Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas To All!

Today we pause to celebrate the birth of JESUS. JESUS is fully GOD and fully Man. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning," John 1:1-2. "14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth," John 1:14. So, why did JESUS leave His heavenly dwelling, come down to earth as one born of a virgin, suffer on the cross and die for us?

Hebrews 2:14-18
14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

That baby born in the manger was destined to become our Saviour, Deliverer, Healer, Restorer, High Priest, Sacrificial Lamb, Atonement and the Purifier of Our Sins. We celebrate JESUS' birth today because it is the beginning of the journey from the cradle to the cross. The cradle represents peace, joy, hope, love and restoration. The cross is the fulfillment of it all. We wish you a Merry CHRISTmas! As you celebrate with your family and friends, remember Him who made it all possible! With Love, Andrew and Natasha.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Talk Tuesday-The Complexity of Sin; Herodias' Fury

Before we begin our next instalment, we at BGO would like to extend our most heartfelt condolences to those who lost loved ones in Beirut, France, Kenya and Nigeria to terrorist activities over the last few months. We pray for the peace of Christ to comfort the hearts of those who mourn, and we pray for the salvation of those who so brutally took the lives of many. “9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves,” Romans 12:9-10. “15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another,” Romans 12:15-16.

Last week we looked at the entanglement of sin and pride, and the internal conflict that sin brings. We explored how sin affected Herod, and influenced his relationship with John The Baptist (Mark 6:17-26). This week, we will look at Herodias' response.

“18 For John had been saying to Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.' 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him,” Mark 6:18-19 (NIV). The New Jerusalem Bible states, “As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him,” (Mark 6:19). Why does she care? Isn't she already 'married' to Herod-her husband's brother? Aren't they at a pinnacle of worldly power and position? No one can stop them now. Then why do John's words and his lawful stance antagonize her to the point of murderous fury?

When we are doing something wrong, we often feel conviction in our hearts. Yet, if we are determined to proceed, we harden our hearts and then become very defensive if anyone points it out to us. I have been there...I'm sure we have all been there! Why do we respond like that if we have already made up our minds to do as we wish? Have you ever cut a friend off for holding you accountable and speaking the truth in love? Sin, unchecked, blinds and corrupts us from the inside out. Sin is proud, demanding that others respect it and honour its unsavoury decisions. Herodias' response to John The Baptist gives us insight into how sin darkens the heart. So what can we do, if we find ourselves entangled in sin's web? It always starts with a thought...

Thank you to all who took the time out last week to contribute to the discussion on our website (! Please join us this week and share your thoughts about Herodias, sin, and what can we do to stop ourselves or help a friend who is caught up in sin's trap? Click on the comments link below.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Talk Tuesday-The Complexity of Sin; King Herod vs. John The Baptist

Have you ever found yourself entangled in a sin so complex that what appeared sweet in the beginning turned bitter in the end? Have you ever found yourself making excuses for your actions, justifying your choices despite the protestations of those whose Godly counsel you sought out in the past? How did you treat your 'trusted advisors' once you made up your mind to continue in your rebellion? I can speak from past experience-badly. I can recall becoming very defensive, antagonistic and even distancing myself from them, all the while stubbornly clinging to my will. I can recall struggling with that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach-that sense of knowing that I was not in the will of GOD, not acting according to His Word, yet charging forward to my eventual fall. I would imagine it was the same for King Herod too.

“17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.' 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled ; yet he liked to listen to him.” Mark 6:17-20

Why did Herod feel the need to retaliate against John for speaking the truth? What was it that drew him to John? Or, what was it about what John may have said that appealed to Herod's heart? How could he like listening to the man who condemned his actions? Most striking of all, is Herod's obvious distress when Herodias' daughter asks for John's head on a platter, after dancing for him at his banquet. In front of all his guests, he magnanimously told her to ask anything of him, and it would be given to her.

“25  At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: 'I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.' 26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.” Mark 6:25-26

Why didn't he, Herod the King, refuse her request and what does it tell us about sin? Firstly, it is complex. It attacks us spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically, leaving us in turmoil. It enslaves us, propelling us on a downward trajectory towards destruction. It is appealing, sweet in the mouth, bitter in the stomach. It also has a snowball effect, starting small and growing more powerful as we continue to engage in it. Finally, it leaves us feeling that there is no way out. It also seems inextricably linked to pride. What are your thoughts about sin? Can you relate to Herod's struggle? Add your comments and feedback either below or at under the comments section. Join us next week as we look into John the Baptist's message of repentance!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Talk Tuesday - The Complexity of Sin

Join us for our new journey into the Word of God as we examine the complexity of sin through the lens of John The Baptist's interaction with King Herod. We will be focusing on the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 6, verses 17 through 29 (Mark 6:17-29). We will explore each person's interaction with sin, the outcome and how it applies to our lives today.

