Category Archives: Opinion

Youthful Exuberance, Maturity and Eternity

I love the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s definitely one of my favorite books to read in the Bible. I was thinking about this year, my age(I’m in my late teens at the moment) and just life in general. Apparently some argue that the 12 disciples of Jesus were in their teens when they decided to follow Jesus! I’m not sure how true that is, but what i do definitely believe is that they were below 30.

On Maturity…

In society today, people are either classified as babies, children, teens or adults. However i think the expectation of maturity greatly differs in various parts of the world. Someone else suggested that Mary the mother of Jesus was in her late teens(16-20) when she was pregnant to give birth to Jesus and betrothed to be married to Joseph. This also is a huge shock to me! Coming from Nigeria, in my opinion and from my perspective, there’s a lower expectation for teenagers to be mature in that context(Seems that way to me!). Studying in the UK, my observation from amongst my friendship circles has been varied. Whilst some still doubt they believe in the institution of marriage, some are engaged to be married by 20/21. The latter has also been a huge culture shock to me as well! However, i greatly admire the fact that many start to work on paid jobs from their teenage years in the UK. I believe this helps to increase their self-confidence as well as expose young adults to the value of responsibility.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 would advice,

Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”

I remember we had this verse stuck somewhere on the wall, when i went to my Christian boarding school in Nigeria. Although i never really paid attention to it, these words are plaguing my mind once again today.

On Eternity…

It is a lie to believe that you won’t ever die. It’s not reality. It might be optimistic, but it’s not reality.  I want more than optimism, i want reality.  So why waste your time on what does not satisfy? It’s meaningless. Why waste your time clinging to the spirit of the age? It’s all fleeting, passing away quickly.

On Youthful Exuberance…

The young shall grow.  Youth is wasted on the young, says an online blog i read today. I don’t believe you have to be foolish because you’re young. I believe we need to call more young people to maturity rather than pampering them. Sadly, as a young teenager, i’ve been to so many christian youth groups that feed one another with video games and meaningless conversations. Don’t get me wrong- I believe there is a room for light talk and a bit of banter. However, i find that the older people get to be taught the ‘meaty’ stuff. There’s nothing as beautiful as seeing devoted and dedicated young people who have wisdom at a young age. I love reading about the lifestyle of John the Baptist- this man that was described by Jesus as a burning and a shining lamp, and the greatest man born of woman. This man lived a radical lifestyle of prayer, fasting and meditation on the Word, and was martyred at 30. That may look so foolish on this side of time but then Jesus would answer and defend this man’s life and say, ‘Wisdom will be justified by her children’.  In other ways, “I will vindicate this man’s lifestyle on that day. He will be great for billions and billions of years in the eternal city. You have said he is demonised, but i will openly declare the wisdom in this man’s choices. And though it seems like a short time to live in this present age, this man’s eyes are fixed on something more, something lasting of greater splendor, beauty, magnificence and glory”.

Any thoughts? 🙂

The worshipper after God’s heart

I’ve been listening to a couple of worship songs today and its been so refreshing for me. There’s nothing more peaceful and sweet than being able to offer praises to God that you know He accepts, and letting the deep mysteries and truths of the gospel of Christ sink into your heart, through the use of worship songs by the Spirit of God.

I admire quite a number of worship leaders. Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Hillsong United, Jeremy Camp, Natalie Grant and many others. They are countless. However, as i was listening to some worship songs today, i came across a song by Jesus Culture titled ‘Rooftops’.

I don’t know any of the other names of the members of Jesus Culture except Kim Walker. I listened to this song ‘Rooftops’ today after almost a year of hearing it for the first time on TV at home. And i remember what my first reaction to it was, even when i wasn’t as spiritually mature then as i am now. I was excited and i was full of joy. The song stuck to my heart after it was played and i wanted to hear it over and over again. It wasn’t because i thought the tune or the beat was nice. It wasn’t because Kim Walker sang well. Looking back now, i’m realising that it was the lyrics of the song, and the fact that the song was anointed by God to minister to people. I remember looking at Kim Walker on the video, and thinking, ‘There has to be something different about her’.

