HOW FOOLISH CAN IT GET TO KNOW GOD?

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“Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans 8:30)

There’s an idea the devil is selling very fast and which the children of God are buying—that “the moment you believe in God you’re a fool!” And congrats to the devil: because that idea has become so cancerous that it has eaten so deep into so many minds, that they have become ashamed of identifying with God in the public. No wonder then why some people in order that they may be seen as cool and smart (when in the midst of their godless friends), choose to join forces with them to blaspheme God. Even though in their hearts they may be weeping and gnashing their teeth for such betrayal, but they prefer to be counted with the cliques of the wise and the intelligent, at the expense of their innermost truth. I think in such people their thought is something like this: “Why should I risk so much for the love, admiration, recognition, association, and all that the world has to offer for what I’m not really sure of?”…Well, one could easily deduce that the root of most compromise is uncertainty. Nonetheless, uncertainty in this regard (as in most cases) is always a scheme of the devil; nothing more, nothing less.
However, regardless of whatever tricks the devil may be employing, it’s high time somebody realized that the belief in God is not foolishness or gullibility. It’s high time somebody knew that true faith in Christ Jesus is not the opium of hopeless simpletons. People have been made to think and believe that once they profess the lordship of the Saviour, they no longer have brains of their own. Or worse still they become puppets, and they can no longer live their own lives. But all these premises are not true at all. As a matter of fact, the moment somebody aligns his or her will with that of God, it becomes better and brighter. I think at this point we could even apply a simple logic and common sense: “How would an intelligent Being (with all His loving kindness and majesty) recruit people into His army, only to make them fools and slaves?” Honestly, who does that? Definitely not the Almighty God! So, the ideas or traits of foolishness, gullibility, retardation, low self-esteem, and all negative thoughts or characters that the devil has succeeded in planting in the hearts and lives of God’s children are not of God. That is the devil at work! And those are some of the games he plays—tampering with people’s lives and emotions (the virtual) at the expense of their essence (the real thing).
To prove that the devil is a liar, real children of God are most definitely the most wonderful people to be with. In fact, too many of the greatest minds and characters anyone would ever come across, are people whose lives are being aligned with the will of God. It is a lie from the pit of hell to think that God-minded people are inferior and useless. No! Simply because they are actively involved in any credible field of human endeavor as much as any other humans—if not even better! What does the world have that they don’t have more?—is it wisdom, knowledge and understanding? Or is it skill, tact and sound judgement? Or much still, is it wealth, peace and joy? Believe me, they have it all in abundance! But it’s really a pity that ignorance is fully at play when such people to whom much has been bequeathed are allowed to be stripped off their inheritances by the world and the devil! Honestly, this is not in any way a mere consolation in nothingness; it’s one of the greatest truths which the devil himself knows and he’s using against the elect of God. And it’s really high time somebody awoke from his or her sleep.
Refuse to be deceived by the world and the devil. You are indeed not a second-class human being. You know the Truth and you have been set free. Don’t because of temporal achievements and admirations re-enslave yourself. Let the world call you names—Christ was called more; let them persecute you—the Lord was more than that, crucified. Hold fast to Whom you believe in, knowing that your Salvation is now nearer than you first believed. Yes it’s not easy, and will never be; but of a truth, victory is sure. The truth you know is not to be high-minded as the world does, but to be humble before your Maker that you may be exalted. Are you still ashamed of God and the gospel of Christ? Well, I AM NOT, AND WILL NEVER BE!

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

(c) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (#OLUMiNOUS)
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THE BOY, THE JAR, AND THE HOUSEFLY

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A boy placed a jar of honey uncovered on a table, and he patiently sat to watch. Not long, a housefly came flying by and perched on it. The housefly with the use of its proboscis began to suck and suck. After some few minutes of feeding, it became filled and decided to take off. But each time it took off its mouth from the honey, it could not let go of its sweetness. So, it went on sucking and sucking more of it till it was so full that it could not take off anymore. And that was how the poor housefly died in the sweetness of a jar of honey!
From my illustration above, the boy is ‘the world’; the jar of honey are ‘the vanities of the world’; and we ‘humans’ are the housefly.

