Something Men (And Women) Should Know

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Hello, my brothers and sisters.

In the month of September, I had attended my first #Pentalk Event for the first time and I was utterly amazed at what I heard. It was an extremely refreshing discussion and of course, I took a lot of notes!

I shared my notes on my Instagram story and thought I’d share them here for all, especially for my brothers out there!

I want to share something with my brothers in Christ and my brothers of mankind.
Despite what you think, the women are WELL aware of some of the issues of masculinity and with the difficulty of us men sharing our emotions.
Our inability to share our emotions can cause stress on the ladies. They worry and are concerned about whether you are emotionally available or not.
Now, guys, I get it. We do process emotions differently but don’t overgeneralise it. Some men are not quite emotional, some men are.

The issues why we don’t wanna share is because of:

The “man-up” stereotype;

 You are worried about how unmanly or soft she may perceive you to be if you did share;

A lack of trust.

One gentleman at the event shared that emotions are meant to be expressed, more for yourself than for your relationship. You must feel comfortable with expressing them to the woman you are with. If you cannot do this, then why are you with her?

Flipside: IF you are with someone who considers you unmanly and soft for expressing your emotions and is generally uninterested about your own issues and you find yourself playing an act or restricting yourself for the purposes of your relationship, then that’s not the lady you should be with.

Flipflipside: It is not your place to determine what your special lady can or can’t handle. This cannot be a reason why you cannot express yourself. Let her know and let her deal with it. She’s not a baby.

Both parties need to come together with a heart of understanding, not expectation.

It is very refreshing to see that women are aware and expressing their concerns regarding male emotions. All they want to see is a physical manifestation of how you are dealing with any difficult circumstances, EXCLUDING VIOLENCE. Simply stating how you feel gives her an idea of how you are.

She is not a mind reader and you are not a Stone Cold Rock (WWE fans will understand). You are a human being and entitled to express yourself without unjust judgment, fear or having your masculinity questioned. Beware of those looking for the benefits of a relationship without having to deal with the difficult aspects of it. Relationships will ALWAYS require work.

Finally and most importantly, a message from myself: Jesus died for you gents. That means you have value, but it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to manifest and increase in value (challenge yourself, set goals and work to achieve them, read, take courses, take a new degree, masters or different line of work, develop yourself, build a network, go elsewhere; do something!) because the truth is, no one else will do it for you. 

And you can do it, when you believe you can.

Tunde T. Amao

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Tree of Life – Bible Study

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My brothers and sisters,

I’m excited to share with you what I learned when studying the Bible with a man of God, which inspired the initial Tree of Life post. I’ve added a bit more to it and I pray that it will help you understand how much God loves us and how merciful He is to us.

Where to begin? Of course, in the garden of Eden. (Emphasis Added)

Generally, God created the garden, the animals, the fishes and place the First Ones, Adam and Eve in the garden. God instructed Adam not to eat from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and he passed that command onto Eve.

Genesis 1: 29 (ESV): And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

Genesis 2: 8-9 (ESV): And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2: 15-17 (ESV): The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man saying, “You may surely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

As the event unfolds, Satan deceives Eve and she eats the fruit and gives it to Adam; the start of the Fall. As outlined in Genesis 3: 14-19, God punished the snake by way of a curse, increases Eve’s child pain in childbirth and declares that her desire will be for her husband and declares to Adam the consequences of his disobedience, a cursed ground and the reality of having to work extra hard to eat.

Sidenote: God cursed the snake, not Adam and Eve. God only told them of the reality sin has caused, in the body and in the environment.

God made a declaration in verse 22:

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing Good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever-”
and as verse 23-24 states, sent them out of Eden and placed cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the Tree of Life.

Going back, God had told them that they could eat from any tree in the garden, which INCLUDED the Tree of Life. In Genesis 3:22, God provides the nature of fruit from the Tree of Life, to bestow one with life forevermore; everlasting life. As pointed out in an earlier post, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil gave Adam and Eve the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Can we infer the original purpose and intention of God? I believe so! I learned that if Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life firstand assuming that they had eaten the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil afterwards, they would be like God indeed, with everlasting life and the ability to handle the Knowledge of Good and Evil just like God Himself, not in a relative fashion which is mankind thinking about Good and Evil from his own perspective.

But this was not so, and God had to push Adam and Eve out to protect the Tree of Life. Again, why? Well, I learned that Adam and Eve were hungry and their hunger reflected an issue of the soul caused by the introduction of sin. They had created capacity within themselves, their soul, and needed to fill it.**

However, as we are aware, this was not so. Adam and Eve were in a state of sin, due to their disobedience. If they were able to obtain access to the fruit of the Tree of Life, then a catastrophic would arise; they would have everlasting life, the knowledge of good and evil coupled with unrepentant sin. 

 Adam and Eve repented, shown by the skin garments God covered them with (Gen 3:21; the first animal sacrifice! Where else did God get skins from? May explain the animal sacrifices later spoke about in the Law, and Hebrews 9:22 provides insight: Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.) rather than the loincloths they fashioned out of fig leaves (Gen 3: 7), but there was a problem; Adam carried the human race, and the sin affected them as well. Adam could not repent on behalf of the entire human race, but for his own sin.

Your sin effects other people. Read Romans 5: 12-19 for details. 

This is why God made provision to send Jesus, to die on the cross, to remove the innate sin, and to clothe you with righteousness. You have to believe in Jesus to receive the free gift of salvation and righteousness, then comes the renewing of your mind, the process of unlearning and relearning the word of God in its truth and entirety. Once obtained, you can put on the new man, your new identity and live it out with power and confidence.

1 Corinthians 15: 20-22 (ESV): But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

**The soul yearns for something more. The innate sin causes disruption in the soul. Some seek to fill the void by seeking drugs, sex, pornography, exorbitant spending, excessive television, relationships addictions etc. Capacity is created in the soul and a need to fulfil it grows, hence why addictions and reckless living manifests and takes place. The truth is, these will never satisfy you. They are temporary. Once obtained/consumed/indulged, the “benefit” vanishes. But when one fills their soul with Jesus, you create capacity, and your need for Him grows and grows. That’s why he’s satisfying. He always fills the void. 

Thank you for reading, and may God bless you for your diligence in studying His word.

Tunde T. Amao

 

 

 

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

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!