The School of the Holy Spirit 52 of 52 – Part 40: The Secret in the Last words of an old righteous dying man – Setting Forceful Priorities for Life – Fifteen (15) Critical Lessons from Peter’s Final Messages to the Churches + How to counsel self and others concerning matters of worldliness, Idolatry, Time, Trials, Troubles, adversities and Persecution

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The School of the Holy Spirit 52 of 52 –  Part 40: The Secret in the Last words of an old righteous dying man - Setting Forceful Priorities for Life – Fifteen (15) Critical Lessons from Peter’s Final Messages to the Churches + How to counsel self and others concerning matters of worldliness, Idolatry, Time, Trials, Troubles, adversities and Persecution
The School of the Holy Spirit 52 of 52 – Part 40: The Secret in the Last words of an old righteous dying man – Setting Forceful Priorities for Life – Fifteen (15) Critical Lessons from Peter’s Final Messages to the Churches + How to counsel self and others concerning matters of worldliness, Idolatry, Time, Trials, Troubles, adversities and Persecution

The School of the Holy Spirit 52 of 52 –  Part 40: The Secret in the Last words of an old righteous dying man – Setting Forceful Priorities for Life – Fifteen (15) Critical Lessons from Peter’s Final Messages to the Churches + How to counsel self and others concerning matters of worldliness, Idolatry, Time, Trials, Troubles, adversities and Persecution

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Date:  Sunday, July 26th, 2020

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Quotes: Last Words, Priorities, Worldliness, Idolatry, Time, Trial, Trouble, Adversities and Persecution

“The Last Words of an old righteous dying man – Forceful priorities: In my life’s journey, I have seen people on their death bed confessing to past sins they never had the guts to admit, repent and confess in their lifetime. I Have seen wicked people give their lives to Christ in their dying moment they never bothered to consider in their lifetime. There is no truth as genuine as truth emanating from a righteous dying man that if we give it conscious consideration, it has the tendency to force us to prioritize those things that are more important to life and living. Hence, Solomon’s counsel that it is better to go to a house of mourning than a house of feasting in Ecclesiastes 7:2. In the space of seven months plus, coronavirus (COVID-19) has wiped out over 643,000 souls including children, young and old alike. This is time to forcefully prioritize what is important to life and living for the spiritually discerning- Eccl 7:1-2; Mark 8:36. Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe Otakada.org

“May the things of this world so lose their power over us that we do not in the slightest wish to be “worldly”; nay, we even delight in not remaining “in the world.””

– Watchman Nee

“If you don’t see the greatness of God then all the things that money can buy become very exciting. If you can’t see the sun you will be impressed with a street light. If you’ve never felt thunder and lightning you’ll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God you’ll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.”

– John Piper

“The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church, grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil.”

– Leonard Ravenhill

“There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough – a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice – which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.”

– J. C. Ryle

“If, after having renounced all, we do not watch incessantly, and beseech God to accompany our vigilance with his, we shall be again entangled and overcome.”

– John Wesley

“The best means of resisting the devil is, to destroy whatever of the world remains in us, in order to raise for God, upon its ruins, a building all of love. Then shall we begin, in this fleeting life, to love God as we shall love him in eternity.”

– John Wesley

“As believers, we are cut off from all thought of futures, from making plans in connection with this world. I shall not be ready for Christ to come if I am settled down in Sodom and trying to heap up its dross. Whatever duty the Lord has meant us to be doing, each one should be found at when He comes.”

– G.V. Wigram

“There is nothing so abominable in the eyes of God and of men as idolatry, whereby men render to the creature that honor which is due only to the Creator”

– Blaise Pascal

“Whatsoever we have over-loved, idolized, and leaned upon, God has from time to time broken it, and made us to see the vanity of it; so that we find the readiest course to be rid our comforts is to set our hearts inordinately or immoderately upon them.”

– John Flavel

“The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much with the constitution. Never break our by-laws. He’s a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much like one of us…we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for.”

– A. W. Tozer

“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

― Deitrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

“If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

[Letter to the London Packet, 3 June 1772]”

― ben franklin, The Life and Letters of Benjamin Franklin

“It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their [the communists’ ] terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy.”

― Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ

“I found myself thinking about President William McKinley, the third American president to be assassinated. He lived for several days after he was shot, and towards the end, his wife started crying and screaming, “I want to go too! I want to go too!” And with his last measure of strength, McKinley turned to her and spoke his last words: “We are all going.”

― John Green, Looking for Alaska

 “I do not believe that God has given us this trial to not purpose. I know that the day will come when we will clearly understand why this persecution with all it’s sufferings has been bestowed upon us — for everything that Our Lord does is for our good. And yet, even as I write these words I feel the oppressive weight in my heart of those last stammering words of Kichijiro in the morning of his departure: “Why has Deus Sama imposed this suffering on us?” and then the resentment in those eyes that he turned upon me. “Father”, he had said “what evil have we done?”

I suppose I should simply cast from my mind these meaningless words of the coward; yet why does his plaintive voice pierce my breast with tall the pain of a sharp needle? Why has Our Lord imposed this torture and this persecution on poor Japanese peasants? No, Kichijiro was trying to express something different, something even more sickening. The silence of God. Already twenty years have passed since the persecution broke out; the black soil of Japan has been filled with the lament of so many Christians; the red blood of priests has flowed profusely; the walls of churches have fallen down; and in the face of this terrible and merciless sacrifice offered up to Him, God has remained silent.”

