Contending for the Faith: Developing a Godly Perspective

~ Jude 1:4 ~

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ”.

In the verse, Jude admonish the brethren to watch out for certain characters in their midst. These characters he points out crept in without notice and had become abusive of the grace of God, turning it into all kinds of vulgar and ungodly behavior that denied the Lordship of Christ, God Almighty.  How did they come in unnoticed? Is it because they crept in quietly, looked the same, blended in, sang the same songs, had the same language and community behavior, dressed the same way? Their hearts were far from God as Jude points out although they might have professed to know God. They were vicious at heart to the extent of turning God’s grace into vulgarity with their very hearts and actions denying the lordship of Christ. How could the people not notice? Probably because they crept in quietly as we are told, or is it because they were busy with the organization of activities, or busy with church services, or busy with the “important” things while the “cancer” quietly attempted to wreak havoc in their midst? How did Jude notice from afar, but the very people at the center did not? Was Jude more sensitive to their environment than the very people right there? Had they  lost their sensitivity, or did they just not care? Were they completely out of touch with the reality on the ground? In any case, the Lord had everything marked out, He had His eyes set on the people and expected vigilance as He does now.

For that reason, Jude in verse three called for a contention for the faith, standing the ground and defending the faith, being vigilant and not allowing these characters to destroy the fabric of faith. These characters go to every extent to dishonor the name of the Lord.  How would you identify these characters?  By being grounded in the knowledge of God and being obedient to the leading of Holy Spirit, testing every spirit as john encourages, “Beloved do not believe every spirit but test every spirit to see whether they of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1), and into the midst of the brethren. God is saying, “watch out!”, and in watching out and testing every spirit, it is imperative to develop the attitude of the Bereans as indicated in the days of the Apostle Paul,  “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

In searching the scriptures, they were positioning themselves to operate within the framework of God’s word, which has been proven to be perfect as Psalm 119:18 indicates “open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from your law (word). This is a perfect way to avoid the deception and expose these characters that Jude warns about. 

I pray that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened; that you may know what the hope of His calling is, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.

#dadwedaa

March 4, 2019

Contending for the Faith: A Choice of Freedom

“Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”

~ Jude 1:1-3 ~

When Jude, gave the exhortation to contend for the faith, he recognized that deception was becoming common, some people were denying the Lordship of Christ and he was calling the people to watch out, to be grounded in truth, and to stand for what is right, never giving up but to STAND.

In calling the people to contend for the faith, Jude was not calling for the use of missiles, guns, swords and knives or any man-made weapons of destruction to fight a cause, but was calling for vigilance, an increase in the knowledge of the holy one, an increase in truth and an increased desire and commitment to peace and a life of freedom. He was giving an exhortation to stand on the solid ground of faith and walk in the highway of righteousness, love and peace. He was calling for a cherishing of the gift of eternal life and a hallowing of the giver of the gift, calling to remembrance both His love and His wrath.  Some people may choose to walk in the ways of darkness but for those who have seen the light of day, he exhorts to continue walking in that light. For the fear of their deeds being exposed, some prefer to stay in the dark place, devising schemes of darkness that do not lead to peace. For those in that place of darkness, remember the light of those around you is focused on you and there is no hiding place from the eyes of the Lord.

As darkness deepens, freedom’s holy light shines brightest, positioned on the solid foundation of faith knowing, as John 1:5 (NIV) indicates that, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”.   And again, as Luke 11:35 exhorts to “see to it that the light in you is not darkness”. This is the contention Jude calls for, a truthful self-examination to ensure first that the pure light of God lights up the inner most being and then have that light shine out into the dark places to bring illumination and a witness.  The exhortation to contend for the faith comes with mercy, peace and love multiplied to those that are willing to accept it, as it echoes to people from every tribe and every nation, to stand for what is right, to create a safe and prosperous world, promote justice and work for peace. The eyes of the Lord are upon the nations of the world to see which way they choose go.  I exhort you therefore to let your light shine, to work the works of day and to stay out of the darkness. I pray you will accept to be free and rejoice in that freedom.

