Thoughts

Some 30, Some 60, and Some 100

Do you know what makes God happy? Do you want to know what really glorifies Him? Here it is:

My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples. John 15:8 HCSB

Before we get ahead of ourselves, lets see what these fruits are:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

The fruits that God desires in you are a complete character change – looking more like Jesus – showing His attributes and thereby Glorifying God.

(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Ephesians 5:9 KJV

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Galatians 5:22  NLT

God employs a method which many farmers who tend to fruit trees and vines do: pruning. This is where a bad part or an extended part of the branch is cut away, so that the tree or vine may bear more fruit:

He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. John 15:2 NLT

You don’t have to bear all the fruits at once (it would be great if you did), but by letting God work in you through the reading, understanding and implementation of His Word, you will bear more fruit:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NIV

Make it your life mission to understanding and knowing who Jesus is – and live by His Words.

All the while, bear some fruit – because some have 30, some 60, and some 100, and God is indeed glorified when you do so:

Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.” Mark 4:8 HCSB

Keep Walking..

Thoughts

The Treacherous Path Made Possible

Its a path riddled with epic obstacles and dangers that are beyond description.

Ancient enemies troll these paths, seeking someone they might devour. A quick projection would tell you that there is little possibility of success.

Few people choose that path, and more fall off the path each day. It is a lonely, mountainous, narrow, slippery path which requires concentration and commitment.

Regardless of all you hear about this path, someone made it, and came back to tell us about it:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:31 NIV

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 NIV

And He offers to keep us company while we take this journey, He offers to ensure that we do not fail:

I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel. Psalms 32:8 HCSB

Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff–they comfort me. Psalms 23:4 HCSB

Jesus charted the path when He faced death – and overcame.

The path I’m speaking about is spiritual, and it is quite treacherous – but if we keep our eyes fixed on the one who overcame it all – we are guaranteed to overcome it as well.

..fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV

Take heart. Keep Walking.

Thoughts

The Necessity of Death

The sadness, helplessness and the pure melancholy that comes with a loved one dying is not belittled here. In fact, it illuminates our frailty and the temporariness of our existence.

One thing is clear though. While death is truly a mark of finality, it is by no means the end. It actually demonstrates a beginning; one that has no weakness, neither is it perishable – one that is eternal.

“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. John 5:24 NLT

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. John 5:11 HCSB

I do not want to explore or justify the reason and the presence of death, but I want to point to the contrast it creates in truly appreciating life.

Many people are scared to die. Not because its painful, or because they will be leaving their loved ones behind, its the uncertainty of what comes after that freaks people out – the not knowing.

This is a subject that God has explored with us – even demonstrated it with His own Son:

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Galatians 3:13 NLT

Jesus died and rose again, so that we may have the confidence that in Him – by believing in Him – the consequence of Death has no sway over what He has prepared for us:

“O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NIV

Death, eventually will be destroyed in a future with no ending, no pain or sorrow.

But we can learn something from it – It is God who gives the finality – so we should approach Him boldly under the provisions granted by Jesus  – and by doing so, abandoning death and all its representations.

That’s a great reason to keep walking.

Thoughts

The Spiritual Recluse Who Likes the Company of Others

..not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25 HCSB

Christianity, even when not lived out for others to see, has to be lived in the presence of others, either while in the company of other people during witnessing, or in the company of fellow Christians when seeking encouragement and communal worship of God.

The Bible also advises that the Holy Spirit will act as a guide regarding all things – helping Christians make sincere and wise decisions concerning every aspect of their lives. This basically means you do not need anyone else apart from God in living and obedient and reverent life:

The anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you don’t need anyone to teach you. Instead, His anointing teaches you about all things and is true and is not a lie; just as He has taught you, remain in Him. 1 John 2:27 HCSB

So which is it? Live out one’s life in exclusion, or seek out the fellowship of others with all sincerity?

I think the answer is ‘yes’ to both. A Christian is basically someone who is like Christ – they exhibit His character.

Jesus was compassionate, forgiving, loving and possessed all the virtues of the Holy Spirit.. Just like we should be when we accept Him in our hearts.

Therefore, we will fellowship with others, not only to encourage one another, but also to serve one another as obliged by our Christ-like character.

We also need to be careful, discerning what is good and what is not, and accepting the voice of wisdom that God places in our hearts.

So I guess its possible to have a recluse who loves the company of others. Jesus character in us enables us to achieve both personality aspects – meeting the needs of others while following the wisdom of God.

Keep Walking. 🙂

Thoughts

Wisdom: Essential Yet Elusive

Perhaps the title is a little too presumptive, but the essence of making good decisions based on current information is not just about good strategy – but a deeply spiritual affair where the elusiveness in wisdom is inversely proportional to how reconciled we are to God:

James 1:5-7 HCSB
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

The Bible is clear that Wisdom is not an a product of experience and tact, but rather a much deeper commitment to what God desires in our hearts:

Proverbs 9:10 HCSB

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

First – what is wisdom? The world would have you believe that it is a mix of experience and a series of bad to good (great) decisions that would elevate one to an advisory position based on the prosperity and probity they exhibit in their lives.

I’m sure we all have our perceptions – technical or otherwise of what wisdom should be – but I choose to look at it this way – it is a gift from God – granted via knowledge of whom He is, received in faith, and lived out in humility and reverence.

We should all be wisdom seekers – the one who made us offers it for free – and it promises lots of benefits in this life – and the one to come.

Ecclesiastes 7:12 NIV

Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.

Lets keep walking.

Thoughts

Why would the earth Be Glad, while we mourn at His coming?

Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice, Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. Psalms 96: 11-13

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Revelation 1:7

When I look at these two verses, I imagine that the natural world is feeling the exertion of our presence, and wishes our compulsion, even the very earth longs for its destruction, if only to escape our presence.

On the other hand when Christ comes, no one will acknowledge it as a welcome scenario. Most times when I listen to Christian conversations, there is always an implied joy at the Coming of Christ, I do not doubt the genuineness of these expressions, but I have to wonder just how many people actually want Jesus to come back. We are all busy living our lives and enjoying prosperity to start thinking of the Coming of Christ, we thrive in complacency, we do not want to rock the boat.

The very earth knows that it is not meant to be around any longer, why shouldn’t we? Why should we not rejoice in the expectation of His coming? Are we so committed to temporary goals that we lose the bigger picture?

The bush outside your house knows its maker in its non-intelligent entity, you, on the other hand with all your smarts cannot recognize the signs on the times, the impending destruction, the culmination of the times…

Its about time we started walking seriously…..

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 2 Peter 3:10-13

By Tito Ndoka