Of Titles and the need for brotherhood and servanthood among Christians!

One of the most beautiful truths about the coming of Christ(New Covenant) is that He made each believer equal in His eyes(Galatians 3:28-29), in spite of their roles in God’s kingdom/family. We are a family under Him. We address each other as brothers. He only is our Father!
[NLT] Matthew 23:8 “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.

[NLT] Matthew 23:9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father.

[NLT] Matthew 23:10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.

[NLT] Matthew 23:11 The greatest among you must be a servant.

[NLT] Matthew 23:12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

We should not be so engrossed with titles as many are in christiandom in this day. We forget the roles(offices); Apostle, Pastor, teacher, Evangelist, prophet, though important and have their place in God’s family(Ephesians 4:11-14) don’t really define who we are. We are ultimately all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus(John 1:12). Only in Christ do we live, move and have our being(Acts 17:28). 

We have gone further in our day and taken up titles that only belong to God and given them to men, sadly. For example Reverend(Psalm 111:9KJV). In other cases we add Most Reverend to refer to mere flesh and blood. We also have other names like Holy father(John 17:11) that we give to a man. Etc. It clearly shows we are more focussed on ourselves and our position, like the Pharisees and teachers of the law that Christ was rebuking in Matthew 23. We have forgotten than our   greatest role is being servants. Some even get offended if you don’t address them with their man- given titles. Jesus Christ clearly affirmed the highest title is servant in the passage above. Christ is categorical in the last day each of us will either be commended or condemned for being a faithful servant(Matthew 25:21) or a slothful/unfaithful servant(Matthew 25:26-27).
Interestingly The early church/ Apostles referred to each other as brothers or by their names rather than their titles(office)(Galatians 2, 2 Peter 3:15 )and many other places. They were not obsessed with their titles and God used them all the same. Finally, Paul nails it!
[NLT] 1 Corinthians 3:5 After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us.

[NLT] 1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

[NLT] 1 Corinthians 3:7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.

[NLT] 1 Corinthians 4:1 So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries.

[ESV] 1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.

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OF SUBMISSION, SEX IN MARRIAGE AND THE EXTREMES WE MUST SHUN AND NEVER EMBRACE AS A CHURCH!

Friends, we are largely a generation of extremes. Whenever we choose not to abide to the counsel of the Bible we run amok in all areas. Like The Israelites in Judges, everyone does what is pleasing in their eyes, rather than what is pleasing in God’s eyes(1 Cor 10:31).
Sadly, on the issue of submission we also have extremes based on the wrong understanding of biblical submission in marriage. Many women(single and married) have believed  the lie that submission is about serving the man. The man is King, woman is the slave. I know there are cultures and religions that believe and practice the above, but biblically this is not the case. So when they come into marriage, many come armed and ready to fight this  notion with their all. The man may not even subscribe to this false mindset, but sadly one party is already armed for war. This is truly a recipe for disaster, unless the right understanding is reached by both parties, by God’s grace.
On the other extreme we have women who accept this false status quo. They get into marriage ready to slave. Some men, sadly love being king. Anything goes, as long as the man(aka king) desires it. It is all about the man. Friends, this is a ticking time bomb, more so among believers. I remember a christian lady sharing how in order to save her marriage she would ‘submit’ to very strange sexual requests from her husband who was apparently born again to please him. It got to a level where the man didn’t even blush nor ashamed to bring other women to the marital bed and have the wife participate. All In the name of ‘submission’ the wife would oblige, sadly! You can only imagine how miserable this was, more so how dishonourable in God’s eyes. The marriage after all this wouldn’t stand. The foundation from the get go was flawed(1 Cor 3:11). The man still left her to pursue his selfish desires and was left broken. Praying that she finds healing in Christ. He only can heal her pain(Mat 11:28-30). Friends, the above is also not biblical submission. 
Biblical submission is; Jesus Christ is King. He sets the standard in the bible. Man and woman submit to the King Jesus Christ. Neither man nor woman should do what Christ hasn’t sanctioned in the scriptures. Both man and woman are equal in God’s eyes(Gal 3:28). As much as man is the head of the home biblically, he must submit first to the Lordship of Christ. He can’t expect the woman to do what His King(Christ) deems sinful. The woman has a right to say NO(Titus 2:11-14) and not submit to what is sinful and doesn’t please God. Marriage and all else is unto Christ(Ephesians 5:21-33). The man ought to love the woman as Christ loves the church(amazing!)
Even in matters sex, the Bible is clear that the marital bed must be pure(Hebrews 13:4). God will judge the adulterer and sexually immoral. Sadly, some believers have translated that all goes when it comes to matters sex as long as they are married. They have embraced pagan ideas of sex and brought them to the marriage bed(Psalm 12:8, Rom 12:1-2). They have lost the sacredness and sanctity of sex. Brethren, don’t embrace every idea by the so called sex therapists(doesn’t matter if they claim to be born again) in our day and bring it to your marriage bed in the name of spicing up your sex life. Philippians 4:8 still applies, even matters of sex in marriage. Always check with scripture(Acts 17:11). Some things may not be in scripture specifically but they are unnatural brethren. Most importantly, may we seek to be sensitive to The Holy Spirit. He convicts us of and leads us to truth(John 16:13-15) in all matters. If your spouse ain’t comfortable with something and thinks it doesn’t honor God, don’t lord it over them or manipulate them to it. That is wrong in God’s eyes. We will each give an account to God(2 Cor 5:10). Sex is not just for one party; both husband and wife should enjoy it and work together towards it (1 Cor 7:2-5)and even in that seek to glorify God. God is the author of marriage. He is the author of sex, may we not be ashamed to seek for His help and most importantly seek His glory in everything even in our sex life! Shalom.

