Thursday, March 28, 2013


The rate of bloodshed through bomb blast. armed robbery, kidnapping and
assassination in Nigeria in now alarming and increasing. The Churches in
Nigeria have been praying, some are shouting, others are crying, but the
trouble is yet to abate. The number of prayer meetings, fasting and night
vigils has reached the crescendo and yet Boko Haram and all other enemies
are not only thriving, but are becoming bold and invincible. It has reached
the level of going from house to house to slaughter people, and some
Christians are now preparing to defend themselves. I do not know how they
are going to do that - carry arms and join in the bloodsheding business? I
am also not sure of what scripture they will use to back up such an action.
But, why is God not responding to our prayers, fasting, vigils and other
things we have been doing? I seem to be hearing God saying: "Behold, the
LORD'S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That
it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And
your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. For your
hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips
have spoken lies, Your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for
justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak
lies; They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity...".
If these things are only happening out there amongst the heathens, it will
be understandable, but are they not happening amongst those who are called
by the name of the Lord. Are they not happening in our prayer meetings,
during the fasting period and even in the "house of the Lord"? Are they not
happening amongst those in collar, the ordained, the consecrated and the
enthroned? When God looks down from heaven and examine the hearts, can he
distinguish the hearts that make up "Boko Haram" from the one that make up
the "Church council"? The same robbery some commit armed with guns, are
others not committing it armed with pens, while others commit the same
robbery armed with "anointing"? Does lies and deception not pouring out of
the brethren and even out of the pulpit? Let me play it down, because I am
not saying what you are not familiar with, or are you ignorant of these
things? My problem is that we sit before and listen to some of these
people every Sunday, even with the knowledge of the atrocities going on. It
looks like we hypnotised that we are not capable of asking God if we should
continue to sit in such places and before such "ministers".
This is why all the prayers and fasting and vigils are not reaching heaven.
Let me not talk of the attitude even at the same place of prayer and
fasting. I wish God will open a little and show you the hearts of those
praying and fasting, and that of those having vigils. You need to see they
heart they have one for another even in the house of God. That is why
instead of bringing down the enemies, our prayers seem to be growing them.
But are these enemies greater then God? Is God helpless as to how to curb
the excesses of the enemy? has it become impossible for God ho solve these
problems and heal our land? God forbid. There is nothing impossible to our
God. he is the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God. No Boko Haram
can hide from him and no enemy can disguise and deceive him. He does not
support to subdue the enemies in a moment. So, the problem is not with God,
but we have not woken up to do the right things, which he expects the
Church to know and do. These steps that are yet to be taken seriously is
the reason for this write up and the earlier the better. What is this
The solution remains the same old solution which the Israelites of old
applied anytime they come to this kind of cross road - any time the enemies
came upon them heavily as they have come on Nigeria presently. God in his
mercy has not committed their experiences in writing for our example, but
he has also codified it as a standard for every generation. It is such that
no matter the nature of problems and troubles that confronts the people and
the land (be it drought, locust inversion, pestilence, armed robbers, Boko
Haram, Kidnappers and so on), "if My people who are called by My name will
humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked
ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal
their land."
Nigerians have been praying and I bear them witness there have been all
manner of prayers meetings and vigil all over the country. Some are even
adding fasting to their prayers as they have learnt that "This kind can
come out by nothing but prayer and fasting." So, Nigerians are praying.
However, the missing link is that the solution is beyond prayer. The
standard solution quoted above have some other ingredients which are
violently missed out. These are "humble themselves", "seek my face", and
"turn from their wicked ways".
As individuals are we humble? As Church leaders at all levels and as
congregations, are we humble? Are Church leaders not lifting themselves up
above God himself? Are some not even desiring to be worshipped? As a nation
are we humble? Let me not weary you, because you can see our arrogance and
proud attitude at every level. Even the gigantic and beautiful Church
building that many are spending millions to build, are they not for them to
take glory as having the best church in town or the biggest church
auditorium or the most high tech church. Check it out and see. God also is
seeing all these and wondering what the people have been learning from the
Bible the carry around.