Funny enough, i looked up her name on wikipedia today and she was described as ‘the worship leader for Jesus Culture’, and ‘the worship pastor for Bethel Church’. Then i’m thinking to myself, ‘What is the difference between a worship leader and a worship pastor’.

From my little experience of leading worship in the past and present, i guess there are a lot of misconceptions on my path. I remember leading the worship at the youth class at my church in Nigeria. For me, i was there to impress people. They had to hear MY good voice. They had to know i could do runs and riffs. It was all about ME. I remember leading the worship once and immediately after, someone said ‘Wow do you go to a music school or what?’… Smiling and raising my shoulders high in the air i replied, ‘No i don’t’. My point had been proven. My ego had been satisfied. They knew i could lead the worship. What Pride! It’s things like this i remember everyday and i tell God: Lord i don’t deserve to be alive. I deserve all your wrath and punishment. But then you sent Jesus in my place, to take all the punishment i deserved, to drink from the cup of Your wrath on the Cross. The Omnipotent God died; not just death of any kind, but the worst kind of death on a Cross. The kind of death reserved for the worst of sinners. His mercies are forever.

I remember another time when i was in a christian boarding school, i led worship a few times in the mornings. It didn’t go as good as it went at church, but as usual, it was all about me. Another misconception i’ve always had until recently was if i didn’t sing many worship or praise songs when i was leading, then i didn’t lead well. Well, that misconception is not just with me but with many churches in Nigeria. I guess you might say it is the cultural difference as nigerians like to dance and sing very fast songs which is understandable. I’ve come to realise that even if it is just 1 worship song sang by the church for 30 minutes, as long as it pleases God, and the presence of God is made manifest, then why not.

I’ve been seeking God on how He wants me to worship Him. The last thing i remember Him saying is ‘with all that you are’. When i say worship here, i refer quite strictly to praising God, as we know that worship is not just about singing some songs on a sunday and going around the rest of the week living your life as though you haven’t been purchased by the precious blood of Jesus. The broad meaning of worship, is how we dedicate our lives to the service of God. The Bible says the primary purpose for the creation of man was to worship God. I believe that means more than praising Him with singing or words, but extends to letting our lives glorify Him, and letting people look at us, and on seeing the risen Christ in us, even unbelievers would glorify our Father in heaven. But in this post, i’m referring mainly to the corporate worship with other believers in your local church. I’m talking of what David did continually all the days of His life.

God wants people to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. God hasn’t given me a revelation on this yet but i believe we can learn a lot from the book of psalms. I believe that all worship leaders should always seek God before choosing any worship songs prior to the service. That would be my advice but i understand God can lead them during the service at various times to sing certain songs. We must always remember it is not about the music, or the song, or the worship leader, but about God. Therefore God must be actively involved in the song choices, and the appointment of a worship leader in a church. The song should not be chosen because it sounds ‘nice’ or the worship leader because they’ve got the best voice, but the Holy Spirit must motivate any choices made. The heart of worship is coming into the presence of God with thanksgiving in your heart and entering His courts with praise. The heart of worship is nothing to do with us, but everything to do with God. Its all about Him. Not how you look to other people in your church, or how good you sound when you’re singing, but if your praise is acceptable to God. Remember this tomorrow when you’re worshipping at your church; It is nothing about you. It is everything about Him.

A Revival of The Youth

Unfortunately, due to several reasons, including preparations for my upcoming exams i haven’t been able to post any articles recently.

However, i just stumbled on a website i found very interesting called Y! Naija and its a website that focuses on the voice of the youth in Nigeria. It addresses the national political issues of Nigeria and attempts to motivate young people who wish to see a change, to be informed on everything that goes on in the country. All the writers of the articles in this website are young people. You can check this website at http://ynaija.com/.

