As children of God, we have various promises He has promised to perform in our lives. And as you already know, these promises do not take place automatically; a time element is usually involved.Continue reading
“Being an atheist must be like living in a closed cell with no windows” – Anthony Hopkins.
If you are a movie enthusiast, I am sure you have heard about the name, Anthony Hopkins. But if you haven’t, a simple check on Wikipedia will convince you that he is not a man of mean achievements in the movie industry.
Let’s take a little peep:
“Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins CBE is a Welsh actor, director, and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992, and was nominated three additional times. Hopkins has also won three BAFTAs, two Emmys, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. In 1993, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts.”
According to a report monitored via Godupdates, “Anthony Hopkins is one of the most well-known actors of our time. For years, he was a well-known atheist, too. But all of that changed when a woman at an AA meeting challenged his disbelief with one simple question… “Why don’t you trust God?“”
It was the expression, “For years, he was a well-known atheist” that first caught my attention. But I’m glad to learn that all that has changed.
You must now use the word “former” atheist when referring to Hopkins, because he has become a firm believer in the existence of God.
Not only that, he now “lives out his real life with Christ in his heart. He’s been an atheist before finding God and now he just feels sorry for atheists, comparing a life of disbelief to “living in a closed cell with no windows.”
Sir Hopkins’s transformation and conversion from atheism to Christianity began with his positive response to that question, “Why don’t you trust God?” at a time he was dealing with alcoholism.
A reputable source has it that,”miraculously Anthony says the craving to drink was taken from him, “never to return again.” And he’s believed in God ever since, working day after day, year after year, to grow in his faith.”
In the end, he not only got helped with overcoming the spirit of alcoholism which had bedeviled him, he transformed from being a man who didn’t believe that God exists to one that now affirms that He does.
“When asked in a CNN interview with Piers Morgan if he believed in God, former-atheist Anthony Hopkins replied wholeheartedly, “Yes, I do. I do.”
What do you think?
Has God ever done anything great for you? If nothing (which I doubt), what about the testimony of your salvation?
That’s assuming that you have given the lordship of your life over to Jesus Christ. And even if you have not, it doesn’t mean God never been good to you.
The truth is that if you think well enough, you will find something in your life that you are immensely grateful for, that you should be thanking God for and also be sharing with people around you.
It is a good thing to stand before people and testify of the goodness of God in your life. David once declared, “I will praise you to all my brothers; I will stand up before the congregation and testify of the wonderful things you have done” (Psalm 22:22, TLB)
So why don’t you want to share your testimonies?
Is it fear or shame or pride that is hindering you from talkingt about the Lord’s goodness in your life? Aren’t you grateful God came through for you when you needed His help?
Whatever is it, let nothing stop you from sharing your testimonies of what God has done for you.
Sharing your your testimonies will bring the following benefits:
1. Sharing your testimonies brings glory to God
The purpose of your testimony is to draw attention to God, not to put you on a pedestal of some sort. It is to exalt the name of the Lord before your audience.
Provided that you do not lie or exaggerate your testimonies, you bring glory to God whenever you share or testify of what God has done for you.
When you hoard your testimonies (and that’s what you do when you refuse to share them with people), you deny God the opportunity to be glorified or exalted before the people around you.
Don’t hold back any more; Share your testimonies with people, because doing so brings immense glory to God and shame to the devil.
2. Sharing your testimonies strengthen your faith in God
It is a thing of joy for you to openly talk about what God has done for you. Apart from the emotional relief or satisfaction it brings to you, it also empowers your faith in God.
It gives you that feeling that the God who delivered you now will do so for you again next time.
In the dialogue between King Saul and the shepherd boy David before the latter when to fight Goliath, David testified,
“The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you” (2 Samuel 17:37).
It was this testimony that inspired David to confront and completely defeat the war veteran known as Goliath
Testimonies are part of your spiritual weapons. Remember the following words in Revelation, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…” (12:11).
3. Sharing your testimonies encourages other people to trust God more
Apart from strengthening your own faith in God, sharing your testimonies can also encourage your hearers.
Let’s say you were in a pit and God delivered you from it. Right now many people are in the same pit you once were. Sharing the testimony of how God delivered you will inspire hope in them and strengthen their faith in God for possible deliverance as well.
Your testimony has the potential of revealing God to people or pointing to them to God. So it is a great disservice to people around you if you fail to share your God-given testimonies with them.
4. Sharing your testimonies slaps the devil big time
If sharing your God-given testimonies brings glory to God, it automatically has the opposite effect on the devil. It shames him and beats him up big time.
Understand this: if your pride stops you from sharing the testimonies of what God has done for you, you are in effect giving the devil opportunity to smile. I will assume that’s not what you want to keep doing.
It is a good thing to share with people the testimony of what God has done for you. When you do so, you bring glory to God, you strengthen your faith in God, you encourage other people to trust in God more and you bring shame to the devil.
