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12 Things 2016 Taught Me

Friday, 23 December 2016


5 Reasons You Don't Enjoy Quiet Time

Friday, 11 November 2016

Quiet time is an extremely important time in a Christians daily life. Where we spend with the Lord in prayer, reading the word, worshipping and most importantly listening to what He says. 

There comes a time in your Christian walk when spending time with God, becomes a daily priority. You genuinely desire to be with the Lord but there's a problem- It's inconsistent, it doesn't feel good, it's boring, you don't know how, your mind wanders, the list goes on.

You're not alone, this is something a lot of Christians struggle with and I know I've struggled (and still struggle) with some of these things. 

*The following isn't ultimate list, there may be other reasons why it's hard you to commit to quiet time but these are some of things that have caused myself and many others to slack.*

  1.  You have a checklist

I like to plan. I plan everything! I plan what time I'll read my Bible, what time I'll pray, what time I'll worship. I plan where I'll study, how many chapters.  Get the picture? Now there's nothing wrong with being organised. In fact, the Bible praises people that are diligent, committed and focused. Proverbs 22:29

However, we have become so focused on how we think God wants us to spend time with him. We ignore the simple fact that God just wants you. That's it! He just wants you. He wants you to meet with Him, anytime, anywhere, any way you know how. He doesn't want us to become legalistic. I love this verse: 

"Be still and know that I am God". Psalm 46:10 

Just get into the presence of the Lord and let Him lead you. Know that He is God and know that He is able to give you inspiration as to watch to read, sing or write. His ways are not ours, Isaiah 55:8-9. He's not bound by our plans or schedules. He can move however He likes and it's up to us to breakaway from our rules and keep

up.  As a starting point, just set a time you'll meet with Lord daily and let Him do the rest. 

 2.  You read your bible

A major
part of our quiet time is the Word. However the key phrase in my statement was read. There comes a time where reading is not enough. We must study the word. Both reading and studying are good and important however, when you read your Bible, you usually read to refresh your memory, to find comfort, or as an effort to think on good things, as we are commanded in Philippians 4:8. 

In contrast, during a Bible study, you may spend an hour on just a couple of verses. The goal during study is to gain revelation and understanding not merely to refresh your memory.  When you study the word you allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the hidden mysteries of that verse, Psalm 119:18 You are able to apply it to your life and situation. You can then use that word to edify yourself and others.

3.  You do it alone
This isn't to say that anytime you want to want to have quiet time, get 8 of your closest friends together and study the word. That's good but by doing it alone, I mean, many of us begin our time with the Lord without talking to Him. Before we start our quiet time , it's good practice to just say a few words of prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to where to study, help you understand what you read, Ephesians 1:17, to soften your heart to receive from Him and open your ears to hear from Him.


Blooming Butterfly

Monday, 17 October 2016

My Pastor often gives analogies so we can grasp certain spiritual concepts.   A few Bible Study classes ago, he explained the term metamorphosis.  He explained that the transition of an unattractive caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly is an example of this incredible transformation. This took me back to second grade when our class witnessed the process, watching them constantly eat, settle into their cocoons and amazingly bloom into full-fledged butterflies!  Pastor compared this evolution to our own personal transition when we decide to believe and follow Christ.  That night after getting home, I sat there thanking God.  Why? Because I realized over the past few years I’d been “morphing” into the butterfly God intended me to be!

I “technically” accepted Christ at ten years old but I feel like I just started this journey FORREAL… transforming into the person I need to be in order to live out His purpose.  I accepted Him at a young age because I saw how much my family believed in and on Him.  As a child I always attended church.  Church was in my DNA so of course when I went away for college, I found a local fellowship and college ministry so that I would continue to receive and learn the Word.  I attribute this era of my life to learning specifically about God’s faith, trust, and having an intimate relationship with Him. I remember particularly being intrigued and inspired by the Pastor’s series on intimacy; having that continuous one-on-one time with God similar to time spent with friends or family members.  As he taught about intimacy, I began to desire communicating with God more and understanding I could go directly to Him for things like my anxiety issues regarding school, family or personal issues.  Up until this point in my life, I had only believed and scratched the surface of His capabilities.  Even though I was LEARNING about communication, and the how to, where to go and what to do when, I wasn’t fully ready to try Him or stop indulging in some of my bad habits.


