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Archive for the tag “Bible”

God’s Masterpiece

The ‘increase your faith to receive healing’ brigade came at me a few weeks ago and I’ve sat on this post since then.

Because they are church leaders, I kept quiet.

But it saddened me.

You see, the issue they have is that I have Cerebral Palsy.

It’s a developmental disability I have had since birth that affects mostly my movement, gait, posture and depth perception.
I have had this my whole life and I have thrived and served despite this my whole life.

Now I’m wondering….

How many parents, kids, young people with disabilities have we saddled with the guilt of their ‘being sick’ being their fault because they lack faith?

How many mothers are depressed because all of their ‘faith’ isn’t working and their pastors and churches insist it’s their fault?

How many have we driven from the faith with this misguided theology?

Child of God, Listen, God does not heal every condition or disease. God does not take away every thorn. He will use everything in your life for His glory whether or not He chooses to heal.

You are God’s masterpiece created for good works that he has prepared before time that you would do- Ephesians 2:10

Do not let anyone, no matter what their church given title is, tell you otherwise.

Repeat after me: I am God’s masterpiece.

Who’s With Me?
Tobiloba

Gender Specific Marriage Instructions

Why Are The Commands To Submit and Love in Marriage Gender Specific?

As I was teaching yesterday, someone asked me this question.

I gave an answer and the class continued.

I woke up this morning and the Holy Spirit in His usual way continued the conversation.

Here’s what I just learned. I’m so excited, I can’t sit still and I can’t wait to share.

When God created man, He gave both man and woman the mandate to dominate every other thing that He had created except each other-Genesis 1:26-28 shows this clearly.

However, at the fall of man in Genesis 3, things got altered a little bit.

God, in dishing out consequences for their actions said to the woman: ‘In pain will you bring forth children; your desire will be for your husband and He will rule over you.

This changed the dynamics of the marriage relationship.

The woman would always love her husband and he started to ‘rule’ her.

However, the original DNA of the woman has not been completely overriden. She somehow knows she was not created to be dominated, so she kicks back against the husbands ‘rulership’.

This rulership is fine by the man anyway because it works very nicely into the dominion mandate he was given at creation.

The rulership & Kickback mechanism is why God inspired Apostle Paul to make gender specific instructions for Christian marriages.

Submission is difficult for a woman who is kicking back from being ruled.

A man focused on ruling will not find it easy to love.

We need to be reminded about God’s original plan.

Mutual submission to each other that plays out in reverence/ submission on the part of the wife and unconditional love on the part of the husband!

I just learnt a serious lesson.

Who’s With Me?

Tobiloba

The Restoration Prayer

Happy New Year Everyone.

It has become customary for a lot of Christian congregations to start the year with prayer and fasting.

One of the prayers I have found to cut across denominations is usually ‘The prayer of restoration’ and most of the time the scriptural reference for that prayer is usually taken from Joel 2:25-26.

Read with me: I’ll make up for the years of the locust, the great locust devastation -locusts savage, locusts deadly, fierce locusts, locusts of doom, That great locust invasion I sent your way. You’ll eat your fill of good food, you’ll be full of praises to your God…’ -Joel 2:25-27 (MSG)

Does this verse apply to you today?

Let’s look at the verse again.

The word ‘I’ in verse 25 is referring to God. Therefore God sent the locust devastation on the Israelites as a result of their disobedience.

He made this promise that we like to quote in response to their repentance.

So, before you quote this scripture again, answer the following questions.

1. Has God told you that He sent ‘locusts’ your way and why?

2. If yes, have you repented as God requires?

If your answer to question 1 is ‘No’. Errm, what are you doing?

I leave the answers to you.

P.S I do not have anything against the ‘prayer of restoration’ in itself, I just want to encourage believers to pray with understanding of scriptures.

I choose to pray in understanding in 2016.

Who’s With Me?
Tobiloba

Under Pressure

The congregation I worship with has a recent culture of reading the bible together aloud on Sundays.About a month ago we read a scripture aloud and a verse hit me so much I wrote it down… and promptly forgot about it.