Do you find it easy or feel ashamed to share your testimonies? Leave us a comment or two.
©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne
The unstoppable man
Bartimaeus was blind but he could hear. He didn’t have the sight to see Jesus, but he had the ear to hear that he (Jesus) was passing his way.
At a certain time in His ministry, Jesus and His disciples visited the city of Jericho. And as they left the metropolis, they were thronged from behind.
In the process, Bartimaeus, a blind roadside beggar who heard that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was passing by began to call out to Him as loud as he could, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
The people around him tried to shut him down. But the more they tried to make him keep quiet, the louder he shouted. He eventually got the attention of Jesus who healed him of his blindness (Matthew 10:46-52).
You cannot read the story of this blind man without being inspired by his persistent attitude. As I looked at the story again, I realised that there are many things we can learn from him.
The story of Bartimaeus was one of a beggarly blind man, who could hear, who had faith, had courage, had focus, had a voice, who proved to be unstoppable, and who got his desired miracle: restoration of sight when he encountered Jesus Christ.
The event might have happened over two thousand years ago but there are life lessons from it that we can apply today in our lives today. And that is why I am writing this post, with the hope that you will pick a lesson or two.
Here is the account of the story of blind Bartimaeus as recorded in the Gospel of Mark:
46And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
47And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
48And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
49And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
50And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. ” He began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
51And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
52And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
9 Good lessons you can learn from blind Bartimaeus (and apply in your life right now)
1. Bartimaeus had information that Jesus was passing by
“...When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth…”
As I observed in the introduction, Bartimaeus might have been blind, but he could hear. And he used his hearing sense very well. He had correct and timely information that Jesus was coming around.
Whatever situation you find yourself, you need the right information to bring about the desired change. For Bartimaeus, all he needed to hear was that Jesus was passing through his territory and he knew what to do with that information…
Do you have timely and accurate information at your disposal? Do you have the kind of information that will positively impart your life? Are you even actively seeking for relevant information that will make you live healthier, happier or even wealthier?
You might be shocked that the change you need right now is in the information you haven’t heard yet. Seek information.
2. Bartimaeus used the information on Jesus presence to his advantage
“He began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
It is one thing to have the correct information at your disposal. It is another to use it to your advantage. Bartimaeus got it right on both spheres.
He had the correct information that Jesus was passing by, he capitalised on it to get healed. Even if it meant creating a scene, he was not bothered.
Based on the information available at his disposal, Bartimaeus cried out and he got helped. He was not the only blind person in Jericho who might have heard that Jesus was passing by. But he did not only hear, he also acted proactively based on what he heard.
I have no doubt that blind Bartimeaus must have heard about Jesus healing the blind, the lame, the deaf and the dumb before. He had to do whatever he had to do to get the attention of Jesus, so that he too could be healed.
Bartimaeus recognised an opportunity and he took it; He knew that it was not enough to have Jesus come around his vicinity. It was his one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get healed of his blindness. So he called out to Jesus for the help he so badly needed.
What good information do you have at your disposal right now that you are not using? It is not enough to have the right information. You have to make appropriate use of it – to your advantage. Bartimaeus would have remained blind if he had not used the information he had to meet Jesus.
3. Bartimaeus had a revelation of who Jesus is
So Bartimaeus called out to Him, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
In Matthew 1:1, we have it recorded, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham…” But He is more than that: He is the long-awaited Messiah, the Saviour, the Deliverer.
Blind Bartimaeus did not only recognised Jesus as the Son of David, he also knew that the mercies of God are with Him. Hundreds of years before that time, God had promised David that He would never withdraw His mercies from him.
but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. 2 Samuel 7:15-16
Now Jesus has become the custodian of all grace… And Bartimaeus knew it!
What revelation do you have about Jesus? Is He your Saviour, healer, deliverer, helper, lover, provider, protector, master? The revelation you have about His identity will often determine how you relate with Him, or call out to Him for help like Bartimaeus did.
4. Bartimaeus showed courage in the midst of intimidation
“And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Bartimaeus was a very courageous man. Or how else can you explain the fact that he refused to be intimidated into silence by the many people who tried to shout him down?
Strong able-bodied men who had their sense of sight intact wanted to stop this blind man from asking Jesus for help. But, thankfully, he proved to be unstoppable; the more they tried to silence him, the more he shouted out loud. “Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Think about it, how many times you have abandoned a good project simply because everyone went against you! Learn from this man, and show courage no matter the level of intimidation you may face.
So long as you are on the right path, don’t allow anyone intimidate you into oblivion. Like blind Bartimaeus, shout if you need to!
5. Added to his courage, Bartimaeus showed persistence till he got Jesus’ attention
“And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.”
