Inspire 4: The Good Christian
By Victor Chukwu
Hebrews 10:24 “Let us consider one another to prove unto love and to good works”
Paul in his epistles and letters to the church always alluded to the phrase “good works”. He always encourage his followers to live a life that is full of goodness. The title of this article seems like an aberration, because every Christian should be good. One of the fruit of the Spirit is Goodness. However, Paul still admonished the brethren to be known for good works, especially in a society when evil is prevalent. The bible says the natural man is wicked and has evil imagination all the time. Christians have being changed. The natural has been changed into a supernatural well of goodness.
How do we define good works? It simply means to be good in all you do. We often say “God is good – all the time”, What are you? all the time? Are you also good – all the time? III John 1:11 says “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God; but that doeth evil hath not seen God’.
A little search into the scriptures will reveal areas where Christians are expected to be good. Few of them are mentioned here:
- Good Conscience: “Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” (I Peter 3:16) A good conscience ensures that the intentions and motives are good.
- Good Conversation: “A good man out the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good” (Luke 6:45) The thoughts and words of a good man should always be good.
- Good Character: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) The lifestyle and actions of a Christian should be good.
- Good Communication: The bible talks about “Bad Communication” corrupting good manners. Our association and people will communicate with regularly should be good.
- Good Control: “Let your moderation be known to all men” Philippians 4:5. Having self control is the hallmark of a believer. A Christian can control himself in places and areas where an unbeliever cannot.
So in essence, the other word for a Christian should be good.
Why should we be good? Because it makes our Father in heaven happy (Matthew 5;16). Peter also mentions it that “they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation”.
So, if you are not doing good? you are sinning. James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”
Jesus, also trying to use the word “good” to illustrate the unique Christlike of a Samaritan, told a story. He tagged the man a “Good Samaritan”. The word “good” is as important as the word “Samaritan”. In this case it was strange. Samaritans were not expected to be good. Just like you were not expected to be good as a natural man. But once the heart is changed, and Christ now lives within, it becomes natural to be good.
Inspire 3: God: The First Anesthesiologist. Genesis 2: 21 -23
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”Anesthesiologists are a group of doctors who (having mastered the use of certain drugs) put patients to sleep during a surgery or clinical/medical procedure. It can be done locally to a part of the body or generally involving the whole body. It is normally done to reduce pain, paralyze the muscles, and induce a transient loss of memory.
God actually started practicing anesthesiology, even before it was named. That was one specialty God instituted as He created man. He made Adam to get into a deep sleep.
The Question is; why would he do that? Does God still put us to sleep today as Christians? Yeah, it may not be literally, but I think He does.
One of the big reasons why people are put to sleep during a surgery is to make them numb to the pain of the surgery process. God does not want us to through pains. Most times, He tips us into a deep sleep, while he works on us. He slows everything down in your life while you wonder what is going on. He is actually trying not to make you feel the pain of the process.
Would patients have loved to watch themselves while they are on the surgery bed? I don’t think so. It might actually be very traumatic, to watch yourself being cut up. To some others, it might be boring yet scary watching different instruments going in and out of their body.
God also doesn’t want to bore or scare us with the process. He works it out for us. Yes, you go through the process not knowing what He’s doing. But you just know God is doing something, though you may not understand, just like the patient might not know what the Surgeon is doing. The patient sure does trust the Surgeon, if not that surgery won’t have started in the first place. Can you trust God to do the surgery while you sleep? Can you leave the process for him to handle? It is always sweet to trust in Jesus.
The Post – Op;
After the Surgery, the expectation is always that there will be a positive change. The correction has been made, the adjustment has been fixed, good health is back, everything should go normal. Yes, that is how it should have been, but it doesn’t always go that way. God’s does not have post-op complications. He’s a perfect surgeon. Adam saw the product of the surgery, and exclaimed in Joy When God operates in your life, the end product is always great and indescribable.
Can you let God perform His work in your life? Or are you still struggling to “sleep” in God’s hands and let Him have his way? God never fails. He’s always the best. Lay it all at his feet. Yes, He’s the perfect Anesthesiologist. Amen.
Inspire 2: GEMS from GENESIS – BABEL
Genesis 11: 4 -8
“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach heaven unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth”
This story is one of many first stories told in the bible. There might have been a very good ambition but it ended in confusion and destruction.
