Thursday, April 19, 2012
The Nurse hastened in her flight from the palace, all she was concerned about was making sure she escaped with five year old Mephibosheth. She loved him like she would have loved any son she bore. News had come from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle. It happened as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. The Nurse knew that she must leave at once with Jonathan’s son- Mephibosheth lest he got killed. She took him to Ziba, who was Saul’s chief servant and he promised her he would take care of him. Mephibosheth grew up in Lo-Debar, his servant Ziba had raised him and taken good care of him. He was lame in both feet and had no had nothing to his name, except his little son- Mica. He lived in constant fear of the day king David will find out he was alive. He had learnt from Ziba how King Saul- Mephibosheth’s grandfather had been a terrible king and had really terrorized David because he saw him as a contender for his throne, despite how loyal David had been to Saul. Amidst David’s trials in the hands of Saul, Jonathan- Mephibosheth father had become covenant friends with David. Eventually Saul and Jonathan had died in battle and David had been crowned king. His Nurse had fled with him at once and brought him to Ziba so that he would not be killed, he dint think he was any better off alive anyways, after all he was lame. He felt miserable and despaired of life; it was due to the kindness of Machir, the son of Ammiel that he was able to eat every day. He had no idea what would become of his life, he no land, no cattle, no gold, no silver, even Ziba his servant was better than him. He was so deep in thought that he dint hear Ziba approach, until he tapped his shoulder. “Master, are you thinking again?” Ziba asked,” I have called your name now more than three times” Mephibosheth couldn’t help but be embarrassed because he knew Ziba knew what he had been thinking about.” Yes Ziba, I was thinking!” “I bring good news” Ziba said enthusiastically “What news could you have that would be good?” “I happened to be in the palace when King David asked if there was anyone left of King Saul’s lineage that he may show the person kindness for Jonathan’s sake” Ziba said “So?” Mephibosheth asked warily. “So, I told him there is- You and he asked to see you immediate… “No way” Mephibosheth dint let Ziba finish his sentence before he interrupted him. He was shaking physically, there was no way he was going to meet King David; it was a plot to kill him and completely wipe out Saul’s lineage. It took a very ling while for Ziba to convince him to go to the palace. Eventually Mephibosheth agreed to go although very much reluctantly. He was quite surprised at David’s warm reception, because he had half expected for his guards to haul him straight to the King’s dungeon. “Mephibosheth” – David spoke his name “Yes sir?” Mephibosheth answered “Don’t be frightened,” said David. “I would like to do something special for you in memory of your father Jonathan. To begin with, I am returning too you all the properties of your grandfather Saul. Furthermore, from now on you will take all meals at my table” Shuffling and stammering, not looking him in the eyes, Mephibosheth said” who am I that you pay attention to a stray dog like me?” He was surprised beyond words could express that David could do this great favour for him. And that was how he moved back to Jerusalem, his son, Ziba and his household along with him and he fed continually from the King’s table.
