2018 has been a turbulent year characterised by deep depths of lows however, the two things that have proved constant and underserved throughout the year for me is the grace and mercy of God.
As the year draws to a close many will begin to reflect and review the successes and failures of the past year to see where they went wrong in the decisions made and also how they can better improve themselves in the year coming.
For me, this year has been a year of great awakening. This post is a compilation of what I have learnt this year in connection with the Word of God. I have come to the realisation that the word of God is true and that there is no lie in God. His commands are there to safeguard us from pain, death (spiritual and physical), embarrassments and sickness. Our eternal enemy the toothless thief did really come to steal, kill and destroy but our Saviour and master Jesus Christ came to give us abundant life (John 10 v 10).
The veil has finally been lifted and I am now of the belief that the laws of God are not burdensome and by them, we are warned and preserved from disasters.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 John 5 v 3
This post is quite personal but I hope in my vulnerability, you too will learn from my mistakes and choose the way of Christ in the New Year. These are the things I learnt in 2018:
- Our sins really grieve God
I realised we truly hurt the heart of God when we sin. Especially the sins of those who know the truth yet for one reason or the other choose to do otherwise. Humans are created in the image and likeness of God so if we are capable of feeling pain and betrayal, then so does God. Sin truly leads to death and the sooner we learn this, the better it will be for us. Romans 6 v 23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
For those who journey with God to a certain level and have pledged their love and obedience to Him, realising you have grieved the One you love does truly break you. It causes deep misery and wounds in the soul only the healing love of God can eradicate. I liken this to hurting the most important person in your life. It may be a spouse or your a cherished loved one.
- Professing Jesus Christ does not equate to loving Him
I came to the realisation that although I had been professing Jesus Christ for several years and had fled from some sins, my love for Him was not perfect. I say this because my actions did not prove my love for Him. John 14 v 15
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
The major sins that all Christians know to run from I stayed clear of but on the other hand, I was not on speaking terms with certain people, told little white lies and advocated certain sins that we all don’t classify as sin. I wasn’t truly living by the Word of God in all areas of my life but was following the doctrines and wisdom of men. This led me to break a vow I had made to the Lord because of deception from someone I really trusted and by doing so, I forsook the Word of God and clung to the word of man.
- Do not put all your trust in a man for it a curse
I learnt it really is a curse to trust in man no matter how upright they may appear. This is because no one really knows the heart of men. Jeremiah 17 v 5
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”
By putting the word and wisdom of man above the creator God, we make idols of these men. Jesus said in Matthew 6 v 24 that:
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
In my case, I betrayed my Supreme Creator God with His creation, a mere mortal who has no power to save. I realise we do this every time we choose to neglect the Word of God and go with our flesh or those who preach and teach things that makes us comfortable in our sins.
- We have become a generation of pick and mix Christians
I learnt that most Christians today and even the pastors pick and choose from the word of God to suit their lifestyles. Many men of God know the truth of God’s word but choose not to live and preach it to their congregants. They rather neglect the undiluted Gospel of Christ Jesus and preach sugar-coated sermons that do not encourage real growth and Christ-like character in their church members.
- The Word of God should be our daily bread
I learnt that if I want to make Heaven, I needed to read and study the word of God for myself. After studying I need to practice what I read because that’s the only way I would know and obey God’s requirement for making Heaven.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Joshua 1 v 8
- By their fruits, you shall know them
Signs and wonders mean nothing if holiness is not practised by the man/woman of God whom those signs and wonders are being performed by (Galatians 5 v 19-23). Even the magicians in Egypt were able to turn their rods into snakes (Exodus 7 v 11-13)
- Just because God is using you to bless others doesn’t mean you have made it.
The gifts given to you by God will not take you to Heaven. It is only your obedience to His commands and living a Holy and righteous life.
- Salvation cannot be bought or acquired through a church
Church membership does not guarantee you will make Heaven. You cannot buy your way to Heaven by paying your tithes or serving at your local church. Jesus Christ is the only one who saves and we must obey Him. He sees who we are in the secret place when no one is watching us. Salvation is an individual affair and as such, your pastor is not going to represent or defend you before Christ on the day of judgment. 2 Corinthians 5 v 10
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
- We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit was given to us by Christ as our teacher, helper and counsellor. In order for Him to be effective in our lives, we need to know Him and how He speaks to us. He often alerts and prompts us through our intuitions, dreams and emotions. He does this to warn us of things hidden from our carnal minds and it is those who walk in the spirit who are able to discern this. They are the ones preserved from unnecessary consequences of the enemy’s plots as well as the yo-yo Christian life many of us experience.
- The end of a matter is better than its beginning
I learnt the journey is not for the swift but those who endure. It’s not about how you start but how you finish. Its good to learn from mistakes, admit your shortcomings and let patience have its perfect work in you. Ecclesiastes 7 v 8
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”
The enemy planned many things for the people of God but just like Joseph, the Lord turned it around for the good of His people. Without the storms and trails that I passed through, this website would not be in existence and for that I thank God.
I thank Him for His faithfulness, grace and mercy. He never left nor forsook me when I betrayed Him over and over again with my ignorance, naivety and disregard for His Word.
He led me to the truth when I cried out to Him and am sure He will do the same for you too. Am I a finished product? Certainly not! But the grace of God is sufficient for me and am certain that He who has begun a good work in me will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Jesus Christ is closer to you than anyone can ever be. He is close to the brokenhearted and is there to comfort those who mourn. If this same Jesus Christ did not condemn an ardent sinner like me, then am certain He will not condemn you if you opened up to Him about the mistakes you made this year. He is ever ready to hear the prayer of those who repent of their sins and ask Him to fix their lives.
As we enter into the new year and are all filled with numerous expectations of good, I would like to encourage you to put Jesus Christ and His Word first.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Matthew 6 v 33
Beloved, how was your 2018 and what did you learn?
May God establish you in the coming year and cause you to know him in a new dimension. May His plans for you come to fruition and may He preserve you and your loved ones until His coming.
In Jesus Christ name
*All scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Bible