It is obvious that these men had a very good desire, which every man today would relate to. They wanted to:
(1) Build a City
(2) Reach the Top
(3) Make a Name
Every man can fully relate to the above. Who does not want to build his life, career, or family? Who does not want to reach to the top? We all want a name. We want our names to be called in important places. So these men had a good just and were determined to get their goals accomplished. There was only one major setback, God was not involved.
You cannot leave God out of your plan. They never called him into this, and He came down by himself. “And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower”. God sees all we do. There is no agenda on earth that is hidden from heaven, and except God is backing that up you are 0% sure of its success.
A nation, family and a person’s ambition is bound to be in confusion if God is not in it. They were very wise to invite Jesus to the marriage of Cana. You are never sure when the wine will be finished.
Walk and Work with God, and you will never cease to Win.
Inspire 1: Treating Depression In God’s Way
The Book of I Kings, Chapter 19 details the life of Elijah in an usual stage of depression after few walk and work in his earthly ministry.
Depression is a mood disorder which is very common in our societies but overlooked by many. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, it is characterized by persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide. Elijah; from the description in the bible, exhibited one or two of these symptoms; “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: (feeling of sadness and lost of interest) and he requested for himself that he might die; (thoughts of suicide) and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathersThere are few lessons we can learn from the discourse between Elijah and God, as God takes him through his therapeutic course.
1. Food and Rest: “And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat”
God started the treatment of Elijah’s depression with something very simple; Food and Sleep.
Sometimes all you need is good food and sweet sleep, and your mental state will reset.
2. Focus and Rely on God’s Promises: “And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire”
The next step God took in taking care of Elijah’s depression was to do a little display of his power.God must have some sense of humor. He diverted Elijah’s attention from the problems to His power. (Strong-Wind, Earthquake, Fire….though they were more like a prelude to his presence; “He was not there”). You know, if you want to really be depressed, list all your problems in order of severity. But If you want to come out of it, match each problem with God’s promises, and watch how God displays his power.
3. Frequency and Resonance of God’s Voice: “and after the fire a still small voice.”…the small still voice.
The world has been so noisy for Elijah; confrontation by the prophets, messengers from Ahab and threats from Jezebel. His life was full of so much noise, no wonder he was depressed. But God came into his situation, and this time, he introduced his “small still voice”So much noise these days; from social media to news platforms, movie theaters to music concerts, from the streets to numerous churches…so much noise.
Except you have cultivated the daily habit of listening to that “small still voice”, your life will be full of so much noise…then headaches.
Daily long for that voice; Find time to listen to God. His voice soothes the body, calms the soul, directs the mind, and assures your purpose in life.“Lord speak to me, that I may speak…”
4. Faith and Reassurance in God’s Plan: “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him”The strategy was to make Elijah feel like the worst, weakest and worthless person on earth. But God had to remind him that He’s still the wealthiest.
God never lacks a plan for His children.
God said “…Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed to baal”.
Don’t let the devil make you feel you are all alone in the battle of life. God’s got your back!“No never alone, no never alone,
He promised never to leave me..
Never to leave me alone”
5. Fellowship and Reasoning with God’s People:“So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him”…”and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
Those were the words of Elijah when loneliness wanted to taunt his destiny. But before the end of this chapter, God gave him a PARTNER. (Elisha) Loneliness Breeds Depression. You will always need a good partner to push through the winds of life. Might be in Marriage, Ministry or Manufacture; seek a good Partner. “Two (good) heads are better than one.” “One shall chase a thousand and two…ten thousand.” There is an exponential distribution when you connect to the right person in life.
Pray and Seek for a good partner. It can hasten your steps to your dreams.
6. Forget the Past Failure and Reach for your God-Given Purpose;Isn’t it amazing that this depressed Elijah was the same Elijah that was taken up into heaven in chariots of fire? Don’t ever let the depression of yesterday to determine the destiny of today;
And never let the situation of yesterday to stop the success of today. Sometimes, its even the thoughts of tomorrow that tramples your treasure of today. “Give us our DAILY bread” was Jesus’ prayer. Not monthly or yearly bread. Everyday is a new day. Enjoy its newness. Forget the mistake of yesterday. You can always start again. I learnt a new prayer I have prayed though this week; ” Lord, make today a Master-Piece”. Surely it worked. May God make everyday of your life a Master-piece.