“…So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water to Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he was afraid and started to sink down in the water (Matthew 14:30 GNB).”
I remember one of those old gangster rap songs I used to listen to, with part of the lyrics like this: Once again is the man with the master plan, they call him Sam….and I think you better recognize…
We have come to realize that every thing in life always follows a plan. Even as the old saying goes that, “if you fail to plan, then you have planned to fail.” And so it becomes necessary to make plans for our every circumstance in life, yet even more important, to recognize the Man with the master plan for our life. Only that His name is Jesus, the Christ, and not Sam as the lyric above suggests.
If we are truly recognizing our Lord, we have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers our circumstances in life.
We got into Nigeria last Friday after spending nine months out of the country, and the challenges of adjusting back to ‘normal’ life in Nigeria has been so tough. And we are aware of the evils which could be exhibited through us in our response to the difficult times which we face here, if it were not for the grace of God. Nevertheless, we realize the necessity of letting circumstances take us where they will, and the need to recognize and keep drawing on the grace of God in whatever condition we may find ourselves.
According to Terry Virgo in his book, ‘The Tide is Turning,’ “…One of the great promises that should make Christians shine in a world where people are tormented by fear and anxiety is that when we are assured of God’s overruling providence, we can live with poise and praise. The fact that everything is working together for good becomes a well of water springing up in our spirit. Having confidence that God is on the throne is what changes and transforms us...” and even when evil men seem responsible for the pressures we face, they only prove to be God’s instruments in a great and divine plan. Therefore, let us recognize the hand of God in every circumstances and conditions which we may find ourselves. Whether it feels good or bad, God allows them as part of His divine plan to accomplish His purposes for our lives.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Mat 16:13-16 NIV).'
The Bible says in 1John chapter 5 verse1 that, "whoever believes that Jesus is the Messiah is a child of God; and whoever loves a father loves his child also" and in verse 13 it says, " I am writing this to you so that you may know that you have eternal life---you that believe in the Son of God."
When Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," he must have at least touched God's life in order to have known this. Again, in Matthew 16:17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven."
On the basis of these scriptures we can say that being with Jesus, following Him, and being beside Him do not guarantee one a knowledge of Him. A person only knows Jesus through the revelation which is given by the Father who is in the heavens.
In much the same way that we can only know Jesus as He is revealed to us by the Father, we can also know ourselves only as revealed to us by the Father in Jesus Christ. And God gives us this revelation through His Word (The Bible), by the help of the Holy Spirit. Take a look at verse 18 of Matthew 16, which says, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." Jesus spoke and revealed to Peter his true identity, just as the Father in heaven revealed Jesus' identity to Peter.
It is very important that we know our true identity in Christ, or else we may miss out on the purpose for which God has created us to live on this earth. This is how the Word of God puts it in Proverbs 29:18 , "Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint" (NIV).
Today, God wants to reveal to you, your true identity in Christ. The following are just a few of what God (your maker) thinks of you. We have selected a few scriptures here from the Bible, and we have used Lola's name for example. Try replacing the name Lola wherever you see it in the scriptures with your own name and hear how wonderful it sounds. May God open your eyes to see your self as He sees you in Him today, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Eph. 1:5-6 Lola has been adopted by God as His daughter.
Having predestined Lola for adoption as a daughter through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His desire, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He freely bestowed favor on Lola in the Beloved.
Eph. 1:11 Lola has an inheritance in Christ.
In Him also Lola was assigned an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His will.
Eph. 2:5-6 Lola has been made alive with Christ and she is seated with Christ in the heavenly places.
Even when Lola was dead in her trespasses, God made her alive together with Christ (by grace Lola has been saved), and raised Lola up with Him and made Lola to sit with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Col. 3:3 Lola 's life is hidden with Christ in God.
For Lola died, and her life is hidden with Christ in God.
Rom. 8:35-37,39 Lola cannot be separated from the love of God.
Who shall separate Lola from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written, "For your sake we are killed all day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter." For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate Lola from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, Lola's Lord.
John 8:31-32 Lola has been set free.
If Lola remains in My word, then she is truly My disciple. Lola will know the truth, and the truth will make her free.
Rom. 6:1-4 Lola died with Christ and she died to the power of sin's rule over her life.
What shall we say then? Shall Lola continue in sin, that grace may abound? May it never be! If Lola died to sin, how could she live in it any longer? Or don't you know that when Lola was baptized into Christ Jesus, she was baptized into His death? Lola was buried with Him through baptism to death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so Lola also might walk in newness of life.
II Cor. 5:21 Lola is the righteousness of God in Christ.
For Him who knew no sin He made to be sin on Lola's behalf; so that in Him Lola might become the righteousness of God.
Col. 2:10 Lola has been made complete in Christ.
And in Him, Lola is made complete, who is the head of all principality and power.