― Shūsaku Endō, Silence

“The Angel blade burns you, just as God’s name chokes you,” said Valentine, his cool voice sharp as crystal. “They say that those who die upon its point will achieve the gates of heaven. In which case, revenant, I am doing you a favor.” He lowered the blade so that the tip touched Simon’s throat. Valentine’s eyes were the color of black water and there was nothing in them: no anger, no compassion, not even any hate. They were empty as a hollowed-out grave. “Any last words?”

Simon knew what he was supposed to say. Sh’ma Yisrael, adonai elohanu, adonai echod. Hear, oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One. He tried to speak the words, but a searing pain burned his throat.

“Clary,” he whispered instead.”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

“I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”

― Leonardo Da Vinci

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen Covey

“It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determineswho you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.” – Anthony Robbins

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage–pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically–to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’” – Stephen Covey

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” – Steve Jobs

“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.” – Brian Tracy

Key Verses:

Matthew 6:6 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) But when you pray, go into your [ most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.

Matthew 7:24-27 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) 24 So everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts upon them [ obeying them] will be like a [a]sensible (prudent, practical, wise) man who built his house upon the rock.

25 And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.

26 And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a stupid (foolish) man who built his house upon the sand.

27 And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great and complete was the fall of it.

Revelation 3:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold that has been heated red hot and refined by fire so that you may become truly rich; and white clothes [ representing righteousness] to clothe yourself so that the shame of your nakedness will not be seen; and healing salve to put on your eyes so that you may see.

Luke 21:34-35 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

34 But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the [a]giddiness and headache and [b]nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to [ the [c]business of] this life, and [ lest] that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose;

35 For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth.

Mark 8:31-38

Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must of necessity suffer many things and be tested and disapproved and rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be put to death, and after three days rise again [ [a]from death ].

32 And He said this freely (frankly, plainly, and explicitly, making it unmistakable). And Peter took Him [b]by the hand and led Him aside and then [ facing Him] began to rebuke Him.

33 But turning around [ His back to Peter] and seeing His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, Get behind Me, Satan! For you do not have a mind [c]intent on promoting what God wills, but what pleases men [ you are not on God’s side, but that of men].

34 And Jesus called [ to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [ forget, ignore, disown, and [d]lose sight of himself and his own interests] and take up his cross, and [[e]joining Me as a disciple and siding with My party ] follow [f]with Me [ continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me ].

35 For whoever wants to save his [[g]higher, spiritual, eternal] life, will lose it [ the [h]lower, natural, temporal life [i]which is lived only on earth ]; and whoever gives up his life [ which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it [his [j]higher, spiritual life [k]in the eternal kingdom of God ].

36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [[l]in the eternal kingdom of God ]?

37 For what can a man give as an exchange ([m]a compensation, a ransom, in return) for his [blessed ] life [[n]in the eternal kingdom of God ]?

38 For whoever [o]is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous (unfaithful) and [preeminently ] sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when He comes in the glory (splendor and majesty) of His Father with the holy angels.

Ecclesiastes 7:1-4

Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

7 A good name is better than precious perfume, and the day of death better than the day of one’s birth.

It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter, for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better and gains gladness.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth and sensual joy.

2 Peter 3

Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

3 Beloved, I am now writing you this second letter. In [both of ] them I have stirred up your unsullied (sincere) mind by way of remembrance,

That you should recall the predictions of the holy (consecrated, dedicated) prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior [given] through your apostles (His special messengers).

To begin with, you must know and understand this, that scoffers (mockers) will come in the last days with scoffing, [people who ] walk after their own fleshly desires

And say, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation.

For they willfully overlook and forget this [ fact ], that the heavens [ came into] existence long ago by the word of God, and the earth also which was formed out of water and by means of water,

Through which the world that then [existed ] was deluged with water and perished.

But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been stored up (reserved) for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people.

Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.

The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish (pass away) with a thunderous crash, and the [[a]material] elements [of the universe ] will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.

11 Since all these things are thus [b]in the process of being dissolved, what kind of person ought [each of] you to be [in the meanwhile] in consecrated and holy behavior and devout and godly qualities,

12 While you wait and earnestly long for (expect and hasten) the coming of the day of God by reason of which the flaming heavens will be dissolved, and the [[c]material ] elements [of the universe ] will flare and melt with fire?

13 But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise, in which righteousness (uprightness, freedom from sin, and right standing with God) is to abide.

14 So, beloved, since you are expecting these things, be eager to be found by Him [ at His coming] without spot or blemish and at peace [in serene confidence, [d]free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts ].

15 And consider that the long-suffering of our Lord [[e]His slowness in avenging wrongs and judging the world] is salvation ([f]that which is conducive to the soul’s safety), even as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the spiritual insight given him,

16 Speaking of this as he does in all of his letters. There are some things in those [epistles of Paul ] that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrue to their own [g]utter destruction, just as [they distort and misinterpret ] the rest of the Scriptures.

17 Let me warn you therefore, beloved, that knowing these things beforehand, you should be on your guard, lest you be carried away by the error of lawless and wicked [persons and ] fall from your own [present] firm condition [ your own steadfastness of mind ].

18 But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and [h]recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be ] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!

Introduction.

