GRATITUDE(31ST DECEMBER EDITION)

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR IN ADVANCE!

 

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‘Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.’ Psalm 96:2-3(NLT)

Are you occasionally grateful? Are you a seasonal worshipper? Do you praise God only when things are rosy and the going is good? What do you do when things look their worst?
God is faithful! God is always good. From everlasting to everlasting, he is forever good! If you’ve been a seasonal worshipper who praises God only when things are good, you must pray to the Lord to forgive you for being inconsistent in gratitude.

My dear friend, the Lord has always been good even in 2013. Whatever you might be passing through at the moment should not set the mood for your worship to God, it shouldn’t cloud the atmosphere of worship in your life. You must have a stable internal environment when it comes to gratitude. Praise God even in the midst of fears. Worship him even through tears. Life has its ups and downs but surely the mercies of the Lord endureth forever. Worshiping the living God especially when things are tough is a really big statement of  faith. It is the hallmark of a lover of God who knows who the father is and what the father can do, not just one who is after the father because of what he/she wants to get. You could write poems of praise, share the stories of his goodness in your life with people and even be grateful for what he is yet to do, especially as this year is closest  to being closed.

‘I will sing’, a song by Don Moen, has some lyrics that go thus: ‘I will sing, I will pray, even in my darkest hour, through the sorrow and the pain.’ Can you make up your mind to do the same? To worship God whatever might be? You can. Pray to the father to enable you be a true worshipper.

Also, an adage amongst the Yoruba people of Southwestern Nigeria can be translated thus, ‘Praise spurs one to do another’. In essence, if you keep praising God for what he has done, he will do more. Don’t stop praising him!

As 2013 closes today and 2014 opens tomorrow, expect the best from the father and worship him even more in gratitude, for keeping you and yours up till this day. He is worthy of all praise!

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Look forward

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Happy 2014 in advance. I have no doubt that God will protect his own and see them through. For a lot of people, 2013 must have come with its highs and lows. The hits and the misses. The smiles and the tears. The plenty and the scarce. You might as well have probably made mistakes this year that you would never want to make again. Are you still living in the regrets of such mistakes? If yes, the message to you is, let them go. Put off those old memories.

See what the Apostle Paul said here: ‘No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,’ Philippians 3:13 (NLT) 

As 2013 comes to a close, let go of all memories that you do not need. It is the best that you do not crossover into 2014 with the negatives. You need a positive mindset. Even if it’s looking so impossible to let go the damage seems irreversible, do not forget that Jesus makes all things new, he can always give you a fresh beginning(Reference: 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Our father does new things and I believe that 2014 is coming on with some new things for us as his children. However, we can’t expect to still carry the old and successfully accommodate the new. We need to be new at all times. The olds being referred to here are the bad memories and imperfection of the past. We must get rid of them. The Lord said here: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.” Mark 2:22 (NLT) 

For us to fully receive those new things that the father has for us in 2014, we must not carry over the negative ‘olds’ from 2013. How then do we clear out the needless and stay new?

‘Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.’ Romans 12:2 (NLT) 

‘Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.’ Philippians 4:1 (NLT) 

A battle is won or lost,first in the mind. We stay old or new,first in our minds. The key to staying new is to keep our minds refreshed by meditating on God’s words, believing what he says about us instead of what the physical implies, praying to him and being alert to what we think about.

If we keep our minds new, we would be able to accommodate new ideas and experience abundance like we have never known before in the coming year, to the glory of the father.

Keep looking forward, success is nigh.

STAY BLESSED AND DO BLESS SOMEONE ELSE WITH THIS POST BY SHARING IT WITH THEM.

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Stand firm

A letter to a fellow believer:

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While reading through Luke 21 yesterday, I came across very profound tenets that all christians should hold very dear, part of which I found in verse 19 of that chapter.

‘By standing firm, you will win your souls.’ Luke 21:19 (NLT)
This could mean also mean that if one does stand firm, one could lose one’s soul. Also in church today, I came across a verse that I had to go searching for online later, it reads:

‘Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.’ 1 Peter 5:9 (NLT)
The instruction rings out clear again, ‘STAND FIRM’.

