Sacrifice

Yay! Its Holy week.

You know, its so sad that Jesus had to die. He had to go through all that pain on the cross that we might be saved. As much as that was grieving and agonizing –especially to the people who were closest to Jesus– when He rose on the third day, it wasn’t so painful anymore.

Before predicting His death on the cross, Jesus gave an instance of a grain of wheat

Most assuredly, I say to you, 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 NKJV

Here, the grain of wheat is being sacrificed to get an even greater reward. In the same vein, choosing to follow Jesus is sacrificial. It requires depriving yourself of sin and other worldly pleasures. Just like the wheat grain, making that sacrifice is beneficial to you in the end and is manifested ultimately in eternal life

God sent Jesus to the world as an ultimate sacrifice for our salvation. His life had to be sacrificed to take away our sin and so that we would be reconciled with God. Friday was a day of pain and grief, but when Sunday came, there was rejoicing

In our everyday lives, we have to make sacrifices but the reward is always great and brings joy. Today might be Friday when you have to study or work all night, make investment or change your diet. Stay steadfast because Sunday will come when you reap your reward bountifully. Short-term pleasure is often sacrificed to gain a long-term one

ACT TODAY: Be willing to give up one thing to achieve or gain a greater reward.

KEY: Sacrifice has to cost you something. It may be physical, material or come in any other form (2 Samuel 24:24)

God bless you. Jesus loves you❤

Get in touch with me;

IG: @bettyokosi.__

Email: okosibetty@gmail.com

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The Magnitude Of Your Mistake

There are many quotes and sayings out there about how we learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves up and move on. The truth is there might be nothing left after the mistake has been made.

The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
Matthew 27:54 NLT

After mocking and brutally treating Him, the soldiers and Roman governor then realized that Jesus was indeed who He said He was. At that time, Jesus had given up His spirit and a lot ensued including an earthquake, resurrection of many godly men and women amongst others.

Jesus coming to the earth to die for our sins was all part of God’s plan and He used all that so that His will might be done. Imagine if it were not so. They would have killed an innocent man and stupidly realized their mistake when it was too late.

  • Samson

I can’t help but enlist Samson when mentioning biblical characters who made mistakes. Samson was a child anointed from the womb. He married Delilah who ultimately led him to his downfall. Not once, not twice, not even thrice did Delilah try to pull Samson down. To me, I feel Samson was foolish to even eventually reveal the source of his strength to Delilah after seeing what had happened each time he told her a false source of his strength.

When he eventually told Delilah the source of his strength and was overpowered. They captured him, gouged out his eyes and bound him with bronze chains.

After praying to the Lord, he was granted strength one last time which he used to pull out the pillars of the temple and died with all the Philistines.

Ultimately, Samson’s mistake of falling in love with Delilah and revealing the source of his strength led to his downfall and death.

ACT TODAY: In Samson’s case, there was no chance to learn from his mistake. There might be no chance to pick up your broken pieces or move on. Be careful and let God order your footsteps.

God bless you. Jesus loves you.❤

Get in touch with me;

IG: @bettyokosi.__

Email: okosibetty@gmail.com

HE QUALIFIES THE CALLED

Remember dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NLT

Optimally observing some bible characters, from the human eye, most of them didn’t quite possess special qualities (at least to the lame man). One example is Peter. He was and ordinary fisherman until the Lord Jesus called him and made him no longer a mere fisherman, but to be a fisher of men. Acts 5:15 tells us that he was so spirit filled that those whom his shadow fell upon received their healing and liberty from evil spirits. In essence, your present qualification is irrelevant.

The clause ‘God qualifies the called’, is very common. Just in case you’re still in doubt, I pray this article helps to clear them. On that note, let’s look at some biblical examples.