Dear friends I welcome you to final series on the school of the Holy Spirit – To God be the glory! Today, we bring you –

The School of the Holy Spirit 52 of 52 –  Part 40: The Secret in the Last words of an old righteous dying man – Setting Forceful Priorities for Life – Fifteen (15) Critical Lessons from Peter’s Final Messages to the Churches + How to counsel self and others concerning matters of worldliness, Idolatry, Time, Trials, Troubles, adversities and Persecution

At Otakada.org, we bring YOU over 2 million contents for All Round Success for your Spirit, Soul and your Body all in one place! Check this out in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 2 Timothy 1:7 and Hebrews 4:12

Read – 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Amplified Bible (AMP) 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [ that is, separate you from profane and vulgar things, make you pure and whole and undamaged—consecrated to Him—set apart for His purpose ]; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete and [be found ] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Together with you, we are building MASSIVE SPIRITUAL TEMPLES in people’s heart for the Spirit of God to dwell in and operate through with ease in these times and seasons, so stay with us and build with us! – Check this out in 1 Corinthians 3: 1- 17; Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 John 4:4

If you missed the last two series of Sunday and Wednesday as follows hereunder:

The School of the Holy Spirit 50 of 52 – What is the greatest QUEST in the kingdom of God? – Find out what it is and why from The Story of a Young Man Who Apostle John converted after his release from the Isle of Patmos and the Bishop who was to disciple the Young Man + How to counsel self and others on issues of Enemies, Envy and Jealousy

Blog Link – https://www.otakada.org/the-school-of-the-holy-spirit-50-of-52-what-is-the-greatest-quest-in-the-kingdom-of-god-find-out-what-it-is-and-why-from-the-story-of-a-young-man-who-apostle-john-converted-after/

And

Motivational and Inspiration Stories for the Marketplace – The School of the Holy Spirit – 51 of 52 – Part 39 – The Last Words from an old dying man – 40 Tell-Tale Signs Old Apostle Peter Highlighted to Help Us Identify and Avoid False Teachers, Prophets, Bishops, Apostle, Deacons, Christians and instruction to beware and avoid them like a plague + How to counsel self and others on the issue of Fruit of the Holy Spirit, Hypocrisy and Homosexuality

Blog Link: https://www.otakada.org/motivational-and-inspiration-stories-for-the-marketplace-the-school-of-the-holy-spirit-51-of-52-part-39-the-last-words-from-an-old-dying-man-40-tell-tale-signs-old-apostle-pe/

In exploring todays title “The School of the Holy Spirit 52 of 52 –  Part 40: The Secret in the Last words of an old righteous dying man – Setting Forceful Priorities for Life – Fifteen (15) Critical Lessons from Peter’s Final Messages to the Churches”

I refer back to my quote above which I have included in the body of the introduction as follows:

“The Last Words of an old righteous dying man – Forceful priorities: In my life’s journey, I have seen people on their death bed confessing to past sins they never had the guts to admit, repent and confess in their lifetime. I Have seen wicked people give their lives to Christ in their dying moment they never bothered to consider in their lifetime. There is no truth as genuine as truth emanating from a righteous dying man that if we give it conscious consideration, it has the tendency to force us to prioritize those things that are more important to life and living. Hence, Solomon’s counsel that it is better to go to a house of mourning than a house of feasting in Ecclesiastes 7:2. In the space of seven months plus, coronavirus (COVID-19) has wiped out over 643,000 souls including children, young and old alike. This is time to forcefully prioritize what is important to life and living for the spiritually discerning- Eccl 7:1-2; Mark 8:36. Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe Otakada.org

Since I am writing to the spiritually discerning in Christ, I pull in lessons I length from the last letter of apostle Peter to the Churches before he was killed. We have looked at 2 Peter 1, 2 and today we conclude the whole 52 series with 2 Peter 3.

I remember when we started these series, somebody asked me how I was going to secure all the titles to the planned 52 series and I told him that the Holy Spirit will provide the inspiration and the relevant titles to me and to His people. Truly, He did. If anyone has benefit from these titles, it is me and I hope you have grown by them as well as the Holy Spirit uses it to expand His kingdom in you and around you as He has done mine in Jesus name, Amen!

In the coming weeks, we will be converting the content into paperback to address the needs of our kinesthetic audience – Standby!

Let’s harvest the lessons from this old righteous apostle of Christ and what he wanted to pass on to the churches before his passing. Here they are:

