The Misconceptions of Man

 

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My brothers,

This topic is very dear to my heart and I could not wait to share this with you. I will explain why in a later post, but earlier I shared that we are going through a crisis in masculinity. There are many reasons that we probably can think of, but I truly believe that at some point, somewhere in our lives we have been deceived.

Yes, there is a crisis, because we as men have been deceived to what masculinity actually is.

We have looked at films, TV shows, discussions amongst our peers and have used that as benchmarks to achieve masculinity.

I will be sharing scripture as well as my own experience, research and from various conversations that I have heard and engaged in. These are the few misconceptions that are prevalent or have come across and I honestly pray that this message will reach the hearts of those who are promoting the misconceptions without even knowing.

MISCONCEPTION #1 – REAL MEN HAVE BEARDS

This is one of the recent trends that I have noted. Beards do have some input in making a guy look more masculine, especially towards the females, (who are probably nodding their heads in agreement) but unfortunately, the appeal towards guys having beards often has a negative backlash when a beard has been cut or removed.

Not to mention men who have found themselves following this trend to grow a beard just to attract women and those who sadly have questioned their own masculinity because they can’t grow a beard.

MISCONCEPTION #2 – REAL MEN ARE 6ft +

During my transition from college to university years where I was reading about male and female communication, I made it my business to obtain the feminine perspective on relationships and the like. The main reason being, that I have been a victim of this point of rhetoric. In fact, I still don’t quite understand this point. Forgive me if I am wrong, but my natural thought towards this area is that women would like to look up to their male and feel protected as they look out for them, and the added height gives them the advantage. Also, the fact that a male who is shorter than an ideal height, or even shorter than her will almost make the female not want to take the male seriously. In other words, the conversation ends when 5 foot something is mentioned…

Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. However, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139: 13 -16) and made in the image of God Himself (Genesis 1: 27), in other words, males (and females) did not choose the families they were born, the neighbourhoods they grew up in, their body shape or their height.

Men, your height or beard has nothing to do with you being a man. For those who have felt some kind of way because of these misconceptions, let this be a principle to take home:

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Disclaimer: My brothers. This is not a call to escape from responsibility. If you are made to feel a certain way about things that you KNOW you have the capacity to change, then you better do it – quickly! There is strength in the grace of God!

MISCONCEPTION #3 –  MEN HAVE TO “MAN UP”

Lads, you have emotions. You are not called to be lead by them or be controlled by them, but your emotions are indicators of how you are feeling on the inside. It is normal to have and display emotion.

John 11: 35 – Jesus wept.

(The shortest verse in the bible; very memorable and very significant in relation to authentic masculinity.)

Us men, whenever we tend to feel overwhelmed by life, we tend to express our emotions with the one who loves us dearly, our women. It makes sense, to be open and transparent about your frustrations. However, because of our failed relationships, we are afraid to share our emotions or behave like we don’t have any, just to be seen in control from the female’s perspective and to provide ourselves inner comfort to be seen as protecting the relationship.

Of course, that is how we men rationalise it. However, the truth is, you don’t want to share your emotions with your woman because you are afraid of how she may perceive you afterwards. 

Men’s number 1 fear: Being seen as weak in front of their woman and having to deal with the reality that she can choose “stronger” guys out there. 

Then comes the dreaded statement we men have heard, acted upon and discovered that it had caused more harm than good.

“You need to man up!”

We need to recognise that when this sentence is being said, either from men or women, it is usually said out of frustration at the lack of manliness that is almost expected to be displayed.

However, let us be clear on this: anyone who makes you feel less than is probably because they have been led away by general or by their own misconceptions of masculinity themselves.This is where I feel compelled to share statements to both women and to men:

Ladies: Your femininity awakens masculinity. That’s why men become so excited and want to do “manly things” for you. Yes, they make mistakes but don’t make sharp statements out of your frustrations. Trust me on this, but the self-esteem of the man will crumble to a point where they will respond by doing things they think they need to do, just for the sake of doing it, but not from a place of where they actually want to.

