You vs The World – Part 2

 

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My brothers and sisters,

As concluded in Part 1, Jesus himself was tempted by Satan, but He fought back and won the victory. Satan’s battle plan never changes but follows an exact or similar format. Pay attention to how Jesus handles the battle of temptation.

THE MATTHEW 4: 11 BATTLE PLAN

NOTE: This happened shortly after Jesus submitted Himself to God via being baptised.

 The Temptation of Jesus

1. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

2. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”  

(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE LUST OF THE FLESH)

4. But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, 
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 

(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 8: 3)

5. Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6. and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ 

and 

“‘On their hands they will bear you up, 
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 

(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE LUST OF THE EYES AND SHARES PSALM 91: 11 –12 ON TOP OF TEMPTATION.**) 

7. Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”  

(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 6: 16)

8. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”  

(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE PRIDE OF LIFE) 

10. Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God 
    and him only shall you serve.’” 

(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 10: 20)

11. Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

**QUESTION: Why did Satan USE THOSE SPECIFIC SCRIPTURES to tempt Jesus?

Satan is a liar. IF Jesus listened, He would have jumped to His death. This will result in Jesus not dying on the Cross, and thus not fulfilling His purpose; no sacrifice for humanity’s sin, mankind will be eternally lost and Jesus would have fallen into sin, for disobedience. Praise God that He is all-knowing and aware of his schemes.

COMMENTARY

As we can see, Satan used the lust of the flesh, eyes and the pride of life model to tempt Jesus, who responded with Old Testament scriptures; the commandments of God Himself.

Please pay attention to a heavy distinction here. Scripture has made it clear and has given us insights to why being tempted, deceived and led astray by any worldly vices is dangerous.

Isaiah 14: 12: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

John 8: 12: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

According to the Blue Letter Bible interlinear function, the Hebrew word for Lucifer is heylel, a masculine noun which means “light-bearer”, (some translations say Shining One, or Morning Star). Its verb equivalent Halal outlines the following meanings:

The light that Jesus is referring to is described below, the Greek word; Phos.

Both descriptions have stark differences. In Lucifers case, the common theme here is boasting.

Jesus presents himself as the light of brilliance, life and enlightenment. Lucifer, the light bearer, bears light in a boastful manner. Please note, he might not present himself, if indeed, with red horns, a forked tail and a pitchfork.

2 Corinthians 11:14 – And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

 

Brothers and sisters, we have to be very discerning in opportunities, for not everything is from God.

1. Do you know His will? This is the foundation of being discerning of your environment.

2. Do you know his Word? Can you apply it to your specific circumstance?

3. Has your eyes and flesh been tempted? Are there prospects of achieving or acquiring something that fills you up with boastful pride?

I ask these because the truth is, Satan is here to tempt you with the very things you want the most. Not everything that glitters is gold, and not everything you want is good for you.

James 1: 13-18 (ESV) (Emphasis Added)

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Temptation is a fact, it will always be there. To fall into temptation implies an action, one where a decision is made to fall in, knowing that the act of indulgence is against God. Sin is committed.

POINTS TO REMEMBER 

Temptation does not come from God, but from your own desires.

Satan presents the “light” as a way of drawing you towards indulgence.

God is always present to deliver by pointing the way out (Matt 6: 13, 1 Corinthians 10: 13).

You must make the decision to resist or run away from it. Timothy was warned about this in 2 Timothy 2:22 (CEV):

Run from temptations that capture young people. Always do the right thing. Be faithful, loving, and easy to get along with. Worship with people whose hearts are pure. 

CONCLUSION

To conclude, Jesus performed in detail what Scripture says we should do when we are tempted; face to face with the devil himself:

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Be warned. Satan will be back; he rules the world after all.

Luke 4:13 (ESV) And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

This is evident in the Gospels when he left Jesus in the desert, got rebuked by Jesus through Peter, (Matt 16:23, Mark 8:33) and then entered Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3, John 13: 27).

My brothers and sisters, until He calls us home or when He returns, submerge yourselves in His word, pay attention to your surroundings and DO NOT be ignorant of his devices. If you are, he will outwit, outsmart and take advantage of you.

Follow the light; The right one.

Tunde T. Amao

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You vs the World – Part 1

 

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My brothers and sisters.

