Archives For Steve Popoola

Liberty for License

by Steve Popoola on June 19, 2017 in Discipleshipship, Faith

If Samson was alive today, he would be telling people who love to live on the fast lane, “been there, done that”. Samson lived his life breaking every rule in the book. He was chosen by God to rule Israel, yet lived carelessly and did things that were clearly in contrast to God’s laws. He relied on his superhuman strength which was given to him by the same God that he took for granted.

Chapter 16 of the book of judges starts with Samson going to Gaza which is clearly an enemy territory. While he was there, he saw a prostitute and spent the night with her. News soon went round that Samson was there and an ambush was laid for him with the anticipation of taking him out in the morning. Unfortunately for them, Samson got up in the middle of the night, tore the city gate out of its hinges and carried it away. A city without a gate is defenceless and at that point, the people were concerned more about replacing the gate than follow him.

Want or Need?

by Steve Popoola on June 12, 2017 in Devotion, Discipleshipship, Faith

Scripture does not tell us much about the growing up years of Samson except that, “And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he lived in Mahaneh-dan, which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:25)
By the time we flip to the next chapter of Judges, Samson is already a grown man. We learn that one day, He went to Timnah where one of the Philistine women caught his eye (Judges 14:1) We are not told what he went to Timnah to do but what we are told was that the minute he saw this Philistine woman, he had to have her. This was one of the weaknesses of Samson. When he got back home, he told his parents, “A young Philistine woman in Timnah caught my eye. I want to marry her. Get her for me” (Judges 14:2)
Samson had no regard for the feelings of his parents or for the letter of the law. Samson as an Israelite was not supposed to marry a Philistine woman. As a Nazarite he was devoted to the Lord and therefore should not even consider marrying someone who was a worshipper of Dagon. When the parents objected to this relationship, He insisted, “Get her for me! She looks good to me” (Judges 14:3)

 

Not by Power or Might

by Steve Popoola on June 5, 2017 in Faith, inspiration

Lately, I have been learning a lot about Samson from the story in Judges 13 – 15. It is not the first time I have read this story but as is often the case when I read scripture, there is always something new to learn even when reading the same portion of scripture you have read before.

 

So as I began reading from chapter 13, I noted that Samson’s mother was barren. We don’t know whether she was past child-bearing age but what was established was that she could not have children. They had obviously been married many years and had undoubtedly tried having children ti no avail. If there was any doubt about her ability to have children, this was made clear when she had a visitation from an angel. The first recorded words of the Angel was, “You are barren and childless…” (Judges 13:3) Of course, the Angel didn’t just come and tell her what she already knew, it was to prepare the ground for what was to follow.

 
The first lesson I learnt here is that no matter what we are going through, God knows. He is aware of every little detail of our lives. It is God’s prerogative to intervene within a short while, after a long while or not at all. In the case of Manoah’s wife, God chose her for the miraculous birth of one of the greatest judges of Israel. Continuing his address, the angel said, “..but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son.”

 
Time and time again, we see God disrupting the natural processes of nature so His divine purposes are accomplished. In this case, God was raising a man who would deliver the Israelites who were at the time being oppressed by the Philistines.
The Second lesson I learnt is that while God is always willing and able to change the circumstances in our lives, we have a part to play. Immediately the Angel breaks the news to the woman, he gives specific instructions, “So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.” (Judges 13: 4-5)

As we will learn later, the Angel’s words came to pass and Samson was born. In verse 25, we read, “And the Lord blessed him as he grew up.”  We can deduce from this verse that the parents , especially the mother followed everything she had been instructed to do concerning the child.

 
There things that God has blessed us with, gifts that he has given to us. We have a responsibility to use those gifts to spread God’s love, joy and peace with the people around us…but are we?

 
Are we seeking to have things just for the thrill of it or to rub shoulders with celebrities and the high and mighty in society?  We have a responsibility to be salt and light to people around us whether they are Christians or not. Samson’s mother knew that the boy was not meant to be exclusively hers but was destined to be God’s instrument to rescue the Israelites from the Philistines.
Are you willing to share what God has given to you so that others can experience God’s deliverance and salvation?

 

(To be continued)

 

Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, steve@biblepraise.org

Spotlight On Blasphemy

by Steve Popoola on May 8, 2017 in Biblepraise, Faith

The news making the rounds in the last couple of days, is the investigation into Comedian Stephen Fry’s comments made two years ago. The investigation was triggered by a complaint made against him by a member of the Irish public for making Blasphemous remarks. If a decision is made to prosecute Him, Stephen Fry may be facing a fine of about £25,000.

 

The backlash over this investigation has been making the airwaves with a lot of people calling the investigation silly and irresponsible. I was listening to a radio broadcast and the presenter was obviously livid and you could hear the anger drip from his voice as he berated the Garda Síochána (National Police of Ireland) for such a stupid and unnecessary investigation in this day and age.

