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Archive for the month “May, 2013”

IMITATE ME?

Another verse of scripture I’ve always known just will not stop haunting me. It reads:

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.’- 1 Corinthians 11:1

And I’m asking  myself, Can I boldly ask others to imitate me as imitate Christ?

I’ve thought about it long and hard and the truth is:

I can’t.

Imitate me, means imitate everything-thought patterns,actions,motives,habits. Everything!

No way,I dare not say that. Yet.

My motives are not always pure

My thoughts,hmm… lets not go there.

My actions still leave a lot to be desired.

Habits? Lord Help!

Paul was a ‘Do what I do,not do what I say’ kind of Christian.

That’s the kind of Christian I need to be.

That’s the kind of Christian I aim to be.

Lord Help!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

IS JESUS REALLY YOUR LORD?

If you’re like me, when you gave your life to Christ, you said something along the lines of ‘I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior’.

I’ve noticed over time that we don’t have a problem with the savior part. I mean who would? We all want to go to heaven, we are all guilt ridden and fact that someone is willing to exchange His innocence for our guilt is just too good to be true, so we jump at the offer.

Then we hit the snag. When Jesus becomes your savior  he also becomes your Lord. A lot of us struggle with the ‘Lord’ part. I know I do.

Before you feel like this does not apply to you, check out the definition of the word ‘Lord’:

‘A person who has authority, control or power over others’.[1]

Who has the final authority over your decisions? Is it your emotions or God’s word?

When you go to talk to God, are you constantly demanding or reporting for duty?

Is your obedience to God really total or is it limited to when it’s convenient?

Are you always questioning his directions?

Are you completely surrendered to Him or are there still areas that He has no say in?

I could go on and on.

Is Jesus really your Lord?

I know sometimes I act like I own myself.  I forget that I’ve been bought at a price-a very precious price.

I forget he’s my commanding officer and I answer only to him.

If He’s not my Lord, I can’t please Him.

Lord help me!

I give it all back. Everything I’ve held back held on to and refused to surrender.

Jesus, Be my Lord and not just my savior.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba.

 

 

 

 

GUARD YOUR SALVATION

I saw a post on Facebook on ‘The most wrongly quoted or applied bible verses’ (or something like that) yesterday and it inspired this post.

I have to admit, I did not want to share this because its not exactly the safest topic to write on and I do not exactly like confrontations or arguments.

But when the Lord gives a message, who am I, a mere oracle to refuse to speak?

Anyway, here it goes:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force[1].’

This scripture has been used in prayer services in churches to justify ’violent’- prayers. These prayers usually involve a lot of shouting and physical exertion that just never sat well with me.

I always had this nagging feeling that the scripture was being used wrongly, especially since I realised that it seemed to be the only verse of scripture used to justify that form of prayer.

In my usual fashion, I went back to the Word of God found this:

The verse has been quoted in isolation and grossly out of context

The entire chapter was about the end of John’s ministry and the beginning of Jesus’ and how they were connected. There was no reference to prayer in that chapter.

One thing that’s prevalent in that chapter is the response of the people to the salvation message.

That’s why I love the way the Amplified Bible puts it, it says:

And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize—a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].’

What does this say to me?

My salvation will be challenged, my walk with God will be questioned, and my  living for Christ will attract condemnation and opposition.  I have to deliberately guard my salvation even if I have to be forceful about it.

I need to be jealous about maintaining my salvation. I need to deliberately press into heaven by separating myself from anything that can jeopardize my salvation.

Simply put, I need to Guard my Salvation.

Lord Help!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba


[1] Matthew 11:12 (KJV)

PUT GRACE TO WORK

It has become a common phenomenon to hear Christians say correctly ‘I am under the dispensation of Grace’ and use that as licence to get away with anything. The most deceptive line I’ve heard and used is ‘I’m not Jesus so I CANNOT be perfect’.

I was preparing to teach a lesson today and I discovered contrary to popular belief, that grace does not reduce our responsibility for right living; it increases it.

Before you crucify me, follow me to Matthew 5[1]. Jesus the giver of grace himself tells us that under Grace:

Calling someone a fool could lead you to hell

Refusing to pursue peace means unacceptable offerings

Lust=Adultery

Swearing Oaths are forbidden

Remarriage after divorce is adultery

You have to love your enemy

Expunge revenge from your dictionary

Perfection is the goal.

This is an impossible list you may say. I know…I used to think like that to until i was reminded that:

Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! [2]

When Jesus came and died, he not only gave me salvation, he also gave me his perfection and the ability to maintain it.

I can be perfect!

You can be perfect.

I just need to put the Grace that Jesus gives me to work by cultivating an intimate, personal knowledge of God.