I saw many interesting comments and thoughts on this website i would love to make some comments on. Firstly, just like most members of the Nigerian youth community, my greatest desire is to see a change in Nigeria. It would be crucial to state from the start that i believe very strongly that the problems faced by Nigeria, have nothing to do with the wicked and corrupt government in Nigeria or the Nigerians that sit around always wishing something happens, but have their totality and roots founded upon the activities in the spiritual realm. Although those factors influence what’s happening, i believe we need to get to the root of the problem. Nigeria is not different from other countries in the world also facing various problems so there’s nothing surprising to me about Her present predicaments. The basis of my belief is from scripture that clearly says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but principalities and powers, and rulers of the darkness OF THIS WORLD.

In case you didn’t know, Satan is described in the Bible as the prince of the power of the air. He controls majority of the people that are in power, and the systems of this world . However, we have read the end of the book so we know what his end is going to be like.

Why does the world always seem to think they have figured out everything when they have kicked God out of it? Why does it take so long to realise that once God is not in it, then nothing’s in it? These questions seem to puzzle me all the time.

I saw quite an amusing poll on Y! Naija. It was a poll on which nigerian is changing the image of nigeria for the best and the options were:

Wizkid

Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala

 Goodluck Jonathan

None

As soon as i saw this, it didn’t take me ages to vote for ‘None’. Surprisingly, some people voted for an afrobeats singer that has done nothing but sit down in a studio to write very nonsensical lyrics like, ‘Its your boy wizzy’. I’m not against his music, but i wouldn’t understand why anyone would consider him to be someone who has changed the image of Nigeria for the best. If anything, he has changed the image of nigeria for the worst in my opinion. There is not an element of logical thought used in the construction of the lyrics, neither does it encourage the nigerian youth to do something worthwhile with their lives. Little wonder every tom,dick and harry wants to get involved in music in Nigeria these days. Sigh.

After looking through many articles for sometime i finally saw one that i could agree with with its headline, ‘Abacha supported ‘Nigeria Prays’-Gowon’.

Finally, God was being brought into something. This article was about how a former Nigerian military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon gathered with some nigerians in diaspora to discuss the possible solution for Nigeria’s countless problems. After the meeting, they concluded that they would form an organisation called, ‘Nigeria Prays’, where intercessors would be gathered from all over the country to pray to God concerning its issues and seek His face. I think this is good and an essential starting point. I’m happy about this, and from time to time i always keep Nigeria in my prayers.

I’m very encouraged to see the nigerian youth are concerned about what is going on in that country. This is what we need. We need more active people and less passive people. We need people to start doing something and stop wishing something changed. I believe with all my heart that God wants to start a revival amongst the youth in Nigeria; this is just the start of it. I believe there is going to be a spiritual awakening that the forces of darkness will not be able to prevail against, because the Spirit of God will be working with and in the youth.

Personally, i am forever dedicated to working with God, to bringing a change in Nigeria. Whatever he asks me to do, i will do. And i don’t have to be scared about anything like an assasination because if God sends me He will keep me from the evil one until the job He wants to be done is done. I believe in the royal priesthood(Revelation 5:10) of all true christians, and i believe in the immesurable, unlimited, and surpassing greatness of the power of God in and for those who believe in Him(Ephesians 1:19). My prayer to God in these times is: Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger and disfavor and spread it out to all generations? Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.(Psalm 85:5-8)

I’ll conclude with one of my favorite Bible chapters where Jesus prays to the Father, just close to the time He was going to be taken to be crucified.

John 17:15-18-     15 I do not ask that You will take them out of the world, but that You will keep and protect them from the evil one.

     16 They are not of the world (worldly, belonging to the world), [just] as I am not of the world.

     17 Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.

