#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

There is a longing in every man to be happy. Left to us and without any restrictions, we will do anything to be happy. This desire to be happy has made many to tear down God’s restrictions and to cooperate with Satan who has offered them a false sense of happiness. But the big question remains, “Will you rather take the happiness that God offers or the happiness that Satan offers?” This is not an easy question to answer. This is because at the centre of this question are events happening on the world’s stage and the events in the secret lives of men. The happiness which God offers, none of us would readily take because it comes with a lot of chastisement and a remaking of our selfish nature; a process which most have willingly forfeited because it is too much to bear. They forget that the chastisement of the Lord brings everlasting peace and that if we endure till the end, we shall also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12). And this reigning does not apply to eternal life only but it also applies to reigning with Him in living a life that has been considered impossible by many, which is a life of victory over the sinful flesh and the development of a godly character, through the power of Jesus Christ. How quickly do we forget that there is a crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12)? And do all of these mean we can’t be happy while we are here and love God? No. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). And though this joy is not altogether easy, for it is contrary to our sinful flesh, the end of it is the formation of the character of Christ in us which brings real joy and peace in this life while preparing us for the life to come. But the happiness which Satan offers is a makeshift happiness that is superficial and never truly fills the longing of the soul. Yet, this many have and will readily take because it is quick and it does not come with boundaries but rather lets those who receive it be comfortable in their sinful states while regarding God nevertheless. It is “a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25).

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

Most who profess to love the Lord and claim to be His mouthpieces have altogether failed to portray the lives of the biblical patterns whom they would readily claim to be a type of. It is immediately obvious that these people, were they to be offered the lives of Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and the Apostles of Christ, they would not be willing to accept it. On the other hand, there are those who have failed to see the lives of these biblical patterns for what they really are; as a life of selfless service to humanity and a daily outpouring of unrestrained love, and thus, they may consider the appealing aspects of their lives and jump at an offer to live such a life. Surely, they would sooner realize that there is no appealing aspect of the lives of these biblical patterns except to the truly converted soul; the soul to which this world is nothing but place of sojourning.

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

Recently, while undertaking my medical missionary training at Elim Lands, Nigeria, and having seen and heard what was going on among some of the long-term workers, I have been impressed to consider that the mystery of godliness (1 Timothy 3:16) is beyond what we have thought it to be; the primary sense summarily being how divinity could unite with humanity, that is, how Jesus Christ, the Son of God, could come in the form of a helpless babe, to die for the sin of humanity. But then, there are those who have had the opportunity to walk with Christ through almost every means possible to convert a soul unto God but yet, they come out of these heavenly-orchestrated experiences still wittingly or unwittingly united with sin. Some, even while still in the midst of these life-transforming experiences and blessed with genuine privileges to encounter the person of Jesus Christ, nevertheless choose to hold on to their old selves, almost without any remorse so that one cannot help but wonder what else could have been done to lead them to Christ. It is indeed a mystery of godliness that some, though they may not have had such wonderful privileges as afore-described, understand the necessity of the conversion of the soul and live their lives in simple harmony with the word of God. They encounter Christ at the least opportunity offered them, for there is a thirsting in their soul for a deliverance from the old man which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts and for the new man that is created after God in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24). So when there is presented before them a better privilege to encounter the person of Christ, it is but another opportunity for them to climb higher in the ladder of Christlikeness.

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

I personally think that if we consider our daily lives and the decisions we have to make for or against God in the sense of we being Adams and Eves having to make a choice to eat or not to eat of the forbidden tree, our lives will be vastly improved. Consider how differently you may choose to act if every choice you have to make is surrounded by a consequence as great as that of Adam and Eve when they ate from the forbidden tree. Would you take a chance or will you find out what the absolute will of God is and do it? Would you disobey your parents? Would you steal? Would you break the Sabbath? Would you bear false witness? Would you worship your job before God? Would you watch that movie? Would you play that video game? Would you listen to that music? In truth, every decision we make is surrounded by a consequence as great as that of Adam and Eve and but for the sacrifice of Christ and His ministry in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary, we will all be helpless and hopeless. Nevertheless, God demands that we do His biddings, for in doing so, He has nothing to benefit and we have everything to benefit, for our fellowship and close communion with Him is hindered every time we eat from the forbidden tree.