Again, can you listen to the prayers going on everywhere in the Land. If it
is not for prosperity, it is for the enemies to fall and die. Some are
shooting Boko Haram with spiritual machine gun, while others are killing
any ancestral spirit that is hindering them from making their millions.
Some are chasing Holy water and oil, while others are making money from
selling these items. Is any body really seeking God's face to say, "Father,
what is this about? Lord, what shall we do? What message are you sending to
your people? What shall we do to stop the enemy inversion? How many are
saying "Lord, that I may know you, that I may see your face"?
Now, consider the heart with which many are praying - wicked hearts. Some
have blood stain in their hands and are praying not for cleansing, but for
God to kill "Boko Haram' and armed robbers for him. In some of the night
vigils, fornication and adultery are recorded even amongst highly placed
leaders. The prayers are said with 2 eyes open, because if one closes his
eyes he may loose his phone or bag in the midst of prayers. Let me not
bore you with the stealing and looting in the Government circle, which you
know so well, but I am not sure it the one happening in the Church is not
more. Since the crises escalated, how many people have changed their wicked
ways? How many people have repented of their sins and turned clearly
to seek the face of God? How may people care about God's approval of what
they are doing? How do we expect God to move on behalf of sin ridden
people, who are not interested in repenting? Shall we remain in sin that
grace may abound - God forbid. Christians have been delivered from sin, why
is it that they are still swimming in it. Do they not read in the Bible
that anyone who sins is of the devil because the devil sins from the
beginning? Is it not clear in the Bible that anyone born of God cannot sin
because the seed of God is in him and it is in this matter that the
children of God and the children of devil are distinguished. As sin colours
the voices of thanksgiving, supplication, praise and worship; God cannot
inhabit them, nor give regard to them. There is need for repentance and for
leveraging on the blood of Jesus to wash away the sins and go justified,
but sin no more. However, where sin has become a culture, a way of life, it
is not difficult to tell who is in charge in those lives. You can see
with God, why he cannot quickly arise to destroy your enemies and you too
may be an enemy of God, not minding your rank.
If you are a child of God, who desires a change in Nigeria, or you are a
leader at any level and any circle in Nigeria, you have to give yourselves
to closing these gaps, and lead or encourage others to do so beginning from
individual personal lives and then to community life. In the time of old,
they go in "ashes and sack cloth" in humbling themselves in repentance, but
in this jet age, Nigerians (especially those who are called by the name of
the Lord) should tear their heart and not their garment. Can we drastically
reduce our boisterous luxuries, sell them and give out the money to the
poor. Can we put off our private jets and exotic cars in repentance and
humility or sell them and use the proceed to help many who cannot afford
daily bread. Can the leaders come down from their exulted thrones and
genuinely seek the face of God in humility and repentance. This is the time
to end all sooth saying that are going on everywhere and seek authentic
word from the Lord. You, especially you a leader knows what I am talking
about. Your delay in repentance is tearing the country apart. Remember the
three whooping gaps - Humble themselves, seek my face and turn from their
wicked ways.
Now, this is the only hope for the country. Note that 2015 is coming and
let us not imagine what will happen then if these things are not timely
addressed. Now is the time. This message will go round Nigeria and you will
be part of the courier, so that it will reach all Christian leaders and all
God's people, to give them clear direction for their prayers and action, so
as to save this country, whose survival depends on what they do. As this
message goes round, anyone who refuses to hid the word of God and put these
steps in practice in his life and in his areas of influence, consider him a
worse enemy of Nigeria than "Boko Haram", armed robbers and kidnappers put
together. Do not even eat with such a person or fellowship with him,
whoever he is. No matter how interesting his sermons sound, do not sit
under him, he is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Remember that the starting
point is your own life and the 3 steps are "Humble themselves, seek my
face and turn from their wicked ways". If you are a teach, teach these, in
you are an evangelist, evangelise them and if you are a prophet, prophecy's
them. Again, if you are an apostle, make them your foundation and if you
are a pastor, feed these to your flock. But do not forget, the starting
point is you.
When you receive this, please broadcast it to every Nigerian and as a
Nigerian, begin with yourself immediately you get the message, and
encourage those around you. While working on yourself, send the message to
others. God is saying to Nigerians, especially those called by his name
"Try me in this." The zeal of the Lord will circulate the message, but I
employ you to be an instrument in the hand of God to disseminate this
message let it reach the head of state and those in authority and the
Church leadership. Your obedience will save Nigeria.

