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Don’t sacrifice today’s honesty for tomorrow’s peace

Make your steps upright and blameless; God will take care of your future.  

Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off.”

Psalms 37:37-38.

A lot is going on in our world and our lives nowadays. It seems as though something is driving the world crazy. The planet is running weird and spinning out of control — the people in it seem to have lost their minds. Us.

Look around and judge for yourself. There are endless wars everywhere, different kinds of wars — physical and spiritual. Wars of evil striving to dominate our good planet. I hope you understand what I mean?

We’re in evil times — unending evils. With enough to be disgusted about.  Embezzlement of resources. Deliberate killings. Untold infringement of human rights deprivation of fair share… Where are we headed to anyway?

Even so, we don’t stop shining the light in our generation because the darkness is increasing. We remind ourselves that light always drives out darkness. We have goals to pursue. We have projects starting soon. We have good news to preach, seeds to sow, trees to plant — a lot of valuable things to accomplish. We must therefore choose to walk the narrow path which is rare nowadays.

We must walk this path with a lot of caution and endurance because there is a likelihood of the honest capitulating to the glamour of the easy path. The insatiable lust for wealth, power, position and fame through corrupt ways—shortcuts short of God’s glory. And many honourable people are swallowing this vicious bait to their dismal disgrace.

So man, why all this? This madness. What’s the root cause of all this human misery? My sentiment is that it is grounded in the first sin—the craving to usurp God’s position and authority. 

Satan’s agenda since the beginning is to cause division and chaos, to bring about untold human misery —within and outside the church. No other time has satan declared war against the human race than in our age since he knows that his time is limited.

He’s determined to pull a significant majority into the abyss of ruin by deceiving them into believing that the abyss is the promised land. Consequently, he has ravaged many great men and women resulting in the collapse of massive projects and visions.

So then, when a great majority have chosen the easy path — corruption, hatred, cruelty, bitterness, greed, pride, deceit, dishonesty,… don’t be distracted. Look at what is ahead of you. In a wild world where vices are prevalent, you can be the difference. You can be the epitome of hope.

When the whole world is insane and chaotic, you don’t have to join the crowd. You can choose to be blameless. You can choose to be rooted and grounded in God’s word. You can decide to be guided by the Holy Spirit. You can choose honesty.

When everyone else has become selfish, brutal, even bloodthirsty, you can be good. You can remain true. You can draw hard lines about what separates you from the crowd—what you’ll do or not, even if it comes at the cost of your life. You can maintain, as hard as it may be, some hope. You can choose to help people when you can. You can choose to forgive people when wronged. You can choose to love people when the love of many is waning.

Although the pathway of the honest may seem to be rough, it leads to a  greater future compared to that of the dishonest. Ultimately, people of integrity earn a future that far outweighs all that could ever be obtained deceitfully or dishonesty.

So, my friends, don’t trade today’s honesty for tomorrow’s peace. Make your steps upright and blameless; the Lord will take care of your future.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Amen.

God bless you abundantly!

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Escaping the allure of the crowd

We can easily get caught up in what everyone else is saying and doing. Or what a minor fraction of people we want to please are saying and doing. Because the crowd is always loud.

The opinions of the crowd can be like a mighty river. They can snatch us and take us far away from where we thought we’d ever go. 

Now, when we find ourselves in that unfamiliar fate, we realise that the river has no power to take us back. Yet, if we’re still alive, we can embarrassingly gather enough energy to find our way out, or we can capitulate to the whims of fate. 

When we realise that we made wrong decisions that brought us to the wrong path, we might be afraid to stop and go back. But, it is better we stop at that point to make a detour. It is better to lose something we can recover than to lose ourselves.

Nonetheless, we can shirk the allure of the crowd. We can stop and ask ourselves, “does this give glory to God? Is this in harmony with God’s will? Is it aligned with my goals? Is it valuable? Does this reflect my principles? Will this rob my integrity and values? Then we can adjust accordingly.

Child of God, beware of deception. Some loud voices might sound too familiar and authentic but in truth, they are self — serving and misleading.

Does the voice you’re hearing truly love you? Does that voice tell you pure truth even when that truth is hurting? Or does it speak cynical truth to please and too soon get you into trouble? And abandon you!

The book of Psalms points out the two categories of people, the godly and the ungodly. The fate of the godly is eternal blessings while that of the ungodly is eternal damnation.

Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful, But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law, he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither, And whatever he does shall prosper. The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

Psalms 1:1–6.

Beloved, when a great majority are doing things out of hatred, bitterness, pride, anger…as believers, we can be the difference by emulating Jesus. God wants us to do all things out of love. Don’t allow the crowd and situations change you, you’re a child of God!

When the whole world loses its mind, don’t flow with the majority, let your faith remain rock solid. Be rooted and grounded in God’s love. Let others wonder how on earth you are so peaceful when everything is chaotic. Because you are in the world but not of the world. (John 17:14).

“For all that is in the world— the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world.”

1 John 2:16.

Questions to consider

  • Who is your role model?
  • Is your role model leading or misleading you?
  • Will you accept incentives, rewards or bribes to say or do what you know is wrong?

God bless you abundantly!

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Always acknowledge the one who is above

There is always some(one) above us.

Thank God you have a well-paying job. Thank Him you’ve seen yourself rising from one level of leadership to another in that company. Maybe you’ve your own company, and people working for you. Maybe when you look at where you live, what you wear, what you eat, what you drive,…you consider yourself among the top earners. Great! You’re successful, glory to God.

Maybe when you look at who is beneath you, what they earn, what they eat, what they drive, you consider yourself superior because you think you’re doing better than they are. Awful!

Now pride sets in, and you forget where you came from to arrive where you’re today. You begin using your power and position to intimidate the people you consider inferior to you. You forget that there’s always someone above you.

It’s the nature of human beings to sometimes place power and position on their heads. So ego gets in to rob their values and integrity. So they start looking down on others.

Will success make you better or worse? Will achieving everything you ever wanted affirm your virtues or help your vices to thrive?

Success (whatever success means) should make us kinder. More Compassionate. More ethical…It shouldn’t engender offenses we would have previously found abhorrent. It shouldn’t cause us to ignore our friends and fall short of our values. It should be an opportunity to plant more seeds, more trees — not an excuse to repress our ideals.

Ask yourself, what if the one above mistreated me? What if that person intimidated me? What if my employer demoted or even fired me? Because they have the power to.

Now recall that there is one who is above every individual and everything. He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. The creator of the earth and the heavens. The King of kings. His name is Jehovah.

He alone has the power to teach us how to gain success in life. He is the sole provider of everything. He says:

“I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go…”

Isaiah 48:17

Only God has the power to promote and demote. As we read in the following passage.

“Do not lift up your horn on high;
do not speak with a stiff neck. For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.”

Psalms 75:5–7

Therefore, we should always look to God, acknowledge and lift Him above everything else—people, jobs, wealth, position, power…Everything.

When we realize that, we’ll never allow position and power to colonize our minds. We’ll deny ego a chance to ravage our integrity and values. We’ll not develop manipulative behaviours, only because we think we’re successful, therefore superior to others.

We’ll use our power, position and authority to plant and nourish seeds of love, peace, joy, mercy, grace, humility, integrity, purity, truth, forgiveness, and many other virtues that are emulative of Jesus’s personality. Amen!

Ambassadors of Jesus swallow their egos and acknowledge God as their source of power. They relate with others confidently in His authority but never assume credit for it. Faith enables them to soar like eagles, while humility enables them to kneel.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”

Jude 1:24–25

Jesus loves you!