Choosing Purity

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The world we live in today has been contaminated by an over exposure to sexual sin. Everything we watch, read and hear points to sex and purity has become unfashionable. We have become so blind that we fail to acknowledge that sexual sins have spiritual consequences. Sexual sin is so serious that it can bring weakness to anyone’s walk with God.  It is almost impossible to develop or maintain intimacy with God when we allow sin to take over our bodies.

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” Psalm 24:3-4

A major sin that many Christians battle with is lust. Lust is the root cause of many sins in our world today such as fornication, adultery, premarital sex, pornography, and homosexual relations. A popular Christian author once defined lust like this: "To lust is to want what you don't have and weren't meant to have. Lust goes beyond attraction, and appreciation of beauty, or even a healthy desire for sex—it makes these desires more important than God. Lust wants to go outside God's guidelines to find satisfaction."

Lust is the defining struggle for our generation.
Ok but, what is lust exactly? The dictionary defines lust as an intense or unrestrained sexual craving. The Bible also mentions lust in a variety of different ways but Job 31:11-12 summarises what lust is perfectly:

"For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own."

Lust pushes its slave (us) to continually do what pleases us. That doesn’t make sense right? How can a slave master want their slave to always do as they please? Well that’s how it works, we think we are doing what pleases us, but in reality the more we do what lust wants such as watching pornography, fornicating, dwelling on impure thoughts, the longer we stay in its bondage. When we do what lust tells us to do, the more enslaved we become, and freedom becomes harder to achieve.

Why do we struggle with lust

Promise me, do not awaken love until the time is right” Songs of Solomon 8:4

That’s the problem with our generation, we are too quick to let our emotions run wild and control us instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us. We awaken feelings and emotions before Gods appointed time and allow the devil to plant seeds of sexual desire in our minds and that now influences our actions. 
Another reason why many of us struggle with lust is because we think we won’t get caught. We believe that lust isn’t a visible sin. It’s not stealing and it’s not murder, so it’s not that big of a deal, right? So technically God has to forgive you. No!

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.Galatians 6:7-8
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid” Romans 6:1-2
Modern day Christianity tells us that some sins are bigger than others so God won’t mind if you commit small sins. That’s a lie! We are also led to believe that God will always forgive as long as you keep asking. This is partially true but not completely.
 1. Sin is sin; there is no hierarchy for sin. Murder and premarital sex are both the same in Gods eyes. We shouldn’t allow the devil to trick us into thinking that some sins aren’t as important as others. 2. If you ask God for forgiveness, He will forgive. However, if you approach God with no desire to change and with the intention of staying in your sin and just asking for forgiveness when you’re done, then we have a problem. God’s forgiveness is based on true repentance. To repent means to turn away from sin completely, admit that you were wrong and decide that if you face the same temptation again, you would make the right decision.

Living A Progressive Life

A friend of mine recently took a management course online for career and personal development reasons. This somehow impacted me. We all want to keep achieving more as we grow. In our academics, we are obliged to succeed at each stage so we can move on to the next level. In our careers, we put in effort to achieve optimum outcomes so we can eventually earn some form of reward. In business, we aim to achieve great goals and reach many clients which in turn brings in more profit for us. Finally, in our families, we want our family members to prosper in all they do.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you
(Matthew 6:33)

However, the main area we need to be progressive with in is our spiritual life and connection with God. As we grow physically, we need to realise that all these achievements are God's will for us and we need to keep nurturing our relationship with Him alongside all we do. God is responsible as our heavenly father for providing our needs and helping us achieve our life goals while we are also obliged as His children to acknowledge His presence and will over our lives.

The way we feel about having our regular meals and health checks is the way we should feel about spending time in God's word. Our daily meditation is very essential for us to grow closer to God everyday. The benefits of keeping a constant and growing relationship with God tremendously outweighs the outcome of living a neutral lifestyle. God has a way of making all the happenings around us work out for our good. He can turn the greatest of disappointments into opportunities. Our aims and objectives can be achieved with the least effort on our part just because we have dedicated our life to His will. When we spend time meditating on His word everyday, He acknowledges such acts and also keeps us under His watch, He releases our mind from all sorts of worries, anxieties or fear of the unknown.

