On The 6 Jews Said To Have Dramatically Impacted All History

Greatest Jews ever lived
Photo by Stephen Arnold on Unsplash

In a sub-article , How Israel and the Jews have shaped history, Adrian Rogers observed that “As you study history, you learn that the indestructible Jew has left his indelible mark upon history. The Jewish people are not great in number. Of the world’s population, they are only 0.2%. That’s not two percent. That’s less than one-fourth of one percent. Yet did you know that 22% of Nobel Prize winners have been Jews? In 2013, six of the 12 laureates were Jewish…”

Rogers argument is that although the Jews are few in number, they have made tremendous contributions to the development of the world as we know it – be it “…in medicine, health, music, and public life.”

Buttressing his point, Rogers employed rhetoric by drawing attention to some of the useful inventions by Jews:

“Have you ever taken an aspirin? Friedrich Bayer, whose company developed aspirin, was a Jew. Were you vaccinated for polio as a child? The injectable and oral polio vaccines of Salk and Sabin were so effective, the disease has been all but eradicated.

Has the dentist ever deadened your tooth before he started to drill? Alfred Einhorn, who developed Novocain, was a Jew…”

You can head over to Crosswalk.com to read the full article. But here in this post we will further examine it’s concluding paragraph:

“All history has been dramatically impacted by six Jews: Moses, Paul, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and above them all, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

There are many things we know about these people that make them great. Time and space will fail me to delve into how all six of them dramatically impacted history.

So let us take a little peep into three of them with Biblical history: Moses, Paul and Jesus:

1. Moses

There many things that are remarkable about this man referred to as the meekest man on earth.  As one source noted, Moses is “Universally recognised as the deliverer of his people, the Israelites, from slavery in Egypt, biblical and human history also credit him with establishing Israel’s judicial and religious systems.”

2. Apostle Paul

Paul has been described as the Apostle of Apostles and the writer of two-thirds of the New Testament Bible. As noted in the Encyclopaedia Britannica,  “Paul is often considered to be the most important person after Jesus in the history of Christianity. His epistles (letters) have had enormous influence on Christian theology, especially on the relationship between God the Father and Jesus, and on the mystical human relationship with the divine.”

3. Jesus Christ

Indeed, Moses, Paul, Freud, Einstein and Jesus impacted the history of this world as we know it. However, Jesus Christ is the greatest of all. He is the Saviour of the world. and you know what? He is my Saviour too!


©Copyright 2019 | Victor Uyanwanne

3 Kinds Of People To Make Peace With This Christmas

Christmas is the season we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the baby that changed the world. As we celebrate, we should not lose sight of the real essence of it, chief of which was to restore the broken relationship between God and mankind.

Remember that at the birth of Jesus, some angels proclaimed to the shepherds saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14. Because of Christmas, peace was proclaimed to those who would come into a relationship with God.

So let us celebrate Christmas with a heart of peace towards God and an attitude of peace towards fellowmen. Towards that end, here are my simple suggestions on the

Three Kinds of people you should make peace with this Christmas:

Making peace with God

1. Make peace with God

When God sent Jesus Christ to be born on earth and also gave Him up to die for the ultimate redemption of mankind, He made peace with the world. You can say the war between God and the world is now over.

On a personal level, God has made peace with you by the atonement of Jesus Christ for your sins. He is no longer at war with you over your sinful nature.

But the question now is, “Are you at peace with God?” Being at peace with God means that you have spiritual peace. It means that you have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.

If that is not your story yet, let this Christmas season be that opportunity you have been waiting for to be connected back to God. Without having spiritual peace, or simply put, without being reconciled to God, peace in other areas of your life may continue to elude you.  Therefore, “Yield now and be at peace with Him; Thereby good will come to you” Job 22:1.

2. Make peace with yourself

Once you have made peace with God, the next natural experience you should have is peace within yourself. Being at peace with yourself means that you have emotional peace – inner peace.

The main reason you are not at peace with yourself is because you are not at peace with God. But if you have made peace with God, it is high time you allowed the peace of God to rule your heart.

Be at peace with yourself because God is at peace with you now. Forgive yourself of your shortcomings because God has already forgiven you.

Peace at Christmas

3. Make peace with other people

If you make peace with God and you are at peace with yourself, there is no reason you should not seek to be at peace with other people around you. Seize this special season to forgive the people who might have offended you. 

I know you cannot force other people to be at peace with you. But you can at least ensure that you are at peace with other people, within your own capacity.

Free yourself! Free your mind of grudges towards people around you!

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” Romans 12:18. That’s the extent of your responsibility.

“As far as it depends on you…” – that’s the pivotal phrase – live at peace with people this Christmas and beyond.