     18 Just as You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

Thoughts on Science and Religion

I was just watching a video by Louie Giglio titled ‘Indescribable’ and you can check it for yourself on youtube i think. To be honest as a child i had doubts about what i believed in(even though i’ve had countless encounters with a divine power in my life). Most times, it was questions that kept ringing in my head like ‘Who created God’, ‘Why are we even living here’ and i never had answers to most of those questions. I’ve only come to realise more recently that if we say there is a God, then we have to recognise He is God, and because he is God, we should never expect ourselves to understand everything about Him.God is God and no one can create God because he is God.

I feel so stupid remembering the times i ever doubted the existence of God after watching the video by Louie Giglio. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions and all that but i think we should re-evaluate our beliefs because there are many consequences if we’re not sure about what we believe in. I know atheists find it hard to understand that anyone would believe in God just as much as people who believe in God find it hard to understand how anyone would not believe in God. I’m not trying to convince anyone that God exists or anything because to be honest, i’m beyond that stage of getting involved in irrelevant religious arguments where everything ends up just the way they started. No one usually gets convinced or anything. But at the end of the day, the Bible says God has placed eternity in the heart of everyone so no matter how you claim God doesn’t exist, deep deep down you know that there is something greater than you are. And that’s why people get involved in all sorts of religious arguments and question why we are here. Because there is something stirring up deep down in them.

But i just want you to think about it. And i’m talking about this based on my beliefs. Look up in the sky, or look at pictures of the earth and other planets. The earth and all the other planets are in the subsection of the milky way. The milky way is a section of the universe. There is no telescope yet that has been developed to view the entire universe because everytime they build one, they find something else somewhere else. So right now we don’t even know how big the universe is. I’m not totally against science in everything. Like louie giglio pointed out in his video when God created the universe there probably was a big bang somewhere. It probably wasn’t just something silent and there were probably things crashing against each other by the spoken word of His mouth. How small are we, human beings, compared to the entire universe? And all of that came in by coincidence?

Think about the human body, and the bodies and systems of all animals. And the millions of creatures that exist on planet earth. Think about the vast oceans and seas and how many stars you can count in the sky when you look up at night. Think about the systems on earth. The laws of gravity and the laws that govern the way things happen on earth. Think about how perfect they all are. Think about how the sun is there just when we need it, and the moon comes out just when it needs to. Is this really all a coincidence?

I can’t even fully describe how complicated and how perfect everything in the universe is. If you haven’t watched that video then go on youtube and search for ‘Indescribable’ by Louie Giglio! We call things creatures but at the same time we want to think that it wasn’t created and it all came from nothing.

Let’s move beyond talking about the universe. Just imagine you were on top of the whole world and you could see all that was going on in the world and you could see what kind of things people were thinking in their minds. What would you see? You would see people in so much sorrow and pain. You would see people suffering and people plotting to do not so nice things to their friends. You would see how truly fragile man is and the need of man for a higher being than they are. You would see bitterness, corruption, crime, sickness, death, unhappiness, misery. And does this not somehow show how man is in need of help from somewhere? Why is there so much war and conflict and why is it so hard to think the best about the person next to you? Why do we all have hearts full of nothing more than pride and deception? Why do people live? Why do we spend all our lives chasing shadows like wealth and power only for us to die and leave it all behind?

Think about things that can’t be quantified like emotions, feelings and thoughts. How many processes go on before we think a thought? Why do we feel the way we feel? I think all of these things point out to the weakness in us.

The truth is i can’t even describe, how the world and the universe and everything in it is complex. It is indescribable. Beyond mere words and comprehension. It is not something you can think through and get. It is not something you can understand with your finite mind. God is infinite. He is beyond boundaries. At the beginning and end of time He is. He was and He is and He is to come.

