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The New Year Promise & The Christian

With every passing new year, Christians in the millions cling on to a promise or promises from the Bible, and ever so desperately if they happen to be facing adversity. These promises of a great future, prosperity, health and so on are relevant except that these promises, verses, need to be understood and applied in the context of the biblical narrative, and also in tandem with other scriptural truths, else one can be guilty of having a lopsided view of God and life.

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Entering the Kingdom

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Bewildered, Nicodemus, a pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, asks Jesus whether that meant entering one’s mother’s womb to be born again, quite literally.

God’s Kingdom, three things: the criterion, the cause, and the character.

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THE HOUND OF HEAVEN

During my lowest phase, as I wandered, destitute and ragged, it was the passionate and the relentless pursuit of the hound of heaven that forever changed my life. He followed me, surely, goodness and mercy followed me!

THE HOUND OF HEAVEN, FRANCIS THOMPSON

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.

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THE CROSS & THE CROWN

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Matt 10:38

Christianity as perceived by some is the stuff of “crowns”, a theology identified by popular labels such as prosperity, abundance and security. This is a form of Christianity which supposedly guarantees immunity from suffering and is akin to a “talisman” that  prevents danger.

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I WAS GOMER

When a person reads the Prophet Hosea for the very first time, he is appalled by the fact that God could ask a prophet to marry a prostitute. However, what should really be shocking is not the fact that the prophet was asked to marry a prostitute, but to see ourselves in the place of the prostitute; Hosea viewed by any other lens other than viewing ourselves as “Gomer the prostitute” is making a mockery of the Word of God.

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The Shrivelled Fig Tree

“And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there. Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!”—Matthew 21:17-20.