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The subtle prosperity gospel affecting many in our day!

Hey friends, I thank God that there is an angle of the false prosperity gospel that is now evident to many. Where false preachers are literally fleecing the flock and are not hiding that they desire money from the flock. They don’t blush, nor hide. They are forthright. To them Christ is equal to more money(2 Peter 2, Jude). Their folly is clearly evident to many.

I am more concerned about the false prosperity gospel that is so subtle and sophisticated and hides behind some christianese lingo that many have believed and taken as gospel truth in our day. It goes something like and is not limited to;’ I am where I am because I tithe and give faithfully. God protects me because I am a tither/am a giver. So if you want to progress(whatever progress means) in life you must be a tither/giver. Really? Now that is what Col 2:4-8 warns about ‘fine sounding arguments. They may have some truth but are centred on self and propagated by folly. This my friends is not the #gospel. Jesus didn’t die for this!

How can we dare reduce an almighty God to the realm of material things(Luke 12:15, Rom 14:17)? Brethren, it is all by the grace of God(John 1:17) and His mercy(Rom 9:16). All we have is of and from God and for Him(Rom 11:36). What do we have that we haven’t received? Why do we boast as if we haven’t received (1 Cor 4:7).

Friends, God loves you because you are His child through faith in Christ(John 1:12). You have the right to call Him Father by virtue of sonship through Christ(Rom 8:15-17, Gal 4:6-7). Amazing. He is a faithful God and knows what we need(Mat 6:25-34). Hasn’t He also given us the most important gift of all; God The Holy Spirit to guide us in everything(Luke 11:1-13, John 16:13-15, 1 Cor 2:10-16).

Our giving(of material things) then comes from the outflow of our relationship with Him. We now yearn to give 100% of ourselves to Him and give to others as He leads us. We love Him, so we give cheerfully, we will love to share (2 Cor 8:1-15). Not because we must, but because He set the example(1 John 3:16-18). When we love Him, we will then love those He loves and meet their needs as He enables us(2 Cor 9:6-9, James 2). Not because we are forced, coerced or manipulated. We give because Christ is working in us and we know that all is for Him and through Him and for His glory alone(1 Cor 10:31, Col 3:17,23). That my friends is the attitude God desires His children to have. We serve a faithful(1 Cor 1:9) God friends. Let’s not serve a false Christ, believe a false gospel and be led by a false spirit(2 Cor 11). Let’s study the scriptures with understanding and trust the Holy Spirit(1 John 2:27) to teach us and help us discern what is truth(John 17:17), almost true and what is false!

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Are you in love with the image or the person?

