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Monday, May 24, 2010

The Greatest Lover Ever

0 comments Posted by Efoghor Joseph Ezie on 5/24/2010 09:15:00 AM

Love means different things to different people; and people have always expressed their love based on the way they understand it. And until we understand its true meaning, we can never give the best of it.

What is love?
Love has different definitions. One of those definitions is that love is an intense feeling of tender affection and compassion toward a person. It is also defined to mean somebody who is loved romantically or sexually. Besides, it is also seen as something that elicits deep interest and enthusiasm in somebody. However, love is not just a feeling; it is a practical thing that involves you having to demonstrate what you feel about a person.

Before we understand what true love is, let us also take a look at some Greek terms which describe some types of love. They are: 1.Agape Love: This is selfless, caring and concerned love. 2. Philos: It is a ‘give and take’ relationship based on equal friendship from two people. It is more of a symbiotic affair where no one is gaining at the expense of the other. 3. Libido: This involves physical intimacy and sexual attraction. It is based purely on deriving sexual gratification. 4. Ludus: It is simply playful, light and pleasant relationship. 5. Eros: It is romantic and passionate attraction between two persons and involves sexual desire and pleasure.

When Jesus Christ came, he showed us the Agape love, which is the altruistic, sacrificial and selfless love. He loved us without expecting anything from us in return. We sacrificed his life to show to us that he is the best lover we could ever have. He left his exalted position in heaven and came to dwell with us on this corrupt earth. He felt our infirmities; he shared our poverty, he tasted our pains and he was punished for our sins. No lover would ever take all that for the sake of love where he stands to gain nothing. But Jesus Christ endured all the insults and public humiliation because he thought of our best. He is the greatest lover the world has ever known. Nobody would ever show a true, sacrificial, undiluted and altruistic love like Jesus did.

Some have tried to imitate the love of Christ, but withdrew when the challenges became too much to bear. Some gave love only for selfish reasons; they gave because they expected something in return. Some also gave because of lust or sexual attraction. Only Jesus can truly be seen as the selfless lover.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Does God React To Our Sins?

0 comments Posted by Efoghor Joseph Ezie on 5/22/2010 02:23:00 PM

God loves us and wants to keep us to himself, making sure we are not contaminated but remain pure before him. He reacts when we are defiled by sin because he is righteous and cannot put up with unrighteousness. When we therefore choose to dwell in sin, he reacts negatively toward our decision.

Some of the negative emotions God shows toward our sin include:
1.He is angry: God can be angry when we choose to be unreasonable and provoke him by our actions. We are told that when the Israelites grumbled before him and doubted his capabilities, he became angry and sent down his fire against them (Psalm 78:19-21). John 3:36 says that anyone who refuses to believe in Jesus Christ shall not see life but the anger of God.
2.He hates sin: Sin is repugnant to God; he is righteous and cannot condone sin. God hates anything that constitutes a sin (Psalm 5:5; Proverbs 6:16-19). Living in sin means provoking Gods hatred. He can never love sin, neither can he stand the sight of it.
3.He punishes sin: God does not only hate sin, he also punishes it. Several times in the bible we are told how the Israelites were punished because of their disobedience to God. When Adam and Eve sinned against God they were punished (Gen 3:15-19; Isaiah 3:11-26; Amos 3:2)

However, God in his loving kindness still handles our sin in a positive way by:

1.Forgiving sin: He forgives the sin of those who genuinely repent, because he is a merciful God Ex 34:6-71 John 1:9
2.Removing sin: He also removes our sins and makes us justified to stand before his throne of grace (Psalm 103:8-12)
3.Putting sin behind his back: He also forgives our sins and puts them behind his back and completely forgets them when we repent from them (Isaiah 38:17)
4.By casting away our sins: when God forgives us our sins he casts them totally away into a place where he would never remember them any more. (Maiah 7:19)
5.By blotting out our sins: To blot out our sins is to hide them away completely from God’s sight. When we are forgiven, the original sins we committed no longer stare at us in the face; they are taken away from us (Isaiah 44:22)
6.By forgetting our sins: When he forgives us, he does not dwell on our past records or life; they are totally forgotten. (Jer. 31:34)
7.By allowing his son Jesus Christ to die for us: In our fallen and sinful state, he showed us love by allowing his son Jesus Christ to die for us even when we do not merit it. That action in itself shows how great the love and mercy he has for us are. (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:10)

We should therefore see God as a worthy father who shows us his love, mercy, kindness and forgiveness, but who would at the same time punish sins and displays his anger if we choose to live a life that does not please him.

