1 SAMUEL 15:22 TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE; TO HEARKEN IS BETTER THAN THE FAT OF RAMS

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Welcome/Bienvenue/Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD.

Today we will be looking at 1 Samuel 15: 22 in more detail, where Samuel insists that GOD cares more about obedience, than sacrifices and Kingdom service.

‘But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams (NIV).’

Your most important duty to GOD is to obey HIM. The most important way to prove your love to GOD is to obey HIM. JESUS said that if you love HIM, you would obey HIS Commands (John 14: 15). What is the context in which Samuel made this statement to Saul?

GOD instructed Saul to destroy the Amalekites and all that belonged to them, including all men, women, children, infants, cattle, sheep, camels and donkeys (1 Samuel 15: 1-3). Saul was not allowed to spare anybody or animal. The Amalekites had waylaid the Israelites. GOD wanted to punish the Amalekites, as a result.

However, Saul did not obey GOD’s Instructions. He spared Agag (the king), the best of the sheep, cattle, fat calves, and lambs. He only destroyed everything that was weak and despised (verses 7-9). GOD was nonetheless unhappy with Saul’s actions. In fact, HE ws grieved because Saul had clearly taken HIM for granted. Therefore, GOD took the kingdom away from Saul, by rejecting him as king (verse 23).

When Samuel asked Saul why he disobeyed, he defended himself saying, ‘they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord your God, but we totally destroyed the rest’. Nevertheless, it was too late. In fact, he thought he had done something good, and obeyed the LORD. He said, ‘The Lord bless you! I have carried out the Lord’s instructions’. It is hard to tell if he was pretending or trying to save himself after realising he had done wrong.

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Saul may have thought that what he did was noble or right. He saved ‘good’ animals to be sacrificed to GOD later. He may also have done it for ulterior or selfish motives, though. But, it was contrary to GOD’s Instructions and that is where he missed it. This account proves that obedience matters more to GOD than Kingdom service. It is easier to please GOD by obeying HIM, than through Kingdom service.

Hundreds of years after this event, JESUS obeyed HIS parents by following them home, rather than remaining to discuss the Law with the elders and teachers. Every year, JESUS’ parents journeyed to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When HE was 12 years, they went again as usual. However, when HIS parents were going home, HE stayed in Jerusalem, but they were not aware. They had journeyed for one day without Him, when they realized HE was absent. They went back to Jerusalem to find HIM. They found HIM in the temple courts, sitting among teachers, listening to them and asking questions. HE clearly was having a good time there. When they found HIM, and HIS mother said Joseph and herself had been upset searching for Him, and HE said, ‘Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? (verse 49)’. Yet, HE went back with them and was obedient to them (Luke 2: 41-52).

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In addition, the price of disobedience is indeed too high to pay. This cannot be overemphasised. There was this prophet from Judah who disobeyed GOD in the Bible. GOD had instructed him not to eat or drink anything, or return by the same way he came, after performing a miracle in Bethel (1 Kings 13: 1-10). Another old prophet who was informed of what the young prophet had said to the king, followed the young prophet, lied to him that GOD said he could eat and drink with him (the old prophet) at his house. As soon as he did eat, this old prophet prophesied that as the young prophet had eaten and disobeyed GOD, he would be eaten by a lion, and would not be buried. Indeed, this is what happened (verses 11-25). GOD is not wicked. The young prophet did not listen to the HOLY SPIRIT, before going to eat and drink. This is why it is SO important to have the Spirit of Discernment! Therefore, obedience can be likened to the Gold you pay to appease GOD.

You are required to obey GOD’s Word which you receive from the Bible or from a prophet (as in Saul’s case). However, GOD may speak to you through a source outside HIS Word, through somebody who is not a pastor or prophet, or through your heart, and you must obey HIM still. You would know when GOD speaks to you through you heart; even if HE sends someone else to you, you would know if GOD is really speaking through that person. That is where the HOLY SPIRIT comes in, to give you the Spirit of Discernment, so that you can distinguish the spirit of man or devil from the Spirit of GOD. Is it not GOD that says that HE will no longer make laws to be just on plaques and books, but HE will write the law directly on your heart? (Jeremiah 31: 33).  It is very important to pray for the Spirit of Discernment in order to know when the HOLY SPIRIT commands you to do something or refrain from doing it, so that you can obey accordingly. It is no longer a valid excuse to say that you did not know GOD was speaking to you. Moreover, only the HOLY SPIRIT can help you to obey GOD timeously and in the right way GOD desires.  I, for instance, do not remember the last time a prophet came to give me an instruction from GOD. So, all the instances of disobedience I remember are those where I knew in my heart that GOD instructed me to do something or refrain from doing it, and I either disobeyed or did not obey promptly.

