A SHORT LESSON FROM MY LAST BIRTHDAY

A SHORT LESSON FROM MY LAST BIRTHDAY

I was not intending to write an article really, but at the same time I wanted to share a lesson the Lord impressed on my heart from my last Birthday. So expect that, this article won’t be one with so many scriptures but with a story that reveals the person of our Heavenly Father.

Since the past 2 years I have loved to always find time often at midnight crossing over into my brethren to seek the Lord’s face for my new year. I love to hear His prophecy for me into my new year. I always want to hear His instructions, promises etc. and I love to have them first before the calls, messages etc. from friends. I do not have any scriptural backing for this, but I just love to do it.

This year however, just as my birthday was around the corner, I had a lot of work on my plate that got me really busy, such that in-fact, I spent my whole birthday in the Library. Not new for me though, because 2 years ago same happened. I was really busy, that even though I wanted to create the time for my special time to fellowship and receive from the Lord, I just didn’t have the time. I slept into the morning, woke up, cleaned up and I was off to the Library. Thanks to all my beautiful friends who celebrated me. I really appreciate you all.

It was a bit difficult to focus because the calls, messages etc. kept making my phone buzz continuously, but I was able to achieve more than I would if I had stayed at home. And here is where the lesson is. I got home quiet late and just then a call came in from a brother friend, and he started prophesying to me. He spoke extensively into God’s mind/will for me for the coming years some which were a confirmation of what I had heard from God myself some days before.

Friends, I leaped with Joy. Not just because of the prophecy but I learnt the Love nature of God once again. Jesus didn’t just die to create a way for us to go God, He made a way for God to come to us. In the Christian faith, we are not just the only one going to God, He also comes to us. Oftentimes He wants to come to us more than we want to go to Him.

Remember the story of the Prodigal son, in Luke 15. Verse 20 says:

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him”

Often, we quote the above scriptures and say, Oh, the child went back to his father and forget the disposition of the father (which illustrates the person of our heavenly father) that he ran to his child. He ran! And even in our mess, and not having time, he still comes to us.

While I am not advocating for a lackadaisical attitude towards our fellowship, am trying to show us how much the passion of the holy-spirit in helping us.

I remember praying at the chapel lawn at my last university for over an hour and I felt I need to go. Just as I said Amen to leave, I felt the holy-spirit telling me “I was enjoying that, please let’s do more”.  I was so surprised. Since then I had learnt that we are not the only ones enjoying those times of fellowship, the holy-spirit also does. Well he has said:

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” John 14:18

I will come to you! I will be the one to come. That’s our father. He also said:

…I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen Matt. 28:20

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned neither shall the flame kindle upon you”

I hope this encourages you and it has for me. And don’t forget to send my birthday gifts, I am still receiving them pls.

 

 

I Call You Blessed

Written by Samson Afolabi

Becoming the Picture

Becoming the Picture

My master’s level studies has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of people. One of them is Dr. Banky (Not his real name). I so much respect him. First of all, because of his advanced knowledge in Mathematics, being a Dr. of Mathematics from the department of Mathematics in my University is something I know didn’t come easy.

Dr. Banky is very organised and matured. You need to visit him at home or see his office to see that. There’s only a few mathematicians have met that seem to be well organized. I would say his influence and support has been very vital to get me to the present level I am in my Master’s. When I first arrived here, many things happened to me that made me doubt my ability to complete the program. I almost lost my self-confidence, thanks to a lot of counsels and support from esty-b (another friend that I value so much) and Dr. Banky. I think have been really blessed with the gift of people.

One important thing I must also say about him is, he dresses well. Truth be told, if you meet him randomly on the streets you wouldn’t know he is Doctor of Mathematics. I haven’t seen so many Mathematicians dress so well. He eats well and takes very good care of his health (unlike me), goes to the gym, so he looks really fit, and sure he is. There’s just a lot of things I really respect and like about this man. In-short he is one of my mentors and his counsels have been very helpful.

I have seen so many things in his life that I really want to emulate them and imbibe many of his cultures because I know they will be beneficial to me. A lot of them I have started already. we attend the same church here, I used to sit at his sitting position in church, I was so happy when one lady took me for him one Sunday. I thought I must be looking so much like him. I actually want to look like him. Imbibe many of his way of life. Follow him as he follows Christ. Looking at him do many of this things has actually made it easier for me to learn so many things that would have been difficult for me to learn on my own. And I must say, a lot of things has improved in me by watching him, including spurring me to academic excellence.