Conclusion: The self-esteem of the man is needed to be preserved so that he can be self-confident in responding to the call of man. Attack the self-esteem and you will crumble him to be reactive, not proactive.

Men: True, authentic masculinity is bestowed. Yes, the woman can enable your fire of masculinity to burn within you, but ladies cannot bestow masculinity because they are women. Men bestow masculinity to men (That is why it is important to have a male mentor, a father figure or a good relationship with your earthly fathers). Follow the Way of the Lord, surround yourselves with like-minded men and work so can be ready to answer the call of man. How can you be a man for others when you cannot be a man for yourself

Conclusion: Masculinity comes from within, not from what you do externally. Operate from a place of knowing and focus on being, not doing.

Have you come across any misconceptions that made you think or feel “surely, this can’t be right?” Please feel free to discuss them in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading my brothers, and remember; God created you males because He wants you to become a man through Jesus Christ.

Tunde T. Amao

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The Path of Man

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Many speakers have said it, pastors have preached it, the women are fed up with it and you’ve probably seen it, heard it and probably experiencing it right now.

There is a crisis in masculinity.

The young guys today are struggling to become who they are meant to become; Men.

Perhaps it’s the lengthy time spent in boyhood. You’re doing what you can, in a panic, to compensate for lost time. Maybe you’ve found yourself in situations where real life hit you hard and now you’ve woken up and have seen the world in a brand new light. You’ve probably seen other guys, maybe younger than yourselves, getting into places and now you feel like you’ve been left behind.

Or you’ve had your masculinity challenged by the women in your life or they left due to the lack of leadership, direction and maybe the self-confidence to be able to hold a relationship together. You notice a recurring pattern and you don’t know why. They always leave for someone you perceived as “better”.

Or maybe you’ve fallen into the hole of the world’s misconception of men. “Men are supposed to have this, men are supposed to be that, men are supposed to have achieved this by now” is the rhetoric that is spinning in the minds of males. You are now frustrated at the process of “getting to where you need to get to” because of how slow it is.

Or maybe you have that burning question that remains unanswered because you had a poor example of what a real Man looks like.

My brothers, you will never find it in material things, you will never find it in the wrong crowd and trust me, you will never ever find manhood within womanhood.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ, who created you for His pleasure and His glorious purpose, and because He loves you so dearly if you are still looking or you’re not too sure what your purpose in life is, please take this fundamental truth away:

If you are born male, it is your destiny, purpose and life-long goal to become a  strong, confident and capable Man. You did not choose to be born male, God did. That’s His way of showing you that He wants you to become a Man.

And the Ultimate Man, the Perfect Man to follow is Jesus Christ. Your masculinity is rooted in Him.

There are many examples of how you can develop your masculinity in Jesus. Here are a few of many scriptures about what God says about Men and the path He has called them to take:

Genesis 2: 7 (NIV): Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Micah 6: 8 (NKJV): He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

Psalm 1: 1 – 3 (NKJV): Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth it’s fruit in its season, who’s leaf also shall not wither; and whatver he does shall prosper.

1 Corinthians 13: 11 (NIV): When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

I also commissioned a short pole on my Twitter page. The results are below:

Speaking from the male perspective, men are aware that they have to be focused on something, but often find themselves easily distracted on things that are not necessarily bad but not conducive to their personal progression as wholesome Men or are just simply focused on the wrong things.

The ladies acknowledge that manhood (or the lack of) is an issue and after fruitful discussions, I believe the common conclusion is that women would like the special men in their life to band together and seek guidance from other godly Men.

The knowledge gained from such networks would help them become wholesome Men themselves and in turn, will enable them to be effective in their relationships.

Guys, you are not focused because you don’t have guidance. Once you receive guidance, you’ll become focused.

So, to answer the question, how does one walk the Path of Man?