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

About a month ago, I attended a singles meeting at a local church in Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria where a couple was invited to speak to the youth on the topic “Personality”. The couple gave a good talk and at some point, they began to describe a personality model that they had learnt and were excited to share. It was a contemporary model that used colours to represent a type of personality with each colour, namely, red, blue, green, and yellow, having unique personality traits attached to them. While this was very practical as the examples of behaviour patterns and personality traits they attributed to each colours were very real and applicable, I thought that a lot of damage will be done with believing in this personality model. People may begin to become comfortable with the negative aspects of their personality since the models gave room for that, considering it as normal that every personality has its strengths and weaknesses while rationalizing what is not acceptable before God. I had asked the presenters and commenters why no one talked about the personality of Jesus for this is the best personality model that we can discuss as Christians. Christ had everything in the right proportion and remains the best personality model for the Christian. Thus, without negating the practicality of the personality models of the world today, a Christian cannot help himself by accepting their standards and submissions for it only further confirms him in a state of helplessness and sinfulness. And if the goal of the Christian is to become like Christ, he must learn to look away from self and the only personality model that should take preeminence is Christ’s.

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

During the first week of my medical missionary training at Elim Lands, Nigeria, I learnt some construction work and I later had to render some assistance to the director, Vojtech Ligenza, in mixing the sand while he worked on two toilet chambers for our still-to-be-complete building for accommodation. Three of workers were absent, and the one who came was working on the farm, planting. As I worked and carried the sand I had mixed in a pan to deliver it to the director, several thoughts flashed through my mind. Foremost amongst them was how my presence was useful for the progress of the construction work. Thus, I began to think about the gospel work in similar light and how every little effort I could make must fulfill some role and contribute to the progress of the work. My concluding thoughts were, “Would the work on the site have progressed without me?” The answer was “Yes” but rather slowly for the director would have had to do mix the sand himself while building the chamber. Or he could have called on the worker who turned up to do that for him and the work on the farm would have been left unattended to. Thus, some work was going to be drawn back just as the presence of all the workers would have sped up the work, ensured more work was done, and reduced the burden of work on individuals. This same applies to the gospel work. God is the one who builds the chamber, but we all must deliver the sand. Will the gospel work progress without some individual doing his part? Yes, it will by the diligence of a few faithful workers, but were all hands on deck and were all professed Christians playing some deliberate role for the furtherance of the gospel, we would hasten the coming of the Lord (Matthew 28:19; 24:14).

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

During the first week of my medical missionary training at Elim Lands, Nigeria, because our bathroom was not completed yet, I had been taking my bath somewhere behind the uncompleted water storage, after the day’s work. Unlike some of the workers (I was a student under training), I always had soap for this purpose. Once, after a few days of taking my bath at the aforementioned place, I found a soap that had been left there by someone else. My immediate reaction was that of annoyance for that was where I kept my soap while I bathed. Soon, I began to realise some truth from my little experience about human selfishness for had I not soap and was in desperate need for one, my immediate reaction would have been that of gratitude instead of disgust. I would have regarded it as manna from heaven, but now, it was an annoying sight for I needed to put my soap where it lay. This springs from the pure selfishness the Bible talks about which is so ingrained in us! This is the nature we receive at birth, the selfish nature that only cares about “me, myself, and I” (Psalms 10:4). This is what Christ has come to take away from us.

 

***”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” (Philippians 4:8).***

Friend, what were your Bible reflections this month? Kindly leave them in the comment section below.

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