We are living in interesting times. We have really exalted image, rather than character, integrity, honesty. Sadly, it is catching up with us. Isn’t it amazing that image consultants are really making it big? You want to make money, be an image consultant. Even the church has been roped in, sadly. We exalt programs like #fashionwatch where how how you dress is judged by a panel more often than not whose dressing is questionable. That is the irony. We are a society of contradictions. (Disclaimer: Am not saying it is wrong to look smart and be presentable. Kindly don’t miss the essence of this post. )
I daily see Christian women trust God for a godly husband while on the other hand dismiss potential husband’s because of mundane reasons like the man is not eloquent enough, he has an accent, he doesn’t dress well enough(aka #dapper as we would call it in this day), not romantic enough (whatever that means), doesn’t look like he has potential to grow, he ain’t so good looking, not my type the least goes on. Really? All these reasons can be summarised in one word; image!
The same women already have a picture of the perfect husband thanks to social media. They just love how Pastor or bishop x and y look like they love each other. They wish they would get a husband like pastor/bishop x. Don’t be deceived, it is so easy to project an image on social media of a loving marriage, but in actual sense the opposite is true. Don’t admire the image, you just don’t know the truth behind that image. God’s will for you, may totally be different from what you have in mind. Ask any genuine married couple to tell you, all the above image issues are neither here nor there. What matters is the heart of that person. Character can never be faked. We each need someone who will genuinely love us and respect us, because they love and respect Jesus Christ. Period. The rest will follow, really!
Then, the fact that one is a talented worship leader, doesn’t automatically mean they are genuinely in love with Christ. It could just be they are good at leading praise and worship. It also doesn’t mean they will be serenading you with songs every night. Same applies to preachers, instrumentalists etc. One may be an eloquent preacher or sound ‘deep’ as we call it, even love quoting scriptures like yours truly but never lives out that truth(James 1:19-25). Woe unto you if you fell in love and married such a person. If you want to know the real person, ask their spouse! You may be shocked. Let’s change how we view things. Ask God to give you His outlook and view. There is a reason why God looks at the heart, not the outside appearance(image). 1 Samuel 16:7. Dear children of God, pray that God shows you your heart and helps you see the heart of your spouse to be before you commit to them in marriage. Marriage is beautiful when you find the person whose heart is focussed on Christ. Only God can reveal to us the true person behind the image!

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SPIRITUAL GIFTS; Must all believers really speak in tongues? Have gifts really ceased in our day? The truth on above from scripture!

If there is an area that has really divided believers for a very long time is in ‘Spiritual gifts’. On one extreme we have those who insist that spiritual gifts totally ceased, on the other extreme we have those who insist that the evidence of being filled with the Spirit is ‘speaking in tongues’. Both extremes are off biblically speaking as we will see.
Looking at 1 Corinthians chapter 12-14(check it out) we see Paul giving a beautiful prescription on issues Spiritual gifts. Clearly it was an issue of contention even in those days in the Corinthian church as it is today.
Those who insist that believers must speak in tongues as the initial evidence of being filled with the Spirit use the book of Acts as their reference point, more so Pentecost Experience(Acts 2). Interestingly though from 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, Paul seems to elevate the gift of prophecy rather than tongues. He asserts prophecy is more superior since it brings strengthening, encouragement and comfort among brethren. Interestingly Prophet Joel prophesied and Apostle Peter echoed that in the last days when God pours His Spirit, sons and daughters will prophecy, see visions and old men dream dreams(Acts 2:17). That being said, Paul is very clear that we should not forbid speaking in tongues in the rest of 1 Corinthians 14. Tongues have their place, order and context in the body of Christ( individual edification of a  believers). What is also crystal clear is that not all believers have this gift. To insist one must speak in tongues is totally off biblically(1 Corinthians 12:30). It is teaching falsehoods and bringing unnecessary confusion, bondage and conflict in the body of Christ.
It is also imperative to note that not all instances in the book of Acts as some erroneously teach, do we see believers speaking in tongues after being filled with The Spirit. In some instances they were filled with joy(Acts 13:52), in others they spoke the word boldly (Acts 4:31), in another instance they spoke in tongues and prophesied(Acts 19:6). It is not a uniform experience and deriving one doctrine out of these unique experiences is very unfortunate.
For  those who on the other extreme that teach Spiritual gifts have ceased in our day, clearly have no basis whatsoever from scripture to support their view . I agree there are many instances in this day and age of false doctrines accompanied by counterfeit spiritual gifts and experiences. The Bible as always warns us of such in many places for example (2 Cor 11:13-15, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). This doesn’t in any way disqualify the genuine Spiritual gifts in our day. The fact that there is a counterfeit experience(product), shines a spotlight on a genuine experience(product) more often than not. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever(Hebrews 13:8). He is at work in the lives of those who have believed Him and seek to know Him(Jeremiah 29:13).
Finally, the only evidence that one has the Holy Spirit in view of Scripture is if they have the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus Christ affirms that His disciples will be known by their fruit(Matthew 7:16,20, John 13:34-35). Galatians 5:22-23 further affirms; Now the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law!1 Corinthians 13:1-3 gives a perfect summary ; “And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love. I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” You want to know if  you are really filled with the Holy Spirit? Are you bearing much fruit as Christ commands us in John 15:9-16? 