 

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Finally, there is no obedience without promptness or immediateness. My mum always says that if she instructs a child to do something now, and it is only done two hours later, it already amounts to disobedience because the instruction was not obeyed immediately. I think GOD feels the same way as well. HE knows all things, and knows what is good for you. Thus, if HE tells you to take a certain step now, and you are delaying, you may never have the privilege of having that opportunity again. I know this from experience. Time waits for no man. So, ask yourself, ‘What is that thing or instruction or duty GOD has put in my heart, I am yet to do?’ Procrastination destroys destinies. Quickly do what GOD has told you to do, before it is too late! This is because obedience is much more satisfying than regrets.

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 May the LORD bless the study of HIS Awesome Word in JESUS’ Name!

Please, leave a comment below. I want to hear from anybody who reads this post. I want to hear your views and criticism (I am still learning).

Reblog this post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Googleplus, and sign-up to have every post delivered to your inbox J♥

GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

© May 2016. All rights reserved.  

 

TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE, AND TO HEED IS BETTER THAN THE FAT OF RAMS (1 SAMUEL 15: 22)

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Welcome/Bienvenue/Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD.

Today, I am creating a new category of blog post where I will be sharing some of the lessons GOD has taught me through life experiences, some of them hard or bitter. 

Quote of the day: ‘Don’t make excuses; just obey GOD.’ Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

‘But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15: 22 NIV).

In Luke 2: 41-52, there is a very instructive account of JESUS and HIS earthly parents (Mary and Joseph). Every year, JESUS’ parents journeyed to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When HE was 12 years, they went again as usual. However, when HIS parents were going home, HE stayed in Jerusalem, but they were not aware. They had journeyed for one day without Him, when they realized HE was absent. They went back to Jerusalem to find HIM. They found HIM in the temple courts, sitting among teachers, listening to them and asking questions. HE clearly was having a good time there. When they found HIM, and HIS mother said Joseph and herself had been upset searching for Him, and HE said, ‘Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? (verse 49)’. Yet, HE went back with them and was obedient to them (verse 51).

Wow. JESUS was certainly an Awesome Child. I remember myself at 12- I was a bit headstrong and feisty. I probably would have argued after all, I was in the House of GOD, so I should be left alone. Yet, our Awesome LORD & SAVIOUR, GOD the Son, OBEYED HIS PARENTS AND WENT HOME WITH THEM (note the triple emphasis)!

This is the story (grab a cup of coffee if you can ☺). At the beginning of this year 2016, I was appointed as the Secretary of a Christian Campus Fellowship at the University of Pretoria by the then Director of the Campus Fellowships belonging to our church in Pretoria- my lovely father. However, a new pastor was brought to our church. Later, somebody came to tell him the new pastor at our church, was planning to upset the existing fellowship structure, appoint new people and do things his own way (this turned out to be false). My father, being a wise man wanting to avoid trouble with the new pastor, pulled out of the Fellowship. He simply decided he would do nothing and let the new pastor take over.  He told me to leave my job as a Secretary and not bother to do anything anymore. However, I had already warmed to the post of Secretary, and already had ideas of how the new team and I could transform the Fellowship and make a positive difference on our Campus. I was already imagining how would would be saved, and many students would want to be a part of us. Big dreams, hey.

When my dad told me to leave, I was upset, and tried to plead with him to wait and see if the report was true. Maybe see the new pastor and discuss things with him. However, my dad had already seen things I was not seeing. So I refused to leave the post of the Fellowship’s Secretary. There was nobody else available to take the post, because we were trying to resurrect an already dying Fellowship. This was largely due to the unwillingness of people to work for GOD where they would not be noticed and church politics. I thought I had a chance to possibly make a difference, and probably make a difference. I didn’t take the post up because I wanted power.

Thinking back now, I think I was quite excited about it. Did I like the fact that I would be exercising power or calling the shots? I don’t think so. I was excited about my new post and thought that I could possibly make a positive impact. Dude, I was so confident, it’s funny thinking about it now 🙂

GOD’s Truth, I did not ask for Divine Direction. And I deeply regret it. This is where I excluded the HOLY SPIRIT, and was on the ride to the club called ‘Disappointment’. I forgot 1 Samuel 15: 22, certainly.

