Monday, May 23, 2011
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Today we will try to make this teaching more academically than Spiritual but at the end we are still going to discover the spiritual in the light of the physical.
There are not many chapters of the Bible where the word transformation appears yet there are many transformed lives in the Bible.
There are three important words here that require our attention:
The ( an article)
What is the meaning of transformation or what it means to be transformed?
a. Change in shape of something or somebody.
b. Change in appearance of something or somebody. The agent of change in appearance may be colour, decoration with ornaments or the removal of it.
c. Change in the condition of a thing or something. This could be by impoverishment or enrichment, stability or destabilisation, enthronement or dethronement.
What is life?
Life is a property of plants and animal beginning at a definite time and ending at a definite time, death. Ecll. 3:1-2
1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Anything that has a beginning and ending has life. All living thing must have an expiry time and date.
The only reason why God who has life and yet cannot die is because we do not know his beginning. It is the day we know his beginning that God would stop existing for life.
Life is the property that enables plant and animal to use food; grow; reproduce and then die.
What is the article the referring to?
That article is referring to somebody here listening or reading this sermon.
What does it mean to say that someone has been transformed?
0. It means that the person has a changed shape. When we talk about a change in shape it could be like the one a sculpture does to force a piece of wood into his desired shape or what a potter does to a clay.
Implication of this!
There is a person like an agent of change who desire to make an object according to his own desire. This agent in this case is God. However unlike the inanimate objects that are forced to change against their wish, the human being have the will to change and be changed or the refusal to do so. And according to the book of ecclesiastics there is time for everything when transformation of some sort missed the appropriate time it becomes impossible. Hence everyone of us must be willing to make God transform us into his desired shape and image.
If actually you have been transformed as a Christian your appearance should have shown it to all of us that you have. If we cannot find in you certain change of appearance then you have not been transformed. From the pottery pictures above we can see how the potters keep changing forms and patterns. Initially it was something like a pitcher and then to a flower vase or censer and finally a drinking cup.
When a shape of a thing changes ultimately it's usefulness also changes. From the transformation recorded in the above pottery work the usefulness of the pitcher is to be taken to the stream to fetch water; the usefulness of the censer is to contain burning incense while the usefulness of the cup is to serve the master as drinking vessel always kissing the mouth of the master.
The paper note I have here contains the sermon I am preaching and it stays on the altar, the holiest place of the church but if it is recycled into tissue paper it's usefulness and place will be the dirtiest place, the toilet. We can therefore boldly say that a transformed person usefulness will change.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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.
What Paul is saying here is that I have been transformed in Christ Jesus and I have lost my original shape and form. What was his original form?
Paul an instrument of oppression
Paul the arresters and persecutor of the brethren
Paul the enemy of Christ and his followers and
Paul the enemy of change.
A transformed person will suddenly discover that he has lost the capacity to do certain things. When you are transformed from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of Christ you will lost the capacity to tell lies, the capacity to defraud, the capacity to fight for yourself and prove your alibi, the capacity to be rebellious and disobedient. There will be something in you telling you that you have changed you are not supposed to do this or that anymore.
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
A transformed person's affection will ultimately be changed. His affection will be the affection of Jesus. Anytime and anywhere his thinking will be in line with the kingdom thinking. Fornication and adultery will be far away from his mind because he now has a changed form. It will be unthinkable for the cup staying on the master's table to want to go to the toilet and be used as a washpan. If you see anyone who claimed to be born again and one amongst us doing sinfully and acting wickedly his transformation is not complete: he is like a kettle that the Muslim used for ablutions and it's also used to boil water in the kitchen.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Another fundamental change that will be noticed in the life of a transformed person is his appearance. In every profession there are ethics and code of dressing. Those working in the medical profession and the scientific research are easily identifiable by the white apron; the police and the military by the smart uniform while clergymen are identified with the cassock.
