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

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, I 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.

The one thing that makes me sad about Hawking

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