GOD’S VALUE SYSTEM

 

­Man values position, God values people.

Yearly my church on campus, NUPS-G embarks on outreach programs to various communities in Ghana. I was privileged to be part of this year’s outreach to the Bekwai District, Amponya local to be specific. In our 10 day stay in Amponya I met this young man who decided to give his life to Christ and in our subsequent talks I asked him what he would like to be in future. He answered, “I am learning how to drive so I will be a taxi driver.”

Surprised by his answer, retreated to myself and pondered over this question, “God, why would someone like to be a taxi driver among all these great careers?”

A few months later, in a conversation with some friends also, we were discussing how people were born “well” whilst “others not so well.” No one chose their parents, some the kids of great business tycoons, others just the child of that shoemaker or that woman who sells water by the roadside. “Is it the child’s fault or is God not fair?”

These questions became a gateway to an awesome revelation and an opportunity to understand God and his ways and to know him better.

To the question about taxi drivers this is the answer He gave me, “Cecil, do you know taxi drivers have at some point driven all kinds of people? “ “From Pastors, Teachers, Engineers, Doctors, Ministers you name it. Engaging in conversations some they initiate some they have no choice but to just engage the passenger and make him or her feel at home. Conversations ranging from people, the nation and all you could think of. Listening to a whole number of telephone calls between families, friends, bosses, colleagues-sad moments, happy moments, stressed moments.”

“Imagine what such a man filled with my spirit can do in the lives of people? An avenue for influencing people with my love.”

God’s value system is not like ours, He lives the 99 behind for one, He values purpose [the reason behind what you do] than just what you do.

In each and every man and woman, is a specific unique genetic code or DNA that makes us who we are. Now let me use myself as an illustration; I am Cecil because I was born to a young woman Comfort and a gentleman Charles. No two people in this world can give birth to me apart from them because they have the right genetic make-up, right blood type to give birth to me.

Any woman and man can have sex and give birth when all the requirements and conditions are met. Rick Warren in his book the purpose driven life puts it beautifully;

“You are not an accident. Your birth was no mistake or mishap, and your life is no fluke of nature. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did. He was not at all surprised by your birth. In fact he expected it.”

The child born in that remote village right now is as dear to God’s heart as the child born in the flashy hospital in Sydney, Australia.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

[Genesis 1:27-28]

In man’s quest for fulfillment apart from God, we have devised structures and a way of life and reduced the uniqueness, beauty, diversity of man to positions and status in society.

 

For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

 And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

[John 3:16, 17:3]

God gave his son to “whoever”, to me to you, to the prince to the pauper, to the religious to the unreligious, to the broken to the whole, to the healthy to the unhealthy, to the rich to the poor, to the white to the black, to his 8 billion children on earth. God values and cherishes people, if we also learn to cherish people above all other things most of the problems in this world will be solved.

I can see your heart

Eight billion different ways

Every precious one

A child you died to save

If you gave your life to love them so will I

[So Will I, Hillsong United]

God loves us uniquely, just the way we are. [See Romans 8:28-37]

 

 

 

Live Loved,

CON.

 

 

 

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Zebras & Their Stripes

My words are limited to fully express what’s in my heart. Read with an open heart and mind as these words convey and form a language in your heart.

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.

From one man he made all the nations that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from anyone of us.

For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.” [Acts 17:24-28]

 

I was recently in a conversation with a friend and I was asked these questions, “Why did God create us? Why did God create the earth? Why are we on earth?”  (Ponder over these questions yourself)

Thinking I knew it all I tried my best to answer but that experience boldly left this impression  on me, for now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. [1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV]

Days went by pondering over that question and the subsequent questions that followed. The Holy Spirit then revealed this, “Why do zebras have black and white stripes on their bodies?” “Was it necessary?”

The Lord hath made everything for himself; [Proverbs 16:4a]

Think about it, can we really question the creator? Are we who are bound by time and space in the capacity to question the eternal one who is the beginning and the end, are we? Can we use our own logic to explain the all-knowing one?

To answer why we were created or why the earth or why zebras have black and white stripes and all the other questions is to question the source and the very being and existence of the source. What do I mean? The answers cannot be found using the created (something that was formed out of nothing) but they are found in the creator. For example, looking at the works of the carpenter, we can get some ideas of the purpose of the invention but it will only take the carpenter to reveal the true inspiration behind his invention.

The problem is we try to explain the supernatural with the natural and it doesn’t work like that.

 

 

God is the source of everything. God holds the universe together. He is the CREATOR.

