“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
James 1:5-8 NKJV
If we believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He has promised, why do so many of us habitually waver in our prayers? Instead of exercising bold faith, we come to the Lord “hoping” He will hear us and answer our requests, but we’re just not sure He will. With this kind of thinking, we cannot expect to receive anything from Him.
One reason we are so prone to doubt is that we fail to see God at work in our circumstances. We asked, and nothing happened. But the Lord is not some cosmic bellhop who jumps in response to our requests. He sees past, present, and future and knows the right time for every answer. His invisible hand is already at work on our behalf—arranging situations to accomplish His will, opening hearts,
and preparing us to receive what He wants to give.
Another cause for uncertainty is ignorance. If we don’t know God’s ways, we will be disappointed in His response. All too often our prayers are accompanied by expectations of how He will work. When He fails to intervene according to our timetable or anticipated method, we start to doubt. But placing our faith in the Lord and trusting in His good and perfect ways gives us stability as we wait for His answer.
To overcome doubts, spend time in the Word to learn God’s principles and ways. Then you’ll begin to grasp what He wants to achieve in your life and how He goes about it. Examine your past from a biblical perspective—faith will grow as you see the unexpected ways He answered your prayers.
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:33)
Are you a disciple? Just because you are a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a disciple. Every disciple is a believer, but not every believer is a disciple. Muslims believes, according to Quranic injunction for them to believe in all prophets, Jesus inclusive but they are not disciples. How are you better?
Jesus gave us the definition of a disciple in Luke 14. Three times in this passage, He said that if we do not do these things, we cannot be His disciples.
First, Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (verse 26). A statement like that is shocking, but let’s understand what Jesus was saying. He obviously was not telling us to hate in the traditional sense. Rather, Jesus was saying that your love for God should be so strong, so intense, that all other loves would be like hatred in comparison.
Second, Jesus said, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple” (verse 27). If you want to live life to its fullest, then you must deny yourself and put Christ first. You take your goals, desires, dreams, and aspirations, and you present them to God. And ultimately you will discover that God’s plans for you are always the best.
Last, Jesus said, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it? . . . So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (verses 28, 33). You must count the cost to follow Jesus. Yes, it costs to follow Jesus. But it costs more not to follow Him.
Jesus called us to go and make disciples (see Matthew 28:19). But it takes one to make one.
Summary sentence: Every disciple is a believer, but not every believer is a disciple.
Lifestyle evangelism calls Christians to live an attractive, winsome, holy life that captures the attention of neighbors and coworkers to earn a chance to share the gospel. Lifestyle Evangelism, a book by Joe Aldrich, defines this style.
Lifestyle evangelism combines proclaiming Jesus (Romans 1:16) with living a life that shows others the difference Jesus makes. Paul told the Ephesians, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3). Clearly there is a particular “lifestyle” that Christians are meant to live. 1Peter 3:15 says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” This implies that our lives should be lived in such a way that others are curious about our faith and that we need to be able and willing to share our faith with others.
Some say lifestyle evangelism falls short or allows Christians to avoid sharing the gospel verbally, but true lifestyle evangelism requires telling the Good News in the context of personal relationship. Other strategies, such as tracts and media, are more direct but less personal.
Peter proclaimed the gospel verbally in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost and 3,000 were baptized into Christ (Acts 2:41 ). He, and others, also showed compassion by meeting the needs of widows (Acts 6:1–7). He both shared the gospel as well as lived it out.
The beginning of the church, as told in Acts, also shows us that Christians were known in their communities for their kindness (Acts 5:13) and shows us they told their neighbors about new life in Christ (Acts 5:20–21). Again, we see both the lifestyle and the verbal sharing about Jesus.
Paul instructed Timothy about his behavior and speaking the message of salvation in 1Timothy 4:16 : “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Christians should not focus solely on showing God’s goodness nor solely on sharing the gospel verbally. Both are required and work best together.
