Archives For Devotion

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)

 

Stop, Look, Listen, Obey

by Steve Popoola on March 7, 2016 in Devotion, Discipleshipship

There are times when in the ordinary course of our business, extra ordinary events occur in our lives, which we cannot explain. When these events occur, we often wonder about the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of these occurrences. We are so focused on the uniqueness of the event that we miss out on the message that God is passing across to us through these unusual events.

 

In most cases, when these events occur, they are witnessed by people who were not even looking for them. They happen at a time when these people are going about their normal business. We will be looking at examples of people who in the ordinary course of their lives, had an encounter with God

Moses: (Exodus 3)

Moses had run away from Egypt after killing one of the Egyptians who was beating up on a Hebrew slave. He had gone to Midian and settled there. His occupation was to tend the sheep of his Father-in-law, Jethro. Going back to Egypt was the furthest thing in His mind – in fact, it was never going to happen.

Are you Listening?

by Steve Popoola on November 23, 2015 in Devotion, Discipleshipship

I read the story of a man who challenged his wife with a riddle,  “You’re the engineer of a train. There are 36 people on board. At the first stop, 10 get off and 2 get on. At the next stop, no one gets off, but 5 get on. At the third stop, 4 get off and 2 get on. Now for the question: What is the name of the engineer?”
“How should I know?” snapped the wife.  The man replied, “See? you never listen! Right at the start I said, ‘You are the engineer of a train.’”

How many times have people asked for directions and still missed their way because they were not listening when they were being given the directions?  While Jesus was addressing a crowd of people, He warned, “Take care how you listen” (Luke 8:18)

With All the Chaos in My Life . . .

by Rubel Shelly on November 9, 2015 in Character, Devotion, Faith

Ever feel guilty when somebody quotes this Bible verse: “Be still, and know that I am God”? (Psalm 46:10).
I’ll bet you’d like nothing better than to find a quiet time today. Maybe you are even planning for it. Wonderful things can happen in times of solitude, stillness, and silence before God. But “stillness” is hard to come by – and simply isn’t available on some days or in certain life experiences.

There’s precious little time for stillness when production deadlines are close. A report is due in three hours. An inspection is in progress. If you live in a big city, there are voices and horns. There is constant motion. Shared living space has someone else’s music, someone else’s TV, and someone else’s voice. Where do you find God in all the noise?

Walking In His Presence

by Steve Popoola on September 21, 2015 in Devotion, Discipleshipship

Walking In His Presence

By Steve Popoola

I  read about a boy who every night had to walk past what he believed was a haunted house. A friend gave him a good luck charm to give him courage.
An adult said, “It’s sinful to be afraid. Trust God! Be brave!” But the boy was still afraid.  Then someone told him, “I know what it means to be afraid, take my hand, I will go with you”. The boy took the man’s hand and he was no longer afraid.

In discussing the topic, Walking in His Presence, we will be looking at three aspects of God’s presence.

His Love Never Fails

by Steve Popoola on July 20, 2015 in Devotion, Love

There are times when a song would keep playing over and over in my mind and I would find myself singing it sometimes even while I am working. 

One of such songs that has filled my thoughts lately is “One Thing Remains” by Jesus Culture.

Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing….Remains

Your love never fails, never gives up
Never runs out on me. 

Beauty as Divine Strategy

by Rubel Shelly on June 15, 2015 in Devotion, Discipleshipship

Why did people fall all over themselves to get a glimpse of Jesus? Climb trees to see him? Hang on his every word? It was the beauty of the kingdom of God that Jesus exhibited in his personality and actions.

The gentle humility of Jesus convinced people they had no reason to fear him; he was not about to hurt them. His approachability made them feel welcome in his presence; he would never humiliate them. 

They became excited about the things of God because he was among them. Something about the beauty of his life convinced them their lives could become beautiful as well.

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)

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.

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.