About a month ago, we had a new tenant in our residential plot. She came in to occupy the house that is just opposite mine. The evening she arrived, she came along with a bunch of people and they spent the whole evening and most of the night singing and praying (kind of like in a fellowship).
The following day was Saturday. They fellowshipped again in the morning and when the visitors had gone, she spent the day cleaning the house and putting her things in order. She was a lean woman with a rather masculine face and a brackish gaze. When I greeted her, she first leered at me as if I was the enemy she had been praying against and then replied “Morning too” in a coarse voice and went on with her sweeping. I couldn’t resist this rather strange feeling about her uncomely sense of demeanour.
When night came, she started praying again to God, crying and shouting at the top of her voice! Unfortunately, the walls of our houses are not very sound proof and so the shouting could reach almost everyone in the twelve houses.
The lady went on for some time, then I heard a student neighbour in the house next to mine click himself angrily and open his door raucously. Shortly, Job – the lady’s next-door neighbour, came out and knocked on her door.
“Lady,” he called out. “What the deuce do you think you’re doing? It’s latenight and… .”
“What?” she shouted, opening the door abruptly. I opened my door and stood by watching the ‘craic’. She had not even bothered to wipe away her mucus and tears. She stood at her doorsil like an angry lioness waiting to pounce on and devour her enemy. Other tenants came out of their houses too to witness the scary site.
“What do you want from me. Can’t you see I’m praying?” she asked, seeing that all were standing still, dry of words at her actions.
“You should stop this noise forthwith. We also pray, but not like you do, dinning at your loudest like a hornbill,” said Job. “We do a lot of sweet silent prayers in there. And you? It’s been barely two days since you came and we can’t sleep, at all! Can’t you see we have children who ought to be sleeping but are awake because of you?”
“Yes, tell her,” seconded the student. “I can’t even study, yet I have exams tomorrow.”
“I think this is my house and…,” she started explaining but Job wouldn’t allow her.
“What we’re saying is that pray silently, not like a gobshite. We aren’t objecting the fact that this is your new rented house.”
She glared at the people standing around and then said, “You’re all fools, standing here to stop me from praying to God. Children of the devil.” With that, she shut the door loudly and remained silent for the rest of the night. Everyone returned to their houses.
The following day, she packed back her stuff, called for a taxi and left the place without speaking further to anyone. I doubt her story will ever leave my mind.
I learnt a few things from this occurrence. Prayer is meant to be peaceful, if we want to live in peace with others.
Well, if you’re wondering, a prayer is simply a close communication with one’s supernatural being, whoever or whatever they conceive that being to be.
There are several things that people do when praying; talking is just one of them (not necessarily audibly). Other things to do include: kneeling, bowing severally, closing the eyes, lying in silence, reading a holy book, just whatever honourable thing one feels brings them close to their creator and facilitates communication.
I however find the following things wrong to do while praying:
Shouting, especially in residential places
Vainly repeating words
Hurting one’s body
Saying words that are meant to hurt other’s feelings
Allow me to quote from the Bible as I am a Christian.
Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
The rivers and streams flow with fear; lakes and oceans live with doubt; the mountains and hills gloom: mankind has trespassed.
The stone cries hard; the soil weeps and the trees and animals living on them shake with fright as they watch the doings of mankind, as they witness the endless flow of thick blood, just thick human blood.
The sun sweats his heat; the moon hides her face, scared to see what humans have done. Clouds scamper for safety; the wind blows in fury; the whole earth quakes: humans have conquered unknown territories.
The rat is afraid of crossing the road, the bird of flying, the bat of roaming; the owl has stopped hooting, all are afraid of our arrows and bows. Babies have stopped giggling, scared of harridans’ gaze; farmers and entrepreneurs have stopped their works, cause their wheat and coins have been stolen by the sitting kevins.
The pure have preached pure love saying: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself; Pray for your enemies, do good to those who curse you.” They have preached water but taken wine.
Pure love is this: That we may burn all hate, from a solid scalding iron to white discardable ashes. Oh that all mankind would put their front foot forward in fighting racial segregation, ethnic prejudice, political rivalry, geographical alienation,
environmental degradation, greed, misogyny and sexual violence.
Why do we embrace religion without love and care? Why do we carry holy scriptures in one hand, and in the other, swords, guns and machetes? Are our supremes too mean to teach us fondness, or are we just too stiff-necked to learn and stand for the truth?
