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.

Leading With Integrity

by Rubel Shelly on November 3, 2014 in Devotion, Discipleshipship, Faith

The first duty of a leader is personal integrity. Whether in politics, athletics, business, education, or family, who the person is counts for more than what she does. His title, fame, or salary can never compensate for a lack of character.

We all know it is true, but we seem to have ignored it of late. So we have been willing to overlook a person’s out-of-control lifestyle so long as he can still score points and win games for our team. We have tolerated flagrant excess and sexual infidelities so long as the bottom-line stayed strong.

Feast of Tabernacles – Harvest Festival

by Mary-Ellen Grisham on October 27, 2014 in Love, Seasons

In Leviticus 23: 33-44, we find a description of the Feast of Tabernacles as God commands Moses to explain this celebration to the Israelites, along with other feasts and sacred assemblies.

 

The Feast of Tabernacles is a harvest festival, and Scripture records: “beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days.” (Leviticus 23:39)

The Israelites were to begin and end the 7-8 days with a sacred assembly, and in between, they were to bring offerings and sacrifices to the Lord made by fire.

 

Even though the first day of the festival was a sacred assembly and rest day, they were directed “to take choice fruit from the trees, and palm fronds, leafy branches and poplars, and rejoice before the Lord for seven days.” (Leviticus 23: 40)  They were also directed to “live in booths for seven days” reminiscent of the time when the Lord brought them out of Egypt.  (verses 42-43).

Loving Our Enemies?


by Steve Popoola on October 20, 2014 in Love

In her album, ‘Throne Room’, Cece Winans reminds us of the all-important principle of love in the track, ‘Without Love’.

 

Every time I listen to the track, I am reminded that every thing God did for me is motivated by His love. The consequence of this is that I have an obligation to show love to others through my thoughts, deeds and actions.

 

It is however not that simple. If it was simple and easy, I do not think the Lord would have commanded it.

 

The first words of the Bible most of us probably heard preached to us, are the words of 1 John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life”.

Worshipping As One

by Steve Popoola on October 13, 2014 in Biblepraise

Those who know me and who have read my writings for some time, will know that I am passionate about unity, especially Christian unity.

A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by my local Pastor with a request to lead worship for a combined harvest of songs service in the town where we live.  I accepted the role and began to prepare for the event. As someone who preach unity, this was a great opportunity for me to stand and lead people from different denominations and cultures to praise God!

As the days drew close, apprehension began to set in. Questions started creeping into my mind like ‘What if some churches don’t like my style of worship?’ What if I am unable to coordinate the musicians, especially since we had a bulk of them from my local church and possibly on volounteers from other churches,

Love Doesn’t Just Happen

by Steve Popoola on September 29, 2014 in Love, Relationships

Lesson based on: 1 John 4:7 – 19

In the last couple of weeks, teachings in my local church have been focusing on pastoral care. The term pastoral does not mean that this function is exclusively the duty of the Pastor, Elders or Leaders in the church. It  lies at the core of Christian ministry.  We are called to love one another through caring and sharing.

It is so easy for us to be so busy in service that we do not take care to attend to the needs of  the people we are serving.  Some people easily share their burdens, while others need assuring and caring attention before they are free enough to share what they are going through.

This reminds me of a story told by the late Rev Don Robinson, in his sermon, “The Caring Church”.  A preacher was running late when he pulled into a full-service gas station for fuel. A little guy came out from office. He had a cap pulled down low, his face was covered with acne, his hair was greasy, and his pants were so large he had to keep pulling them up. The guy spoke poorly and slowly.

It seemed to take forever for him to pump the gas. When the preacher gave him his credit card, it took several minutes before he came back to say they didn’t accept that card.

Keep Fighting!

by Steve Popoola on September 15, 2014 in Biblepraise

The minute a person makes that definite decision to become a Christian, he or she sends a declaration of war to Satan and his lieutenants.

Whether the decision was in full glare of all or made in the privacy of your room with no physical person witnessing it, there is a loud announcement made in heaven and hell that another soldier has been enlisted in the army of the Lord.

 We live in a fallen world. A world given to man by God to exercise control over but which man as result of  disobedience, carelessly ceded to the devil. Since that time, the devil has been given so many titles, ‘Prince of devils (Matt 9:24), ‘Prince of this world’ (John 12:21), ‘Prince of the power of the air’ (Eph 2:2).

Getting Rid of Spam Thoughts

by Steve Popoola on September 8, 2014 in Biblepraise

Ever since the introduction of email, Spam has been a huge issue for Internet users.

According to statistics, spam accounts for 14.5 billion messages per day, making up about 45% of all emails.

Of all spam messages, advertising make up a whooping 36% followed by adult- related subjects which makes up about 31%. Coming up third is unwanted emails related to financial matters, which takes about 26.5%.

Spam is a huge problem for which there is no single remedy.  In spite of spam blockers and anti-spam software available in the market, it is virtually impossible to eradicate spam completely.

As Christians, we deal with spiritual spam in a different way. While email spam is virtual and sent to our email box, spiritual spam is sent into our minds where it is processed and eventually stored in our heart.  It is far more intrusive and far more difficult to avoid compared to email spam.