In light of Mental Health Awareness week, I would like to share a featured post, more for the brothers and for the sisters who wish to understand.
Check it out here!
In light of Mental Health Awareness week, I would like to share a featured post, more for the brothers and for the sisters who wish to understand.
Check it out here!
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
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 first, and 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
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.
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.
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.
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 flesh, the 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
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!
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
Hello, my friends.
Two years ago, I fell and was stuck in a rough patch; a patch that many have fallen into, but not everyone breaks out of.
I wish to share the lessons that I have learnt whilst being “down in the dumps”.
My friends, please take note of this: Do not allow your circumstances to influence your thinking. You; yes, YOU have the power to change your circumstances. Life is difficult, but don’t let it bully you into submission. Don’t allow it to force you into a corner and you not do anything about it. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is bigger than our life circumstances, and not understanding, nor appreciating that God is in control will dampen your mood and make you question your self-worth.
Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Please note: God wants us to test and to approve what His will is; He wants us to do this. We just have to choose to renew our minds. Again, we have to choose to do this.
You are too special to do this yourself. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and everything God has placed in you is wonderful (Psalm 139: 14). A good friend had told me not to pigeonhole yourself in one place. Life is filled with many things that one can venture into. Yes, it may mean stepping out of your comfort zone, but it’s a small price to pay compared to staying there and having zero chance to make life more positive for yourself.
Proverbs 16: 3: Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
Proverbs 3: 5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.
Do not forget the God you serve. Do not forget the hope that Jesus had died, and rose again for. Do not place your hope in man; they will disappoint you. Do not place your hope in things, for they can be taken away. Remain steadfast in the teachings of God and ask Him to lead you. He is the ONLY one who can fulfil your heart’s desire. Only He can lead you out of the dumps either through His word or through people who he has appointed to encourage you.
Life will always go up and down. When you fall down, it doesn’t mean you should stay down. Don’t build your house on sinking sand, but on the solid rock of Christ. Stay close to God and He will never let you down. The way will be made and all have to do is summon the courage to walk through. You owe it to yourselves.
Isaiah 43: 18 -19: Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
We will make it my brothers and sisters! Never give up!
Tunde T. Amao
I know you’re thinking: “why, what? What is the subject of the why I am asking?”
Don’t be alarmed, my friend.
This introductory post is dedicated to the skill of asking questions. It is not wrong to ask questions, but it will be helpful to have the willingness to be interested in the answer you’re seeking, whether or not it will satisfy your curiosity. Even if it does not, you must not give up. For it is the answer that comes understanding, enlightenment, and hidden wisdom. What you do with the answer will help shape how you will live your lives in the most positive way.
This is not intended to be some sort of precedent or a widespread approach to tackling the issues raised which spur us on to ask questions; we all have different thinking patterns, different ways of looking at things, as well as separate belief systems. However, are you comfortable with being told something and told to believe it just because? Are you comfortable with not doing enough digging, thinking we can get by just by skimming the surface?
We need to KNOW the reasons why we believe what we believe, and whether it is positive and beneficial for life and for individuals and the collective rather than benefiting the one, which will be ourselves. As I write this, I imagine that people are thinking of Religion, however, it doesn’t necessarily have to be just this. It can be culture, community life and unwritten rules which life has dictated that we must follow. Now I’m not advocating being an anarchist of any kind, I’m just saying that you need to know why for these things. The best way to do this through the bible, and to place ourselves in the mind of God, and to figure out why He has established what He has established and what the results mean for the aforementioned aspects of life.
Let’s take a step into the beyond, my friend, and look at the world concepts, teachings, mysteries and things we normally brush aside and ask ourselves “Why?” Then we’ll go and seek the answer together.
Thank you for reading my friend.
Tunde T. Amao