The soil weeps: humans have destroyed their habitation.
To my audience, my name is Apostle Darlan Rukih. Peace greetings to you and welcome to this programme. Today I’d wish to talk about Christ, the son of the living God, as the one whom God anointed and gave the power to be the father of all who want to be His children in this present world.
This is just as it is written in Numbers 5:1-3 which says: “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell.” (KJV)
God sent Moses to go and warn the Israelites and give them the law they should live by in the camp. This is so because the Israelites had become His children through Jacob their grandfather. Today, we too, as the gentiles, have the laws of God that should guide us on how to live. However, we cannot live according to the laws that God has given us through his messengers if we have not first become children of God.
There is, at the same time, no way a person can become a child of God if they have not received the father whom God has sent to bear them for Him. As for the Isralites, they we given Jacob, but now in this current generation, God has given us Christ, His only begotten son. He is the one whom He has given the power to bear Him children amongst the gentiles.
We shall read again from Psalms 5:1-2 which says: “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.” (KJV) A voice is heard in the Book of Psalms of someone making a cry to God, that God may listen to his words, and that He may help him too.
We know the authors of Psalms, that they were Jeremiah, Moses, Ashaph and David. But who was this prophecy in Psalms about? It wasn’t about the authors. The scripture was talking about Christ, the son of God who would come in human flesh, whom God would give the power to bear people for Him.
We shall read again from the Book of Jeremiah 5:1 which says, “Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it.” (KJV)
Theone Prophet Jeremiah was prophesing about, who would come from Jerusalem, who was righteous and faithful, through whom everyone in Jerusalem would be forgiven their sins, is the one whom God anointed and gave power to become the father of all; he is the Christ. So, God had opened the eyes of Jeremiah, His prophet, to see Christ, His only begotten son, who would later walk in flesh in Jerusalem.
Who is Christ?
Christ is the son of God, the begotten one, who was with God from the beginning of the earth.
Why does God want everyone to know Christ, His only begotten son, as the father he has given the power to bear people for Him?
It is only until then that we can get the power to start bearing the testimony of Christ in this present world. God wants people to bear witness/give out testimony of Christ Himself, and we cannot bear witness of Christ if we do not know him. This is why God has dedicated him, so that people may know him as the father of all who want to be His children.
After the Prophets had prophesied about Christ in the books of law, Psalms and prophecy, God did His great Grace by sending Christ His son to come from heaven to the world, and live in flesh amongst the Jews. He was called Jesus of Nazareth. He was also called Jesus the descendant of Jacob, and of David.
Those days, John was doing baptism amongst the Jews, urging them to repent and turn away from their sins because someone was coming after him, called the Christ, whose glory superseded his. Our Lord Jesus too went to River Jordan together with those who had agreed to be baptised that he may be baptized along with them.
When John dipped him into the water, the heavens opened and a voice was heard from the sky, of someone saying: “This is my beloved son whom my heart cherishes.” That voice was of God. Everyone who was being baptised heard it. At that time, God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, making people know that whoever had come in flesh was not just human but Christ, His begotten son.
After the baptism at Jordan, God again gave Jesus the power to do good to those were tormented by Satan among the Jews. There are three things that God enabled Jesus of Nazareth to do. Jesus first started preaching about the Good News, which talked about the kingdom of heaven. God also gave him the power to start teaching people His words, till he was entitled Rabbii among the Jews. He also gave Jesus the power to start performing great miracles and signs.
Jesus performed numerous miracles, but I’ll highlight only three.
At Capernaum, this Jesus healed a paralytic. He told the man to take his mat and go, for his sins had been forgiven him.
Still at Capernaum, Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law who had ailed for long.
There was also a known leprosic man who, upon seeing Jesus walking in Capernaum, ran and bowed before him, and cried, “Please heal me”. Jesus answered, “Yes, I accept that you be healed.” (And the man became well).
After performing all these great and good things, God spoke to Jesus of Nazareth, telling him that the hour had come for him to be submitted into the hands of sinners as a sacrifice for the world and to be the second Adam after the first Adam who had sinned.
Jesus took with him his disciples to Gethsemane to pray. It was at the Garden of Gethsamane that the Pharisees and the teachers of law came and arrested our Lord Jesus Christ and took him to Pontius Pilate Pretorium that he may be beaten and ashamed. They began disdaining Jesus at Pontius, then they whipped Jesus, then they beat Jesus, till morning, destroyong the flesh of our Lord.