Grace raises the standard but it also increases the capacity.

I need to put the grace of God in my life to work and stop being lazy.

I need to be able to say like Paul: I’m not going to let God’s grace go to waste.[3]

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 


[1] Matthew 5:20-48

[2] 2 Peter 1:3

[3] I Corinthians 15:10(MSG)

LET GOD FINISH

Recently I was going through the account of creation and I realized a few things.

There is a difference between creation and formation.-Compare Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:7.

Creation happens in the spiritual, Formation is the physical manifestation of what has been created in the spiritual.

Now that’s interesting, but this is the part that blows my mind away, there is a time lapse between creation and formation.[1]

There are certain promises/prophecies that have been spoken into my life. The day they were spoken, they became created. Some of them have been formed and quite a number are still awaiting formation.

I need to let God finish the Job.

Waiting is not fun, delays are not interesting. But God uses it.

He’s teaching us patience.

I also realized that the order of creation is not always the order of formation[2]. The order in which you received the promise /prophecy may not be the order in which it is fulfilled.

Stop preempting God, He’s got the blueprint.

I need to let God do it in his own order.

Like a friend of mine and pastor will say: Give God time to bless you. Every farmer knows that there is a time difference between seed time and harvest. Give God time to bless you.

You are God’s creation. Allow God to complete the job. Don’t short circuit the process. Wait out the time lapse. God’s not left the workshop, He’ll finish the job.

I need to let God finish many things in my life.

Lord, teach me to wait till I’m fully formed.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba


[1] Genesis 2:2-3

[2] Genesis 2:4-9

LIVING SACRIFICES

I’ve been pondering on a scripture and I just realized a funny grammatical fact. It contains an Oxymoron- Two words with opposite meanings used together. Here it is:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.[1]

The words ‘living sacrifice’ is the oxymoron-just in case you’re still wondering.

This verse just won’t let me rest so here are my discoveries:

The first word that strikes me is the word ‘offer’. Other translations of the bible use the word ‘present’. It still has the same effect- It denotes a choice on the part of the ‘offeror’/presenter to give something.

What are we to give? ‘Our bodies’. I’ve wondered why it’s not our spirit that should be the offering and this is what I’ve discovered: Our bodies are the physical representation of Christ on earth and he wants us to give it back to Him.[2]

How are we to give it? ‘As living sacrifices’ I called these two words an oxymoron earlier and I’ll explain now. A sacrifice is usually dead. It has no will, and cannot decide its fate.

Think about it. If you’re offering an animal as a sacrifice, it is killed before it is offered.

Yet God wants us to be sacrifices that are alive- meaning we willingly go to the altar and lay aside our choices, our will and our desires and our ability to decide our fate.

Ouch! That’s going to hurt! Badly!-That’s why it’s called a sacrifice. If you’re not hurting, you’re not yet sacrificing.

You see, the problem with living sacrifices is that they can crawl off the altar. It takes more than human will to keep them there.

If I’m going to remain on God’s altar as a living sacrifice, I need to consciously choose to do so and ask God to help me.

It is when I do this that I have begun to truly and properly worship God

I need to crawl back to the altar. I need to remain a living Sacrifice.

Lord Help!!!!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba


[1] Romans 12:1(NIV)

[2] I Corinthians 6:19

THE MOST IMPORTANT FRUIT

In my earlier post on fruit before gifts, I concluded by saying that without the fruit of the Spirit, the gifts did not amount to much.

(Read the earlier post here: https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/fruit-before-gifts/)

But my pondering did not stop there. I had a very interesting conversation with a friend about the importance of the fruit and how it was so not easy to live up to the Galatians 5:22 list.

As the conversation progressed, we discovered certain things (Iron sharpening Iron) that I just have to share. It’s a pretty amazing discovery I promise.   Here it goes:

In every translation of the bible, Galatians 5:22 always talks about the ‘fruit’ of the spirit in singular and then goes on to list nine things. (go on and check if you need confirmation).That fact always kind of stumped me but I agreed with the majority of Christians that this was deliberate because God wanted to let us know that we could not manifest one fruit and leave out the other; it is all or nothing.

I have come to discover in recent times that all that we need as Christians is a single fruit. Once we can manifest that single fruit, the rest would be covered. Therefore the use of the singular form ‘fruit’ is apt.

Before I get accusations of blasphemy, hear me out.

The single fruit you need is LOVE. If we can truly love each other, the requirements of the remaining eight fruit would have been satisfied. Don’t take my word for it, read up 1 Corinthians 4:3-7

Let me shock you some more-this single fruit trumps every single gift- I Corinthians 12-13:3 points that out.

And to cap it all, this singular fruit summaries the entire law- Mathew 22:40

If I can love God’s way, then I’m good to go.