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Awards from men vs reward from God!

​Hey brethren, when it comes to #awards of whatever kind among believers there is a reason I never vote for any of you, yours truly included. Awards like it or not bring attention to oneself. I am not saying God can’t use them, God uses anything(good or bad for His glory: Prov 16:4) Awards in my view largely go against Philippians 2:3-4. I would rather save myself the agony of having to be awarded by men(Matthew 6:1-4) and missing the most important reward that comes from God(John 5:41-44).
The saddest thing about the awards from men is that they don’t consider the motives of the hearts of men like God does. I may have benefitted humanity in many ways, helped many, fed many but if my motive is wrong(1 Corinthians 13) it is a zero in God’s eyes. I care less about the accolades from men. I yearn for the accolades from God. They are pure and just and shine a spotlight on our hearts(2 Cor 5:9-10) without any biases. The most important accolade I long for is from The Lord #Jesus”Good and faithful servant(Matthew 25:21).”
I have nothing against anyone who has won an award by the way. I just want to be clear about the issue of awards. For that matter, please never ask me to nominate or vote for you to get an award, neither ever nominate me or vote for me in any. This is just how I see it friends in view of scripture. I desire to guard my heart(Prov 4:23) above all things as far as it depends on me. #teamukweli #church #community #love

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Are you seeking God or His gifts?

​Ezekiel 16(check it out) is a beautiful representation of so many believers in this day and age and pray that we may seek God and repent of our sin. It reminds me of the message to the church of Ephesus(Revelation 2:1-7). How we may repent and come back to the first love. Love God for who He is, not only for what He does and gives us. Yearn to hear His voice and fellowship with Him earnestly and honestly as we used to do at first!
Ezekiel 16 begins by describing how Jerusalem was despised, neglected and rejected by all, until God had mercy and nurtured her and took care of her. She became so prosperous and beautiful because of God. Gold and silver was now common to her because of God. This is a picture of many believers today. There is a time you used to be despised. You had it so rough. Those days you would really seek God. Your conversations were centred on Christ and His word. You were always careful to give God the glory for everything. You weren’t ashamed to ascribe all the glory to God for everything. God truly made all the difference. You never lacked time to fellowship with God and fellow believers.
Like Jerusalem, when the gold and silver came and people started noticing your beauty courtesy of God, you realised that you can make yourself the brand, instead of God. You started using the beauty God gave and the gold and silver to draw people to yourself. Connections are now more important than God and fellowship with believers. You no longer have time to commune with God. Oh yes, you still go to church on Sunday, tithe and give offering but all that to draw people to yourself(company). Every opportunity is to network and make contacts even in church. We even appoint you as one of our elders in church for the same reasons.
You also realise that there are friends who used to walk with you that you now have to dump. They are not as ambitious. They are still struggling. They are still so spiritual and keep reminding you about God and His will for you and how you must be careful to seek Him like before. They are not eagles you quip?  You cant keep company with chickens you flatter yourself. You forget how they genuinely loved you and were there for you. You reckon they will slow your progress to the top(whatever that means). You don’t want to be associated with them anymore. You are ‘self made’, you rarely talk about those difficult days of struggle. In fact, you are totally ashamed of those days. Forgetting those were the days God was real in your life.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:43 But first, because you have not remembered your youth but have angered me by doing all these evil things, I will fully repay you for all of your sins, says the Sovereign Lord. For you have added lewd acts to all your detestable sins.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:46 “Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters in the north. Your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters in the south.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:47 But you have not merely sinned as they did. You quickly surpassed them in corruption.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:48 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters.
[ESV] Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:50 She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:51 “Even Samaria did not commit half your sins. You have done far more detestable things than your sisters ever did. They seem righteous compared to you.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:52 Shame on you! Your sins are so terrible that you make your sisters seem righteous, even virtuous.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:53 “But someday I will restore the fortunes of Sodom and Samaria, and I will restore you, too.
[NLT] Ezekiel 16:54 Then you will be truly ashamed of everything you have done, for your sins make them feel good in comparison.

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