Therefore if a policeman changes profession to medicine he must of necessity remove the police uniform to wear something that will make him look like an angel before his patient and not like a gunner. I am made bold to say without any fear of contradiction that a Christian should not dress like harlots looking for customers. If you get born again and your mode of dress does not change I am sorry to let you know that you have not changed. The dress we wear is a sign of our inner conditions. It is the type of heart you are wearing that determines the type of dress you are wearing. When you are transformed your old cloth will be taken away and a new one given.
1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
Consequent on the above the company of the transformed must change. The company and friends of cup are tea spoon, knife, fork sugar and tea. The company and friends of doctor are nurses, microbiologist, chemist and laboratory scientist. You cannot claim that you are changed without changing your company and friends. In Mark. 5. Jesus healed a mad man living among the swine and the dead. Immediately his healing and salvation was completed Jesus told him to go home to his family. His company suddenly changed, he could no longer lived among the dead.
When your company changed your location will also change, those places you normally frequented will change. The location of a transformed person Christian cannot be in the beer parlour.
A transformed person because of all the changes he has been experiencing would also have a changed condition. He shall moved from the conditions of poverty to riches, from sickness to health, from disability to ability, from trouble to peace, from defeat to conquest, from uncleanness to holiness. When the children of Israel had a change of place; from Egypt to their promised land God promised them.
26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
I met a woman in London who migrated from Nigeria and she told me her story. She had been battling with malaria fever all her life that she became a burden to her parent but as God would have it she married to a Briton. Few months after she just discovered that her recurrent sickness of malaria fever disappeared and she had not been hospitalised for more that ten years now. Her changed location automatically brought her healing. Healing would come when we leave the territory of Satan to the territory of Jesus.
Jesus himself said that a change of territory will bring us relieve. Matthew 11:28
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
If you are listening to this talk and you feel that you still fall within the time of transformational possibility I congratulate you. It means it is not too late for you to make necessary changes and amendment to your life. There are some people that can no longer be transformed: such are the one who believed that it is too late to make a change.
When God sent his message to Prophet Eli about what he was doing wrong instead of telling God and appealing to him for a time to make amendment he simply concluded that there is nothing he could do any longer. Eli sent a message back to God through Samuel saying:
II Sam. 3:18 ...It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good.
Maybe I should tell you some of the thing that God can do when we refuse to change?
God could decide to leave you to your problem. It means your case is already concluded and you are beyond redemption. He has done that before.
Hosea.4:17 Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. Those who are left alone will be brought face to face with their problems that shall never be resolved. They came to the world to suffer and are always given longer life than normal so that they could drink in full the keg of the wrath of God.
Another option God can use is to cut them off suddenly. John the Baptist told those who were not ready to be transformed that:
9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
May God bless you.
Pastor. Abiodun John Adeniyi
APICP. Ogun Province II
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The world is such a delicate place to live for the Christian that is heavenly minded because the things that are in the world as the scripture describes it are: the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes. Most of the things around here that make for enjoyment are highly sensual and deadly and there are so many distractions from the right track of life.
Building up a family that is Godly in a worldly environment is like building up a house of mud in torrential rain or setting up a canopy camp when the wind is boisterous. The challenges facing the building of a Christian home in today world are quite challenging and difficult. There is no amount of policing a parent can do to shield the children completely from the juicy and temptation and the attraction that the way of men offers.
The agents of corruption and socialization so to say are too many to be tamed. The audio-visual teaches the younger and the adult things they never wished to learn and even if you refused to have one in your home there are a thousand of them on the street used for adverts and they are so strategically positioned for your attention. The rhythm of music has no respect for anyone. Unconsciously you will sometimes find yourself shaking to the rhythm of music coming from the musician you hate to associate with.
There are other types of influences coming from your immediate neighbourhood. What you are trying to keep away from your family is at the next door and taunted to your family as if to say there is nothing wrong with these after all. Most of the things we are teaching our children never to do is being done by our neighbours and children with impunity to the extent that a time comes when the person playing the role of a teacher becomes confused and disillusioned.