Truly knowing God begins with accepting His salvation. Without the sacrifice of Jesus, we are dead in sin (Colossians 2:13). A dead person cannot raise himself to life in order to come to know anyone. However, once we have accepted the gift of Christ through faith, we can begin to truly know God. The wonder of salvation is that we are not only saved out of an eternity in hell, but to a life in Christ. We are invited into fellowship with God (John 17:20-26), made part of His family (Romans 8:15-17).
After salvation, knowing God starts with hearing what He has to say about Himself. Though we cannot know God fully in this lifetime (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 13:12), we can know Him in part. He has revealed certain things about Himself to us. We find these revelations in God’s written Word—the Bible—and the Word incarnate—Jesus. We also glean them through creation, which is His general revelation to all (Romans 1:20). Believers have been given the Holy Spirit so that we can make sense of God’s Word and perceive the things He reveals to us (John 16:13).
The Word of God is given primarily to us, not for intellectual stimulation. We cannot study the Bible like a book of Chemistry or a novel, this is not the way God intended it to be. God want us to study His Word in a way that it will apply to our lives first: to equip us for a better living, and for more effective ministry work. If you have not allowed the Word of God to work in your life, please, do not bother to use it to teach others “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith, 6from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm” 1TIMOTHY 1:5-8. Apostle Paul said, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2TIMOTHY 3:16-17NKJV.
Most Christians never seem to concern themselves with the deeper Truth of God, which is the more reason they fall into error. We can only receive the deeper Truth of God according to the measure of our spiritual growth as we surrender our will to Him. The more we allow Holy Spirit to bring to light the Word of God into our heart, the more we overcome giants in our lives, and the more we grow to the stature of Christ. What are these giants? All unfruitful works of darkness (GALATIANS 5:19-21). Our life in Christ does not stop only at been born again; but if we refused to grow, we shall remain in a baby level. Babies cannot chew meat; and if you remain a baby all your life, where they feed you with anointing oil, prayer points list, anointed water, apron, people’s pictures for you to be praying with, and handkerchiefs, which is the condition of most believers today. Then, you will be toss to and fro by every wind of doctrine that comes your way. If our concern is only to become born again, and falls into a routine of: “my sins are forgiven, and I am on my way to Heaven, full stop. My job is to bring others to the place where their sins can be forgiven, and they are on their way to Heaven, full stop. In addition, others too should witness to others, full stop.” Assuming this was the case, then, majority section of the scripture should be removed, and thrown away, because we do not need them.
Humanly speaking, if a baby is born, and the mother refused to feed and nourish it with care, food and other things necessary, in no time, the baby would become malnourished and may die eventually. Let us ask ourselves, why are there so many doctrines and teachings in the New Testament? ANSWER: God does not want us to stop with the forgiveness of sins alone. God does not want us to stop with been born again and drinking milk alone. He wants us to grow up into maturity on earth; and the more we grow into maturity, the more effective our testimonies on earth are, for the Lord. EPHESIANS 1:4 says “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, (not only to be Born Again), that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love (THERE IS A LIFE, AFTER BORN AGAIN”
God is not only involving in a program of taking people mainly to Heaven, we need to understand that. He is also involving in program where there must be a powerful matured testimony for Christ on earth, in place after place after place call a local church. The Book of Ephesians deals with a Heavenly life on earth. A Church and a Christian can fulfill its functions on earth only if they are heavenly minded. The more heavenly minded we are, the more we can fulfill Gods purpose for us on earth. The more Heavenly minded a church is, the more she can fulfill Gods purpose for her on earth. The earthly minded we are, the more useless we become to fulfill God’s purposes on earth for our lives, even if we say we are going to Heaven when we die. Unfortunately, this is what is happening in the Christendom. You must be Heavenly minded while living on earth, as God said in the Book of DEUTERONOMY 11:21 “Your days on earth shall be like your days in heaven.”
