ACKNOWLEDGING THE GOOD THINGS IN YOU

ACKNOWLEDGING THE GOOD THINGS IN YOU

That the Communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (Philemon 1:6)

The above scripture, is one I pray for myself frequently (almost daily) since the past 4 years. I recommend you to also pray it. It’s called the Pauline Prayers, found in Eph. 1: 15 – 23, 3: 14 – 21, Col. 1: 9 – 18, Phil. 1: 9 – 11, 1 Thess. 3: 11 – 13, 2 Thess. 1: 11 – 12, Philemon 1: 4 – 6, Hebrews 13: 20 – 21. They are prayers of spiritual growth. But today, we will focus on Philemon 1:6.

If we ever desire to get better in the communication (sharing and putting into action) of our faith with believers and un-believers alike the above scripture tells us what to do. It says we have to acknowledge (come to the accurate knowledge) of every good thing which in us in Christ Jesus. I like how the AMP Bible puts 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 AMP)

The next question to ask is, what are those good things in us in Christ? Going back to the beginning, gives us a little insight into this. We know that after the fall, the bible describing Man says,

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY EVIL continually. (Gen. 6:5) Emphasis Mine

Notice that, ONLY EVIL. There was no good thing in Man, why? His heart was DESPERATELY WICKED (Jer. 17: 9). Jesus Speaking (before Man was saved) saying …none is good, save one, that is God (Luke 18:19). Yes, that was the state we were, there was nothing good to be acknowledged in us. Paul speaking said

“For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh [my human nature, my worldliness – my sinful capacity]” (Romans 7:18)

First, we notice from Philemon 1:5 that the book of Philemon was written a believer and largely to believers. Philemon 1:6, makes us understand that those good things we must come into accurate knowledge of are found in us in CHRIST JESUS, not just in OURSELVES but US in CHRIST JESUS. They are the things that were wrought in us at Salvation. They are the things that are in us, because of the presence of the Spirit of the good one (God) in us.

“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God” (1 John 4:15)

These good things are the product of His good work in every believer. This good things are not our making. They are the making of the continuous working of His power in us. In-fact we know that every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is at work in you, both to will and to work[that is strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfil your purpose]  for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:13

What then should be our response? We are to acknowledge the Holy-Spirit work in us. Acknowledge his working of Love, Peace, Hope, Joy and every godly virtue in us. Everything that can be found in God dwells in us, we only must acknowledge them for them to gain expression in us. You know one way, I have learnt recently to acknowledge this things is by confession. You know we make confessions for 2 reasons either they are our present reality, or we want them to be our reality.

When you pray say to yourself: the Wisdom of the ages is in me, faith dwells in me, I love the brethren, I have a Sound mind 2 Tim. 1:7, I am not troubled, I rejoice, I am patient with everyone today, I am a man/woman of grace, I speak grace through the words of my mouth, I am a blessing to many, I am humble, my hope doesn’t make me ashamed (Romans 5:5), I walk in the spirit, I am led by God’s spirit in me and you will begin to see them. And as they gain expression through you, the communication (sharing, acting out) of your Faith (what you have believed) gets better (improves). As this things get expressed through us, we express Christ the More. Christ is revealed in us and through us. We becomes a more visible image of the Father. Our Faith (Salvation) is made more known. We become shinning lights.

There is a power at work in every believer …according to the power that works in us (Eph. 3:20). Power signifies ability. There is an ability in us. That’s the ability we have to acknowledge! This are the things that have been freely given to us of God. (1 Cor. 2:12). And if the scriptures says it’s in us, then it’s in us, even if we haven’t been experiencing them.

Brethren, the work of Salvation has wrought in us a lot of godly virtues, we are a new creature with a wealthy load of all good things available in Christ Jesus in us and we have to learn to acknowledge them i.e. bring ourselves into an accurate knowledge of them and as we do that the profession of our faith gets better and better.

 

 

I Call You Blessed.

