Bible remains the most authoritative voice.

Thank you for your time Jason.

Anne: Thank you Victor, a Loving response for Jason with much Truth.

Me: Thank you Anne for your comment. God bless your heart.

Your comments and contributions are welcome.

P.S:

  1. This online conversation took place in 2015 as comments on my blog posts. Except for minor correction of typos, the discussions were presented unedited.
  2. It would appear that Jason has deleted his blog as it is no longer available as at the time of writing this post.

© Copyright 2017| Victor Uyanwanne

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

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

6 Startling Questions I Would Love To Ask You

Written by Victor Uyanwanne

talent, book, spirual

Have you ever asked yourself some serious questions? Has anyone ever dared to ask you any question that unnerved you? Are you making the best sense of your life now?

Are you satisfied with the status quo you found yourself in? Can the answers you get by asking yourself some unusual questions help improve your lot in life? Has any question ever challenged you to seeking better ways of leading a happier, healthier and even wealthier life?

You will agree with me that asking appropriate questions is good. That is exactly what I felt like doing in this post: ask you a few surprising questions.

You are free to ask your own questions as well. But first please spare a few minutes more and read to the end of this discourse. Then you can release your own repertoire of questions: to me, to yourself and to any other person you deem fit.

That’s why we are here: to inspire one another to live a better and happier life.

I will begin by holding up my own end; I am going to ask you a few fundamental questions. You don’t owe me any answers. But you do owe it to yourself to sincerely resolve the questions I am putting across in this post.

Here are 6 startling questions I would like to ask you. I hope that the answer you will give to at least one of them will spur you to living a more meaningful life:

1. Do you know the purpose of your existence in life?

You are not in this world for nothing. Just as everything in life exists for a purpose, you were created for a purpose.

The greatest joy in life comes from doing what you were created to do. Your greatest value to humanity is embedded in fulfilling your life’s purpose. Therein also lies your greatest eternal reward.

Your reward doesn’t come from running other people’s races, but in running yours. If you want to hear the Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” you must be sure to find out what the Master wants you to do in your lifetime and seek to get it done.

2. Are you satisfied with where you are in life right now?

If you are not, are you doing anything to change your position? Remember that popular cliche, “You can achieve anything you set your mind on.” That’s something to think about!

No matter where you are or have achieved, there is still room for more.

  • You desire spiritual growth? Work at it.
  • You want a fitter body? Be given to regular physical exercise and mind your diet as well.
  • You feel ignorant in some fields? Take up reading in those areas.
  • You desire to have quality time with your family? Create it.

The point here is that, if you are not satisfied with where you are, do something to improve on it.

Biography

3. What talent do you have that you haven’t really explored yet?

It is generally believed that most people never fully harness all their potentials in their lifetime. But you can be a different statistic.

Look at yourself very well and also elicit the opinions of friends and family. You will come up with an idea of any latent talent you have that you can further explore.

I have been involved in other professions for most of my working life. Now I am beginning to exploring my writing skills. That was what gave birth to this blog. You would probably not have known that I existed if not for this step.

My humble advice would be for you to find out what talent you have that you have not really explored. Begin to use it and be a blessing to the world around you and afar off.

4. Are you regularly doing the same thing in the same way while expecting a different result?

That, we are told, is another definition of insanity. I once heard a popular American international televangelist say, “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got”.

That’s simple, isn’t it? Like they say in elementary computing, “garbage in garbage out.” So if you want a different result, do things differently. You might be surprised at what you will get.

Take a different route to the destination you have always visited. At least the different scenery you will see along the new route will be a needed fresh breath.

5. Have you ever considered writing a book?

You should be doing that if you haven’t done it by now. One of my greatest desires in life is to write books that will positively impact peoples’ lives. You shouldn’t leave this world without at least one book to your name.

When your life passes away your voice will cease. But through your books, you could still be speaking from the grave. If nothing else, the world could use your (auto)biography. There are unique things about your life history and experiences that posterity will learn from.

No one can tell your story like you would do. Write a book, tell the world your story.