I would like to share my Bible study notes with you on a topic that we all must have an awareness of.

Who truly runs the world? The politicians? The financiers? The lawyers? The media? The entertainment industry?

No. The one who runs the world is Satan.

THE FALL OF SATAN

Isaiah 14: 12 – 15 (KJV) provides insight around what I call the Event before Creation and explains how and why Satan, previously known as Lucifer, fell from Heaven (Emphasis added).

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Satan wanted to exalt himself above God, a divine crime. God, being all-knowing, sussed out his plan, and cast him out of heaven.

Jesus, being present in the beginning (1 John 1:1), saw this. In fact, he even told the seventy-two disciples he sent out in Luke 10:18 (ESV): 

And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

Satan fell and ended up in the garden of Eden, to tempt Eve, (Genesis 3: 1-5) an act which caused reverberations across the earth, the effects we are seeing today. It is often said that Adam and Eve gave up their title of dominion of the world the moment they sinned against God. In fact, it is probably right to say that Satan still wanted to have dominion over something. If he couldn’t have heaven, then he would take the world.

SATAN’S CHARACTER AND ENDGAME

There are many instances where Jesus Himself and Paul talks about the “status” of Satan (as established above) as a result of his fall, as well as his character and his ultimate goal. Below are a few scriptures to illustrate:

Ephesians 2: 2 (ESV) – and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. 

2 Corinthians 4: 4 (ESV) – In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 

John 8: 43-44 (ESV) – Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do what he desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 

John 10: 10 (ESV) – The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 

 Please take heed of the weight behind these scriptures.

THE 1 JOHN 2: 15-17 WARNING

We have all been warned about the influence of the world; practices, viewpoints, improper standards and self-seeking behaviours. In fact, scripture has said that being a friend of the world equates with being an enemy of God. (James 4: 4).

With the knowledge of Satan’s character and his link to the world, 1 John 2: 15-16 (ESV) warns us even further (emphasis added; Also, note 2 Corinthians 4:4):

Do not love the world or the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the fleshthe desires of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is of the world.  

This is the battle plan of Satan, he will tempt you with these worldly tools. He used them with Eve in Genesis 3:6-7 (NIV):

You will not certainly die, the snake said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye,  and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it.

Eve had no desire to eat the fruit until Satan came to speak to her. Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, a thought that never came to mind before her encounter with Satan. The pride to become like God and the desire to gain wisdom? Again, that was not present or apparent before her encounter with Satan.

Sidenote: I find it incredibly cheeky considering the circumstances here as Satan said: “For God knows that when you eat from it…”. If this was true, then wouldn’t have God made it clear from the get-go? And look at how he phrased himself, (when you eat from it) as if he had almost anticipated the First Beings eating the fruit, a thought that did not even cross their own mind’s, to begin with!

Also, please remember that this happened before sin entered into the world.

 In other words, Satan’s influence can awaken or identify the desire to. I believe that the “desire to” can be awakened when exposed to external influences.  Rick Warren explains the same point well in his book The Purpose Driven Life:

“…Satan identifies a desire inside of you. It may be a sinful desire, like the desire to get revenge or to control others, or it may be a legitimate, normal desire, like the desire to be loved and valued or to feel pleasure. Temptation starts when Satan suggests (with a thought) that you give in to an evil desire, or that you fulfil a legitimate desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. Always be aware of shortcuts. They are often temptations!” 

It is the same when we spend time reading and studying the Bible. The desire to know Him awakens.

We have to pay close attention and be wary of the many sources of influence. Is it satanic/worldly or is it godly/righteous?

Once we recognise that the desires of the flesh, eyes, and life are knocking at our door, we have to respond accordingly.  Jesus did it, and so can you!

To find out how, please keep your eyes out for part two.

Tunde T. Amao

Pursuing Wisdom

 

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My brothers and sisters,

Wisdom is paramount.

The Bible says in Proverbs 9:10 that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Once you know and learn who He is and what He is about, then it will guide you towards how to live your lives effectively by His grace.

Though success and wisdom is a broad subject and encompasses many things, I would like to discuss pursuing wisdom. It is something which I believe we all need to know and learn how to manage.

I’ll begin by saying that ignorance is costly.