  1. Peter says, he is providing FACTS and will continue to provide those FACTS that were learned from the prophets of old and current teachers. In a nutshell, he is saying, “this is not breaking news!” This is FACT and this FACT is all over the scriptures and he wants us to take heed to them if we permit him to pass these FACTS to us in his final hour.
  2. Scoffers will arise in the last days, laughing and making God seem unimportant or non-existent and will do every wrong and evil thing that can be imaged. A scoffer is someone who jeers or mocks or treats something with contempt or calls out in derision. Synonyms: flouter, jeerer, mocker Type of: disagreeable person, unpleasant person. A person who is not pleasant or agreeable. David in Psalm 1:1, says we should avoid scoffers by all means. These are not people we take ministry to because they will never listen to us – Jesus says, we should dust off our shoes as a sign against them on judgment day. Jesus says, we should take the gospel to the harvest field. Not everyone is ready – Not everyone is a harvest that we can go witness to. They Holy Spirit is the one that knows who is ready for harvesting. So, be discerning and make the Holy Spirit your spiritual counselor No. 1 and you will never be fruitless. Laborers, time matters. Time committed to Spirit led actions brings maximum fruitfulness. Don’t go solo without the leading of the Holy Spirit. Scoffers can pretend to agree with you, even fake repentance, confession of faith and turn around to do more damage to the kingdom than an openly anti-god person. Scoffers take up leadership position in churches to recruit more Scoffers – Be discerning brethren!
  3. Scoffers will argue that Jesus is not coming back, the world will never end, things will remain the same as before and the world will never end.
  4. Scoffers will deliberately forget the fact that God destroyed the world He created with flood water; that God has stored away the earth to be burnt down, in a great bonfire at the judgment day, when all ungodly men will perish. Scoffers reject the fact or deny the  fact that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah really happened.
  5. Peter reminds us that we should not think that God is slow and we should not forget that a day is like a thousand years to God and 1000 years like a day – God is not lazy, ignorant or kidding – God works by design and lets us in on His plans so we don’t claim ignorance of His end game!
  6. Peter gives us the motive behind the seeming slowness of God – He does not want any human soul to perish, by giving more time for those souls to repent- There is this demonic doctrine of predestination that some people are destined to be born again and others are not. That is a BIG lie from satan himself. God desires that EVERY SINGLE MAN and WOMAN, CHILD, YOUNG and OLD come to Christ – That is the predestination – Every SOUL is a TREASURE waiting to be HARVESTED. But, every human being has been given FREE WILL. To make decision for Christ or stand their ground. My job and your job is to get the word of salvation out to as many SOULS as possible – North pole to South pole and from West pole to the East pole of the planet earth. That is the mandate of every born-again believer in Christ. Good preaching, worship, activities is great but without souls been added, it amounts to zero activities. Time to take stock and see how productive our Christian race is.
  7. Peter assures us that the day of the Lord is coming, as unexpectedly as a thief, then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the heavenly bodies will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up.
  8. Peter, says since we know what the destiny of this whole merry go round world of hours is, we should live holy, godly lives and then, we should LOOK FORWARD to that day and hurry it along – Every Child of God is a laborer in the vineyard.
  9. Peter reminds us to FOCUS our attention on the promise by God of a NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH with only goodness.
  10. Peter says, while we are waiting, or while we LOOK FORWARD to that day and hurry it along, we should TRY HARDEXERT Energy to live without sinning – You can reference the rebuke Jesus gave Peter in Mark 8:31-38 on the need to deny self-daily, take up ones cross daily and follow Jesus without denying Jesus before men. Sin might just be knowing the right thing to do and not doing it James 4:17 – So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Galatians 5:19-23 Now, the effects of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, idolatry, drug use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict, factions, envy, drunkenness, wild partying, and similar things. I’ve told you in the past and I’m telling you again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit God’s kingdom. But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against things like that.
  11. Peter says, we should be at peace with everyone – Believers, unbelievers included.
  12. Peter says, the motive behind doing the item 10 and item 11 is that when Jesus comes, He will be pleased with us when He returns and we will not be cast away, fall away, dropped off by the persecution and trails and the temptation that is part and parcel of our Christian race.
  13. Peter also gave a very, very IMPORTANT REASON WHY Jesus coming is being DELAYED – He is giving every believer more time to get the message of salvation out to others – I repeat what I said before, that every genuine child of God is a LABORER in the vineyard – No lazing around, doing something that amounts to nothing in Gods kingdom. So, engage the harvest with everything you have got!
  14. Peter also warns us about Paul’s messages which many have misinterpreted and applied wrongly.  Every Christian TV channel you tune to, men and women of God, Christians are quoting Paul’s messages and even wrongly applying it as Peter forewarned us. Some person purposefully divorces a believing wife or husband and quotes Paul’s messages, applying it wrongly. Some people call satan on a believing brother or sister and quotes Paul’s messages.  Paul’s messages must of necessity be correlated with other part of scripture to hold water. If we cannot substantiate our translation and understanding of Paul’s messages, then we are in error. Peter says wrong application of Paul’s messages lead to disaster at the end, so we should beware and be like the Berean Christians who did research – Half-truth is no truth at all. Some people call on fire on their perceived enemy to die – a precious soul of God – Jesus warns His disciple that it is a wrong spirit – Read this in

Luke 9:49-52 49 John said, Master, we saw a man driving out demons in Your name and we commanded him to stop it, for he does not follow along with us.

50 But Jesus told him, Do not forbid [such people]; for whoever is not against you is for you.51 Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up [to heaven], He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem.

52 And He sent messengers before Him; and they reached and entered a Samaritan village to make [things] ready for Him;

53 But [the people] would not welcome or receive or accept Him, because His face was [set as if He was] going to Jerusalem.

54 And when His disciples James and John observed this, they said, Lord, do You wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, [s]even as Elijah did?

55 But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. [t]He said, You do not know of what sort of spirit you are, 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them [u][from the penalty of eternal death]. And they journeyed on to another village.

15) Peter concluded the message by a BIG WARNING to all of us not to be carried away by mistakes of others – be it from the PULPIT or from the PEWS – He referred to theses as wicked people – they are wolves in sheep’s clothing as Jesus also warned us in Matthew 7:15. He says rather, we should imitate Christ. Peter did not say we should imitate him- Peter. But that we should IMITATE CHRIST and CHRIST ALONE. He added that we should be acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be ALL THE GLORY and SPLENDID HONOR both now and forevermore – “Goodbye” Peter says to all of us.