A few days ago I noticed the verse where I had written it and wondered why I wrote down. It came back to mind again this morning, relentlessly… The way the Holy Spirit can be and I went to look it up.

Read with me:Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts.-2 Corinthians 8:2 (MSG)

Reading this passage hit me squarely. Why? Yesterday,we were having a discussion about character at home and my sister who is incredibly honest, told me about how I needed to welcome negative feedback some more.

If you know me, you know I ruminated over that conversation all night.

And then this.

Listen, Child of God, Your true colours and exposed under trials. The more severe the trial, the  more the content of your character is exposed.

To get the juice out of a fruit, you put it under pressure. What comes out is the real content of that fruit.

How do you react under pressure? Are you able to keep your joy? What about when you’re desperately broke? Can you give generously in poverty?

Who you are during trials is who you really are, Your true colours are revealed when you’re under pressure.

Be honest with yourself. How much of Christ do you reveal under pressure?

If you’re like me,you’ve answered , ‘not a lot’,

Since you only give out under pressure what is ingrained in you, It means that you have to put in you more of Jesus till it becomes ingrained in you and comes out of you under pressure,

I need to spend more time with Jesus,I need to spend more time with my bible.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

How Is Your Foundation?

In the last few weeks, I have heard references to a very common part of the bible. I even quote that part a lot and use it in conversation. Last night, It hit me in an entirely new way and I thought to share.

Read with me: ‘

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed[d] in heaven.” -Matthew 16:13-19 (NKJV)

You know this portion of scripture right?

Yesterday, as I ruminated over it again in my mind, I wondered, Why would Jesus ask his  disciples the questions he asked? I mean these guys were disciples. This was not a gathering of the crowd, it was the gathering of the core group. The ‘we have given up everything to follow Jesus’ group, Why would Jesus ask them those questions?

Isn’t it interesting though that even though they all had answers to the question of public opinion about who Christ was, only Peter could answer the question of personal belief?

Scripture tells us why. God revealed the truth of Jesus’ Identity to Peter. It was not based on his flesh and blood experiences of walking with God.

Consequently,on that revelation, the church of God was established and continues to be established today,

Listen, YOU are the church of God. The minute you gave your life to Christ and He came to dwell in you by the Holy Spirit, you became the church.

What personal belief are you as the church built on? Is it a God given revelation of Christ or the flesh and blood understanding of men?

Are you more versed in public opinion than you are about the unchanging truths of God?

Let me reiterate, If all you know about God is what your pastor/man of God tells you, you do not know God . If you do not know God,  Your foundation as a Church of God is faulty. We all know what happens to buildings with false foundations-they collapse and usually take unsuspecting  casualties with them.

Check your spiritual foundations today.

What are the built on?

Ask God to reveal to you if and where there are weaknesses in your foundation and help you to fix it with the right tools from his word.

I’m  checking my spiritual foundations today.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

The ‘Parable’ Of The Older Brother

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I woke up yesterday with a very popular story i’n the bible ringing in my head. If you’ve been in church a while or know bible stories, there’s no way yo missed this one. It’s none other than the parable of the prodigal son.

For my readers who don’t know that story and as a refresher course for all us, Read: Luke 15:11-32.

Today I’m going to focus on a part of that story a lot of us pass over when we read the parable. It’s the part of the older brother. Verses 25-32 of that story focus entirely on the elders brothers reaction to the prodigal son’s return.

Now let’s bring his responses home and see how we are doing.

A ‘bad’ boy/girl gives his/her life to Christ. You saw it happen.All of a sudden, every testimony Sunday,this person has a testimony of how God has been so awesome and has done this and that and how he/she now realizes it is sweet to know Jesus. Meanwhile you’ve been born again since age 5 , never strayed, walked the straight and narrow and yet you’ve been praying the same prayer point that this bad boy/girl turned Christian just testified about for 10 years.

