PURPOSEFULLY LIVING


“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations.”
Isaiah 42:1 NLT


Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He[She] is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him [her]. He[She] will bring justice to the nations.
Isaiah 42:1 NLT [addition mine]

Life only has meaning with purpose in view. Purpose gives one the desire and drive to make each day count. Everyday, is a day to live purposefully.

So, what is Purpose?

“Purpose is that one thing for which we were created and at which we must succeed, otherwise nothing else we succeed in will count.” – Emmanuel Iren (Pst.)

As believers, purpose for us is more than fame, money and possessions. Remember what Jesus said – ‘Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.’

To us, purpose is connected to our Creator.

To know him and make him known. Apostle Paul said in his epistle to the Phillipi church -For me to live is Christ .

“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”- Phil. 1:21 (NLT)

“To live is Christ” means that Christ is our focus, our goal, and our chief desire. Christ is the center point of our mind, heart, body and soul. Everything that we do, we do for Christ’s glory”- Got Questions Ministries

You can see from this verse that purpose brings with it the sense of eternity and accountability. We cannot speak about purpose without eternity because we live for an eternal God.

I want to keep this as short as possible, here are a few questions to ponder on:

-Am I living purposefully?

-How does my life count for eternity?

-How do I live purposefully here on earth?

-What is God’s assignment for my life?

We aren’t left to figure these all out by ourselves because the Holy Spirit is with us to lead and guide every step of the way. (Is. 42:1, John 14:16-18). Finally, know that a life of purpose is not one without challenges, it will require you to take risks and bold steps to live for something beyond yourself.

I think it’s worth it. Don’t you?

DEFINED BY LOVE

I really love the quote by the prolific author, Brennan Manning:

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”

Let me summarize it this way : Let your identity be in God’s love for you and in none other.

It’s quite easy for us to put our identity in things, status or in other people’s opinion of us but as believers, our identity should be in God alone. Specifically, in his love for you and how he has made you his.

John the apostle had this to write;
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2 (KJV)

We are sons of God now, not tomorrow or next year . Right here and now, we stand as God’s children, utterly loved and accepted. Hence, we needn’t seek our validation or value in the fleeting things that this world offers but in the eternal things of Christ.

Our identity in Christ is one that can never be taken away, it doesn’t change with the unstable economies, career transitions or major life decisions but it’s steady, constant and I dare say , immovable.

That popular hymn says; “on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”.. Oh, how true!

May we always bask in the truth of God’s love for us. As a result of all Christ did, we are eternally in the family of God, connected through his Spirit who has made us one with him .

Renowned worship leader , Phil Wickham had this to say: “a Christian’s true identity is that which Christ has given us – Our identity as a forgiven child of God, our identity as part of the redeemed bride of Christ… It is an identity that we can never lose as His people.”

I couldn’t agree more 😊. Step into this new year boldly in your identity. God has so much in store you

Happy new year in advance ✨

JOY IN GOD!

Joy means an emotion of great pleasure and happiness. This meaning is important, but today I’d like us to look at the ‘where’ of our Joy.

Where do you put your Joy?

We can put our joy in different things but it’s important to know that God is the constant one in the midst of our ever-changing world. The opening verse says- “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (emphasis mine). Atonement means reconciliation. God reconciled us to himself through his son Jesus, now we have a relationship with the God of the universe.


“But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.” Psalm 68:3 (KJV)

As believers, we are to rejoice and be glad in the Lord. You may ask why and I’ll give you three reasons✨

3 Reasons to Rejoice

1. God Loves You- the entire bible is God’s love story of salvation for you. Yes, you. He sent his Son, Jesus to pay your penalty of sin and give you new life. Now, you’re forgiven, accepted and righteous in the beloved (Jesus).

Romans 5:8 KJV
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

2.God is For You – God is on your side and not against you, He is actively working behind the scenes of every detail of your life. The bible says – “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” If he cares about the littlest of things like the hairs on your head, how much more the rest of your life . You can bank on his Love.

3.God is With you – There is very popular knowledge to us as believers, but it’s easy to lose the weight of this enormous of fact of God’s presence always with us. Think of this , everywhere you go, God goes. Everywhere you are, God is. He is With You! Not was but IS (present tense), right now God is with you, for you and He loves you. This is more than enough reason to rejoice ✨✨✨🥳

I’ll leave you with the words of a prisoner who didn’t let his dungeon chains stop his Joy. His name is Paul, he said to tell you this –

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” (Philip. 4:4)

Rejoice

NO MORE SHAME

“..We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do.
Acts 13:38-39 (NLT)

Shame seeks to define us, tell us who we are based on what we have, don’t have or the things we’ve done. God would have us define ourselves based on his love for us. According to Wikipedia, Shame is “an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self..”