May the Lord bless the reading and interpretation of Peters messages to all of us in Jesus name, Amen

Now, let us explore “How to counsel self and others concerning matters of worldliness, Idolatry, Time, Trials, Troubles, adversities and Persecution”

WORLDINESS

DEFINITION:  Biblically, worldliness is defined as being devoted to or engrossed in things of the world that are opposed to spiritual concerns.  It is also referred to in the Bible as carnality or being a carnal Christian.

FACTS ABOUT WORLDLINESS:

The worldly believer is characterized by spiritual indifference, instability, and lack of discipline.  A worldly believer is sinful and rebellious against God (James 4:4) and  is a lover of worldly pleasures more than a lover of God (2 Timothy 3:5).

You cannot love the world and love God.Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

A spiritually-minded person is the opposite of one with a worldly mind-set. A spiritually-minded person is focused on eternal things instead of things of the world (Colossians 3:2).  He seeks first the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33).  His life is characterized by the manifestation of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and spiritual discernment.  He knows that to be spiritually-minded is life and peace (Romans 8:6).

The things of the world will all pass away. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever”  (1 John 2:15-17).

DEALING WITH  WORLDLINESS:

Confess the sin of worldliness and ask God to forgive you.  Worldliness is sin because it is characterized by spiritual indifference,  instability, ungodly conduct, and lack of discipline.  The things of the world become an idol to you, and idolatry is sin.

Make a decision to serve God, and Him alone.  Like Joshua, declare that you and your household will serve the Lord and live by godly standards (Joshua 24:15).  This means you will not do things just because “everyone else is doing them.”  Your standards will be biblical, not those accepted or dictated by the world.

Immerse yourself in prayer and the Word of God.  The more you learn about God through prayer and His Word, the less worldly you will be and/or have the desire to be.

Establish a relationship with other believers who are seeking to live scripturally instead of worldly.  Do not hang out with people who live by worldly values.

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT WORLDLINESS:

…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.  (Joshua 24:15)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.(Matthew 6:19-21)

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  (Matthew 6:25-33)

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36)

What is highly valuable among men is detestable in God’s sight. (Luke 16:15)

The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25)

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:18-20)

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you…(Romans 8:6-9, NKJV)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  (1 Corinthians 1:27)

And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passes away.

(1 Corinthians 7:31, NKJV)

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16)

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.  (Galatians 6:14-15)

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

(Colossians 2:8)

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

(Colossians 3:1-2)

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. (1 Timothy 6:7-8)

… for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.

(2 Timothy 4:10)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.  (Titus 2:11-12)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27)

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?

Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter.  (James 5:5)

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. (1 Peter 2:11)

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.   (2 Peter 1:4)

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

(1 John 2:15-17)

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.  (1 John 4:4)

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  (1 John 5:4-5)

IDOLATRY

DEFINITION:  Idolatry is the worship of idols and false gods.  Idolatry includes putting anything before the one true and living God who is revealed in the Holy Bible.  This also includes excessive adoration of a person, obsession with an activity, money, or materialism.

FACTS ABOUT IDOLATRY:

Idolatry is sin.  The first of the ten commandments is  “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” (Exodus 20:3).  Idolatry is also listed as one of the works of the flesh (acts of the sinful nature) in Galatians 5:19-20 and in Colossians 3:5.

Idolatry is more than just worshiping an idol.  It is any commitment to  a person or group of  people, activities, or material things that you put before God–you love these more than you love God.

Proud and arrogant behavior is idolatry.  The Bible says:  “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23).  When you are rebellious and arrogant, you are establishing yourself as an idol!  Deciding to do it “your way” instead of God’s way is rebellion and is compared to the sins of witchcraft and idolatry.

Materialism is idolatry.  Money in itself is not wrong, but the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil  (1 Timothy 6:10). Those who worship money and material things err from the faith and experience many sorrows. 

You cannot worship God and still worship an idol.   Dualism in worship is idolatry because God is not in first place and is not receiving your total allegiance and worship (Matthew 6:24).  Any form of idolatry estranges you from God (Ezekiel 14:5).  You cannot be a temple for both God and idols (2 Corinthians 6:16).

Doing things because “everyone else is doing them” is idolatry.  The Lord said that Israel imitated the sinful nations around them, although God had ordered them not to do so.  They followed idolatrous people and became idolatrous themselves (2 Kings 17:15).  When you decide to do something because “everyone else is doing it”, you are establishing those people as an idol–imitating them and adhering to their standards instead of following God.

You are not to keep company with idolaters.  This does not mean you cannot minister to them, but that they should not be your close friends (1 Corinthians 5:11).

Those who worship idols will become as worthless as their idols (2 Kings 17:15) and be put to shame (Psalm 97:7).  They will become like the idols they worship (Psalms 115:4-8). 

Idols have no power.  They are made by men and are powerless to aid you in times of trouble (Psalms 115:4-8).  Idolatry–the worship of idols–is very powerful however.  It is a practice that has drawn many to serve false gods.

Idolaters will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters …”

(1 Corinthians 6:9-10).  The destination of idolaters is the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).

How to recognize idolatrous behavior.  Bowing down before an idol, making one, praying to one, and using items designated for worship of an idol are immediately recognizable as idolatry  But idolatry also includes anything or anyone that consumes your passion, your thoughts, and your time more than serving God.  Things that in themselves are not wrong–like a hobby or an activity–can become an idol in your life if these things become more important than your commitment to God. Ezekiel 14:3-4 speaks of “idols in the heart”–meaning anything in your heart that comes before God.

