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The Power of Accountability.

in Christian Living/Personal Development/Relationships by

What is accountability?
Let’s get straight to the facts; accountability is the act of being accountable. In this context, it means trusting someone to encourage and pray for you as you do the same for them. Many Christian men and women have accountability groups that they form within their churches or they may just be close to Christian friends who meet on a weekly basis to encourage, pray for, and confess to. Now, I must admit, when I was young, I thought accountability meetings were an absolute waste of time because of my experience I personally had with it, let me share a few of my thoughts when I got into it:

  • Accountability was extremely depressing because all we seemed to talk about was our failures….and most of us were struggling with the same things; it’s hard to listen to the rebuke of someone who has the same log in their eye.
  • I felt like everyone at the meeting wanted to hear what you were struggling with so that they didn’t feel as bad about their sin (lol…lame right?)
  • There was no growth or progression in my walk with Christ

But as I grew older, I realized I was doing it all wrong. I shouldn’t have been in an accountability group with a bunch of teenaged, immature Christian boys because we were all technically at the same levels in our faith. I should have looked to a mature man of God in the faith that had conquered the struggles I was facing and would push me towards spiritual maturity.

Why is it important?

Because any Christian who is not accountable to somebody is a dangerous Christian. It is for your own protection. We must understand that all man has fallen from the grace and glory of God and therefore we are all sinful (Rom 3:23). If you don’t associate yourself with a fellowship of believers, you might not see it yet but you are headed down a prideful path. A path in which you don’t want anyone in your business, telling you what to do, or living a life that you don’t want anyone to know about. You, my friend, are being blind to the things that you are doing. We all need a friend, a mentor, and someone to hold us accountable, especially in this race we are running as Christians.

God uses fellowship and accountability to protect us from straying away from the path that we are on through Him. He wants us to keep on going down a path of righteousness, TOGETHER. A mentor of mine once told me “every Christian needs a Paul, a Timothy, and a Barnabas. Paul is meant to guide us, Timothy is to help us mature, and Barnabas is there to challenge us.” Be accountable to somebody, and have somebody be accountable to you.

Let Iron sharpen Iron.

Are Men and Women Equal?

in Christian Living/Relationships/Theology by

Are Men and Women Equal?

Whenever I hear this question, I tend to respond, “Can a Queen be a King?”

In today’s society, there are many opinions on this topic. Some women might suggest that “woman should be above men”, where as some men might suggest “women are below them”. Even in Christendom, many of us take Ephesians 5:22-23 out of context by replacing “submission” with slavery or replacing “husbands” with dictator. I, especially as a young man used to think this way. But let’s look at this from a biblical view.

Genesis 1:26-27 states that God created male AND female in HIS own image. Though we know that Adam was created first, he was incomplete. That is why scripture (Genesis 2:18) states “it is not good for man to be alone.” From there, while Adam was in a deep sleep, God took his rib and created woman with it. I find this interesting because the rib is found on the side of the body. A nonconformist Minister and author, Matthew Henry, stated that “Eve was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.”

God created man and gave him the RESPONSIBILITY of being the “head” (lead servant) of his wife. It is his duty to love her, serve her, care for her, and honor her. In addition to that, he must be able to provide for her in all physical, spiritual and emotional aspects. But in Gods wisdom, as I stated earlier, man is incomplete, so the role that a wife plays is as EQUALLY important. A wife’s RESPONSIBILITY is to be the “helper” to her husband. She is there to help her husband with whatever task the Lord has given them to do. We hear the woman is the backbone to a successful man and if we are to go by scripture, we should believe that to be true. So, we can see that men and women are equals in worth but they have been assigned different roles by God.

A Pastor and author by the name of Josh Harris wrote a book titled “Boy Meets World”. In this book he affirms the biblical teaching that is called Complementarianism, which is a theological view held by Christians that men and women have different responsibilities but they are complementary roles.

“From the first two chapters of the Bible we learn that Adam and Eve were created equal in God’s sight. Within the context of their equality, God assigned men and women different roles. He made Adam first, signifying his unique role as leader and initiator. He created Eve from Adam and brought her to Adam to be his helper in the tasks God had assigned him. She was made to complement, nourish, and help her husband. God’s greatest gift to man was “a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18). This doesn’t minimize a woman’s role, but it does define it.

Men and women were created equal, yet different. And the fact that we’re different is wonderful. God didn’t make us to duplicate each other, but to complement each other. The point here is not that Adam was better than Eve, just as God the Father is not “better” than God the Son. Father and Son are equal in essence, power, glory, but they have different roles; and the Son joyfully submits to the Father’s will (1 Corinthians 15:28). So in marriage a husband and wife are equal, even though Scripture tells the wife to joyfully submit to her husband’s leadership.