Ignorance

Lack of knowledge, understanding, or information about something.
(Taken from dictionary.cambridge.org)

Hosea 4:6 (ESV) (Emphasis added): My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…

The secret to success is to become a lifelong learner. You have to recognise what you don’t know and make every effort to know it.

Proverbs 19:8 (NCV) Those who get wisdom do themselves a favour and those who love learning will succeed.

Your character is the catalyst of how well you absorb wisdom.

Proverbs 14:6 (NLT) The mocker seeks wisdom and never finds it, but knowledge comes easily to those with understanding.

Proverbs 14:6 (ESV) A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.

Set your heart to become a person of understanding, but be aware! The amount of wisdom you absorb will increase your sorrow and grief. It is the sorrow and grief of “If I had known this I would have done this differently or if I had known this or that I wouldn’t have done that.”

Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NLT): The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief. To increase in knowledge only increases sorrow.

We are also aware that one can go through pain. However, if we know that pain is temporary and seeking wisdom ends with success, a greater emphasis is placed on seeking that wisdom NOW so one can go through temporary pain to become successful.

Let us take this call to seek wisdom whatever the cost and the resilience to grow through the pain.

Thank you for reading my brothers and sisters, and keep on pursuing wisdom. It will be painful, but beneficial in the long one.

Tunde T. Amao

Understanding Purpose

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My brothers and sisters,

It took a while for me to speak out on this, but frankly, I’m concerned.

There is a mass awareness about finding your purpose, which is a good thing, but let’s not allow the truth about purpose to be lost in the rhetoric sauce.

Purpose is flooded with many different aspects and questions to consider, but generally speaking, purpose has two elements: the noun (the name) and the verb (the doing). The effect of the rhetoric, in my opinion, is causing a drive of people looking to find purpose, (the name). Another aspect is the thought pattern of setting up businesses/organisations or participating in activities that can be considered as living on purpose.

Again, I’m not speaking against these good things, I’m only sharing my mind here but I write this post for those who may be struggling to find their own purpose.

The truth is if you find yourself struggling to find your purpose, its because it’s not your purpose. It’s His; Jesus Christ.

Christians, we are ALL called to fulfil the Great Commission (Matt 28:19 (the name)). How we do it is dependent on the skills, talents abilities and resources that He has given us (The doing).

A very simplistic illustration:

Kid number 1: Miss, he just pushed me!

Kid number 2: Miss, it was an accident!

Kid number 1: No, you did it on purpose!

Purpose: the act or expression which is preceded by a solid understanding or conviction of why the act or expression needed to be done.

Find out what God requires of you by studying the word. Faith comes by hearing the word of God, understand why and then do it. Don’t be over spiritual about it!

Luke 6: 46 (ESV) (Emphasis Added)  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do as I tell you?”

This is me sharing my thoughts on the matter, but what do you think? Let me know in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading.

Tunde T. Amao

Love Language Survey

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I would like your assistance!

I have created a survey based on the Love Languages test and would like your help on a topic I’m currently exploring. The Love Languages test created by Dr Gary Chapman is a very good tool to discover your love languages, explore more about oneself and what speaks love to you.

This survey comes with a twist! I would like to explore the most common love languages between men and women and then place the results together in an upcoming post next month by God’s grace.

I’m quite excited to see the results of this. I was very surprised at the results of the poll I did last time. It was eye opening, humbling and a good learning experience.

If you wish to take part, then please find the surveys below:

Love Languages Survey For Women

Love Language Survey For Men

 Thank you and God bless!

Seeking Compatibility: A Practical Approach

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Hello, my brothers and sisters.

This serves as a follow-up post from The Real Relationship Series which provides the foundational knowledge of what a Godly relationship looks like. I strongly believe that once we grasp these concepts, more enriching relationships will blossom and, most importantly, God’s love will be seen by those who are in the world and they will be able to see God through the way man and woman relate with one another.

That being said, we know that searching for the ideal person can be a daunting task. It is even more awkward when the person one is seeking turns out to be a completely different person.

Here are some tips to help you find out whether you’re compatible. Firstly, let’s look at scripture:

Genesis 2: 18 (NIV) – The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Amos 3: 3 (KJV) – Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

GOD

Do you both believe in Jesus? Do they live for him? How well do they know about the faith? How much do they know about the bible? Do they respect His word? Do they follow it? Do they serve in Church? (ask yourselves these questions as well!) You are asking these questions to gauge their commitment to Jesus and their level of spiritual growth as well as your own.