1. Believe in and follow the Greatest Man who lived, died and rose again; Jesus Christ.

2. Read the Word of God to discover, learn and apply God’s manhood principles in every area of your lives.

3. Seek guidance from (older) godly men.

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Guys, becoming a Man is a lifelong pursuit, and it is not to be rushed. Our physique bares the image of Christ and when we walk in His ways we will surely become Men. It is equally important to walk with others on the same path towards manhood. Why? Scripture gives the answer:

Proverbs 3: 6 (NIV): In all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 11: 14 (NLT): Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisors.

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.

Proverbs 13: 20 (NKJV): He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.

We cannot become Men by ourselves.

Peace and love my brothers.

Tunde T. Amao

Men and Women: The Real Relationship – Part 2

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Greetings, brothers and sisters.

We have explored in part one of the model relationship. Now, we’re going to look at the specifics in great detail.

Genesis 2: 24 (NIV) – That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

This is the foundational scripture that many would use for marriage. Now, pay particular attention to this next point; Marriage is not man-made. It is an institution created by God so that men and women can express their love for each other the way God wanted love to be expressed. As we saw earlier, there is a model, a standard which must be followed for maximum fulfilment in blossoming, loving relationships.

So, why do I say this? If you want a Godly relationship with Godly foundations, you have to do it God’s way; the way He established it and using Godly materials.

Ephesians 5: 31 – 32 (NIV) – For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church.

The above scripture speaks of the perfect unity of Jesus and the Church (we His people). The marriage relationship or a growing relationship should mirror this exact model. The question now is, what is the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church, how does it look like and what does it entail? We will look at Ephesians 5: 21 – 27 in greater detail.

EPHESIANS 5: 21 – 27

(Emphasis added and broken down for greater analysis)

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives submit yourselves to your own husband as you do to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himselfas a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

REVERENCE FOR CHRIST AND SUBMISSION

When building anything, the foundation has to be strong enough to hold the extra weight on top. Jesus Christ is the firm foundation (1 Corinthians 3: 11). If one has a sincere reverence for Him, then this aspect will not be a problem. Think about it; would you build ontop of a firm foundation or a shaky one?

Before we touch on the submission aspect, which can ring alarm bells for some, I wanted to touch lightly on this. Submission is not just a biblical woman thing, it applies to men as well.The same way we submit to one another is the same submission that we offer the Lord God Almighty.

In a relationship setting, men who are seeking to become authentic unapologetic men of the Lord God will need to apply their lessons to their submission to God and now tailor that to the chosen lady in their life. There also has to be a healthy boundary as this is more of a process to learn how to submit to their special lady as opposed to the full submission in the context of scripture which is reserved for Husbands and Wives only. Use this opportunity to learn how to submit to her lads!

BE WARNED: HEALTHY BOUNDARIES PROTECT. YOUR BOYFRIEND SHOULD NOT BE LEADING YOU ANYWHERE. YOUR GIRLFRIEND SHOULD NOT BE SUBMITTING TO YOU. THIS IS RESERVED ONLY FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES.

WIVES SUBMISSION TO HUSBAND

Ladies, as mentioned in the above paragraph and taking what we learnt in the first post into consideration, I’d like to share a small analogy:

Jesus Christ is the husband. The Church is His wife. Imagine you are the Church now, your name is now Church. Jesus is your husband. What do you know about Jesus?

Jesus walks with integrity, loving, forgiving, compassionate and has a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to His Father’s business. Has an epic prayer life, doesn’t deny His emotions, but manages and expresses it appropriately, can protect you, encourage you, has a vision for His life and can lead you to a place He knows you can feel safe, secure and allowed to be who you are meant to be; yourself.

He knows your not perfect; He knows your flaws and loves you because of them and He encourages you gently to be the best version of yourself and will celebrate you along the way. Now, he may correct you in a loving way because He does not delight in anything that disrespects Him or any matter that involves His Heavenly Father and will fight passionately for the matters of God because that is where He gets His strength, worth and identity from. A man who is not ashamed of His Father and will continue to walk His way because He loves God that much.

