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The Certainties of Life

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6 May 2014

Certainties of life

THE CERTAINTIES OF LIFE

The only thing that is certain in life is the uncertainty itself. There are so many things that are certainly not certain in life but in this study we are not going to focus on generality, however we shall touch on those issues that address our spiritual lives. Although the truth is bitter but if the children of God are equipped with the facts of life, they will be able to stand the hurtful devastation of uncertainty event or occurrence and they will be able to uphold the certainty that the truth the word of God revealed to mankind.

BEAUTY

In this sophisticated society, beauty is very relevant. Everybody wants to look good. We try to match our complexion with the type of dresses we put on. The men puts on a shirt that matches with the pant and blend very well with the shoe. Women on the other hand, put on a blouse that perfectly matches the skirt and apparel must be blend very perfectly with the color of their shoe. In addition, the hand bag, the head-gear and the shoe must blend very well. Any thing short of this will amount to color-riot. Color riot is a serious crime in the beauty world and it is punishable in the beauty court with a penalty of rejection in the society. Although, this is a joke but it is true any way. In fact, this is the theory behind the pier pressure that our children are experiencing in our society. The quest for outward beauty continues; People are gunning after the brand names, like ‘Today’s Men products,’ ‘Reactions,’ ‘Calvin Klein,’ etc. I do not know much about women brand name products but the mentality to win the quest of beauty is stronger in women than men. The kind of jewel you put on, the quantity and the quality, determines your personality and expensive class you belong. The nose must be powered, the eye-shadow carefully applied and blends with the power color, and the eye-lashes must be cultured to curl to the desire of the time. The cologne must be applied strategically to every point of contact of our body to the outside world. It is an acceptable parlance in the beauty world, “Looking good must go with smelling nice.” When this is done, it is then and only then that some of us will assume some element of beauty confidence.

Personally, I am not against beauty. In fact, men are created to beautify their environment. This is the essence of the duty of dominion – applying finishing touches upon what God had created beautifully. Charity begins at home. The beautification of our environment should start with self. This is why I appreciate those who take time to take care of themselves.

The only problem is that, Bible pointed out that all these beauties that had become the center focus of man today is vanity. “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverb 31:30) The fashion of today will become out of vogue tomorrow. The beautiful facial appearance of today would result into ripples of wrinkles tomorrow when the old age set. The smooth and supple body we possess today will eventually become a delicious food for the termites in the grave when we died. Therefore beauty is certainly uncertain because it is fades away with time.

HUMAN PROMISES

Promise in relationship with mankind is the unfortunate thin thread that the whole world is hanging on. Promise always begin a relationship, it strengthen the relationship if it is honorably kept. At times we do over-evaluate the efficacy of promise and we say, “Promise is a debt.” For an honorable individual, promises he made may become a debt because of his integrity and godly characters. Even if, the person who made promise intended to keep it, the fulfillment of the promise depends on catalogues of factors ranging from situation that is naturally beyond his or her controls to a deliberate act of unfaithfulness. A father that promised his brilliant child, “My beloved child, whatever college you want to go, I promise that I will foot your tuition and accommodation bill.” This type of promise is real and reliable but it does not make its performance certain. What about a scenario where the father fall into prolong sickness before the child enters into the college.

Many have relied on the promise of marriage, some have even got to the point of engagement, yet before the wedding day an event overtook the decision and one of the party said, “Well, I have changed my mind,” and the wedding never took place. Of course, it will surely hurt the innocent party who had been building around the promises. That is why the Bible admonished, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” (Psalm 146.3) Whatever the level of attainment of mankind, he still needs help. Even if he does not need the help of man, he certainly needs the help of God. Princes are men of honor and integrity, they would like to live by their words, but regardless, due to the fact that they are human beings, the fulfillment of their promises depends upon the grace of God who gives life to all living things. Therefore promise of man is certainly uncertain.

RICHES

It is wonderful to become rich especially when this enviable level of blessing it is honorably attained through hardworking and divine blessing from God. The Bible also reminds us that, “Money answereth all things.” Riches bring forth connections that come along with many kinds of fame and responsibility. It also establishes class and category of people you belong. But one important fact must remain in our hearts: Riches are like visitors that checks into a hotel with baggages and checks out at the end of the visit. Money could be a good servant, therefore, whenever it is around control it to the glory of God; money is a monstrous master if you allow it to control you. Manage your wealth purposefully; do not allow it to become your master. The word of God admonishes us not to set our mind upon what does not last forever. “Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:5) We have all heard of people who won millions of dollars and then lost it all. In some cases, an average person can spend an inheritance – or a paycheck – like a lightning speed and have little or nothing to show for it. Do not spend your time chasing fleeting earthly treasures as they are certainly uncertain. Instead, store up treasures in heaven, for such treasure will never be lost.