You get jealous. or let me say it nicely, you feel bad.

You avoid prayer,God starts to seek you out. In response you rant and rave and tell God He’s not being fair.
#elderbrothersyndrome

Who’s been there? I have. Too many times to count. I think I was going down that road again this week so God used this parable to call me to order-again.

God said to me, the same thing the father in the parable said to the elder brother. Read with me: My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”-Luke 15:31-32 (NIV)

Can you see it? Okay, Let me break it down.

Dear lifelong/long term Christian who is getting jealous of the new convert who seems to be getting all the blessings, Listen:

You have ALWAYS been God’s child. You have always had access to everything that belongs to Him. Everything you need and want He can and will give to you. It’s your inheritance anyway, but you have to ask.

Do you notice that in that story,the elder brother never said he asked for anything and was refused. He got angry because he had an entitlement mentality. He did not receive because be did not ask.

I hear those of you saying,I have asked and asked, yet nothing.

We all know by now that there are a myriad of reasons why this may be the case. That’s the subject of another post entirely.

I’ll end today’s post with something I heard/read somewhere that completely applies here.

The reason you’re upset over the fact that someone else has something you’re praying for is because you unconsciously think that it means that they are depriving you of something you deserve.

Listen God has more than enough blessings for all of us. Our requests cannot bankrupt heaven’s storehouse.

And he gives to each of us according to His will.

So I’m checking my heart this season to flush out all traces of the elder brother syndrome hanging out there.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

And It Came To Pass…

If you are a fan of the King James Version of the bible, you’re used to the words of today’s title. People like me however run as far as our legs can carry us to simpler to read versions of the bible. I do not enjoy needless headaches in trying to understand the written word of my lover and saviour.

Do I have any comrades so far?

So imagine my surprise when the five words in today’s title started ringing in my spirit this morning. Of course my trusted versions didn’t have those words in that order so I went to KJV.

I realize that those words were used to refer to things that had happened. In a sense, it is used to begin reported speech. Story telling. Things that came and had passed.

Message for today: IT CAME TO PASS!

If it has come,it will pass. No matter what it is, It will not stay the same for ever.

That storm you’re in, it started one day and it will end one day. It came, it will pass.

That struggle you’re stuck in, It came to pass.

I don’t know what your issues are but they came and they will pass.

And look through the bible, the people in the story usually survived the story.

Don’t worry, that storm will not drown you.

You will survive to tell the world that ‘It came to pass’.

My mantra for today and onwards in every situation that threatens my peace is

This too shall pass because ‘It came to pass’.

Who’s with me?
Tobiloba

WHO IS IN CONTROL?

Its funny how you think you understand a scripture until God opens your eyes and begins to show you completely new things from the same scripture.

Anyway I had an epiphany of sorts a few days ago when an extremely popular scripture dropped in my spirit and the Holy Spirit began to expand it in my heart.

The Scripture is: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. -Prov 3:5-6

Have you ever been confused as a Christian? Have you ever been at a crossroad and just not sure what to do? If you never have, thumbs up! I want to be like you when I grow up.

If you have, how did you work it out? Read on and discover with me the root of most confusion in our lives as Christians.

The first part of the scripture above says: ‘Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart’.

How many of us can really say we do that? Don’t we trust in our parents, friends, pastors and even our own intellect more than we trust the Lord?

Before you think you’re exempt, (I’m not by the way), think about it; when you are faced with a challenge, what’s the first thing you do?

Can you honestly say the first thing you do is take it to God?

And the next part attacks our inherent tendency towards self sufficiency. It tells us not to lean on our own understanding.

How many issues have you attempted to sort out in your head that you only brought to God when you hit a brick wall? We even justify it by saying, ’That’s the reason God gave us brains’.

The next part asks us to bring God into ALL our ways, not some.

Most of us pick and choose which areas of our lives God can influence and that why you will hear ‘Christians’ say things like: ‘Leave God out this matter’ or worse still interpret scripture to suit their perverted and wrong desires.

