Monday, 11 September 2017

An Open Letter to those Nonchalant about Lying


Dear friend,

Greetings!

Are you indifferent about lying? Does it not bother you when you tell lies or "white lies or little lies"? Do you know that one of God's plans for you is to be truthful in your speech and in your heart?

When was the last time you told a lie?

Lying is more dangerous than it appears as it violates God's holiness and righteousness. Most of us think that lying is a minor character flaw that no one is exempted from. No doubt, we have all lied and we have all lied without being caught. While we may not have been caught, God is very much aware of every single thing that we do; no single thing is hidden from Him.

I have noticed that lying is so apparent and is becoming an issue for many people, including Christians, and people are becoming nonchalant about it.  Are you aware of God's commandment that says "You shall not lie"? God also said that all liars shall not make it into heaven. How disheartening would it be if you miss heaven because of your lies. Read Acts 5:1-11 in the bible, a story of a couple that died because they told lies.

Did you know that lying is attributed to Satan? Jesus Christ referred to Satan as a liar and the father of lies and when he lies, it is perfectly normal for he is the father of liars (John 8:44) while Jesus Christ declared Himself to be the truth (John14:6). Take a moment and reflect on who you are, are you truthful in your speech and thought? How would Jesus Christ describe you?

What does God say about Lying?

A]  God does not want you to minimise the treachery of lying neither does He want you to tell white lies and small lies.

B] God does not want you to say things that are not true neither does God want you to taint the truth.

C] God said that one of the things that He detests is lying (Proverbs 6:16-19). Detest means to have a strong dislike for something.

These six things the LORD hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV)

God said that worthless and wicked people are the ones that go around telling lies (Proverbs 6:12). You probably wouldn't associate a wicked person to someone that tells lies, right?.

What if I do not say something is wrong, I just keep quiet about the truth. The Bible says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17, NKJV)  Not standing up for what you know is right, is still considered lying, but lying in “omission.” “Telling the truth”, includes telling “the whole” truth.

God's Words For You...

Firstly, know that your Heavenly Father cares about you and He loves you. He is very much aware that you are prone to lying and He wants you to consciously forsake all lies. God said there are things that may cause you to lie, such as; when you speak too much, when you believe that saying the truth will either get you into trouble or when you feel the individual that you need to speak to or the organisation is not ready to hear the truth. God wants you to think of creative ways of speaking the truth.

Secondly, God wants you to know that there are no justifiable excuses in His sight for lying neither does God want you to think of positive reasons for lying. There are no positive reasons to lie in the sight of God.

Thirdly, you are created in the image of a God that is truthful, therefore, the ability to speak and live in truth is in you.

Fourthly, God does not want you to develop a habit of lying.


How Should Christians Speak? 

  • David in the Bible said, “I hate and abhor lying but I love your law” (Psalms 119:163 NKJV).
  • You should not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices” (Colossians 3:9 NIV).
  • Put away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his or her neighbour,’ for we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:25 NKJV). Instead of lying you are to be truthful.
  • The Bible says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).
  • God wants you to be truthful in all you do, say and think.

Conclusion

I recognise that in order to be truthful about some things, it may cost you and you may even face various consequences for speaking the truth. From God's perspective, saying the truth in such circumstance is an act of faith that is righteous before God and is an act that shows that you love God. He will certainly reward you for it at the right time.

As you go into this week, carefully examine your life, ask God to forgive you for the things that you have lied about and the things that you are still lying about. Remember that once you have confessed those sins of lying, it is also time to forsake those lies. You may require further counselling to forsake some lies that you have told due to the severity of the lies. Ask God to help you.

May the Lord help you to live a truthful life in Jesus' name. May you be truthful in your speech and in your heart in Jesus' name.

Have a lovely week! 