Another way shame seeks to define us is through negative occurrences that may have happened to us. This could be a traumatic experience via abuse, bullying or even discrimination. Irrespective of where the shame you feel stems from, it doesn’t have to define or dictate the rest of your life. Here are a few questions I’d like to ponder;

How do you see yourself? Is it still through the lens of your sinful mistakes or failures?or through what others think of you?

Know this, The way you see yourself matters. In Acts 13:38-39, Peter states “We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight” You are given a new way to see yourself through the gospel of Jesus. This is great news! It means that because of Christ’s accomplishment through his death and resurrection, your sins and failures are forgiven and you are righteous before God. This is your new identity. Justification with God is not as a result of the good works you do but by believing in Jesus.

Romans 4:23-25 (NLT) “And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.”

Christ died and arose that we may be free from the burden of seeking to be justified by our works, people or our accomplishments but find our right standing in God alone. Not based on how perfect we are but on the free gift of righteousness. Like Paul said in Philippians 3:8-9, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”

Our righteousness is by faith. We must do good works not to seek for God’s approval but from a secure place of identity and love for people.

In summary, you’ll be free from shame when you convinced of the truth that your right standing and worth is based on what Christ has done for you . You’re forgiven and acquitted, free to live and fulfill the purpose God has called you to. Move your focus from the negative evaluation of yourself to Christ.

Your identity is not in your past, present or future. Your identity is in Christ.

Stay Free✨

Why Christmas?

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

“Where are you?”- God called to man (Adam).

And Man’s response was – “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

If you’re familiar with the biblical story of creation, you’ll know already that the above texts are from the book of Genesis (which means beginning or origin).

The first man Adam was never named, “Adam” means mankind and he represented all humanity; male & female. The decisions of the first man would affect all men . Hence, the fall of Adam, passed sin & death over all men and the whole earth at large.

Romans 5:12 (KJV): “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” All mankind sinned and all of mankind was in need of a Saviour. This is where the story of salvation comes in.

“Salvation is a story of the utter helplessness of man and the sovereign intervention of God.”- Pst. Emmanuel Iren. From the beginning God had already planned for our salvation in sending his Son. We see this prophecy foretold in Gen. 3:15 and fulfilled in the coming, death and resurrection of the Messiah – Jesus.

The good news is that God loved the world so much that he sent his son to be the sacrifice for humanity and whosoever believes in him has eternal life. Jesus Christ is the messiah , saviour, the second and last Adam. He redeemed humanity from the penalty of sin and death and has given us eternal life. The Bible says: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (KJV)

Now, as a believer if anyone asks you the genesis question “where are you”, your response is I’m where God is, I’m at home in God.

This should inspire thanksgiving, reverence and joy in this season. This should also inspire soul winning. We must tell everyone !

Have you received the life of Christ? Rejoice ! You are the reason he came. In case you haven’t received this gift of salvation, don’t waste another moment, believe in Jesus today ✨

Compliments of the season and a blessed new year in advance.

Stay free ✨💕

Why You’re Unstoppable 💫

Sharonzmusic (Animation by Akin Illustration )

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (KJV).

About two weeks ago, I released a single titled “unstoppable”. This song speaks of the power of Christ in a believer and I’m going to expound on this in today’s post.

Unstoppable means impossible to stop or prevent (New Oxford American Dictionary). Some synonyms include indomitable, invincible and unconquerable. In other words, someone or something that is incapable of being overcome or subdued. Simply put, that person or thing will always have the victory irrespective of what comes against them.

Do you know what Jesus achieved for us by his finished work? By his death, the old sinful nature and its consequences was paid for; through his eternal life we live forever & walk in a supernatural life here on earth. He made us unconquerable. Yes, we encounter challenges as everyone else but we have the power to respond differently because God is in and with us.

The resurrection of Jesus went beyond an empty tomb to an everlasting throne. Understand this, you now have God’s spirit living in you and the authority in the name of Jesus to be victorious in everyday life. 2 Peter 1:3 (KJV) states
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue”.

God wants us to be confident in this and his will for your life is that the influence of his Spirit permeates all areas of life. In your personal life, emotions, relationships, career and of course, your sexuality.

