Monday, 11 December 2017

Taste & See

Christmas is almost here! I hope you’ve gotten out your decorations 😊. Christmas is that time of the year when you get to dust off the recipe book and try out another way to cook turkey before you return to the tried and tested method that guarantees that you won’t go hungry on Christmas day. I remember back then in Birmingham, on the day before Christmas, I’d go out to buy turkey, plantain, mashed potatoes, gravy, cake, drinks, mixed vegetables and everything else that ensured Christmas day would be a memorable day. Christmas in Nigeria just isn’t the same, we’ll see this time around sha.

My Birmingham Christmas Meal
Isn’t it strange that as human beings when we see good food, the saying: seeing is believing doesn’t apply. What applies is taste and see 😂. Until you taste the food, you don’t believe that it’s good. That why the bible in Ps. 34: 8 says:

Taste and See that the Lord is Good… (NIV)

But the question we should be asking when we read a verse like this, is why does the bible say we should taste and see and not just see? This is because taste is an action that involves you taking the step to find out for yourself. When you taste, two things are involved: 
  1. Hope, which is the foundation of faith and 
  2. Faith that God will respond to you. 

On the other hand, seeing doesn’t involve you trying it out and therefore hinders your ability to ever convince anyone about what you are talking about. This therefore means that our ability to witness (Matt. 24:14) would be severely affected. If hearsay isn’t admissible in the court of law, why should it be admissible in the kingdom of God? God wants each and everyone of us to try Him out for ourselves and not rely on what the pastor or our parents or anyone else tell us about who He is or who He should be. That would be limiting a limitless God to the perspective of the person who told you about Him. To some, He is Jehovah Rapha, to others He is the Jehovah Elohim, but you will not know what He is to you until you taste and see for yourself. That is why when Moses asked God, who should I tell them sent me, He replied with what would forever be the greatest reply ever: I am that I am (Ex. 3:13-14). Meaning that whoever you see God as is who sent Moses. Isn’t that epic?


Just like that good meal that you’ll eat on Christmas day, the charge is for you to taste and see for yourself that the Lord is good and in doing so you will be an effective witness unto the world. When next you hear someone tell you seeing is believing, tell them no, seeing is not believing. Tasting and seeing is believing lol.

Sage

Monday, 4 December 2017

A Reflection | Wanting More and Living Within Your Means

Hello Readers & Followers

How are you doing today? It's December, the month that we have chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Have you started feeling "Christmassy"? I have attended at least two Christmas parties so far that have set my mood in preparation for Christmas. Another thing that has also helped set my mood for Christmas is the culture of giving and shopping during the Christmas period. Here in England, there is a culture of sharing gifts with one another during Christmas, therefore, a lot of us shop for various items during the Christmas period. What better way to start this month by writing about spending within our means.  Keep reading...

"Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer (food/manna) for each person you have in your tent" (Exodus 16:16 NIV)

Reading the story in Exodus 16:1-31, God gave specific instructions to Moses, He said He was going to bless the Israelites with food from heaven. However, there was a clause to this. God said that everyone would go out each day and gather as much food as he needs and God would test them in this, to see whether they will follow His instructions.  

So what were the instructions?

Firstly, God instructed them to gather an omer for each person they had in their household and they were not to leave the food overnight. Guess what? Some of them did not listen to the instruction, some gathered more and left the omer over night. Something terrible happened in the morning; when they looked, the food was full of maggots and had a terrible odour.

The second instruction came that on the sixth day, as the seventh day was going to be a day of rest, the Israelites were to gather what they would need for two days and they should keep what was left for the next day. Now, remember that for the first six days, God told them not to keep the food until the next day and when they didn't listen to the instruction, the whole food ended up with maggots? God is indeed a God of principles and order. 
Back to the second instruction, God now told them to keep the food until the next day. Guess what?  When they checked the food the next morning, the food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odour.  Do you know why? Because they kept to the instruction to the letter.

Are you thinking that it may have been wise for the Israelites to gather extra food and save it when the first instruction was given? A lesson God wants us to learn from this is that while we are spending and planning smartly, God wants us to trust Him with our needs both now and in the future. He also wants us to be guided by Him when it comes to our spending. 

Let me tell you another story that I recently read...