  • Saul (who became Paul)

Saul of Tarsus was one of the greatest persecutors of the Christians in the early church, responsible for the martyrdom of many. If any one would work mightily for God and serve Him wholeheartedly, I’m certain he would have been the last thought on people’s minds. However, after having an encounter with the Lord (Acts 9), he was completely converted. He went about preaching the word of God and even went on several missionary journeys. To Paphos, Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, Corinth, Ephesus, Macedonia, and many other towns. In addition to this, it was recorded in Acts 19:12 that handkerchiefs and aprons that had merely touched Paul’s skin were used to heal people of their diseases and for the expulsion of evil spirits. Fascinating, isn’t it? That God could use someone like him in such a way. Also, the letters written by Paul make up a lion’s share of the New testament.

  • David

David was just a shepherd boy who played the harp. God used him to devour Goliath, a mighty man of valour. David was not in any way a soldier nor did he occupy such an office. David was a young boy taking care of his father’s flock. God could have used one of the members of Israel’s army but He didn’t. Instead, he used a vessel who no one would have paid attention to, so as to receive His glory. David later became king. Although he might have fallen when he committed adultery and murdered Uriah, the Lord’s mercy prevailed.

David’s life really shows that God can uplift a man as He pleases and use them as vessels unto honour in His hands. David composed many Psalms. The Lord also honoured him by making His begotten son to come from his lineage.

KEY: Your present state is of no importance. Rich, poor, Saint, sinner, smart or not, God can use you. Offer your life and your entire being to Him and watch your life take a complete turn around for good.

As stated in my previous article, if God has called you, He will see you through it click here

DON’T DISAPPOINT GOD

In recent times, I had frequently gotten discouraged, asking myself why I even bother to do the things I do. On one of these occasions of reflection and deep thought, I was reminded of a parable Jesus told his disciples in a portion of the 25th chapter of the gospel of Matthew.

The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

In this illustration, Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a man travelling to a far country who gave his servants talents. He gave one servant five talents, another servant two talents, and to the other he gave one talent, each according to his own ability.

The distribution of talents was according to the abilities of the servants. In the same manner, God knows the abilities of each and every one of us and has therefore given us what He knows we can handle. Perhaps if five talents had been given to the one he gave two, he may not have been able to utilize them as he ought to.

Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, had been barren for many years and as at the time she bore her son, she was advanced in years. During her visit, Mary greeted Elizabeth and the baby in her (Elizabeth) womb leaped for joy. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and said;

“God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?”
Luke 1:42‭-‬43 NLT

From her cry, Elizabeth was aware that Mary was carrying our Lord. It would be normal if Elizabeth began to nurse feelings of envy and jealousy. She could have said to herself instead, “After being barren for many years, I get to bear an ‘ordinary’ child while little Mary gets to carry the Messiah.”

Elizabeth was grateful instead, knowing fully well that God’s ways are not like ours. It could be possible that Elizabeth would not have been able to raise Jesus and by now, we would have all been doomed. However, God in His wisdom, decided that Mary would bear Jesus.

From Mary’s perspective, it must have been such a huge responsibility raising the Messiah. As difficult as it might have been, Mary did not disappoint God. God had already given her the abilities to do so and had prepared her for bearing and rearing the One who would be the Savior of the world.

In the same manner, whatever God has called you to do, He has given you all the skills you require. He knows your abilities and had given us tasks according to them.

In the parable of the talents, the servant who was given one talent buried his. In other words, he left it dormant. In the end, it was taken from him and given to the one who had five talents and produced five more. Likewise, if you refuse to utilize all your gifts and talents as you have been made able, not only are you disappointing God, those special endowments would be withdrawn from you and given to those who have been found faithful. Moreover, not being faithful in your calling is tantamount to ingratitude.

Remember you work for the master and not for your selfish purposes. We are only stewards. You will as well be held accountable for what you have done with what God has given you so make good use of it.

KEY: We are not created equally. We have different abilities and God has called us according to them. God always gives us everything we need to do what He has called us to do.

