Are You Growing?

sprout-1136131__340

Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is instructive: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him”(v.17). What Paul prayed for others, he desired for himself: “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”(Phil 3:10). For many, the Christian life is sentimental, disguised as spiritual; lacking in biblical and  theological knowledge. We often say “for the lack of knowledge my people perish”. The irony however is that many have a disdain for biblical knowledge. Any attention to such is received with suspicion.

Now, when a human being is born, they must grow and mature. In the same way a Christian must grow and mature: “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:2-3). Have you “tasted that the Lord is good?”Are you saved? A sure mark of the presence of a work of God in our lives is desire for God’s word. Where this desire is missing, a man or woman who professes Christianity must beware; they may not be saved.

Christian growth and maturity comes through knowledge and obedience to God’s word. As we study God’s word and obey it, we grow in our knowledge of God and our walk with Him. Do you know God, are you growing in your knowledge of God, do you have a desire to know God and grow in your knowledge and obedience? A growing or matured Christian prays, reads and studies God’s word, lives in obedience, repents of sin daily and has an increasing desire to know God.

Do these things describe you? “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)

Are you growing? The litmus test is your desire for God’s word and a life of obedience.

Advertisements

The Uncertainty Of Life

 

…you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

Yesterday, an unconfirmed number of people lost their lives in a tragic, gory road accident on the Pokuase-Nsawam road. This is a road I use every day — Monday-Sunday. This morning in our family devotion we prayed for comfort for the bereaved families and also prayed that through this, those who, among the bereaved families, don’t know Christ will come to faith in Him. I also reminded my family none of us is guaranteed life any day and we must always be prepared; each one of us will die one day. When, we don’t know, but death is a certain reality of life: “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Obviously not everyone will die by gory road accidents. Some will go by sickness; others will not wake up from their sleep. There are many ways people depart this life but the certainty is that every one of us will depart. Now, I doubt if anyone wishes to die in a fatal accident, but, what I am yet to come to terms with as a Christian is when fellow Christians tend to think they are exempted from such disasters and plead all kinds of ‘indemnity’.

Yesterday, I heard a phrase for the first time: ‘covenantal exemption‘. That supposedly means those who ply that road and are Christians and say amen to a ‘covenantal exemption‘ will not encounter any accident in their commuting. As well-meaning as this may sound, it is preposterous. Does this by any means mean by professing Christianity, or saying amen to some words, we get exempted from life’s trials and disasters which all are partakers of? Christians do die from disasters, don’t they?

Christianity gives us hope in all situations, even in death, but it doesn’t promise us indemnity in any shape or form in this life. Incidents like this should always lead us to a sober reflection of our lives and not to a false sense of security:

All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls (1Peter 1:24).

What On Earth Is “A Prosperity Gospel”?

dollar-bookmark

What On Earth Is “A Prosperity Gospel”? Who is it “gospel” to? One of the foundational qualities of a theological principle is its universality; that is, its relevance to all people at all times in all places. Of what use is a “prosperity gospel” to those who see no connection whatsoever between their wealth and an allegiance to Christ, or even those who are under grave persecution from their government and are the risk of losing their lives at a moment’s notice, of what use is the “prosperity gospel” to these ones?

The so called prosperity gospel thrives in places where people’s self worth are tied to their possessions. Where “meaning” is encapsulated in physical wellbeing, where significance is confused with the spectacular. The prosperity gospel fails the universality test woefully. And it is a tragedy to see how easily people are swayed by the mirage of the prosperity gospel.

I am yet to see any prosperity preacher whose wealth is not directly proportional to the contributions of the people he rips off. The Old shenanigans are giving way to the new, layers upon layers of sophistication is now being added so as to sway the target market, but the mirage is still the same.

The question that may arise is, “is the aspiration to get wealth Biblically wrong”?

Now, all what is being said is that such an aspiration is not in any way or form uniquely Christian and as such must not be couched as a Christian virtue, let alone “a gospel”. The aspiration to be wealthy, to be healthy or to have a great marriage is not in any way, size or form a uniquely Christian aspiration, and as such it must never be couched as a Christian virtue, let alone “a gospel”. The aspiration to get wealth is a human aspiration, desired by all kinds of people — believers and unbelievers alike.

To teach that God has somehow granted an advantage to the believer, as far as this aspiration is concerned, and that such an advantage can mostly be accessed through prayer, generous donations, night vigils, special night vigils, seed faith, special impartation, prophetic declarations, and the like, is to be a con artist! To put it simply, the “prosperity gospel” is one of the world’s longest running cons.

*This post is adapted from a response to a conversation on facebook.