Along with reading Scripture, we also engage in things like prayer, fellowship, and worship. God desires to have a personal and intimate relationship with us. We grow that relationship as we would any other – through time, conversation, sharing our hearts. We study the truth of the Word and also pay attention to our experiences. We ask God for His guidance. Jesus said, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9-10). We have been invited to seek God. We can do so boldly (Hebrews 4:16).
We also come to know God by obeying Him. Jesus said, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. … You are my friends if you do what I command you. …You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another” (John 15:4, 14, 16-17). When we obey someone, we begin to understand his desires. When we obey God, we also experience the blessings He has for us because His commands are meant for our good. Abiding in God is one way we come to know Him; and when we do, our attitudes and actions will begin to reflect God’s character (Matthew 12:33; Galatians 5:22-24; Ephesians 2:10).
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) sums up the key to truly knowing God: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” First, we must have faith to believe in God. Then we must understand His character – that He has good things in store for us. Finally, we must seek Him earnestly. We are called to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Knowing Him is a life response to His love for us. As we engage daily life, we do so with God on our hearts and in our minds (Colossians 3:17).
Two years ago today, over 115 people seeking healing and an encounter with God died when the building they were staying in collapsed on top of them. Countless others were injured, some never being able to walk or work again. In July 2015, the coroner released his report – proving that the building collapsed was inevitable due to a litany of serious structural failings, for example:
1) Inadequate beams of 750mm by 225mm (should have been 900mm by 300mm)
2) Inadequately reinforced columns (should have been reinforced with 12 x Y25 bars or 20 x Y20mm bars. Instead they used 10 x Y20 bars (as seen in the video released by SCOAN).
3) Inadequate bearing pressure for the central column due to the 2m x 2m x 0.9m foundations.
4) Failure to introduce rigid zones for bracing the structure and did not design the frames as an unbraced structure.
5) Failure to provide movement joints that could have absorbed any movement due to creep, contraction, expansion and differential settlement etc..
6) 8 out of the 12 main beams of the structure failed because they were undersized, under-reinforced (both in tension and shear), the tension bars were poorly anchored to the column supports and 8 x Y20 was used instead of 14 x Y20.
7) The ground floor columns were slender and readily gave in to buckling.
The coroner Oyetade Komolafe ruled that SCOAN were criminally negligent, and should be investigated and prosecuted, “The ‘church’ was culpable because of criminal negligence resulting in the death of the victims” (Source: BBC).
In April 2016, after many attempts by SCOAN to disrupt or stall the court proceedings, charges were finally read. The charges are “failure to obtain building approval contrary to Section 75 of the Urban and Regional Planning Law of Lagos State 2010 and involuntary manslaughter causing death contrary to Section 222 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011“. In June 2016, the trial started, but after a couple of days it went silent without conclusion. SCOAN have not been cleared of the charges, but nor have they been found guilty – the whole case has gone silent.
Where is the justice for the many families who have lost loved ones, or those whose lives will never be the same again due to their horrific injuries? We belief Lagos State Government can do better than this – by showing authority, exhibiting passion to defend the defenseless, and bring this case to a tangible conclusion. Even if you are a SCOAN supporter, surely you can agree with us that it is not in SCOAN’s favor to have this unconcluded criminal investigation over their head? Reports show that visitors to SCOAN has reduced by up to 90%. Either SCOAN is guilty and should face the consequences of their lethal actions, or they should have their name cleared. This limbo situation is in nobodies favor (except SCOAN, if they know they are guilty).