- Mysses Lafunky

Reference and photo credit: freeimages.co.uk and kidsbibleinfo.com

Monday, 4 September 2017

Prison Break | Unmerited Favour

Happy new month y’all. Welcome to the beginning of the ember months. Hope you’ve started drawing up your Christmas shopping list. I need to work on mine asap because the way 2017 is moving, blink and you’ll be in 2019. Just yesterday, I was wishing people Happy New Year in church. Did you enjoy last week’s prison break? We talked about Paul and Silas and how they praised their way out of prison. Don’t get why Scoffield and the River Fox gang didn’t try praising God when they were trying to break out of jail. Anyways, this week’s prison break focuses on another means of breaking out of prison. In the game of monopoly, you’d call it "get outta jail free card," in Christianity, we call it unmerited favour. You can call it another name, one word, GRACE! That is what grace is, an unmerited favour of God over our lives. Just as an aid, R.Kelly’s song: Storm is over, is playing in the background. What a song! Ehen, where were we? The bible, yeah. So it doesn’t seem like I’m telling a fictional story of what it means to have unmerited favour, let’s look into the Christian manual for how to live our lives (the bible). 

There’s a book in the bible known as Nehemiah, I know right lol. Anyways, in Nehemiah 2:1-8, it gives us a history of how a King gave a slave the opportunity to make a request (Neh. 2:2) just because he was looking sad. How many times have you gone to work with a sad face and your MD didn’t even notice? But a King noticed that his servant was sad. He even addressed the servant to understand why he was sad. In some companies, the MD will tell you that is the job of HR but in this case, the MD himself handled the issue. If you know anything about organisations, you'll know that when it comes from the MD, "dem no born monkey mama to not execute the directive." 😂 To show how unexpected the situation was, the servant was even afraid to answer the King. Anyways, he finally did:

"Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.' " Nehemiah‬ 2:4-5‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬

When you have favour, whatever you request for will be granted. What is so key about this scripture isn’t just the fact that the King took notice of the servant’s countenance or even asked him what the issue was but that he didn’t even do anything to make the King ask him any question. That is what it means to have unmerited favour. None of your actions or decisions had anything to do with getting the favour. 
There are situations in life in which we get favour based on our merit but have you ever been promoted without even having the qualification or applying? Have you ever had a request for a loan approved without even meeting the required criteria? When things like that happen, it is compulsory that you realise that you had absolutely nothing to do with it. I recently experienced this unmerited favour of God and up till today, I’m still in shock. A breakthrough from a place I wasn’t expecting it and from a source that I had only met once. 

In Nehemiah’s case, the unmerited favour he got gave him the following things:
  1. Permission to go on leave and return when he wanted.
  2. Permission to leave his employment and do what he wanted.
  3. Authority to act with the King’s name and supersede those on a higher level than him.
  4. Provision to complete the tasks he wanted to carry out. 
  5. Armed escorts to ensure nobody interfered with his mission.

He basically went from a servant to an ambassador of the King, something close to what Nigerian politicians call "ambassador-at-large😂. Imagine that kind of elevation. However, it’s not enough to know that there is something called unmerited favour. We also need to know how to access it because even though it is unmerited, God laid down a principle in Matt. 7:7 and Heb. 4:16;  a principle that Nehemiah followed. 



How Do You Access This Unmerited Favour

What is this principle?
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." Matthew‬ 7:7‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬

"Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favour] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]." Heb‬ 4:16‬ AMP‬‬‬‬

What did Nehemiah do before he responded to the king?
"Then the king said to me, 'What do you request?' So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, 'If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favour in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.' "
Nehemiah‬ 2:4-5‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬

What are we meant to do to access this unmerited favour? Do like Nehemiah did, approach the throne from which flows all unmerited favour and ask for it, Shikena! Nothing else. Very simple right?
The charge therefore as we go into this new week and this new month, is to take advantage of this unmerited favour by approaching this throne of grace and asking for it. Whatever situation you’re facing, you will receive breakthrough just like I did in Jesus name. Amen. 

Sage

P.S. Please let us all pray for those affected by floods in different parts of the world and if you’re in a position to help, please do so. God will reward you richly for it in Jesus name. 

Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/freedomminpins/gods-unmerited-favor/