Running Man!

Running Man!!!
If your initial reaction is the ‘dance step’ or the movie, then you are old school. Have you ever heard of the prophet JONAH and the big FISH ? I could have easily titled this story, Jonah, the Running Man but that presupposes no one else is running.

There are interesting facts to be gleaned from Jonah’s story. Read the first chapter of the book of Jonah. Good stuff! Here was God’s servant, mouth piece who was sent to warn a city full of all types of wickedness and about to be punished if they do not repent. But the prophet had other plans, he wanted to part of that assignment and went in a ‘different direction’. All of us today do the same…we are like "Jonah in transit"; moving towards or away from something, someone, some place.

We all RUN !!!
In Jonah’s case it was a direction away from God. An ‘AWAY FROM’ direction. (Jonah 1:3).
We run…fast and furious towards ambitious goals, away from tough challenges, we run…chasing the next thrill or the next oasis.

The examples abound to catch your attention -
The individual who abandons the ‘straight’ path.
The parent who abandons his or her child ?
The chaste who abandons his or her vows.
The custodians of sacred trust (priest) who breaks sacred trust ?

Here are some tell-tale signs of someone running.

A.) They sleep at the wrong time, a developed sense of oblivion.

B.) Their speech confirm our suspicions- they are running. (Read Jonah 1:10) While he spoke others knew what he was doing.

C.) Their somewhat developed understanding of illogical problems and the required steps to fix such issues. In Jonah 1:12 – Jonah knew exactly what what needed to be done to resolve the problem. This is what Jonah said, "Throw me overboard, into the sea. Then the storm will stop. It’s all my fault. I’m the cause of the storm. Get rid of me and you’ll get rid of the storm." Amazing!

D.) They know that their actions carry a premium. There are no innocent bystanders. In Jonah’s example, the ‘innocent bystanders’ got ship wrecked. In other examples there are broken homes, displaced children, hurt spouses and embarrassed families or colleagues.

So look inside your ‘soul’ (soles) aren’t you tired of running ? Is that a ‘hole’ I see on your sole ? Is that a ‘hole’ on your heart ??
Are you tired of the internal battles between right or wrong raging inside you ? Are you ready to change course ?

Well, if you are ready, wait no more help is here, ask God for the inner fortitude to change course in Jesus Name, Amen.

@PstFlo
Culled from ‘Get Off Your Duff’, my latest book.
Get yours now: Available on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Off-Your-Duff-Falayi/dp/1450750966/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1303166389&sr=8-6

An empty tomb !!!

An empty tomb…He arose! See, our anchor on the journey of faith is the undeniably truth of
our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection. You should celebrate the monumental milestone today, rejoice for the price has been paid. You are free to live! You are free to be! You are free to become a child of God.

Jesus is Lord!

The Journey to the Cross, Day 38 “Bloody Sweat”

The Riverbank Lent 2011 Devotional Plan
“The Journey to the Cross”
Day 38:Luke 22:39-62

Focus: verse 44
“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.”

Meditation:
Honestly, prayer could be painful, an agony, a struggle and an extremely difficult especially when it involves a surrender. It is an exchange that costs greatly. Giving up to go up is costly.

Jesus Christ the son of God, who was one with God (John 1), struggled mightily with this exchange. Do you know Jesus Christ asked God out of the ‘cross journey’ three times ?

Recall that Jesus Christ had seen the resurrection before He came to the earth. The numerous sons and daughters that were coming, He saw! The many that were to ‘walk the talk’ of healing, deliverance, victory and much more, He saw ! The many that will share the ‘Good News’ of the Kingdom of God, Jesus saw yet Jesus Christ wrestled with this notion until his sweat became bloody.

What agony turned Jesus’ sweat to bloody ones ?
What did He see ? Well, to answer that question, may I ask what did He do afterwards ?

Prayer:
I pray that each one of us will have the strength to yield to God’s will continually regardless of the cost in Jesus name, Amen.

God’s blessings,
Pst Flo

The Journey to the Cross: Day 37, “Flesh”

The Riverbank Lent 2011 Devotional Plan
“The Journey to the Cross”
Day 37: Mark 14:32-72

Focus: 72 And straightway the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word, how that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

Meditation:
There is nothing good in this flesh. It is a struggle that is only tamed and controlled by superimposing a higher order called the law of the spirit (Rom 8); this is akin to imposing the law of lift over the law of gravity. The moment a plane ceases to fly in mid air, it starts to sink, plain and simple.