As a woman, it may be hard to take in these truths, however that is a normal feeling. But I believe a husband can make his wife’s role of submission easier for her by first loving her as Christ loves the Church. In this way, it will not be a dictatorship but a marriage that will be modeling Christ and His Church.

As spouses we should heed to the instructions of the Lord and understand that whatever He has told us to do is actually for our good. As we follow His instructions, they WILL bring joy and fulfillment into our lives.

 

More info at https://answersingenesis.org/family/gender/inferior-or-equal/

I GOT THE KEYS!

in Christian Living/Devotionals by

real-estate-in-the-city

Seeing my title you probably thought I was blogging about the rap song….lol. NO.

Today is November 1, 2016, we are exactly 61 days away from 2017 God willing. What did you accomplish, or will accomplish by the end of this year? Is it a new car that you finally bought? Or the house you been saving for? Or even paid off the debt you owe? These things are great goals and accomplishments, but I want to challenge you in something that’s not mentioned all that much in our generation….obedience; Obedience to God. How has your obedience to God this year been? Are you striving to follow his word or is it not much of a priority? Friend, I want to encourage you today and challenge your obedience. Christ made a profound state in the book of John, chapter 14:15, he stated, “If you love me, keep My commandments”. In other words he’s saying, if you love me, obey what I say. And fortunately we have a faithful God who always holds to his word. He actually BLESSES us in various ways for our obedience to him. I am not simply saying obey to get something in return, but his blessing are the results of our active obedience.

C.S Lewis wrote “Obedience, is the KEY to all doors”. As a believer, our God wants us to continually progress in all we do, in our prayer life, reading of the word, giving, teaching etc. He wants to open doors for you, and show you who he is on a more intimate level. It takes obedience to get there.

There are many examples of God’s waterfall of goodness because of obedience, but I will only quote Exodus 20:6, God promises to show “love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments”. As we Obey the Lord, we open the doors to abundant life in Christ.

1…to..Ten ways to Love!

in Christian Living/Devotionals by

ten ways to loveAs we OFFICIALLY start the first week of the 9th month of the year (September), lets do it right and Love in the right way! As there are only a few months till the year ends, the time left is very critical..but ask the Lord for grace to finish what you started, to open doors that no man can open, and live in accordance to his will. Happy new month.

These are ten ways to Love

1. Listen without interrupting (Proverbs 18:13)
2. Speak without accusing (James 1:19)
3. Give without sparing (Proverbs 21:26)
4. Pray without ceasing (Colossians 1:9)
5. Answer without arguing (Proverbs 17:1)
6. Share without pretending (Ephesians 4:15)
7. Enjoy without complaint (Phillipians 2:14)
8. Trust without wavering (1 Corinthians 13:7)
9. Forgive without punishing (Colossians 3:13)
10. Promise without forgetting (Proverbs 13:12)

Embracing Wisdom

in Christian Living/Devotionals/God/Personal Development/Productivity by

prov-1-2Last year, somewhere around this time, I had an awesome opportunity to intern at Lisle Memorial Baptist Church in Jane and Finch (Toronto, Ontario). While I was interning there I had an opportunity to share the word of God with the saints that worshiped there. It was a very interesting experience being 20 years old, coming from a traditional (African) Pentecostal church, to sharing the word with a completely different audience of ethnicity, and denomination. It put me in a challenging position to grow as an aspiring preacher and I really enjoyed it. The gospel was preached and I believe lives were changed. That day, I believe I preached a sermon from the book of proverbs on “embracing wisdom”; as I have been reading a proverbs a day throughout this month of June, Proverbs 7 threw itself right out of the page in my face, and it is quite similar to a section of my sermon dealing with the purpose of the Proverbs and who and what wisdom is.

Wisdom is embodied in the Proverbs and acts as God’s dynamic word.
In the New Testament, Jesus becomes the wisdom and the word of God.
Embracing Wisdom is Embracing Christ.
Christ is Wisdom

See the graph below.