DEALING WITH  IDOLATRY:

Repent of idolatry.  Idolatry is sin and, as in the case of all sins, you must confess and repent of it.  Repent of any rebellious, proud, or arrogant behavior.  When you do, God has promised:

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.” (Ezekiel 36:25).  He also promised that you…”will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God” (Ezekiel 37:23). Ask God to forgive youif you have put a person, an activity, or material things before God. 

Determine you will worship and serve only the true God.  There is only one true God, and that is the God revealed in the Holy Bible which is His Word (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

Eliminate idolatrous objects.  These include any idols, charms, books, music,  or other  items used to worship of false gods. Eliminate posters and pictures of performers, movie stars, and sports heroes–anyone you have idolized before God  (Exodus 23:24).

Foster a new love for God.   Your love will grow by spending time with God in prayer and worship, studying the Word, and by attending a Bible-believing church.

Keep your focus on God instead of the things of the world.  All that is in the world–including your idols–will pass away:  “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever”  (1 John 2:15-17).

Keep yourself from idols.  The Bible cautions:  “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).  You can keep yourself from idolatrous behavior by immersing yourself in God’s Word and refraining from participating in any activity that draws you away from His plan and purposes for your life. Things that in themselves are not wrong–like a hobby or an activity–may be wrong for you if it becomes an idol in your life.  It is your responsibility to eliminate these things.  The Bible commands you to put idolatry to death (Colossians 3:5-6).

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT IDOLATRY:

You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand [ generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

(Exodus 20:3-6)

Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.  (Exodus 20:23)

Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces.  (Exodus 23:24)

Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.

(Leviticus 19:4)

Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 26:1)

Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heartturns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.  (Deuteronomy 29:18.  See also through verse 29)

Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. (1 Samuel 12:21)

For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. (1 Samuel 15:23)

They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idolsand themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, “Do not do as they do,” and they did the things the Lord had forbidden them to do.  (2 Kings 17:15)

They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.  (1 Kings 17:40-41)

For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.  (Psalm 96:5)

All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols… (Psalm 97:7)

But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see;   they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell;  they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.  (Psalms 115:4-8)

And the idols he shall utterly abolish… (Isaiah 2:18)

“I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.” (Isaiah 42:8)

I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you. When you cry out for help, let your collection [of idols] save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain.” (Isaiah 57:12)

This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.” (Jeremiah 2:5)

How I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices.” (Ezekiel 6:8-9)

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.” (Ezekiel 36:25)

“They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 37:23)

Of what value is an idol, since a man has carved it?  Or an image that teaches lies? For he who makes it trusts in his own creation;  he makes idols that cannot speak.  Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’  Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’  Can it give guidance?  It is covered with gold and silver;  there is no breath in it.  (Habakkuk 2:18-19)

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.  (Matthew 6:24)

But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.  (1 Corinthians 5:11)

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters … (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one.  For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”),  yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.  (1 Corinthians 8:4-6)

Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” (1 Corinthians 10:7)

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:14)

Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything?  No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. (1 Corinthians 10:19-21)

…I do not wish you to be ignorant… somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to dumb idols. (1 Corinthians 12:1-2)

What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.   Therefore come out from them and be separate,   says the Lord.  Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.  I will be a Father to you,

and you will be my sons and daughters,  says the Lord Almighty.”    (2 Corinthians 6:16-18)

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  (Galatians 5:19-20)

For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedyperson–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:5)

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5-6)

…They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,…(1 Thessalonians 1:9)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10)

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.  (1 John 2:15-17)

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.  (Revelation 21:8)

TIME

DEFINITION:  Time is a limited period during which actions, processes, or conditions exist or take place.  It is a measure of the duration of events and the intervals between them.  Time encompasses the past, present, and future–and for the believer this includes eternity.

FACTS ABOUT TIME:

Time is a gift from God.  You are a steward of  this gift from God and accountable for how you use it each day. Time is a precious and limited commodity. 

The biblical day was from evening to morning.  People began the day in weakness (tired in the evening) confessing their reliance upon God.  Conversely, we begin or day in the morning relying on our energetic selves. 

Your activities reveal your priorities.  You only have so much time.  What you do with your time reveals your priorities.  You usually make time for what you really want to do. 

A balanced day includes communing with the Heavenly Father in prayer, worship, and the Word; working on your job, at school, or in volunteer work; time spent building relationships with friends and family; and finally, some time spent relaxing.

DEALING WITH TIME:

Commit each day to the Lord.  Begin with prayer and the Word and by asking God, “What are your priorities for me today?  What do you want me to do with my time today?”  If you commit your day to the Lord, a plan will emerge and your tasks for the day will be established (Proverbs 16:3).

Make a plan.  Under the guidance of the Lord, make a plan for your day and jot down the details.  Who do you need to contact?  What do you need to do today?  What can you delegate to others to do?  What tasks can be postponed?   What is the main priority for this day?  If you “aim at nothing, you hit it every time”.  With no plan for a day,  you probably won’t accomplish much.

Submit your plans to God’s sovereignty.  His will is sovereign over your plans.  Your day may not turn out exactly as you planned  (James 4:13-15).  Be open to redirection.