The moment we decide to take the foot off the gas pedal of living by faith, living based on God’s word, living by the power of the holy spirit we start to live by the dictates, craving, desires of our flesh. For some it’s visible and others it manifests over time, this is the honest gospel truth.

The flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing. Do you know it was a little girl who questioned Peter first ? Can you imagine Peter’s ludicrous responses ? The weakened flesh had full control over Peter’s faculties… the effect of prayerlessness, (read verse 68-71): 1: He denied and said, I neither know, nor understand…
2: He denied Christ…
3: …But he began to curse, and to swear, I know not this man of whom ye speak.

What’s with the cursing and swearing ? The voice of the flesh ? Absolutely!

Prayer:
I pray that you will remain strong in the spirit so that you do not fall for the tricks of the devil and have the grace to stay in prayers such that one’s weak flesh will be subdued by the power of the Holy Spirit in Jesus name, Amen.

God’s blessings,
Pst Flo

The Journey to the Cross” Day 30: “Your Crib”

The Riverbank Lent 2011 Devotional Plan
"The Journey to the Cross”
Day 30: John 14:1-31

Focus: 1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know”.

Meditation:

In time, we appropriate more significance to little things. A child’s birthday card or love note has more value than any specially crafted greeting cards. Soon enough, we start to appreciate intangible gifts like time spent together with dear friends and family more than actual gifts. A point further buttressed during seasons of great loss when we most definitely develop a deeper appreciation for family and friends.

We are built for relationship; we are complete in relationships. Our hearts are designed for connection, the fabric of our lives yearn for fellowship. It is this same longing that Jesus addressed in today’s epic message about the father’s house.

There are many mansions Jesus said, in my father’s house and I am going to prepare a place for ‘you’. He didn’t say for them as in a commercial development project but for ‘you’, a place you can own, a place that suits your taste, your needs and your fancy. Your place!

It is a place of perfect communion with Jesus. It’s a place of rest after a ton of hard work. A place of joy, laughter and smiles. It will most definitely be worth the wait, the anticipation, the expectation and that’s why you must no longer be troubled. Jesus is leading the construction efforts on YOUR place, you are that important and He is coming back to personally do the honors of showing you your place. Now tell me why are you worried and troubled again?

Prayer:

Let not your heart be troubled, trust Jesus.

God’s blessings,
Pst Flo

The Journey to the Cross” Day 29: ” I “

The Riverbank Lent 2011 Devotional Plan
"The Journey to the Cross”
Day 29: Reading – Matthew 26:31-35

Focus: 33 Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 35 Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples

Meditation:
Never say never! Those that know Grace do not boast any longer in their abilities or in themselves. Their boast if any at all is always in the Lord. Peter, just like you and I forgot his frailties, natural tendencies and boastfully hedged his bet on his own power and sufficiency to withstand temptation and the onslaught of the devil only to wilt away at the slightest inquiry from a teenage girl. Before you judge Peter, consider your daily routine. Do you get up and spend time in God’s presence for renewal, do you even whisper a "Good morning, Holy Spirit" when you wake up ? How about a simple "Thank you, Jesus" for another day ?

Where is your confidence ? In yourself ?

Our strength regardless of the intensity isn’t sufficient to withstand the pressures, trials and squeeze of the world. We need Jesus Christ, God’s ability, power and grace to live, move, walk and do all that’s commanded in the bible. On our Christian journey, the confidence, trust, hope and focus we exude must be from the Lord. Recall Peter in Matthew 14:30, who walked on water by fixing his gaze on Jesus and on our journey so must we. When we shift our gaze from Jesus due to external factors, public opinion, personal doubts or feelings we start to sink. Read verse 33 again; is that a boastful declaration or deep rooted confidence in God’s grace and ability?

Prayer:
I pray that we all accept and embrace God’s grace readily available in Jesus Christ today.