Bartimeaus persisted in the pursuit of what he wanted. The people wanted to stand in his way, but he went past them. They shouted him down many times, but he refused to be cowed until Jesus got his attention.
At long last, Jesus got to hear Bartimeaus’s call and responded, “And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise.”
I like that expression, Jesus stood still ! Why? Because of Bartimaeus’s importunity. An interesting twist to the story is that the same people who were trying to shout Bartimaeus down were the same people who were now telling him, “cheer up, Jesus is calling you.”
Don’t you think Jesus would have moved on without stopping if this man had not persisted in calling out to Him for help? You see, persistence pays! So you have to keep doing the right thing until you get the result you desire.
For instance, when you pray once and you do not see any visible result, what will you do? Quit? No – pray again, until your change comes.
6. Bartimaeus had to shed ‘excess weight’ to move closer to his goal
“And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.”
What is that excess weight that may hinder you from reaching your goal faster? For Bartimaeus, it was his garment. I don’t know how heavy it was for him to carry but the fact that he had to cast it aside to answer Jesus’s call meant that it was obstructing his free movement.
Mind you, a garment was a necessity for Bartimaeus. But at that time it was coming between him and his quest to receive his sight back, so it had to be dropped.
What is that ‘important’ thing that is holding you down? What necessity are you carrying right now that is slowing your pace of progress? It is time to cast it aside in order to move faster and closer to your goal.
7. Bartimaeus knew exactly what he wanted.
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.”
Why was Bartimaeus calling out to Jesus? He knew what he wanted!
Why did he refuse to keep quiet when the people told him to shut up? He knew what he wanted!
Why did he run as fast as he could to meet Jesus once He invited him on? He knew what he wanted!
It is not that Jesus didn’t see that Bartimaeus was blind. He wanted to afford him the privilege of making a specific request, and having it granted to him. So Jesus asked, what do you want me to do for you? Our man who already knew exactly what he wanted, replied, “that I may see Lord.”
Do you know exactly what you want in life? If you have been praying, are your requests clear and specific? It is high time you did some personal reevaluation in that regard.
If you don’t know what you want, find out. As someone I know used to say, “If you don’t define, you won’t find.”
8. Bartimaeus had faith to be healed
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. “
We see in Bartimaeus, a man of courage, a man that knew what he wanted, a fearless man. An unstoppable person. A man with with a voice. All well and good.
But in addition to all that, Jesus himself lets us know that Bartimaeus was also a man of faith. He had the faith that Jesus could make him receive his sight back and it worked!
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”
Faith without works is dead. Bartimaeus’s faith was not dead. It was active, vocal, proactive and well-directed. And it produced result – restoration of sight.
Faith, that’s what it takes to please God. That’s what guarantees that you will have what you asked for.
Whenever you come to God, never forget to apply your faith. It is what will make you whole!
9. Bartimaeus became a follower of Jesus at once
“And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
You might say that Bartimeaus’s decision to follow Jesus once he got his sight back was a natural response just like some other people who began to follow Jesus after He healed them. But he was not forced; it was a personal decision he made.
If you check the Gospels, you will see that there were people who were healed by Jesus but never bothered to follow Him. There were also healed people who offered to follow Jesus immediately, but He didn’t oblige them.
For Bartimaeus, everything seemed to be going for Him. Although Jesus had told him, “Go your way,” he still stayed with Jesus and Jesus allowed him.
“…”Immediately, he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” We were not told how long he followed Jesus. But he followed him all the same!
When you are blessed, you should not run away from God. If the blessing of God upon your life – be it healing, prosperity, deliverance, or whatever else God does for you – drives you away from God, it means you have handled the blessing wrongly. God does things for us to win us to His side and not to lose us.
What other lessons can we learn from the story of blind Bartimaeus?
©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne
You are not perfect – no one is. What you lack in one area of your life, you gain in another.
Just as all men do, you have some strengths and some weaknesses. But which ones do you focus more on?
Often times, you focus mostly on your weaknesses rather than on your strengths. By so doing, you fail to celebrate or properly harness your strengths to your fullest advantage.
How do I know you are not focusing on your strength?
- You constantly think of what you don’t have instead of what you have.
- You always bemoan what you can’t do instead of doing what you can.
- You intentionally begrudge other people’s talent instead of harnessing yours.
- You are regularly unhappy about the places you haven’t visited instead of celebrating the places you have visited.
- You complain that you can’t ‘see’, but you forgot that you can ‘hear’.
While you are doing all that, you forget that time is not waiting for you. Opportunities are passing by that you could have harnessed to make your life a little better.
If that is you, then you have something to learn from the blind Bartimaeus in the Bible.
An account in the Gospel of Mark chapter 10 verse 46-47 has it that:
… and as [Jesus Christ] went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth…
Did you see that?
When he heard…
That’s the pivotal phrase.