Max Lucado in his book No wonder they call him savior puts it beautifully;

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” That’s what it says. “God created the heavens and the earth.” It doesn’t say, “God made the heavens and the earth.” Nor does it say that he “Xeroxed” the heavens and the earth. Or “built” or “developed” or “mass-produced.” No, the word is “created. “And that one word says a lot. Creating is something far different than constructing. The difference is pretty obvious. Constructing something engages only the hands while creating something engages the heart and the soul. Now, imagine God’s creativity. Of all we don’t know about the creation, there is one thing we do know—he did it with a smile. He must’ve had a blast. Painting the stripes on the zebra, hanging the stars in the sky, putting the gold in the sunset. What creativity! Stretching the neck of the giraffe, putting the flutter in the mockingbird’s wings, planting the giggle in the hyena. What a time he had. Like a whistling carpenter in his workshop, he loved every bit of it.”

To then understand “why the creation” is to know the creator. Our question then must be who is this God and how may I know him?

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . [And] the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:1, 14).

. Max Lucado again puts it beautifully;

“Nearing the climax of the story, God, motivated by love and directed by divinity, surprised everyone. He became a man. In an untouchable mystery, he disguised himself as a carpenter and lived in a dusty Judean village. Determined to prove his love for his creation, he walked incognito through his own world. His callused hands touched wounds and his compassionate words touched hearts. He became one of us.”

The Creator made his dwelling amongst us. The creator came near so we may not assume but rather know and understand him in person.

The one who knows what lies where space has run its course

Embraced a baby’s mind

And now I can know my God.

Loved embraced our fate, when the playwright took the stage.

 [Arrival, Hillsong Worship]

 This God is Jesus Christ and his greatest desire is to lead you as a shepherd leads his sheep would you let him?

Be blessed,

CON.

 

 

​As You Coordinate The Study Itself…

“FROM THE BIBLE STUDY WING : ORIENTATION GUIDE ”

It is not about the amount of information you pour into them but what through the Holy Spirit you let members  see; the truths for themselves through Scripture or quotes.

1.) Let the members know the scope of the study in order not to waste time on issues outside the scope of study.
2.) Avoid turning a bible study into comprehension exercises. Ask effective questions. Where members seem not to get a particular question very well, the study leader must reframe the question very well to be understandable without losing its purpose and meaning.
3.) Don’t be afraid of silence especially after a question requiring a careful thought.
4.) Never say that an answer or viewpoint is wrong. But tactfully ask, “In what verse did you find that?” or “how did you arrive at that?” or “what does somebody else think about this point?”
5.) Be observant and draw all members in. Encourage shy members to participate; reading a verse or asking direct and simple questions.
6.) Learn how to handle talkative members very well. Direct questions to others instead to avoid one from monopolizing the discussion.
7.) Encourage members to respond from the bible.
8.) Be sincere and honest when you have no idea about something. Tell the person you intend to find out later and give him the answer.

TRANSFORMED TO TRANSFORM…

A few guidelines to help bible study leaders have an effective small group discussion.

A big part of the message was inspired from “THE BIBLE STUDY WING: Orientation Guide (NUPS-G KNUST)” with a few revision.

Intro:

What you do outside the Bible study time  affects your Bible study discussion ; and what you do during the Bible study time will affect your time outside the Bible study   https://bible.org/article/bible-study-small-group-guidelines-and-priorities

PREPARING FOR A BIBLE STUDY DISCUSSION

  • Go through the study for your own edification (CRUCIAL!!!!)

This is highly important.

The whole process starts with you. Spend time with your Bible and the Holy Spirit and discover for yourself the lessons God wants to teach you in particular.

 You can only be an appropriate vessel to bring transformation to your group members if you have been first transformed by the study.

Your understanding and commitment in preparation leads to a great study which then goes a long way to inspire your group members to do same.

Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest.

The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God! — harvests a crop of weeds.

All he show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. (Gal 6:7-8 MSG)

  • Go through the study with your group members(flock) in mind

This is where you consider the group you will be leading.

This step comes with considering the lessons you ought to share with them [not all that you discover during step 1 is for the edification of your group], some illustrations, examples, the list continues.

As you embark on this step, you ask and wait for the Holy Spirit to relay these examples to your heart.

Remember it is not about you and all the knowledge you possess but it is about God; and what he wants to relate to His children through you. It is about fellowship.

We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up but LOVE EDIFIES (1 Cor. 8:1)

Pray for yourself and the Group

These prayer topics can be considered:

  • Understanding into the word of God-Ephesians 1:17-18
  • Handling the Word-2 Timothy 2:15
  • Utterance and boldness to speak the truth-Ephesians 6:19,Col 4:3
  • Insight into the coordination of the group.