I Peter 2:9 Lola is a member of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession.
Lola is a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that Lola may show forth the excellencies of Him who called her out of darkness into His marvelous light.
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Monday, May 14, 2007
And so part of our leaving routine has included a whole lot of bye byes and all the rest kind of "we'll miss yous" from so many friends we've made while in India (Indians as well as other foreigners we met in India). It's been such a wonderful blessing to us meeting all these friends, we'll miss them too. However, we really look forward to getting back home to Nigeria, as the saying goes, "east or west, home is the best."
In the next few weeks some of the posts on this blog may slightly include reminiscences of our many experiences while in India, and infact we are creating a blog named 'From India with Love,' were we'll be sharing our stories in photos.
Click here to visit 'From India with Love' right now. Stay blessed!
Uche & Lola
Posted by House of Virtue at 7:29 AM
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Dear Friends, we saw this prayer on the internet and decided to share it with you, please meditate awhile on it and share it with others - Uche & Lola
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Because love is patient: Help me to be slow to judge, but quick to listen, hesitant to criticize, but eager to encourage, remembering your endless patience with me.
Because love is kind: Help my words to be gentle and my actions to be thoughtful. Remind me to smile and to say "Please" and "Thank You" because those little things still mean so much.
Because love does not envy or boast, and it is not proud: Help me have a heart that is humble and sees the good in others. May I celebrate and appreciate all that I have and all that I am, as well as doing the same for those around me.
Because love is not rude or self-seeking: Help me to speak words that are easy on the ear and on the heart. When I'm tempted to get wrapped up in my own little world, remind me there's a great big world out there full of needs and hurts.
Because love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs: Help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. When I want to hold onto a grudge, gently help me release it so I can reach out with a hand of love instead.
Because love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth: Help me stand up for what is right and good. May I defend the defenseless, and help the helpless. Show me how I can make a difference.
Because love always protects and always trusts: Help me to be a refuge for those around me.When the world outside is harsh and cold, may my heart be a place of acceptance and warmth.
Finally, because love always perseveres: Help my heart continually beat with love for You and others. AMEN.
Posted by House of Virtue at 1:11 PM
Saturday, May 5, 2007
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV).
How wonderful is the gift of choice which God has given to us humans! Indeed, we are privileged amongst all of creation to be able to make choices, unlike the animals, the trees, the stones, etc., that have no ability to make choices – they just live as God has made them to live. They are not able to make choices like we humans, on what to eat, what to wear, where to go, what to do, etc.
God made us to have freewill to make choices. As such life presents us with many different choices and options. God’s Word, too, presents us with choices. We can choose whether to obey, or disobey. What will you choose to do with God’s commands and promises in the Bible? How will you respond to His Word?
God’s promise is that He will bless those who obey Him. Every time you choose to obey His Word, His blessing is released into your life (See Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Obedience to God’s Word releases God’s blessings!
It is necessary to understand the importance of allowing God to shape our values. God wants you to honor Him in your decision-making. Today, choose to make Him absolute Lord of your life. Then your life will bring pleasure to Him.
Thursday, May 3, 2007
When you continually put God first in all your affairs (seeking his will), you have a heart that is sensitive to the things of God. "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that he may strongly support those whose heart is completely his" (2 Chronicles 16:9).
God is looking for men and women whose hearts are completely his. They have no locked closets. Nothing's been swept under the rugs. When you do wrong, you admit it and come to terms with it.…You long to please him in your actions - in David: A Man of Passion and Destiny).
Contributed by Moda
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Take a look at this picture. The longer you look at it, the more you see…
Look at the line lines the artist used to draw the picture… it contains various scenes of the life of Jesus Christ. I have never seen anything like it before and wanted you to see it too…
Contributed by Joseph Ipaye
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
I was drawn to "dance" at the end of the word.
I reflected upon how doing God's will is a lot like dancing.
When two people try to lead, nothing feels right.
The movement doesn't flow with the music,
and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky.
When one person realizes this and lets the other lead,
both bodies begin to flow with the music.
One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back
or by pressing lightly in one direction or another.
It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully.
The dance takes surrender, willingness,
and attentiveness from one person
and gentle guidance and skill from the other.
My eyes drew back to the word GUIDANCE.
When I saw "G," I thought of God, followed by "u" and "i."
"God, "u" and "i" dance." !
God, you, and I dance.
This statement is what guidance means to me.
As I lowered my head, I became willing to trust
that I would get guidance about my life.
Once again, I became willing to let God lead.
My prayer for you today is that God's blessings
and mercies be upon you and your family
on this day and everyday.
May you abide in Him as He abides in you.
Dance together with God, trusting Him to lead
and to guide you through each season of your life.
Contributed by Moda
Posted by House of Virtue at 12:04 PM