Bible Reading for this week

"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18 KJV

Culture: the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.

Culture is all around us. Everywhere we go, from the moment we are born to the day we die, we are immersed in culture. Have there been times you feel you're required to act or think a certain way because that is how it has always been or what is expected of you? This is culture.

Some aspects of our culture are good but most go against what God wants. For Christians, there are 2 “cultures”; the culture of Jesus and that of the World. Many times, they are in conflict.

In the book written to Christians in Rome, Paul said that they should not be conformed to the culture of the world but be transformed by renewing their mind (through the Word and Spirit of God)...Romans 12:2.

In other words, "There is a way to raise a family, run a business, have relationships etc that is authenticated by God" - Reverend Y. Song. It is deception to think there is no alternative to World Culture. That we must conform or be destroyed. This is a lie. There is an Alternative.

However, the Alternative requires sacrifice.

You're a man presented with a business deal that would require you to cut corners but taking it means you'll make a killing. You think it's a once in a lifetime opportunity but you know it goes against your beliefs. Someone else gets it and you watch as he becomes what you imagined your life would be.

The Alternative requires patience.

You're a lady and you've just rejected another proposal from someone others would say is very eligible but you choose to wait for the one who does agree with your beliefs. It takes a while, you are laughed at; others who started out after you would seem to be ahead of you.

The Alternative requires compassion.

What do you do when someone hurts you? World culture says forget the person, keep away from the person or even revenge but The Alternative is to forgive completely.

You are not against culture, you just have a better one - The Alternative.

Why is The Alternative better? Because it's not about what you get now but about how you get what you get. Because what you wait for, you appreciate. Because what you work for has value. Because it makes God happy when you choose His way. At the end, His Way is always the best.

The Alternative is a difficult path to follow. It takes something more than ourselves to walk this path. We can not do it by ourselves, we need the power of God's Holy Spirit. And the first place He starts to change is through our thinking and through our hearts. Which is where every new culture begins.

Article written by Nkem Ayo-Bamisile

To reach your fruitfulness, do you not think you need to have virtue and also be faithful?

It is when you can be trusted that you can be given more. If you are not faithful with little, if you cannot be trusted with something small, how much more the bigger picture?

To be faithful means to be loyal and steadfast. To say you are trustworthy means you are someone who is honest, who can be depended on and who is also truthful.

In the world we are in, everyone wants to gain each others trust, but it is usually not everyone you can trust or can be trusted. Can you be trusted by God? Can God trust you with other people's lives? Can God trust you with His Purpose & Vision for your own life?

Would it be possible for you to obey God that you cannot see?

We all want to be fruitful, but are we all ready to follow, obey, and take every step of the way God has mapped out for us to reach our fruitfulness? Or are you thinking that you can be fruitful without God, you can get there without God?

We all need virtue and a faithful heart on our journey to fruitfulness.

Have an amazing Month.

Article written by Jesutomisin Omotoye

BARRENNESS: DROUGHT - DRYNESS - LACK - POVERTY - INSUFFICIENCY.

FRUITFULNESS: PLENTY - ENOUGH - LACKING NOTHING - FULLNESS - MATURE.

Do you want Fruitfulness?

Fruitfulness sounds like a great thing to have. Once we hear the pastor preach on fruitfulness, we begin to think of more money, child bearing, houses and good character. For the latter, I speak by faith. Fruitfulness is something I want to have, you want to have and everyone wants to have. No one chooses barrenness if all it took to get it was to say it. Can we think of someone who says I want this but not the process to get there? Don’t think too far, sometimes we may not say it but our actions tell it.

This reminds me of a certain group of people who were promised a land. Remember, it was a promise just like fruitfulness is a blessing to mankind hence ours. However, these people couldn’t handle the wilderness experience. They mentioned they would rather go back to Egypt where they were slaves! wow! ..and any other expressions you may like to give. This seems outrageous hearing this story about someone else, but what about you? Have you chosen to relax in your state because of discomfort of the process to victory? You know, a state of barrenness can become a comfort zone to you when you stay for so long? You learn to adjust, manage. I mean it’s what you’ve been used to. You choose the discomfort you’re used to than the discomfort you are not used to although leading to victory. My friend, it will be a very wrong choice.

Why do I have to go through the pain of the process?, one can ask. A short answer is that discipline produces fruits. However, it is important to note that discipline is risky. You know why? This is because you lose some people and gain some. You lose the people who couldn’t withstand the discipline and chosoe to go back. You gain the ones who yielded to the discipline and became better, mature, lacking nothing.

Let the end goal be your driving force. Look at the end goal not the process. Jesus endured the cross (the painful process) for the joy set before Him. Remember what God has set before you and fix your eyes there.

Article Written by Faith Roman.