I’ve concluded i’m never going to think through any of this because the truth is it is not as complex as human beings make it to be. No man was there when the supposedly ‘big bang’ happened. Why do we want to always think through things that we would never comprehend. Till now, no one has completed all the researches or experiments to understand why we are here or who we are or what happened at the start.There will always be a missing part of the puzzle. It is not that complex though. After people realise that all their experiments and ideas are in vain, and that God is beyond their thinking or comprehension, then it becomes easy to understand that God created it all. I don’t know exactly how but He did. He spoke the light out of His mouth into the face of the deep and the light travelled at 3 X 10^8 metres per second. He created all the stars not just in the milky way but all the stars beyond the span of what man can see in the universe now.

I’ll end with what God says in Job 38:4-14: 4Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare to Me, if you have and know understanding.

5Who determined the measures of the earth, if you know? Or who stretched the measuring line upon it?

6Upon what were the foundations of it fastened, or who laid its cornerstone,

7When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

8Or who shut up the sea with doors when it broke forth and issued out of the womb?–

9When I made the clouds the garment of it, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it,

10And marked for it My appointed boundary and set bars and doors,

11And said, Thus far shall you come and no farther; and here shall your proud waves be stayed?

12Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know its place,

13So that [light] may get hold of the corners of the earth and shake the wickedness [of night] out of it?

14It is changed like clay into which a seal is pressed; and things stand out like a many-colored garment.

My Recent Weird Change in Music Taste

I was just thinking now and it just occurred to me how my taste for music has changed and changed over time. By the way, i’ve always loved music. I think i almost got too obssessed in secondary school. I would learn every new song and get all the lyrics. It always puzzled me how fast i remembered these lyrics but then when it came to exams how hard it is to get things in your end. And i’m sure its common experience for other students that they’d remember music lyrics more than they’d remember what they study lol.

But anyway, firstly, my first taste of music that i can remember now is learning songs from church and songs from either tv commercials or programmes. I sang all the praise and worship songs as a child, and sang songs from tv shows in Nigeria like ‘Papa Ajasco’ or ‘This Life’. My first exposure to christian music would definitely have been at church.Then i got influenced by listening(not on purpose but just in the background of what i was doing) to music played on tv. Music from popular old popular music artistes like ‘Daddy showkey’. The music i heard as a child in Nigeria still ring in my ears up till now. Then i got to start listening to the more modern nigerian ‘afrobeats’ music artistes like ‘2face’ and ‘Plantashion Boyz’ which was more of music with good beats and instrumentals. To be honest, presently, i don’t enjoy nigerian music as much as before because they never have any sensible lyrics in them. However, they do have very good beats and instrumentals you could dance to all day and i still listen to them when i’m in the mood to dance.

Obviously from the pressures of being in secondary school, i had to sort out my music knowledge out. I had to listen to beyonce, rihanna, jay-z, lil wayne and the rest of the more modern hip-hop, rap and r&b artistes. Somewhere along the line, i started to gain interest in singing. Although, i got many criticisms from my mates in secondary school about my voice as many people had the opinion i couldn’t sing lol. When i started singing, i started listening to more songs with more ‘vocal’ content. That meant i had to listen to people like mariah carey, whitney houston, usher, kelly clarkson, r.kelly and all the rest of them. And of course i had to have an idea of what happened in the rap scene so i don’t look stupid in school :P. So i still had an idea of what was going on in the hip-hop/rap scene. I remember my mum buying a ‘women of faith’ worship cd that i listened to continuously when i was about 12. I loved the songs on there, although i never paid attention to the lyrics. It was more about me improving my vocal skills. Then my aunt came living with my family and she introduced me into gospel music. She seemed to know all the american gospel music artistes like, Kirk franklin, yolanda adams, juanita adams, fred hammond, marvin sapp, cece winans and the rest of them. That stage of my life of me listening to gospel music artistes have really added to my personal singing style and music taste at the moment. They(the gospel artistes) could do all the runs and riffs and hit all the high notes. I also learnt songs from my aunt and usually suggested it when i went back to school to be sang in the school choir. I still love the american gospel artists till now because i think they sing with so much passion, and the message is passed across very clearly. I must however add that i have come to the stage of my life that i listen to the lyrics of some of the gospel songs carefully, and sometimes i find out they don’t really give a message i agree with personally. I also fell in love with a nigerian musician called ‘Asa’ because of the uniqueness in her voice and the message in her music about Nigeria as a nation. That’s basically the summary of my music taste in secondary school.