In this age where a lot of things are taken for granted when it comes to morality, it is very easy for one’s integrity to be compromised if one does not stand very firmly. In Luke 21:19, the Lord was admonishing us to stand firm in the face of trials when they come, especially in the form of physical assault. We should confess our faith to the end, not denying Christ at any time. Denial does not just come when we confess the wrong things, it shows up too when we purposefully lower the standards expected of us just to fit in the crowd, or get a raise at work or do just about anything ungodly to seemingly move up. If we are christians, we must stand firm in the face of all these and say ‘no’ to compromise. As in 1 Peter 5:9, the ‘stand firm’ therein is against the evil one, ‘the devil’. This has to do with the spiritual part, what goes on within. Our minds and the battle against iniquity. We should purge always. Once evil thoughts pop up, we should simply cancel them in the name of the Lord. Only when we do this can we endure to the end and come out as victors on that great day of reckoning.

Surely, the troubling times of wars and unpleasantries are coming, as the Lord has said. We need to be prepared. We should rejoice when these begin to happen because they are clear signs that our salvation is near, that our Lord’s return is nigh (reference: Luke 21:28). To prepare effectively, we have to do this:

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.
Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”  Luke 21:34-36 (NLT)

‘Only those who make it through, will be crowned victors. Only those stand firm will win their souls.

‘But the one who endures to the end will be saved.’ Matthew 24:13 (NLT)

Fellow believer, whatever you might be passing through, please know that you are not alone, the Lord is with you and so are the co-heirs on the way facing one challenge or the other. Only know that victory is sure because our Lord has said this:

”I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 (NLT)

Stand firm, stay safe.

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After Christmas,What next?

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Christmas, jingle bells! Hurray! The celebration and fireworks, the lighted trees and the wrapped gifts, reunions, services and all, Christmas is done. Hallelujah! Now that December 25th is past and 2013 draws slowly to a close, what next?

You could be asking, what next what? Well, it is, what next with your relationship with Christ, your walk with him? Whether genuinely born-again or not, millions of people worldwide share in the joy and celebration of Christmas, singing lovely songs at carol services in remembrance of the saviour’s birth. If everyone who celebrates Christmas really loved Christ, oh, what joy! However, truth be told, a lot of those millions celebrating Christ do not love the Lord. They do not obey him. They do not live the life which he got for them by virtue of his death on the cross. They celebrate the Lord at Christmas with their mouths, then go back to their ways of sin once Christmas is over, until another festival comes around, say Easter.  Are you one of them?

If you are one of them, please repent today! Stop double-dealing with Christ! He died for you, live for him! Christmas is over, your walk with Christ must however not be over. Those who truly celebrate Christmas are those who the essence of the Lord’s birth and live the life his coming has brought to us. They are called Christians. They are not just church-goers, they are Christ-lovers, word-doers. They love the Lord and obey his commandments as seen here: “If you love me, obey my commandments. John 14:15 (NLT). Please become one of them today.

If you are ready to make that decision now, that decision to walk with Christ beyond Christmas or even start afresh with him, please say this prayer: ‘Lord, thank you for coming at Christmas. I love you and I want to walk with you for the rest of my life. Please forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with your perfect blood. Thank you Lord for forgiving me in Jesus name.’

If you said the prayer, congratulations. Welcome to the new life. Going forward, please read your Bible daily, attend a church where the word of God as written in your Bible is preached and pray to the Lord for all you need. You will succeed!

Stay blessed.

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Jesus, The Man Who Learned Obedience

Ben Smart

With Christmas very quickly approaching, my church is moving through our Advent series in which we are focusing on the humanity of Jesus. Last Sunday we looked at what it means that Jesus is The Man Who Learned Obedience. The Bible teaches that Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered during his earthly life, but saying something like that raises some pretty big questions. How could Jesus learn obedience? Does that mean he was disobedient beforehand? Wouldn’t that cause some issues with what we know about Jesus??

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Jesus is Love

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Christmas in the air,lots of decor and feasting! Beautiful outfits with splashes of red in many places! Great music, happy reunions! The joy of celebration, the saviour’s birthday!
In all of these festivities, it is imperative that we should not forget the essence of Christmas. LOVE. Love, the reason why God sent Jesus to earth (reference: John 3:16). Love, the reason why Christ gave himself as the ultimate sacrifice (reference: John 15:13). Love, the reason why the church exists in the first place. Jesus is Love.
Beloved, know that the best way to celebrate Christmas is to celebrate love as seen in the saviour by being selfless and altruistic. Think more about others than yourself this season. Give more. If you have three turkeys in the house, give one out as a gift, maybe two. Give out as much as possible of what you do not need this season. The amount of  love we show this season is much more important than the amount of food or gifts that we get.
Therefore, when making plans and decisions this season and always, think more of the greater good in honour of the son of God who came all the way to save you and me for the sake of love, in the name of love.
Jesus is Love. Merry Christmas!

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Martha’s faith: Standing in the gap.