Shammua, Shaphat, Caleb, Igal, Hoshea, Palti, Gaddir, Gaddiel, Ammiel, Sethur, Nahbi and Geuel walked in groups of two or three, all chatting about their espionage to Canaan. It was their fortieth day away from the camp and they were really exhausted. They were on their way back to Kadesh to meet Moses and the children of Isreal in the Wilderness of Paran. Moses, at the command of the Lord had sent the twelve of them out to spy the land of Canaan, he had picked one man each from each tribe of Israel. He had charged them thus: Observe the land, is it pleasant or harsh? Describe the towns where they live; are they open camps or fortified with walls? And the soil; is it fertile or barren? Are there forests? And try to bring back sample of the produce that grows there” That had been forty days ago, and with that charge they had left. They scouted out the land from the wilderness of Zin as far as Rehob toward Lebo Hamath. They gone through the Negev Desert, through Hebron and they had even passed through the land of the giants; Anak’s descendants. The journey had been tough, eventful and tiring but from Caleb the son of Jephunneh of the tribe of Judah, he knew they could take the land. Caleb and Hoshea walked side by side carrying between them a a pole a cluster of grapes which they had cut down from the valley of Eshcol, some of the other men carried figs while others carried pomegranates. He was so excited at what they had found out about the land of Canaan, all the fruits they carried was just one of the signs that the land God had given them was a good land indeed. He couldn’t wait till they got to camp to tell the people all they had seen and for Moses to give the charge for them to go take the land. He looked over at Hoshea, now names Joshua and they exchanged a knowing smile, “ yes they could take over the land” Just then, six of the other guys passed them and what Caleb heard them saying wiped the smile from his face. The only thing I Saw was that the people who live there are so fierce, their cities are huge and well fortified” one of the men was saying. “Dint you see the giants? That is even worse than any other thing” another said Caleb had to cut in sharply “No! Don’t say that, let us go up and take the land now, we can do it. He couldn’t let them have this kind of inferiority complex, it would only destroy them. “The land we passed through to spy is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the Lord nor fear the people for they are our bread” Caleb all but shouted at them By now, all the twelve men had gathered together and it was obvious that it was only Caleb and Joshua that had a different and positive view of their espionage. The ten were totally in awe of the giants. “We can’t attack those people; they are way stronger than we are” We scouted out the land from one end to another; it is a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we say was huge. We even saw the Nephilim giants and besides them we were like grasshoppers. And despite how much Caleb and Joshua tried to convince them other wise, the men were not persuaded. And by the time they reached the camp, the men had spread the news and filled the Israelites with dread. They all believed they were nothing compared to the Canaanites despite the fact that God was with them and had wrought so many miracles in their presence. Caleb will never forget the after math of what that singular act of inferiority complex had cost them all. Forty years of wandering in the wilderness.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Timothy sat beside Gaius, Tychicus and Trophimus in the Ship as they sailed to troas to go and wait for his Father in the Lord- Apostle Paul. He was still in Philippi with Luke the physician; they would join them at Troas in a few days after the days of unleavened bread. They had left in a hurry because there had been an attempt on Paul’s life in Greece. Since they still had a long journey ahead of them and since he dint have to keep the company of his shipmates, timothy allowed himself to reminisce. “Hear O Israel, the Lord thy God is One” Grandma Lois read to Timothy. She tenderly brushed Tim’s hair as she read the Torah to him, his mother, her daughter was in the kitchen cooking, she was Lois’s only daughter and had returned home with Timothy when his father had been forced to return to Greece t serve his father’s gods. Since their return, Lois had determined to pass on the belief of Yahweh to timothy just as she had done with Eunice, his mother. Lois had been among the early converts and she had lost her husband during the persecution. She had raised Eunice and never remarried and had brought her up in the fear of Yahweh. She sensed that something special about Timothy, at twelve, he was so eager to learn all about Yahweh and he was often awed by the miracles He had performed. She was took great pleasure in telling him all the Bible stories. Perhaps, he would become a rabbi one day. She was so proud of Eunice, despite all she passed through, her faith never wavered. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace” that’s how the children of Israel greeted each other. Lois explained to Timothy who was really smiling. “Do you also know that all the first son of Israelites who opened the womb were to be named after God” Lois went on to say. “Really? Grandma?” Timothy asked wide eyed. “Yes my Love, really, that’s why named you Timothy, which means ‘Honoured by God’ “Eunice who was passing bye, chipped in, ruffling Timothy’s hair as she passed. “Mum! Grandma just brushed my hair” Timothy told his mum and doged her hand from further ruffling his hair. “Grandma will brush it again” Eunice said Lois winked at Timothy as she brushed his hair again “So Grandma, I am the male who opened the womb?” Timothy asked “Yes, Timothy, you are. And we dedicated you to the Lord, never waver in the Lord, be strong in Him and in the power of his Might, always love and fear the Lord and never forget your heritage” grandma Lois said tenderly. And that had been the anchor of Timothy’s life; he had kept the faith even after he had left home and moved to Derbe and Lystra. An after a few years, he het Apostle Paul who took an instant liking to him especially after the brethren had spoken well of him. Apostle Paul had had to circumcise him because of his Greek heritage, and he had become his disciple since, doing ministry together along with other brethren. He had come to regard him as his father and Paul referred to him as son. Timothy was brought back from his reverie by the sharp jolt of the ship signifying they were at Troas and had to disembark.