And we wonder why we are confused? God cannot direct us if He is still one of the very many options in our circle of trust; or we make Him a last bet after all other bets don’t pan out; or we choose and pick the areas of our lives He has a say in.

God will not direct what He does not control.

What God directs is never confused

Who/What controls your life?

Lord I surrender to your control.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba.

LIVE IN TODAY

Every time I read the story of the’ commissioning’ of Moses, it always strikes me that when Moses asked how to introduce his God, God answered: Tell them the ‘I Am’ sent you.-Exodus 3:13-15.

I keep thinking to myself, there are more prestigious and high sounding names that God could have used, why use something  related to time?

The words ‘I Am’ in English Language is called the present tense.

Mind you, He’s the one person that can go back and go forward, yet he does not refer to that ability, He chooses to stay in the present.

I thought I was going off tangent with this until I found:  ‘Before Abraham was, I Am-John 8:58

To me, that sounds grammatically wrong. It should have been ‘I was’, yet Jesus maintains the present tense even when it would have been correct on all sides to refer to the past.

What does this tell me? I need to take my cue from God and stay in the present.

A lot of the times I’m thinking of all the things that could have, would have or should have been. I need to realise I cannot go back. It cannot be changed.

Another thing I do often is to go off thinking and thinking of what will be.  I need to realise I’m not there yet. I cannot predict the future.

Little wonder the bible admonishes us not to worry about tomorrow-Mathew 6:34

Most of my anxieties are either over mistakes of the past or the possibilities of tomorrow.

I need to learn from the master.

I need to learn to take my cue from my present tense father and live in today. He’ll meet today’s needs today and tomorrow’s needs tomorrow. What’s more He deals with the past as well.

Learn from the past, Plan for the future but please live in today.

It’s the road to peace!

I choose to live in today.

So help me God.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

THE MOST UNREAD OR MISUNDERSTOOD LOVE STORY

I don’t know about you but I love ‘love stories.’ I must have read hundreds of Mills &Boon titles by the time I left secondary school. (Any witnesses in the house?) lol.

When I gave my life to Christ, that love did not change so I became a sucker for love stories with Christian themes- The Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury and Lori wick and so on could not turn them out fast enough for my voracious reading appetite.

By the way, I have a thing for love notes and love letters too. I’m sure if I search my room well enough, I’ll still find some as old as 15 years ago. (Stop looking at me funny, I know some of you still have them too.) lol!

Why do we like love stories and keep love notes? We re-read them over and over and we can almost quote some of them verbatim with sheepish smiles on our faces.

Why am I going on and on about this? Well I want to tell my own very brief version of a popular love story and so I’m setting the scene .Here it goes:

There was once a woman who committed murder. According to the law, she was to be killed. Her execution date was set and she cooling her heels in prison awaiting the day.

On the day of her execution, the door to her cell opens and she is told she’s free to go. When she asks why, she is told another person has chosen to die in her place fulfilling the requirement of the law.

Who is this person and what does He want in return or hope to gain from taking my punishment?

I don’t know who he is the jailer answered. He only asks that I give you this book.

She takes the book from the jailer and opens it.

The first page read ‘I love you so much I couldn’t let you die. You don’t know me yet. That’s why I sent you this book. It contains all you need to know about me and more. I hope that in time you will come to love me back’.

It was unsigned.

The End.

What do you think the girl did with the book? More importantly, what do you do with yours?

The characters in the story represent you and I. The girl represents you and I,-we’ve committed sins for which death is the only punishment.

Jesus is the person who took your place so you wouldn’t die because He loves you too much.

Your Bible is the book-His love letter to you. Only when you study it can you begin to know  and understand His heart and His motives.

It is only when you understand the love story that you can begin to reciprocate the love.

Are you reading your love notes? Are you reading His love story?

Do you understand it?

Are you reciprocating the love?

I need to go back to my Love story.

I need to go back to my Bible.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

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