There is John The Baptist, whose message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Matthew 3:2. He was sent as, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness; 'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight,'” Matthew 3:3 (Isaiah 40:3). John's mandate was to call men and women to confess their sin and to turn away from it. His was to prepare hearts for the coming of the One (JESUS CHRIST) whose ultimate sacrifice would obliterate the very wages of sin-death.

There is King Herod who, “... himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, 'It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife,'”  Mark 6:17-18. The fact that his sin had been called out by John, seemed to affect him greatly-it moved him to action, yet as we shall see, he is very conflicted.

Then there is Herodias, who, “... nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him,” Mark 6:19-20. She appears to be so set in her sin and her intention to continue her illicit relationship, that the very mention of it brings out murderous rage in her heart towards John the Baptist. However, here we see Herod's confusion and inner conflict. He imprisons John, but protects him from the wrath of Herodias; he does not understand his words yet he likes to listen to him speak. He inherently knows John to be righteous and holy.

Lastly, there is the daughter of Herodias, whose actions and loyalty to her mother, prove to the be the catalyst for John's death. How does her mother's sin affect her daughter's decision?

In preparation for this new series, we would like to encourage you to read this passage of scripture, meditate on it and be prepared to share with our BGO community some of the insights the Holy Spirit gives you as you study the Word of God.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Talk Tuesday-All Other Ground Is Sinking Sand

It is so tempting to put our faith and hope in human beings. We look up to those who are successful, attractive, charismatic, wealthy and powerful. We put our spiritual and religious leaders on pedestals, only to discover that they are fallible and human. We esteem our political leaders, only to feel let down when they disappoint us. We look up to those around us who are on the 'up-and-up' socially and financially. What we miss or ignore is the stark reality of our shared humanity which lurks beneath the polished exteriors we revere. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 : “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags, we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away,” Isaiah 64:6.

There is really only ONE who is righteous-JESUS CHRIST, He who is fully GOD and fully man. He is GOD Incarnate. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD. He was in the beginning with GOD.” John 1:1. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth,” John 1:14. JESUS is the only man to walk this earth who is infallible, completely righteous and holy. So, look to HIM and esteem HIM. Worship HIM alone. HE is the only ONE who is able to save you. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.

I leave you with the words of the hymn that resonated in my soul all week long. I pray they bless you as they blessed me.

The Solid Rock-by Edward Mote and William Batchelder Bradbury

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus name

On Christ the solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand

Movie Monday - On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Boast In The LORD

Why do we boast when the things we look to for validation are temporal and as consistent as shifting sands? Jobs can be lost, wealth can vanish, power can diminish, relationships can be broken, health can be destroyed and things can be stolen. When we are in pain, GOD is there. When we sin, the blood of His Son JESUS CHRIST cleanses us from all unrighteousness. When we are weak, we can become strong if we trust in Him, for then His perfect strength will uphold us. When we are lost, we can be found if we seek Him. When we feel worthless, powerless, empty and useless, He can give us worth, strength, fill us and grant us important work in the Body of Christ. When we die, we can have eternal life if we accept His gift of salvation through JESUS CHRIST, our Lord.

In his letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul reminds us that the centre of our worship must never be ourselves- but GOD alone. He writes:

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.27 But GOD chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; GOD chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 GOD chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in CHRIST JESUS, who has become for us wisdom from GOD—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 

He quotes from the Prophet Jeremiah, referencing verse 24:

This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, 24 but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23-24

So put your trust in Him and let your boasting be about the One who is truly able to save. Join with king David, who declared, “2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together,” Psalm 34:2-3.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Store Up Well

From the time of our birth we are in pursuit of fulfillment. We seek to be fed, clothed, loved and nurtured. As we mature, we seek to find our own identity and stake a claim to belong somewhere of importance. We look for acknowledgment and validation oftentimes in wealth, status, power, physical beauty, material possessions, accomplishments and the size of our bank accounts. It is as though we are ever reaching, and never finding-longing for something that can fill the God-sized void in our souls. We find ourselves storing up temporal possessions, which, in the face of death and sickness, become unmasked as counterfeits to the source of true joy.