May the peace of the Lord be with those who are obedient to his word - amen.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. . . . My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10:14,27).
 Tom Fox is a successful financial investment manager who heads up a workplace ministry in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area. He used to be troubled when he heard Christians say, "The Lord told me . . . " He certainly had never heard God speak to him like that. "What is different about those people and me?" he wondered. In the book of John, Tom had read that Jesus had said that His sheep hear His voice, but he didn't understand how they could do that. His pursuit to answer that question began his quest to discover how to hear God's voice himself. Today, Tom realizes that God does speak and that we, as His children, can hear His voice. He has discovered how to hear God's words of guidance in his daily life, which includes the day-to-day operations of his business, and he is teaching others how to hear God's voice as well. A friend of mine told me a story about an experience he had in Israel that demonstrates how sheep know their shepherd's voice. He and his wife were visiting some of the famous biblical sites when they saw a group of shepherds and their flocks. They watched as three different shepherds put their sheep in the same pen for the night, and they wondered how in the world the shepherds would separate their sheep the next day, since none of them had any identifying marks on them. My friend got up early the next morning to watch the shepherds gather their sheep. The first shepherd went over to the pen and called out to his sheep. One by one, his sheep (and only his sheep) filed out to follow him. The same thing happened with the other two shepherds. My friend said it was amazing to watch how only the shepherd's sheep followed him while the others remained in the pen--and all because they recognized his voice. What a picture of Jesus' words spoken centuries earlier. Ask God to help you hear the voice of God--even on the job.

Monday, March 25, 2013


..."Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." - John 21:6
 A former client of mine was the marketing director of a large food brokerage company and told me a story about one of their client grocery stores located in the upper Midwest. It seems that the store could not understand why at a certain time every winter sales plummeted. They studied their product line and interviewed customers. They did everything possible to uncover the mystery. Finally, someone made a remarkable discovery that changed everything. It seemed that whenever it was really cold outside, the manager raised the temperature in the store. When customers came into the store it was too warm for them, so they removed their coats and placed them in their shopping carts. This meant less room for food and resulted in reduced sales overall. They lowered the temperature of the store, and as a result, the sales climbed back to the levels they were accustomed to. Their adjustment resulted in restoring sales levels. Jesus stood on the shoreline and watched Peter and a few of the disciples fish. Jesus yelled from the shoreline asking if they had caught anything. They had not. He then suggested they cast their line on the other side of the boat. Without knowing the person who was addressing them, they took His advice. They began catching so many fish they could not bring them in. Adjusting our lives to God is the first thing that has to happen in order to begin experiencing Him in our daily lives. For some, it is simply following the advice of those above us. For others, it may require a major change in our job situation. Still, for others it could mean making changes in relationships. Whatever the case, you can be sure that until we adjust our lives to God we will not receive His full blessing. Ask Him today where you need to adjust to Him.

Friday, March 22, 2013


"Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul." - Psalm 143:8
 David is the only person in the Bible whom God describes as a man after His own heart. Despite David's many setbacks he continually sought to know and do God's will in his life. Like many of us, his will got in the way of a sinless life. In the morning hour, David sought to hear from God. I can imagine David sitting on the open deck of his palace looking over the hills of Jerusalem, listening to God. There, in his morning watch, he felt God's unfailing love. He reaffirmed his trust in God. He also understood that the key to knowing God's will lay in spending such moments alone to reflect on what God had done and was doing in his life. "Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground" (Psalm 143:10). Sometimes we fall prey to believing that God is not concerned, and that He does not lead us in our work life. We are tempted to think that He leads us in other areas, but not in our daily workplace. The truth is that God is in every aspect of life and desires to direct us. Do you need direction in your life today? If so, David provides the best example of gaining direction. Set aside the morning hour to draw close to His presence. There, you will sense His unfailing love for you. His direction for your life will be a natural by-product of this time of communion with Him. Ask God to lead you by His Spirit today.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


