#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

If there is one thing God never negotiates, it is due process. Left to God, He would bring us to the pinnacle of your journey in a twinkle of an eye. But God knows we will fall away also in a twinkle of an eye and that is why He allows us to go through the due and often very tedious time-consuming process. This is because He is more interested in what the due process will do in us mortal beings so that we can be effective at the epitome of our journey. But we human beings, reluctant to go through the due process, cut shortcuts and end up living a short-circuited and underwhelming life which is often a far cry and a shadow of the life that God really wants for us and has truly prepared for us.

 

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In the most ideal sense, it was the temple built by Solomon that remarkably represented our Saviour, for it not only had indescribable beauty such as the world had never seen, or the sacred constituents such as the altar of sacrifice for innocent lambs, the table of shew bread, the golden lampstand, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, the tables of the testimony, and the Shekinah glory of God—all of which were patterns of our Saviour—but it, at Solomon’s dedication of it, also had the manifestation of the supernatural; the voice of God sounding with overwhelming approval from heaven to mark its dedication. This same voice sounded when Jesus appeared at the Jordan River centuries later to be baptised by John because there stood in the water the one whom that great temple stood for. In Him was indescribable beauty such as the world will never see; He was the innocent Lamb of God, the bread of life, the light of the world, the ark of the eternal Covenant, the mercy of God, the testimony of God, and the Shekinah glory of God. Thus, at His baptism, the only item missing was the Father’s voice, and with irresistible force, it thundered as it had done at the dedication of Solomon’s temple, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Many Christians expect the same display of the supernatural at their dedication to God through baptism in the exact same way it was with Jesus, but they must only hear this declaration by faith, and they must know that it pertains to Christ who is in them and justifies them. So they ought to remember that they are in a certain sense in the form of the second temple, for they are a product of redemption from captivity and they are in the eyes of the beauty of Christ, comparable to nothing. Yet, if they would allow Christ to dwell in them and do His work in them, the declaration of prophet Haggai, concerning the second temple, that “the glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former” (Haggai 2:9) shall just as exactly be fulfilled in them, because it is Christ that does the work in them. Jesus Himself declared, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).

 

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As Christians, the heroes of faith are not our perfect example but the hero of love. Thus Abel cannot be our perfect example nor can be Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, or any other. The disciples understood this and thus became Christ’s followers. Jesus only is our perfect example as Christians because to be a Christian is to be a follower of Christ. “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

When I remember Calvary, I remember that the life of Christ-likeness is not comfortable because it is a life of selflessness and sacrifice. To be a Christian, in the truest sense, is to become like Christ, and only in this form will Christ tell us “welcome, good and faithful servant”.

 

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#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

I walked the streets of Lagos today and I thought there must be something exceedingly evil about acting impulsively. There was a cripple that rode away on his roller-coaster board and I felt for him wondering why God would not stop all the evil and terrible situations in the world immediately. Then I understood that the due process that God in His infinite wisdom had put in place to complete the plan of salvation and to return humanity to its pre-fallen state was not yet complete, and if God acted impulsively, of which He cannot do because it is contrary to His character, some condition will be left unfulfilled, some curiousness will be left unsatisfied, some doubt will be left unresolved, and ultimately, some justice will be left unserved. The conditions must be so enormous as to contribute to the sheer importance of the due process. Its completion also must be the only guarantee that sin will not rise up the second time and all the terrible things that come with it of which my experience was but one. With this in mind, I thought to myself that I should never act impulsively again regardless of the nature of the situation. As I made this resolution, a light suddenly flooded my mind that, should I never act impulsively again, then I should overcome every possible temptation that the Enemy of souls may bring. This is because when faced with temptation, the flesh always wants to act impulsively, and if we refuse to consent—but only by the power of the Holy Spirit, knowing what great evil it is to act impulsively, then we should never fall.