Jesus knows us in our humanity. He sees our hearts. As one who is fully God and fully man-He offers us a unique perspective, one that transcends temporal pleasures and earthly principles. He says, “31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,'” Matthew 6:31-33. He reminds us that salvation, forgiveness and eternal life are found in Him alone; “16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him,” John 3:16-17.

 Finally, He urges us to store up well. 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy,and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” Matthew 6:19-21. So, let us live our lives with eternity in mind, as citizens of heaven who are faithful pilgrim-stewards on this journey on earth!

Blessings in Christ.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Do Not Turn To Broken Cisterns

The Prophet Jeremiah, called by GOD in 626 B.C, was sent to warn the people of Judah to turn away from their idolatry and rebellion. The fall of Jerusalem and exile to Babylon were impending disasters. The people had turned away from Yahweh, the living GOD who freed them from slavery in Egypt, to worship the idols of the surrounding nations.

“'Cross over to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this: 11 Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. 12 Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,' declares the Lord. 13 'My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.'” Jeremiah 2:10-13

Have you ever run from GOD when you should have been running to Him? Have you ever felt so tired of waiting, so fed up of the way things were and so discouraged that you just wanted to numb the pain and feel better? What did you choose? Alcohol, drugs, shopping, movies, t.v., parties, illicit relationships, or other forbidden pleasures? You see, when we turn away from acknowledging the LORD as the only source of our strength, as the only One who is able to save us, when we get impatient and seek out other ways, we break His heart and hurt ourselves. We create for ourselves broken cisterns.

Whatever it is that you are facing today, continue to trust in GOD, to wait upon Him, to trust in His Son Jesus Christ and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, so that you will turn to the living water that brings everlasting life. This is how we are sustained in times of drought. Be blessed!  

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Talk Tuesday-The Fulfillment of GOD's LOVE: The Mission of Christ, Pt. IV

“2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2 

“6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7 

Why is this piece of scripture so important? It provides the prophetic foundation for the mission of Christ. Contextually, it occurs during the reign of King Ahaz, son of Jotham, king of Judah. After King David's death, Israel was divided into two separate kingdoms. The Northern Kingdom (ten tribes-Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Napthali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, Manasseh) was taken away from David's offspring; the Southern Kingdom remained with them (Judah, of which the tribe of Benjamin was absorbed into). The tribe of Levi was consecrated as priests to serve in the Temple in Jerusalem, in Judah. The idolatry of King Solomon, David's son and heir, was responsible for this partitioning:

“11 So the LORD said to Solomon, 'Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.'” 1 Kings 11:11-13.

Yet, what precedes this punishment is GOD's promise to King David, who is often described as 'a man after GOD's own heart'. “16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever,” 2 Samuel 7:16.

So what does this have to do with JESUS? The Prophet Isaiah is speaking to Judah, whose kings, like those of Israel, have often continued in idolatry. In Isaiah chapters 7 to 9, the name 'Immanuel' translated as 'God is with us,' is used. This refers to the Incarnation, which is captured in the Gospel of John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” JESUS, fully GOD, fully man, the Son of GOD, One in being with the Father, the second in the Trinity and consubstantial with the Father, came to save us. The Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed remind of us of these truths. The gospels trace Jesus' earthly lineage all the way back to King David, that is why he is called the 'Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David,' in Revelation 5:5. The angel Gabriel told Mary, “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end,” Luke 1:32, (note-Jacob's name was changed to Israel: see Genesis 35:10). During his ministry JESUS went to the synagogue in Nazareth, stood up and read from the Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 61:1-12), boldly declaring his mission:

“'18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.' 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'” Luke 4:18-21. 

What does all of this mean for us? JESUS, is the fulfillment of GOD's LOVE, and WE, as his body-his hands and his feet-are to comfort the broken hearted, love the sinner, share the gospel of truth, proclaim freedom from the bondage of sin, and bring His light where there is blindness.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Talk Tuesday-JESUS, The Light of the World: The Mission of Christ, Pt. III

42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. 44 Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” John 12:42-50 (NKJV)

Jesus' ministry took place amidst great opposition from the religious leaders and rulers of the time. The very first chapter of John's gospel sets the foundation for understanding who Jesus truly is and what his ministry is all about. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” John 1:1-5. The interesting thing about darkness, is that it is an absence of light. Our vision is obscured and our understanding hindered by what we do not perceive. Jesus came to bring light that we might see and gain spiritual insight. This light illuminates the reality of sin and our need for salvation. It gives us the power to overcome!