Who Should We Love?

0 comments Posted by Efoghor Joseph Ezie on 5/22/2010 02:00:00 PM

Love is one of ingredients that keep the world moving: without it there would be lots of hate, prejudice, murder, oppression, victimization, etc. But as believers there is a standard set for us by our Lord Jesus Christ, which we must follow religiously if we’re to be like him.

Jesus instructed us to love certain categories of people in order to show to the world that we are his true disciples.

1.Love God: According to Jesus Christ, the first and greatest commandment is that we should love God with our heart, soul and mind (Matt 22:37-38; Mark 12:29-30). The love for God should supersede that which we have for any other person or being, because he deserves the number one place in our hearts.

2.Our neighbours: Jesus also said that next to loving God is that we should love our neighbours as ourselves (Matt 22:39-40; Mark 12-31). Why should we love our neighbours next to God? It is because if we love our neighbours we would not sin against them (Rom 13:9).

3.Strangers: Both the Old and New Testaments admonish us to love strangers because we were strangers, we are going to be stranger one day, and because there are rewards for loving them. (Lev. 19:34; Dut 10:19, Heb 13:2)

4.All men: The word of God advises us to do good to all men, especially those who are of the household of faith (believers). Doing good is not implying we should be moralistic; rather it is saying we should do good to them out of a heart of love. The good deeds should be motivated by true love for them (Gen. 6:10)

5.Our enemies: Jesus Christ also made it clear we should not limit ourselves to loving only those who love us and hating those who hate us, just like the pagans do. Rather he instructed us to “love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you…“(Matt 5:43-48, Rom. 12:20-21, Ex. 32:4-5, Prov. 25:21-22).

We must therefore be able to see everybody just the same way our Lord Jesus sees them, and treat them the way he expects us to treat them. We should be lavish in giving out love because it is one of those attributes that differentiate us from pagans. When we love generously we show that we belong to Christ and that lives in us

Why We All Need Jesus Christ

0 comments Posted by Efoghor Joseph Ezie on 5/22/2010 01:50:00 PM

Sin reduced man far below the level God placed him at the beginning and separated him from his maker, therefore making it impossible for him to realize his full potential and enjoy all the promises God made for him. Man therefore needs Jesus Christ to help him out of his predicament since he cannot help himself no matter how much he tries to.

We Need Jesus Christ To Deliver Us Because Of The Following:
1.We are all living in Sin: The word of God makes us realize that everybody is living in Sin and that there is no righteous man (Romans 3:10; Psalm 4:2-3). To further show that the state of Sinfulness of man is deep-rooted, the word of God says that man is conceived in Sin, meaning that man is already a Sinner before birth (Psalm 51:5). It is therefore impossible for anyone to boldly hit his hand on his heart and declare “I am not a Sinner because I do not do anything wrong.” We are already contaminated from birth: so we are not exempted because of our moral works.

2.Our hearts are desperate and wicked: our hearts cannot think anything good or produce anything that can please God because it desperate and wicked. Nothing good comes out of a wicked heart (Gen. 6:5; Jer. 17:9; Matt 15:18-20). We therefore need somebody who can help re-align our hearts so they could think positively and produce something good. Only Jesus Christ has the power to do that for us.

3.We are condemned to death: a condemned prisoner has no power to grant himself amnesty; he needs one in position of authority to grant him that freedom. Sin came into the world through Adam and spread to his offspring. Neither Adam nor his offspring had the power to set themselves free from the condemnation that sin brought. Only Jesus is able to deliver man from his condemned status (Romans 5:12, Romans 5:15-18; I Cor. 15:22). Only in Christ Jesus can man find life which he lost as a result of Sin.