The finished work of Christ goes far beyond any pain or suffering we may experience here on earth (Romans 8:18), though we live in the midst of a fallen world, we’re still unstoppable because God’s got us. Author Sam Storms said, “Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God.” So, in the midst of the storm or outside it, you’re unstoppable: in death and in life, you’re unstoppable. I love Rom. 8: 37-39, “None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” (MSG)

Let me leave you with a few verses from my song, Unstoppable;

While the whirlwind is blowing
And the storm’s overflowing
I can hear the Spirit calling
Saying child, Don’t you worry

Nothing can stop me (eh)
Jesus has got me (eh)
Nothing can stop me (eh)
Jesus has got me (eh
)

You can listen to unstoppable by Sharonzmusic –smarturl.it/streamunstoppable

Stay Free💕

STAY IN THE PROCESS

Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. Philippians 3:16 (MSG)

God works instant miracles but he’s also a God of processes. If you ever read through the entire story of the bible, you’ll see prophecies laced through the scriptures that took a long time to be fulfilled. It is worthy to note that not every miracle in the bible was instant, for example the exodus deliverance of the Israelites took 400 years to be fulfilled and there were other prophecies that were much longer. Nevertheless, God always had a plan and he worked behind the scenes weaving each story into a unified whole. (Rom. 8:28)

This understanding can be applied to our personal lives. God does miracles for us but there are many times he takes us through a process. Actually, to me the whole of life is a “process” with one focus in mind. After birth, we grow and mature all through life’s phases but most times maturity requires discipline, pain or sacrifice. We may even go through sufferings or persecution in life because of our faith in Jesus. Paul, the apostle said in Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”.

In the same vein, with our sexuality God works in us to bring us to maturity, but it may require that we go through some pain or process in our healing journey. Maybe you’ve experienced childhood trauma, abuse or an addiction, the healing process may not be as fast as you would have liked, infact you may be currently experiencing temptations or relapse, but one thing you mustn’t forget is —you’re not alone. God is with you in your journey, and wants to strengthen you in the walk towards victory (Philip. 2:13), but you need to persevere and not give up. Think of the analogy of diamonds: they aren’t made in a day, they are formed deep within the Earth’s crust under conditions of intense heat and pressure that cause carbon atoms to crystallize (culled from capetowndiamondmuseum.org) . This can take billions of years to happen! Know this, you’re being refined each day and maturing to be all God wants you to be in your sexuality, relationship and life in general.

Our scripts of life may differ but they all lead to one purpose. Whenever you’re in a process, always remember that Jesus is the main focus and not just overcoming the particular situation or temptation. The reason for growth is to be molded into the image of Christ. We’re to know him and make him known through our lives. So, though life on earth has trials along the way, I want to encourage you today to stay the course, keep your eyes on the goal— Jesus.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision – you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.” Philippians 3:12. 15-16 (MSG)

Don’t give up, Embrace your process, Trust God with your journey ✨

USE YOUR WORDS


“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night…” Joshua 1:8 (KJV)

The bible informs us that the natural world we live in was created by words—God’s word. Hebrews 11:3 states “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” This is a powerful observation about faith and words, that by faith the very things we see in our world were made from the unseen. In Joshua 1:8, God told Israel’s new leader: Joshua, not to allow the words of the law (given by God) depart from his “mouth” instead by constantly meditating on it he will make his way prosperous and successful. Here again, we can see the importance of meditation/speaking and how it can birth results.

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 1:8 (KJV)

Meditating and speaking faith-filled words enable us stay consistent with God’s plan for our lives. When we boldly declare God’s word, we align ourselves with his will and the end result is victory in whichever area of life. Even in times of temptation, declaring God’s word that we believe reminds and aligns us to win over them. This is because words bring to forefront what we have in our hearts to reflect in our actions. By speaking God’s word we renew our minds and bring direction to our lives. It’s so amazing that by speaking to yourself, you fill your heart with God’s word and by speaking out from a filled heart you declare his truths with power. Selah

There is power released when you speak faith-filled words. We’re not talking about mindless banter here, but conscious acknowledgment of who God says you are. Remember not to only speak when you’re facing a temptation or in a difficult situation, but to make it a conscious daily practice. When we speak words with faith in our hearts, they aren’t empty but life-giving. This is because of God’s spirit that lives in you.

And Jesus answering saith to them, `Have faith of God; for verily I say to you, that whoever may say to this mount, Be taken up, and be cast into the sea, and may not doubt in his heart, but may believe that the things that he saith do come to pass, it shall be to him whatever he may say.
Mark 11:22-23 (YLT)

Jesus said, John 6:63 (KJV)
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”

No matter what you go through in life, don’t forget to keep speaking God’s word. Go through the scriptures and say what God has said concerning you. Don’t be silent. Use your words to renew your mind and by renewing your mind, you change your life.