WHO ARE YOU?

Consider this analogy; A jigsaw puzzle has numerous pieces when fitted together creates a whole picture. How can you determine what jigsaw piece fits you when you don’t even know what piece you are?

I want you to take some time (in fact, a lot of time) to consider who you are. What do you like? What don’t you like? What makes you, you? What do you base your identity on? Is it in Christ, or on something else?

PERSONALITY

Following on from the above point, I recommend the 16 personalities test just to give you a gauge on what your personality is. Remember that this is only a gauge, not the gospel truth! I recommend obtaining the premium profile as it goes into detail on how to manage oneself and communicating with other personalities.

CORE VALUES

Now I’d like you to think about three (or more) words that describe who you are, or what you believe in that you are severely unapologetic about. These aspects are pretty much how you view the world, what you live by and governs how you go about daily tasks, relate to others and principles that you firmly believe in.

Why this important you ask? Well, if anyone treated your core values with contempt, you would most definitely feel a certain way.

PURPOSE

The following points are not gendered specific but let us take some principles out of it:

Men, Adam was in God’s presence working, cultivating, protecting the garden of Eden and was in the position to receive His word, in short fulfilling his purpose. If you are not doing this, then don’t expect longevity in the relationship. There is a call to place God as your number one priority in your life and to be active in His business.

Ladies, as seen in Genesis 2: 22, God placed Adam under a deep sleep and created Eve out of his rib. Then He led her to Adam.

Check yourselves and test whether you are being led by God or by yourselves.

DENOMINATION/DOGMA/DOCTRINE

A difficult topic but one we have to discuss. I can only draw on my own experiences here, but this is no joke.

We have all received teachings and personal convictions in our walk with God. Bare in mind that when it comes to dating, there is only one road it leads to and that’s to marriage. A wise person once said that it is better to have a broken relationship than to have a difficult, unfruitful and stressful marriage.

I can only stress my opinion here, and it is very important to find out what they actually believe in and RECOGNISE and RESPECT their own viewpoints regarding scripture and Christ-centred living. Do you prefer one Bible translation or another? Can you debate on scripture without arguing? Can you challenge your own belief system as well or are you rigid in your thinking? If it makes you feel uncomfortable then what are you going to do about it?

I say this with caution and with the utmost respect for the God’s people, the body of Christ: You were not there when your potential partner was living in the world. You were not there when they caught the revelation of forgiveness and redemption that is in Jesus Christ. You were not there when they grew in faith and operated to serve Him. Yes, be careful, be very discerning, but be mindful.

LOVE LANGUAGES

Love is beautiful. I had learnt from an amAmericanouple who spoke about relationships in the Godly manner and it touched me. It is not easy, and it will not be easy if God is not involved from the get go. They said that relationships end wrong because they started wrong. A good example was used here which I will briefly explain:

We love football, pizza, music and sports etc. But would we die for it? We only love them because of how it makes us feel, not because of what it is.

Jesus showed us true love by dying for us. When it comes to love there is an element of dying for the other. With the love languages test, that gives one some indication as to how one can do that. You got to pay close attention to these areas, because of the lack thereof can have negative consequences. If you are unsure how to meet them, then make time to learn.

Disclaimer: I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts for a while and I thought it would be wise to share. Please let this aid you a guide. I’m not a relationship counsellor, I’m just a guy who collects and compiles information for the body of Christ if they wish to use it.

I pray this helps you on your journey to help you seek compatibility and a real relationship.

God bless!

 

Boys Night @ Queen Mary University

Good afternoon everyone!

All men, young and old, this announcement is for you!

I will be speaking at The Queen Mary University Boys Night hosted by @qmunitesoc on Thursday 16th of February, in the Francis Bancroft building, Room 1.13a at 6:30pm. Doors will open at 6:00pm.

Come and let us grow in God’s word as we share biblical truths pertaining to Manhood and Masculinity, identify the battles men face and be equipped to fight with His word.

1 Peter 2: 17
Honour All Men. Love the Brotherhood. Fear God…

See you there!

 

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