This story wasn’t about Jesus Himself per se. It was the story of Bartimaeus, a beggarly blind man, who could hear, who had faith, had courage, had focus, had a voice, who proved to be unstoppable, and who got his desired miracle: restoration of sight.
As you can see, there are many good things about our man Bartimaeus. But for many years, he failed to harness his strength, dwelling on his weakness (blindness).
Consequently, he became a despised roadside beggar until this documented encounter with Jesus Christ that completely turned his life around for the better.
In the mean time, I will chip in the following counsel:
- Focus on your strength. If you use it very well, the resultant gains may cover your weakness.
- Focus on doing what you can do and stop being so unhappy about what is beyond your capabilities.
- Use the talent you have, and don’t kill yourself over the ones you don’t have.
Bartimaeus was blind but he could hear. He didn’t have the sight to see Jesus, but he had the ear to hear that Jesus was passing his way.
With that information, he activated his faith and his voice. And He called out to Jesus, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” And he got his sight back.
So I will ask you, if you can’t see, can you hear? Harness the power of your hearing first. Who knows, like Bartimaeus you will have your sight back in the process.
Picture Credits: 1. Photo by novia wu on Unsplash. 2. Photo by Stephen Arnold on Unsplash.
Have you ever let opportunities pass you by because you were focusing on your weakness rather than on your strength?
© Copyright 2018| Victor Uyanwanne
Everyone alive has something he or she should be grateful for. From the mundane to the sublime, there is always a reason to be thankful.
As followers of Jesus Christ, let’s relate that to our attitude towards the free gift of salvation we received from Above.
Many of us would say that our salvation is what we are most grateful for in this life. And that’s a great thing!
Jesus Himself taught that our greatest joy should be that our names are written in Heaven (See Luke 10:20). So it is well in order to feel immensely grateful to God for our salvation and also allow that joyful attitude to reflect in our daily living.
But do we really live our lives daily in a way that demonstrates that we truly appreciate our salvation? Are we as joyful as we should be?
Probably not! That’s why I am writing this post, because I’m convinced some of us are falling behind expectation in that regard.
Sometimes we are immensely grateful we are saved. Some other times we don’t even seem to remember we are saved. So we go about our lives not reflecting the attitude of gratitude both before God and our fellow man or woman.
It is my believe that if we are constantly thankful to God for the free gift of salvation we received in Christ, it will positively impact on the way we respond to God and the way we treat other people.
In this post, I will highlight five ways being grateful for your salvation will impact your life positively.
5 ways you will be positively impacted if you constantly feel grateful for your salvation
1. You will find it easier to live a life of gratitude, irrespective of your estate in life.
You have the capacity for gratitude that does not depend on your external circumstances. But the question is, “Are you using it towards God and your fellow humans?”
The Bible tells us that “In all things, we should give thanks to God.” That’s a way of saying you should always maintain a heart of gratitude.
I am not saying it will be easy to do. But it is something that can be done, even when life doesn’t go the way you want it.
As someone pointed out, “It is not everything that happens that is the will of God. But it is the will of God that you should give thanks to God no matter what happens.”
2. You will live to please God rather than yourself or anyone else.
When you appreciate your salvation as something you could never achieve by your best efforts, but which God delivered to you undeservedly, it becomes imperative that you focus on pleasing the One Who got you saved in the first place.
God paid the highest price for your salvation so He deserves to get your highest love, greatest pleasure and deepest loyalty.
Before you were saved, you were living for yourself and for the devil.
Once you have been saved, you should begin to live your life to the glory of God. Always being grateful for your salvation will help you in that regard.
3. You will love other people more
When you love God with all your heart, loving other people becomes a less difficult challenge.
At salvation, you received the love of God in your heart. This love that has been shared abroad in your heart is what enables you to love other people, whether they are lovely or unlovely.
If you don’t value your salvation, you will underestimate the need to love other people with the same love God has loved you with.
4. You will not live a hopeless life
Hopelessness is a consequence of not having any expectation for a future good. But in Christ, you are guaranteed of a good future.
God has promised to bring you to an expected end. A glorious one!
Our salvation is not an end in itself. It is the restoration of our relationship with God here on earth and it points us to a more glorious future.
As a saved person you have hope in this world and in the world to come. You will not lose sight of that if you are someone that always appreciates your salvation.
Apostle Paul argues that, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” 1 Corrinthians 15:19.
Because of your salvation in Christ, you have been born into a living hope that extends beyond this world into a glorious eternity.
5. Your faith will be strengthened
Ingratitude will drain your strength! But gratitude will empower you.
The greatest thing God did for mankind is sending Jesus to die for the salvation of the world. This singular act coupled with your positive response to it by faith is what afforded you the benefit/hope of eternal salvation.
If you appreciate this on a personal level, it will strengthen your faith in God and in the belief in His willingness to answer your prayers.