Stay Free 💕

You Can Win Over Temptations

As children of God we are in this world but not of this world, this means we live in this world but our life is from God (1 Jn. 5:4). However, this doesn’t exempt us from temptations that are in the world; especially sexual temptations. The truth is God would have us be victorious in our dealings with any kind of temptation. Temptations can come in different ways, it may be through what we see, hear, feel or think, so it’s important to have the right knowledge that would help us to win over them. Here are a few examples in scripture:

Genesis 3:1,6– “And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? …And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

Here, we see Eve being tempted of the devil in the garden with a suggestion that was contrary to God’s word. Eventually, she was deceived and sinned after she considered and acted on the thought. Another example of temptation in the Bible is in Matthew 4. Here again, the devil tempted Jesus to act in a way that was contrary to God’s plan: to prove he was the Son of God instead of trusting in God.

Matthew 4:3-4 (KJV)
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Lastly, In Gen. 39: 7-13 , Joseph is sexually tempted by the wife of Potiphar to commit adultery with her but he resists and flees. These show that temptations can come through the mind, the devil and even another person! The good news is- temptation can be subdued or resisted. Here are seven truths that can help you to win:

1. You are Loved: It is very easy when facing a temptation to forget that God loves you and is on your side. God is always for us, making a way of escape in time of need. Whenever you are faced with temptation , run boldly to the father. Break off the feeling of condemnation by standing firm in the love of God. (See Hebrews 4:15-16)

2. You are NOT your temptation: Temptations are common to everyone, so much so that even Jesus faced them. See yourself outside of the temptation because you’re standing with Christ will always be by faith. As a believer when sinful thoughts arise in your minds, do not take it as your identity, Christ alone is your identity.

3. You are Dead to Sin: Now that you know Christ is your identity, you need to constantly renew your mind with who you are in Him. Christ’s death was the death of your old nature of sin. Romans 6:6-7- “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him , that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” You no longer have any obligation to sin or the things of flesh.

4. You have a New Heart: In the same vein, when Christ rose again he gave access to a new life to whosoever believes in Him. This new life is in consistency with doing God’s will and is greater than the powers of hell itself. Ezekiel 36:26- “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.”

5. Guard your heart: My best friend puts it like this “don’t gamble with your eyes”. The truth is we need to be responsible with what we feed our eyes, ears and mind. Cut off anything that is inconsistent with the ways of God and leads to sin in the things you read, watch or listen to. Garbage in, garbage out ; we reap what we sow.

6. Take advantage of community: the body of Christ a family. Learn to build and enjoy good relationships with others. Don’t forsake the assembly of God in church, small groups or even virtually. Reach out to people you trust when you need help.

7. Flee when necessary: “And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.” – Genesis 39:11-12 (KJV). If you’re confronted with this type of physical temptation, do not stay to fight it there on your own . Learn from Joseph, run to a safer environment.

Whenever you’re faced with a temptation, whether sexual or otherwise. Don’t see yourself as weak or defeated. See yourself the way God sees you, then rise up and win. Sometimes, it may take time, but never give up because you have everything you need. Remember, “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!”- 2 Peter 1:3

Blessings, Stay Free 💓

Beautiful Surrender

2 Corinthians 5:15 (KJV) “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

Sexuality is a sensitive aspect of many people’s lives and can be a difficult space to surrender to God. It may be due to various reasons -shame, hurt, abuse, betrayal or even mental models. My focus today is on “mental models”. Mental models are thought processes, reasonings and perceptions that can affect a person’s behavior. These models may have been formed from the person’s upbringing, society, people or experiences. Unfortunately, if the thoughts and perceptions aren’t consistent with God’s word, they will be a limiting factor from seeing God’s perspective. Romans12:2 (AMP) states;

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”

James 1:17 (KJV) states that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

God is a good father and wants to guide you in your sexuality. He wants to lift you out of any deep place of shame and bring wholeness to your life. However, it’s necessary for a renewing of your mind to take place in order to prove true his good, perfect will for your life.

As believers, our mental models about sexuality are to be consistent with the scriptures say. Our faith should be evident in the way we express our sexuality because God designed our bodies for his glory. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (MSG) says: “Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? Don’t you see that you can’t live however you please, squandering what God paid such a high price for? The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body.”

This surrender would first start from within and not without. We will need to surrender our hearts to the one who created sexuality in the first place. Then, we would be able to see the beauty of his design and walk accordingly.

Do you feel God Is pulling you in deeper understanding about his design in the way you express your sexuality?Are you willing to trust him and let him lead you? Remember, God is not condemning you if you have questions or are struggling in this area. Pause. Let’s take a moment and say this short prayer: Father God, my heart is open to you to guide me in my sexuality, heal every wound or pain that may have been caused in past/present, from now on I surrender My mind to the guidance of your Spirit. Amen

On the other side of surrender with God is always something better than what we could have ever dreamed of. In my next post, we’ll look at practical steps in renewing our minds in the area of sexuality. Stay tuned ✨