The mission of Christ is also our mission. We are His hands and feet here on earth. If you are considering following Him, do not allow others to dissuade you. If you are already a Christ follower, then live with your vocation in mind. May the LORD continue to bless and strengthen you!

“14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Talk Tuesday - Salvation's Call: The Mission of Christ, Pt. II

1 Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” 6 So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7 But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” 8 Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:1-10 (NKJV)

Why does JESUS choose to go to Zacchaeus' house, when he could have chosen the home of a more 'righteous' man? The crowd's complaint is a telling indictment against tax collectors. It was through their efforts that their people were 'robbed' of money that not only went towards the building of the despised Roman Empire, but lined their own pockets through extortion and dishonesty. Notably, Zaccheus is described as a 'chief tax collector' who was 'rich'. This is akin to calling him a 'traitor' and a 'master thief'. This is who JESUS summoned!

Something happens to the heart of Zaccheus in the presence of JESUS- salvation, repentance and restitution. The mission of Christ is inherent in his response, “...for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost,” Luke 19:10. Salvation's call is for all who would hear. What does that mean for the believer and non-believer alike?

“19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20

 “6 Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7

“16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Of What Spirit Are You?: The Mission of Christ, Pt. I

51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. Luke 9:51-56 (NKJV)

The disciples are understandably upset at the Samaritans who are neither hospitable nor welcoming. Aware of who they are with and the power they have in Christ, they ask if they should command fire to come down from heave and burn them up, as the Prophet Elijah did in 2 Kings 1. Jesus' rebuke reveals His mission, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Luke 9:56.

The Mission of Christ is salvation. Why did Jesus come and what does His coming mean for us? If we believe in Him, then what do we believe of ourselves? Join us as we embark on a new series called, 'The Mission of Christ', where we will explore what this means for us. We know that JESUS will return one day, and that Judgment will come upon the earth. So, in preparation for our time together, I leave you with two scriptures as you prepare to answer the question, 'Of What Spirit Am I?'

“14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:14

“37 Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.'” Matthew 9:37-38

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Talk Tuesday- A Legacy of Repentance, Love & Faithfulness: A Journey With King David, Pt. V

Throughout the course of the last month, we briefly journeyed through the life of King David. We saw him as the Shepherd-King whose heart GOD knew, we learned not to despise small beginnings as David slew Goliath with a sling and a stone, we observed how he worshipped through the storms of life, and noted the importance of guarding our hearts through his sin with Bathsheba. In conclusion, we will look at his legacy.

When the prophet Nathan revealed David's sin to him regarding Bathsheba, Uriah the Hittite's wife, David's response was to immediately confess his sin. “13 Then David said to Nathan, 'I have sinned against the LORD,'” 2 Samuel 12:13. David wrote Psalm 51 as a result. He begins with the plea, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions,” Psalm 51:1. He takes ownership for his sin, “3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight,” Psalm 51:3-4. Then he pleads for help and mercy. “10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit,” Psalm 51:10-12. What is interesting here is not only the power of sin to blind the heart from the reality of its presence but the necessity of repentance.

GOD punished David, but forgave him of his sin and restored him. What is most fascinating is the legacy King David left behind. Before his death, he charged his son and successor, King Solomon, to remain faithful to GOD. “3 And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn,” 1 Kings 2:3. Many of the subsequent kings were assessed against the legacy of King David, which reads; “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left,” 2 Kings 22:2, or, “Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD,” 2 Chronicles 28:1. 

We hope you enjoyed our series on King David. May GOD continue to bless you as you journey with Him through His Son Jesus Christ and by the power of His Holy Spirit!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Talk Tuesday- Strengthen The Gates of Your Heart, A Lesson From 2 Samuel 11: A Journey With King David, Pt. IV

King David is known for his battle with Goliath, the Psalms he penned, his humble origins, the battles he won and his fidelity to GOD. He is also infamously known for his sin with Bathsheba-the wife of Uriah the Hittite.

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, 'She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliamand the wife of Uriah the Hittite.' Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.)Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, 'I am pregnant,'” 2 Samuel 11:2-5.

