PURITY IS POSSIBLE

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So this phrasePurity is Possible has been on my heart and mind for quite sometime now (since second year I used to begin the semester by saying CHASTE2014) that doesn’t mean I am pure far from that. I am gradually and daily working towards it — But how do we tackle the issue of Purity in such a time as this? When this generation believes it is okay to tell a little lie, picking that is not really stealing, flirting is not really a sin, when sex has become a prerequisite of showing affection, a little fornication won’t kill you, fear of being tagged as the inexperienced one by your peers because you haven’t tried sex before and so on. How do we fight this?

How do we stay Pure in a generation with all these godless cultures?

First off, we must come to the terms with the fact that every sin is SIN so far as it contradicts with God’s ways, laws and commandments. Truth is our entire existence is challenged by the odd’s of wholeness — just being idle can’t make you pure or whole. A consistent working out of purity is necessary. Perhaps if we carry the thought of God in our minds then we will tremble at staining our purity and work towards being Holy.

Taking sexual sins for instance; Sex is about the Gospel, that is why sexual sin is frowned upon.“Sex is Holy” I don’t want to overstate it. This is an analogy, not an equation. But it’s a good, biblical analogy. There was something Holy taking place between husband and wife. It was sacred, special, unique. “Holy” has often been defined as “being set apart for special use.” Sex certainly fits that description. It is not for everybody. It is set aside for special use in marriage. Even though sex is about the physical touch, to be sure, but it is about far more than physical touch. It is about what is going on inside us. Which is why when there’s disobedience there are consequences (Open ourselves up for the devil to manipulate us, ungodly soul ties, unhealthy sexually transmitted diseases, getting pregnant and having to abort in cases of unwanted pregnancy).

Have you ever witnessed a repented thief or prostitute (sinner), hands lifted up in worship? Ever meditated on just how big of a deal it is that while you were at your worst, Jesus still loved you?

If you don’t understand Christianity, you may get really confused as to why people become emotional when it comes to the thought of God. What’s going on inside of them that thinking about some God up in heaven would make them weep?  I learned over time by God’s grace working in my life;  what people are celebrating is that while we were at our worst, Jesus still loved us. Being aware of how much you’ve been FORGIVEN

So this is to say that; If we become aware of how much we’ve been forgiven; won’t there be desperation for Purity? 

Intimacy is hard for broken people. We need Jesus. We need his help. But when you’ve gotten closer and closer to the incredible reality that God chose you, forgave you, and approved of you despite your sin, all because of Jesus Christ, that grace is satisfying and empowering, and it can be carried over into the need for Purity. It can be carried over in the way you respond to every area of your life, confident and free because of Christ’s work in your life. It can be carried over in the way you forgive offense, sins and overlook his or her imperfections, as a way of sharing what God has given you.

As Christian’s  we need to follow every earthly pleasure back to its source in the God who is the giver of every good thing ( James 1:17), that he might get the glory. And that is why sex is holy—it is meant to remind us of the God who gave it to us, who takes joy in union with his people. We don’t need to over spiritualize sex to see it this way; we just need to approach it the way the Bible ordained and be grateful for it. So then we will discipline ourselves to obey with regards to every form of sin and work towards Purity. (1 john 3:3)

The bible says that “It is with the mind that we serve the Lord” So my question is; 

Do you ever think of your  body as a holy temple of God? 

Prayer

Father, you tell me that I can and must glorify you in my body and every area of my life meaning my obedience counts. I believe that you have given sexuality to me as a gift. I may not always understand why you have done this because it does not always feel like a gift, it gets tough choosing to stay and remain pure. But I do understand that you are good and kind and that you love me. I pray that I would be a faithful steward of this gift, that in that final day you would look at how I have stewarded this gift and say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Hope of a Life Spent With You

“Purity Is Possible”

Do You Feel Forsaken By God?

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And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)

I was reading a blog post about how we sometimes feel forsaken by God and I could relate to it so much. From the above scripture, we can hear the anguish in Christ’s cry from the cross. Are you at that point where you feel God is far from your situation?

I have felt that kind of despair in my own life. Though God will never literally forsake me, I have felt forsaken, abandoned, betrayed by those I loved. I have questioned where God was in my pain — I have wondered what good could ever come from my suffering. Because of the cross, we who have felt that pain, who live with unanswered questions and sleepless nights, can unreservedly rejoice at Easter. Out of the worst evil imaginable, the sinless Son of God on the cross, God brought about the greatest good ever known.