This is where I missed it. I decided to go ahead and maintain the post of Secretary at the Fellowship. So, I started working hard. I created a WhatsApp group, and started getting things in motion in order to reregister the Fellowship on our campus. However, there was little to no enthusiasm from other members of our church who were students, because most people were busy. So, I did what I could here and there. I poured my everything into it, neglected my studies, and other things. I was doing most of the work, and sort of carrying the burden of the Fellowship on my shoulders.

At the same time, I was getting berated at home for continuing as the Secretary of the Fellowship. My parents were of the opinion I was going to get hurt in the end. The people I was working with were much older than me, they had much less passion for it I had, and they were not seeing the ‘Big Picture’ I was seeing. This would result in friction, and so on. But, I guess I did not understand how this could happen. I thought I had everything under control.

Finally, we were able to get 145 students to sign up to be members of the Fellowship, and we had a founding meeting which made everyone exhausted in planning it. On that day, something happened, and I was so exhausted. There was a disagreement, and somebody else I was working with was talking to me so rudely. She even insulted my father in the process! It was then I realized it was time to leave. This event really affected me, I could not sleep or think of much else. I was so down, because I was like, ‘Do I deserve this kind of treatment?’

Two weeks later, I got angry, and did something I still regret. I removed somebody from the WhatsApp group of the executive, which I had created. I did not think about what I was doing because anger and bitterness had started to set it in. But I apologised, and added her back. As a result, for one hour, people were accusing me of everything from being rude, to liking power, being too aggressive, liking power, not being dynamic etc. It  was a 1 hr version of the Benghazi trial Hillary Clinton had. In the end, I came away TOTALLY BEWILDERED. It took weeks to finally get my life together.

So, I disobeyed my parents, I did not do what JESUS would do, and honey, I am paying for it. I have tried to forget it, but with passion comes pain. I carried the Fellowship as a child I had to raise. I poured my everything into it. THE POINT: IF I HAD OBEYED MY PARENTS, AND LISTENED TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, I COULD HAVE AVOIDED ALL THE EMOTIONAL STRESS I WENT THROUGH.

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Finally, I am not perfect, and I don’t pretend to be. In fact, a favourite quote of mine is this: ‘I am a piece of art GOD is still working on, and the beautiful result will be unveiled in eternity.’ Ifeoluwa Oluyeju. I never pretended to know all. I may have made mistakes, but I know that GOD saw my passionate heart for HIM.

Do I regret everything/the whole experience? No. Because if I did not make these mistakes now that I am still living with my parents, I could have made the same mistakes when I am living on my own. And without my wise old parents, I would not have been able to bear the pain.

Moreover, I know that when there are conflicting Biblical or Christian or Godly interests, some interests must prevail. I think this is why GOD introduced the Ten Commandments. They are like the Constitution of GOD’s Kingdom- the Supreme Law of HIS Land. Where there is a clash between any of these Commandments and any other law, the Commandment(s) involved must prevail. I think this is why Awesome JESUS left the Bible Study which was fine in GOD’s Eyes, to obey HIS Parents, more important in GOD’s Eyes, as it is the first Commandment among the Ten, with a promise.

Once again, obeying GOD’s Word is less painful than having regrets.

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Thank you for reading this post 🙂

Please, leave a comment below. I want to hear from anybody who reads this post. I want to hear your views and criticism (I am still learning).

Reblog this post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Googleplus, and sign-up to have every post delivered to your inbox ☺♥

GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

© May 2016

 

2 PETER 1: 5 FOR THIS VERY REASON, MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ADD TO YOUR FAITH GOODNESS; AND TO GOODNESS, KNOWLEDGE

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Welcome/Bienvenue/Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD. Happy New Week. May you be richly blessed in all you do this week, as GOD leadsyou by your right hand in JESUS’ Name!

In three days we will be looking at 2 Peter 1: 5-7, where Peter mentions character traits we need to build our faith and spiritual lives. However, we will look at verse 5 today.

FOR THIS VERY REASON, MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ADD TO YOUR FAITH GOODNESS; AND TO GOODNESS, KNOWLEDGE (KJV);

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge (KJV);

For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding) (AMP);

There are some character traits you need to ‘work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2: 12)’. Peter listed them in verses 5-7 of 1 Peter 2.