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Have you ever been in the position to stand in faith on someone else’s behalf,maybe to receive a word of prophecy or take an action of faith? If you had, I hope you stood your ground against doubt and claimed victory for your loved ones concerned. If you haven’t been in such stead yet, well,be ready to act on nothing but faith whenever you find yourself standing in the gap for someone else , as this could serve as their link to open doors that were seemingly locked and breakthrough to heights that were deemed unreachable.
A woman in the Bible gave an impressive display of faith in response to the saviour’s questions. Martha. Her brother was dead and she was mourning his passing yet she didn’t argue with the Lord nor question him about the possibility of her brother’s possible resurrection. She believed wholly and eventually witnessed an unusual miracle as documented in John 11:21-44. You too could know someone passing through difficult times and then words of prophecy for breakthrough comes through for them where you are. It is best that you receive the good words on their behalf in faith, as a channel for their needed miracle and not as an hindrance by roaming in doubt.  Your faith could save them. Your faith could be a that needed channel at that moment in time. Our God is real and he rewards those who seek him diligently because they have faith in him. Be a believer. Save a life.

Stay blessed,keep believing!

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Confident in …………?

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‘Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.’ Psalms 20:7 (ESV)

There are a lot things that give people confidence these days; money, properties, connections etc. Some get so caught up in their confidence in what they possess that they get vauthy towards the seemingly less privileged ones. They boast of a tomorrow that they are not sure of in the confidence of what they possess, forgetting that the ultimate and sovereign God is the best to be trusted in.

My friend, who or what do you place your confidence in? Money? The value could depreciate at any time. People? They could die at any time as well. Houses? They could be sunk by an earthquake. Your job? It could be taken away by the boss. Only God can not be affected by any circumstance. He controls all circumstances and he never fails his beloved. He is the best to be trusted in. No other person can be as reliable as he is.

Never forget that our God is a jealous God. He is that way because he loves and gives you attention and he wants you to do the same to him. Those other things that people trust in instead of him stand between him and them. He could have those things removed or destroyed at anytime. Therefore, never let anything get between you and God. Trust him with all your heart. Boast of nothing besides his power to save you. He will come through for you, please place your confidence in him.

With Christ, you shall succeed!

Stay victorious.

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Make God your priority.

Having the right priorities helps one make the best use of whatever resource is at one’s disposal,thereby reducing wastage and maximising efficiency. Christians,our first priority should be God and everything that is godly. Heaven should be our ultimate destination,Jesus our ultimate mentor. If you make God,your priority,u will occupy an usual position in his heart. He will make u a point of reference like #Job. The psalmist said in Psalm 42:1, how much he loved God. Do u love him that much? If you make God your priority, nothing of this world will scare you as seen in the example of the three hebrews your belief in him will be absolute; as seen in Paul’s statement of counting all he had gained as a loss for the sake of Christ,everything else will be less important.No wonder,you see people still hoard their possessions,thinking they are too important to be given out because they don’t see God as number one on their list. If God is your priority, no amount will be too big to give as an offering to him. Doing these things have their rewards, if you hoard your possessions, see Ananais and Saphira’s example. If you give generously to God, see Solomon’s reward. As you do unto God, so will he do unto you. If you make God your priority, you will be able to make a declarative statement of ‘Jesus,it’s all of you or nothing.’ If you make God your priority, you will find it easy to obey the word of the Lord as seen in Matthew 6:33, and also desiring the things above and not temporal things of this world. If you make God your priority, things will happen in the right times for you. God is the owner of time, Ecclesiastes 3 talks about time,God himself will lead you through life,helping you hit the target at the best moment always. Make God your priority and everything else will bow to your superiority. Because God will be your superiority. Remember, Moses, after a 40 day meeting with God, the people could not look at his face, it was so bright. Remember Stephen, the glory that enveloped him so close to death. Make God the centre of your life and good things will revolve around you always.

Gratitude.

The Lights' Blog

 

be-grateful-billboard

 

‘Sing to the LORD; praise his name. Each day proclaim the good news that he saves. Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.’ Psalm 96:2-3(NLT)

Are you occasionally grateful? Are you a seasonal worshipper? Do you praise God only when things are rosy and the going is good? What do you do when things look their worst?
God is faithful! God is always good. From everlasting to everlasting, he is forever good! If you’ve been seasonal worshipper who praises God only when things are good, you must pray to the Lord to forgive you for being inconsistent in gratitude.

My dear friend, whatever you might be passing through should not set the mood for your worship to God. Have a stable internal environment when it comes to gratitude. Praise God even in the midst of fears. Worship him even through…

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