FEELING FORSAKEN

Easter is a stunning reminder of Genesis 50:20, that what man means for evil, God means for good. In my own life, through the lens of Scripture, I can see that God has brought the greatest good out of the hardest events. But I say that in retrospect. At the time, none of my suffering felt even vaguely positive.

Sobbing by my dad’s casket was devastating. Suffering from my first heartbreak, dealing with abuse, getting rejected, trailing that paper,not getting that scholarship, not getting that admission, hearing the doctor give that diagnoses about my back, and then watching it happen, was agonizing I could go on and on but…

None of those trials felt redemptive. None of them could be celebrated. None of them even made sense. I never could have imagined that God would bring something beautiful out of my pain. I felt that my pain was deforming me. That I would forever be marred by it. I was sure my best years were behind me — before “this” happened. When I laughed easily and often. When I wasn’t burdened with the memories of all that had gone before.

PAIN DEEPENS US

And yet somehow, even in those horrifying trials, God was doing something. Something extraordinary. Something I could not have planned or foreseen. He was doing something in me that could not have happened any other way. It was strange and beautiful — wonderful and unexpected — the handiwork of God.

Out of the most crushing pain and terrible despair, God was bringing glorious triumph.

Instead of deforming me, my pain strangely deepened me. It increased my capacity for God. And for joy. It made me see the world through different eyes. Eyes of faith and not eyes of hopelessness. It helped me recognize that what I was going through was just a snapshot in time. One day my life will be totally transformed.

DOES EVIL WIN?

While my circumstances will undoubtedly change one day, what changes most profoundly in my suffering is me. The very struggles that I thought would break me are what God used to purposefully shape me.

That shaping did not happen instantaneously. It took time and trust. At first it seemed like nothing was happening — nothing but disillusionment and defeat. It honestly felt like Satan was wrecking my life.

Similarly, to the disciples on that terrifying Friday, it must have seemed like Satan was victorious. Their Savior was crucified. Their dreams were dead. Their hopes had unraveled. Maybe evil really had won.

And then everything was silent for two long days. It may have seemed like nothing was happening — nothing but disillusionment and defeat. But in the wisdom of God, when life looked darkest, it gave way to the dawning of the purest, most brilliant light.

GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD

Easter Sunday reminds me that God’s perspective is infinitely greater than mine. Much of what is really happening is unseen. While it may look otherwise in the moment, Satan will never be victorious and evil cannot win. God always has the last word.

What Satan means for evil, God means for good. Always.

So if you feel forsaken and have no idea where to turn or what to do, trust that God is using that very struggle. If life looks like a hopeless mess and every day is a fight to survive, trust that God will one day gloriously prevail. And when he has, when you are on the other side, trust that God will have done an incomparable work in your soul.

Then you will have learned how to rely, truly rely, on God who brings beauty from ashes — brokenness. Your life and walk with him will be more beautiful than you ever imagined. And somehow, through your pain, you will be transformed. And when you are, when you see how God has changed you, you will never want to go back to the way you were before.

Take comfort in your pain that the Father did not exempt Jesus from the test of being allowed to “feel” forsaken. It’s key to understand that God didn’t cause it – God allowed it — for our redemption (our good)

Yes – there may be some “questionable times” where you may have quit … but jump back in the battle of trust and keep on fighting!  Jesus will never quit helping you fight your cross battle.  He didn’t die for you to lose.  He died to make certain you would stay enlisted in His army of overcomers. 

You will understand that nothing can thwart God’s plans for you. What now appears to be evil will result in your eternal joy. 

I pray the staggering triumph of Easter falls afresh on you in Jesus Name. Amen

He is RISEN henceArise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)

Stay Blessed!

 

CALLED OUT

Image result for set apart for GodDuring my first time at outreach(2013) I was paired up with a friend Kobby (Now Ps. Kobby Obeng by God’s grace, God Bless this Gentleman). I believe God really set that up because every conversation I have had with him has been very enlightening. Out of these conversations one of them (outreach 2015) was a very defining moment for me. He said “Elinam whenever God wants to transform a generation (people, a bloodline, a family, a community ) He usually uses one person — you are that one person, you are chosen and He will equip you to get this done” He reminded me of this same word during our prayer time this dawn, I’ve heard this a couple of times, I remember back in senior high one of our pastors said something similar during S.U. but this time around when Kobby said those words to me it made sense, it struck a nerve. Honestly I don’t enjoy hearing things like this, that’s because it simply means… Responsibility and Difference. 

What does it mean to be Chosen? To be set apart? To be Called out?