What happens next is full of intrigue, deception and scheming worthy of any modern day soap opera. David sends for Uriah the Hittite, gets him drunk, encourages him to go home and sleep with his wife in an attempt to cover up their sin. Uriah, however, is a faithful and loyal servant who refuses to lie with his wife while his comrades are on the battlefield. David then sends a note to the commander of the army, insisting that Uriah be put in the line of fire, and thus be killed in battle. Uriah dies and he marries Bathsheba. How did this happen? King David had wealth, power, wives, children, success and GOD's constant presence and blessing in his life. Weren't they enough? He is even described as, 'a man after God's own heart' (1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22).

Proverbs 4:23 cautions, “23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Jeremiah 17:9 says, ““The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” There is an important lesson for us here. Everyone is susceptible to sin. Therefore, we need to keep watch on the gateway of our own hearts. Jesus warns, “ 27 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” Matthew 5:27-28. Let us diligently meditate on GOD's Word so that we may strengthen the gates of our hearts. “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will,” Romans 12:2. Join us next week, as we examine repentance and forgiveness.

Movie Monday - Touch The Sky - Hillsong UNITED

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Talk Tuesday-In The Midst of The Storm: A Journey With King David. Pt. 3

Last week we looked at the importance of small beginnings. This week we will explore how King David worshiped GOD through the storms of life. Did you know that approximately 74 of the 150 Psalms were written by David?

After he defeated Goliath, David's success in battle and his fame grew among the people of Israel. They sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands,” 1 Samuel 18:7. The Bible says that, “Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. 'They have credited David with tens of thousands,' he thought, 'but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?' And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David,” 1 Samuel 18:8-9. Saul's feelings eventually transformed into a murderous jealousy. Although Saul's son Jonathan was David's best friend, he realized quickly that only GOD could save him from the hand of Saul.

The book of 1 Samuel chapters 18 to 31 tells of all the trials David faced on the road to kingship; Psalms unveils his response. For example, Psalm 59, was written when Saul sent men to watch David's house in order to kill him (1 Samuel 19:11-18). Psalm 56 was written when David fled to the land of the Philistines, knowing that Saul would never pursue him in enemy territory, (1 Samuel 21:10-12). There, he feigns insanity, hoping that the Philistine King will spare his life. It is here that he writes Psalm 34. He begins with a declaration of praise, “I will extol the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips,” Psalm 34:1. He exhorts the reader to join him in worship, “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together,” Psalm 34:3. He makes a bold statement of faith, “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. 10 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing,” Psalm 34:8-10. He acknowledges GOD's faithfulness and justice; “15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth,” Psalm 34:15-16. He notes His responsiveness and compassion; “17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” Psalm 34:17-18. He concludes with a tenacious statement of faith, “22 The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned,” Psalm 34:22.

David chose to praise GOD, to encourage others to worship Him, to declare his faith in Him, to acknowledge GOD's character and to stand firm in the promises of GOD in the midst of the storm. At the end of 1 Samuel 31, and the beginning of 2 Samuel, Saul is dead, David is anointed as King over Judah and Israel (1 Samuel 31 to 2 Samuel 5). God's promises NEVER fail. Take the opportunity to draw closer to GOD, praise Him in the storm and watch Him defeat your enemies, bring victory to your life and equip you with a powerful testimony and unshakeable faith!  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Do Not Despise Small Beginnings: A Journey With King David, Pt. II

David's journey was not an easy one. After he was anointed by the prophet Samuel in accordance with the word of the LORD, he had many trials to face. There is a scripture in Zechariah 4:10, which reads, “ 10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Well, David's 'small beginnings' started with his faithful work as a shepherd and led up to the epic victory against Goliath, the enemy from the Philistine army.

“4 Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was over nine feet tall! “ 1 Samuel 17:4. “'Why are you all coming out to fight?' he called. 'I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul. Choose one man to come down here and fight me! 9 If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! 10 I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!' 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.” 1 Samuel 17:8-11. We are told that every morning and evening for forty days, Goliath strutted himself in front of them. At the time, three of David's older brothers were in the ranks of King Saul's army, while he, the youngest, was sent by his father to deliver food to them. Incensed, a young David asks, “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26.

32 “'Don’t worry about this Philistine,' David told Saul. 'I’ll go fight him!' 33 'Don’t be ridiculous!' Saul replied. 'There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.' 34 But David persisted. 'I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,' he said. 'When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!' Saul finally consented. 'All right, go ahead,' he said. 'And may the Lord be with you!'” 1 Samuel 17:32-37.

David declares, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”1 Samuel 17:45. “48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it with his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face down on the ground,” 1 Samuel 17:48-49.