REJOICING ALWAYS

REJOICING ALWAYS

This week, I like to share with you about Rejoicing in a study of Philippians 3 and 4. To rejoice according to the Meriam Webster dictionary simply means to give joy to or gladden or to feel joy or great delight. To have joy is to experience great pleasure or delight. As much as it is so nice to see all this definitions it is even sweeter to experience Joy. Even if you can’t define it in grammar, you know it when you feel it or experience it. The scripture encourages us to Rejoice always. Paul writing to the Philippians wrote;

…and Rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Philippians 3:3

Later again, he writes

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4

I believe when there are close repetitions in scriptures like this, then there is something for us to take note of. They are very important. A lot of times, we want to rejoice always but it seems the circumstances of life keeps our heads bowed and sad. The scriptures says

…In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Notice that Paul writes to us in Philippians 3:3 and 4:4 as though, Rejoicing lies completely within our hands and our rejoicing never depends on the happenings around us. I believe this is true. You know despite the roughness and pain in the world, as Christians we can still rejoice. The secret is clearly stated in Philippians 3:3 and Philippians 4:4. It says Rejoice in the Lord, Rejoicing in Christ Jesus. That’s the Secret of Rejoicing always. Yes, continuous Joy forever is in the Lord. Rejoicing is only in the Lord.

Paul gave a thorough explanation of this in Philippians chapter 3 up until chapter 4. Rejoicing in the Lord, is Rejoicing in knowing the things he has done for me and He is doing in me. Joy is in focusing on the change of life, person and character he has given us. Looking at who we used to be and who we are now in Christ Jesus and even the hope of who we would become in Him. Joy is in focusing on His plans, His thoughts and will for us. See what Paul says here

Circumcised the eight day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ, Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord… (Phil. 3:5 – 8).

Paul, despite being in chains while writing this could rejoice and even implore others to rejoice because he was focusing his attention on what Christ was doing in Him. He could see the kind of Paul he was before, the kind of Paul he was now, and then could acknowledge Christ’s work in him.  Paul wasn’t putting his attention on himself, the light was on Christ in him. So he could rejoice always. Rejoicing always is in Christ. Joy is in counting those things that makes us puffed up and proud and make us want to boast as dung and irrelevant. Rejoicing always is in pushing aside those things we always like to rely on outside of Christ, so that we can enjoy the true riches of rejoicing in Christ.

Joy is in giving up the things of this world that don’t matter and pursuing the spiritual matters that would bring life and peace to our souls and be beneficial till eternity. Joy is in the pursuit of Him. The knowledge of Him. See what Paul says later in that same chapter,

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Phil. 3: 10 -11)

Rejoicing always is in seeking him. Joy is in worshiping in spirit and truth and not putting our confidence in the flesh. Rejoicing always can never depend on us. It’s about Him. And as our hearts yearn and pants for Him, the more His peace fills our hearts and minds. Paul must have experienced this, despite all the problems and challenges he said this,

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (2 Cor. 4: 8-9)”

You know the source of sorrows and sadness, is when we fill our minds with what we expect to happen to us or not happen to us. When our focus is outward and not in inward on Christ Jesus in us. Only Men of true joy can do what he said 2 Cor. 4:8 – 9 above, men who don’t bother about what is happening around them, their focus and pursuit is on Christ. Joy is keeping our gaze on Him. Joy is about Him and what he does, not what is happening to me. Rejoicing always is in Christ and in Christ alone. Philippians 4: 8 – 9 tells us the things we should focus our minds on that brings Joy.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Another source of Joy, Paul mentions is helping other believers, and especially those who labour in the work of Christ.

Brethren, Jesus came to give us the spirit of joy. That spirit dwells in every believer. We only have to tune our focus on him. Isaiah prophesying about Jesus, said Jesus came to do this:

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord. That he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)”

He commands us to rejoice. He gave us the spirit. We only have to keep our gaze on him. Pursue the knowledge of Him. Focus our attention on what He is doing in us, who He is making us to be like. Know that Rejoicing always is only possible in Him. Rejoice always IN CHRIST and once again I say Rejoice.