 

I have personally not heard or used the word ‘blasphemy’ in my conversations for quite sometime except when reading the scriptures so I decided to revisit blasphemy with regards to scripture.

Easter is Over, Now What?

by Steve Popoola on April 24, 2017 in Biblepraise

Another Easter celebration has come and gone. For some, it is a time to visit family and friends. For others it meant nothing – just another holiday to spend relaxing or organising parties and events.
To the Christian however, what Easter represents is fundamental to our faith. It has nothing to do with Easter eggs or Bunnies but its foundation rests in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The days leading to Easter, is the season of lent, which is meant to be a period of fasting, praying and meditating on the sufferings of Jesus leading to His death on the cross of calvary. It is common for people, even those who are not committed Christians to give up something they like during the season of lent. Now that Easter has come and gone, what next? For many, Easter has become a distant memory. They are already thinking of the next thing to look forward to.

The Blessing of Baptism

by Steve Popoola on April 3, 2017 in Belief, Biblepraise

For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” Colossians 2:12.

Yesterday, I watched with emotion as my three children were baptised. It was a day I had looked forward to and prayed to see – the day when my children publicly declared their commitment to the the Lord.

Why was I happy and filled with emotion at this event? It is because Baptism is a command given to the Church. Jesus’ last command to the disciples was given in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age“.

Restoration Not Refurbishment

by Steve Popoola on March 13, 2017 in Biblepraise

It is common these days to see a lot of offers for the sale of refurbished items .  These items are mostly found in the electronic product category range but you can also find sales for refurbished cars, furniture and even homes.

Refurbished items are usually cheaper than the original items and it is common for sellers of such items to use terms like ‘almost new’ or graded like ‘Grade A, B’ and so on. Refurbished items with a very high grade are often more expensive because they look almost as new as the items shipped directly from the manufacturer. The lower the grade of the items however, the more blemish you’ll see due to the fact that they have been used for a while before being sent in for repairs and subsequently put up for sale.

There is a rise in the number of people going for cosmetic surgery these days. It used to be the preserve of the older generation who wanted to continue looking young even as they get older. But these days, even teenagers go for all kind of cosmetic changes to their body because they are not satisfied with the way they look. Cosmetic surgeons help these people achieve their desires as they take them through a process of physical refurbishment. It is a polishing of their physical structure. Which is why when the treatment is completed, they may like what they see but it does not change who they are.

Grow Your Faith With Joy

by Steve Popoola on February 20, 2017 in Biblepraise

I recently took up learning to play squash. One of the hardest things to learn about playing squash is the behaviour of the ball itself. There are different types of squash balls intended for players of various experience levels. The difference lies in the amount of rubber and air inside each type of ball.

Depending on the kind of ball you are using, you’ll find out that when you first start playing, it takes great effort to hit the ball against the wall and have it bounce back to where you want it to.

I quickly found out eventually, that an important part of playing squash is to first ‘warm up the ball’. This is done when players hit the ball hard against the wall in such a way as to make it possible for the other player to do same. After about 6 to 8 of such hits or volleys as they are called technically, the ball becomes warm and bounces a lot better. So what does squash have to do with today’s topic? I hope to explain this as we go on.

Our main Scripture reference is found in Romans 5: 1 – 11. The book of Romans as many of us know, was written by Paul the Apostle. Commentators agree that this book was written by Paul in Corinth while he was staying in the house of Gaius (1 Corinthians 1:14, Romans 16:23)

If Paul were a today’s politician, some parts of his letter in Romans 5 would have been edited appropriately. For instance, he started the epistle with great news that would naturally elicit a very happy response from readers. But it looks like he spoilt it in verse 3, ‘We can rejoice too, when we run into problems and trials….’ I can imagine his political advisers saying, “No Paul, that is not politically correct! You don’t tell that bit to people, they will get discouraged!”

Measure of Joy

by Steve Popoola on January 30, 2017 in Belief, Faith, Love

In the dictionary, Joy is defined as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires”.  Another definition described joy as, “a state of happiness or felicity”.
There is currently a lot of controversy going on about whether joy and happiness mean the same thing. I am personally not interested in the difference between the two today but rather examining what joy means to the Christian and whether it is something we produce or acquire. As a background to this discussion, I want us to examine the life of a man called Nehemiah and how he and others embarked on a journey from extreme sadness to exuberant joy.

Decision, Purpose and Commitment

by Steve Popoola on January 9, 2017 in Biblepraise

At the beginning of a new year, people everywhere tend to look at the year ahead and try to make some decisions which they hope will improve their lives. Some of these decisions are popularly referred to as ‘New year resolutions’. Unfortunately, many of those who make these resolutions give up on them barely weeks into the new year.

People make decisions for various reasons; It could be as a result of something they read, something they heard or what they saw in others. I have since discovered that decisions not backed by purpose and commitment tend not to have any strong foundation no matter how well intentioned they might be.