Just like Apostle Paul, you will reason that , “He [God] who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32, NASB
In what other ways do you feel being grateful for your salvation in Christ will positively impact your life?
©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne
I want to please everyone every time.
But I can only try, I can’t do it obviously?
I want to be all smiles whenever you see me.
But not when sometimes pains sting like bees.
I want to reach out and change the world.
Who do I think I am? Definitely not God!
I want to look young and beautiful forever.
But natural laws are still actively working in me.
I want to get everyone to like me.
Not when ‘hate’ is still a word in the dictionary.
I strive to be better than I am now.
But when will perfection come?
© Copyright 2016-Victor Uyanwanne
There are two kinds of people on Earth: Those who believe that God exists and those who don’t. Amongst those that believe God exists, whether they do know God to the extent of having or contemplating a friendship relationship with Him is a different thing altogether.
Over the past few months that I started this blog, I have had myself writing some articles specifically addressed to atheists – those who say there is no God. The latest of such articles being 16 Sobering Things Every Atheist Should Know.
In this post, I will be talking to those who already believe God exists. But I must add that it is not enough to believe that God exists without knowing Him personally.
Apart from believing that God exists, there is the need for you (and of course everyone else) to get to truly know God and know Him at a deeper level. That is why, as Christians we invite people to know God by calling them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, His Son.
Without a personal faith in the finished work of Christ, no one can know God at a friendship level. You shouldn’t miss that point.
Distinguished and best-selling Author, Rick Warren, in one of his devotional articles, stated that there are three levels of knowing God: recognition, acquaintance, and friendship.
As the title of this post suggests, our focus here is mainly on knowing God at the level of friendship. But allow me to put in a word or two about the named three levels as I understood them:
At this level, you know that “God is there,” but you don’t know Him personally. In other words, you know that God exists but you have not yet entered into a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, through whom only one can get to know the true God.
You are at this level if you know God just a little, but that’s all. Even though you may have come to know God through acknowledging Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you are yet to develop that relationship into a deeper level of robust friendship.
At this level, you have come to know God very well. You are not perfect, but you now know God as your Father.
You have established a healthy relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ and you are staying committed to that relationship and you know it. You see God as your friend and you relate with Him as such; you talk to each other.
Knowing God at a deeper level
God wants you to know Him and know Him very well. In Christ, He has offered you an eternal friendship relationship. This friendship will flourish to the extent you are willing to investing your time into it through regular fellowship with Him.
To know God at a deeper level, you have to know Him at the friendship level. And this level is not exclusive to some people. We are all called to seek a deeper level of relationship with God.
In James 4:8a, we read the words, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” You see, you are the one that should intentionally draw near to God in order to know Him deeper – at the friendship level.
In Christ Jesus, God is already fully drawn to you. I may as well say this: You are as close to God as you want to be!
Once you have established a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, it means you have entered into the most valuable relationship of your life. But like all good relationships, it has to be consciously cultivated and nurtured for it to develop into a deeper level of friendship.
To know someone deeply, you have to regularly talk to, or spend time with, him or her. Knowing God deeply is not different from that. Except you are willing to regularly fellowship with God, talk to Him as a friend and let Him talk to you too, you may never get to know Him at the deepest level possible.
Do you desire to know God at the friendship relationship level? Feel free to leave a comment.
©2016 CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne
… Belief in God isn’t blindly based on acceptance of the Bible as truth, or simply because the argument makes sense, but because when we begin to truly look for him, we begin to find him everywhere. In nature, in science, in supernatural experience, and perhaps most compellingly of all in the transformed lives of the people who have already believed in him – Martin Saunders, Contributing Editor, Christian Today.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, I know that God exists. But I also know there are atheists everywhere around the world – people who do not believe in the existence of God.
Just like Jesus wants us to do, I owe it to such people in particular and to humanity in general, to tell them about God. Not just because of the earthly benefits but for the eternal significance as well.
That was why I earlier published To those who say there is no God. The post was an open letter to all those who believe that God doesn’t exist. The comments it generated gave rise to the When you encounter an atheist online for the first time series previously posted on this blog.
As you well know, I can’t force anyone to believe in God. But I can at least let them know some things that may help them make up their mind in the affirmative. After all, acknowledging Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and personal Saviour remains a decision everyone has to take by him/herself.
So if you are an atheist, here are 16 sobering truths I wish you to know.
1. God exists – whether you believe it or not.
I had to say that first because it is the main thrust of this discourse. This article is of no effect if God does not exist. What is the point of life if there was no God?
Sorry to disappoint you: the fact that you do not believe in God does not diminish Him one bit. He is an all-sufficient God. Even if you change your mind and decide to believe in God today, it still does not add to His value.
But you know what? It is in your best interest both in time and in eternity to acknowledge Him. I hope you will find the impetus to continue reading after hearing that!