One lesson, I learnt from all this is “there is no Becoming without Beholding”. I noticed that before I could want to learn from him, I had to relate with him. We became very good friends, brothers. In-fact am his special junior brother. I opened up my life to him, then he did same to me. We commune, fellowship. We share our lives together.

Same happened with Peter and Christ. At Peter’s denial of Jesus at his death, he denied, but I believe that he had so much become like Jesus that it was easy for people to find out that he had been with Jesus. The early disciples were called Christians. They had so much commune with Christ that they were becoming him.

“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26 KJV)

Notice, they were called Christians. By people who noticed they talked, lived etc. just like Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews, encouraged us saying “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”.

In order for the disciples to be like Jesus, he simply chose them to live with him, be with him, and as they do that, they were going to be like him. No wonder, he called us to this same fellowship with him,

“God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9)

“…and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3)

This technology of “Beholding to Become” had been for ages, Jacob applied it.

“Laban asked, “What shall I give you?” Jacob replied, “You shall not give me anything. But if you will do this one thing for me [which I now propose], I will again pasture and keep your flock:” (Gen. 30:31 AMP)

“Let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every dark or black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and those shall be my wages.” (Gen. 30:32 AMP)

“Then Jacob took branches of fresh poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white in the branches” (Gen. 30:37 AMP)

“Then he set the branches which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated and conceived when they came to drink. (Gen. 30:38 AMP)

“So the flocks mated and conceived by the branches, and the flocks gave birth to streaked, speckled and spotted offspring” (Gen. 30:39 AMP)

Jacob made the animals see, what he wanted their offspring to look like.

He made us sit in heavenly places with him, invited us to his fellowship and as we do this, his image his imprinted upon our soul. His work his enhanced in our lives, and he would be manifested in us without stress as we commit to this to this fellowship.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18)

I Call You Blessed

Grow to Maturity

Grow to Maturity

I was in the library a day to my birthday, studying, when I met my brother, friend and colleague, ***** (name with-held), from Ethiopia. We greeted each other in love and I asked him to join me later for lunch at the departmental Mensa. Over lunch, we had a nice discussion, laughing and smiling as we shared our lives together. One of the things we laughed about was how our parents had recently been demanding we show them who it was we wanted to get married to.  ***** said, “My Mum’s friend told me, I would love you to get married to someone from our tribe here in Ethiopia, so I could speak with her heart to heart in our native language.” He also added “My mum told my younger brother, she would love to be a grandmother”.

 Well, I must say I can relate very well with such statements and expressions. My mum is just similar. She keeps telling me “I am not asking you to get married right now, but just show who it is you are dating”. She hardly believes when I tell her I don’t have a girlfriend. She keeps calling me whenever she hears of any of my friends get married telling me am the only one left. I tried hard to make her understand that she is mounting pressure on me, but she wouldn’t stop. I spoke with her husband, (my father, who doesn’t care about the issue) to speak with her, but it was one of those things my dad couldn’t stop her from her doing. I did find the perfect response whenever she asks me. I would just say, “I’m working on it”. That response always makes her happy, although I know the way she thinks of the response is not the way I mean it. But I don’t care as long as it works. I’m sure many who have African mothers can relate.

One statement struck me out of my conversation with *****, it made me consider writing this article. He said “While we were young, we dare not talk about women with my mum. She never wanted us to have a girlfriend while growing.”

For me, it’s almost same. So it is a surprise to see our mothers suddenly come out of the blue and start talking to us about marriage. You know the difference? We had grown. We had matured. We had come of age. We were not thinking like babies or kids anymore but as men. And so our parents think also it is right for “men” to have someone to date. Same it is in our Spiritual Walk. There are truths and lights we would only be exposed to when we grow up. When we mature. See what Paul said here:

“And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1)

Paul wanted to teach the Corinthian church a lot of truths, but he couldn’t because they were babes. They were children. They were divided. Just as in the natural world where there are R-rated discussions so also are there deep truths for those who over time have matured themselves in the world. The Holy Spirit through Peter said:

“As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you grow thereby” (1 Pet. 2:2).

Notice the charge was to GROW! Not to remain a baby. You should feed on God’s word to grow. So you are not tossed here and there by every wind of doctrine. It is annoying when a Christian of many years is still a babe. It’s just same as seeing your 25-year-old son wet the bed. It is disgraceful.