FUTURE

The future is mysterious because it manifests in the deep secret of Almighty God. God alone have the blue print of what will happen in the future. It is also dreadful because no one knows what it will bring. Every second of the day, the future is unfolding itself into the present, and the present is evolving into the past and ultimately become history through the infinite wisdom of God. The process seems so smooth. And it is unbelievably hard to notice that, at this very present time, the previously unknown future is transforming into history. Yesterday is history it does belong to us any more, tomorrow is future it belongs to God. The present moment is one of the gifts of God to mankind. In The ‘present’ in terms of time measurement, God is giving man an opportunity to introduce a righteous input in the present that will become noticeable in the history.

The so-call wise men of the world use future as the platform of their planning. They projected into the future with their plans and executions. They do not realize that it is by grace of God they will able to see the light of that future date. That is why their plans were never accurate, if at all, it materialized. Many people planted with expectation to harvest at the future date but they were unable to due to many factors the future unfolded to their present. “A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?” (Ecclesiastes 11:2) It is certainly true that future is uncertain, that is why the children of God put their plan in the hands of God who hold the future. Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1)

FRIENDSHIP

The life of Christ is a good example of the uncertainty of friendship. The people that had heard His word of life and those that had experienced miracles and divers of deliverance, those he fed with abundance of God and all that cherished Him as their champion and shouted “Hossanah!” when He entered Jerusalem on a young oxen, the same shouted, “Crucify Him,” in the presence of Pilate. Imagine the uncertainty of the friendship of the worldly. They laugh with you and exhibit their adoration when they see you and when they have something to receive from you, but behind you the slander of their mouth is like a piercing arrow designed to destroy your personality. The uncertainty of friendship is mainly about weakness nature of humanity. Fear of death or inordinate passion for wealth, or other factor might have been the reason why they sold out the friendship of their beloved ones. “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.” (John 16:32) For thirty pieces of silver, Judas Iscariot, one of the chosen twelve disciple of Jesus Christ sold the Son of Man out to the enemy and he in betrayed Him with a kiss, having planned with enemy that, “The person I kiss when I entered, is Jesus Christ, and the one you should arrest.”

Unfortunately, people talked much about the unfaithfulness of Judas Iscariot, an analysis of the denial of Peter had not been taken into consideration. Peter was one of the inner caucus of the disciples of Jesus Christ. He was one of the beloved disciples namely, John, James and Peter. And yet, when Jesus Christ was arrested Peter denied ever knowing of Jesus Christ three times probably because of whether he would be arrested like Him. Although he repented of this denial but he did another awful thing. He led the disciples to fish in the Sea of Tiberia after having being with Jesus Christ for about three years. Friendship of the world is certainly uncertain but the friendship of God is certainly certain, in that Jesus Christ lay down His life for His friends. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) Even at the Cross, Jesus Christ prayed for the people that crucified him and say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

LIFE AND EARTHLY GLORY

Life is a precious gift from the Creator. It is one of the most precious but unrealized gift. Many do not place any value to it and therefore they handle the gift of life carelessly. Many constantly destroy this gift by engaging in drug usage or alcoholism or anything that can shorten the lifespan of the precious gift. Much as it is our believe that we can do whatever we like with our lives, I want you to understand today that your life and the way you live for the rest of your life, whether happily or otherwise, depends on and compliments the lives of others. Consequently, whatever you do to your life is affecting the lives of others even if you are not sensitive enough to know.

Life is time sensitive and that is why it is certainly uncertain. Life does not last forever. The word of God says concerning life, “For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14) Life is like a gift of fresh flower of many colors. The ways you handle the flowers the longer will be the brightness of the colors. This is the reason why you will always find a fresh flower in a flower-pot filled with water — the water refreshes the flower. We wonder why we owe it a duty to maintain our life. It is whatever we do to the life that will enter the Book of Life in the presence of God. Your life is one of the proverbial gifts of talent mentioned in the parable of Jesus Christ. Whatever you do with it is a gift, in return unto God. It is also an indication of your appreciation or ingratitude, as the case may be, unto God. Let us understand today that every one of us will give account of what we have done with our lives in the presence of God at last.

Also in line with life, achievement is good. It is an evidence of man’s labor and endurance and above all, it is a proof of blessings of God. But in any way we look at it, it is an earthly glory conferred upon man by the merciful God. Your own glory may manifest in terms of Educational achievements, or a certain accomplishment. The king that reign on the throne, the presidents of nations ascend their office at the instance of Almighty God. The ruler of today may become a subject in the same kingdom tomorrow especially in democratic environment. Ex-President Clinton was an amiable president of United States of America for eight years but today, the favorite of the people is President Bush.