To be set apart means that God has His hand on you for a specific(unique) purpose. He’ll use other people to get you on track, in addition to dreams, visions, and that “still small voice” of God. A scripture that would fit nicely with this is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” He guides our lives differently than it might have been had we not submitted to His call. And even though it may appear that we are not in ministry, we are marked by God to minister in the day to day living. Because He has set us apart, we are already walking into our destinies.

Have you ever found yourself among a group of friends, and with every conversation and activity you have with them, you keep feeling on the inside that you are different? — Personally I’ve lost a number of friends due to this difference.

You will feel a pull away from people and things that distract you. Even though you may feel as if you are put on a shelf and forgotten, you have been set apart for the call of God on your life. It is during these times that we will find ourselves spending quality time with God as He molds and makes us into His image. He will build a character in us so that when it is time to go on the frontlines, He knows we will be ready. He will be able to trust us with what has been appointed for us to do. Jesus said, “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” It is as if we can picture Jesus standing in the middle of a very busy, dusty, marketplace like malata market, not even aware of all the disruption going on around Him. Instead He is intently holding up and examining select pieces of fruit. After deciding on His choice, He gently places them one by one in a basket cradled in the crook of His arm, close to His side. You could say that we are separated from worldliness and given new purpose in Jesus to be used by God.

I don’t know if you’ve experienced this before — recently I paid my mum a visit — I was hungry so I chose a tuber of yam out of a lot, peeling it just to find out that it was totally rotten on the inside. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me saying; that this fruit is symbolic to what some Christians are like. They are beautiful on the outside but the inside tells a different story. This got me deep in thought, I felt the need to check myself to make sure that I was clean before the Lord. God has chosen us to do a work for Him and we need to be “set apart”, chosen to do a work for the King. He has anointed us and equipped us to be used for the advancement of His kingdom.

I have felt called to be separated unto God. My desires to please God. I did not always succeed, but my heart has always been for God. If I get off track, God always gently guides me back onto the path He has chosen for me. 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us that we should live a life pleasing to the Lord. Paul is encouraging us to live it even more than before. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 instructs us to love our Christian families and Christians around us. He exhorts us to love them even more.

God’s Word is clear on our call to be completely set-apart for Him: “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Of course, this doesn’t mean that we hibernate away in a cave or that we barricade from the world in a nunnery somewhere. In fact, God commands us to go into all the world and make disciples in His name; to seek and save the lost just as Jesus did (Mark 16:15).

But how? By engaging in the same behavior and lifestyle as everyone else, so that we can be accepted by secular society? No. Rather, the Bible says that we should expect to look strange to the world because of our set-apartness, when we do “not live the rest of this earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, addictions, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you” (1 Peter 4:2-4).

God says that our lives will give off an appealing fragrance to those who are ready to receive Christ – but to those enslaved by sin, our separation from the world will cause great offense everywhere we go (2 Cor. 2:14-16). Though it is not easy to walk the narrow way that God has called us to, we must understand that being set-apart for Him is not a hamper to our Christian witness. Being set-apart is our Christian witness. 1 Thessalonians 5:6 says, “So we should not be like other people who are sleeping, but we should be alert and have self-control.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says, “We should wear faith and love to protect us, and the hope of salvation should be our helmet.

Do you get the point by now? If we are set apart to do the work of the Lord, then we will not have time to get into trouble; especially if our hearts are set on pleasing God. We should be working on being full of the fruit of the Spirit and telling people about the message of the Gospel of peace. That alone is a full-time job.

And as Paul ends 2 Thessalonians, “Now may the Lord of peace give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

Don’t expect a round of human applause when you choose the set-apart life. But remember that in its place you will gain something far better – a standing ovation from Jesus Christ. Take the story of Abraham, Moses even Jesus was set apart. I love the story of Stephen heroically giving his life for the sake of the Gospel. Just before he died, he saw heaven opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:56). Stephen’s willing sacrifice brought such delight to the heart of Christ that the King of all kings actually stood to welcome him into eternity. I don’t know about you, but that’s all the applause I could ever want or need. I don’t want to meet Him with my head hanged down.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, first of all, I thank you today that you have set me apart on the basis of your sovereign grace, not because of anything I have done. In no way am I godly enough to earn your favor. But I am a glad recipient of your grace which binds me to you and helps me to be more like you. My godliness is borrowed, completely borrowed. Thank you, dear Lord, for being such a generous lender. And thank you as well for setting me apart for you, not just for your work, but first of all for relationship with you. What an incredible privilege it is to know you, to have freedom to speak to you, to rely upon you, and to call you Father. Lord, even as I seek to serve you with my life, may my service be an outgrowth of my intimate relationship with you. Amen.