 

I Call You Blessed

 

Written by Samson Afolabi

THE BELIEVERS IDENTITY

THE BELIEVERS IDENTITY

Today, identity questions are big issues. People identify themselves as strange things according to the many lies the devil is publishing in our world. But thankfully the Bible clearly explains who the believer is. Among several descriptions he says we are a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people 1 Pet. 2:9, citizens of Heaven and the one I love most, SAINTS! 1 Cor. 1:2 and many more. It is also interesting that God through the holy-spirit at work in us helps us in being this descriptions. Amen!

While we may be described by the world according to where we work, what we do etc. we must ensure that our biblical identity is retained and comes first. There is a big difference between a student and a Christian student. A civil servant and a Christian civil-servants. A teacher and a teacher that is a believer. A chauffeur and a Christian chauffeur. A doctor and a Christian doctor etc. In all the cases cited above there is a big difference between the former and the later.

While a student can decide to cheat in exams, a Christian CAN not. While a doctor may decide to do abortions, a Christian is Pro-life! He doesn’t believe in it and would never do it. Same goes for a Christian civil-servant, he would never take bribes. As believers we belong to a kingdom, whose ways, beliefs are completely different from those of this world. The ways of the world are not our ways. Our Identity presented in scriptures must swallow whatever identity the world gives us.

Truth is, as Christians our views/beliefs/ideologies are completely dictated by the Bible as such often times we would find ourselves going against the general views of the world. For-example, scriptures says “…male and female he created them Gen. 1:27”, if you identify yourself as anything outside of this two, to me you are wrong and probably must have believed a lie from the devil. Yes! I am biased and I do not support or believe what people call transgender or gay etc. because the scriptures doesn’t support it. That’s a believer. His life is dictated by scriptures. Who he/she is, what he/she holds in high esteem is dictated by the scriptures. And Yes, scriptures! Scriptures! And scriptures!

The bible says when the believer reads the bible, it’s like someone looking into the Mirror. And we know when we look into the mirror, we see ourselves. We see who we truly are.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.  2 Cor. 3:18 NKJV

For if anyone is a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror: for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. James 1: 23 – 24. NKJV

We are what the word says we are. It’s our code of conduct. We are being empowered to live like this by the Holy-Spirit living in us.

We are loving, caring, respectful husbands and house-wives. Yes, because that’s who the bible says we are. We are respectful and obedient sons and daughters. We are law-abiding citizens not because we are scared of the Police nor because of the fear of going to jail but because that’s how scriptures admonishes us to live. We are givers, we love unconditionally and we love the fellowship of the brethren. Why? That’s how the bible identifies us.

By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

The Believer has an identity. We are defined by scriptures. If it says we are men and women of grace, yes we are. No matter the challenge we pass through, we are more than conquerors. We do not become new persons by changing behaviour. We discover the person we are already are in Christ as described through scriptures and behave accordingly.

The Believer is one with Christ because of what Jesus did at the cross. He is described out of that union. He is not described by his circumstances, or environment, or by the world thinks of him or what even he thinks of himself. His true self is in Christ. Christ defines the believer. We are who He called us. And that identity cannot be undone as long as Christ redemptive work cannot be undone. He called us Rich, healed, saved, rulers etc. all this are established in the spiritual, we only have to believe them and expect them to manifest in the physical.

Identity is the echo of belief. It is our identity in Christ that is always being challenged. But we have a choice. We will either believe who Satan says we are, depraved, guilty, hopeless, sinners etc. or who Christ says we are, righteous, honourable, and holy. We have the right to declare God’s identity over our lives as sons and daughters of God. It is the revelation of our identity in Christ that gives us the victory over sin. Christ is our Life. Col. 3:4.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life – even though invisible to spectators – is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember)… Col. 3: 3 – 4

 

I Call You Blessed

 

Written by Samson Afolabi

The Believer and Lust

The Believer and Lust

 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Authorized (King James) Version 1 John 2:15-17

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Authorized (King James) Version 1 Peter 2:11

As believers the scripture says we are strangers and pilgrims here on earth, our true citizenship is in heaven. Eph 2:19. However, the land of our sojourn runs on a system that is characterized by Lust- the major code that dictates the tune of things, that the scripture says all that is in the world can be summarized to be lust!

