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.

Keep Your Focus On Him

by Steve Popoola on September 1, 2014 in Biblepraise

It was between 3am and 6am.  The sea didn’t seem to be in a very good mood and it was venting its anger. Caught in the middle of its anger were about a dozen men in a boat.

They were struggling to stay afloat against the terrible invasion of the waves, aided by the wind. As if that were not enough, one of them saw what looked like a man walking on the sea. He apparently shouted and pointed out the figure walking towards them. The others saw the same figure too and cried out in fear, “it’s a ghost!” The Jews believed strongly in spirits and demons walking at night. In fact it was advised that care should be taken before greeting a man at night in case the person were a demon.

Samuel – A Lesson in Integrity

by Steve Popoola on August 25, 2014 in Biblepraise

Hannah was a woman in Israel, who lived for many years childless.  She prayed that God would give her a son and vowed that she would give the child back to God.

At a time when many had written her off as a woman destined to remain childless, God answered her prayers and she gave birth to a baby boy.

She called the boy’s name, Samuel and after she had nursed him, she handed him over to the Eli the Prophet according to the vow that she made. (1 Samuel 1)

Samuel grew up to become a Judge and a Prophet in Israel. At this time, Israel was under a Theocracy. When the people revolted and demanded for a King, Samuel was very unhappy.

He was not unhappy because he saw the action of the people as a slight to his person but rather he saw it as a slight to God’s rulership of the people of Israel.

Elisha – A Lesson in Obedience and Faith

by Steve Popoola on August 4, 2014 in Biblepraise

He was a hard working man and going about his own business when he met Elijah. There was something striking about Elijah that got his attention and he paused in his stride. What happened next blew his mind! As Elijah walked up to him, Elisha felt something around his shoulders.

In awe, he realized it was Elijah’s cloak! The significance of this action was not lost on Elisha and immediately, he ran after Elijah requesting permission to go and say goodbye to his family. Elijah nonchalantly asked him to go and do what he needed to do.  (1 Kings 19: 19-20)

Daniel – A Lesson in Devotion

by Steve Popoola on July 28, 2014 in Devotion, Discipleshipship

Israel under Jehoiakim, suffered the humiliation and shame of defeat at the hands of  Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

The humiliation cut across every aspect of  life;  their economy,  politics and worst of all, their religion.  All the gold-plated fixtures, fittings and utensils of the temple were conveyed to the treasure house of Nebuchadnezzar’s god.

Daniel was one of the children taken captive by the Babylonians.  They were stripped of everything they had.  They had to be taught the language and customs of the Chaldeans. They were not even spared their identity – even their names were taken away from them ( Daniel 1: 7)

 

An Eye for an Eye

by Rubel Shelly on July 21, 2014 in Biblepraise, World Events

The world is watching with nail-biting apprehension as the latest blood feud between Israelis and Palestinians plays out. The present confrontation was triggered by the murder of three young Jewish kidnapping victims and what appears to be the revenge murder of a Palestinian teen.

Palestinian rockets have struck deeper into Israel than ever before. The response has been air strikes followed by a ground assault from Israeli forces. Each day seems to bring another level of escalation to the fighting. Both sides insist it is their legal right and moral obligation to require “an eye for an eye.”
One can make a good case that the biblical directive about eye-for-eye justice is among the most misunderstood – and misused – texts in Scripture.