 

Origin of Wisdom Teaching of Wisdom Value of Wisdom
In God (v.22) Prudence(vv.5,12) Yields riches and honor (v.18)
From everlasting (v.23) Understanding (v.5) Greater than gold and silver (v.19)
Before all things (vv.23-30) Excellent thing (v.6) The wise are blessed (vv.32,34)
Truth (v.7) The wise find life (v.35)
Hatred of wickedness (v.7) The foolish love death (v.36)
Righteousness (v.8)
Knowledge (v.12)

Discretion (v.12)

Fear of the Lord (v.13)

 

The 10 Marks (of a mature Christian man)

in Christian Living/Lord & Phebe/Relationships by

THEWhat are the marks of a mature Christian man? I know people are looking at the image I have up and think it’s the beard lol, its not. I have jotted 10 characteristics I’ve recognized that most mature men hold. Please understand that these are obviously not the only marks of a mature Christian man, but just a few that came to mind when I thought about the subject. Here are the 10 marks of a mature Christian man (According to me):

  1. His Spiritual Life is on-point (as the young urbans say)
    One mark of a Christian mans maturity is his spiritual maturity. A man who is theologically sound SHOULD be in continuous transformation, conforming to the image of Christ. A mature man does not just read and study scripture to gain knowledge alone, but for a spiritual revival and transformation in his life and community. Correct theology and prayer go hand in hand, so don’t think that prayer is excluded. Prayer is like the air we breathe in the Christian life. Leonard Ravenhill said “No man is greater than his prayer life” – Take note and let that sink in.
  2. He has an Identity
    Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to the things of the world, such as what career you want to do and so on; as humans we are always changing, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Right now I’m talking about knowing who you are and embracing it with confidence. I know countless people who actually have no identity. One day they’re a preacher, the next day a gangster, and then lastly they become an Imam (I’m being for real). As a mature man in the faith, you know your identity is hidden in Christ. We were all created in the image of God, but when man fell we lost sight of who we really were! But because of REDEMPTION, we can now confidently proclaim that we are children of God. A man with an identity does not get blown by the wind.
  3. He’s got goals, visions, & ambition
    A mature man is not necessarily a workaholic, but not a lazy bum either. He has goals he wants to achieve and he is in continuous pursuit until he reaches his goal. It could be something as big as self employment or something as small as purchasing a really neat car. Mature men are determined and strong willed.
  4. He’s emotional, but not led by his emotions.
    Emotions are good, but to be led by them is terrible. The bible, truth, and what is morally right should override your feelings especially on making tough decisions. A mature man knows how to use and control his emotion.
  5. He’s Humble.
    A mature man is humble. He understands that there is always someone higher than him. He is never afraid to ask for help when it is needed and he loves to learn from older and experienced men and women in all aspects in life. He needs not discouraged when playing the background because he has a clear understanding of sovereignty and knows that there is a time for everything.
  6. He’s quick to listen, and slow to anger.
    Being a young black man and growing up in a rough place, I was a skinny little kid and I knew I couldn’t fight, so I became sharp with my words. We use to call it roasting (lol). I also dealt with some serious anger issues as a young man, especially when things didn’t go my way. But when I look at the scriptures, the first chapter of James talks about being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Anger in itself is not a sin; even Christ got angry, but anger could most definitely lead to sin.
  7. He Loves the Lord and his Commands
    Jesus told the people of that time that if they truly loved him, they would keep his commands. The way you love your woman and would do anything to make her happy, and also not do things that would get her mad, is how we should love God. And in the simplest sense, what he requires. Salvation changes you, your desires and your life.
  8. He never looks down on himself and others.
    Mature Christian men understand that there are seasons in life. You have to have the attitude of Paul and be content whether you have little or plenty. Never despise small beginnings because it could end up being the next big thing. Whatever the mature man does, he tries to be the best because he understands that he is a representative for somebody much greater. Whether a man is a garbage man or a CEO, he should desire to be the best, because that shows true character.
  9. He’s a Leader
    He is a leader or is ready to be a leader as he follows Christ. A mature man is responsible for the direction, vision, and leadership of his family and relationships. The book of 1 Tim 3:12 gives us the standards on how to serve or lead. The mature man is called to lead leaders. (I’ll go deeper on this topic very soon)
  10. He Loves One Woman.
    Mature men choose to love their woman even if they don’t “feel” like it. Love is not a feeling, it’s a choice. If it was a feeling, all of us would fall in and out of love every other day. Love is a choice you make, and especially being a Christian man, your love should be growing more and more each day. I believe that even in a relationship, we are to be examples of Christ. Marriage is a depiction of Christ and the love he has for his Church, and we are to love with this love and be COMMITTED; choosing to continually pursue and love that one woman. No one said it will be easy, but your love is like gold; being tested and purified in the fire. Love Love. And for all you “playas” out there, STOP PLAYING!

