The Virtue of Patience

by Steve Popoola on May 18, 2015 in Character, Discipleshipship, Faith

Patience. This is one virtue often misunderstood in our world. A patient person is often seen as foolish and cowardly because they do not respond to offenses or infringement of their rights in a predictable manner.

Many fights and quarrels would have been averted if one or either of the parties exercised patience. Many of the road accidents happening on our roads are the product of impatience. The vice of impatience has robbed many people of their joy, destroyed marriages and caused untold hardship to others.

If patience is good, how come we find it difficult to exercise it? I believe it is because impatience is the easy way out. It takes a lot of work to maintain an even temperament in the face of provocation. To lash out however, is much easier. We feel better when we have given the offending party a piece of our mind.

Proverbs 19:11 teaches us, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offence”. It takes a wise man or woman to exercise the virtue of patience.  Discretion teaches us to defer our anger especially when we have not evaluated the reason behind the provocation. By the time we finish our evaluation, we would have poured cold water on our anger and  speak with clear reason, devoid of the harshness which usually accompanies unbridled anger.

The Virtue of Contentment

by Steve Popoola on May 11, 2015 in Biblepraise, Discipleshipship, Faith

The word “content” as an adjective, is becoming more and more obscure in today’s language. I looked up the word “content” in the dictionary and the meaning was as follows; “Satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else”. Another dictionary defined contentment as a “feeling of or showing satisfaction with one’s possession, status or situation”

I am sure if we take a poll of people who are contented in line with the above definitions, the statistics will show a very low figure. This leads us to the question, should we be contented with what we have or where we are? Would that not put us in danger of being complacent?

How To Boast

by Steve Popoola on April 27, 2015 in Devotion, Faith

Boast – “To talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions or abilities”.

This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”   (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

There is usually the natural tendency for people to boast about the things they possess or about their achievements.

As a student many years ago, I remember remarks often made by fellow students in response to examination results.  For those who excelled, it is common to here them say, “I aced the paper!” For those who did not do well, you will not hear them say, “I failed the paper” rather it was common to hear them remark, “The lecturer failed me”.   People tend to boast about their successes but downplay their failures.

Is there anything wrong with boasting?  To answer this question, let us examine the verse above.  This is coming straight from God and paraphrasing it says, Do not boast in your wisdom, strength or your possessions.

What is peculiar about boasting in these things? A closer examination of these things mentioned, reveal that they are transient in nature. Human wisdom may be relevant for a time but at some point, such wisdom may eventually become irrelevant due to many factors, like technological advancement for instance.  Riches, as we all know is not a permanent resident in anyone’s life.  People lose money due to many reasons, some of which may not be due to their own fault.

When we boast, we focus on ourselves. We project ourselves with no consideration for others.

 

There is however something we can boast about according to Jeremiah 9:24, If we must boast, then our boast should be that we understand and know that Lord and what He represents in our lives. He is loving, He is righteous and He is just.  These are the things that He takes please in (paraphrase mine)

 

God is love. He is the embodiment of love. He loved us even when we were unlovable. He gave His only begotten Son to die so that our sins can be forgiven.

 

God is Righteous. He is perfect in every attribute, attitude and every word.  This is the reason why we could never attain that level of righteousness. We are saved only through the righteousness of Christ.

 

God is just. He is fair in judgment. Human judges sometimes make mistakes by punishing the wrong person for a crime they did not commit. An Illinois man was recently released after being jailed for 20 years for a crime he did not commit.  Because God is all-knowing and just, He would not make such an error in judgment.

 

Let us not boast in the things that are here one day and gone the next. Let us however make our boast in  God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)

Lights of Hope

by Steve Popoola on April 20, 2015 in Faith, Love, Relationships, World Events

A few days ago, we were greeted with the news of violent attacks against foreigners in South Africa.

Clips of videos and pictures containing disturbing violent scenes have been circulating all over social networks and it is quite difficult not to feel a sense of sadness over the affair.

I do not for once believe that South Africans are cruel people. I have wonderful South African friends and many are readers on Biblepraise newsletter and I am sure that they are saddened by the terrible and shocking recent events happening in their country. It is heartwarming to see South African University students, Journalists and Musicians protesting against the xenophobic killings.

Black Lives Matter

by Rubel Shelly on April 13, 2015 in Biblepraise

The cover story of Time magazine this week is “Black Lives Matter.” Yes, they do. And so do brown lives, yellow lives, red lives, and lives of all colors. It is high time white people said as much, acted accordingly, purged our racist attitudes, and got over our defensiveness against discussing racism.

 

“We don’t want to be held responsible for bringing Africans to these shores as slaves over two centuries ago!” Of course not. But the fact remains that it happened. Black people continue to suffer for it. White people continue to have the upper hand in America. And the playing field isn’t level.

 

“We’re not all racists!” No, but some of my more candid black friends have helped me understand the difference between personal and institutional racism. And there is still far too much of the latter for anyone to deny that there are no personal advantages that we get to claim when our skin is lighter.

The Preparation

by Mary-Ellen Grisham on March 30, 2015 in Biblepraise

Not long after Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ, “the Son of the living God,” Jesus begins to prepare his disciples for his death and resurrection. (Matthew 16: 13-28 NIV)

 

The disciples seem slow to understand and accept this forecast, almost as if their minds are blocking a reality they do not want to accept.  It may be partly for this reason that Jesus selects Peter, James, and John to witness His transfiguration.  Even with all the evidence the disciples had already witnessed of Jesus’ special nature, this is a compelling event that dramatically emphasizes His divinity and His fulfillment of prophecy.

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.