Above that, you can trust in the promise of God for relational peace which assures us that “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” Proverbs 16:7.


© Copyright 2018| Victor Uyanwanne

Bartimaeus: 9 Inspirational Lessons From A Blind Man

the story of blind Bartimaeus

Meet the unstoppable man of faith

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!”

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If You Are Blind, But Can You Hear?

Lessons from Blind Bartimaeus

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.

Victor Uyanwanne writes on lessons from blind Bartimaeus

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

5 Good Ways Being Grateful For Your Salvation Will Impact Your Life

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!

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Peter, Jesus and the Question of Forgiveness

Forgiveness

The 7 Times Forgiveness Question and the Surprising Answer

The Gospel of Matthew (18:21-22) has a record of an important conversation between Peter and Jesus which bothered on the question of forgiveness.

Peter had sought a validation from Jesus on his belief about the subject of forgiveness. But beyond Peter’s wildest expectation, Jesus taught him and the other disciples an expanded lesson of a lifetime.

Was Peter simply trying to show that he was magnanimous, or he merely wanted to validate his 7 times forgiveness theology? Either way, Jesus had him covered.

Validating your beliefs

When you seek information to validate your beliefs, one of two things can happen if you eventually find the truth:

1. If your belief about a subject is right and you come to find the truth, your belief will be validated by the truth you have discovered;

2. But if your belief is wrong, the truth you find will burst your bubble, deflate your ego. But you will be a better person if you would take dressing from it.

Peter’s experience

The second scenerio was the one faced by Peter in the conversation with Jesus concerning forgiveness:

Peter: Lord, how many times should I forgive my neighbour when they offend me? Is it seven times?

Jesus: Peter, I did not tell you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Wow! Peter was dazed by that response. He just learnt that 7 times forgiveness offered to someone is not magnanimous enough. Four hundred and ninety times was Jesus’ new standard measure.

Of course Jesus was not limiting forgiveness to only 490 times. But that was not what Peter expected to hear. He got the lesson anyway.

Some credits to Peter please?

Despite this shocking revelation from Jesus, I think we should still give Peter some credits here.

First he knew that he ought to forgive his neighbours when they offend him. But he got it wrong when he thought that a neighbor deserves to be forgiven only seven times and not more.

We can see that Peter’s focus was on himself and what he had the capacity to do, without knowing that with a relationship with Jesus Christ, he could have the capacity to forgive infinitely.

Perhaps he had reckoned that he could forgive a person only seven times and nothing more because he couldn’t imagine that one should go on and on doling out forgiveness limitlessly. As we saw, Jesus stretched the limits farther than Peter had imagined.

Another thing we should give Peter some credits for is that he willingly held out his belief about forgiveness against the light of the truth to be revealed by his Master.

I wouldn’t say Peter was testing his popularity by the question he asked. But rather, I can say he was on a quest for the truth. And it paid off because Jesus had the real truth about forgiveness to neighbour revealed to him in a way that he (Peter) never knew.

But then, this revelation of 490 times forgiveness rattled Peter’s theology, deflated his ego and settled the issue once and for all.

What is your take on the number of times we should forgive? 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

I Can’t Convince You There is God

God exists

I believe there is a God who loves me.
I know Him as my heavenly Father.
I came to know Him by faith,
Faith in His Son Jesus Christ alone.

I say to you there is God in heaven
But you wouldn’t believe me one bit
All you ever do is scoff at the holy idea
That there is a God who made all things.

You see the Sun, the Moon and the Stars;
The Oceans and seas, trees and the wild…
All are enough proofs there must be a God
But you chose to believe what you want.

no one can convince you there is God

You say it is foolishness to believe God exists.
But truly, the fool is the one who believes not.
Trusting in your worldly wisdom
You are ending up being a big fool.

You said to convince you there is God
But no matter how much I try to do so
You wouldn’t see the sense in my point of view
Because your mind is closed to spiritual truth.

How long wouldn’t you believe there’s God?
How long can you live without believing God exists?
Don’t you know even your breadth is from God?
Remember one day you would be gone from here.

I can’t convince you there is God
You’ll have to discover Him by yourself.
And your lifetime is the only chance you’ve got
It’ll be too late once you’ve crossed the Rubicon.

 

©Copyright 2018 | Victor Uyanwanne

Being A Cultural Christian Is Not Enough

Can you be a cultural christian?
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m a Christian atheist.” How possible is that?

Recently, I heard something on an international news channel that I consider worth talking about here. An aged author and ostensibly an intellectual man who was being interviewed about a book he wrote (amongst other things) was asked:

“You are an atheist and a Christian. How is that possible?”

“I’m a cultural Christian: I’m a Christian by my culture, but not one by my belief,” he replied.

Really? An atheist and Christian in the same breadth?