2. To know God, check the Bible
The Bible is the manual of life God gave to man. It is the final authority on anything there is to know about God and His creation.
If in your search for God, you have not checked the Bible, then you have been looking in the wrong direction. And if you have checked it before, you have to check it again. This time, do it in faith.
God has revealed Himself to mankind through the Bible. The Bible has the correct answer to all the questions about life and the after-life. If your disbelief in God has come from reading other books, it is now time you read the Bible with an open heart and with faith.
3. God loves you, I thought you should know.
Contrary to what you might have heard about Him, God is a loving God. As the Bible puts it, “God is love.” God loves you even if you do not acknowledge Him yet.
You don’t believe in Him, He loves you. You hate Him, He still loves you. Because of that love, He does not want you to perish in your ignorance of, or disbelief in, Him.
He would rather have you come to Him humbly in faith through His only Son Jesus Christ, whom He allowed to die in the hands of wicked people for your sin and those of mankind.
4. God is not angry with you.
Has anyone ever told you that God is angry with you? That will not be true! The fact that you don’t believe in God does not mean that He is angry with you. In fact, He loves you too much to be angry with you.
God should have been – and He has every right to be – angry with you for not believing in Him. But His Son Jesus Christ has paid the price for you once and for all. For now, you are covered by His abundant grace.
The only thing that can provoke God eventually is if you fail to acknowledge the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for you before you leave this earth. If that happens, there is nothing God can do for you again; His anger would then no longer be restrained on the other side of this life.
Anyone who fails to believe in God while alive will be eternally separated from Him after death.
5. Jesus Christ is the only Way to God.
That is an audacious claim, I know. But it is not outrageous.
It is true that there are many ways to arrive a given destination. But when it comes to going to God, Jesus Christ is the Only Way; there is no shortcut and there is no roundabout way.
There is no other way to God apart from through Jesus Christ. That fact cannot be overemphasized.
Jesus Himself declared unequivocally: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:16.
6. You are not the first person to doubt the existence of God.
I guess you know that already! There have been people before you who did not believe in God and there will still be people after you who will not believe in Him.
For instance, Marilyn Adamson confessed in her expository article Does God exist?:
I was an atheist at one time. And like many atheists, the issue of people believing in God bothered me greatly…
However, the fact that you are not alone in the disbelief in the existence of God should not give you any comfort. Being in a state where you do not believe in God is not the best place you can be.
7. The Bible has a word for anyone who doesn’t believe there is God.
You should hear that word as stated in Psalms chapter 14:1:
A fool says in his heart there is no God.
That is it. According to the Bible, anyone who says there is no God is a fool. Such persons may or may not be educated, lowly or highly placed in the society, if they do not acknowledge God, they are fools. That may sound harsh I know, but then it is the harsh truth.
So you can see that it is wisdom to acknowledge God. It is foolishness not to.
I know there are people who think they are wise so they think have no need of God. But for such people, the Bible says, “In professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).
No matter how you feel about it, there is no wisdom in saying there is no God. If I say there is no God, it means I am foolish.
The only good news after this is that this kind of foolishness can be cured. The cure is to turn to God in faith through Jesus Christ.
8. There have been people who turned from atheism to God.
Sad to say, some people have died in their atheism, thereby sentencing themselves to eternal damnation. But thankfully, there have also been people who moved from atheism to faith in the true God.
For instance, freelance writer and lecturer, Philip Vander Elst tells his own change story in the expository article From Atheism to Christianity: a Personal Journey. He gives us a glimpse into who he was before he came to acknowledge God:
Growing up in a non-Christian family with intellectually gifted but unbelieving parents, I used to think that belief in God and the supernatural had been discredited by the advance of science, and was incompatible with liberty. Religious faith seemed to me to involve the blind worship of a cosmic dictator, and the abandonment of reason in favour of ‘revelation
Similarly, in Five atheists who lost faith in atheism , Martin Saunders, a Contributing Editor for Christian Today, writes about some “former atheists who found that their belief in nothing ultimately led them nowhere.” These people were intellectuals who departed from their avowed atheism to robust faith in God. That can be your story too!
9. Your lifetime is your only opportunity for you to know God.
The nine months spent in your mother’s womb prepared you for the life on earth. Similarly, your life on earth prepares you to be birthed into eternity.
Therefore, your life on earth is your only opportunity for you to know God, personally. If you miss it, you miss out eternally.
I don’t want you to miss out. Hence, I am writing this post to you as an individual.
The point is, if you do not get to establish a personal relationship with God through his Son Jesus Christ while you are still alive, you will inevitably be faced with the stark reality of being forever separated from God. That’s not something to look forward to, I must say.
10. Whatever misgivings you have about God can be handled.
That’s a promise, trust me! God is big enough to handle any (mis)guided thought you might have about Him. But nothing can be sorted out without your cooperation.