There are other issues affecting the family building; these are interpersonal relationship at home. The relationship and mode of behavior of the members of a particular family can make or mar the proper building up of that home. The challenges of modern job: closing late at office; sexual advances and temptations from colleagues; and suspicion from spouses are issues that cannot be ignored.
Also there is a kind of frustration in the world because of the inability of man to predict accurately his future and to see the hidden things that others are not willing to reveal. A lot of wrong assumptions and judgments are made about others that are not completely true and we use these as yardsticks for measuring people and their behaviours.
What then can we do in the midst of all these to build up a Godly family in a corrupt world? Jesus offers us solution in Matthew 10: 16 and I quote:
16 ¶ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Our Lord Jesus offers just two solutions: wisdom and peace
We can solve most of the modern day challenges if we abide by these two solutions. The book of proverbs 9:1-6 tells us that wisdom has seven pillars and I want to begin to discuss what each of these pillars mean to me.
Wisdom to me is patience, perseverance and willingness to learn. An impatience man cannot build a family and if by chance he builds one he will sooner or later pull it down himself by what he does and what he fails to do.
Wisdom makes you learn from the breakthrough or mistake of others. It is only a fool who would refuse to learn from others. Do not imagine that you can ever be an island to yourself in matters of learning, the little knowledge learnt here and there will be to you an added advantage. There was this story of a power drunken Alafin of Oyo Kingdom who made impossible demands from the youth of Ile Ife. He was asking them to make for him a rope of clay for riding his horse and failure to meet his demand would mean death to them all. Days gone by and no one knows how to make a rope of clay. One of the youth went to an elderly person to seek for advice and the old man said tell the Alafin of Oyo to show you the sample of the broken one which he had. Since the Alafin’s demand was a ruse that could not be met, the request of the youth also could not be met. The wisdom from the old man saved them from annihilation. If you are having problem with building up your family try doing it with wisdom from others and you will succeed.
Another wisdom we need to learn is that there is time for everything. Eccl. 3:1-8. Before you act on something please make sure you are acting at the right time. In time of war you can kill an enemy of your country and you will be praised for it but if you do that when war has not been declared officially, the state you are fighting for will personally hand you over to the authority of that country whose citizen you have killed. There is the time to correct your spouse or children there are other times to keep silent as if you are not aware of what is going on. Never speak angrily to an angry man in his moment of anger. There are moments at home when a member becomes angry (Moment of madness) do not join in that madness if you are wise.
Wisdom makes you to understand that all things are not achievable by force. Wisdom is greater than force by all standards. Family imbroglio matters cannot be resolved by force but by wisdom induced patience. Wisdom can bring down at once a great mountain that one thousand strong men cannot do in ten days. Stop the usage of threat over your family members in order to obtain their obedience. Voluntary obedience is better that coerced obedience.
There are so many people who have learnt wisdom but they fail to apply it when it is needed. Wisdom that is learnt must be applied to our benefit. Many parents have resulted to harassing every other members of the family when things go wrong. When money is missing or a plate broken in the kitchen and everyone claims innocence, parents result to flogging, embarrassing, and abusing everyone in other to discover the culprit. That is wrong; you should use wisdom to discover the culprit. Solomon applied wisdom to discover the real mother of the living child. If you used the wrong method to obtain the truth, the innocent people punished with the culprit will forever hate you and see you as a wicked man.
Avoid too much complaint in your relations with your family members. If something is not done properly do it yourself to show it by example how things should be done instead of complaining all the time. If your wife does not know how to cook well go to the kitchen to prove it
Here are some Biblical passages that will help you to relate well in worldly environment;
Prov. 15:1. Learn to answer softly. Softly spoken word can melt a stony heart.