4.Only Christ is qualified to save us: man’s freedom does not come through political intervention; it comes through atonement of Christ’s righteous blood. No other one or means is good enough to cleanse man from his sin except the blood of the sinless Christ. Only his blood is pure enough to be accepted by God in order to declare man free from his sin. The blood of goats and bulls could not entirely take away the sin of man. (2Cor. 5:21; Heb 4:5, 1 Peter 2:22, 1 John).

5.He takes away the sins of the world: the only person God recognizes as one who takes away the sins of the world is Jesus Christ (John 1:29; I John 2:2). This was revealed to John the Baptist through the Holy Spirit. Besides Christ no one else is recognized to take away the sin of man. We therefore need Christ because we are filthy before God. When we allow him a place in our life he will take away our sins and present us pure and whole before God.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How To Obtain Forgiveness For Your Sins

0 comments Posted by Efoghor Joseph Ezie on 5/19/2010 03:20:00 PM

It is an obvious and undisputable fact that we have all sinned against God and need to be forgiven in order to be able to fellowship with him and also enjoy the privilege of heaven. However, there are steps we must take in order to get God’s forgiveness.

To get total forgiveness from God, you need to take the following steps
1.Confess your sins: When you confess your sins God will forgive you because he is a merciful and forgiving God. Confessing your sins shows that you are sorry for them; you have to own up before God that you are a sinner. You do not need to be ashamed to tell him whom you are and what you have been (Psalm 32:5; Prov.28:13; 1 John 1:9).

2.Repent from your sins: To repent is to show that you are sorry for the sins you have committed and when you show remorse God forgives you unconditionally and cleanses you from all unrighteousness (Ezekiel 18:30-31; Acts 3:19-20)

3.Hate your sins: God looks at your heart to see how much you hate your sins. When you truly repent you would hate your past disgustful life. Hating your past sinful ways ensures total forgiveness for you. If you still cherish your filthy past in your heart, it means you have not repented and that kind of attitude cannot bring forgiveness to you (Psalm 97:10; Amos 5:15; 3John 11).

4.Fight against it: You must do all you can to see that sin does not overtake you; stand against it, resist the urge and deliberately abstain from it and from everything that can lure you into it (Heb.12:4).

5.Turn away from sins: Do not go back into sin once you have been forgiven. God does not look at what you were before you received the message of truth: he is so concerned about what you do after you have known the truth. If you go back into sin after you have obtain God’s mercy and forgiveness then there is no more avenue remaining for you (Psalm 34:14; Isaiah 1:16).

6.Throw away your sins: The book of Hebrews admonishes us to throw away every weight and sin that easily harm us or injure us. Sins are harmful to every child of God, so you must keep them away from your life so you could enjoy a healthier relationship and communion with your heavenly father (Heb.12:1).

What Are The Sources Of Faith?

0 comments Posted by Efoghor Joseph Ezie on 5/19/2010 12:57:00 PM

Faith is one of the resources we need for our daily living as children of God; it enables us to please God, obtain salvation, get answers to our prayers, trust God, receive healings, etc. Every believer needs it in order to live a successful Christian life.

Where do we get faith from?
Faith can be gotten from several sources, and some of the sources include:
1.From God: faith can be gotten from God; he gives it to us as a special gift to enable us embrace salvation. We do not earn it ourselves, it is freely given to us not because we merit it but because God loves us and wants us to be saved (Ephesians 2:8)

2.From God and Jesus Christ: We also get faith through God our father and our Lord Jesus Christ. The father and the son work as a team for our maximum benefit. What is delivered unto the son is in turn delivered unto us for our good (Eph.6:23).

3.From The Holy Spirit: Remember Jesus promised to send us the Holy Spirit that would teach us and be of help to us as well. The Holy Spirit provides us with faith so as to enable us trust God in a supernatural dimension and receive from him that which naturally would be difficult or impossible for us to get. Faith is one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:9).

4.The Gospel: One of the reasons Jesus Christ raised his disciples is that they might go into the world and teach the people the word of God through which they might build up their faith. We are Christians today because we received the gospel truth of God’s word and took the step of faith to accept Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and personal saviour. The book of Romans makes it clear that faith comes through hearing the word of God (The Gospel) and that faith cannot come except we first hear about the Lord Jesus Christ (John 17:20; Acts 15:7; Romans 10:14-17).