"An elderly couple was looking for a piece of property in a neighbourhood dotted with brand-new, expensive homes. Through careful planning and spending, the elderly couple had paid off their first home and put their children through university. Now they wanted to build their dream home in which to retire.
As they drove around the neighbourhood, the husband was impressed with the number of young families living in the neighbourhood. He noticed they all had nice expensive cars. He was curious because the local economy was suffering. He asked the estate agent that was showing them around: 'How can these young people afford such nice houses and cars?'
The estate agent responded: 'Many of them can't, they live on debts and loans, they are funding their lifestyle through loans, debts and credit cards. A lot of them grew up in nice homes and with nice cars, they think they deserve everything their parents have even though their parents worked for years to get those things.'"



The question for you this morning is, are you living and spending within your means? While it's okay to borrow for necessities, you should always pay for luxuries.
  • Work hard, spend within your means, pay cash for your items, if you can't afford some things that are not necessities, it clearly means you do not need those items at this present time
  • Be clear about your wants and your needs
  • Also, understand that God's blessings aren't necessarily monetary
  • Don't be in a hurry to accumulate unnecessary things in debts and loans
  • Recognise that there's a time for everything. You may not own that brand new car and brand new house at the same time with everyone else
  • Be aware of peer pressure and society pressure. Some may question why you are living in a particular house or driving a particular car and you may end up putting pressure on yourself to accumulate debts that are unnecessary.

Finally, remember that the borrower is always a servant to the lender. A borrower cannot rule over the rich (Proverbs 22:7). 

The charge for you this week is to spend and live within your means. Avoid spending on credit.

Have a lovely week! Sage will be writing for the next three weeks. Make sure you watch out for his write-ups.

Mysses Lafunky

Monday, 27 November 2017

What Did You Hear? | What God's voice is NOT


Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John‬ ‭8:47‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

  1. God's voice will not tell you that you are hopeless - Jer 29:11
  2. God's voice will not tell you to lie - Jas 1:13
  3. God's voice will not tell you to cut corners - Pro 28:20
  4. God's voice will not tell you that you are worthless - Rom 8:1-2
  5. God's voice will not tell you NOT to serve and worship Him - Luk 4:8
  6. God's voice will not tell you to judge an issue without understanding from both perspectives - Pro 18:13, Pro 18:17
  7. God's voice will not place fears in your heart - 2Tim 1:7
Above all, God's voice will not tell you to sin. The Word of God says in Romans 6:14 that “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
Romans 6 verse 12-13 says: "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”
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Finally, if it is not the voice from God, be assured it is from Satan.



Build your relationship with God, accept to follow Him and desire to hear His voice by reading your bible everyday and also by talking to God everyday, tell God about your plans for the day and have a regular conversation with God.

Have a lovely week!

See you next Monday for another post.

Mysses Lafunky

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Dilemma! Dilemma! What would you advise Jemimah?

Meet Jemimah (Pseudonym), a beautiful 25 year old single lady who was brought up with a silver spoon. Right from her childhood, she had various opportunities to travel to different countries in the world for holidays. She attended one of the Ivy League schools where she obtained a PhD in Aeronautical Engineering. As she was rounding off her PhD, she obtained a good job and she is doing well financially. 

Jemimah is perceived to be a spoilt brat and privileged young lady. Hence, she is envied by her friends. Infact, it is presumed by a lot of people that she has a lot of friends due to being educated and being from a wealthy background. However, Jemimah has no close friends.

Are you wondering why I am writing about Jemimah? There are some things that I love about her but she is in a bit of predicaments. Let's go back to the things that I love about Jemimah: 
  • Jemimah a lover of Jesus Christ
  • Jemimah gave her life to Christ at a young age, the age of 12
  • Jemimah does not believe in sex before marriage or kissing before marriage, she is waiting to marry her Prince Charming before she engages in any sexual activities
  • Jemimah is a giver
  • Jemimah does not compromise the truth
  • Jemimah stands for righteousness 
  • Jemimah does not allow peer pressure or things that are happening around the world or in her society affects her decision making
  • Jemimah regularly volunteers at her local church as a cleaner, and she also volunteers as a kitchen staff at her local homeless charity
  • I also love her elegant royalty dressing, Jeremiah dresses like a royalty in Christ, she never exposes herself and she is conscious of the style of clothes that she wears


****Despite all the beautiful things that I have written about Jemimah, she is in a predicament.****


****Jemimah has a lot on her mind*****


She would like to know your view about the following:

  • Jemimah met Femi (Pseudonym) at a party that she recently attended, Femi would like them to embark on a relationship, with the hope of getting married. What's not to like about Femi? Jemimah loves the fact that Femi is a good Christian man, from a good Christian background. He is well mannered and caring. He is also very intelligent. So, why does Jemimah have a lot on her mind about Femi? 