An Anglo-Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) said about achievement, “Man can climb to the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long.” The word of God confirm the same in (I Peter 1:24) “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away.” Man’s earthly achievement is generally as good as the life-span of the man. This is why the earthly glory is certainly uncertain because the moment man died, his achievement and the accompanied glory died with him. This is why we must endeavor to do something useful and beneficial to humanity with whatever we have achieved. Whatever we do with our achievement will be a monumental remembrance of the achievement.

EARTHLY POSSESSIONS

Several people give it different name. Some call it wealth; some call it fruit of labor. It manifest in different physical format. It may be in form of money or it may be equity that one possessed in investment. It could be real-estate properties or landed property. It could be chains of business or a right that one possessed that brings in an annual lump sum of money. What ever name it may be it known to mankind, in the spiritual realm it is known and classified as earthly possessions. Another important thing we need to know about these possessions is that, they are gifts of God that He placed in man’s custody, in form of blessing, so that the blessed individual may become a source of blessing to humanity. If the wealth that are accumulated in the hands of few people in this world are evenly distributed, there will not be a single poor man in the world. True to this statement, but at the same time, nobody will appreciate the value of blessing. When a rich man comes across a poor man, at least he will think within himself, “I thank God that I am blessed,” and at the same time, he may decide to help the needy poor man. There are categories of wealthy people and there are categories of poor people. But in each of these different categories, there lies the mystery of God. In any of the status of life each people in the categories of life found themselves, they always have reasons to praise God.

There are two occasions in the life time of mankind that we reflect upon earthly possession: at the peak of wantonness of a rich worldly man and at the point of death. At peak of enjoyment of a worldly man, he will say to himself, “Enjoy yourself. You bring nothing into this world and you will not take anything to heaven.” At this moment in his life, he pays no mind concerning the poor ones he is supposed to minister to with his wealth. But at the point of death, it is truly a sober certainty and the word of God confirmed it, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” (I Timothy 6:7) The children of God that is equipped with this truth and can correctly interpret this truth behave themselves wisely in righteousness with their earthly possessions for the glory of God. Let the word of God therefore guide you in the way you handles earthly possessions.

ASSURED ACCEPTANCE

The gift of salvation that brought man from the verge of destruction to the path of life eternal is awesome. It is woven in secret in the loft of merciful heart of Our Father in Heaven, and it is birthed in love to mankind through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Even when we were in sin, God made provision of salvation for mankind. He first loved us before we found out of His precious love for us and we begin to learn how to love Him. It was not as easy at the way some are trivializing salvation today. If we pay a close attention to the assured statement of Jesus Christ in John 6:37 that says, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise case out,” and then take some time to meditate upon it, then we would appreciate why Jesus Christ made this statement in the Bible. Believers are the brilliant evidence of the reason why He left His glory in Heaven and came to earth to set man free from the ensnaring trap of Satan. The believers are the trophy for the victorious battle Jesus Christ fought with Satan in order to wrestle eternity out of the hand of his and gave it to mankind. Salvation was the reason why His death on the Cross of Calvary for the redemption of the whole world worth it. The Bible told us that Angels are rejoicing in Heaven for every soul that come to the knowledge of God and accepted salvation. This is why we are so certain of the assured acceptance that Christ will never reject His own who wholeheartedly come to Him.

DIVINE LOVE

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Roman 8:35-39)

It is hard to visualize the state of mind that Paul was when the Spirit of the Lord led him to reveal this powerful assurance and at the same time prepare the mind of the believers about the situations they may likely encounter in their Christian life journey in terms of persecution. Perhaps the believers did not know before, they are the envy of the powers and principalities. Satan was terribly jilted that through the love of God believers were rescued from its clutches. The love of God made the atonement for our sins possible. The Almighty Father beholds mankind through the blood of atonement that Jesus shed on the Cross. Instead of the filthy sin of mankind, He only beholds loving and precious people that had been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

The believers that understand and appreciate the worth of the divine love can always weather any storm of spiritual or physical attack of enemy that tries to intimidate and demoralize in the course of our Christian journey. This is one of the comforting certainties in the Bible for the children of God because it is practically impossible to be separated from the unconquerable love of Jesus Christ. Nothing can stop the divine presence of Jesus Christ with His beloved children. We are totally secured in His love and we do not have any reason to be afraid any spiritual discomforts that seem to be unending today. Whether we are living, we are living for Christ, even if death comes, His love will bring us to his divine presence.