As Saunders stated, “when we begin to truly look for [God], we begin to find him everywhere. In nature, in science, in supernatural experience, and perhaps most compellingly of all in the transformed lives of the people who have already believed in him.”
You were not born an atheist, just as I was not born a Christian. I became a believer in Jesus Christ and so can you.
At some point in your life (or is it over a period of time?), you came to believe there is no God. You have your reasons, rightly or wrongly, for the claim that there is no God. But He is such a gracious God that He would not force you to acknowledge Him.
Therefore, if you would make up your mind to seek Him in faith, you would find Him. This is a guarantee because God said through prophet Jeremiah that:
“… ye shall seek me, and find me [God], when ye shall search for me [God] with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13
11. God has numerous children and He has room for you too.
The key is in your hands! God created everyone but not everyone is His ‘child’. I hope you didn’t find that confusing?
The children of God are those who believe in Him through Jesus Christ. You may say you do not believe in God. But it is that same God that you don’t believe in that created you.
It is true He created you but He cannot force you to become His child. Becoming his child is something you would have to do out of your own volition, without any force from me or from anyone else.
To become a child of God, you have to be given the right. As the Bible says “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to … But as many as received him, to them gave he the power to become sons of God” John 1:12
The good thing is that the right to become a child of God is yours for the asking… even right now!
12. If you die today, where would you spend eternity?
Would you not want to find an answer to that question before it becomes too late? That’s a question not only for you but for all humans. There are only two possible options – eternity with God or eternity without Him.
Fortunately, anyone who believes in God through His Son Jesus Christ has already settled that issue. For such people, there is nothing to fear; their place is in God.
You already know that the fact that you don’t believe in God does not preclude you from dying. And death is the gateway to eternity. Once you die, you have lost all the chances of ever knowing God.
Your present life is the only chance you to make the decision about where to spend eternity – with God in Heaven or with satan in hell. There is no sitting on the fence between the two choices.
Failure to choose God is already an automatic choice for hellfire. Hope that doesn’t sound too harsh?
13. The question of sin cannot be cured except in Christ.
There is no substitute to Christ at all! Even you yourself know that you are not perfect; you are not without blemish. In order words, you are a sinner who needs the forgiveness of God.
I didn’t say that to condemn you, but rather as a kind of reality check. You have to know this (in case no one ever told you before now): just like all humans, you are a sinner because you were born that way.
Sin is the nature of all men. You cannot solve the problem of sin on your own; you need help – God’s help.
The only authentic remedy for sin is in the blood Jesus Christ. All it requires is a simple faith in His sacrificial death and resurrection. It is only in believing in God through Jesus that your sin nature and its eternal consequence can be permanently dealt with.
14. You are accountable to God, now or later.
This is inescapable! You may not believe in God but you should understand that you are still answerable to Him. Whether you chose to accept Him or not you will still be accountable to Him for your actions.
One day, you will stand before Him to explain how you lived your life here on Earth and what you did with the offer of grace by His son Jesus Christ. I thought you should know that too.
15. There is a future reality called Hellfire.
Many people don’t like to hear that word ‘hellfire’. But I care about you too much not to warn you about it!
It is the final destination reserved for everyone who rejects the salvation that Christ offers. The place was originally meant for satan and his angels. But sadly, anyone that rejects God has sided with satan and so will ultimately end up where satan himself will be confined to too, forever.
You don’t have to go there if you decide to accept Jesus Christ now that you are still alive, otherwise, hellfire will be an inescapable reality. This is not a threat; it is the truth I just tried to share in love.
16. Very far from God is not too far yet.
You might think that you have gone a long way in the journey of your (wrong) belief that God doesn’t exist. But I would say you are yet to reach the point of no return. God is ready to accept you as his son/daughter if you give Him the chance now.
Once you realise that you are on the wrong part, the honourable thing to do is to retrace your steps. Anyone who fails to acknowledge God is already on the wrong path.
If you don’t want to end up in the wrong destination, you should not continue on the journey in the wrong direction. The prodigal son found his back to his father, so can you!
Forget about the wrong things you might have been told about God. Dismantle your previous mindset and seek God yourself with all your heart and with faith.Give Jesus an invitation into your heart and I can assure you He will honour it.
Would you acknowledge God through His son, Jesus Christ now?
P.S: To you that believe in God through his Son Jesus Christ, if you have any sobering thing you would want an atheist to know that doesn’t fall into any of the ones listed above, do me a favour by commenting. You may be the voice that someone may hear to turn to God. Those that have contrary opinions are also welcome to comment.
©CopyRight | Victor Uyanwanne
You may be gone from our midst
But you aren’t gone from our hearts.
‘Cos we will always remember you.
Though you are no more here.
Your legacies remain alive with us.