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

I remembered recently the day I was diagnosed with short-sightedness by the optician and I was required to wear corrective glasses. I had visited the optician based on the recommendation of a doctor at a free diabetes test centre some years earlier. Consequently, there was a free eye test being conducted at the centre too and I took the opportunity to take the eye test. At the end of the test, I was recommended to see an optician. Due to certain reasons, negligence, unfortunately, being one of them, I did not visit the optician until some two years later. I certainly was not very convinced I had an eye issue, or a serious one, if I had any. Though many years back, I had had tears flowing from my eyes when under strain, yet I had thought back then that it was just normal and it would go with time. When I finally visited the optician due to pressure from my parents and I was in the examination laboratory, I was astounded that I was short-sighted and not only that, but that I had also been putting my eyes under severe pressure for several years. As a result, my eyes could have shut down at any time in the future if I did not take corrective measures. During the test, I was truly left shocked at how poor my long sight was; it was so poor that when I wore the examination glasses, there was such a striking difference between my long sight and the state it was without the examination glasses. Such was the difference that I could not help but see how much I had denied myself over the years. Prior to this moment, I had thought my eye was excellent and I saw just like every other person. This is how many of us behave in spiritual matters. We are certainly not convinced we are spiritually sick, or not so seriously if at all we are. Rather than go to the Bible to correct our spiritual short-sightedness, we spend all our lives holding on to preconceived notions and our cherished ideologies, not knowing what great liberation awaits us. Clearly, it is only a matter of time before our spiritual lives shut down unless we take the necessary measures for which there is none better, more effective, and more transforming than to study the Bible for ourselves, with much prayer and humility, and to let the Bible guide us to other credible sources of information that speaks its language.

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24). Many at times, we like to think that the life of a Christian is a life of ease; it never is, unless the life has been baptized by the affairs of the world. But in Christ’s statement above lies even a greater revelation about the Christian experience. The truly joyful and lasting Christian experience begins with a death of some kind which is the stepping stone to a rewarding and lasting Christian walk. Death to self is a non-negotiable aspect of the Christian walk, but herein is a reference to a need for the Christian to die in more specific terms whenever a situation presents itself that requires a decision to be made. The form by which such a situation may present itself is indeed listless, and so the Christian must always be at attention, looking out for genuine opportunities, which will certainly come by the temptations of the Enemy of souls, to fall into the ground and die. When he or she does, like the grain of wheat, darkness will envelop him or her, but as the darkest part of the night signals a new day, so also will a new day dawn upon him or her that come sun, come rain, he or she will survive the tempest. He or she will produce so much grain that those who fail to take his or her approach in their Christian experience will not help but admit that the life of Jesus Christ is being perfected in him or her. And all of these are possible to the extent that he or she abides in Christ, through much self-denial, study, and prayer.

 

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No Christian who abides in Christ in unconditional love, self-denial, study, and prayer will die before he or she has fulfilled God’s work assigned to him or her. In other words, unless such a believer has fulfilled his purpose on earth, no death can take him in any form, not even a martyr’s death. There is enough evidence both in biblical times and now to buttress this. God would still have been God, if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, were burnt alive when thrown into the fiery furnace, if Daniel was torn apart when thrown into the lion’s den and if John the Revelator was cooked alive when thrown into boiling oil. God spared their lives because they had not finished their work as proven in their later exploits. Or else, God, gladly, would have let them go to rest for the world is not deserving of them. This is why true faithful ones of God and bearers of the truth have been persecuted and killed both in past times and now (Hebrews 11:37-39). But let not any believer have a cause to disbelieve in the providence of God because of these accounts, because for the Christian faithful, death in whatever form it comes is a step closer to eternity.

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

There are a number of reasons why people are who they are and believe what they believe. Because we are not God and we do not know what exactly is the problem, we must be very careful regarding how we deal with such precious souls and must require the priceless guidance of the Holy Spirit in faithfully dealing with them lest we leave them worse than they were. In this, prayer for such souls is priceless.

 

#MyReflectionsPhil4_8

#ThinkOnTheseThingsPhil4_8

As your relationship with Christ takes a firmer and bolder shape and you become more entrenched in the unmistakable truths of the Scripture, and more so, you become more grounded in His pattern, walking daily as He walked, and making conscious efforts to be relentlessly conformed to His image, the Enemy of souls will bring back past memories of your failings or of some ‘good’ life you had of which you now deny yourself. You must not fall for this trap and must instead pray that God should take away such memories because this is a sure sign that Satan is beginning to lose his hold on you and he is taking desperate measures to make you cherish your past life of which he will seek to present some part of it in good light.

 

***”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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