Loving God’s way is so not an emotion. It is a God backed decision.

It makes me just like Jesus.

And my flesh is going to fight it!

I’m going back to the prayer I borrowed from Joyce Meyer a while ago and I’ve stopped praying:

‘Lord, reduce me to Love’!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 

 

 

 

GOD’S GOT YOUR BACK

In recent times, I looked at my account balance, thought about all the upcoming expenses and I was worried- so worried it was all I could think about. I thought about it till I was almost depressed.(I’m sure some of us can relate) and then the Holy Spirit said to me:

‘Hebrews 13:5’.

I flipped my bible over to the scripture wondering if my mind was playing tricks on me. This is what I found:

‘Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[1]

I thought to myself, but ‘it’s not like I love money like that, at least God wants me to prosper’. And then it hit me:

The point where I began to worry about money, I contravened a direct command of God not to worry-Philippians 4:6, money had become more important to me than obeying God.

The minute I start to contemplate working when I should be in God’s presence

The minute I start to contemplate scrimping on my tithes and offering

I started loving money instead of loving God.

How? , you may ask.  You see, what you love, you think about. What you love you pursue. What you love you sacrifice for. The absence of what you love depresses you.

That last one hit home for me. Lack of money was depressing me. I was becoming in love with money.

The antidote is clear: Contentment! To borrow from Joyce Meyer: ‘Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.

Why? God’s got my back and he does not plan to leave me without help. He’ll do the same or you.

We just need to trust him.

The mirror of the Word has just exposed another area where I need help.

I need to learn true contentment.

Lord, teach me contentment in Jesus name.

Amen!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 


[1] Hebrews 13:5 (NIV)

YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU DO

Have you ever been asked the question ‘Who are you’? How did you answer? If you are like me and   most people, you started to talk about the things you do either for a living or for fun.

It’s a common trend to define ourselves by what we do, hence the constant need to compare and the desire to outdo one another. We’ve not been taught any different, our parents ingrained it in all of us and the society passed it down well.

Statements like ‘You’re still————-(fill in the gaps) ,all your mates are…..’ abound throughout life.

The church is not immune either, the pressure will mount whether you are a born again, tongue speaking demon chasing Christian or not.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had times when it becomes a bit overwhelming and you begin to equate your value as a human being to the things you’ve achieved or not achieved yet and you begin to begin to look down on yourself because ‘they’ have you thinking you don’t measure up.

The bible clears up the confusion. It reminds me that those that compare themselves with themselves are not wise.[1]

Take pride in your accomplishments. It’s good for you but don’t derive your entire life value from what you achieve or don’t achieve, have or don’t have, do or don’t do.

You are valuable, just because you exist.

When God made you, He made a human BEING, not a human DOING.-Genesis 2:7

As much as what you do is important, It is not who you are.

You are not what you do!

You are valuable because you are!

So the next time someone asks me who is ‘Tobiloba Ajayi’? I need to remember to answer:

Tobioba is a Child of God,

That’s who I am!

That’s who you are too.

You are not what you do!

I need a re-orientation.

Lord Help!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba


[1] 2 Cor 10:12

JUST STAND

‘I have done everything I know to do physically and spiritually and about this situation and nothing is changing’. I’m giving up!

I have prayed, fasted, confessed sins both known and unknown, declared the word, I’m hardworking. What else does God want from me?

If the words above sound familiar, welcome to my world-at different times, in different circumstances.

Recently I was going through one of my ‘I’ve done everything’ phases and I was in church unwilling to pray yet another prayer when the Lord directed me to a scripture in Ephesians. It reads:

….and having done all the crises demands, to stand in your place[1]

Note: Standing is for those who have fulfilled the beginning part of that scripture-They’ve taken up the WHOLE- not part, armour of God and fought a good fight with it.

So check, have you done everything? Trust me, you’ll know when you have. –Ephesians 6:14-18 can be helpful here.

When you’ve done that, by all means STAND!

While you’re standing, people are most likely going to misunderstand you. You are going to get jibes for doing nothing. Advice is going to come from left, right and centre about all the things you should be doing.

But when you are convinced you’ve done all that you should do, STAND!

You are going to be tempted to try one more thing, don’t give in, Stand!

And like God said to the Israelites at the red sea ‘Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which He will show to you today….[2]

The Israelites were told not just to stand but to ‘Stand still’. They had done everything God commanded, all that God needed was for them to stand still.

There are certain areas in my life that I need to ‘Stand’ and let God move.

I need to stop butting in.

And having done all the crises demands, I’m learning to stand!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba


[1] Ephesians 6:13 (Amplified)

[2] Exodus 14:13

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