And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in (Isaiah  58:11-12).

As we therefore go about our daily lives, aiming for our various goals, let's consider bringing Christ into all our affairs. Let's ask Him to teach us because we do not know how to proceed without Him. Let's practice regular communication with God through our prayers. Let's spend time meditating on God's word as we will always find a scripture that will lead us in the right path. Let's make a plan of how close we intend to be with Jesus Christ as we grow. Let's trust in Him to make our paths smooth and void of fear, worries and anxiety.

God bless

Michael, Contributor 
Hey!! I'm from Osun State in South-West Nigeria. I am a Computer-Science graduate and I am currently studying for a postgraduate qualification in Information Technology while working as an IT Projects Engineer!! I am a firm believer in God Almighty and I enjoy living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I love sharing my written pieces through my social media pages and hope to share them with you guys too! My watchword is – "With God, all things are possible".


7 Lessons Graduation Taught Me

Thursday, 14 July 2016

So its been a year since I graduated, its been an interesting journey to say the least. I definitely do not feel like I’ve got everything together but I am confident that God’s got this.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29

 1. Stop trying to figure it out

Once you graduate everyone expects you to have it all figured out. Some people do, but the majority of us don't. However it's not the end of the world if you don't. In spite of what your aunt’s husband’s cousins neighbours best friend says, you don't need to have the next 10 years planned out. Over the last year, I’ve found that even if you don't have everything planned out, figure out what you definitely don't want to do. This will help you make sure that you don't just accept the first mediocre opportunity that comes your way. It’s extremely common to see that new graduates (including myself) tend to grab the first thing that comes so they can seem like they know what they’re doing. 

"There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death" Proverbs 14:12 

There's nothing wrong with taking time out to seek God about your next steps.

    2.   Quality over Quantity

People always say that the friends you make at university stay with you for life. That's very true, to a certain extent.  I saw my uni friends everyday, we lived together, went to church together, fellowshipped together, and had our fair share of arguments. Sound familiar? Fast forward, a year down the line, dynamics have changed. There is no way you can manage to spend that much time with the same people all the time when you leave uni. And if you don't prepare your mind for this beforehand, it will hit you like a ton of bricks. Evaluate your relationships, make sure they're built on a solid foundation. If they are, even if you don't speak everyday, you can be rest assured that you're still friends, chill!  

Also, remember that thing your parents used to tell you, quality over quantity? It's true! As you leave university, you will also begin to realise that the squad doesn't need to be big. Three solid friends that can support you through tough times are better than ten friends that are only available during the good times.  

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity” Proverbs 17:17

3.   Contentment Complacency 

As Christians, we love to use the word contentment but at the same time we fear it. 
The Bible defines contentment as “an internal satisfaction, which does not demand changes in external circumstances”. While complacency can be described as “a self-satisfied state of negligence or carelessness, especially in relation to one’s personal situation. See the difference? 

If you are a genuine believer in Jesus Christ, peace of heart and mind should be yours to enjoy. Your heavenly Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine. He has limitless resources and, as a minimum, will give to us according to our actual need. Just because you are satisfied with your portion in this season, does not mean you have become complacent and have “flopped” in life.

Although, there are times in the graduate journey, where you will feel like you've made it. You've got that job, earning a "decent" wage, you can buy what you want when you want. When that happens you need to take several seats and stop because that's not where God wants you to be, He has greater in store. However the problem with us is that we never see beyond our 9-5. We get comfortable and think that this is it. It's never it! Our God is the creator of heaven and earth so it's never it! We are called to greater. But that is not to say that we should live in constant anticipation of what the next season holds. Enjoy your current season and know that God has a great plan and future for you, which he will reveal in his time. 

“Be content with such things as you have” means as believers such should be our trust and confidence in God that we should be satisfied with our condition regardless of our circumstances. For we know assuredly that if we are faithful God will cause all things to work together for our good” Romans 8:28


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