ACT TODAY: Be faithful in whatever task you’ve been assigned, watch the Lord bless and uplift you as you have abundance and enter into the joy of the Lord.

God bless you. Jesus loves you❤

Get in touch with me;

IG: @bettyokosi.__

Email: okosibetty@gmail.com

EYES FIXED ON JESUS III: HE’S ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
Colossians 3:1‭-‬4 NLT

When we give our lives to Jesus, we die to the flesh and to the things of this world and our real life is hidden in Christ in God. Jesus said His disciples will be known by their fruit. We therefore need to ask ourselves, “what kind of fruit am I bearing?” “Do my fruits centre around Jesus?”

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:17 NLT

I often ponder, oh how dreadful it would be if after all the trials and suffering on this earth, one still suffers for eternity. God forbid! This is why we must focus on the real deal (Jesus) and correct our mistakes before it’s too late.

It’s very certain that staying focused on Jesus could pose several difficulties and appear to be a herculean task. Hence, I have put together a few encouraging tips for feasibility.

  • Look at the ‘biggest’ picture

The 4th verse of Colossians 3 says;

And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

This already is enough if you ask me. After putting to death the members which are on earth as listed in verses 5 and 8, we get the honour of appearing with Christ in glory. And really what shall it profit you if you gain all that you desire in this world and don’t partake of this honour?

  • He keeps His promises

God told Abraham that through him, all the nations of the world will be blessed. Then God promised David that through his family, a king would be born who would rule over God’s people forever. Jesus certainly is a fulfillment of both promises. These two men walked with God and He certainly kept His part of the deal.

Jesus is saying in the book of Matthew;

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:33 NLT

If only we keep to our part of the deal and seek Him first, we will have full assurance of all other things we desire according to His will.

  • Patiently endure

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
Hebrews 10:35‭-‬36 NLT

Along the journey, you might get discouraged. Nevertheless, patiently endure! Good things don’t come easy. By so doing, you will receive the promise.

In conjunction, Luke 6:22–23 says;

God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.
Luke 6:21‭-‬22 NLT

Child of God, rejoice, for great is your reward in heaven

  • Meditate

The word of God is life and light. It gives insight. Studying His word and being in His presence as frequently as possible will lead you to the right path and help fix your eyes on Jesus. More importantly, God is always there to help you. Even when it’s difficult and it looks like it’s no longer possible, pray.

In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.
Psalms 34:6 NLT

He’s always there for you to help you get through it.

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
Ephesians 6:11 NLT

  • Whatever it takes, see Jesus!

And if your hand—even your stronger hand —causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Matthew 5:30 NLT

Is it not better to lose your hand and see Jesus than to have it and burn eternally in the lake of fire? My dear friend, of what use will your hand be at that time? Drop that earthly pleasure that will cost you eternity while you can. His arms are wide open to receive you and forgive your sins, cleansing you from all unrighteousness. You are God’s masterpiece and He wouldn’t want to lose you. Do good to yourself today and quit every carnal action of yours.

ACT TODAY: Do whatever it takes to see Jesus!

PRAY: Lord, help me to look to you and fix my eyes on you without getting distracted even when it seems unbearable, and that I would receive the foretold promises and ultimately be with you in glory

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

God bless you. Jesus loves you❤

Get in touch with me;

IG: @bettyokosi.__

Email: okosibetty@gmail.com

EYES FIXED ON JESUS II: HE HAS A PLAN!

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Psalms 46:10 NLT

Be still! He is God and He will be exalted in whatever situation you find yourself in.🙂

What situation could really be worse than death? They say as long as there is life, there is hope. In John 11, Lazarus was already dead, for four days even. There was even a stench! But when Jesus came into the scene, the situation was changed. However, preceding all this, a lot had ensued.

Martha, Mary and Lazarus were close friends of Jesus. They had sent a word prior to his death that Lazarus was ill. They knew Jesus could heal Lazarus.