There is a mentality in an average human being, called ‘The Scarcity Mentality’. It is a kind of thought pattern that always makes man to ask and ask, and want more and more like Oliver Twist! An average man will stop at nothing to add excessive weights of extravagance to himself—even at the expense of others! Man by default is selfish and greedy; it is only by a conscious change of his orientation that he overcomes this ailment. And that is why the world is what it is today as ever: greater percentage of its inhabitants are driven by the ‘Me, Myself and I mentality!’
The illustration is also applicable to the sinful and lawless nature of man. Oh the truth be told, sin can be so sweet—but very deadly! The Bible says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Yes, that is the truth. And that is why the instant we are convicted of our misdeeds and we acknowledge them and are forgiven of them, we ought not to be overtaken by them anymore. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). But it’s such a pity that the sinful nature of man so much loves the sweetness of the world, and it always finds it hard to let it go. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
By God’s grace, I want to shed some light on that passage of the Bible—I mean Romans 6:23. Now, when the Bible says ‘death’, I believe it encompasses all forms of ‘bad’ death: of the mind, purpose, spirit, character, conscience, and body. It may not happen all at once, but gradually it will manifest (whether the person in question is aware of it or not). And when the Bible says ‘life’, I believe it likewise encompasses all forms of ‘good’ life. Then I also believe that eternal life does not outright begin in the hereafter; I believe it begins at the very instant that the ‘gift’ is received at rebirth. And that is exactly what brings about the newness in any man when he is in Christ—the more of which he’d receive the more he thirsts. Oh, if only I’m not speaking jargons to somebody’s hearing!
Anyway, to round it off, I’d implore that as houseflies (humans) hovering around the territories of the boy (the world), we should beware of the jar of honey (the vanities of the world) that are left uncovered on the table of existence. And just like I always say, the choice of what to do and not to do, is always ours.

Shalom!
(C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (#OLUMiNOUS)

THE PRIEST, THE SAINT, AND THE PROSTITUTE

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This story was told to me sometime ago by a friend, and till date it remains one of my favourites:
A saint and a priest once met at a riverbank. As there was no canoe to cross over to the other side, they decided to walk through the shallow waters. But as they were about to start crossing over, their attention was drawn to an helpless prostitute that had just been left wounded by some bandits. The priest, aggrieved and moved by compassion, suggested that himself and the saint help her to the other side in order to get medical aids. But the saint, obsessed with the thoughts that they were too holy for that, shunned the idea. So, the priest left with no other choice, decided to carry her on his own back as they crossed the river. And on getting to the other side, he immediately took her to the nearest hospital for treatments.
However, when the saint and the priest met in the church the following Sunday, he could not hold it anymore so he challenged the priest and said, “How could you being a priest profess so much holiness, and still have such body contacts with a prostitute?” But the priest smiled and said to him, “Of course I being a priest yet so holy, did what was necessary as the occasion demanded―much after which as my holiness requires of me, I have forgotten about the body contacts!” And then he went further and said to the saint, “But you being so holy that your holiness demanded not that you help her, how come you still have so much to remember?―even so much that you have offences to hold onto, and grievous temptations to dwell upon?!”
The light I want to shed from this story is that many of us hide under the auspices of religion so much that we neglect the good we ought to do when it matters most. And then to make matters worse, some of us even go as far as holding grudges against whoever does what we deem unfit―even when the doer of the deed must have been commended by God for his unsoiled holiness and untainted intentions. Honestly, sometimes I really wonder if God is not so marvelled at our ways of life!
Well, in conclusion I’d say, “Let us add to our holiness virtue, to our virtue temperance, to our temperance kindness, and to our kindness wisdom as befitting for the Kingdom. And in all our getting, let us get understanding―and never add hypocrisy!”
And this I could say a million times over again, that “Christianity is more than a religion; it is the way of Love, Truth, and Life―which can only be found in Redemption.”
Shalom.
(C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (#OLUMiNOUS)

THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT

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There’s a story of a boy whose father always warned to desist from going to swim at the river—because whenever he went he always returned home sick! Then one day the father became so fed up of his relentless disobedience, so he asked him, “May I know why you will just never stop going to the river to swim when you know it makes you sick?” The boy replied, “Because the Devil always make me do it.” Then the father smiled and looked him in the eyes and said, “My boy, when next the Devil tells you to do anything, tell him to get behind you!” With that the father thought that was the end of the saga—until he returned home the following day to be disappointed as usual. So furious, he asked the sick son, “Didn’t I tell you what to tell the Devil anytime he tells you to do a thing?!” The boy replied, “Yes, I did exactly that—but then he went behind me and pushed me into the river!”
Yes, I know that was a very funny story (in fact, I always laugh anytime I recall it). But that is exactly the kind of person most of us are, and what we do. We always point accusing fingers at the Devil for everything! We hardly take responsibilities for our own actions and inactions. ‘A’ points at ‘B’; ‘B’ says it is ‘C’; ‘C’ argues it is ‘A’; and ‘A’ admits it’s the Devil! But hey, who is fooling who here? Who is the offender and who is the devil?! I’m not hereby implying that there is no Devil, neither am I saying that he does not tempt; but what I’m simply saying is that there are so many temptations that we fall into as humans that the Devil is less concerned (or not even involved at all).
Somebody goes to a strip club and thereafter commits fornication—he says he’s the Devil. Somebody takes all his life savings to the casino to gamble and he loses everything—he also says he’s the Devil. Somebody dopes himself with all kinds of narcotics and thereafter goes to the street to kill innocent people—it’s still the Devil. But I dare say it that most of the times when we mess up, we’re the devils of our own predicaments! And why will somebody not just let the Devil rest!
That leads me to this question: “Has anybody ever imagined that a meeting was held and that the Devil was invited?” Now imagine that such a meeting was held and we are all in attendance with the Devil as the guest…Then imagine we’re called upon one after the other to narrate our ordeals…You can bet that the reality will dawn on all of us that we’re chiefly our own devils. How? By the choices we daily make, and by the steps we always take.
Just as an action always has a precedent, so there is no house without a foundation. Suffice to say then that even if the Devil should ever come knocking on our door a thousand times, his access largely depends on our decisions (as the rightful owner of the house). And if the Bible has it to say that “we are gods”, then do not be deceived, “we could also be devils!”
Now, what is the river in my life? What is the sickness in yours? And for how long will we keep swimming in that river of sickness? Let us resist the Devil today and he shall flee. But of a truth I tell you, that if we keep plunging into that river of sinfulness and sickness even after knowing the truth, then it is no more the Devil at work; we are the ones riding on the black bull, and we are the devils!
(C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (#OLUMiNOUS)

AWAKEN THE SLEEPING GIANT

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There is nobody created of God without a purpose. This is one fact the enemy (devil) has known since time immemorial, and is the reason why he always tries all in his power to truncate destinies. It was still three or four days ago that myself and my younger sister recalled one of our pastor’s illustration—that “Nobody in his or her right senses throws sticks at a fruitless tree.” That would be definitely be abnormal and a waste of time for whoever does that, because there are no fruits or rewards for such efforts. The same applies to our lives and the devil: he knows that we are carriers of God’s purposes, and that is why he’ll stop at nothing to bring us down! In fact, one of the ways to know a fruitful life is by the challenges that surround it. Suffice to say that any life devoid of challenge may likely not be fruitful enough for the devil’s attention.
Yet it’s a pity that so many of us are carriers of great potentials and destinies, but we do not know. Somehow, our vanquished minds have been deceived and reprogrammed to dwell in stupendous mediocrity. Sometimes we are even disillusioned to think we are at our best when in God’s eyes (and in reality) we are at our least! Some of us even brag in the utmost of nothingness as if that is the best that can come out of our lives. But I daresay that it’s all a trick of the devil, and anybody (if care is not taken) can be swept off his or her feet by this delusion!
The mind is always the first point of attack on any being—the devil never jokes with it all. And that is why we are passionately enjoined by the Bible to always have ourselves transformed by the renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). The devil is a master at scheming and reprogramming; he’d repeatedly tell you what soothes your ears and mind to disrupt your philosophy. He’d then give you what IS NOT, to collect what IS from you.
Another strategy the devil employs is to contaminate your character. This weakness he often strengthens through your associations. He’d make sure you begin to come in contact with more people of like-minds—so much that you’d begin to think you’re on the right path doing the right thing. And coupled with your philosophy that has already been altered, you’d have less or no difficulty at arriving at new lifestyles…After which your patterns of thoughts and character will begin to drive you far away from the purpose of God for your life. Even when it seems you’re busy doing something worthwhile, it will still be at the expense of your soul if God is left out! And that is one way a man gains the whole world (knowledge, riches, fame, skills, recognition, etc.) and still loses his soul!
Inherent in every man is a sleeping giant that yearns to know the truth; but by commission or omission is subjected to a deeper slumber. The devil is one quack doctor that always goes about with sleep medications; whoever he’s fortunate to lay his hands on, he makes sure he induces him or her with an overdose. His prescriptions are without the approval of any pharmacist, so, anyone who swallows his pills does so at his or her own risk. Therefore, be sober and be vigilant before you gulp anything down the throat that has the potency of knocking you into a deep sleep!
In conclusion, be it known to as many who cares to know the truth today, that there are purposes and there are purposes. And until the sleeping giant is awaken inside of an individual, such a life will amount to nothing more than a waste! That may have sounded too brute and blunt of me, I’m really sorry but that is the truth. But God forbid that your life and mine be wasted. Amen.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall wake you up!” (John 8:32 paraphrased)
(C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (OLUMiNOUS)