As soon as i travelled to the UK for my a-levels, i noticed many differences in the music taste. I got exposed to music genres like ‘Heavy Metal’ which i think its a bit more like noise than music lol. British music was all over the radio stations and i was always listening to the music radio stations like ‘Capital FM’. I heard the well famous Adele for the first time with her song ‘Make you feel my love’. I must say she reminded me of Asa because her voice wasn’t like all the others u heard everyday. It was very distinct and unique. Then i started listening to more british music artistes like Olly Murs, N-dubz, Ed sheeran and Take That. I must confess i found it a bit boring at first, but later on i started taking interest in it because although they may not have had all the runs and riffs, they had an element of meaning to them. They were written with care and didn’t contain lyrics that didn’t make sense. And finally, now, i’m stuck with contemporary christian music(usually worship songs).

The first time i had a real experience of what contemporary christian music (like that of chris tomlin or matt redman) was like was when i went to Hillsong Church in Tottenham Court Road in central London. Israel Houghton came from Houston, Texas to worship with them and it was such a blessing. After i left the service, the songs kept ringing in my head and immediately i got home i went on spotify to listen to them. The second time i had the experience of singing worship songs from contemporary christian artists was when i went to stay for the weekend with a friend in Kent. I had never seen worship like that in my life and i could literally feel the presence of God right in front of me in the service. They sang ‘Overcome’ by Jeremy Camp and repeated one of the lines that went- ‘We will overcome, by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony’. I was actually thinking through those words for one of the first times in my life. In secondary school i had sang many hymns without even any knowledge of what i was talking about. But now i was thinking through those words. And it was just the most amazing experience, as you could see the zeal to worship God from the hearts of everyone around you. When i went home i played the song on spotify again. And since then, i’ve listened more to contemporary christian artistes like Kari Jobe, Jesus Culture, Chris Tomlin, Hillsong United, Christy Nockels and the rest of them.

I still love most of the music i have listened to in my life, but i just thought it would be interesting to share how i changed my music styles and tastes lol. As far as you’re not singing something like ‘I’m going to marry to night’ or something like that then you’re fine lol. That actually occurred to me once. I had listened to a song, and when i was walking home i found myself singing ‘i’m going to marry the night’ and then i could hear God say ‘You’re going to marry what?’ and i said ‘The nigh-‘ lol. The point is we just have to be careful what we sing sometimes. I hope you enjoyed the summary of the long list of how the content of my ipod has changed over the years. I could write a book on this; this is just a short summary of how it has changed :P. God Bless 😀

We Are…By Kari Jobe- Let There Be Light

I was just listening to a song by Kari Jobe and once again it struck me how it is imperative that every christian recognizes the importance of shining our light in the world. Many people may ask, “why is there so much injustice and crime in the world” or “if God is good why does he let so much crap happen in the world”.

I believe that for now, the Devil has power over the world. And he is the cause of all the mess in the world. All the crime,injustice,wickedness,sadness,corruption,bitterness,unlawfulness and everything else. If you watch the news these days all you see is bad,bad and more bad news. There’s hardly ever any good news. The Bible refers to the Devil as ‘The Prince of this world’. John 16:11 says: About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him. Satan is the ruler, the evil genius and the prince of this world. This is also evident when he tempts Jesus by telling him he’ll give him all the kingdoms of the world. We know that Satan has already been judged and in the end of it all will face God’s wrath and judgement. But until then, what can we do as christians?