When Jesus eventually showed up, Martha ran to Him and said;

“Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.
John 11:21 NLT

Despite her current predicament and even in her state of confusion, the next verse shows us that she still chose to obey Jesus. It says;

But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”
John 11:22 NLT

There is a lesson for us here. Don’t miss this; Martha made a decision to trust Jesus even when she didn’t understand.

Have you ever been in this sort of condition? Waiting on God in a seemingly hopeless situation? As long as God is involved, it can’t end badly. Even when it seems like the battle is lost, God can turn everything around, even at our down time.

In the 4th verse of that chapter, Jesus said;

“Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”

Think, if everything happens normally as it ought to, how will men identify the power of God in your life? Certainly, only God is able to make all things happen and when He shows up “four days late” and does the extraordinary, all men will see that it’s supernatural and only God could have done such, giving glory to Him.

Mary fell at the feet of Jesus and repeated her sister’s statement (vs 32). And Jesus wept. Jesus understood her feelings of pain and confusion. Jesus understands and feels our pain. He meets us right where we are. It will all end great but He still walks with us in the pain we face.

Bring your grief, pain, tears, sorrow and frustrations to Jesus. He’ll meet you right where you are but won’t ever leave you there. Just like the case of Lazarus, your story will have a happy ending and more importantly, the name of the Lord will be exalted.

We have a living God, walking with us every step of the way. He can’t abandon you in the wilderness. He’ll finish the good work (Philippians 1:6). God is telling you today; BE STILL and know that I am God and I will be exalted in the midst of your storm.

KEY: God won’t ever let you down. If you aren’t sure of this, confess it continually till you’re sure and convinced of the goodness of God.

ACT TODAY: Choose to have faith in God like Martha. Believe who He says He is and you’ll see the glory of God (John 11:40) and the resurrection power flowing in your life.

God bless you. Jesus loves you❤

Get in touch with me;

IG: @bettyokosi.__

Email: okosibetty@gmail.com

EYES FIXED ON JESUS

But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.
Psalms 56:3 NLT

We all have our various challenges and problems. Storms must always come at some point in time but the most important thing is overcoming in the end. No matter the nature and nomenclature of your circumstance, or the way it looks in the human eye, totally trusting in God gives you assured victory and joy in the end.

Focus On Jesus, Not The Storm

In Matthew 14, Jesus commanded Peter to walk on the water to meet Him. Verse 30 says;

But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
Matthew 14:30 NLT

When Peter began to focus on the intensity of the storm, that was when the trouble started. He became afraid and began to sink. Doubt got a better part of him.

No matter the turn or form your storm might take, remember the wind and sea obey Jesus (Matthew 8:23–27) so keep your eyes on Him and He’ll see you through whatever challenge you might be faced with.

When our miracles come and it seems like things have taken a wring turn, be rest assured that He who started the good work will surely bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6). Instead of being overcome by fear, pray and continue to trust God.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
Isaiah 26:3‭-‬4 NLT

Put your trust in God always. The bible says He will make roadways in the wilderness and rivers in deserts (Isaiah 43:19). Even in the midst of difficult situations, God will always make a way. Remember that God sees beyond what we see and He has always known and will always know what is best for us (Jeremiah 29:11). God can use what might seem like a storm for His glory or to prepare us for situations ahead. Trials and tests are only to make us stronger, and in the end, if we don’t lose focus, testifying is a certainty.

KEY: Whether your problem is physical, spiritual, financial, marital, academic, psychological, health based, or taking any other form, Jesus is always Lord over every storm. He’ll prove Himself!

ACT TODAY: Whenever your world is looking dark, brighten tour perspective by focusing on Jesus.

PRAY: Father, please help me to focus on Jesus in the midst of every storm and not the circumstance and even as I do this, may I emerge victorious

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

God bless you. Jesus loves you❤

Get in touch with me;

IG: @bettyokosi.__

Email: okosibetty@gmail.com