Deal with interruptions wisely.  Make “faith statements” regarding your plans for the day, but be aware that your day can be interrupted by unexpected events or people.  Learn to deal with these wisely.  Sometimes interruptions are God’s divine appointments where His plan overrules the plans you have made (Proverbs 16:9).  Accept these graciously and fulfill the obligations involved.  However, do not allow petty interruptions to keep you from accomplishing what is worthwhile–for example people that want to aimlessly chat with you during your work time.

View each day in light of eternity“So often we think about life in terms of what’s happening today, this week, or next month.  We need to try to look at things as God does, with an eye for eternity.  Is what you are doing now making a lasting impact?  Will it matter in another year, another decade, another century?  Begin dedicating yourself to things that will still be important long after you are gone.”  (John Maxwell)

Do not procrastinate.  Do not put off doing important things that contribute to God’s purpose for your life.  “I find myself thinking, ‘When life settles down I will…’  But I should have learned by now that life never settles down for long.  Whatever I want to accomplish, I must do with life unsettled.”  (Jean Fleming)

Balance your day.  Commune with the Heavenly Father in prayer, worship, and the Word.  Work on your job–including school or volunteer work.  Spend time building relationships with friends and family, and finally, spend some time relaxing.

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT TIME:

And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.  My times are in your hands.”  (Psalm 31:14-15a)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.  (Psalm 32:8)

If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm;  though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.  (Psalm 37:23)

You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you.

Each man’s life is but a breath. (Psalm 39:5-6)

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  (Psalm 90:12)

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.  (Psalm 143:8)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.    (Proverbs 3:5-6)

When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. (Proverbs 4:12)

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.   (Proverbs 6:10-11)

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.  (Proverbs 16:3)

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing. (Proverbs 20:4)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.  (Jeremiah 10:23)

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.  (John 9:4)

Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.  (Ephesians 5:15-17)

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15)

Study the story of the talents in Matthew 25.  Time is like one of these talents, a resource with which God has entrusted you.  What will you do with it?

TRIALS, TROUBLES, ADVERSITIES

DEFINITION:  A trial is an examination by testing. Biblically, it is a test of faith in which you experience trouble or adversity.  Trouble is sometimes referred to as “tribulation” in the Bible.  Adversity is similar to trouble, meaning extremely unfavorable experiences.

FACTS ABOUT TRIALS, TROUBLES, AND ADVERSITIES:

A trial is not a temptation.  A temptation is something that entices you to sin (see the topic of “Temptation” in this database).  A trial is an adversity you are experiencing that tests your faith.  

Trials, troubles, and adversities are experienced by all believers.  In fact, the apostles taught believers that they would only enter the Kingdom of God through adversity (Acts 14:22).  Peter said not to consider it strange or unusual when you encounter trouble (1 Peter 4:12).

God uses both positive and negative experiences for your good.  Joseph told his  brothers:  “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).  The Apostle Paul declared:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)

DEALING WITH  TRIALS, TROUBLES, AND ADVERSITIES:

Expect to experience adversity.  Peter said not to be surprised by  it (1 Peter 4:12-16).  The apostles taught the early church that it was to be experienced as part of living in the Kingdom of God (Acts 14:22).

Pray about your trials, troubles and adversities.  The Bible says that God has promised to hear before you call and even while you are yet speaking  (Isaiah 65:24).   Confess your total dependence on Him.   Instead of asking “What am I going to do in this adversity?” ask God, “What are You going to do?”

Immerse yourself in the Word of God.  The Bible brings comfort and direction during trials, troubles, and adversities.

Use your spiritual weapons.  Trials, troubles, and adverse circumstances must be faced with your spiritual weapons.  Study Ephesians 6:10-18.  See also “Spiritual Warfare” in this database.

Remember that good things comes from God.  If something comes to rob, steal, or destroy in your life, do not blame God.  It is from the enemy.  Jesus said:  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).   James said:  “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:16-17).

Remember that there is divine purpose in adversity.  Your faith is being refined (1 Peter 1:6-7)  and spiritual qualities are being developed in your life:  “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope”  (Romans 5:3-4).

Focus on eternal benefits.  The Bible indicates that trials actually work for you when you are focused on the eternal benefits of the trials instead of the temporary problems: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal”  (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Rejoice in times of adversity.  The Bible commands you to rejoice and give thanks to God in times of adversity.   You may not feel like doing this, but do it as an act of your will    (See 1 Thessalonians 5:18 and 1 Peter 1:6-7; 4:12-17).  You do not give thanks for the adversity, but in the midst of and in spite of it.

Remember these six “p”s of adversity.

            -Purpose:  God has divine purpose in your trial.

            -Profitable:  Your trial is profitable if you submit to God and trust Him.

            -Presence:  God will be with you in your trials.

            -Prove:  Your faith will be proven by the difficulties.

            -Produce:  Your trial will produce positive spiritual qualities in your life.

            -Perspective:  You will emerge with a new perspective.

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT TRIALS, TROUBLES, AND ADVERSITIES:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)

But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them.  (2 Chronicles 15:4)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  (Joshua 1:9)

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9)

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. (Psalm 22:11)

The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. (Psalm 25:17)

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5)

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.  You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place.

(Psalm 31:8)

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7)

This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  (Psalm 34:6)

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. (Psalm 34:17-19)

May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion. (Psalm 35:26)

The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,

because they take refuge in him. (Psalm  37:39-40)

For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. (Psalm 40:12)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

…call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.  (Psalm 50:15)

But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress,

my refuge in times of trouble.  (Psalms 59:16)

Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.  (Psalm 69:17)

In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.  (Psalm 86:7)

He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. (Psalms 91:15)

Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. (Psalms 102:2)

Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.  With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies. (Psalms 108:12-13)

Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.  (Psalm 119:143)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The Lord will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever–do not abandon the works of your hands.