#dadwedaa

March 2, 2019

The works of Day

~ John 9:4-5 ~

“I must work the works of him who sent me while it is still day; the night is coming when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus made this statement while answering a question about the cause of a man’s blindness and then proceeded to heal him of that blindness. There are questions raised about many things in our day, from the question of God and hell, peace and security of the free world, electronic devices safety and privacy, consumer protection from corporations with no integrity.

From the time of asking these questions and when the world actually receives the answers, there is work to be done.  That work needs to be done now and decisively before the “the night” comes when no man can work. At that time, there will not be the will, the capacity and the capability to answer the questions, and then it will be too late. Jesus acted decisively to heal the blind man, answering the question asked, to show that it was not the sin of the man nor his parents that made him blind, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

In other words, Jesus gave sight to the blind man to demonstrate that He is the light of the world. In the present time, the light of the free world needs to shine at its brightest to bring light into the dark places, bringing sight and insight needed to lead into light. There is need to do this while it is still day, before the night comes when no man can work. If any should err, let that be on the side of FREEDOM and it’s holy light, following that light safely into the harbor, out of the turbulent waters before the night comes.

The clock is ticking!

#dadwedaa

February 23, 2019

Newness of Life

~ Mathew 28:12-14 ~

“When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.””

They crucified him because He exposed the true state of their hearts, they secured the tomb and posted guards because they were afraid of Him rising from the dead on the third day. When He rose from the dead on the third day, they became confused and bribed the guards to tell a lie.

Such is the trap of those who reject the truth, going to every extent to cover up deeds of darkness. However, in His truth there is freedom, freedom from the power of sin, freedom from the deeds of darkness, the freedom to live in the light and be truly FREE.

It is rather easy to miss the moment of truth while trying to cover up deeds of darkness. However, pausing to look up to the one that was pierced, brings new life, strength and hope as the lie is exchanged for His truth. Let the truth of His word bring freedom wherever it finds you and lead to newness of life.

#dadwedaa

February 21, 2019

AFRICA Returns

AFRICA RETURNS

The year 2019 marks the 400th year since the first slave ship anchored in Jamestown, Virginia in America.  Ghana’s president Akuffo-Addo has declared 2019 the “Year of Return”, the wording capturing the reverse imagery of the dreadful “door of no return”, the final point of exit before slaves were loaded onto ships in Ghana and headed for the Americas which now reads differently “door of return”. This indicates that President Akuffo-Addo and for that matter the spirit of Africa is moving past symbolism and taking steps to concretize what many have dreamed about for many years, welcoming home and uniting the African family.

I want to first and foremost reiterate Madiba’s (Nelson Mandela) words in his long walk to freedom, “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison”. Africans are being called back to gather again as Africans not out of bitterness or hatred for their current places of citizenship and abode but out of a sense of community, being a part of the AFRICAN pride. The call is to gather again as the people of Africa, a single community, a shared story and a shared future.

As ideas take shape, plans advance and offers of right of abode are extended, it should be worth noting that the events of the past, over 400 years should be referenced ONLY to tell the story of Africa but not to DEFINE its people. When slaves were taken from the continent in general and Ghana in particular, they were in shackles and loaded on ships with no rights to determine what space they fitted in and how their destiny was defined, however, today many return in airplanes  and not slave ships, with choices of how to travel, where to live, what to do with their lives. This is a sign that times have changed, society has moved on, the past is HISTORY, the future is PROMISE.

What brings definition and purpose to this era are the freedoms, the opportunity, the common humanity, the ideas, the exciting future that this gathering brings. It reunites not only the African to Africa but the American to Africa as well, it re-unites the rest of world to Africa for opportunity, for growth, for development and above all for peace and stability as we understand our common humanity and work together for our shared future. It is very exciting that the African is returning, and she is returning to and with knowledge, technology, innovation, reforms, development, trade, peace, justice.

THIS return is the ENGINE for growth not only for Africa but also for the rest of the world. The WEALTH of Africa is waiting.

Kudos to president Akuffo-Addo of Ghana for LEADING this effort, it is the perfect time to dream again.  This is a return to re-create and re-shape the Africa of the future. The perfect time for repositioning.

Rise Africa, RISE.

#dadwedaa

January 6, 2019