Would you submit to such a man?

Now imagine a man, who isn’t Jesus, but is striving to have the same qualities, the same mindset, the same emotional disposition as Him. Who is constantly in the Word and can teach and encourage you and sees you for being YOU. He knows He isn’t perfect and will make mistakes from time to time, but knows as long as he follows Jesus, he will be led in the right way.

This is what means to be in submission to a man as on to the Lord. The man must display lord-like qualities, and it must be seen and evidenced, from the inside and out. That’s the man worth submitting to.

HUSBANDS TO LOVE THEIR WIVES

Lads, back to you again.

Jesus Christ gave His life to redeem the Church. He died so that the Church may dwell in the righteousness of Him. He knows that the Church is not perfect, hence why He always teaches the Church to dwell and grow in His Word, where they can find rest, comfort, security and strength.

It is not easy for women. The way the world is set up now, they have to make the extra effort to advance themselves and protect themselves from any hindrances as well as deal with their emotions with or without support. Women are blessed with creativity and the ability to multi-task; once they have a mission, they will complete it. I believe that even when women are tired, they still have to find that inner strength and resolve to push forward to get to where they want to get to.

Imagine juggling so many responsibilities and not feeling appreciated for their efforts.

Men, Jesus Christ died so that the Church can be restored, uplifted and placed on the path of righteousness. Jesus gave His all in the name of love.

My brothers, beware! Look at what scripture says:

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

There are alarm bells when a lady claims to love God, claims Christ and does not submit to Him. If she doesn’t submit herself to Him, how much more you?

Benchmark principle: How the male/female submitted to God is a clear indication as to how they can submit to you.

There are so many elements here, but the general message here is that you don’t take away from people you love. As men, respect the advancement of women and continue to add to that so that they may grow in self-confidence, joy and peace When they are tired and weary, be ready and available to step in and to pour love, attention, affection and strength into them so they can rise up and continue on their path towards greatness.

Women are going through battles we have no idea of. Pay attention and love them for who they are. They can only be themselves and you have to recognise and acknowledge that.

I want to stress again that this is in the context of cultivating a successful relationship. This will enable you to discover more about God’s standard in relationships as well as discover more about yourself and the person you’re growing with. Full submission only happens in a marriage relationship.

As women, remember that men also go through battles. They may not speak on them, they may not say due to the resurrection of hurt and pain, or maybe they are afraid of how you will view them afterwards. Some men do what to become the standard where they feel they ought to be, and place pressure on themselves to perform. Truth be told, this pressure they put on themselves, plus the pressure you may have placed on him, the mind can only take so much. Plus, most men do not want to hear about another man’s capabilities, especially that they know within themselves that they are trying and trying very hard.

One cannot, and will not, value full submission if one has not resolved in being willfully submitted to God, through Jesus Christ, first.

I’ve hinted the ladies above (I hope you got it ladies!) and as well as the men, (keep your eyes peeled bro! it’s not all about beauty and favour! (Proverbs 31:30)

Tunde T. Amao

Men and Women: The Real Relationship – Part 1

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Hello, my brothers and sisters.

I had to share this post. So much so, that this will be a three-part series as I would like us to take our time and to make sure that we understand what we are about to explore.

From reading various articles, books and hearing a few sermons and, most importantly reading the Bible, something jumped at me. It made me look at the nature of relationships differently. It is counter-cultural and to be honest, it is expected; we are talking about Kingdom principles here.

In short, we have lost sight of what a real relationship between man and woman looks like; the way the Lord God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has created and established.

I will be painting a picture. All I ask is for the Holy Spirit to move and to help me teach this foundational principle.

Let us begin.

THE TRINITY

The Trinity is very difficult to describe. The Lord has revealed Himself in three, but He is One. Make no mistake, and place particular attention to what I write next: We serve one God. The One who created the Earth. The Everlasting Father; The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He has revealed Himself, in three; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The closest (not exact, but close) example we can use is water. Water comes in three forms; Water as a liquid (drinking water), solid (ice) and gas (vapour). These are three forms of water, but they are still water, just in different states.