5.Studying God’s word: The word of God is written down that it might become the source of faith as we study it. God speaks to us through his written word and when we digest the meaning of his word our faith is built up (John 20:31). So many people have received salvation, healing, baptism of the Holy Spirit, etc only by studying and believing the word of God. I still believe that even some who would go back to study his word after reading this article would get same result.

You need to trust in God, believe in the Son just you believe in the Father, seek the Holy Spirit’s assistance, hear the gospel of our Lord and believe it, and study the word of God from time to time. Doing this would help to make you a child of great faith.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Forgiveness: Why Do We Need It?

0 comments Posted by Efoghor Joseph Ezie on 5/12/2010 10:43:00 PM

Forgiveness is a virtue every true believer or follower of Jesus Christ should desire. It is one of God’s attributes that portray us as his true children. If we are God’s children then we must learn to forgive just as Christ forgave those who crucified him.

What then is forgiveness?
It is the act of letting go of offenses. It is an act of treating an offender as though he never offended you. Forgiveness is the act of declaring free one who deserves to die or deserves to be punished.

Why should we forgive?
There are several reasons why we must learn to forgive those who offend us, and set them free from prisons in our hearts.
1.It makes us to be like Christ: Jesus Christ set us an example of what it means to forgive by not holding those who condemned and crucified him guilty. He asked the father to forgive them for they knew not what they were doing (Luke 23:34). Deacon Stephen followed the example laid down by Christ when he asked God not to charge those who stoned him to death (Acts 7:59-60). In the same vein, we who profess Christ today must follow his example by forgiving those who sin against us. That is the only way we can show the world that we are his true children/followers.

2.It releases us from prison: Failure to forgive our neighbours their sins puts us in spiritual prison. The only way can live a life of spiritual freedom is to cultivate the habit of forgiveness. The word of God tells us that the reason the servant of the king was imprisoned was because he failed to forgive his fellow servant (Matt.18:23-35).

3.It makes our prayers unhindered: Jesus made it clear to us that if we asked anything in faith we would receive it. However, if we fail to forgive whosoever has sinned against us, our prayers to God would be hindered. Forgiveness therefore makes it possible for our prayers to get to God smoothly (Mark 11:24-26).

4.We receive forgiveness: Our forgiveness is directly tied to our willingness to forgive others their sins. God will not set us free from our sins unless we set free those who sin against us. Jesus taught his disciples how to pray, and in the middle of the prayer he declared “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us...” (Luke 11:4). Forgiveness therefore, is a give and take thing. You must first give in order to receive; and when you give you must receive in return.

5.It gives us joy: Being able to forgive is a very difficult and exceptional thing. So when we are able to do it our hearts are filled with great joy.

6.It improves our physical lives: Refusal to forgive brings a great deal of stress to our system. Certain disease conditions are known to result from psychological or emotional stress. These diseases which are otherwise known as psychosomatic disorders are sometimes a product of stress resulting from our inability to forgive. Examples of such diseases are eczema, asthma, migraine, ulcerative colitis, etc. The only way we can get rid of them is to unburden our hearts of unforgiving spirit.

7.It Promotes love and unity: Love and unity can never exist in an atmosphere where there is hatred and malice. When we learn to forgive we promote love and unity amongst us. And as believers we can always achieve our heart desires when there is forgiveness, love and unity.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Am I Going To Hell Fire?

0 comments Posted by Efoghor Joseph Ezie on 5/06/2010 10:33:00 PM

A young boy of about 12 years old walked down to me one day with tearful eyes and asked me if he was going to hell fire. ‘No’, I answered emphatically. Noticing that he wasn’t satisfied with my answer, I prodded further to know why he had asked the question. Then he finally said “My mummy told me I was going to hell fire”. Gosh! Why would your mummy say such a thing? I queried. “It’s because I have been disobedient and nasty to her,” he said.