So, What Happens after Easter?

in Christian Living/Devotionals/God by

WHAT HAPPENS (1)Speaking from my own personal life and experience, after Easter celebration I go back to living my regular schedule, doing the same things I did the week before, not dwelling on Christ as much as I should be and so on. During the time of Easter our emotions start to rise and we feel as if we are closer to God than ever; but in reality you feel that way you do because you saw a clip of Jesus getting whipped by soldiers and it made you sad.
This is an encouragement to the saints in the body of Christ, don’t let this be something that just happens once a year and then you forget about him until the next year. Let your eyes continually be fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2), Consistently grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18), Fight the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6:12), Remain pure in heart (Matt 5:8), Remember that you are dead to sin, and alive to God (Rom 6:11).

Our foundation in Christianity is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He died so we can live, and he rose to show we have victory over death through him.

If you think there is something you can’t overcome because you are too deep in, well…For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. (Rom 6:14)

If you truly believe nobody loves you, well… By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16)

If you tried so hard to be good and do good but believe that if God came back right now for his elect, you wouldn’t be part of them, well… “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God has already done all of the work. All you must do is receive, in faith, the salvation God offers (Ephesians 2:8-9). Fully trust in Jesus alone as the payment for your sins. Believe in Him, and you will not perish (John 3:16). God is offering you salvation as a gift. All you have to do is accept it. Jesus is the way of salvation (John 14:6).

ONLY ONE GOSPEL! (Galatians Made Easy)

in Christian Living/Devotionals/God/Theology by
Blog series
Blog series

Galatians 1:6-10

Going through this text, it is assumed that the Galatians had turned away from him, who called them in the grace of Christ, to another gospel. We don’t necessarily know what the other teachings were, but it was clearly not the good news of Christ; that man had fallen and was in desperate need of redemption through the only one who could provide it (Jesus)!
ONLY ONE GOSPEL!

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Vs6,7: The use of the word Marvel reveals Paul’s on going shock at the Galatians’ defection of the gospel of God’s amazing grace. The Galatians had clearly fallen for a different gospel, one which was not another true message of salvation at all. When we look around today there are many messages, doctrines, and theologies that we must be careful of, the bible makes the message of salvation clear for those awakened by the holy spirit. There were many in that time trying to cause trouble, and those were the ones who sought to pervert this precious gospel we have for their own selfish gain. There are many of these still in our generation today.

Vs8,9: Paul moves from the hypothetical (in v6,7), to actually denouncing the Galatians perversion of the gospel. Paul declares that even if an apostle or an angel from heaven presents to you another gospel, let him be accursed! And with that being said, anyone who proclaimed a perversion of the message that the Galatians received from Paul, fully deserved Eternal destruction. Paul’s seriousness and concern for the purity of the gospel message is revealed by his assertion that he would condemn to destruction anyone who taught a false gospel.

Vs10: Pleasing man was neither Paul’s mandate, motivation, nor source of his authority (see vs1). Paul continually sought approval from God. He did not base his decisions on the opinions of people or things. He single-mindedly aimed to please God in all he did and devoted his life to the cause of the Gospel. As an apostle, Paul was a mighty leader, but always knew at the end of the day he was simply a bondservant of Christ Jesus, the Magnificent.

[Prayer May we have this same zeal and passion for the gospel as Paul did, May our live be devoted to Jesus and his work he assigned us to do. Lord empower, and equip us to do just as your word says to do, In Jesus Name, Amen.]

Monday MOTIVATION! (The Whole Armor of God)

in Boundless Altitude/Christian Living/Devotionals/God/Leadership by

Its Monday! MyMonday -


For plenty, it’s the worst and most tiring day of the week but the way I see it, it’s a way to start afresh with your goals. Think about the things that you want to achieve, conquer, or put to rest this week; if it be sin, better budgeting with your money, taking the next step to doing a very important project in your life etc. Be motivated to be a victor!

I like to mix my motivations with devotions because I believe the word is the foundation we should stand on. My devotion will come from Ephesians 6:10-20. This is my personal motivation for today. Putting on the whole armor of God and consistently acknowledging it throughout the week and even the rest of the month so it becomes a lifestyle of mine.

This is a very practical message and is one of the most famous and richly rewarding scriptures in the new testament. Paul had plenty of time to observe and examine the parts of the roman soldier’s armor. After all, he was constantly guarded in his house arrest in Rome.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

Vs10: Be strong
This could be translated as “Be made strong” passively meaning we cannot do it on our own.

Vs11: The whole armor of God
This is the believer’s protection against evil and the Evil One. Paul presented the extended metaphor of the battle dress roughly according to the order in which the pieces were put on.

Wiles of the Devil: are Satan’s subtle tricks to defeat Christians in spiritual warfare.

Vs12: Our real battle is not with human cultist, fetish priest (JuJu), atheist, or agnostic, but the demonic beings working through them, of which even flesh and blood opponents are sometimes unaware.