Lust is one of the chains the prince of this world uses to bind his prisoners. Tit 3:3. But we have escaped that as believers 2Pet1:4.  It is also a cherished instrument in his hands to allure citizens of heaven. He used it to tempt even Jesus Mat 4:3-9. The code simply appeals to our natural appetites such as appetite for food, money, fame, sex and so on. An unconstrained appetite then becomes its ground of operation.

This code is always lunched against the soul, that is while, the battle ground for lust is first in the heart. 1Pet 2:11. If the code succceds, the body then becomes the display screen of its effect! One then sees greed, love of money, fornication, impure thoughts and the likes manifest through the body.

For believers, the first way to practically defeat lust is to mind the things that are in heaven- our home. Col 3:1-2. Our love for God and our fellowship with God through Christ, personally and coperately are like wheel and axle which drive each other, our love for God brings us to fellowship and fellowship makes our love for God to grow. With these two, we can be sure our mind will be full of the things of God, our affection will be God-ward, our spirit man’s appetite for God will be strong enough to cast out all ungodly appetites. Anytime we fail in these that strengthen our spirit man, we are prone to the attack of Mr lust. Prov 24:10.

Another thing that’s equally important is to learn how not to make provision for the flesh Rom13:14. Getting rid of all that can lure us to lust is a very good step unto abstinence. Peter said we should abstain 1Pet 2:11. Putting away any structure lust can climb will be good in our learning of how not to make provision for the flesh. This will mean to place rules and laws to guide our appetite, learning both to abase and to abound Phil 4:12. This is called discipline. A Pilgrim cannot be without discipline.

Finally, we must learn to share our challenges with one another as believers, fellow citizens of heaven. As much as we are in this tabernacle of our earthly body, we will be faced continually with the temptation that lust brings. Let us therefore be ready to deal with this ungodly code anytime we notice it being fired against our soul. You can discuss with a fellow believer if it’s getting beyond what you can handle.

I call you blessed.

Written by Idowu Olasupo

Break Free from Religion

Break Free from Religion

I remember growing up, I was taught how to pray in our children’s church as it was called. We were actually given a formula on how to pray. Our Teacher’s said when you pray,
1. Start with thanksgiving    
2. Ask for forgiveness of your sins

We had to ask for forgiveness every-time we pray, even if we knew what our sins were or not. The explanation they gave was that there was no way we could live without sin. Now, I know that’s wrong, If we can’t live above sin, why did Jesus die? But that’s a discussion for another day.

Read Romans 6 Selah.

3. Ask God for our needs, petitions and all
4. We should always end with thanks.

All these were backed up with scriptures, a good reference for such a sermon was always “The Lord’s Prayer”, so there was no way I could have questioned that then. Anytime, our teachers asked us to pray, and I used this formula, I was greatly applauded as a good student of prayer.

Things were fine, and I had strongly believed God must have been listening to me because I was using the “Prayer Outline Formula” until I started reading the book of Psalms.I am a lover of the book of Psalms. If an estimate is made, it might end up being my most frequent book of the bible. I noticed that David wasn’t using the formula. What? David, the king, the man after God’s heart, the prophet was bumping into God in prayers (many of the psalms were actually David’s prayers) without thanking and praising him first, then ask for your forgiveness. I had thought that no matter how urgent our need or situation was, one had got to stick with the formula. As a Mathematician, I understand the place of formulas, and I know it takes years of labor of some people to dig it out. And it always works, until proven otherwise. Without the formula, no going anywhere.

That was rude, I thought, for David didn’t just “bump” into God once or twice but almost every-time he prayed. Although there were times when all he did was to thank God and times when he asked for forgiveness. I noticed he prayed as it “flowed from the inside of him” and not as “our formula states”. Then I asked, does he actually know my formula? I have so much respect for David, and I knew he shouldn’t just be “ignoring the formula”. Something was wrong somewhere, I thought.