You were a mother like no other
You were unique in your own ways.
You lived your life the best way you could.
You ran the race God set before you.
Now that you have gone the way of all men
We are sad that you are no more here
But we will always celebrate your memory.
Till we meet again in the Lord’s bosom.
You found the Gospel light at a tender age
And you followed it till you breathed your last.
You did not only find the way of Christ
You pointed it out for us your children to follow.
You told us you knew no other way, but Christ
You told us to follow Jesus Christ
Till our days on earth are gone.
Now that you are no more here
God is helping us to follow through.
You taught us how to give to God
Since the time we were kids
Now that we are grown men and women
We have not forgotten this lesson of yours.
You were a mother like no other
You proved that love and discipline go together
You never spared the rod to spoil the child.
Your love was strict, but it was also true.
You never feared any man, except God.
You showed courage even in danger
You always stood for what you believed in
Even when no one else stood with you.
You never went back on your words
You always did what you promised.
Your face always carried a cheerful smile
That radiated to those around you.
The daughters of men testify of your generosity
We are glad we had the chance to know you
As a shining example of faithfulness and loyalty
You stayed faithful to God until your last breath
You were loyal to our father even in his death.
You disciplined us in love unto maturity.
You may be gone from our eyes
But you will never be gone from our hearts.
Adieu Mama Victoria, a woman of faith and focus.
PS: Tribute to my mother Victoria Ofunim Uyanwanne Bakwunye, in commemoration of one year anniversary of her passing, which occurred on April 18, 2015.
Written by Victor Uyanwanne
I have never met an atheist face to face before. But I was fortunate to encounter one who recently visited this blog and was kind enough to leave a comment.
I had just published on my blog a post entitled “To Those Who Say There Is No God.” In the post, we construed an atheist as one who believes that there is no God. The following points were also covered in the post:
- I am a Christian and so I believe there is God;
- There are enough pieces of evidence within and around us to prove that God exists. And so I wondered how some people find it so easy to claim that God does not exist;
- That according to the Bible, anyone who says there is no God is not wise;
- That Jesus Christ Himself told us during His earthly walk that He is the ONLY WAY to God.
Following that post was a protracted online discussion with an atheist blogger who engaged me over his claim that there is no God. The full content of the online exchange between both of us has now been packaged into a five-part series to be posted on this blog, beginning with this one. (Note that instead of his real name, I will simply refer to the said atheist blogger as TAB.
The Atheist, TAB
I grew up “spiritual” with no religious training other than the random christianity events for holidays. As an adult, I became a Christian, then got into messianic christianity. Then I rejected christianity and became a Jew. Then I rejected that too. I can’t say with 100% certainty that there is no god, but I’m about as certain as saying there probably aren’t unicorns either.
Ultimately, it was my incessant needs to have questions answered. Religion couldn’t answer them. I found the natural world to provide a better source of understanding the world than a sky man watching me.
TAB, thanks for stopping by and for commenting. As you found out, engaging in the so-called Christian holiday events doesn’t make one Christian.
To be a Christian is to ‘know’ God. To know God, one has to begin with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which is based on faith.
It is not religion or religious training that can save anybody, but faith in Christ. Anyone who talks about being a Christian without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is involved in mere Religion, not Christianity.
It is good that you have not come to that point of categorically saying there is no God. I hope I understood you well there? If yes, then I take that to mean that you still have an open mind about this ‘God exist or not’ stuff.
When it comes to ‘searching’ for Him, God speaking through prophet Jeremiah said, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). This shows that anyone who seeks God with all his heart will find Him. You can say it is guaranteed!
I am not talking about religion in the common sense of it because religion is not what makes the difference. The difference comes from beginning a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In my own case, I found that knowing God through Jesus Christ has helped me [to get] answers for the questions that most troubled my heart. So if you don’t mind, I would gladly recommend that you establish a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ. Only then will some things begin to add up for you.
You said the natural world have helped your understanding [more] than the Man in the sky. First, we believe that God put the natural world in place too. In fact, the Bible has it that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1). Although some people do not agree, nature itself speaks eloquently of the existence of God.
Simply put, the natural world was created by God. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20.
Secondly, my own concept of God includes the fact that He is inside of me through the Holy Spirit, not some unimaginable being out there in the sky as you put it. I totally understand if the last statement didn’t make any sense to you.
In conclusion, let me add that what God offers us is a close personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ, not religion. This is what true Christianity is all about.I once heard a preacher explain it like this:
Religion is man[kind] attempting to reach God, whereas Christianity is God reaching out to man[kind].
Understanding this simple analogy will make a whole lot of difference in anyone’s life.
If you have the time, you may visit the link [below] for some [more] answers: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html?gclid=CKjkj8Hg38kCFScFwwod0dILxg
PS: To all my readers, please let me know what you think – whether as a Christian or as an atheist.