Archives For faith

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“.

The Triumph of Grace

by Steve Popoola on August 15, 2016 in Biblepraise, Faith

Grace is the most important, yet most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Its simplicity derives from God’s love towards man – God doing all that is required to redeem man in his fallen state.

 

Religion has been defined as man’s efforts to appease God. Unfortunately, the best of efforts is not enough to satisfy the requirements of divine law. If there was one person who was well versed in the law and did everything he could to follow the requirements of the law, it was Paul the Apostle.

No Middle Ground

by Steve Popoola on July 18, 2016 in Faith, World Events

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When the Future Seems So Uncertain

by Steve Popoola on July 4, 2016 in Biblepraise, Faith, inspiration, World Events

On Thursday June 23, 2016, the people of Great Britain went to the polls to decide the future on England, whether to stay or remain in the entity called the European Union.

Before this time, campaigners had done all they could to convince the electorate which way to vote. Unfortunately, twenty-four hours before the vote was scheduled to begin, many were still undecided. On Friday June 24, 2016, to the surprise of many, a majority of the British voters decided to leave the European Union.

Since this historic decision, there has been a cloud of uncertainty over the future of Great Britain with many seeing the decision to leave the EU as death knell to what was once referred to as Great Britain. While many who voted to leave have been jubilating, there have been reports of people lamenting their decision to vote leave, some even claiming they did so because they did not think their vote would count. Others claimed they voted to leave because they were not happy with the political establishment.

There is no doubt that there is anxiety and in many cases fear of what will happen when Britain officially leaves the EU. There has been talk of increases in taxes and cutting of interest rates both of which will put pressure on the finances of households. Even the hardcore proponents of the Leave campaign admit that there would be a time of financial and economic uncertainty though they believe there will be long term economic prosperity.

Anyone following the way the UK elections have been predicted in recent years will agree that the bookers got their predictions all wrong. First, it was predicted that the Labour party was likely to win the last elections, there wrong, the conservative party one. Then it was predicted the EU referendum is likely to have the Remain votes likely to win.

When we are faced with a future of uncertainty, as is the case of the UK leaving the EU, what do we do? I believe that according to the Bible, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

The disciples were faced with uncertainty when Jesus was crucified on the cross. What had happened was not what they expected. They had heard Jesus talk about His kingdom and had believed that the end of Roman rule was imminent. While Jesus was with them, they were willing to go anywhere with him, even willing to die for the cause if necessary. This hope was dashed the minute Jesus gave up the ghost on the cross of Calvary.

I can imagine the questions that must have raged in their hearts, “What will the future be for me? What will be the future of Israel as a nation? How long will we be under Roman rule? Will God be sending another Saviour?

The future indeed looked bleak, that is, until early in the morning on that third day when Mary went to the tomb and found it empty. Everything changed when she saw her Lord alive. It looked bleak for the disciples until Jesus appeared in their midst and said, ‘Peace be with you! (John 20:19)

The men on the road to Emmaus must have been considering the future consequences of what had just happened in Jerusalem (Luke 24: 13-35) They were apparently troubled and in despair. Jesus walked alongside then and asked, ‘What are you discussing as you walk along?’ (Luke 24: 17) One of them looked at Jesus and concluded that he must be a visitor if he was not privy to what happened in Jerusalem concerning the sentencing and crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. As if that were not enough, they had heard that some women found his tomb empty but instead saw a vision of angels who said Jesus was alive, however no one had seen him.

Then Jesus began to speak with them, referring to what the scriptures had said concerning his suffering, death and resurrection. It was not after he had disappeared while they ate supper, that they realized that it was Jesus. Uncertainty gave way to hope and instantly they returned to Jerusalem to share both what they had seen and heard.

The only certainty in the changing circumstances around us is God and the promises He has made concerning us. Politicians may change but God never changes. Policies may change but God’s promises never change. This is why the Psalmist confidently proclaimed in Chapter 41:1 “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when the earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea”.

The Apostle Paul advices; “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Only God knows the future and if we place our lives in His hands, we can be sure that He will lead us through the uncertainties of life so that when others are worrying themselves silly, you will go through life with a smile on your face because you know the one who knows tomorrow.

 

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

Does God Still Speak?

by Steve Popoola on October 21, 2013 in Faith, Relationships

“When last did you hear from God?” That was the question a guest speaker  asked a number of people in the audience.

There were various responses like;  ‘It has been a while’, ‘I used to hear from Him but I no longer do’. One person whose honesty I admired, responded, ‘I have never heard God speak’.

The topic for the fellowship seminar was ‘Intimacy With God’ so it was not out of line for the guest speaker to ask people if they heard God speak to them.

Never Too Late

by Steve Popoola on October 7, 2013 in Belief, Faith

It is amazing how God speaks to us through our everyday living. I was on a rush from the gym one morning, heading to the train station. I felt that if I drove a bit faster, I would make it to my train on time.

I overtook the car in front of me because I felt the driver was not going fast enough. A few minutes later, I came to a red light and had to stop. Seconds later, the car I overtook stopped in the next lane next to me.

At that point I felt a bit stupid and laughed at my foolishness. Here was I in a hurry and trying to milk as much speed as I could get within the legal limit and right beside me was someone else driving with ease as if he had no real destination in mind, yet we were both stopped at the red light even though I had left him behind a few minutes ago.

The Rock That is Higher

by Steve Popoola on September 9, 2013 in Faith

In our present age, it is so easy to become depressed and overwhelmed. There are many issues within and without that continually threaten our peace of mind. Some of these pressures could be internal;  like for instance, when we feel a sense of sinfulness which often leads to guilt and a sense of inadequacy.

Another thing that  could threaten our peace of mind is fear and worry.  We worry about our past actions and what effect it may have on our future, we worry about whether our investment today will yield anything worthwhile in the future to justify the investment, we worry about the children and the pressures they might be facing from their peers or what  they might be exposed to in the future.  The list goes on and on and one would be  amazed at what other people worry about and fear.

Knowing The All-Knowing God

by Steve Popoola on September 2, 2013 in Biblepraise, Faith

One morning, my colleagues were discussing about whether God exists. Almost everyone involved in the discussion gave reasons why they did not believe that there is a God.

Usually, I do not debate with people on such a subject unless a question is directed at me personally.  At some point during the discussion, I heard myself asking them the question, ‘Guys, How can explain the way things work? The way the universe holds together? Don’t you think someone is in control? Or do you think that these things just work?’ That was the end of the discussion. It was as if God Himself ended the discussion.

Hated For Christ’s Sake

by Steve Popoola on July 8, 2013 in Biblepraise, Discipleshipship

In recent times, people who know me to be a Christian have tagged me in Facebook posts which were clearly anti-Christian.

I was initially angry and wanted to take any or all of the following actions; one, block the profile of that person, send a message warning the person from tagging me in such posts or two, blocking such posts from my wall. I however did not take any of those steps; rather, it made me begin to think about God’s mercy and how He must feel when we reject Him.

Does God Exist?

by Steve Popoola on June 10, 2013 in Belief, Biblepraise

I am sure anyone seeing the above caption would wonder what this writer is trying get across to the readers? How can he be asking or questioning the existence of God? I would like you to know that this writer believes in the existence of God without a shadow of doubt.

Many years ago, I was flipping through the channels on the TV, when I stumbled on an interview program. The personality being interviewed was Nobel Laureate, Nigerian writer and Social Critic, Professor Wole Soyinka.