No Greater Love

by Steve Popoola on March 23, 2015 in Faith, Love

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.  (Joh 15:13, Amplified Bible).

Many Christians all over the world recognize the last week before Easter, as the Hoy Week. It symbolizes the week when Jesus faced the sentence of death, not for what He did wrong but as a sacrifice for the whole world.

Was it easy for Him? Definitely not! Imagine Him in the garden, knowing the task which lay before Him. Imagine the description of His sweat falling from His body as great drops of blood.  I believe Jesus went through any trauma you can speak of; psychological, physical and mental. 

What Is Your Priority?

by Steve Popoola on March 9, 2015 in Devotion, Faith, Love

All through life, we make certain things our priority.  At various times as children, we tend to place our priorities on various things like play and food.

 

As we grow older however, our priorities begin to shift. Other priorities emerge, education, career, family, friendships, self-actualization, and community involvement among others.

 

As Christians, it is important that we know what where our priorities lie. It is so easy for us to shift emphasis from what God wants us to do to other things that look and sound exciting, yet should be the least in the terms of our priority.

 

In Matthew 23:23, Jesus expressed his displeasure at the Pharisees.  They were very meticulous in calculating tithe due to be paid by the people, even to the minutest measurements of vegetables and plants.

Buying the Gear But Never Working Out

by Rubel Shelly on February 23, 2015 in Discipleshipship

An article in the Wall Street Journal raised an interesting question: Why do so many people buy athletic gear and then never engage the sport?

 

The article in question claims “the U.S. athletic apparel market will increase by nearly 50 percent to more than $100 billion at retail by 2020, driven in large part by consumers snapping up stretchy tees and leggings that will never see the fluorescent lights of a gym.”

 

But retailers are happy to play along. So they produce jogging pants and running shorts to sell at $90 to men who may never jog. Outdoor stores debut new lines of flannel shirts and hiking boots for both men and women who likely have no intention of actually hiking or camping. But who cares? It sells.

The Joy of Being Chosen

by Steve Popoola on February 9, 2015 in Devotion, Faith

In various aspects of living, people are chosen for different functions or roles.  Interviews are conducted every day leading to a decision to choose the right candidate for the job. 

In sports, coaches and technical teams have to decide which athletes would go through based on their perception of who they think would bring glory to the team.

The Grammy awards which took place this week was based on the nomination of artistes in different categories of music. Being nominated itself is a thing cherished but ultimately, only one person would emerge as the winner.

The consequence of making these choices is that some people will be ecstatic with joy while others would be disappointed, although they might hide it under the cloak of being magnanimous.

A Hope Built To Last

by Steve Popoola on January 26, 2015 in Faith

Every one hopes for something.  Children hope that their parents would take care of them and buy them nice things. An employee hopes that he will get a raise at work, voters hope that the person they are voting into power will address their yearnings and the list goes on and on.

The Missing Link

by Rubel Shelly on January 12, 2015 in Biblepraise

The term “missing link” occasionally makes headlines in terms of a skeleton or fossil being unearthed. But it also fits the human profile for success in such arenas as business, politics, and faith.

 

When we educate people nowadays, we tend to focus on competencies. When a university builds its business department, for example, it makes strategic hires in accounting, management, marketing, and human resources. The same principle holds from kindergarten through graduate and professional schools. We want people to master certain knowledge, skills, and functions.

 

Yet it continues to amaze us – or, so we say! – that CFO’s rob their companies blind or CEOs tank them for some version of a double life. Late-night television makes fun of the same phenomenon with mayors, governors, and presidents. Then there are the well-publicized scandals involving priests, rabbis, and pastors. These men and women are smart, well-educated, and have far-above-average skills that let them rise to prominent and influential positions.

 

So why do such bright and talented people wind up in jail? Disgraced? Made the butt of jokes? They lack the integrity that allows a person to function well. Whether leader or follower, CEO or new hire to the company, it is who the person really is rather than what the person can do that makes one’s lasting impact.

 

In his helpful book Integrity of a few years back, Henry Cloud points out that integrity is much more than honesty or reliability. He traces the word to its Latin root that means intact, integrated, undivided, uncorrupted. “When we are talking about integrity, we are talking about being a whole person, an integrated person,” Cloud writes, “with all of our different parts working well and delivering the functions they were designed to deliver. It is about wholeness and effectiveness as people. It truly is ‘running on all cylinders.’ ”

 

This sort of integrated personality and lifestyle is the “missing link” in the skilled athlete who can’t resist the temptations of drugs and sex; the physical discipline necessary to be in shape isn’t integrated with his psyche. It is the same with the brilliant theorist or dynamic speaker or winning vote-getter who can’t resist being corrupted by money or power over others.

 

Before you get carried away by the things you can do or the influence you can wield, it is a good thing to be sure about who you are. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things” (Galatians 5:22-23 NRSV).

 

It is neither brain nor brawn that makes someone truly great. It is character.

Starting Over

by Steve Popoola on January 5, 2015 in Biblepraise, Devotion, Discipleshipship, Faith

One the eve of a new year, there is always a lot of excitement. People gather together to do different things to herald the New Year. For some, it is a time to have a party and make a grand, drunken entrance into the New Year for others, it is a time to have fun watching the fireworks and screaming a feverish countdown into the New Year.

Yet, we have others, who gather together to worship and praise God into the new year, appreciating Him for what He had done in the outgoing year and trusting Him to meet their needs in the incoming one.

As a Christian, I fall into the category of those who love to spend those crucial hours in the presence of God. It makes no sense to people who do not know Him as they feel that it is supposed to be a time of celebration and excitement, rather than a time to go to church or gather to pray.

Lessons from Christmas

by Steve Popoola on December 8, 2014 in Seasons

In my lifetime, almost half a century of Christmas days have come and gone.  As the season looms once again, there is excitement and everywhere is buzzing with pre-Christmas activity. You could feel a sense of anticipation as young and old eagerly wait for the special day to come.

 

Then the day finally arrives. Depending on the standard of living and tradition of the family, you either find children trooping to a specified location, usually under the Christmas tree to pick their presents or in the case of the less privileged, expecting to eat something specially cooked by their parents or given by neighbours and friends.

 

Remembering What Really Matters

by stevepop on December 1, 2014 in Biblepraise

My theory is that most people spend most of their time sweating over things that won’t really matter when all is said and done.

You’ve probably heard the one about the up-and-coming entrepreneur who was opening the door of his sleek new Jaguar when a truck roared by, hit it, and ripped it off its hinges. 

The police arrived at the scene quickly and found the man jumping up and down in the street. He was shrieking to anyone who would listen about the horrible damage done to his precious automobile.

What is Truth?

by Steve Popoola on November 10, 2014 in Biblepraise

Jesus stood before Pilate in the judgment hall.  Pilate had interrogated Jesus without so much as a response. He wondered why Jesus had remained non-committal in spite of all the accusations being flung at him by the Jews.

 

He wondered why this man would not defend himself in spite of the glaring loopholes in the evidence brought against him. Pontius Pilate was not only a ruler, he was also a judge who had presided over many cases and it was easy for him to see that there no case against Jesus that amounted to treason.

 

I can just imagine the scene if the trial was being held in our present day. Lawyers will be falling over themselves to defend Jesus. However, this was one accused person who did not seek to be released.  He was being tried, not for His own sins, but for the sins of the world, including those who represented the prosecution.