What lessons can we glean from 1 Samuel 17? Sometimes we may find ourselves doing small tasks, or things that are 'unglamorous' by society's standards. Are you a housewife, a stay-at-home-mom, an unemployed person, working in an 'average' job, serving as a teacher, single, married, childless? The list can go on and on. Do you ever feel unimportant? Well, here's the thing, Luke 16:10 tells us that, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.” Do not despise small beginnings, because God never wastes our efforts. “23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ,” 1 Colossians 3:23-24. Join us next week as we look at how David worships God through the storms of life!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Lessons From the Shepherd King: A Journey With King David, Pt. I

The story of King David is fascinating. We are first introduced to him in 1 Samuel 16:1, “The Lord said to Samuel, 'How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.'” Saul was being replaced by David because of his disobedience. When the prophet Samuel arrived in Bethlehem, he told the elders that he came to sacrifice to the Lord and invited Jesse and his sons to join him. He consecrated them all, ready to anoint the new king of Israel. The first son he saw was Eliab. “When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, 'Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord,'” 1 Samuel 16:6.

It is here that I pause and wonder what kind of man did Eliab seem like? He must have been tall, with a stately demeanour. Perhaps he was handsome and strong. Yet the LORD, who knows the heart and thoughts of man, said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart,” 1 Samuel 16:7. Seven of Jesse's sons were paraded before him but Samuel replied, “'The Lord has not chosen these.' 11 So he asked Jesse, 'Are these all the sons you have?' 'There is still the youngest,' Jesse answered. 'He is tending the sheep.' Samuel said, 'Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives,” 1 Samuel 16:10-11. When the shepherd son arrives, the Bible says, “He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.Then the Lord said, 'Rise and anoint him; this is the one.'13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David,” 1 Samuel 16:12-13.

As we begin our journey with King David, we will discover the heart of a true worshiper. At least half of the Psalms in the Bible are written by him. What did GOD see in the heart of David that He chose him to be King? In both the Old and New Testaments he is referred to as a man after GOD's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22). When do you think his relationship with GOD started? Click on the comments link below to share your thoughts. Join us as we embark on this exciting journey with Israel's shepherd king. One thing I learned from this passage is that GOD is not impressed with how we look or present ourselves to others; He is impressed by what He sees inside our hearts. What a sobering thought!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Happy Easter: The Message of Hope!!!

This Christmas, we attended a celebration Mass in which the priest wished everyone a 'Happy Easter!' For a moment, we all seemed confused, wondering if he had gotten his seasons or dates mixed up. His sermon was, 'From the Cradle to the Grave.' Christmas, he argued, was the beginning of Easter, and Easter, he poignantly noted, is the crux of Christianity. The CROSS means that the debt of our sin has been paid for, we are forgiven. GOD's love and justice meet mercy and grace in the sacrifice of JESUS CHRIST on the CROSS. The RESURRECTION means that death and hell are defeated!!!!!!!!!

The Prophet Isaiah writes, “6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Isaiah 9:6-7

Imagine, God promised King David, "Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever,” 2 Samuel 7:16. Jesus, a direct descendant from David's lineage, is called 'the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David', Revelation 5:5.

God provided a way for the atonement of sin. "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness," Hebrews 9:22. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

At the CROSS Jesus defeated death. "14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death." Hebrews 2:14-15

Jesus promises us eternal life! "For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:40

In the midst of pain, suffering, there is a message of hope that cannot be silenced. JESUS CHRIST died just for you! Happy Easter from us at BGO!!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Service In The Kingdom of GOD

Each time I cross paths with fellow believers, I am amazed! Many of them serve quietly, unobtrusively yet so powerfully. There are no accolades, no fanfare, no recognition, no awards, yet they soldier on in contended peace and joy. I met another one of them just recently. This Christian was a professional, who used their free time to do missionary work throughout the year. When I met up with them, I casually asked how their missions trips were going. When they told me where they had gone, my jaw dropped and no sound came out of my mouth. I just stared at them with incredulity. I had no words to convey my shock and awe. They simply looked at me, and said, “I know...I know...but if I don't go, who will go?”

The Cost of Following Jesus 
“57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' 58 Jesus replied, 'Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.' 59 He said to another man, 'Follow me.' But he replied, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.' 60 Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.' 61 Still another said, 'I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.' 62 Jesus replied, 'No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God,'” Luke 9:57-62.