Jemimah's concerns are . . .

  • Femi is turning 45 next month, he is 20 years older than her and she is quite worried about the age difference. 
  • Femi is a Nurse and Jemimah does not believe Femi will be able to provide financially on a Nurse's salary and she has no intention of taking the financial responsibilities of providing for her home after marriage. Jemimah's wish is to marry a man that is about 1-5 years older than her and a man that is earning six figure salary.

Jemimah is seriously considering declining Femi's proposal due to his age and career. She has prayed to God about it but God has not given her a Yes or a No.

  1. Should Jemimah continue to pray to God for direction?
  2. Should she decline or accept Femi's proposal? 
  3. Should age difference and career be major factors to consider in a life partner? 
Photo Credit: www.viewbug.com

Monday, 20 November 2017

A Life Full of Riches

Hello Readers & Followers,

How was your weekend? Hope you had a lovely weekend. What's the weather like in the country that you reside? Here in England, the weather is pretty cold and it's getting dark very early in the evening. By 5pm, everywhere is dark, so we have to maximise our day time to get a lot of things done. 

This week's post is an opportunity for us to reflect on the life that we are living and to ask ourselves whether the life that we are living is meaningful and purposeful or whether we are getting carried away with vain things of life.

The Life of Papa and Mama Petéru

Petéru and his wife who are of blessed memories were lovers of God, blessed with 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Petéru and his wife lived a life that was said to be worthy of emulation. Their children narrated the following accounts about their parents: 
  • Their lives were sold out to Christ.
  • As a family, they travelled to a new country once a year to preach the gospel and to share bibles; they believed in financing the gospel.
  • They did not take any decisions without being directed by the Holy Spirit.
  • They taught all their children the importance of knowing the Lord and building a relationship with the Holy Spirit from a young age.
  • They were both givers, they helped the poor in every country they visited.
  • Despite being professionals in their respective careers, they had no cars or their own house during their life time on earth. They believed in building treasures in heaven and they shared the view that the most important inheritance to leave for their children was for them to know and live for Christ.

When Papa and Mama Petéru died, all the people they had blessed around the world were sad to find out about their death. After their death, both their children and grandchildren were blessed with numerous material gifts ranging from brand new houses, cars, cash gifts, investment opportunities, life time savings. Above all, beautiful things were said about the rich lives that Papa and Mama Petéru lived for Christ and how their characters and their lifestyles drew people to the Lord.


Jesus said in the book of Matthew 6:19-21 that we should not store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. God advised us to store our treasures in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves and if our profits are in heaven, our heart will be there too.

What kind of life are you living? Are you fixated by earthly and material riches and gains? What legacy are you going to live behind? Think on this throughout this week.

See you next Monday for another post. Actually, see you tomorrow as we have a question that I would like to know your views about it.

Mysses Lafunky

Monday, 13 November 2017

The 5 Mile Journey Through Sage’s Mind | 5th Mile: Redemption


"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8:1, NKJV

Final mile on the journey through Sage’s mind and no better place to come out of the taxi than at Redemption bus-stop. It’s been 5 weeks since we started the journey at depression and now we end at redemption. Such a sweet word, redemption. For this final journey, I felt it would be best to keep it short and to the point. So that as you read the post, you can reflect on your life before you accepted the gift of redemption, if you have, and to accept it if you haven’t. The above verse says that the absence of condemnation (which is the presence of redemption) is for those who are in Christ Jesus. What does it mean to be in Christ Jesus? It simply means to accept Jesus as our Lord and personal Saviour. The moment we do this, we are in Christ Jesus. We are redeemed. Isn’t that beautiful?

For something to be redeemed, a price must be paid, right? Right! Herein lies the beauty. Unlike earthly things which we must pay a price for, God through His son Jesus Christ, paid the price for our sins. How? By giving His only begotten son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16, 1st John 3:16). What was the price? The blood of Jesus which was shed on Calvary. Blood is a very expensive mode of payment. By the shedding of blood, God made covenants with the heroes in the bible. By the shedding of blood, the children of Israel were protected when the angel of death went into Egypt. These references are all animal blood, but they were so powerful that it bound God and man into an agreement. Now, imagine the blood of Jesus, that is how expensive you and I are. That is how much value God placed on every one of us.