In the morning, they gave Jesus a heavy cross to walk with towards Golgotha, at the place of the skull, to be crucified. Jesus was nailed on the cross and died.
When the Lord died, the first thing that happened was that God got hold of this world and shook it with His own hands. The earth was witnessed trembling and quaking. Rocks cracked and the linen that covered the most holy place of the temple tore into two. Fear siezed people, as they came to realise that whoever they had crucified was not just a mere human. Lastly, the world became dark as if the sun had long set.
All these made fear strike the Jews at Jersulem till they conceded that, indeed, he who had been prophesied by the prophets as the Messiah was the one who had come and revealed himself in human flesh.
After the death of our Lord Jesus on the cross, there were two old men, Nichodemus and Joseph of Arimethea, who went and requested for the flesh of Jesus to burry. There were some Jews who still denied (the death of Jesus), as they had doubt. One of the soldiers took a spear and pierced the ribs of Jesus. As a confirmation that Jesus had already died on the cross, water and think blood oozed from there (his pierced side). These ascertained that Jesus had died long before and not just at the time of his piercing. When they let the corpse free, Joseph of Arimethea and Nichodemus took it in haste for burial in an empty tomb.
Only these two managed to bury Jesus. After that, the Roman empire tightened security at the tomb so that no one could take away the body. Jesus lay in the tomb, the entrance sealed with a huge rock. He lay there on the first day, on the second and, on the third day, the Almighly God came and resurrected him from the land of the dead. Jesus was risen vividly and he started walking about, reaveling himself to his disciples. His resurrection was later announced by those who saw him.
After God had raised Jesus from the dead, He reasoned that it was good for Him to dedicate Christ and give him the power to be the father of all (his children) on this earth. If therefore someone wants to become a child of God, then they should not just pop up and claim that they are a child of God without knowing whom their father is. God had already seen that no one has power unless they find a father.
This is why, beloved, I conclude with this last message.You have seen, without doubt, that God dedicated Christ His only son to be the father of all. You have no power upon you to be a child of God unless through the father who is Christ. Where you were born, you have no one to call your father (spiritually) except the one who was given the power to be your father. He is the Christ. The one who has the power to bear people for God in this world is Christ. The one who has power to bear people for God in the places of worship is Christ. In your home, you have no power to be the father of God’s people; whoever has been given the power and mandate to bear people for God is Christ. So, accept Christ as your father to bear you for God.
This is from a radio programme hosted by Preceptor Priest Baran Qarim and translated by Synod Priest Galavan Lodec for online audience. Thanks for the entire team at Bride of the Lamb Ministries International.
Meet the preacher.
Darlan Rukih or Bride (as her congregants mostly refer to her) is an intersex apostle from Homabay County in Kenya. S/he (apostle is comfortable with either or both gender identities) is the senior pastor of Bride of the Lamb Ministries International. She is also a gospel artist and the head of a seven-group charitable society taking care of orphans, widows, the old, the rejected, the handicapped, the sick and the poor.
Apostle has managed to overcome the stigma surrounding her sexual orientation and become a resourceful person in the society. She preaches love and tolerance through Christ.
Thank you for reading and watching till the end. See you here again next Sunday. Meanwhile, keep reading our daily posts.
The previous week we spoke about the meaning of uprightness and why God wants us to walk upright. If you didn’t get the post, you can refer to it here. You can also refer to last week’s post regarding living at peace with everyonehere.
Today, we’ll explore into the portions we left hanging about uprightness. How can one walk uprightly? Let’s tackle this, in two sections: in personal life and in one’s calling.
Uprightness in personal life.
At least, all of us find ourselves in only one life stage at any given time. These stages include: childhood, youth, marriage and old age. So, let’s pick and talk about maintaining uprightness in each stage.
1. How can children walk upright?
A child is anyone who needs both the moral and physical guidance and help of an older person (parent or guardian) to survive.
For a child to be upright, they must obey their parents in the Lord (whereby saying ‘in the Lord’ means as required by the Lord), just as it is written in the book of Ephesians.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
This means children should be submissive and allow their parents or guardians to direct all the things they do in their personal lives, between them and other family members, between them and their neighbours or clanspeople, between them and people at their places of worship and between them and people in places in the vast world such as school, playgrounds and tours.
