All posts tagged: Religion and Spirituality

Refreshing Times of Reconciliation


This short epistle (letter) written by Paul to Philemon has one of the most powerful messages on conflict resolution in the bible. This story is not only a powerful demonstration of the gospel to transform lives (“formerly he was useless” but “now he is indeed useful,” v. 11), but also a demonstration of the powerful impact the gospel can have on human relationships as well (receive him “no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother,” v. 16). Apparently during Paul’s three-year ministry in Ephesus, Philemon heard the gospel and was saved. He began serving the cause of Christ in the Colossian community, opening his home for a group of Christians to meet there regularly. At some point, Onesimus, one of Philemon’s slaves, fled to Rome, possibly having stolen money (or property) from Philemon and now a fugitive. Onesimus somehow came into contact with the apostle Paul and became a Christian. As he grew in Christ, he spent much time and effort helping Paul, who was severely constrained by his imprisonment. Paul thus wrote this letter as an appeal to Philemon to appreciate …

Radical Redeeming Prayer


He who used to persecute us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy. Galatians 1:23 What do you do about those who curse you, hate you, despitefully use you, persecute you and those who even try to kill you? What do you do about the one who is doing everything within his power to destroy you and what you believe in? For the early believers nothing much could be done about the man we’ve come to know as Paul, the apostle. Only prayer! Scripture is silent about whether prayers were offered up to God to stop this man who was running a campaign to exterminate the “people of the way.” But we know that prayers were indeed lifted to God to stop him. Thank God, today we have the writings of Paul the Apostle a man who was once a murderer and a persecutor of the Church. In the late 90s a mad man named Joshua Milton Blahyi, better known by his nom de guerre General Butt Naked roamed the streets of …

Divine Appointments


El Roi – The God of Seeing I have studied Genesis chapter 16 many times but didn’t realize there was a deeper truth hiding in this verse 13. The angel of the Lord comes to Hagar and begins to speak some very comforting words to her. We understand that Hagar is in this place because she we kicked out of Sarah’s and Abraham’s home after bearing a child for the couple. After the angel appeared to her and began to talk with her; she mentions something very profound – but you will miss it if you don’t pause for a second or two to dig a little deeper.  She said,  “you are the God who sees.” Hagar is impressed by the perceptiveness of God as revealed through his angel-messenger. This is seen in the name she gives to the Lord; she calls him ’El Ro’i – meaning – God of seeing. For she is saying – here I have seen him who looks after me. Divine Appointments A similar thing happens again in the New Testament where Jesus comforts a non-Hebrew woman …

10 Signs that show you have fallen from Grace


You deliberately tolerate and fall into sin. You could care less about the will of God You do not trust God, the scripture nor the church You are completely isolated from everything. That includes God and His people You have an unhealthy pursuit of money and material things You are vengeful and unwilling to forgive  You have no desire for worship, prayer, obedience and church fellowship You no longer feel His presence, hear His voice, or fear Him You demand perfection of others Yet, you are longing, deep down inside you, for God to do something about all the above because you feel helpless He is doing something about it…. right here, now! Earnestly fervently Jesus is calling, calling oh sinner come home.

Pitching to Jesus—and Refusing to Take His Signals


I’ve imagined this scene in my head: I’m playing baseball with Jesus. The stands are full of fans, but out there on the field it’s just him and me. I’m the pitcher. Jesus is the catcher, behind home plate. He settles into his crouch, ready to play, and I look for his signals—simple commands. What pitch will he want me to throw? I wait in anticipation, but also with one eye on the crowd. What will they think of me? He signals a fastball. I think for a moment and shake my head—no, not a fastball. Next he signals a slider. This time I look toward my teammates in the dugout for guidance. Then I glance up at the fans. No, I’m not comfortable with that one either. He gives me yet a third signal. No, not today, thank you! Then I imagine Jesus silently and slowly withdrawing his signaling hand back into his mitt. There’s a deep disappointment in his eyes. He’s decided to let me throw whatever I want. So I do—and then …

Discover the Seven-fold activity of God in Psalm 23


God is perfect and everything he does is perfect. Take a fresh look a this timeless psalm again today… It’s the seven-fold perfection of God in our imperfect lives. he satisfies our hunger… There is a promised reward for all those who hunger after God and His righteousness – They shall be filled. he leads us by the still waters; There is a promised reward for those who would allow God to take them to still waters – They shall find rest he restores us when we have fallen away There is a promised reward for those who repent and turn from their wicked ways – They shall be restored. he guides us in the way of righteousness There is a promised reward for those who would look to God and His word for what they want to do – They shall find guidance. he abides `with us’ even through death There is a promised reward for who do not fear when life is hard, dangerous and even tragic – They will never be alone in …

John 1:4, 5


Light in Dark Places Life, what is it, where did it come from, how is it sustained? Contrary to popular thinking, life has its origin in God. He is the maker of everything – the giver of life. When He made man, “He breathed into him and man became a living soul.” If we want to talk about life, its origin and how it is sustained, Jesus should be at the center of that discussion. The scripture says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Everything, this world, human life, depends on Jesus for survival. “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Though most men do not recognize this, it still is the truth. Jesus is not only the sustainer of physical life he is also the giver and sustainer of spiritual life. When he stepped out of eternity into time, into this dark and evil world, he was on a mission to lay …

Human life is a pilgrimage between two moments of nakedness


There was a wealthy lady who died, and everybody in the community was extremely curious as to the extent of her fortune. One person was brash enough to come up to the pastor immediately after the funeral and whisper in his ear, “How much did she leave?” The pastor had the wisdom to reply, “She left everything.” The apostle Paul also calls us to a lifestyle of simplicity and contentment. I have learned,” he said, “in whatever state I am therewith to be content Paul said, Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world and we shall take nothing out of it. Or as Job put it, Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return. Have you ever considered, brothers and sisters, that human life is a pilgrimage between two moments of nakedness? We would be wise to travel light because there is no doubt that we shall leave everything behind. Let us be content. Covetous people always fall into a traps. The love of money is a …

Prayer Knows No Bounds


Faith, and hope, and patience and all the strong, beautiful, vital forces of piety are withered and dead in a prayerless life. The life of the individual believer, his personal salvation, and personal Christian graces have their being, bloom, and fruitage in prayer. God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. They outlive the lives of those who uttered them. Prayer is of transcendent importance. Prayer is the mightiest agent to advance God’s work. Praying hearts and hands only can do God’s work. Prayer succeeds when all else fails. Prayer honors God, acknowledges His being, exalts His power, adores His providence, secures His aid. Prayer puts God’s work in His hands-and keeps it there. Prayer is our most formidable weapon, the thing which makes all else we do efficient. It is hard to wait and press and pray, and hear no voice, but stay till God answers. The possibilities of prayer are found in its allying itself with the purposes of God, for God’s purposes and man’s praying are the combination of all potent and omnipotent …