They were sore displeased. Where do you stand?

Mathew 21 vs 15: To say that Jesus was never going to merit a “like” from the chief priests and scribes is an understatement.

I can just imagine a Facebook post where someone tagged them with pictures of what Jesus was doing and they instead of showing support for or liking the post, became enraged and sending out a comment, question Jesus as to know if He couldn’t hear what the people were saying?

I love Jesus’ answer;

Matthew 21:16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

Of course they had read, but blinded by selfishness and pride, they refused to see, hear nor believe the wonderful things that He was doing! I mean how could anyone quarrel with wonderful?

As we attend our various places of worship today, let’s choose to see, hear and understand. Let us choose to erupt in praise and adoration of Jesus our LORD for who He is and for all the wonderful things He has done for us. Even as we believe Him for others.

It is a choice, what do you choose to be?

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Jesus demonstrates

If only we would follow in the footsteps of our LORD, many a – issues we face in our lives may not be present.

The message Pastor Cyril Yerifor, preached from the book of John chapter 13 vs 3 is what I want to share with us, as it blessed me immensely.

John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

That, in the above scripture, was the knowledge Jesus had concerning His “status” with God. Yet what did He do next?

He. Served.

He removed, His garments, got down on His hands and knees before His disciples and washed their feet.

What an example!

What do we do with acquired knowledge concerning anything? Especially one we perceive as putting us at an advantage over others?

What do we do with information that sets us apart, keeps us on top or makes us preferred especially in the eyes of men?

This situation brings to mind a Bible passage:

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

I do not believe we can perform in the way that Jesus demonstrates for us in John 13 vs 3, if we do not have charity to edify both us and those we come in contact with. So we can become a blessing to others with the knowledge that God has given to us.

That for me is point number one.

We have to constantly realize that whatsoever we have, tangible or otherwise, it is God that has given it to us.

We must not allow ourselves to get carried away enough to begin arrogating to ourselves attributes that only God is and deserves.

How we treat others should be a reflection of who we are in Christ and our everyday determination to draw closer to God in spite of ourselves in surrender to His LORDSHIP.

Then we will not respond by being proud, reckless, careless and what have you.

As we all know, to edify means, to build, construct, instruct morally and intellectually.

What blessing and growth we would experience, each time we edify one another especially on acquisition of knowledge or higher status.

We need to rid ourselves of the mentality that we have to carry and behave ourselves in a certain way to show our status or place in society else we will not be treated as we deserve.

Which brings me to another point mentioned by Pastor Cyril;

When we are performing a manual job or work perceived as menial, and people are looking down on us, it is not the job that needs to change but our attitude.

For it is how we behave to people that essentially is mirrored back to us!

Who says you have to be respected or disrespected because of the job you do? Rather, it’s the way we go about the job that makes others put us down or not.

Humbling ourselves to serve, should not in anyway reduce us. Submitting to one another, should not give us a complex, how be it an inferior one.

Our LORD Jesus Christ has demonstrated to us how we need to treat one another, even the Judas we know.

Let us therefore, rid ourselves of whatever “cloak” that keeps us from following in the Master’s step, taking towel, basin and water and get down to work.

Let’s open our hearts to the love of God, redeeming the time, for our LORD Jesus cometh.

Maranatha!

Who are we listening to?

The conversation that transpired between our LORD and His disciples in the book of Mathew 16 is a very loaded one.

To have such profound sayings from our LORD that should inspire faith, strength and give revelation to all who follow Him and give ear to His WORD for everyday living is such a blessing.

In verse 16 of the same chapter, Jesus asked His disciples a question that is followed by Peter’s answer that leads to Jesus’ response.

It is this response and “ands”, that has led to the title question, who are we listening to?

Matthew 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Oh, the blessing that accrue to us when we catch the revelation of Jesus as Christ, the Son of the living God!

What peace, what joy, and reassurance this revelation should give to everyone that names the Name of the LORD and is named by Him. May we all catch this revelation and walk in it in Jesus Name, amen!

In the next verse Jesus says something profound, in addition to Jesus being the Christ, the Son of the living God; “I will give you the keys of the kingdom….”

If I were a preacher dishing this out on a Sunday morning, this would have been a great place to say to the congregation, turn to your neighbor and say “the keys of the kingdom(echo), are for binding and loosing(echo)”

But, I digress.

What that statement says to me is this: we have been given the option to decide!

I “Googled” the word shall and this is the first thing that appeared so I didn’t bother to go further.

shall
ʃal,ʃ(ə)l/

verb
1.(in the first person) expressing the future tense.

“this time next week I shall be in Scotland”

2. expressing a strong assertion or intention.

  1. “they shall succeed”

Shall is used to indicating a future occurrence and/or, used to make a strong assertion or intention.

We have been given the power to decide.

So I ask the question again, who are we listening to?

The LORD? Or others?

Like the Bible puts it, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the WORD of God. We need to determine what we listen to and what dominates our thoughts.

For essentially what we hear, believe and practice, becomes us.

So, brothers and sisters, who are you listening to?

Decide!

She’s a Jolly good female

I have met a couple of female “keke” drivers, but this particular one captured my fancy.

Talk about enthusiasm and love for one’s job and you were looking at her. She exuded it, and did not lack the confidence and persona needed for that particular job.

The minute I walked up to her and inquired her intended route, from her response, I knew I was talking to an enthusiast.

Right from how she beckoned to passengers, wanting to know if they were going her way, to how she responded to occupants of the vehicle, there was uniqueness that I could not ignore.

She made you feel special even as she collected the required transport fare.

As I sat behind, watching and observing the way she related with “area boys”, I marveled at how effectively she coped with them. Then I couldn’t help but smile to myself when she switched to clear English in response to another passenger, asking her to exchange a thousand naira for two five hundred naira notes.

It was there and then my inner writer decided to celebrate this particular woman even if in my own small way.

At the end of the journey, I asked for permission to take her picture, her response was quick and positive.

My only regret was not asking for her name.

But to all those “nameless” men and women who are happy doing what they do regardless, I say kudos.

There is indeed dignity in labour, and there’s nothing like good, honest pay.