“Ok, ok, hope everything is set?, girls go bath, brother Paul will be here any moment from now” Chloe said, untying her apron. Brother Paul the apostle was finally coming to visit her household and she was so excited. She had only met him twice, the first time was he had first come to Corinth from Athens; she met him through her cousin Priscilla and Aquila, her husband. She had been really awed to meet him in person because she had heard a lot about him especially of his former conduct in Judaism and his role in the death of Brother Stephen. God just never ceased to amaze her. After that, the second and last time she had seen him was when he came to plant the Corinthian church and that was when he had chosen her house as one of the church meeting places. She hadn’t seen him since them but the church had continued to meet in her house once a week. She had become a trusted leader and a source of reliable information for the Apostle Paul. And through her relationship with the Apostle Paul and the Church, she had met other phenomenal women of God, such as Nympha and Lydia, who also had churches meeting in their houses. She couldn’t imagine what her life would have been without those women always encouraging and strengthening her in the Lord. Just last week, she had received a letter through brother Urbanus from brother Paul telling her he would be coming to Corinth and he would make a stop at her house. She had been so excited to hear he was coming, because since she heard of his arrest and incarceration in Rome, she had lost all hope of ever seeing him again, but she later was told that the jailer had dealt fairly with him and had granted him permission to briefly visit his people. Now the day had come, she couldn’t wait to see him, she eagerly looked forward to listening to him and she had a lot to discuss with him also. Joanna and Martha stood shyly behind their mama as she spoke with the white haired man with the kind eyes. “Sister Chloe, you are really doing a good work, may our God the father of our Lord, Jesus Christ continue to bless you”. Apostle Paul prayed. He had had the urge to visit Corinth for a long time to see how the church was doing and also how Sister Chloe had been faring with the church in her house. Although, he had heard good reports from the brethren who came to visit him in Rome. He was really impressed with the work the Lord was doing through Chloe’s house. The church in her house had increased from twenty to seventy five. “Amen,, Brother Paul, Amen” “I hope you have no challenges whatsoever in conducting the church?” he asked gently, knowing how daunting it could be to be a believer, and how much more for one having a church in her house. “now that you asked, there’s one major issue I would like you to address at our church meeting in two days time. The brethren are divided, as some have been saying “we are on Paul’s side” while some others say “we are of Apollo’s” and another say “we are in the Messiah’s group”. Chloe couldn’t understand why the brethren felt they needed to form camps after all “Jesus and only Jesus is the saviour of all men” “Really, is that so?” Paul asked. That could not be allowed among the brethren, division must not be allowed in the church at all. There is only one saviour and that is Jesus. Thank God he baptized only Crispus, Gaius and Stephanas , before people will begin to say he baptized in his own name hence the need for them to join his camp. Besides, his assignment was to preach not baptize. He knew Apollos would not be happy to hear this at all. He looked kindly at Chloe and assured her the matter would be sorted out at the next gathering of the brethren. After a few more words of exultations, he departed from Chloe’s house.