Prov. 14:1. Wise person build his/her house. A person of such keeps family matter within the family circle. It is a mad person who washes his dirty pants and spread outside for all to see. There was a story of a woman who always complained about her husband coming late home to strangers. One day she complained to a man who pitied her condition and helps her to murder the husband without her knowledge. When the husband died and the woman was weeping the killer called her on phone to say ‘I hope you are okay now, I have helped you to kill your husband so you can have peace’. You should be careful of what you discuss about your family so that you don’t get sympathy from a hired killer.
I Cor. 13:4-7. Let there be genuine love in the home.
Col. 4;1. Treat your housemaids who are in charge of your children and the food you eat as you will treat your own children.
Col. 3: 18. Wives should submit to their own husband. Why should this be so? I don’t have the answer just as I cannot answer why God made me a male or a female. God planned it that way so there can be orderliness.
Col. 3:20 Children obey your parents. If you don’t obey you will face the music alone. Everyone will dance to his own kind of music.
I Thess. 5:17. Those who want peace in their homes should endeavour to pray for it.
Phil.4:5. Be moderate in all you do.
Sometimes I do want to find out why things happened the way they do. I have discovered that when you are driving behind another car and you see that automobile going from one side of the road to the other, do not blame the car. It could be that the driver was drunk or his mind is not stable. The driver to be blame when things go wrong in your family is you. Before you ever blame anyone else please blame yourself and do what is right. God bless you.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
When you are about to run in a race there are certain things that may had weight to you that may not allow you to run properly; some of this are:-
- The kind of food you eat
- The kind of shoes you wear
- The kind of pants you wear
- You hair style
- And the ornaments you put on
As Christians we are also running in a race that require that we should as light as possible. We therefore required to be mindful of the following:-
- What you eat and drink- It is not good for the Christians to just eat except it is necessary to do so. We should eat to live and not live to eat, we should drink to live and not live to drink. Philippians. 4:5 be moderate; Genesis. 2:16-17 eat only the good food the bad one will kill you
- What you wear on your body- normally we dress to cover our nakedness. The origin of dressing itself as we found it in the Bible and other stories of creation is to cover human nakedness. Leviticus 19:19 God even told the children of Israel to avoid mixing colours in their dressing; Deut. 22:11-12; 22:5
- Be careful for nothing; Philippians 4:6 those who run a race must free their minds from any other things trying to get their attention. Things that try to get our attention are the following: your admirers and critics; women, men and money, pleasure of this world-entertainment on TV and theatre
- Put your thinking right. Philippians 4:8 Take care of your thoughts. Your wrong thinking that is not controlled will destroy the relationship between you and your race to heaven. Proverb. 4:23 keep your heart with all diligence.
- Let your focus be at the finishing mark. Heb. 12:2 looking unto Jesus. When you are running begin to see what lies at the end of the race. The glory of receiving the medals and peoples applause.
- Our expectation is that at the end of our race we shall see our Lord Jesus Christ. JN. 14:1-3.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The secret of increase
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
There are certain facts that seem antithetical to real sence and yet are true. There are situations that seem negative in nature yet the only way out. Kindly consider the following to be able to understand what Jesus was trying to say to us:
- Reversing is the best way to gain the necessary speed to fly or jump over a ditch.
- Stooping is the best position to begin a race
- You cannot jump up unless you first bend down
- Giving is the easiest way to get riches
- Humility gives birth to honour and pride gives birth to disparagement
Therefore knowing the above would help us to understand the truth of the statement of our Lord Jesus that Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
As Christians we must understand that this principle rule every other thing in the world. We must have to die in order to be able to live and anyone who refuses to die will live alone for the rest of his life on earth.
What does it mean to die?