God’s blessings,
Pst Flo

The Journey to the Cross” Devotional Day 27: “Choices”

The Riverbank Lent 2011 Devotional Plan
"The Journey to the Cross”
Day 27: Reading – John 13:18-38

Focus: Verse 25 – 26, 38 (The Message)
So, being the closest, he said, "Master, who?” 26 Jesus said, "The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I’ve dipped it." Then he dipped the crust and gave it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. 38 "Really? You’ll lay down your life for me? The truth is that before the rooster crows, you’ll deny me three times."

Meditation:
The Lord knows us like a loving father. He knows our tendencies, frailties, inclinations and yet chooses to respect our choices. If we didn’t have choices would we be different from computers ? Without choices how would anyone decipher and confirm humanity’s true intent? Our choices reveal us, they reveal our hearts. Jesus knew both Judas and Peter would betray and deny him. It wasn’t a discipleship program gone-bad, both disciples made bad choices, committed grievous sins but only one remembered the choice that leads to being forgiven. Choices matter!

Since everything in life is a product of choices, be careful then for what you sow, you will reap. Make good choices, sow good seeds and reap good harvest. (Galatians 6: 7 -9). A sincere worshipper, a devout follower is a choice; a loving parent is a choice. A faithful spouse is a choice; a kind soul is a choice. An obedient child is a choice; a good example is a choice; an excellent student, a difference maker and merciful hearts are all choices.

I appreciate and respect God’s love that never overrides our choices. God gently speaks and pokes our hearts with compassion and patiently anticipates we will make the appropriate decisions. His arms remain wide open just like the prodigal son’s father (Luke 15). Choices matter!

Prayer:
I pray that each day you will courageously make the right choices in Jesus Name, Amen.

God’s blessings,
Pst Flo

The Journey to the Cross” Devotional Day 25: “Public Display”

The Riverbank Lent 2011 Devotional Plan
"The Journey to the Cross”
Day 25: Reading – 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Focus: Verse 23 For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.

Meditation:
Communion is fellowship, one that mustn’t be taken for granted or observed frivolously. It is important to remember that the next time one partakes of the Lord’s body and blood; one must do so orderly, properly, as often as possible with gratitude and understanding. It is an act of proclamation, an act whereby one publicly reveals an internal conviction. A public statement, show, support and identification with Christ’s death. For believers the cross is a place of divine exchange and we must acknowledge that without the Lord’s death there wouldn’t have been a resurrection. See, our today would have remained bleak, dark, painful and hopeless but the Lord’s death provided hope, a future, and freedom from sin, joy, redemption, salvation, deliverance, healing, victory and much more.

Prayer:
I pray that you will boldly proclaim the Lord’s death of often as you can in Jesus Name, Amen

God’s blessings,
Pst Flo

The Journey to the Cross” Devotional Day 24: “1000 Words”

The Riverbank Lent 2011 Devotional Plan
“The Journey to the Cross”
Day 24: Reading – John 13:1-17

Focus: Verse 4 riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments; and he took a towel, and girded himself. 5 Then he poureth water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded”

Meditation:
Examples. We live by examples. We are called to be examples. We grow as examples therefore we should enjoy being examples especially now in our age of relativism.

It is a risky proposition, it could be misconstrued, it might irritate, annoy, frustrate you especially if your intentions are misunderstood but nonetheless we must be examples. Examples are not perfect so don’t attempt the impossible; examples are simply servants under set instructions.

The Lord Jesus Christ lived as an example, a godly example for us. He left his splendor, glory, pomp, royalty, accolade to become a man (Phil 2) and upon arrival on earth, Jesus acted out his noble assignment. As a sent ambassador, he probably could have articulated service with his words or with a parable and that Jesus would have done very well. He however could have illustrated service with excellent ‘power point’ presentation actually more accurately Jesus could have used a sketch pad on the sandy terrains of Jerusalem, but He did not.

He became an example! He dressed, acted and performed the task of a servant. He wore the right clothes, poured water into a basin, knelt down and washed the disciples’ feet and wiped them off with a towel shortly thereafter. An example of humility, a picture is said to be worth a thousand words. Well, let the ‘1000 words’ speak loudly in your soul. What an example! Our Lord, Master, Savior on bent knees serving humanity. As he has done so must we.

Prayer:
I pray today as you wait upon the Lord you see his great example of service and that each one of us will become servants of the most high God by choice. Examples who speak with their actions and not their mouths. Be an example!

God’s blessings,
Pst Flo