Set yourself apart for God’s Glory! You’re Chosen. Stay Blessed!

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“AS YOUR MERCY AND GRACE DEMANDS”

I Will Run To You

Your eye is on the sparrow
And Your hand it comforts me
From the ends of the earth
To the depths of my heart
Let Your mercy and strength be seen

You call me to Your purpose
As angels understand
For Your glory may You draw all men
As Your love and grace demands

And I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might not by power
But by the Spirit of God
Yes I will run the race
Til’ I see Your face
Oh let me live in the glory of Your grace

And I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might not by power
But by the Spirit of God
Yes I will run the race
Til’ I see Your face
Oh let me live in the glory
Oh let me live in the glory
Please let me live in the glory of Your grace
And I will run to You
And I will run to You
Yes I will run to You


Growing up this was one of my favorite songs — still is, except for the fact that I know the right lyrics now — everybody lied about lyrics at some point right? For the past 7 weeks as we worship(I wrote this two weeks ago), we end service with this very song and God keeps taking me back to my childhood days. I share things I remember from my childhood because those memories are quite meaningful and point out how they relate to my life now. So much about the stories can be traced back to God working in my life, and sharing them, makes it evident that Jesus is real and intimately involved with us(Children).

Think back for a moment, when you were a little child. Did you ever wait at the door with excitement, just to run into your daddy’s arms when he came home from work? How badly did you want your mother to just carry you around. Feeling the warmth and safety, knowing all is well when they are with you. As little children we have a total dependence and trust in our parents, we simply believe they will do what we say. This is the exact imprint of belief God is calling us to as we develop our relationship with Jesus. He tells us numerous times in the gospels, “In order to experience me fully and completely you must become like a little child”— We are children of the Most High God.

He calls us  for this one simple reason, so we might become like little children; simple, free, trusting, dependent, risen, joyful, easy, uncomplicated, untainted and favored. He wants us to know that children live life freely from day to day. They never hold on to grudges, always forgiving (share your candy or toy with me so we make amends), living life, and open to new ideas. But now; there’s something at the back of your mind thinking about what someone said or did to you 10 years ago? Maybe you’re thinking, “I deserve better than this in life?”

Well, our lives began and end with the “Finished Work of Jesus“, in whom we have all things. That means the work on the cross covers the north, south, east, and west, nothing is left undone. We have security, simplicity, rest, satisfaction, power, trust, purity, freedom, just to name a few. This masterpiece was handcrafted and designed specifically for you to call your own, to simply receive. Childlike Faith believing we can be anything! Is your faith based on your timing and expectations? Or is it like that of a little child, where every ounce of your being stands on the finished work of Jesus Christ?

Lets take a look at the faith of one little girl, who changed the destiny of one powerful Syrian man. Naaman was the head honcho of the Syrian army. He had high favor with the king, but there was one challenge, he was a leper. Isn’t that just like us? We are in great need of our “Abba” Father(daddy). This purest form of love he richly lavished upon us, by sending forth his only son Jesus, to die on the cross, so we could experience high favor with the King all the time. Even though the Syrians did not worship our great Creator, they knew victory came from Israel’s God.

During a raid, they carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and put her to work for Naaman’s wife. The little girl began to speak with great faith to the woman. “If my lord would be with the prophet (Elisha), he would cure him of leprosy.” A second time the same words of the little girl were now repeated to the king from Naaman. Still, a third time the same words of the little Israelite girl were repeated. And this time to Israel’s king. The news had traveled to Elisha about the great faith of the little girl. He told the king to send Naaman to him. Elisha told Naaman to wash in the Jordan 7 times. A simple, practical, childlike way of healing. “Go take a bath and you will be clean,” isn’t that just what our parents usually say to us(kids). That is just what Jesus did for us. He washed us with his purity, and made us white as snow.

Naaman didn’t like it one bit, he flared with rage! He was a powerful man. It should be a miraculous healing, right? Nope! His faithful young servants spoke to him with great faith. “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you, wash and be clean!” He finally dipped in the Jordan seven times. His whole being was restored and made new like that of a little child (2 Kings 5:1-19). How awesome is the Living God!

You know how frustrating it gets as a child — trying desperately to get your mother’s attention. Gently tugging at her cloth making her uncomfortable, calling out “Mama, Mama,” over and over again. She’ll finally stop whatever she’s doing, bend down to meet your gaze and carry you. Where am I getting with this?

Jesus is gently tugging at our hearts day and night, calling us to become like a little children and — “Run to Him” as His Mercy and Grace demands.

Stay blessed!