DECEPTION OF THE AGE
T.B. Joshua has become an embarrassment to Nigeria. What more could prove that this charlatan, con-artist is a dangerous false prophet than him not been able to see the collapse of his own building which killed over 115 gullible foreigners. He is very quick to put out over edited videos and Photoshop pictures, purporting to have predicted many disaster happening around the world to look relevant, but right in his compound he could not predict those that add up to the number of people that perished in his own house. Joshua is a psychopath with zero empathy for the victims of tragedies as he releases fulfilment of false videos to corroborates lies. Now, read this: This is neither an allegation, nor a speculation; as someone who had lived in the synagogue for over a decade, and has worked in various departments in leadership capacity, closely to the direct source, I know some deeper things about tbJoshua and the synagogue. There are two major reasons that points to the collapsed of the Synagogue, I can not be wrong on them. They are: 1. Joshua use the people for spiritual sacrifice with the aim of gaining more power in the evil realm. He has been doing it before now, people mysteriously dies in the synagogue, workers die, members die, ‘disciples’ dies and they are buried secretly, but this is Huge, Joshua can’t hide it. Since the time I left synagogue in 2008, for over 6years to 2014, Joshua had not been able to travel outside the shores of Nigeria for his usual scam crusades; but shortly after the collapsed, Joshua went to Mexico to display falsehood. Never in the history of the Church of the living God do the children of God suffer such disaster in the hands of a satanic agent like Joshua. The more reason people should know their Creator and serve Him devotedly without running to prayer arrangers, especially places like Synagogue ‘church’. Synagogue is not a Church of Jesus Christ, you can never tell when Joshua’s demons wants to strike to drink Blood and unleash mayhem upon innocents. No one knows the days they are thirsty, it can be in the least time people expected. I have witnessed how people died suddenly and their deaths were covered up in terrifying secrecy. We don’t want to magnify satan, Joshua has demons, disembodied spirits at his beck and call, which he sends on errands, and they affect and wreck havocs in the lives of those who are not standing firm in the Lord. Our Lord said it, that if it were possible, even the very elect, satan want to pluck them MATTHEW 24:24. Life is a battle ground, we shall all engage in one battle or another. Some shall be devoured, and there are some that cannot be devoured. DANIEL 11:32-33 says, “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.” People of God, stop living in carnality, the food of satan is dust, if you don’t live in the Spirit, you may become food for satan. Anyone who lives in the flesh (dust) is a candidate to be devoured by the devil and its agents 1PETER 5:8. God does not shift base; we are the ones that experiences God in dimensions. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” JAMES 4:8.
Now, Joshua has done his evil work, the dead are gone and he believes that the whole noise of prosecuting him by the government of Nigeria would soon die down. He always boosts that whenever things of this nature happens to him, it is for a higher height and promotion. Must Joshua continue to kill for more evil power at the detriment of the innocents? We pray that this will not continue; every individual who thinks they are untouchable even in the extreme instances of causing so many deaths shall face reprisal from God. TBJoshua belongs to different occult society with some top Nigerian government officials, who returns favor to each other in time of trouble, but God will expose you all.
Now, 2. I know how Joshua reasons in regards to building structures in the synagogue. Joshua is desperately trying to buy all the land adjacent to the synagogue area because in the figment of his mind, he is into competitions with Redeemed Christian Church of God, and Living Faith Church. He uses people to front for him to buy various lands around synagogue environs, because people would not have sold their properties directly to him. After buying, he builds ramshackle structures on them in the name of expansion. These can be corroborated by some ‘ex disciples’ who have gained their sanity back after leaving synagogue. Paul Agomoh, Linda, Kazeem, Lola, Bisola (myself), Ogra, Falusi, Baba Amala and some other people which I cannot remember their names now are the ‘Job men’ Joshua uses to supervise laborers. The people I mentioned knows nothing about building constructions. I was a banker before I got to the synagogue, Baba Amala was a printer, Linda was a beautician, Ogra was an artist, Lola was a teacher, Paul was into Publishing/song writing, and others were into various trades, but we were converted to builders without any fundamental training. (Excerpts from ‘Deception Of The Age Unmasked’)
We need to keep the families of the departed in our prayers to be strong, and continue to used this sad occurrence as a deterrents to others who are in habits of looking for spiritual arrangers and false prophets.