Young King, God paid the premium price for you without negotiating. Young Queen, God paid the premium price for you without negotiating, no questions asked. No debate on your actual value based on the number of sins committed. God looked at you with all the love He has for you and paid the premium price to redeem you from sin and the power of the devil. To redeem you from the law of the flesh and place you under grace, to redeem you from hell and relocate you to a beautiful place called heaven. The price for your redemption was so great that Paul the great Apostle had an argument with himself to understand what would make a Sovereign God pay such a premium price on each of us (Rom. 5:7 – 9). Why did He pay the premium price? Because He loves us.

"knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19. but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1 Pet. 1:18-19, NKJV).

The charge therefore young King and Queen is to not neglect this gift of redemption that leads us unto salvation. A redemption so costly that only God through His son Christ Jesus could afford to pay for it. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. By faith, I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus. By faith you are redeemed by the blood of Jesus. There is no depression, disappointment, insecurity or condemnation for you are in Christ Jesus. Go out there and slay. Go out there and be purposeful. Go out there and enjoy the gift of redemption unto salvation. You are brand new!! 😊

P.S. I leave you with this final nugget:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (2nd Cor. 5:17, NKJV).

Sage

Photo Credit: http://authorjodiwoody.com

Monday, 6 November 2017

The 5 Mile Journey Through Sage’s Mind | The 4th Mile: Condemnation


First post of the month of November, I feel so excited…wooooo. So, I’m here chilling in Akure (in South Western Nigeria), enjoying the rest that comes from been free from Lagos "Las Gidi" traffic and moist weather in a lovely hotel room. Sage likes enjoyment no be small lol 😁. If you see the Akure airport, oh boy na die. It is basically a small bungalow that sits only departures while those on arrival pick their box by the side of the road lol (Aketi please do something oh). When I look back at the year, all I can say is that God has indeed been faithful and will continue to be faithful till the very end. Greater is the end of a matter than the beginning thereof. In the journey through my mind, we’ve discussed issues that both people all over the world and I have dealt with. We’ve discussed depression, disappointment, insecurity and now we’re looking at condemnation.

Condemnation is a very tricky emotion because it is basically a state in which you constantly judge yourself, quite harshly in a lot of cases, about the things that you’ve done or said or because you expect yourself to be perfect now that you’re a child of God. Ironically, we do it for ourselves and to others, especially when they act in a way that goes against what you expect to be normal or common sense. You become the judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one; this is not what God intended. Yet our conscience is at times our worst enemy because it acts as our judge for actions we take. Imagine this: what would your conscience do when you go back to a life of sex and alcohol just days after giving your life to God or just days after you’ve completed a 40 day fast? It would be a very brutal judgement. Another scenario would be when you have a hidden addiction that you’ve struggled to overcome for years and despite all the prayers and books and bible verses, the addiction seems to be getting worse instead of getting better.
I believe this paints to an extent a picture of what some of us face when we condemn ourselves and begin to believe that we will never get better. Therein lies the trick, the more we condemn ourselves, the harder it is to become a better person, a better Christian and become all God has called us to become. 

What Leads to Condemnation?


"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?" (Rom. 7:21-24, NIV)

I’m sure you must be thinking, nah bruv, this can’t be Paul. But it is! The great apostle Paul having to deal with condemnation. This is what happens when we try to live by the law (the 10 commandments) and try to be saved by the works of our flesh. It ultimately ends in what he said in vs. 24: "what a wretched man I am." In five words, Oga Paul had condemned himself; considering all he had experienced for the sake of the gospel, wouldn’t you say its rather harsh? Wouldn’t you say he should know more about the grace of God and salvation by faith? But yeah, that is what happens when we live according to the law, which goes against what God intended for us (Eph. 2:8 – 9).


How do we Overcome Condemnation?

After Paul had finished his morose conversation and called himself a wretched man, he suddenly realised something, I would imagine that he jumped up and screamed Eureka! 😤:

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." (Rom. 8:1, NIV).

Remember this verse? It’s one of the earliest verses we learn upon giving our lives to Christ. That we are no longer condemned because we are in Christ. Meaning the habit of living according to the law is now dead and we are to no longer try to work our salvation but accept it by faith (Eph. 2:8). This basically means that even when we fall back to our old selves (Rom. 7:15-19), we need to pick ourselves, repent and by faith accept the grace God has given us unto salvation. 
The charge as we go into this week is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and to live by faith and not by works. We can never earn the gift of salvation. If you try to do so, you will be living outside God’s plan and will never be all that God has called you to be. See you next week for our 5th and final mile.

Sage

Photo Credit: godsgracegodsglory.com