Paul said this “I have fed you with milk and not meat because you can’t bear it and even now you still can’t bear meat” (1 Cor. 3:2 Revised by me). How painful would it be for God, if He would like to introduce new and deeper truths to me to save my generation but I can’t bear it because I am still a baby. Understand me, it’s not wrong to be a baby once but it is bad to remain a baby. See here to:

“Of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing” vs 11

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (vs 12)

“For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe” (vs 13)

“But solid food belongs to those who are not of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (vs 14) Heb. 5: 11 – 14.

The people addressed here were dull of hearing. They were babes. More about Jesus was supposed to be shared with them, but they were not matured enough to receive it. See these scriptures here also:

“Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave though he is master of all” Gal. 4:1

Notice he is the heir, the owner of the property but he can’t be in charge if he doesn’t step up to grow. He is only a slave. Thanks to God that through believing in Jesus we are now sons and not slaves. Peter said this in 2 Pet. 3:18

“But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen”

How do I grow in grace? And what does it mean to grow in grace? Please read the article “GROW IN GRACE”.

There is a lot we stand to lose if we choose to remain as babies. Deeper truths and revelations are to be given to us to liberate our generation and establish his reign here on earth. Finally, let me say, “GROW IN GRACE”.

I call you blessed
Written by Samson Afolabi

Called To Fellowship

Called To Fellowship

Imagine being qualified to attend the inner circus meeting of your state governor and the members of his cabinet? Or imagine being called to enjoy the same privileges the children of your president enjoys? Sounds good right? Yes.

Imagine the amount of privy information that will be at your fingertips, the blessings of being able to get into the office or private chambers of the governor at any time. Personally, I would like to enjoy that.

But do you know we have been given the same privilege with the Kings of Kings, the Almighty through his Son Jesus Christ? See what 1 Cor. 1:9 says:

“God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord”.

Notice the word FELLOWSHIP. To fellowship is to be in partnership, it is companionship. There is a heartthrob. The Merriam Webster Dictionary definition gives “a friendly relationship among people, a relationship of people who share interests or feelings”. Synonyms such as fraternization, mutual liking and mutual support were also given.

“Jesus said unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.    (John 20:17)”

This access to fellowship was granted at new birth. We were called to enjoy the same fellowship that Jesus enjoys with God. We were invited into the inner chambers of the Kings of Kings. But you know what, not just for a while or for some few days but FOREVER. We too can go into the chambers of the Father, speak with him and get to know of the mysteries that govern the earth. But the question, how much are we making use of this grace?

We were called to enjoy the same fellowship Jesus (God’s only son) enjoys. Jesus said

“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). In fact he said, I do nothing except my father tells me to. They are in synergy.

It is the same for us. Our spirits are continually in this fellowship. We only need to tune our minds to this continually. I must say, speaking in tongues will help us do this well. We are seated far above, in fellowship with our saviour. Jesus said;

“He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matthew 13:11)

The Holy Spirit through Paul also said;

“Now we have received, not the spirit which is of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Cor. 2:12)

Notice, 1 Cor. 2:12 says our spirit has received this fellowship. Our spirits are always in this fellowship whether we are conscious of this or not, it is there.

Our spirits are one with God, when we are sleeping, eating, attending classes, in a meeting, walking on the street or whatever we might be doing, our spirits are constantly in this fellowship with the Father. And that is why God can speak to our spirits at any time. He does this either by giving us a message or in bringing counsel to us about a matter. You see that is why it is of great importance for us to be conscious of this fellowship at all times.

Be aware that you are connected with the King of Kings, and that His number is on your speed dial. Know that you can know all things and that God is always in connection with you.

Lastly, I will like to say that the unity of the church is rooted in us understanding this mystery. As Christians we are all connected and in fellowship because we are in fellowship with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Let me use this to explain, you are reading this article right now connected to me because we are both connected to the Internet. So in some sense, being connected to the Internet has connected us both. If we understand that every Christian is one with the Father, we would understand that we are one body. We created to function together to bring His reign on earth.

I call you blessed
Samson Afolabi

The Seeker Generation

The Seeker Generation

Reading through the epistles, one discovers that oftentimes Paul prayed to be able to declare openly the mysteries of Christ that had been hidden in times past but now is made known to us through revelation. One important thing I will like us to note is that although it was the appointed time that this mysteries were to be made known, Men like Paul also had to seek to know this mystery, and as the sought it, it was revealed to them and today we all are enjoying the fruits of this revealed knowledge.

Today, I will like to say that every Christian is to be a Seeker. We are called to seek to know the truths of the scriptures. No matter what you know today, there is still more to know. We won’t be able to come to the full and perfect knowledge of Christ if we relax from studying and searching out the truths of the bible. We won’t be able to liberate our generation from the darkness of the world, if we Christians don’t seek to get better in our calling. We are the Seeker Generation.