(Psalms 138:7-8)

I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.  (Psalm 142:2)

For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

(Psalms 143:11)

If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! (Proverbs 24:10)

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand  and says to you, Do not fear;

I will help you.  (Isaiah 41:13)

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. (Isaiah 49:13)

… no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.

(Isaiah 54:17)

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.  (Isaiah 65:24)

The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

(Nahum 1:7)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)  

Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,  strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.  (Acts 14:22)

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  (Romans 5:3-4).

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:35-39)

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7)

… that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. (1 Thessalonians 3:3, NKJV)

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:16-17).

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. (James 5:13)

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. (1 Peter 4:12-17)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  (1 Peter 5:7-10)

Study the story of Job–especially chapters 1-2 and chapter 42–to understand more about the purpose of trials.

PERSECUTION

DEFINITION:  Persecution is the act of subjecting someone to cruel and unfair treatment because of their ethnic origin, political views, or religious beliefs.  The biblical definition includes harassing, punishing, oppressing, or even killing those who serve God and refuse to deny Him. 

FACTS ABOUT PERSECUTION:

The targets of persecution.  The Bible reveals that true believers–those who proclaim God’s Word and live by His commandments–are the targets of persecution.

All who live godly will suffer persecution. The Apostle Paul warned:  “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:;12).

Reasons for persecution include misunderstanding, jealousy, revenge, opposition, hatred of God and His Word, and Satanically-inspired motives. 

The root causes of persecution in a biblical sense are wicked men who are motivated by Satanic powers to oppose God, His Word, all that is good, and believers who choose to follow the Lord.  The world hates believers because they are not of this world (John 17:14-18).

You are actually blessed when you are persecuted.  Matthew 5:11-12 says:  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

DEALING WITH  PERSECUTION:

Pray that you will be delivered from persecution.  “Deliver us from evil” is part of the model prayer (Matthew 6:13).  Paul said to “…pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith” (2 Thessalonians 3:2).  David prayed “save and deliver me from all who pursue me” (Psalm 7:1).

Forgive those who persecute you.  You must extend to those who persecute you the same forgiveness that you have received (Matthew 6:12).

Love those who persecute you.  Jesus said,  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies…”(Matthew 5:43).

Pray for your enemies.  Jesus said: “…pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven”  (Matthew 5:44-45).  You are to pray blessings over those who persecute you (Romans 12:14).

Know that nothing can separate you from God’s love–not even persecution or death (Romans 8:35-39).

Keep your focus on eternity.  If you suffer with Him and in His behalf, you will be glorified with Him (Romans 8:16-18)

Know that God’s grace is sufficient.  No matter what you suffer, His grace is sufficient  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).  You will have sufficient grace to help you in times of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Do not back down.  If you are suffering because of your Christian witness, do not back down. The disciples suffered in this way, but they determined to continue to minister the Gospel and to obey God rather than man (Acts 4:18-20; 5:28-29).

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT PERSECUTION:

O Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me. (Psalm 7:1)

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  (Matthew 5:10-12)

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.  (Matthew 5:43-45)

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.   (Matthew 6:12)

But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them.  But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.  You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me.  But not a hair of your head will perish.  By standing firm you will gain life.  (Luke 21:12-19)

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.  They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me (John 15:18-21)

All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.  They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.  They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.  I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.  (John 16:1-4)

I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.  My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. (John 17:14-16)

Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.  For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

(Acts 4:18-20)

“We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”  Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!”  (Acts 5:28-29)

They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. (Acts 14:21-22)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

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 Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”   Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who 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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:35-39)

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  (Romans 12:14)

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.

(2 Thessalonians 3:1-2)

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12)

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  (Hebrews 4:16)

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.  He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. (1 Peter 4:12-16)

Prayer

Father, we present ourselves to You today, looking at the last message from apostle Peter, help us to commit to do them so that Your grace and mercy will abound plenty unto us in the name of Jesus Christ. Grant us passion and grace, as we are willing to seek and save the lost in the name of Jesus Christ as the destiny of this world is already determined. Help us to prioritize what is important to live and godliness in Jesus name.

We dig deeper roots in You today, Lord God, because we know you have given us the grace which comes from the position of humility, faithfulness, a willingness to dig deeper roots, to abide in you 24/7 in Jesus name.

Make us imitators of Christ. Transform us by all means into the image and likeness of Your Son Jesus Christ, Lord God!

We pray for the lessons we have learned today concerning worldliness, idolatry, Time, Trials, Troubles, adversities and persecution. Lord, may the lessons abide in us unto eternity that we will bring forth fruit unto righteousness in Jesus name, amen

We thank You for total healing to our spirit, soul and body in Jesus name, amen.

Now, experience all round-success this week and beyond as You are led by your closest friend – The Holy Spirit!

Remember, we are one in Christ Jesus – Only in unity we can have lasting and far reaching impact – Engage!

Ephesians 4:4-6 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC) [ There is ] one body and one Spirit—just as there is also one hope [that belongs] to the calling you received—[ There is ] one Lord, one faith, one baptism,One God and Father of [ us ] all, Who is above all [ Sovereign over all ], pervading all and [ living ] in [us] all.

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Shalom!

Monday Ogwuojo Ogbe

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