A child who does not obey their elders is considered indisciplined and not upright before God. But lest parent and guardians take advantage of this, they are also warned in the same manner not to anger their children.
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
An upright child should also, with the help of their guardians’ trainings as seen above, protect themselves from the things that spoil the lives of children, namely: evil predilections, thoughts, desires, characters and deeds.
It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself if his conduct is pure and right.
2. How can a young person (youth) walk upright.
A youth, according to my understanding, is anyone beyond childhood but not yet married. The Bible is clear about how a young person should practise uprightness. It says, they should set good examples to (of) their fellow youth in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12
To achieve these five measures of uprightness, there are at least three things that a young person should do.
a) Shurn all forms of sexual immorality/ lascivious acts (1 Corinthians 6:9). These are sexual acts that are profane or against norm. These include fornication, adultery, sodomy, bestiality, masturbation e.t.c. God is against these acts because they spoil not only the mind but aslo the body.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a man can commit is outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
1 Corinthians 6:18
b) Avoid bad company. A bad company is a group of individuals, regardless of thier agesets, with evil motives, desires and deeds. They are the root of bad characters among the youth (1 Corinthians 15:33). They are the chief instigators of violence too. The youth should form part of good companies whose aims include propagating the gospel of peace and love and doing any fruitful activities that help with physical and spiritual growth.
c) Be hardworking. Prov.12:24 says: “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.”
Hard work keeps a youth from two things: idling (an idle mind is the devil’s workshop) and theft which is a result of lacking personal needs. It is also from hard work that a youth can obtain any material gain to give to the needy.
How can a young person achieve these three goals?
There are at least five things within the control of a young person that if they do, can make them achieve these three goals, and ultimately the measures of walking upright. Here they are:
I. Protecting the eyes from seeing evil things such as porns and other obscene clips. The eye is the window to the soul and, thus, the source of evil predilections, desires and thoughts.
II. Protecting the mouth from saying evil things that can promote violence and prompt sexual immorality, and instead using it to spread love, peace and faith.
III. Protecting the ears from hearing or listening to destructive sounds such as erotic and vile music and conversations that only promote lasciviousness, hatred and violence.
IV. Protecting the hands from touching evil things, including stolen objects and all ungodly items.
V. Protecting the legs from moving to evil places such as brothels, drinking sprees and sorcerer’s domiciles.
Thanks for reading through till the end. Next time, if God allows, we shall tackle how a married person can walk uprightly before God.
Hello and welcome to Spiritual once more. It’s a beautiful day to give thanks to God and learn his desires upon us again.
Today, I will break away from our previous teaching on living uprightly to discuss something about living peacefully with people.
God wants all human beings on earth to live peacefully with each other just as it’s written in the book of Romans.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18 (NIV)
What is ‘living at peace/peacefully with everyone’
It is simply doing all it takes to have a free, cordial and respectful relationship with everyone near and far from us regardless of their cultural, religious and political backgrounds.
Why does God want us to live peacefully with everyone
To avoid violence. Violence is the escalated phase of conflict. Its root cause is failure to acknowledge our differences and co-exist peacefully.
God hates violence and those who promote it (Proverbs 3:31, Psalms 11:5)
So is there anything we can do to live peacefully with others
To live at peace with others, we should first live at peace with ourselves. We should be at peace with our predilections, thoughts, desires, characters and deeds. We should constantly obey when our souls refuse certain things and concur with others. It is only until then that the journey to live in peace with others begin.
There are generally five important things we can do to live peacefully with one another.
1. Saying “thank you”
When people do us any favour or give us anything undeserved, we should learn to say thank you even before showing our appreciation in any other way. It’s a powerful way of indicating both approval and appreciation. Being ungrateful certainly puts and widens rifts between us and our friends and relatives.
2. Saying sorry
Sorry, just like thank-you, is a term that serves to lessens the pain of any injury. Not telling the offended person sorry when actually we realise we’ve wronged them can cause serious damages to our relationships, whether formal or informal. When we step onto someone’s toes, let’s not simply walk away as if we just stepped onto plain grass; rather, let’s stop a moment and tell them, “Sorry, dear.” It certainly heals.
3. Cangratulating people
When one merits at anything, isn’t it awesome to give them a thumbs-up or write them a congratulatory note? It certainly warms the cockles of one’s heart to learn that we truly value their success. If we don’t congratulate people, we’re turning their hearts away from us. Hearts are controlled by the mind, and the human mind is akin to praises.