Romans 14:23 “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” Romans 14:23 KJV As believers, the Bible must be our ultimate guide. The reference scripture is a very profound one. On one hand, it can convict you and on the other hand, it can damn you. It makes us understand that , even though the Bible may not explicitly categorize some things as sins, yet they become sin to us as believers if our conscience condemns us in such acts. The scripture says that, he that eateth out of faith is damned (emphasis mine), and that whatever we do outside of faith is sin. Now for instance, going to a club or clubbing is not a sin if we go by Bible standards, however if as a believer, you doubt that going to a club is edifying or is not a form of presenting your body as a living sacrifice and yet you go, it has become a sin to you. Even if, every other believer go and it is not counted as sin to them. This can also apply to varied practices as far as our sense of dressing as believers. In other not to be damned in what we do, we must weigh our actions if they comply with our faith. If you don’t think something is right ; even if everyone is doing it, then you shouldn’t do it. The Bible says “the just shall live by faith”, and you are the just. Therefore, if you are not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe – some days trying to impose your opinion on others, other days just trying to please them- then you know that you are out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then its wrong.
“Hello is that the U- Haul Company, I need a driver and a van to come help me move my things from Haran, my name is Mr. Abram” Abram spoke into the receiver. “Where are you moving to?” the official asked I don’t know where I am going; just send me a van first thing in the morning” Abram replied, sounding firm. “What do you mean; you don’t know where you are going? How do you expect us to charge you and by the way, what is your name? the official asked rolling his eyes, who calls a U-Haul company with no destination in mind. “I am Mr. Abram Terah, as for the cost, that won’t be a problem, just come” Abram was getting impatient with these questions and answers. “How old are you Mr. Terah?” the name dint ring a bell to him, maybe he was from out of town “I am seventy five years and why is that important?” “Seventy five; oh my God! You must be a senile old man, I bet the place you are moving to is a sanatorium, you had better call the department for veterans, so they come check you into a home for the aged” said the manager mockingly. Abram lost track of thee conversation as he was thinking to himself how he was going to answer Sarai, his Wife when she asked him where they were going, he himself did not know. all he knew was that Yahweh said to him “get thee out of thy country” and without some reasonable explanation, he knew this was urgent and therefore must be immediate. He eventually hung up the phone and walked to the room to face the unpleasant task of telling his wife they were moving. Again!
What exactly is it about Love? Have you ever truly being in Love, I mean literally swept off your foot and head over heels in love? if yes, then we certainly will all agree that it’s a Beautiful feeling, to love & to be loved in return. Love makes you see the world in different light, you look at people from a different perspective &you handle situations differently. But come to think of it, after all the fuzzy &butterfly feelings are gone then what next? You suddenly realize that Love is simply not enough. On this basis, we can deduce that Love is truly not a feeling but a Decision, a Decision to love that person against all odds whether the feelings are there or not. Believe me, it only takes a while before the butterflies disappear. Note that, When I say Love is not enough, I mean just the idea of being in love is not enough to carry one through the years that will be spent together as couples. People will agree with me that after the initial years of Dating, Engagement, Courtship &whatever names we refer to the period before marriage. The feelings will begin to decline not of will but of necessity ,after all, you "have seen the person finish" ,you are now married, you have children, so what's the hype, right? Now it’s natural for a couple to begin to grow apart, focusing more on the children &on building careers. And couples just become strange bed fellows. But how can this Love,(remember the fuzziness &butterfly feelings of yester years?)be rekindled? Below are some ways, although not exhaustive. 1. Write down the reason why you fell in love in the first place and look out for those reasons in your partner. The reason you chose this person instead of others. 2. Take holidays away without the kids. Change your environment. 3. Talk. Talk about the way things are between you. 4. Re watch your wedding videos 5. Visit places of significance to you,like where you met,where you had your first date..etc. 6. Give Gifts 7. Pray to God to help you rekindle your love No kidding, apply some of these things and watch your relationship or Marriage take a turn around. But most importantly, be in love, not fall in love( cliché but true). Love is just more than the butterfly feelings. You have to agree with the person you marry, share same values and at least have to 70% things in common and above all make sure you are good friends with your betrothed.