"For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh" (Philippians 3:3).
 Os Hillman shared this testimony. "A few years ago, I was asked by a large organization to meet with them about doing some cooperative projects in the faith at work area. I visited their headquarters and had several initial discussions. We concluded that we would proceed on a joint conference. During my visit, I stayed overnight at the headquarters of this ministry. I was awakened at 5 A.M. and led to read Exodus 33:15. Moses said he could not go any further if God did not promise that His presence would go with him. I sensed this was to be our theme for the conference. Later that morning, I shared that I had received this leading from the Lord regarding the theme of the conference with some of the people in the organization. However, when I shared this with the leader of the organization, he did not take it seriously. I was a bit irritated and my pride was hurt, but I decided to follow a principle that I had been walking in for a few years: act like you have the authority, but do not reach for the power. I realized that if God had truly spoken His words into my heart, I would not have to exercise my authority to make it happen. God would orchestrate it. More discussion was given to the theme, but nothing was resolved. A few hours later, the conference theme came up again. I turned to a friend and read Exodus 33:15 aloud, and he got excited about using that verse as the possible theme of the event. The leader, to my amazement, chimed in as well and said, "Yes, that should be the theme of the conference." It was a big lesson for me. Act like you have the authority, but do not reach for the power

Monday, March 18, 2013


"Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who have been trying to intimidate me." - Nehemiah 6:14
 Nehemiah set out to rebuild the wall at Jerusalem that had been destroyed. Nehemiah held a position in the Persian Empire that would be comparable to Chief of Staff in our government. Nehemiah wept over the destruction of the city wall and repented for the sins of his generation and the generations before him that had led to the fall of Jerusalem. Nehemiah responded to the news by seeking approval from his superior to take time off to rebuild the wall. Tobiah and Sanballat met Nehemiah's action with resistance, as did Noadiah the prophetess and other prophets. These were the religious and political leaders of his day. They became distractions to his work and opposed him. Whenever God does a new work, it is often met with resistance by those in the established religious community, and sometimes among those from whom we would expect support. Jesus met the same resistance when He began His public ministry. This same phenomenon happens today. When God begins a new work that cannot be easily explained based upon prior experiences, many make the mistake of assuming it not to be of God. The very people who should embrace and encourage the work become the source of skepticism and opposition. God tells us that His ways are not our ways. He does things in ways beyond our limited understanding. Before you are tempted to criticize or oppose something that looks different from your past experience, ask God for wisdom and discernment. Examine why you might be tempted to oppose it. The Lord cannot be put in a box. He delights in doing things in ways that may not fit our former paradigms.

Friday, March 15, 2013


"Jesus gave them this answer: 'I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.'" - John 5:19
 Have you ever thought about a typical day in Jesus' life? Perhaps He might have had questions like these, "Who am I going to heal today? Who will I visit today? Which person will I deliver from demons this day?" etc. The demands on Jesus' time were great. Yet we see that Jesus allocated His time very deliberately. We don't get the idea that Jesus was flustered or stressed from the activity He was involved in. He often sought times of prayer and reflection away from the disciples. His life appeared to have a balance of quiet moments and active ministry into the lives He came in contact with. How do we determine what we will be involved in each day of our lives? What keeps us in sync with the will of our heavenly Father for the daily tasks He calls us to? Jesus tells us that He was only involved in those things the Father was involved in. Nothing more, nothing less. So often we determine our participation in an activity based on whether we have the time to do it or whether we desire to participate. The real question we should ask is, "Does the Father want me to participate in this activity?" "Lord, should I add this Bible study to my schedule? Should I spend an extra night out on this committee this week? Should I take on new business that will take me away from home more? Should my daughter be involved in music lessons?" These are the daily challenges for the world we now live in. We are an activity-based society that often encourages more and more activity, often in the name of Christian virtue. Our lives will become less cluttered, less stressful, and more fulfilling when we follow the model Jesus provided. It may not always please everyone. Jesus never sought to please everyone. Ask the Lord each day this week how you and He are to spend your time. Yield your schedule to Him. Let Jesus direct your every activity. You may discover that He desires you to cut back some things in order to spend more time alone with Him. He will be faithful to show you. And you will become more fulfilled because you are centered in His will for you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