I love John 12. Jesus first talks about Satan being the prince of the world and being condemned by God, but not many verses later says we should have faith in the light, that we might be filled with the light.

John 12:31 says- Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled).

Then later on Jesus goes on to say in verses 35,36 and 46- 35So Jesus said to them, You will have the Light only a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light [keep on living by it], so that darkness may not overtake and overcome you. He who walks about in the dark does not know where he goes [he is drifting].

     36While you have the Light, believe in the Light [have faith in it, hold to it, rely on it], that you may become sons of the Light and be filled with Light. Jesus said these things, and then He went away and hid Himself from them [was lost to their view].

46I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness.

In summary, Satan has brought so much darkness(all the bad things u hear and see everyday) in the world. But Christians have the light(Jesus) living in them. We are in the world, but not of this world. Therefore, we should let the light of God fill us so much that it consumes every darkness not just in us, but in the world. We should become flooded with the light of God, so that it overflows and consumes the darkness in the world. I believe with all my heart that the problems that we have in my country, Nigeria, is not merely physical but is spiritual. There is a cloud of darkness over that country and no one’s doing anything about it because we’re waiting for someone else to do it for us. And i think pastors need to emphasise to their congregations that they have equal status with members of their churches in God’s eyes.  Christians need to start taking responsibility of issues in this world because God has appointed us by the blood of Jesus, priests unto Him, to rule over the earth. When the Bible says we are a royal priesthood it meant it! The people we’re waiting for to make a change is us. We are the light of the world. We have the light. And nothing’s ever going to change if we don’t let our light shine and consume every darkness around us.

The problem i think is even though we have the light, Jesus, living in us, many christians still want to do what they want. We don’t want to live out what we are already- which is dead to sin, and brought from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Ephesians 2:2-3 describes what we used to be as unbelievers:

2In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].

     3Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

Even though we are no longer following the prince of the power of the air(Satan) as christians, and we are following Christ, many christians still want to have the best of both worlds. This is why the darkness prevails all around us even when we are meant to be the light of the world. I’ll give the last verse before i post the lyrics to ‘We Are’ by Kari Jobe. This last verse was actually my school’s slogan. Matthew 5:14 says: 14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

The lyrics to Kari Jobe’s song “We Are” are below(btw u could watch the video on youtube):

Every secret, every shame

Every fear, every pain

Live inside the dark

 But that’s not who we are

We are children of the day

So wake up sleeper, lift your head

We were meant for more than this

Fight the shadows conquer death

Make the most of the time we have left

Chorus: We are the light of the world

 We are the city on a hill

We are the light of the world

We gotta, we gotta, we gotta let the light shine

Let the light shine, let the light shine

Verse 2: We are called to the spread the news

Tell the world the simple truth

Jesus came to save, there’s freedom in His Name

So let His love break through

Bridge: We are the light (3X)

So let your light shine brighter

We are the light (3X)

Jesus You are the light, You are the light, You are the light

We will lift You higher Shine, Shine, Shine

The importance of integrity

The first thing i looked at before i wrote this post was google the meaning of the word ‘integrity’. I came across the meaning of integrity according to wikipedia. I thought it was good so i’ll share it on here:

‘Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrity#Christian_integrity)

That explanation is pretty long but i think it is very complete. Integrity is very important in our lives. In relationships with people it is important. There’s nothing as shameful as saying you are something and not showing any qualities that exhibit that you are what you say yoi are. It just gives people the impression that you are not a real person. There’s nothing also as bad as being lukewarm in life. Being neither here nor there. Just being a mixture of many things altogether. You don’t have a definite identity when you’re not fixed and you just want to act how you feel you should act, instead of realising that to be real you have to stay in the boundaries that you have created in your life.

