Tag Archives: Paul

Can Secret remain Secret? (Conclusion)

This piece is the second part that concludes the above topic. It is nature preordained that there is nothing secret in this world. This is why, what is kept as secret must as much as possible be what cannot bring shame or destabilize life or an organization if by accident it leaks out. The government usually classifies some secrets as top or classified and set time limit for de-classifying them for security reasons only.

We do not have to look at the Old Testament situation as the only place and time where and when secrets have been known by even uncommitted persons. It was mainly by divine intelligence that such secrets were known. Remember King David, when Prophet Nathan confronted him in a parable of the poor man who had only one lamb that was coveted by a prosperous man.The New Testament has its own share of divine revelation to someone who was not privy to the sinful act (Secret). Ananias and  Sapphira, husband and wife, decided to cheat on other followers of Christ by selling their land like others but presented a fraction of the proceeds. By divine revelation, Peter confronted  husband and wife separately and they both lied to the Holy Spirit as Peter said. They both died consequent upon their lying. If the secret was not revealed by any means, physical or spiritual, no one could have known what the couple did which surely would have undermined the purpose of communal living being practised by the disciples after the death of Jesus Christ. Acts 5: 1-10.

God who judges the heart and not the face revealed to Paul the secret behind the acts of the “famed ” Elymas, the sorcerer. Acts 13: 8-11. (NKJV) “But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, look intently at him, and said, “O full of deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of righteousness, will you not cease perverting the ways of the Lord. And now indeed, the hand of the Lord  is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”

God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform in that the plot to assassinate Paul in Jerusalem leaked to Paul’s nephew. The young man went to tell Paul who sent him to the Chief Captain who acted fast and smuggled Paul out at night to Caesarea for him to be heard by Governor Felix.

In conclusion, where a person did not commit a sin and detractors just decided to cause him to be held for heinous crime. God has always  revealed the truth that would cause the victim to be exonerated  even if he had spent more than a quarter of a century in jail without parole. He would eventually go free with sumptuous compensation. Can a secret remain secret for ever?

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Christian Goal

The word “goal” means ‘The state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that when achieved terminates behavior intended to achieve it’. Its synonym is “end” in this context. Therefore, what is the goal for being a Christian? Looking at the word “goal”, it fits in as the ultimate of the endeavors of a Christian which undoubtedly is a desire “To  make Heaven”. Like in any area the word can be applied, once the destination is reached the end would have justified he means. The Christian goal, to my mind, is a means to an end. The end is to spend eternity with Jesus and all the heavenly Saints in God’s kingdom. By all we have read about, seen or experienced, one has to struggle hard to be able to win the race. Even on earth, building a habitable house or home or obtain academic or professional certificate with the license to be able to practise the acquired knowledge, it involves worthy hardships at such.

It is obvious that he who wants to eat honey embedded in the rock must not look at the cutting edge of the axe. There would be strain and stress consequent  upon cutting deep into the rock before the honey can start to flow. To be able to eat fresh corn in tropical dry season, there has to be mechanized farming facilities that incorporate irrigation. It is an essential requirement for pursuing Christian goal to “walk the talk” as a follower of Jesus with a view to meeting the biblical transcendental goal of making heaven. Jesus’ coming to the world is to make mankind acceptable  into God’s kingdom eternally under his code of conduct per his preaching,

As man is striving to follow Jesus with a view to inheriting the kingdom of God, the devil is perfecting its own strategy towards thwarting the believer’s endeavor. Satan had always been foxy. The serpent (Satan) won over Eve by deception and Adam fell for it as well. Clearly, satan manifests by the names of Demon, or Devil. The bible recorded that the Devil has come to steal, kill and destroy. Through this means it was able to mislead and enmesh many great anointed people of God  like King Jeroboam, and King Saul. Remember their elevation to kingship was of God but they were not able to hold their own as their conscience was turned away from God. Starting from Adam and Eve the number of such people is countless. Think of Hazel who got a prophesy that he would become king of Syria and then felt he was wiser than God who would surely have fulfilled the prophesy at his own time. He decided to carry out a palace coup by killing his master, of course, he never enjoyed the grace of God that goes with legitimate kingship.

Satan finds it difficult to coerce people who have given their life to God. since they have submitted their lives to God they can no longer divide their loyalty between God and the devil, by so doing, they become untouchable and are able to achieve their goal of making heaven. We find such people in the nature of people like Jeremiah, Enoch (who did not die but was no more) and Daniel. Let us recall the famous response of Daniel to the King who went to the site of the lion’s den early in the morning to find out if Daniel’s God has saved him. Daniel 6: 22 states: “My God has sent his angel, and has shut the lion’s mouth that they have not hurt me: as much  as before Him innocency was found in me ; and also before thee, O king, I have done no hurt” (NKJV)

Impediments to Christian goals are a situation in which people go into various studies that make them look smart or able to find a short cut to God.  Alas ! They really miss the ways of the Lord. The fate of practitioners of spiritism in the form of Tarot card, Palmistry, sand reading, charms and amulets or ancestral worship is sealed in what we read in Deuteronomy 18:10-11. “There shall not be found among you anyone that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire , or that uses divination, or an observer of times or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer” (KJV). After Paul’s conversion, he became unassailable to Satan’s attempt at making him fail in his newfound faith.

If we really understand the admonition in Ephesian 6: 10-13, we shall be able to practise Paul’s saying in James 4: 7-8 thus: “Submit yourself therefore to God, Resist the devil and He will flee from you…….Draw near to you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded…..(verse 10) Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” Max Lucado describes the situation( of seeking to achieve Christian Goal in this submission) , He says: “God planned for His people to be distinct by their peaceful and humble attitudes. By  words and actions mark these qualities”

Non-Carnal Love Series # 17

Life of Apostle Paul gave us an insight into how God extends his love to cover even the wicked ones. Paul, as Saul, had one sterling quality of intense dedication to duty. Man sees only the face but God sees the heart or that which is intrinsic and can always tap on man’s hidden resources to edify HIS holy name. In his fervor at rounding up Jesus’ disciples for imprisonment. Paul received High Priest’s mandate to hunt down Jesus’ disciples with their so-called “new doctrine”. It was on his way to Damascus that he met the risen Christ who commissioned him – Saul – (later Paul) and literally enlisted him as soldier in the gospel army. Acts 9: 1-16

Through thick and thin, pain and pang, along with trial and tribulation, his tenacious faith in Christ Jesus saw him through all the fall out arising from his missionary journeys among Jews and gentiles. He expectantly rose to the rank of “five-star general” meaning, he ran the gospel race to win the crown of glory.

A deserter in any national Armed Forces that are justly defending the territorial integrity of his country is anti-Paul the Apostle. A quitter in any tough assignment is apparently a total failure, God has a sacred duty to bless us but it is our duty to use our talent responsibly to his honor and glory. Apostle Paul really did.