I say it is a close example because God doesn’t come in three states, which imply three individual separate beings of matter. God revealed himself in three, but He is One. He is ONE and we serve One God.

God has revealed himself in this manner as we see in Scripture (emphasis added) :

Genesis 1: 2 (NIV) – In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the water.

John 1: 1 (NIV) – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

The “He” is referred to the Word. Who is the Word you say?

John 1: 14 (NIV) – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

We have the Father, the Son; Jesus, and God’s Spirit; the Holy Spirit revealed. The perfect unity. God revealed in three; One God.

ADAM AND EVE

As we see in the Book of Genesis, God created the world, the animals and then mankind. Please notice something here; with everything God created (and saw that it was good), there is ONE thing that God saw that was not good: the fact that Man was alone.

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

God loves us. He loves us all. The Bible declares that God is love in 1 John 4: 8: Whoever does not love, does not know God because God is love. In a nutshell, God being love created mankind so He could express that love to us. God expressed that love by Creating man. Seeing that man was made in His image and harbours His qualities, the fact that Adam did not have anything to express his love to is why God created Eve from Adam.

God reached into His Spirit and Created man. He placed the spirit of man into the Male. God saw that the male did not have anything to love, so just like He pulled the spirit of man out of Himself, God pulled out the Male’s rib and used it to create the Female, being the object of the males love, just like God made man (the spirit) the object of His love. The spirit is both in Males and Females because ultimately the Spirit came from Him.

This is why in the deepest areas in the heart of Men wishes for a Woman to pour out his love to her. This is why in the deepest areas in the heart of Women, wishes to be loved by a man.

But look around you. In the name of finding love, many people have gone through terrible ordeals. I don’t need to mention it, you have gone through, or know of someone who had gone through something terrible. Hearts are being broken and are being broken again and again and again. Lust has crept into the hearts of mankind and many people are feeling drained and constantly tired of having their love thrown away or not being reciprocated.

Look at the Trinity. Look at how God in His love had created man and out of man, woman. There is a process, a pattern, a shape; a model.

A real relationship isn’t between two people.

It’s between three.

[Part two]

Tunde T. Amao

The Gospel: An Illustration

 

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Hello, my friends.

I’d like to share with you how I like to describe the Gospel. You can read the book of Romans which explains the Gospel perfectly, yet I often found myself using this an illustration of to bring God’s divinity, the nature of humanity and the concepts of salvation and consequences into context.

So, imagine the Kingdom of Heaven as a Courtroom and Almighty God, as the All Holy Judge. The role of a Judge is to come to a decision based on the clear, fundamental standards of the law. At the witness stand will be us, the human race, as we have been called for judgement against the All Holy Law.

If you look into the various laws that God has established in the Bible, it is impossible to adhere to all of them perfectly. This is due to many things; the fall of mankind at the Garden of Eden being the main one, the nature of humanity is self-centred and wishes to gratify themselves first, mostly at the expense of others. On this point I’d like you not only to think about the nature of the world but to also reflect when I raise this question: Have you and has anyone lived a perfectly good life? A life of which we have done absolutely nothing wrong?

The answer is a resounding no. We all have hurt someone, did and said things we are not proud of. Now, how will this stand in court with God as the Judge? Against the difficult task of following the law and taking into account the inherently sinful nature of man, we would all be found guilty, irrespective of whether we know the law or not. We have all been sentenced to prison – Hell -to pay for these crimes.

Sin (in Hebrew: chatta’ath, from the root word chata): to miss the way, go wrong or guilt, or missing the mark.

A divine wrong against a Righteous God. Divine crime, divine punishment.

However, the fundamental truth is that not only God is the Holy Judge; He is also our Father and Creator. He’s at the Judge’s bench looking at His Own children at the witness stand. There is a problem here. He cannot ignore the Law as He is the Judge, but He also does not want to send ALL of His children to prison.