That day, I received a lesson about service in the kingdom of God. I felt humbled, overwhelmed and inspired. Our time here on earth is short. We need to ask ourselves, 'What are we doing for the kingdom of God?' It is not too late and what you have to give is never too little. Put your hand to the plow, and look ahead! Jesus says, “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him,” Luke 12:35-36. “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him,” Luke 12:40.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Remember Your First Love (Series): Pt. III

This is the final instalment of our series, 'Remember Your First Love.' It all started back with Revelation 2:1-7, the church of Ephesus. The Holy Spirit gently chided me on the condition of my passion for GOD with the words, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent,” Revelation 2:4-5. During the second week, we examined the passion of a first love-what it was like to fall in love. We also looked at some of the things that diminish the flames of passion and concluded with Scripture that called the church the 'Bride' of Christ. Now, let us ask ourselves, 'What do we need to be ready for His return?'

In His discourse on 'The Good Samaritan', Jesus was questioned. “25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he said, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 26 He said to him, 'What is written in the law? What do you read there?' 27 He answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.' 28 And he said to him, 'You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live,'” Luke 10:25-28.

Do you notice the order of love? We are to love GOD first, and with the entirety of our being. Only then, secondly, are we to love our neighbours as ourselves. Perhaps it is only in truly loving GOD that we can truly love others. I will conclude with the scripture that started this whole series. The end of Revelation 2:1-7 states, “7 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God.” It is time for the church to AWAKEN to the call of the One who died for us that we might live in the Passion of Our First Love!

We hope you enjoyed this series. Please take a moment to comment on how we can fan the flames of our first love. Let us encourage one another, share our ideas and spur each other on to good works in Christ. Please go to, click on the comments link and add your ideas. If you are on Facebook, please go to our Facebook page and comment there. Blessings!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Remember Your First Love (Series): Pt. II

The title for the series, 'Remember Your First Love,' came from the depths of my own journey with the LORD. Last week, I shared about my road to salvation and what it looked like when I made that personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ. When I first 'got saved' there was such an unyielding passion to honour God in what I read, how I dressed, what I did, what I said, what I thought and how I spent my time. Do you remember the Apostle Paul? When he had his 'Damascus Road conversion' (read Acts chapter 9), he eventually declared, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me,” Galatians 2:20. Well...that basically sums it up for the rest of us who follow Christ. We no longer live for ourselves, but for the One who saved us.

So, what led to the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart from Revelation 2:1-7 those times that He did? Busyness, distraction and complacency. I mean, when I began to read Revelation 2, I started feeling...well...good about myself, “ have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary,” Revelation 2:3. Then I read verse 4, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Huh? Wasn't I part of various ministries serving God's people inside and outside of the church? Didn't I read my Bible daily? Yet, the truth is that the embers of my passion had truly dimmed. I wasn't rushing home to spend quiet time with the Lord. I wasn't taking up my guitar as often as I used to so that I could sing songs of praise and worship to the One who gave me abundant life. I had become careless in what I read, did, said, thought and how I spent my time.

Have any of you ever fell in love? Do you remember what it was like at first? You couldn't stop thinking about the person, talking about them, wanting to spend time with them...until you either got married or broke up. If you got married, then chances are you started taking them, and the relationship, for granted. Or, then kids came along, life happened, and busyness just crowded into your one on one time. If you broke know the rest! I mean, what keeps a marriage interesting, fresh and exciting? Spending time with that person, loving on them in meaningful ways and keeping those fires burning! It is the same with the LORD.

Do you know what the Bible calls the church? The Bride of Christ! After his conversion, the Apostle Paul, who began ministering to the various churches, said to the church in Corinth, "For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ," 2 Corinthians 11:2. Revelation 19:7-10 says, “'7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.' 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, 'Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!''And he said to me, 'These are the true sayings of God.'” 

So, let us ask ourselves this question. Do we still have the passion of our first love?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Remember Your First Love (Series): Pt. I

Although I grew up in a Christian home, I was not always a committed Christian. I mean, I attended church, I observed all my religious duties-I even learned to recite my prayers regularly. As a family we prayed together. Then, in my mid teens, I observed my family members each come into a personal and intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ. They changed quite a bit. They experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in a deep way. Our family tradition of rote prayers morphed into corporate praise and worship, and personal prayers that flowed from the reality of an intimate relationship with the LORD. Suddenly everything changed. They were passionate about GOD! They found joy, peace, purpose and love in their 'new found' faith. I didn't understand it at all! I was frustrated be honest, a little disgusted with them. Until it happened to the ripe age of 23.