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to Him be the glory and the power and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 1:6) 

Two points we should note in the above scripture is that “he made kings and priests”. Now let’s check the function of kings and priest. As a king we are to seek:

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter” (Prov. 25:2) 

Brethren, we are kings, we are seekers. It is our honour. God is always concealing mysteries, ours is to seek to know. Jesus speaking he said “it is given for us to know the mysteries of the kingdom” (Luke 8:10) but we won’t know until we seek. We know if we seek, we shall find:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matt. 7:7) 
“For every one that asks receives, and he that seeks finds and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:8) 

We are to seek first. We are to spend time with the word of God and every Christian material that helps us to grow in faith. We are the seeker Generation. It is our duty to seek.

Again he called us Priest. One thing the priest is known for “is to always go into the presence”. They are never tired of doing that. In-fact they are priest because of that. They are always going into the holy-place and the high-priest into the most holy-place once a year to make atonement on behalf of the people. The day the priest declares he tired of going into the holy-place, he his stripped of his position. His relevance is attached to his seeking. So likewise are we. We are the seekers for our generation. Every Christian must always strive to know. Desire to know the bible.  Study, Meditate, so that out of our fullness we can be a blessing to our generation.
We would not be able to fully understand the reason for the relevance of David’s, Daniel, Paul’s relevance to their generation if we don’t understand their quest towards seeking for knowledge.
David said this:

“O God, you are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirst for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Ps. 63:1)  

As if that was not enough, David said “My Soul follows hard after you… (Ps. 63:8)”. Paul and Daniel also had such minds. No wonder they were full of knowledge from above that they were very relevant to their Generation. Today, the baton is in our hands, our relevance is in our seeking. We must seek. We are the seeker Generation.

Finally, as I round-off this article, I will like to add that we should grow in the profession of our faith. What do I mean by this? As a testimony, I like to appreciate God that I haven’t been sick nor used a drug (not even a paracetamol or vitamin-c) since over 5 years or more now (I have actually lost count of the number of years) . During my undergraduate studies, I saw in the scriptures that Jesus took my sicknesses away and I have no reason to be sick again, I simply believed it and till today it’s been evident in my life. As beautiful as that sounds, it would be much more beautiful if I am able to teach and explain this revelation as simple as possible to more Christians, so that they too can walk and enjoy my “divine health” revelation. That is what I call growing in the profession of our faith. It is simply being able to explain biblical truths as simple as possible. And this can only be possible if we understand this truths well enough. Everyone who knows the truth should have a sense of responsibility to share it with others. Luke gave this as is reason for writing the book of Luke. Same goes for the books of the bible written by Paul. You are not to hoard your revelations, share them and learn and understand them more to get better in sharing them.

We should seek to get to know more of the scriptures, thereby increasing in understanding so as to be able to explain more simply our faith to others. I believe the beauty of knowledge is not just in you knowing but in being able to share this knowledge with others so that they can be blessed through it.

“I pray that the Sharing of your Faith may become effective and Powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ” (Philemon 1:6 NLT)

I call you blessed
Written by Samson Afolabi 

Absolute Surrender

Absolute Surrender

Our journey toward Christ-likeness involves an absolute surrender to Jesus Christ. Surrendering absolutely happens when a person is willing to follow Christ no matter the cost. It is more than commitment, it is more than involvement. It may cost you some discomfort, your personal desires and aspirations in life.

Someone once said, “A man may be outwardly committed to the work of Christ but may not have been inwardly consecrated and surrendered to the will of Christ.”

We can be committed but not surrendered. Jesus is looking for a heart that is completely broken and surrendered to Him. Absolute surrender to Christ focuses not on our doing but centers on our being, not in our competence but in our character.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24.

To be completely surrendered to Christ one must deny himself. To deny yourself is you have to die to your earthly passion. Christ must be the center and supreme purpose of your life.

Paul the great apostle understood what it means to live a life of an absolute surrender to Christ. He said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20. He considered himself dead but alive for Christ. His life is not his own to manage. His life purpose and goal was for Christ and His glory.

The evidences of a totally surrendered life to Christ is spiritual transformation, a powerful living testimony that would lead to effective ministry for the glory of God.

Are you surrendered to Christ?
Are you absolutely surrendered to Him?

“All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior, I surrender all.”

Written by Pastor Maurice Rivera