Some people don’t have any boundaries in their life which is obviously a life of confusion. But some people do have boundaries but want to go outside their boundaries and do what they want; they want to have the best of both worlds. For me, i’d rather be a friend to someone who hasn’t got boundaries at all, than be a friend to someone who has got boundaries but never conforms themselves to staying in those boundaries. Not having any integrity is living in hypocrisy.

I’ve been speaking quite abstractly so far and u may not be able to relate this to personal experiences if i don’t make it practical so i’ll give an example. For example, these days its common for people to have their religious beliefs on their facebook accounts. If they’re christians,muslims,buddhists,agnostics or atheists, their statement of faith defines who they are. What they say they believe in should define who they are. But i don’t want to have to ask you your religion to know it because its all part of who you are. Now, if you profess to be a christian, and your life is totally a contradiction to what you profess then it doesn’t make people respect you at all. Integrity is making your actions consistent and conform to what you say you are. Not saying you are christian, but having a half atheist, half christian life. If you are christian, then be a good one. Don’t be neither here nor there.

I sincerely believe this is one of the major reasons why the church hasn’t got the power it ought to have today. We have a combination of half atheists, half christians professing to be christians, and in the process bringing the name of Jesus to shame. I’m going to be blunt and say if people are comfortable swearing or doing anything that does not agree with the christian faith around you, then you need to re-examine yourself. You’ve probably been doing it along with them for sometime. I think its so painful when you find christians doing totally opposite things to what they believe in, especially in the presence of people who do not believe in God. What you do, represents what Christ would have done, when you put yourself in the ‘Christian’ category. People that need to know God may never meet him till they meet you. So if you know you’re going to represent the christian faith badly, then i think its better for you to just profess to be ‘Half atheist and half christian’. I believe if christians start to take responsibility for their actions then the church would penetrate the hearts of people worldwide. Right now, christians are more on the ‘talking’, but if you don’t walk the talk then everyone’s going to say you’re a fake and a hypocrite.

I believe we are saved by grace by faith(not by doing good works) but like what James said, ‘where is your faith without your works’. James 2:14 says:

What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]?

And then he goes on to say in verse 17:

So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).

We are saved by grace through faith, but by all means, if you there are not actions or obedience to come under our profession of faith, then we need to go back and check if our faith is alright. And actions of obedience, might not necessarily mean giving all ur money to the poor or something like that. It just means being obedient when we’re prompted by God- which is also not as complicated as christians may interprete that. Every christian is always continually prompted to do something good for themselves or someone else. It may be something as little as saying Hi to someone, or giving someone a hug, or sending a text just to encourage someone or even forgiving someone when they annoy you. It is those little things that change the world, not necessarily feeding all the poor people in your area.

I like the way joyce meyer speaks about grace in one of her sermons. She says: ‘Grace is not an excuse to sin, but the power of the Holy Spirit to help you not to sin’. That is exactly what it is. If you’re looking for an excuse to sin then you need to check your faith because the goal for every true christian is always to overcome sin, and to do good works.

I think that is something we can learn from muslims. I don’t know about the muslims you know but for me i’ve never had to ask any muslim i’ve met what their religion is, because they are true to what they say they are. They don’t just say something and do something completely in opposite.

Its nice to evangelise and tell people about God, because we have been commanded to do that as christians by Jesus, and many atheists might get offended and call that ‘Bible bashing’ (but yeah when you decided to come into christianity you decided to inherit both the blessings, and the persecutions that come from being in christ). But i think our life is a louder voice for evangelism than just talking about it or preaching. Talking about it is good, but letting your life agree with what you claim to be, is better.

Proverbs 2:7 says:  7He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him); He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity.

Proverbs 25:26 also says: Like a muddied fountain and a polluted spring is a righteous man who yields, falls down, and compromises his integrity before the wicked.

Finally, Ephesians 6:14 says- 14Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God.

Your integrity is your breastplate against the Devil. Remember, changing the world doesn’t have to be something big, it starts with very little things you can do in your home or community, school or workplace.