Obedience

No Excuses

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By Neema Suma

Recently, I bought a poster that reads NO EXCUSES and hung it on the wall in my room, across my bed, just so I could see and read it every day. For me, the words on my poster serve as a constant reminder to exercise and eat healthy regularly, without making excuses.

I have struggled with excuses in different aspects of my life. Many times, I talked myself out of things. For example, for a while, I convinced myself that I did not have to attend weekday services. 

“It is just a short service,” I would say, “I won’t miss much”

Excuses are lies we tell ourselves to justify disobedience. Every time you make an excuse, you especially towards the things of God or the assignments He has given you, you disobey and; may I remind you: disobedience is a sin. 

Stop looking for reasons why you can not take action. Do not blame your environment or situation for your failure to complete your assignment. God is a not a man that He should lie, He has everything well thought of and planned. Every assignment He gives you, He will surely make the provisions available so you can reach completion. 

When Moses was sent to Egypt to free his people, he was doubtful. Even after God used him to showed him miracles, he was still worried and anxious. God reassured him and made provisions for his assignment by sending Aaron his way to be his spokesperson. 

When God tells you “this is where I want you to be” that is where you should be. It is not a time to air out your opinions as to why you should not or can not be there. God is omniscient. He knows all things, He misses nothing. He will not give you more than you can bear. 

If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. - 1 John 3:20 

If you want to be great, this year, obey the word of God and stop making excuses! 

Action Point: Allow God to use you, listen to Him and follow what He says and, everlasting joy shall be yours.

Biblical Inspiration: Luke 14:15-20

 

Seperation Before Elevation

By Emem Ukpong

And God saw that the light was good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it; and God separated the light from the darkness. - Genesis 1:4.

One of the first orders of business in the creation story was the separation of light from darkness. Why go through the trouble?

God could have just mish mashed everything together and still ended up with the same result. He could, but He didn't. God, in His sovereign wisdom, was setting precedence for the lives of His children.

Every true child of God will have to go through some form of separation just as Abraham, Noah, Jacob, Joseph and David, amongst others, did. They all have different stories but the process is eerily similar. 

I, particularly, love the story of David! Before he became the leader of the great nation of Israel, he was a mere shepherd boy who led and took care of a herd of sheep. Before he had the privilege of sharing his psalms/hymns with the rest of the world, he had an audience of God and - you guessed it - sheep! 

I can’t imagine the countless hours he spent playing and practicing music alone in the field. But God saw all that and knew he had the right heart to lead His people. God needed to separate David unto Himself. 1 Samuel 13:14. 

David, even after being anointed King by Samuel – a great man of God went back to tending sheep. What a humbling experience! Biblical scholars say, after being anointed, it took 15 years before David eventually assumed the throne. 

Separation is a place of preparation, growth and maturation. It will look very different for everyone. It is a weeding out of everything else in our lives until all that is left is God.

Separation is that which is between a promise and its manifestation. Many at times, it is very difficult to experience separation. It could be really hard to make sense of it.  

Try as we may, there are no shortcuts or escaping those times. We must go through them. We must go through separation. As we do so, we must rely on God’s grace to see us through every step of the way. 

Our faith is tested and stretched, humility is birthed, strength of character is formed and giants are aroused in the place of separation. Key biblical figures and giants of faith experienced elevation, after separation, and so will you!

Action Point: Ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to separate from. Your obedience might very well be the key to your elevation!

Biblical Inspiration: 1 Samuel 16

It is well

reflections

by Pastor Matthew Kassim

The hymn, It is well with my soul, was written by a successful christian lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. In 1871, the great Chicago fire wiped out his vast estate and two years later, while on a summer trip to England, his wife and four daughters died as their ship – the SS Ville du Havre – sunk.

However, his wife survived. When she eventually arrived in England, she sent him a telegram that read Saved Alone. Spafford wrote the hymn while sailing to England to join his wife. 

‘whatever my lot, you have taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.’

Your attitude determines your altitude. When you reflect on your life, career and family, what do you do? Do you praise God? Do you have a positive attitude towards God? Do you mumble against God?

Whether you believe it or not, several people would rather be in your shoes than in their predicaments. Some want to walk like you, live in a house like yours or be as healthy as you are. 

Instead of mumbling, be grateful and affirm that it is indeed well with your soul. 

To do this, you must:

  • Be positive (2 Kings 4:26): 2 Kings 4 tells the story of a woman who had lost everything – her husband and children. Regardless of how severe her circumstances were, she held onto her faith and confessed “It is well.”
  • Be obedient (Jeremiah 42:6, Joshua 1:8): Pay attention and yield to every word of God – regardless of how convenient or inconvenient His instructions may be. When you obey God’s word, he gives you the strength to break through every roadblock. Meditate, confess and obey His word, let it be a part of you. 
  • Be prayerful (Philippians 4:6): By praying, you share your challenges with the one who truly cares about you. Talk to God every day and continue to develop your relationship with him. 

Action Point: No matter the challenges you are facing at the moment, be grateful to God because all things work together for your good.

Biblical Reference: Jeremiah 1:5