As I grew, the Holy Spirit taught me, “Prayer wasn’t supposed to be coordinated with a formula”. It should flow freely, directed by your Spirit. If God was my father I shouldn’t be making rituals and observing a formula before talking with him. Even my earthly father, I don’t have to observe rituals before talking with him. Even though we are thousands of kilometers apart now, if I need to speak with him, I will just pick up my phone, call him and tell him my concerns. Maybe I would want to say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” first, or call him “Baba ooo” (meaning father in Yoruba language) and we would both laugh and I tell him why I called. And when I miss him, or he misses me, we make a video call. If my earthly father being evil could be like that, how much more my father in heaven? (Matt. 7:11)

I also noticed David’s prayers were in the old covenant. If the prayers in the old covenant were this liberal, how much more in the new covenant? God said:

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16)

He actually not just said this but showed it when he the veil tore in the temple when Jesus died. A stop came to all the rituals to be observed before coming into the most holy place. God is saying come boldly, Come and present your requests, no need for prayer formulas!. Just pray and pray as you are led. Freedom comes when we don’t have to observe a formula in prayers. Enjoy the liberty of the Spirit.

Over-time, I have noticed that just like me a lot of Christians are still caught in the web of Religion; a dogged practice of what we have been taught from child-hood that doesn’t conform in what way ever with the truth, just like in the prayer example I gave above.

Freedom comes when we break the cords of Religion. Anything could become religious. Going to church without the understanding of why we go, why we give, fasting could also become religious,giving etc.  When John the Baptist was given birth to, Zacharias his father was mute because he didn’t believe the prophecy of John’s birth. When he was given birth to, according to the words of the angel, the mother of the baby, Elizabeth requested the child be called John. The family members and neighbors who came for the circumcision said,

Luke 1:59 – 64
So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias (vs 59)
His mother answered and said, “No; he shall be called John (vs 60)
But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name” (vs 61)
So they made signs to his father – what he would have him called (vs 62)
And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote saying, “His name is John”. So they marveled. (Vs 63)
Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God (vs 64)

The Custom was that John be named Zacharias. It was a norm. But God said he is to be called John which was against the custom. Just like Zacharias, a lot of us are caught in the web of religion, doing things the way we do them because that’s the way we’ve been told to them from our childhood, or the way accepted by the society. We oftentimes don’t ask why we do them the way we do them. Zacharias obedience to breaking the cords of Religion brought his freedom from being dumb. I believe the Holy-spirit is trying to paint an example for us from this scenario of how we can also be free if we dared to break the bonds of Religion. One way to do that is to always ask “why”. Why do you do what you do? Why do you have to do what people do?

I have had to ask, this kind of questions, like why should I be married?, why should I have a wedding ceremony, and even why should I have a reception afterward?. Interestingly I found many of my answers in scriptures and I am holding on to them. That’s the true test of spirituality. This would open the eyes of your understanding, and bring freedom your way swiftly from what bounds others. You would also have a good conviction of what you do.

Again let me say Freedom comes when we break the cords of Religion and also add that Christianity is not a Religion it’s a Life.

I Call You Blessed
Written by Samson Afolabi

Why Am I Here?

Why Am I Here?

Unveiling the Reason for a Christians Existence

The topic of this article is a question I think that quite a number of people must have asked themselves at one point or another. Why am I here? What exactly is the reason why God created me? Am I just an accident? If one has very good answers to this question it gives one a reason to live. A reason to want to get out of bed every day, it gives focus, and helps one navigate through life. I pray that as you read, may the eyes of your understanding be enlightened, and may the Holy Spirit stir up our hearts, to give us understanding in Jesus name. (Amen)

First, I like to establish that everyone has a purpose. Just like everyone has a unique identity so also everyone has a unique purpose. God didn’t create you to be lost in the crowd; He gave you different fingerprints, unique facial and body features, and different blood groups in such a way that everyone is uniquely different from every other person on earth.

Given our individual uniqueness it is easy to deduce that God gave us all a unique purpose. Yes! I mean varying reasons to be here. You were created to fill a void. The world would be incomplete without you. God saw a need, a problem on earth and created you to be a solution to that problem. Scriptures affirm my statement above. We saw a lot of men, who when they were born, the bible clearly states the reason for their birth. Yours is not an exemption, these are some examples:

Let’s start from the Old Testament;

Joseph: was born to be a leader to preserve a lot of people from dying of famine. God had been showing this to him through dreams right from childhood.