So He sends His own Son, Jesus Christ, to take on the prison sentence. God sent him down from Heaven to Earth, a Man who did not commit any crimes, to die on the Cross as a criminal so that His children can escape the sentence by accepting His Son’s sacrifice and remembering and relying on His Son.

Then, something special happened; Three days later.

I explained that a divine wrong against God requires divine punishment. Jesus took on all of our sins and paid the ultimate price, for the crimes we committed. God’s judgement and wrath were taken out on our sins that were upon Jesus Christ. Once the sins were taken care of, God’s wrath could not go against Jesus Christ Himself, because He Himself HAD no sin in Him in the first place.

God’s wrath eliminated our sins that Jesus carried, and freed us from eternal damnation, whilst the Holiness of Jesus preserved Him directly against Holy judgement because He did not commit a Holy wrong against God!

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Taken from fromanolderwoman.com

John 3: 16 – 17

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

God, the Judge has to Judge accordingly and yet has placed saving mankind, that’s you and me, as the number one priority.

Who do you know that will take a prison sentence for the crimes you have committed? Who will go that far to ensure that we are vindicated? Jesus did, for you and me.

At this point, for those who wish to receive the free gift of salvation from God through Jesus Christ, please say this prayer. I’d also like to highlight that prayer isn’t reciting words or phrases, but communion from the reflection of your heart.

Romans 10: 9: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Acts 16: 30-31: He brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.”

Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that I have been living in sin. I also acknowledge that you died on the cross to remove my sins and to give me the free gift of salvation. As you established in Romans 10: 9, I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that you are Lord, and you are my Lord and personal saviour. Thank you, Father, for saving me. This I pray in your Holy name, Amen.

Note: If you meant what you said sincerely, believed and confessed that Jesus is your Saviour and your Lord, then you are saved. This my brother and/or sister is the beginning of your journey. Grab a Bible,  find a God-fearing church and make yourself available to learn more about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and what He says about you, building on your identity in Christ.

Congratulations! As Luke 15: 7 highlights, heaven rejoices for you have made your way back to the Father! The gift of salvation is yours, and no one can take it away from you! Remember that you have been set apart for good works, that you are special and you are valuable. I’ll be sure to write a part two on this, as another important point you need to know is that salvation, is only the beginning of your journey…

Thank you for reading my friends, and may the Lord richly bless you!

Tunde T. Amao

Discernment

 

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Hello, my friends.

First post of 2016! We thank God for entering the new year safe and sound!

This topic has been on the heart for a while now, and I thought I should get it down on paper and discuss what discernment is, why it is very important and finally talk about how to be able to discern better.

As Christians, we all need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit; be in alignment with Jesus and consult the heavenly Father when making our day to day decisions. It could be anything; prospective relationships, choice of friends – the list goes on.

To begin, we’ll start off with a definition of the word:

DISCERNMENT

(taken from dictionary.com)

verb (used with object)

1. To perceive by the sight or some other sense or by the intellect; see, recognize, or apprehend:

They discerned a sail on the horizon.

2. To distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate:

He is incapable of discerning right from wrong.
Now, after looking at the Open Bible website on  discernment, two points of scripture jumped out at me:
1 John 4:1 ESV – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Hebrews 5:14 ESV – But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

This is what discernment actually is; to be able to tell the difference between whether something is right or not. I would also like to include that we need to do this from the viewpoint of Jesus Christ. In other words, we need to be asking ourselves, “how would Jesus see it? How would He decide on this?”

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Maybe you had a fleeting thought of something that made you feel uncomfortable but decided to ignore it due to having total trust and faith in your decision only to be severely disappointed in the end.
This has left broken friendships and relationships and has often left people asking “Who was that person? Why didn’t I see this before?” or even “Why didn’t I act quickly when I had the chance?”
This is due to us being misinformed, impatient or totally ignorant of the signs shown.
As 1 John 4:1 points out, we need to be able to test the spirits to see whether it is from God Himself. We need to be able to draw the wisdom shown to us through scripture and apply it to our lives. It is in the application with the Holy Spirit’s guidance that will lead us towards making the right decision.
We need to know our Bibles. We need to know what it says, what it means and how to incorporate it into our daily living.

