Grace, Life

Life coming out of death

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” Matthew 16:16, 21-22
Based on Matthew 16:16, only Peter knew who Jesus is among the disciples. He knew by divine revelation that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. However when the LORD began to speak of the sufferings He will go through on the cross in verse 21, Peter hurriedly scolded the LORD in verse 22. The LORD Jesus spoke to the influence behind such a statement, satan. “…Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (v.23). You may also have some revelation of Jesus, but are there not certain beliefs you hold on to that unbeknownst to you are sponsored by the devil himself? What are the things that looks good in your belief system but are not of God?
Why is it that anything that has to do with dying is vigorously rejected? There is a certain job a person can take and it is like going to die because according to everyone there is no prospects there, no future at all. Yet, if that’s where the LORD said to go, are we now going to be binding the LORD? There is a way of living that is only possible by dying daily (1 Corinthians 15:21).
To be mistreated and not seek revenge. To be shouted upon and not shout back. To have you car hit and your grace didn’t jump out of the window. These are things that cannot be rehearsed. What ever is truly in your heart will come out when you come under pressure. You will misbehave first before you remember that you are a Christian. That is the kind of mixed life that Peter was living here. He could get a revelation from God. He knows how to pray and fast to get specific divine intervention but when the Master puts a finger on his life, he flatly refuses.
He doesn’t think following Jesus requires dying. “Why can’t I be ‘alive’ and follow Jesus like this?” “Why can’t I retain some ‘good’ aspects of the old life of sin and still follow Jesus?” “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
Jesus said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (v. 25). Simply put, following requires dying. This dying is to accept that you died with Jesus when He died, and that when He rose up, you arose with Him in newness of life.
Therefore, old things (your life as it was before coming to Jesus) have passed away, and all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). Trying to preserve myself is counter-intuitive to the New Life in Christ Jesus. Any attempt to do so is a recall to the old life to return and take over from where it last stopped. And if there is no remedy done, “…the last state of that man is worse than the first.” (Matthew 12:45, please read verses 44-45).
Death is the necessary condition for the outward manifestation of this life. But that is what we don’t want to hear. We save ourselves from it as much as we can. How then do we want our generation to see the glory of Christ in us, which is a resurrection life coming out of the death of an unpleasant situation? Without death, we can’t express this life; we are like mere men. But when you lose your life then you will find it. The power to compel men to hear our message, and to be so affected, is in this resurrection life, which always puts us to death, so that the world can watch us break forth with eternal life.
Are you also rebuking the LORD today? It is time to repent for allowing your enemy the devil to express himself like that through you.
 
For every time I have denied Thee, for every prompt of Thine I have dismissed, for every one of Thy Word I doubted…I am sorry LORD. Help me not to be presumptuous like Peter was, but to be slow to speak, and quick to listen to Thee…To receive Thine help for every deed Thou impress, and to never have a separate opinion from Thee. AMEN.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version.

Disclaimer: Using a quote or picture that mostly or fully represents what we have in mind does not imply agreement with or approval of a person’s general philosophy of life.

Picture Credit: truenorthquest.com
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Life Mastery, Personal Growth, Virtue, Work

The Power of Contribution

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Think.

What is life when it’s all about getting and never giving?
What is wealth that is not shared?
What is happiness that does not mobilize the masses upon a worthy ideal?

Life is unbearable without an opportunity to contribute. You may have things and privileges but without an outlet for sharing your very soul with humanity in a worthwhile service, it’s all vanity.

Life is about balance or call it equilibrium. Between the extremes of birth and death is the space for life and that life must be substantiated in serving others. Please understand that without the great privilege of service, life has no way of equilibrating itself in between the two great polarities-birth and death.

Put your thoughts to work. Think about how you can serve others. The space of service is the only safe place for life to habituate in harmony and expansion. Here is where we find the kind of inspiration that draws upon Eternal Life and compels men to savour the uncommon expressions witnessed. That in itself is a kind of mobilization for the next generation.

So, what are you contributing to this generation and the next? What exactly are we getting from your life? Now that you are living, what role are you playing that is making a difference in our time. “Toh” Of what consequence is your life? These are sobering questions for us to ponder. You don’t just want to work for money for even when you have everything without having a positive impact on society, it tells on your soul.

Contribution is the soul of life. For you to feel connected to other humans and to have an ascent into your God-ordained destiny, the posture is not that of control or ruling; it is service. Effectively, the Great Master, Christ, has already made it clear: greatness is predicated on bending the kneel, tying the towel of contribution and serving others.

Olamide OPEYEMI
@olamidespeaks

Encouragement, Life Mastery, Reflections

How to handle grief

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Life is in seasons. Seasons are interspersed with events, opportunities and eventualities. We must learn to manage them as they come, especially the eventualities, but if we insist then experience (that second rate teacher) will have to take over from wisdom.

We all, most likely, have had to experience the passing of some one in our lives. Close friends, colleagues at work, family members and relatives! Usually, it is the strength of the bond that determines the depth of pain. What is a passing sorrow for one is understandably a searing agony for another.

But how do we handle these unceremonious moments? Its undesirability does not put us in the mood to prepare for it yet it beckons with expectation on our reaction. These are a few things I think we can do in trying moments like these:

1. Don’t hold back your grief.

While it might look mature to deny the deep pain you feel for your loss, it is quite immortal to mourn. It certainly will not raise the dead, but it will release the pain in your heart. And remember you are not really crying for the dead, you are actually mourning your own unpreparedness for death.

2. Next, channel your grief to refocus your life.

Usually, it is an opportunity for you to remember what is really important in life. No matter how strong you are, in moments like these, you are forced to rethink some of your ideals.

Use the emotional momentum that builds in your mind to move your life in the direction that counts for now and generations to come. Questions like “what will you be remembered for?” may sound archaic but it gets a new lease of life when you are not just philosophizing…when you seem to be summoned to give a compelling reason to Heaven’s Tribunal on why you should live for one more day!

3. Then, learn to stop grieving!

It can’t get simpler than that. Purpose is a perspective that never gets outdated. There is time for everything, the Preacher says. When it’s time to grieve, grieve. When it’s time to stop, please stop.
Apart from the fact that life didn’t come to a standstill for others… actually, you can’t grieve indefinitely. Whereas you might now be characterized with a special seriousness with life and living only for what matters, you must henceforth plug yourself into a mission that will outlive you.

You need to reap the fruit of wisdom at some point after every season of pain or else the pain will be an abuse on your mind.

Living your life to the full henceforth is not only a remedy for a past full of uninspiring activities but the remedial that compensates for the painful loss of a dear one.

– Written by Olamide OPEYEMI @olamidespeaks

Life Mastery, Reflections

Time

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We do not have all the time to live.

Obituaries have taught us that we will all be interrupted by the unavoidable reality of death. Which means we do not have the luxury of asking Death to wait before it can strike. And there is nothing we can do about that!

Really!

Time you have now is all you have got to fulfill your destiny…to actualize a noble ambition…to metamorphose into a form (with substance) that holds incredible possibilities of change for the common man…to make our world a better place…to sing the song, write the book, do the painting, and if you are tired of hearing that then, may be this will mean an ounce to you or two: …to spend time with your family.

Why should life be elusive when we all have what it takes to change the undesirable patterns of our current life?

This time is all you need to strike a blow to a deadly trend…

What is ‘will’? Is it not because we are alive that we say: “when there is a will, there is a way”? Before we can use all that our natural endowments afford us to make a difference, we have to be alive.

Time is given to you to live.

 

Credit: Image from google.