TO STOP PERFORMING AND MAKING SOMEONE ELSE TO WORK FOR YOU
1. If you are dead as a Christian you will not be able to fight for yourself again you will allow God to do that for you
2. If you are dead you will not be able to provide for your own needs but depending on God to do it for you.
3. Dead people have no more memory hence those that have died can’t keep record of those who offend and wrong them.
4. Dead men are seen to have turned to spiritual being hence those who claimed to have died should be seen to be highly spiritual. They do not make provision for the flesh,
TO GIVE OUT SOMETHING VALUABLE TO YOU
1. God gave out his only begotten son you too can give out something valuable to you.
2. A farmer gives out the best of his harvest to be used for seedling.
3. To invest your money by keeping away food from your table.
4. To serve other people as a leader or a pastor to the detriment of your own life.
5. To be sold out to a good cause
TO BE NON-RESPONSIVE TO CERTAIN THINGS AS IF YOU ARE DEAD TO THEM
1. If you are dead there are certain things you cannot respond to ; those who praise or criticise you
2. A dead man cannot be tempted with sex, food and money because they are not valuable to him.
WHAT ARE WE TO GAIN FOR BEEN DEAD
Death is the only way to increase. Without been dead a corn of wheat cannot produce many more corns. Many people that have remained stagnant for many years have not learnt this great principle that has worked for those who have applied it and would still worked for many more who reach to the sun.
If you want to have more children beyond the confines of your immediate family why not try to be a leader that other people can look up to. Consider how many people that calls Pastor E. A. Adeboye Daddy from around the globe. This pastor in the year 1998 gathered well over four million people for a Christian religious programme in Lagos and the year 1999 more than seven million at the Redemption Camp.
If you are dead to the flesh you will be alive spiritually. There are certain things that the arms of the flesh cannot do you shall be able to do them. Though you may be weak physically but you will be alive to become a partner to God in performing miracles. Elijah did not have an army of his own yet arrested and destroyed soldiers sent to arrest him.
If you are dead to reckless spending and sow your seed you will be alive to reap bountifully good measure press down and running over. Your single seed shall become many
10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
11 A just weight and balance are the LORD's: all the weights of the bag are his work.
12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
14 The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.
15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
There are so many things we have to understand about the relationship between the kings and their subject. In every society before the modern era there were kings who saw to the day to day running of our society. Some of them have been high handed while some are moderate and their policies have been much criticised and much praised. In essence they more or less like the double agent for God and Satan.
10 A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.
Many of the pronouncement, the decrees and statement made by the kings came directly from God. Some times we may not like or like those pronouncements yet they could not have come into fulfilment without God’s consent. Any pronouncement of a king that fails does not come from God: that king does not speak divinely.
Example of divine sentences
1. Pharaoh refusal to let Israel go
2. Herod’s decrees to kill children in the age bracket of Jesus
3. Nebuchadnezzar’s decrees to bring the Children of Israel to Babylon.
1. We must be careful how we relate to the king over our lives. The kings in your life could be your pastor, your leader: spiritual and temporal and your father and husband
2. Don’t offend God because He cannot be physically seen around, He uses kings to punish you. The king may just pronounce a decree that will ruin your entire life.
3. Be careful how you criticised your leaders over certain decision. He may be acting divinely and you acting and reacting against God. Prov.21;1 says that
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.
A just weight and balances are the Lord’s all the weight of the bag are his work.
Only God can judge correctly in any matter that arise and the reason he can do that is because he alone has the instrumentality of measurement, the necessary tools to do that which is right.
- he designed the rules of judgement
- he made the decrees and commandment
- he enforces judgement on offenders
- he alone has the prerogative of mercy
- he can read between the lines to see what ordinarily many of us do not know nor consider.
- He has the facility and the ability to read human minds
- He sometimes order the steps of men to achieve his special purpose
It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness
When a thing is an abomination it means that it is horrible and horrendous. It is horrible for kings to do wickedly. An act of sin is an act of wickedness.