1 SAMUEL 16: 1- 13

Due to King Saul’s pride and disobedience, God had stripped him of his Kingship and sought one who was worthy of being King of Israel. He sent Samuel the priest to find him. Samuel went to Bethlehem to see Jesse for one of his sons was going to be anointed as king. Samuel met Eliab and saw what HE THOUGHT would be the next King. But the Lord God told Samuel something which we all must all pay attention to.

1 Samuel 16: 7 (emphasis added)

But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.

A GUIDE ON HOW TO DISCERN BETTER

First, one must guard their hearts, because everything one does flows from it (Proverbs 4: 23).

Second, as seen in 1 Samuel 16: 7, we must prepare ourselves to see people how God sees them, by looking at their hearts.

Now, I know you’re thinking: “How do we look into their hearts?”

Luke 6: 45 (NIV) (emphases added)

.A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

In other words, pay close attention to what has been said and refer it back to Scripture. When there is conformity, then that is a good indication. If there is no conformity, then that is something you must take into consideration.

Above all else, ask Jesus Christ to guide your decision making. He will never lead you astray.

Thank you for reading friend, and may God bless you.

Tunde T. Amao

Bible Study – Helpful Tools

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Hello, my friends.

I thought it would be nice to share some very helpful tools that help me out during Bible study or when I want to ask questions or gain extra information about biblical history.

1. GotQuestions?org

GotQuestions.org has to be my favourite research tool for Bible study. The organisation provides answers to any biblical, spiritual or religious questions that one may have. There are various categories that most questions fall under and you can search and read GQ’s answers to the questions many others have asked. I often use this to ask biblically related questions, and research on Philosophical and Theological concepts. It also enables you to ask questions directly to them, of which they will research and provide an answer within 2 – 3 days! GQ is also available as apps which you can download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for android devices respectively.

NB: I will be using this tool to provide background reading on particular issues that I will share in future posts. I really enjoy this tool and I’m sure that you would too!

2. Open Bible.

The Open Bible is useful for researching scriptures within particular topics. Want to know what the Bible says about love? Pop it in the search box, click “Find Out” and read, learn and study to your heart’s content!

NB: I will also use this tool to refer to a cluster of scripture within a topic raised in the upcoming blogs (Just like what I did above)!

3. Commentaries and the Interlinear/ Concordance function on the Blue Letter Bible app (Click here to download on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices).

This is a very useful tool for those who wish to dive deeper into God’s word (Everyone should want to do this in my opinion). The Interlinear/ Concordance function enables you to explore the Hebrew and Greek words themselves and to learn the meaning of the original word. For example, the name “Eden” means “pleasure”. Once you locate the root word, it also provides the terms luxury, dainty, delight, and finery. and the term “garden” in Hebrew is gan, which means “garden” (of course) and an “enclosure”. (An enclosure of luxury, dainty, delight, and finery. Sounds delightful!)

Biblical commentaries are written by Theologians and can help with what we can spend a lot of time seeking before actually reading the Word; context. They also offer a range of biblical analysis and cross biblical referencing, which I thoroughly enjoy. My personal favourite is the David Guzik commentaries but have a look at the others for your own personal taste.

Remember, these are tools to help Bible study to be systematic, fun and informative. However, none of these will be helpful if the reader/researcher is not spirit-led. Before you open your Bible and notepad, shoot a prayer from your heart asking God to open your eyes to His truth within the words. Have a receptive spirit and be expectant to hear from our Heavenly Father. His Word is to enable you to know Him better and to discover His plans for you as well as to enable you to live an effective lifestyle based on his Word.

Are there any Bible study tools that you would like to use? Please share it with us in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading my friends, and my the Lord richly bless you. Amen.

Tunde T. Amao