"David asked the men standing near him, 'What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?'" (1 Sam 17:26).
  Every entrepreneur must determine the risk and reward before entering a venture. This is not the only consideration. We must determine if God is leading us after we consider all factors. We also must consider if the timing is right to proceed. David was a young shepherd when he was bringing food to his older brothers in the army. He had already killed a lion and a bear during his days as a shepherd. David understood the risk/reward principle. When he heard about Goliath and that no one was willing to fight him he was angry. However, he didn't just respond out of pure emotion. He asked a very important question. "What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?" He got the answer he was hoping for: "The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father's family from taxes in Israel." (1 Sam 17:25). Do you see the reward? He gets financial wealth, a wife, and no longer has to pay taxes! What more motivation does a young Jewish boy need? Does this take away from the spiritual significance of the story? Absolutely not. The religious spirit always tries to make the business side of faith evil. Money and profit is not evil. It is the love of money and the pride of life that gets man into trouble. David understood the proper balance of these co-existing to accomplish God's purposes. To avoid getting into trouble simply ask this question of yourself: "What is the true motive of my heart?" If it does not have the spiritual element balanced with the business element, you may be in trouble. Ask God four questions before you proceed in any venture: 1) Is the Holy Spirit leading me? 2) Is this the time to be involved? 3) Is the risk and reward worth it? 4) Do I have what is necessary to be successful in the venture with God's help? After you've asked these questions go about your task with all your heart.

Monday, March 11, 2013


"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me." - Matthew 5:11
  Recently, a friend told a true story about one of his closest friends who experienced great suffering for the soul of his persecutor. This man worked on a cargo ship. His boss was the captain. This friend was a committed Christian who shared his faith with others and was a good worker. One day the friend led the sea captain's girlfriend to Christ. The sea captain already hated and ridiculed the Christian worker because of his faith in Christ. When his girlfriend came to Christ, she stopped sleeping with the captain. The captain blamed the Christian man for the change in his girlfriend. One day he entered the restaurant where the Christian man was having lunch. He walked over to his table and began hurling obscenities and began beating him. The Christian man simply tried to defend himself but did not fight back. The captain kept beating him until eventually the man lay on the floor bleeding. Two men entered the restaurant and saw what was taking place. They jumped the sea captain and took him outside and began beating him. The sea captain was beaten so badly that he needed immediate medical attention. The Christian worker saw the condition of the sea captain, came to his aid, and began helping him. The sea captain was so moved that this man could do this after he had literally beaten him bloody that he began to weep, not understanding what could move a man to have such love in the face of being beaten. The sea captain accepted Jesus at that moment. The Bible tells us that while we were yet sinners Christ came and paid our penalty so that we might live eternally. Many in the workplace have never known the love of Christ. You might be the only one they ever meet who can introduce them to this love. Ask God to show you how to love the unlovable in your workplace today

Friday, March 8, 2013


"Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her" (Hosea 2:14).
 An ancient Arabian fable tells of three merchants who crossed the desert. In the daytime, they would pitch tents for shelter from the desert sun. When the stars came out, they would ride their camels in the cool of the night. At one point, the merchants crossed a dry riverbed under the stars. "Halt!" said a voice from the darkness. All three men jumped down from their camels and huddled in fear. "Who's there?" one of them said. "Don't be afraid," said the voice in the dark. "I won't harm you if you do as I say. See those pebbles at your feet?" By the dim starlight, the merchants saw thousands of pebbles in the riverbed. "Each of you pick up a pebble and put it in your pocket." The three merchants obeyed. Each took a pebble from the riverbed. "Now leave this place," the voice said, "and don't stop until daybreak." The merchants mounted up. One said, "What's this all about?" "I will only say this," the voice replied. "In the morning, you will be happy and sad. Now, go!"
Baffled, the three merchants proceeded on their way. As they traveled, they wondered what the voice meant by saying that they would be both happy and sad. When morning came, the merchants stopped. Each man pulled the single pebble from his own pocket and saw that it sparkled in the morning sunlight. The "pebbles" were precious gems. One man had a ruby, another, an emerald, and the third, a sapphire. "Jewels!" one merchant said, his face shining with joy.
"Oh, no!" wailed the second. "There were thousands of jewels all over the riverbed! Each of us took only one! Why didn't we grab handfuls?" "Look!" shouted the third, pointing behind them. A desert wind had whipped up, erasing their tracks. "We can never find our way back!" The voice in the desert had spoken truly. The merchants were happy and sad. They had found wealth in the desert but they could have taken more!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