- Gen.6:5 sodomite and act of terrorism
- Gen. 39:9 Joseph saw the act of fornication as wickedness
- Acts. 8:22: Prov. 17:23 sorcery, bribery as wickedness
- Prov.8:7 saying things that are not proper as acts of wickedness
The king becomes a wicked person when does wrong and knowing fully well that the law proceeds from him. The opposite of wickedness is righteousness. A throne can only be established when the king does what is right and expected. That is why the next verse becomes more relevant to our discussion:
Righteous lips are the delight of the king. He loves those who speak righteously
As one would expect, since the throne is established in righteousness the king would love those who speak the truth
- Truth makes it easier for him to rule and dispense justice
- Truth guides him to take right decisions
- Truth brings him the joy that he has subject that could be trusted
The king has favourites
People have always asked why a king / God should have favourites when he should be a father to all.
- He will naturally prefer those who tell him the truth to those who tell him lies
- He will prefer those who believe in the efficacy of the truth even at the cost of their lives.
Verse 14: The wrath of a King is as a messenger of death but a wise man will pacify it.
So many times we have seen some of our king in great wrath that we cannot comprehend and we wondered why.
- The king has so much work load on him than to give chance to nuances and allow precious time to be wasted.
- The king always refused to be deceived
- The king is not just a personality but a symbol of the state and its apparatus and failure to give him that respect is tantamount to disrespecting the state
Biblical instances of the king’s wrath- dan.2:1-6
How can we pacify the king?
1. By being truthful and honest
2. By wisdom
3. By honour, praise and worship
4. By doing what is expected of us
5. By giving gift
6. By seeking for his favour
7. By doing the things hat makes him happy.
Verse 15: in the light of king’s countenance is life and his favour as the clouds of the latter rain.
The personality of the king should always be kept in good mood if the subjects are to remain alive and well. The benefits of giving the king/ God a good countenance is so that he may shower his blessing upon us.
What makes the king happy?
1. Appreciation:- when his subject appreciate him for his role in the affairs of their lives he ultimately wants to do more. Your complaints which disregard all his efforts make him hostile to you.
How can he be appreciated?
- By saying thank you
- By encouraging him
- By valuing what he has done
2. When supported: The king is happy when he has the support of his people. Most couples do not support each other and that create a lot of problem and reactions. Matt. 23:37-39
3. Trust: When the subject put their trust in him that he meant well for them and that he can deliver in time of troubles.
4. The prosperity of his people: a French monarch once said ‘ I do not want to be a king where the subject cannot afford a chicken once a week’ when you are doing well your king will be happy and sees you a the product of his labour. He feels the same thing a doctor feels when his patient is responding to treatment.
Other things about the king
• He must be feared Prov.20:2
• His heart is unsearchable
- He is deep in wisdom and knowledge because he is the head. All the wisdom of his citizen belongs to him as the head of the state.
- He is not permitted by the state to divulge certain information no matter what the pressure may be.
- He is limited in words but more in action.
Insights into proverbs chapter 16
The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
Many of our so called insights, wisdom and understanding actually come from God. When your little mind has found a solution to a big and nagging problem it is because the Lord Himself has decided to create that solution and has found your heart as the incubator for such.
What has your mouth pronounced to the amazement of people? It is the Lord that has spoken through you.
Have you said something that so mush impressed those around you and you wonder where it came from? It is from the Lord.
There are other kinds of words of mouth that may not actually be pleasing unto you when others say it to you. You must accept it also that it is from the Lord. Landlords have been used in the past to say things that makes you want to build your own house. Your tormentors may be used to provoke you to move ahead in life. Hannah was provoked to seek God’s face and found solution to her problem. I Sam. 1:6-10.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
The ways of a man are always pleasing in his own eyes: he justifies himself and gives himself a pass mark. God however does not see the ways man sees and as a matter of fact His judgements are based on certain things that many human being do not consider in making judgement.
What are the things that inform God’s judgement and decision?
· Our motive for doing what we have done
· His laid down rules
· Forces beyond human ability that prompt man’s action. Even our laws allowed for such. When a man unavoidably kills another man he may be allowed to go free.