I tried to explain to him from the word of God that his mummy was actually right and that he needed to change his attitude towards his parents if he didn’t want to go to hell fire. He promised and went away. Few months later he came to my house beaming with smiles and this time around he announced happily “Sir, I will not go to hell anymore because am now a changed child; I am no longer disobedient and nasty to my parents”. I congratulated him and shook his hand firmly and he left.

What could make one go to hell fire?
The bible lists some of the attitudes that can make one be in danger of going to hell fire to include but not limited to the following:
1. Lying: The bible says in Acts 5:1-10 that reason Ananias and his wife Sapphira died was because they lied before God. God hates lies in whatever form. Lying could be not telling the truth, or telling half truth. God frowns at it: and indulging in it could make one go to hell fire.

2. Stealing: Stealing is taking whatever does not belong to one either by tricks or through violence. When you take what belongs to another person without permission and without the intention to return it you are stealing – stealing could be in form of robbery, burglary, fraud, embezzlement, piracy, plagiarism, etc. In 1Cor.6:10, the bible listed stealing as one of the things that could make one miss the kingdom of God.

3. Fornication: This is the sin of having sex with somebody (man or woman) who is not legally married to you. Fornication is a deadly sin before God and God says the marriage bed must be undefiled otherwise the one who commits fornication or adultery would be judged by God (Heb.13:4).

4. Disobedience: This was the original sin committed by our fore-parents Adam and Eve. It is simply refusing to obey our parents, authorities or God. We must live in obedience lest our stay on earth would be shortened (Eph.6:1-3). Every child who disobeys his parents or even adults who disobey constituted authority risk going to hell fire.

5. Idolatry: This is by far the worst sin anyone would commit before God. The book of Exodus 20:4-5, Eph. 5:5 make us understand we should never worship any other gods or graven images. God is a jealous God and he does not take it kindly when we allow anything to take his position or worship in our lives.

6. Murder: This is the act of taking somebody’s life. This could be another person (homicide, patricide, matricide, genocide, holocaust, etc) or oneself (suicide). No one except God has the right to take life. Look up 1 John 3:12.

7. Drunkenness: This simply means to be intoxicated by excessive alcohol intake. This sin is mentioned in 1Cor.6:10 and Gal.5:21. It makes one lose self-control and become prone to commit unthinkable crimes.

8. Witchcraft: The sin of witchcraft involves the use of magic powers against other people. It is condemned by God and anyone who practices it is in danger of going to hell fire. Gal.5:20

9. Hatred: The sin of hatred is another thing capable of leading one to hell fire. It usually precedes murder. It was responsible for the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. 1John 3:15, 1John 4:20 & Matt.5:21-22.

10. Envy: It is the feeling of wanting what belongs to someone else. This was the same sin that drove Satan away from heaven. It is also condemned in Gal.5:21.

11. Refusing Jesus Christ: This by far is the greatest sin that would take any one to hell fire. The bible says that he that receives not the son of God (Jesus Christ) is condemned already (John 3:18). So if you have no Jesus you are already deciding on your own to go to hell fire. Check up John 6:40, 47.

12. Blasphemy against The Holy Spirit: Jesus made us understand that the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgivable, meaning that it gives one an express ticket to hell fire (Matt.12:31-32)

So avoiding these sins means avoiding hell fire. Every child of God should think of living a life that is pleasing unto God and should not rebel against him in whatever way as God is a righteous God and would never condone sin.

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Efoghor Joseph Ezie

Efoghor Joseph Ezie is a Registered Nurse with several years of practical nursing experience both in the industrial and hospital set ups. He believes in building the total man through making him well-informed.

 

As a result, he tries to share his experience and knowledge with as many people as he can. He does this through his several blogs, e-books and other information products. The idea behind his personal website,the African Nurses Forum and his blogs is to reach out to the public with the information he has gathered over the years to ensure that they are able to do the basic things as far their health is concerned.

 

Efoghor Joseph is a Christian author, marriage counselor, youth leader and social organizer. He is a Nigerian, married to Mrs. Divine and blessed with a son. He is a Platinum expert author on Ezinearticles.com. He hails from Ekpon in Igueben LGA, Edo state, Nigeria

 

The author loves writing, reading, traveling, sports (especially football), movies, cooking and making friends.

 

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