"At that time Jesus said, 'I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure'" (Matt 11:25-26).
 It was a typical Sunday morning church service. Twelve-year old Jordan was deaf. She was the daughter of the pastor and took her regular first row seat opposite her mother across the isle. She liked to sit with her friend on the front row even though she could not understand the message without a sign language interpreter. On this day, there was no interpreter for the service. However, sitting next to her were her friend and her friend's mother, and they both knew sign language. They often had visiting preachers at their church. This day, the visiting preacher asked people to come forward to be prayed for. The message that day was on "Getting into the River of God." Jordan asked her friend if she saw what she was seeing. Jordan's friend asked, "See what?" Jordan replied, "The angels and Jesus!" The friend said, "Where?" Jordan again pointed to the platform. "There! By the guitar!" It was then that her mother saw the girls talking. Pattie knew her daughter was seeing something because of her face and her reactions. Jordan never took her eyes off the platform. Jordan began describing what she was seeing to her friend's mother who then began telling Jordan's mother what she was seeing. Jordan was seeing Jesus on the stage and a host of angels surrounding Him. Jordan described the scene in every detail. As Jordan looked on the stage at Jesus who was standing behind the minister, Jesus looked back at her and signed to her, "I love you." Jesus appeared often to the disciples after His resurrection. Over the centuries, there have been reports of personal appearances of Jesus to both believing and unbelieving individuals.

Monday, March 4, 2013


"For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith." - Hebrews 4:2
 The people of Israel were called out of the bondage of Egyptian slavery. God said they would be brought out of 400 years of slavery so that they might worship Him. God desired to bring them into a place of milk and honey - the Promised Land. Yet that generation never entered into the Promised Land. Why? They never took what they knew in their head and transferred it to their heart. Finally, it never resulted in actions that were based on what they believed. When I was a new Christian I heard an illustration of what belief and faith looked like when combined. If you were a trapeze artist and were skilled at walking across tightropes over high places, you might even be willing to walk across Niagara Falls. In fact, I would have confidence that you could because I had seen your abilities as a trapeze artist. However, if you asked me if you could push me in a wheelbarrow across Niagara Falls, you would be challenging me to put my beliefs into action. This requires faith, participation, and risk, which, until now, was based only on mental assent. The writer of Hebrews is telling us that if we believe God but do not enter in to those promises, we are like the man who chooses not to get into the wheelbarrow. If we don't act on our beliefs, then we remain in the desert like the people of Israel who never received God's promises. They did not combine what they knew in their head with a faith that was put into action. Has God spoken to you about an area in your life that requires a step of faith? Let God provide the courage, as He does the knowledge, to act in faith on what you believe.

Friday, March 1, 2013


"I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and make you like a warrior's sword." - Zechariah 9:13b
 In the third and fourth centuries followers of Socratic teaching and other Greek scholars began to influence the Church in ways that were different from the Hebraic roots of the early Church. The Greek influence appeals more to the intellect, whereas the early-Church Hebraic model appealed to the heart. The Greek influence resulted in more emphasis on oratory skills and cognitive knowledge of God. Over the many centuries, this influence has shown itself in a more programmatic approach to the gospel rather than a process of living out our faith. So why is it important for us to understand this? I realized in my own life that I was a product of this Greek system. My walk with Christ focused more on what I knew rather than on an intimate and powerful walk with God. Knowledge without power to express the life within is of little value. The more programmatic the focus, the less emphasis we place on building deep and caring relationships that result in changed lives. Our early Church fathers knew there was a cost to living out the Word of God, not simply giving mental assent to it. Are you walking with God today in an intimate fellowship? Or, are you only involved in programs and activities designed to do good things? Reflect on Proverbs 23:12: "Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge." We must listen and respond with the heart. Whatever service we give to God should be a result of our relationship with our heavenly Father, not an end unto itself.