· God’s mercy. His prerogative of mercy which no man can question.
What are the ways of man?
· A man wants to do what he knows to be wrong but that has legal justification
· He wants to do things that are for his own selfish interest.
· He wants to do a thing that has fatal consequences for others. i.e. the production of arms and ammunition.
How God does weigh the spirit?
Like in the Machiavellian Theory of the state the result is more important than the action itself. Machiavelli wrote about the action of the king and says
When the action accuses him the result will absolve him
The implication of this statement is that God is interested in the end result of a thing than just the beginning of it.
Case study in the Bible that may not go our own way
- How God justified Abraham who denied his wife twice for fear and for economic security
- How Uzah was killed while trying to prevent (that is what we think he was about to do) the ark from falling and God blessed Obededum (not a priest either) for keeping (he must have touched it while keeping it) the same ark in his house.
- How God told Prophet Samuel to tell King Saul that he was going to perform sacrifices when his purpose was to anoint David as king.
- How Peter the Apostle denied Jesus three times and was still allowed to lead others and was a favourite that Jesus sought after all the times.
- How a harlot anointed Jesus to prepare Him for his burial and today we still mention her name as having done well.
3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
How can a man have a breakthrough in his thought and research?
There are solutions to all problems if we commit it to the Lord to help us find solutions. The reason while many of us do not have a breakthrough is because we do not ask God for solution and we do not always seek for His assistance before we begin a project.
What does it mean to have our thought established?
- To come out with an indisputable fact
- To be recognised as a de facto in your own field
- To have a breakthrough in your research
- To find solution to a nagging problem
4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Solomon said that God made everything for a specific purpose and the same issue is being reiterated here that God made the good and the evil to serve some specific purposes.
In the last four years or so Nigeria woke up to the evil of pipeline vandal and hostage taking in the Niger Delta, yet the same evil and related factors has increased oil prices to more than $100 a barrel. Nigeria has been able to pay all her external debt. Would you say that is a case of some are weeping some are dancing?
- God made all things, all situations and every person
- What a man terms evil and pain may turn out to be good
5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand joins in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
proud can be used to describe somebody who is rightly self-satisfied.
It can also be used disapprovingly to describe somebody who shows a lack of humility or who has an inordinately high opinion of himself or herself;
arrogant used disapprovingly to describe somebody who seems inordinately self-confident or pleased with his or her achievements and who lacks humility;
conceited used to describe somebody who displays excessive satisfaction and smugness with regard to his or her appearance or achievements, often combined with a rather superior attitude towards others;
egotistical used to describe somebody who has an inflated sense of his or her own importance, especially when this is shown through constantly talking or thinking about himself or herself;
vain used to describe somebody who shows an excessive concern with and admiration for his or her personal appearance
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My understanding of being proud in heart is of a person that is self opinionated, self willed.
- He does not allow consideration for God in his heart
- He holds on to his opinion despite correction from God
- He always plan contrary to God’s plan
By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord man depart from evil
To be free from punishment you have to do the following:
Ask for mercy- if you have a problem that is likely to have been caused by sin you will need to ask for mercy from God and the person you have offended.
What is mercy?
Mercy is an unmerited favour. The person you have offended has the prerogative of mercy over the matter and what you do or do not do may determine whether or not you deserve forgiveness. To receive mercies therefore do the following:-
- Tell the truth. When you are asking for mercy you must defile all odds to tell the truth and that truth consist of only three words that many find difficult to pronounce- `` I am sorry``. When an English man tells you I am sorry he has admitted guilty. Don’t expect pardon when you have refused to tell the truth. Uthman Dan Fodio said ``conscience is an open wound only the truth can heal it``
- Be purge of your sin. You may have told the truth the final pronouncement of pardon lies with the person you have offended. In a case the person insists you have to be punished for your offences, be ready to bear it so that your sins may be purged and your conscience can be cleared