(Allow God to transform you through to this prayers)

  • Relationship

Establish a cordial relationship with your group. There are many ways this can be achieved, by introducing yourself and asking how they are faring.

Build a gradual friendship by asking for names when one submits or asks a question.

Humbly admit you are also learning from them. This can be achieved by showing interest and listening when one is talking.

IT IS A DISCUSSION SO INVOLVE MEMBERS AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN!!!!

  • Taking the introduction to the study

Give the general overview of the study.

Clearly outline the aim of the study.

Where the study has a linkage with a previous study, try to recap what the previous study covered and indicate the linkage.

 CONCLUSION

Emphasize on the key points in the study.

If possible identify a verse or part of a verse that clearly brings out a major teaching in the passage for memorization by members.

Please note that these are just guidelines and not to be followed religiously but get the concept and let the Holy Spirit guide accordingly.

ABOVE ALL TRUST GOD!!!!

It has always been JESUS…






We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen.

We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created.

For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels– everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him.

He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment.  And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

He was supreme in the beginning and leading the resurrection parade, he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything and everyone. 

So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe–people and things, animals and atoms–get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the Cross.

You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that!           You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message–just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.

Colossians 1:15-23 (MSG)

THE MESSAGE:  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?

Jesus answered, “This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent.”    [John 6:28-29 AMP]

Now from beginning through to now it has been God and it shall surely end with him– It is God’s story of his grace, truth and love.

It has never been about us nor our works. God is only pleased with his son Jesus Christ and until we come to the point of believing–surrendering our will and saying not I Oh lord!, but your will be done (take the center stage), our Christian life might seem “burdensome” in the quest of “trying to look like Jesus”

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life.

Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them– living and breathing God! 

Obsession with self in these matters is a dead-end; attention to God leads us into the open, into a spacious free life. 

Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of Him.  (Romans 8:5-9 MSG)

When we get so locked up (stunned) in awe of the beauty, majesty, grace and love of Jesus, we get transformed from the inside out.… In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:4)

It is not about us so let us continually look to the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith.

 In Paul’s words, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast.” [Ephesians 2:8-9]

We are who we are just by the grace of God. Stay blessed and God loves you!

C.O.N

 

 

In the Absence of Goosebumps…

Edit

Hope you’re blessed by these words; Words of hope from various portions of Scripture to warm our hearts with the truth that we walk by faith and not by sight…

He came to Nazareth where he had been reared. As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place. When he stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written,


     God’s Spirit is on me; 

He’s chosen me to preach the Message of Good News to the poor, 

     Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, 

        To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the place was on him, intent.

Then he started in,

 “You’ve just heard Scripture make history.

It came true just now in this place.”(Luke 4:16-21 MSG)

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.

The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. – Jesus (John 6:63)


So then, being filled with good courage and confident hope, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord—

For we walk by faith, not by sight [Living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises] —

 2 Corinthians 6:7

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 

The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
The above verses imply a victorious walk for we who are in Christ Jesus accessed by faith.

We fail to live this victorious life of- love, joy, peace, patience (longsuffering), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control daily because many a time we relate to God based on our feelings (moods and emotions).

Yes, God sometimes uses our feelings to relate to us but in the absence of “goosebumps” is God also absent??

Absolutely not! 

Jesus said, that which is born of flesh is flesh and that which is born of Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). 

We cannot use our 5 senses to relate  the Spirit but only FAITH.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen

For by it the people of old received their commendation.

By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. (Heb11:1-3)

Without faith it is impossible to please him (God), for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Heb11:6)

Be blessed ☺

Cecil O-N.


Inspired by the Teachings of Andrew Wommack on SPIRIT, SOUL & BODY which you can also access through this link

 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOER0yhdOW6B92fIWW9jil5Yfg0UeYEYu

 

Day 12: Next Time At Church

K K K 's Blog

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For all the bad-mouthing the ‘church’ today and its members seemingly get, the essence of such an establishment shouldn’t be lost on society. This article centers on some points you and I may want to take note of, the next time we find ourselves at church.

Next time at church, as much as possible do well to show up on time. Even if your church has a practice of starting quite late, there’s more hope for positive change if one by one, people show up on time. That one by one starts or continues with you.

Next time at church, rather than look for whether or not the ushers are smiling at you, offer them a smile instead. Don’t make their job any more difficult by outrightly ignoring their guidance for no good reason. It’s rude.

When you have the option of sitting anywhere, don’t go to that particular spot…

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