4. Forgiving offenders
Vengeance is mine…, thus says the Lord (Deutronomy 32:35). When we forgive, we stop a hurricane from making a way out of our rage, just the same hurricane that made Cain uworthy before God for his entire life. It is a simple way of saying, pass me quickly with thine temptation, you Satan.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
5. Consoling the troubled
At least everyone desires someone to feel close to at any time of grief, someone who can caress their back and say, “It will be okay.” Such caring people are hard to forget in one’s life. So whenever and however we can, let’s comfort people cuffed with troubles such as grief, loss of property, sickness, loneliness and poverty amongst other problems. If we don’t comfort others in their woes, it sends a strong message of our lacking of care and concern, and only contributes to hatred and animosity.
Thanks for taking your precious time to read. See you next Sunday with a continuation of our previous topic regarding uprightness. Stay blessed and continue reading our blogs.
The house was dingy and the walls black and dusty. It was an old church hall that had been neglected for three years following a harsh rebellion.
We, the few who had heeded the comeback call, sat pensively on the grimmy pews listening to Mr. Pawel release his gems of wisdom, one at a time.
Meanwhile, outside, the wind hauled and moaned, and thick thunderheads hanged low signaling a looming storm.
The man did not give it a flying puck. He read from 2 Peter 3:10 that spoke about the Lord’s second coming. The verse stated with clarity: “The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”
Mr. Pawel moved up and down the apse, affirming how he was boldly waiting for that day, and encouraged all of us to be brave too.
As he continued to elaborate, however, a red flash of lightning occured across the roof, followed by the loudest thunderclap anyone in the countryside had ever heard, probably in a century. Mr. Pawel was caught unaware. He quickly threw away the Bible and hid below one of the pews, cursing himself for the things he had done that led to the schism.
“Oh, so he was a sinner too,” I heard someone whisper behind me.
Then I heard some who thought it funny laugh and pour scorn on him.
I remained calm, sympathising with the man for still not having faith in the things he taught.
Welcome to Spiritual, our weekly religious blog section henceforth. Every Sunday, we will be bringing you cross-religious posts to establish and help you grow spiritually.
Now, no matter where you are or worship, there are numerous things God wants us to know and live according to in this world, and that is – if you believe in God and his power over mankind. One of them that I am going to tackle today is “Walking uprightly before God”.
Let’s pray: “Gracious, Marvelous and Victorious God, I ask of you wisdom as I speak to your people and unto them give understanding through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.“
Well, God wants everyone in this world to live an upright life just as it’s recorded in Proverbs.
This clearly shows that God loves those who walk uprightly, because it is a manifestation of their fear (respect) for him.
But what is walking uprightly before God?
It is simply living spotlessly according to who you are. When I say “who you are”, it means the stage of life and situation you are in, namely: childhood, youth, matrimony, old age and every other situation you were called in, be it priesthood, servanthood, leadership, e.t.c (1st Corinthians 7: 17-40).
For example, if one is a child, God wants them to live like a child and not a married person or a youth, if married as the married and not a youth, and vicey versey, and if a servant as a servant and not a master, and so forth.
God wants us to fit into, enjoy and appreciate our stages of life and situations, but without sin.
Why does God wants us to walk uprightly?
To be able to achieve all the good he has predistined us. God has good plans for us, no doubt, and the only way we can achieve those plans is by living uprightly, just as written in Psalms.
So, God wants us to achieve these good things. Just for instance, if you are a youth, the Lord has already set ahead of you a good and proper marriage and some other nicer things in life. The only way to achieve them is by walking uprightly before Him. But if you turn to perverted things and stop living according to how God wants the youth to live, your life will be ruined early, and this will bar you from achieving God’s good plans.
We have learnt that God wants us to walk uprightly and have known what doing so will bring to us.
But how then can we walk uprightly before God.
We will learn about this extensively next Sunday. Thank you for taking your time to read this far.
Let’s pray: Gracious, Marvelous and Victorious God. Thank you for teaching us this day that you need us to walk uprightly before you. To all who have heeded to this call and have chosen to live blamelessly according to how you called them, I pray with them for the strength to do so from You, through the blessed name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Till we meet again next Sunday, keep in touch with our blogs and be blessed.