6. Are you one of those who believe that there is no God?

If yes, be aware that you have believed a lie that has an eternal consequence if not remedied. I will be frank with you on this: God exists whether you believe it or not. The earlier you can find out about Him for yourself the better for you both in time and in eternity.

God exists

Permit me to use this medium to tell you that right now God is calling you into a relationship with Him through His only Son Jesus Christ. Forget about what you were told, dismantle your previous mindset on this and seek God yourself with an open mind. Give Jesus an invitation into your heart and I can assure you He will honor it.

Where you touched by any of the above questions? What are the answers you have for any of the questions, or do you feel like asking more questions? Let’s share with one another.

©Copyright | Victor Uyanwanne

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.

God Is Still Your Friend

HOPE

When all your hopes appear gone
And the needed help is not near
Remember: God is still there

When the light is out
And all you can see is thick darkness
Try not to forget God’s goodness

When you think no one understands
Which makes you feel so mad
Remember: things are not so bad

When you find yourself in a quagmire
And all your problems seem to swell
By faith, you can still say “It is well”

When you’re tempted in life to quit
Encourage yourself, stay on and fight
By God’s grace, things will turn out right.

When it seems no one cares
And troubles assail you without end
Remember: God is still your friend.

 

P.S. This poem was inspired after reading Jessie Jeanine’s I Am No More

 

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

 

What Is The Best Way To Appreciate A Blogger Who Inspires You?

Thank You

There are many ways God speaks to us as His children. One of the ways is that He uses men and women to carry a specific message of hope, encouragement, inspiration or blessing to us.

I can honestly say that God has been using some blogs to speak to me. One of such blog is  CHRISTian poetry by Deborah Ann.

God has used Ann to bless and inspire me through her beautiful Christian poems. Every morning, Ann waits upon God by meditating on the Scripture until she is able to get a message out from it.

The message is then packaged and delivered to us on her blog in the form of rhymes. That way, she has written a good number of inspiring Bible-based poems which are always a blessing to read. Any ardent follower of her blog can attest to that.

One cool morning recently, as I read one of her posts May Peace Rule Your Heart, I found myself flowing in an appreciative poetic anointing. So I left her these comments:

Ann, I cannot thank you enough
For all the wonderful lessons
I have learnt from your poems
Which are always inspired blessings

Every morning you get from God
Poems that leaves us greatly inspired
Reading them makes me smile
Indeed, you are greatly admired.

Ann, may the grace of God
Overflow more to you
So that you will always for us
With beautiful poems come through

May our glorious God in Heaven
Give you good health and longevity
Fill you with strength, joy, peace
And fulfilment without brevity

Please keep the flag flying
Keep your light shining bright
And to the God who inspires you
Keep holding on to Him tight.

The After Effect

That poem was my humble way of appreciating a humble woman of God who has consistently demonstrated that we can tap into the wisdom of God when we fellowship with Him through His Word.

When I penned the words of that poem into the comment section of the post, I wasn’t sure if she would like it or not. But thankfully she did like it!

Here was her comment after reading my comment:

WOW [Victor], you have blessed me so much with “your poem.” I was not expecting anything like that and have never received anything like it before.

Each day I pray for the Lord to inspire me and that He should send me something from time to time to quicken to my spirit that I am indeed doing this all for His glory and His purpose. Every now and then I get a word of encouragement from someone that confirms I am using my gift for Him. This not only confirms it but it solidifies this is w[h]ere God wants me.

Thank you again for giving me such a huge blessing. ~ Have a wonderful day with Jesus ~ Deborah Ann

Of course, Ann, I know you weren’t expecting it. But I had to do as I felt led to do. So I thank you for liking it.

Your poems always make my day. And I pray that your gift will continue to be used for the blessings of mankind and to the glory of God.

I decided to share my experience with your blog here so that my readers can be blessed and inspired too. I hope that one day you will publish a compilation of all your poems into a book for us to have.

Indeed, the Bible is right: he that blesses us is blessed. And when we bless others we are blessed too.

Is there anyone whose blog posts have greatly impacted your life? Why don’t you reach out and say a thank you to such one? You will make his/her day by doing so and also bring glory to God.

 

©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne

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 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

 

 

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.