ASSURED END OF MAN

Every thing that has a beginning must surely have an end. The beginning of the life of some men might have been so beautiful due to the affluence of the family, they might have been powerful rising stars and it might have seemed that their end will never come, but just wait and behold, their end is fast approaching. The life of a man is like a new bud of a palm-tree leaf that was facing up; it bragged and told the old leaves that now spread and green, “I am going up to the sky!” The old green leaves replied, “We shall be waiting here for your return.” The beautiful yellow bud of palm tree leaf eventually became spread and green like the old ones and it dried up and fell down. The beginning of life and its end is a complete circle of the life of man. If the end of life has not come, the fullness of the life will not be realized. It is interesting that the very beginning of life of man is not determined by man, it is determine by God. In the same manner, the end is determined by God. The bible says, “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.” (Ecclesiastes 8:8)

Environment and upbringing is very important, it helps to shape and mold man to prepare him towards the end. Although in some cases, these two factors do not always determine what the end would be. The beginning of life of some may be rough, but struggle and persistence in righteousness reshapes their end. Many people have a horrible or idolatry beginning but when they were opened to the truth along the pathway of their lives, they changed to righteous way and they had a beautiful end. Brethren, you are at the midway of your life now, look back and consider where you are coming from and look forward and project where you are going to. Joshua declared among the congregation of children of God and said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” He died righteously serving the Lord. May our lives reveal a glorious end and fulfillment that will make the very end of our life justify the struggle of life.

ASSURED IMMORTALITY

Everybody wants to possess immortality but ironically, no one wants to die. Death is the precious vitamin that reveals the beauty of immortality. Death in this context is not only the one that marks a complete circle of life. Death can be further analyzed as shedding off rottenness of life so that the brilliant beauty of life can emerge. Jesus Christ was explaining the expediency of His death to the disciples, He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it dies, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25) Jesus Christ died on the Cross and on the third day He resurrected from the grave. He was he first born from the dead. We are the result fruit of His death, because His death brought salvation for man. Before He died on the Cross, He assured us, “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3) Having all these truth in our heart, if we died in the Lord, we are certain that we shall possess immortality at last. Paul in His epistle to the brethren in Corinth confirmed the same. He said, “For we know that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” (II Corinthians 5:1)

SEPARATION OF RIGHTEOUS FROM THE WICKED

Separation is an important principle of life. Almost every creature is practicing the act of separation. Man does not eat the grains with its shaft. We gather the useful grains but we garbage its useless shaft. The shell of groundnut seed cannot produce an edible peanut butter but it burns very well in the fire, alternatively it is a good raw material for fertilizer. Whenever we clean our environment, we are unwittingly separating ourselves from the filthy environment. The rodent does not eat the nut with the shell. It takes care of the nut but it always leaves the shell behind – separation. Ant, the smallest creature practice the same act of cleaning. It cleans off the old garbage in its holes in order to make room for new harvest. Oil and water are both liquid but the two liquids can be separated when you put the compound on fire tripod; water will evaporated leaving the oil behind in the container. Alternatively, if the oil is inflammable, you can separate water from it when you set the oil on fire. The oil will burn off leaving the water intact.

Jesus Christ expressed the same separation in the parable of the weeds to explain the kingdom of God. He said, “An enemy did this, he replied. The servant asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let them both grow together until the harvest. At the time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.” (Matthew 13:28-30) In the analysis this parable, the owner of the garden, who of course is Almighty God, exercised considerable patience thinking that the people that were regarded as weeds would change. But when the change is not forthcoming, then separation will take place. It is not a question whether it will take place or not, it is a question of time. The separation is certain. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.” (Matthew 25:31-32) The sheep on the right side of God will be welcomed home but the goats on the left side of God will be trapped in hell fire.

One thing is common to all types of separation — judgment. The useless shafts of grain are garbage but the grains are preserved. The nut are preserved or reprocessed for more economic use but its shells are burnt. The dirty garbage in our home are not preserved they all ends up in recycle bin. These are human judgments. The same way the Righteous Judge, God Almighty judges between right and wrong. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14) Brethren, remember that the same happened in Sodom and Gomorrah. The only righteous man in the two cities, Lot and his household were preserved and delivered but the two cities and her horrible inhabitants were engulfed in the burning furnace. Judgment is inevitable upon the nations of the earth. The righteous King shall come with the archangels; the righteous children of God will be gathered. “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)

Brethren some of these certainties of life have been revealed to you today so that it will not come to you as a surprise when its manifestation takes place. It is intended to mold you, shape you and get you prepared to meet the Lord face to face at last. May God guide you in the journey of your life, Amen.


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