Vs13: The Evil day
is taken by some to refer to the end times when the evil one will launch a furious campaign against Christ and his army.

Vs14-17
Paul presents the 6 pieces of spiritual armor. Four are mentioned specifically and the belt and shoes are implied. Soldiers girded themselves with a belt from which hung strips of leather to protect the lower body. Truth is considered crucial by Paul because a dishonest Christian cannot hope to withstand the father of all lies. The truth referred to here is integrity, a life of practical truthfulness and honesty.

The Breastplate: of roman times went completely around the whole body, so that the back of the warrior is protected. It was made of leather or metal.

The Righteousness: That the breastplate represents is not the righteousness of Christ which all believers possess, but practical righteous character of one who is already saved.

Vs15: A roman soldier’s feet were shod with hard studded shoes. Paul used this image to represent the preparation of the gospel of peace. Personally, I see two things that came from this, one could mean that the gospel is the firm foundation we stand on or that the Christian soldier must be ready to go out and defend the gospel.

Vs16: The shield is said to possibly mean, it is to be used against everything or to cover the whole armor. The shield protects the Christian against any fiery darts of the wicked one.

Flaming arrows cannot penetrate the fireproof shields of the ancient roman soldier nor can the assault of Satan penetrate to the believer who places their faith in Christ. (Oh yea!!)

Vs17: The Helmet of Salvation: This intricately designed helmet protected the soldiers head and also made him look taller and more impressive.
Sword of the Spirit: is the only offensive weapon in the believer’s armor. This is not necessarily the bible as a whole, but the specific word that needs to be spoken in a specific situation. To have a precise word ready, a person must know the bible intimately.

The Apostle Paul was not afraid to ask the believers to pray for him that he might have courage to preach the gospel. Even as a prisoner, Paul still wanted to be a faithful witness for the Lord.

As the week starts afresh, Be motivated Like Paul!

Galatians Made Easy Series (1:1-5)

in Devotionals/God/Theology by

Blog series

While reading through the book of Galatians, I realized how interesting the letter Paul wrote to them was. It was very insightful, inspiring, and edifying. I wanted other people to feel how I felt, and find a way to make the word of God of interest to them. So I decided to simply make a blog series called “Galatians Made Easy”. This will be a quick studies on chapters throughout the book, and I will highlight key things that stood out to me as I indulged in studies throughout Apostle Paul’s letter. THIS IS NOT to replace your own personal bible readings or studies but just to encourage you to search deeper in the word and actually learn to love it; we are all on this journey together!

Introduction to the book & Paul’s Greeting. (1:1-5)

When we search through the scriptures, we see no more passionate, comprehensive, yet mind boggling truths of the gospel than in the book of Galatians. Paul profoundly speaks about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Solus Christus) (Gal 2:16; 3:11,12). Salvation is not earned by what you do or what you think you can do, many of us fall into the trap of trying to receive salvation by the deeds we do. Paul’s concise refusal to agree with the Judaizers in this letter changed and transform so many lives from, my heroes Martin Luther (The revolutionary reformer and father of Protestantism) to John Wesley (Father of the Methodist & Holiness Movement). People want to generally work their way to heaven by their good deeds and that is easily seen. I believe that is why there are so many religions that say “do good and go to heaven”. But in this book Paul reveals the arrogance of such thinking. It ends up coming to a false view of the gospel and turns people away from the Lord (Gal 1:6). We are able to stand justified before God, but only through Jesus Christ, because nothing else CAN and will save.

Vs 1 Paul an apostle.
We see that the first thing Paul gives is a salutation of who he is which is an apostle. He had the right to carry that title 1) He was called and given that authority by Christ when he met him on the road to Damascus 2) to assert his divinely given authority to speak to the problem confronting the Galatian churches.

Vs 2 To the churches of Galatia
He states “Churches” which means this letter was actually a circular to several assemblies within Galatia.

Vs 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ
Paul uses Grace which was a standard greeting in his time and Peace which is the Greek translation of traditional Hebrew greeting. I personally believe he combines these two ideas of grace and peace to introduce the message that he is trying to give. (Check out 1 Cor 1:3, 2 Cor 1:2). The true message of salvation is based solely on God’s grace (1:6, 2:21) received by faith (eph 2:8) and it provides peace with God (rom 5:1)

Vs 4 who gave Himself for our sins
This is just a foreshadow of Paul’s later discussion on redemption and quickly summarizes the good news that Christ died for you. (1 Cor 15:3)

that He might deliver us from this present evil age
When Paul mentions this, it is quite similar to Colossians 1:13 which states that Christ has delivered us from the power of darkness into his kingdom. Both scriptures develop this truth based on the redemptive work of Christ.