I had friends, a great job, an education, but something was missing. As I began to read the Bible, Jesus' words challenged me. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain,” John 12:24. I struggled with the reality that I wanted to be the master of my own ship. I wanted GOD to be a compartment in my life-but not the focus of my whole life! Then, as the darkness started closing in on me, I realized that everything I put my faith in was transitory. I began to experience death in my extended family. I arrived at a crossroads. Who or what was I going to live for? “37 Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment,'” Matthew 22:37-38. I made a life changing decision then. I surrendered my life fully to GOD-choosing to live for Him instead of living for myself. I invited Jesus Christ to be LORD over my heart. That was the day I fell in love! It was passionate and magical!!! All I wanted to do was spend my time in His presence, listen to worship music, read the Bible, fellowship with other like-minded believers. He was the first thing I thought about in the morning and the last thing at the end of the day. I no longer enjoyed the things I used to, and wanted to please Him in every way. I couldn't stop talking about Him or thinking about His great love.

Fast forward to almost 20 years later. I am still committed to Him. Yet, the Holy Spirit has had to gently bring Revelation 2:1-7 to the forefront of my heart quite a few times:

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.' '7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

 Join us next week for Part II.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Talk Tuesday-Be Blessed and Stay The Course

The story of King Saul in the Biblical Book of 1 Samuel is fascinating. It highlights the importance of our obedience to God.

1 Samuel takes place after the Israelites were brought out of slavery in Egypt and firmly established in the Promised Land of Canaan. Once led by judges and prophets of the LORD, they demanded a king of their own, so they could be like the surrounding nations. GOD sent the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul as King. At his coronation, he and the people are warned about the importance of obedience.

Two years into his reign Saul disobeyed GOD by offering an 'unlawful sacrifice' before the people (1 Samuel 13). He disobeyed GOD again in the matter concerning the Amalekites whom the LORD had directed him to utterly destroy (as result of how they treated the Israelites en route from Egypt to Canann; see Exodus 17:8-16). “But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed,”1 Samuel 15:9. The prophet Samuel, brokenhearted, spoke words that have often caused me to search my own heart during my personal journey with the LORD:

“22 So Samuel said: 'Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.'” 1 Samuel 15:22-23

I truly had not intended to write about this again, but I felt a burning in my heart that I could not ignore. GOD loves us. He requires our full obedience, not our partial obedience. There are so many dissenting voices in today's society that are alluring, demanding and challenging. Turn away from indulging the flesh, feed the spirit. “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God,” James 4:4. If your friends disown you, society mocks you, and you suffer for it, remember you are 'Blessed', (see Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:10). Stand firm in your faith upon the Word of God. Let the Holy Spirit guide and teach you. Abide in Jesus Christ, for therein your power lies. And remember Jesus' words, “21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him,” John 14:21. Be Blessed and Stay The Course!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Talk Tuesday - 15 Minute Challenge

How are your New Year's resolutions going? Are you still going to the gym or eating salads for lunch? It is hard to stick to them but here is a challenge that will pay better dividends. Find a quiet place and spend 15 minutes with the Bible and God. Read a chapter or a few verses, and ponder what God is saying to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the Word. Read it over and over, then ask yourself what is God saying about Himself and about you. Do this for 30 days. As you begin to learn to spend time with God, He will reveal Himself to you. You will begin to experience God in a deep and new way. Even if you don't believe in Jesus, ask God to open your eyes to the truth. This will be the best thing you do this year. 

Have a blessed 30 days!
Andrew Akam

Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6 NIV)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Talk Tuesday - What Does 'The Flesh' Look Like In 2015?

As Christians we are all called to be free. The Bible says,

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13 NIV)

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:16, 17 NIV)

What does the Bible say about the acts of the flesh?

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21 NIV)

We might say that this applies to people in the New Testament. In 2015 how many of us look at tv shows and movies that glorify sex outside of marriage? You say witchcraft?  No one does that anymore. Do you read the horoscope or go get your palms read? How many of us get into fits of rage or harbour hatred towards people? Did not Jesus say this was like murder? What about Facebook? Am I saying Facebook is a sin? How many of us sit on Facebook and get jealous or envy the people that seem to have a 'better' life than we do. Let's not talk about drunkenness and the wild parties people go to.

The Bible cautions...

I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21 NIV)

This is a scary thought. Why do we indulge the flesh? Because the devil is deceptive.  All these things have become acceptable in today's society, but until we see them as sin, we will continue to do them.

We are asked not to walk in the flesh but to walk in the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22, 23 NIV)

Your Brother in Christ,