THE CLUES

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     God has created the world so beautiful, and has given us Nature to satisfy our insatiable fantasies. But most often than not, we’re always distracted by the ugliness that our hands (as humans) have made, at the negligence of beauty that has been provided us.
     I as a person strongly believe that God is NOT an author of confusion; His Word and the orderliness of the universe attest to that. I also believe that almost all the chaos that are present in the world today (and those in times past) are man-made; only a few can be traceable to the hands of the divine (as it was in the case of the tower of Babel).
     Nature always provides us with clues, but it’s a pity we’re always too busy to pay attention. The clouds, birds, trees, mountains, flowers, sun, rain, moon, seas, etc., are not just here and there by accident; they are sign posts pointing somewhere (that many of us don’t give a damn about!)
     Sometimes I wonder if I was Isaac Newton on that day he sat under that apple tree—perhaps I would have merely eaten that apple and shook the tree for more. But he (Newton) at that moment the apple fell on his head, instantly knew that it was the clue to the great idea which he had been nursing in his mind for a time so long: THE GRAVITY!
     I also wonder if I was Archimedes on that day he plunged into his bathtub and displaced some water—perhaps I would have seen no big deal in it other than an accidental fountain. But he (Archimedes) had eyes that saw beyond the usual phenomenon; to him that accidental splash was the answer to the questions in his head: THE FLOTATION PRINCIPLE! So I wouldn’t blame the overjoyed man when he ran out naked shouting, ‘Eureka!’ ‘Eureka!’…That is, ‘I have found it!’ ‘I have found it!’
     History is full of such men and women—many of whom we’ve read about, or that we know of. Yet there are still such kinds of people in this day and age, performing awesome wonders that history will proudly tell of them someday. But what is it that these folks do or take cognisance of, which the rest of us don’t? In my simple opinion it is CLUES!
     They make use of the clues that Life has provided them with, and blend them into a whole. They train their eyes to see beyond the physical; their ears to hear beyond the usual…and their minds to believe in the possible. (Although pitiably enough, it happens sometimes too, that some of them use these clues of life against Life). Nonetheless, that would not stop the positive-minded ones from forging ahead in the light of good history. After all, thorns never stop roses from growing beautifully bright and red.
     Now, what I’m saying is this: “one needs not to be a renowned inventor or a superhuman before he can make a difference in this world. As a matter of fact, any man can contribute positively to the wellness of wherever he finds himself—be it big or small. All he needs do is to connect to the clues that nature provides in virtually everything that God has made. Of a truth, every man has the ability to add beauty to life; his choice to do just that is all that matters.”
     In a nutshell, it remains my belief that God is beautiful, and that the wonders of nature bear His autograph. And in His unfathomable magnificence He has placed these wonders at the beck and call of man—even to his greatest delight. My only fear then as a creature is that I may not be found guilty when at the end I am called to give account of everything which I have done and left undone.
(C) FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (OLUMINOUS)

THE ACCOUNT OF ABRAM AND LOT (THE CONCLUDING PART) – Genesis 14:18-24

 

Lot leaving Abraham to move into the Jordan Valley

Lot leaving Abraham to move into the Jordan Valley

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Biblical citations are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).

     Sequel to the first part of the interesting story (of Abram and Lot), is this short but concluding part. In the previous text we read how both parties lived in the same neighbourhood with their families and did businesses together; we learnt that their herdsmen had a brute disagreement which led to their separation; also we learnt that Lot and his entire household were captured during a war, but they were kindly rescued by Abram and his troops. And finally we learnt some lessons from the story. But the story did not end there (you and I must have thought it did!)

     After Lot and his people were rescued from captivity, Melchizedek the king of Salem and priest of God, met with Abram and blessed him. Then Abram in return gave him a tenth of everything he and his troops brought back from the battle. After settling that with the priest, the king of Sodom approached Abram with a very tempting offer: that he (Abram) should keep all the goods that he brought back from the battle in exchange for the people that he and his men had just rescued from captivity. But Abram in his immense wisdom knew the heart of the king and his pride—that he would by so doing boast that he the king had made him (Abram) rich. Therefore seeing the plot, Abram declined his offer; he refused to let nobody whosoever take the glory for what he was sure that God had already settled. He made the king understand that he had made a promise to The LORD not to take anything from him—only that he (the king) should give the three Amorites (Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre) their own share of everything because they were of help to him in the battle.

     Finally, the lessons to be learnt from the story are:

1. God deserves a tenth of all our legit gains/income.

2. Only the blessings of the LORD makes one rich without adding any sorrow to it. Proverbs 10:22

3. It is an honourable thing to keep one’s promise at all cost.

© FOLAJIN ADEMOLA (OLUMINOUS)