Moses was born to be a deliverer of the nation of Israel from Egypt. He also wrote the first five books of the Bible. He was the one gave the account of creation. (Ex. 3:10)Samson: Before He was born an angel appeared to his parents and told them this, “For Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son: No razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite [dedicated] to God from birth: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). He was also born a deliverer; no wonder God gave him an unusual physical strength.

Many more examples can be found in the Old Testament, David, Solomon, Daniel, Elijah, Elisha and many more who lived during the times of the Old Testament.

In the New Testament;
John: This is the one who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said, the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, “Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, direct)!” (Matt. 3:3). He was sent to herald the coming of our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Jesus: “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1: 21)

Peter, Paul (who wrote a large part of the Bible and was very instrumental in founding many churches across our Europe of today), are a few more examples of men with their purpose from God stated in the Bible.

Having established that every man has a purpose, next, is how to know your purpose. God created man, so primarily He knows why He created each one of us. How then can we know? The first approach is to ASK. Yes ASK. At Paul’s conversion experience, he said

“And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6)

Paul asked, “What would you have me do?” and God answered him and made preparations for him to be led adequately. For some people however, the case may be different, in that God might even reveal it to them without them asking. Just like in the case of Joseph, who started having dreams from childhood, which shows one important thing that God was more than willing to reveal to anyone who asks. I believe Luke 11:9 also applies here,

“And I say unto you; Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Luke 11:9)

One other way to know one’s purpose is to be careful to identify the special grace and gifts God has given to each one of us. Let me be quick to add that every man has a gift. You have a special gift that makes you different from another man next to you. If you can find out what this gift is, then you might just be laying your hands on God’s assignment for your life.

Purpose, when discovered should drive your life. Every decision you make should be based on it. The books you read, the friends you make, who you to listen to, what you study, where you go, the job you take and even other minute issues in your life should be directed by it.

In Proverbs 31, Lemuel’s mother was advising him about how to live. She was giving directions about life and even the kind of woman he should marry, why? Lemuel was to be a king. That was Lemuel’s purpose. And his mother was preparing him for that. He had to be prepared; his every day decision was based on the fact that he was to be a king. He couldn’t just live like that every other person. He was to be a King. Here, are some of the counsel his mum gave him:

“Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroys kings”

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for Princes strong drink” (Prov. 31: 3 – 4 KJV)

I recommend that everyone reads the book “Purpose driven Life by Rick Warren.”

Christians especially, are to take this more seriously, why? Because the life we live is not ours. We died in Christ. He gave us His life. Paul says this;

“I am crucified with Christ, Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)

If the life you live now is not yours, have you asked the owner of the life, how He wants His life lived? Ask Him, why did He give the life to you? Paul asked, and God told him. God shows no favour. He would also tell you. Sure, I know it is to the praise of His glory, but what specifically? For me, part of it, is writing these articles, what is yours?

Lastly, let me say that as believers, I believe we have a personal purpose (as individuals) and a corporate purpose (as the church). As for the Personal purpose, we have been talking about that, and I hope I have been able to bring you to the awareness of that. Let’s look a little into the corporate purpose. By this, I mean why is the church here? (Quick note: Read my article on who is the Church? 1 & 2)

We first must note that in the eternal purpose of God, the church (which is me and you) was part of the plan. We have something to do. We are to herald his second coming. He is to come to us, come through us, come in us, come for us and then come with us.

“And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you” (Luke 10:9)

“And he said unto them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15 – 16)

In a later place, He even says the church is “the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15)”. We are called to live like the truth (Jesus). We are to live as truths and teach the truth to our world. There is a lot of work on the body (the church) and more importantly on every part of the body. If you don’t do your part, it affects others. Today, I admonish you to find your place and relevance in the body and do whatever He has assigned and created you to do.

I call you blessed

Again, if you like to read more about this topic, you can read the book “Purpose driven life by Rick Warren”.

Written by Samson Afolabi