The first trait you need is diligence. In other words, you need to make every effort in exercising your faith. Thus, you can assume that diligence is the basis of your salvation. He goes on to say that in addition to faith (so faith is just not enough), you should develop virtue (NIV); goodness (KJV); moral excellence (AMP). Faith, on its own, without works is dead (James 2: 17). And you cannot claim to believe and trust in GOD, when you don’t obey HIS Basic Precepts. Thus, developing blamelessness or moral excellence is crucial to maintain your salvation.

However, working hard at building your faith and developing moral excellence is not enough. You must add knowledge, insight, understanding or wisdom (all synonyms of knowledge) to the mix. Why is this important? GOD lamented HIS People are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4: 6)! Moreover, zeal without knowledge is tantamount to foolishness (a recent experience has proven this to be true). It is dangerous to have zeal without knowledge, and a man who hasteth with his feet sinneth (Proverbs 19:2 see NET Bible version). The role of wisdom in the life of a man is so important James says that if you lack wisdom, ask GOD in faith, and HE will five you without reserve (James 1: 5). Besides, Awesome HOLY SPIRIT is the Spirit of Divine Wisdom (Isaiah 11: 2), and JESUS went to Heaven so that HE can send the HOLY SPIRIT to us (John 16: 7).

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Finally, only you have the duty to build your faith. There are certain things nobody can do for you. For example, no matter how much you love your wife, if you are a man, you cannot give birth to a child on her behalf. No matter how much you want to relieve your spouse, you can’t pee or poop on their behalf. The point: NOBOSY CAN BUILD YOUR FAITH FOR YOU. The responsibility to build your spiritual life with all diligence lies with only you. Not your spouse, pastor, or parent or child or whoever. There is a famous Yoruba saying, ‘Igbagbo baba, ko gbo mo la’. It literally means the faith of the father does not save the child.

In addition, endeavour to live a holy life according to GOD’s Standards. You are not perfect and you don’t have to pretend to be. Nobody can live a holy life without the Help of the HOLY SPIRIT who imparts the Spirit of the Fear of GOD in us (Isaiah 11: 2). Ask GOD for Wisdom, and HE will lead and guide you in all things (Psalm 32: 8). May you be richly blessed in all things. Amen.

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May the LORD bless the study of HIS Word in JESUS’ Name!

Please, leave a comment below. I want to hear from anybody who reads this post. I want to hear your views and criticism (I am still learning).

Reblog this post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Googleplus, and sign-up to have every post delivered to your inbox J♥

GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

© May 2016

 

 

Genesis 13: 14-15 …AFTER THAT LOT WAS SEPARATED FROM ABRAHAM…

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Welcome/Bienvenue/ Shalom/Ekabo

Good day People of GOD.

Today we shall be looking at Genesis 13: 14-15.

‘And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. Genesis 13: 14-15’

 ‘..after Lot was separated from him…’. It should not be taken lightly that Lot left Abraham first before GOD pronounced generational blessings on him. Yet, Lot was his nephew.

There are some people who add nothing to your life. They are like the little foxes that spoil the vine. Your association with them makes you stagnant or move backward, not forward. They are not the kind of people you can grow or move forward with. They pull you down, rather than raise you up. Have you ever wondered why when you discuss a good idea with one of your friends, he/she is always discouraging you, making light of your gifts or making funs of your failures? Is there any of your ‘friends’ who attacks you in public for your weaknesses, rather than correct you in love if they think you’ve done something wrong? Then, it’s time to do some thinking and evaluate your relationship with that person.

Lot was not a man that was ‘Spirit-filled’ or ‘GOD-filled’. He clearly was not led by GOD. When it came to choosing, he jumped at the land that was green and fresh, without pausing to ask whether it was GOD’s Will for his life. That single decision destroyed his family and lineage forever. In the end, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, his wife turned to a pillar of salt for disobeying GOD and his daughters committed incest with him and produced cursed children (he did not even bring them up to fear GOD). This man was in many respects different from Abraham in serving GOD and making decisions (where was it mentioned in the Bible that Lot offered a sacrifice to GOD? All he did was entertain Angels before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah). This was not the kind of man that Abraham should have been walking with in order to prosper.

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Abraham was also a wise man. He knew GOD was taking him by the hand and leading him, so he did not argue with Lot. He realised it was time they separate, so that he can move forward (vs 3-8). It is recorded that Abraham called upon GOD, so GOD had a Hand in their separation.

Now, who in your life has to go so that you can prosper? It could be a family member like Lot, your friend from high school or someone whose opinion was once important to you but you have realised that his/her values have changed. And it could be a thing. An attitude. A character trait. Anything that has to leave for you to prosper or move forward. King Solomon prayed in Songs of Solomon 2: 15:

‘Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. (KJV)’

‘Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, While our vineyards are in blossom (NASB).’

Finally, there are those foxes that ruin prosperous destinies. Pray that GOD takes away those little foxes, before they destroy the vine of your destiny. IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT MATTER. THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE THAT MATTER.

May the LORD bless the study of HIS Word in JESUS’ Name!

Please, leave a comment below. I want to hear from anybody who reads this post. I want to hear your views and criticism (I am still learning). I am sorry I have not been consistent, but I am now making a commitment to be consistent and be posting at least five days a week.

GOD bless you all ♥♥♥

AmataDei Ifeoluwa Oluyeju (Love)

© May 2016

Pretoria, South Africa

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Divine Wisdom Proverbs 28:26

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Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.’

When you trust in yourself and just your abilities, you are being foolish. However if you let Divine Wisdom guide your steps, you are safe.

What is Divine Wisdom? Job 28: 28 says the Fear of the LORD is Wisdom. To shun evil is understanding. How do we fear Awesome JEHOVAH GOD? We fear GOD by loving HIM with the whole of our bodies, hearts, souls and minds (Mark 12: 30-31). And by loving our neighbours as much as we love ourselves (Matthew 22: 39). How do we prove our love for GOD? We prove our love for GOD by obeying HIS Commandments (John 14: 15).  Thus, fearing Awesome JEHOVAH GOD boils down to this: Obeying GOD and Putting HIS Interests FIRST.

Obedience means doing everything GOD says you should do. Exactly as HE says you should do it. When HE says you should it. Promptly. Joyfully and cheerfully. Putting GOD’s Interests first means putting Kingdom Needs at the top of your daily to-do list. Taking care of GOD’s Interests ahead of yours. Using ALL your resources to further the interests GOD’s Kingdom while believing HIM to take care of your own interests.

Battles of life are not to be fought alone. You need GOD. Period. You need Divine Wisdom. Divine Wisdom comes through the HOLY SPIRIT. The Spirit of Divine Wisdom is an aspect of the HOLY SPIRIT’s Awesome Personality (Isaiah 11: 2). If we lack Divine Wisdom, we can ask Awesome HOLY SPIRIT, and HE will give us without reservation (James 1: 5). When David was faced with a dire situation: all the wives and property of him and his men had been carted away by the enemy- he asked GOD what he should do. GOD gave him the divine Wisdom to pursue the enemy and get what belongs to him and his men. Rather than cry like a coward, and just stand there doing nothing (1 Samuel 30: 1-8; 16-20). Furthermore, David was captured. He had to escape. He behaved like he was crazy. Which led to his captors sending him back home. That was Divine Wisdom. He didn’t be a coward and cry. Or be heroic and challenge his captors. He figured a way out to get of his imprisonment by Divine Wisdom and it worked (1 Samuel 21: 1-15) What about when the enemy came against Judah? Judah was unprepared. The enemy outnumbered them. Several kings and people had come to fight them. They did not know what to do. Then, the HOLY SPIRIT came upon Jahaziel, and encouraged the people. And told them the battle is not theirs, but GOD’s. Then, by Divine Wisdom, the Levites came and started praising Awesome JEHOVAH GOD. Jehoshaphat even appointed men to praise Awesome JEHOVAH GOD on battle day. And as they began to sing and praise, the LORD sent ambushes against the enemy troops, and they helped in destroying one another! Praise GOD!!!!!!!!!! Thus, to win battles of life, WE NEED DIVINE WISDOM.

Moreover Divine Wisdom globally announces you. King Solomon was reputed to be the wisest man in the Bible. He wrote over 3000 proverbs and is the richest earthly king of all time. Why? He had Divine Wisdom. Thus, men & women of repute from all parts of the world came to hear of his great wisdom (like the Queen of Sheba). The point is Divine Wisdom globally announced King Solomon.

Prayer: LORD, help me to trust in YOU totally and completely, without reservation. Help me LORD to give you the number 1 spot in my life. Amen.

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