Can someone be a Christian who does not believe in God?

The answer is obvious!

Unfortunately, this man in question is not the only one making this type of “cultural” mistake. There are people around the world who think that they are Christians simply because of the home or geographical location they were born into.

Those things as factors may exert some influences on who you become but they are not what will make you a Christian. And of course, being a Christian goes beyond being born into, or living in, any of the so-called christian nations.

I would like to further explore this topic in subsequent posts, but here it suffices to say that being a Christian is not about the culture you were born into or the one you live in. It is about you having a personal relationship with God through faith in His son Jesus Christ.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

John 1:12

Unlike the man mentioned above, it is not enough to to see yourself as a cultural Christian; you should be a Christian by heart as well.

In the first place, being a Christian presupposes that you believe in God. And in fact, a Christian does not only believe in God, he or she also believes in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

It is therefore a mistaken identity to be called a Christian if you don’t believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.

What do you think?

©Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

How Did Jesus Handle Favourable Public Opinion?

Jesus did not entrust Himself to the people.

In a previous post, we reasoned that you should not live your life by the dictates of public opinion. Frustration will be inevitable if you let your decisions in life be driven by opinions of the public rather than your life’s purpose.

It does not mean that public opinion will not favour you at times. But you should still embrace it with caution if it happens to go in your favour at any point in time.

You cannot afford to ride comfortably on the tide of public opinion for too long. You can learn that lesson from the example of Jesus Christ.

During His life and ministry on Earth, Jesus faced a lot of persecutions from both the religious leaders of His day and sometimes from members of the public. At various times, He saw Himself at the receiving end of negative criticisms.

But He had it good on some occasions too. For instance, at the celebration of Passover in Jerusalem at one time, Jesus performed many wonderful miracles. As a result, many people in that city came to believe in Him (as the Messiah). In other words, public opinion at that point in time was fully in His favour.

But how did Jesus handle the favourable public opinion?

  • He lingered more than necessary in Jerusalem to enjoy the favourable public opinion? No!
  • He commended the people for speaking good of Him? No!
  • He rode on the tide of the favourable public opinion to promote Himself and His ministry? No!
  • He began to base His ministry’s decisions on favourable public opinions? No!
  • He was completely carried away so much so that He miss-stepped in His missions? No!
  • Did He need or use the favourable public opinion to massage His ego? No!
  • Did he consent to the people to make Him king prematurely? No.

Jesus knew His true identity and so did not require public opinion to validate it. He was too “purpose driven” to be influenced by the vagaries of the opinions of the teeming crowd.

The Gospel of John tells us clearly how Jesus handled​ public opinion:

But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. John 2:24-25.

Do you get the picture now? Even when public opinion was favourable to Him, Jesus did not entrust Himself to the people. Simply put, He did not reckon with public opinion. He remained who He was even in the face of His rising public acceptance in Jerusalem at that point in time.

As you can see, Jesus did not allow public opinion to direct His life. He remained focused. That’s a big lesson for you and I to learn from.

You should not let favourable opinions about you get into your head. If you do, you might be carried away with pride more than you can handle. And if you relish positive public opinion so much, negative public opinion (which are inevitable) will definitely hurt you.

Unlike Jesus, you do not even know people in and out so you cannot always be sure of their intentions. Besides, it does not mean that the crowd that gives you a favourable rating today will not turn against you in future.

Just like they did to Jesus, those who praise you today will be there to ‘crucify’ you tommorrow.

Jesus did not entrust Himself to the crowd, neither should you. Let your trust be in God only, because Psalms 118:8 tells us, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans.”

Have you ever been faced with a favourable public opinion? How did you handle it?

© Copyright 2017 | Victor Uyanwanne

 

13 Kinds Of People Jesus Encountered On His Way To The Cross

The way to the Cross of Jesus
People Jesus met on His way to the Cross.

Jesus Christ encountered many kinds of people on the day He was crucified. This post takes a close look at the roles played by these people from the time of Jesus trial to His eventual crucifixion.

1. The elders and the chief priests

These were the religious power brokers wielding tremendous influence over the people and the government of the day. Over time, this strict sect of people became offended with Jesus because they felt threatened by His rising popularity and the way He has been tackling them on various contentious issues.

They were losing followers to Jesus. And the more accepted Jesus became amongst the people, the less relevant it appeared that these revered religious group became. Out of sheer envy, they delivered Jesus to governor Pilate to have Him destroyed.

They conspired to have Jesus crucified and they had their way, without knowing they were fulfilling a divine purpose. That is why Apostle Paul while speaking of divine wisdom to the Corinthians quipped, “None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8)

Yes, the Lord of Glory was crucified over spurious charges leveled against Him by this sect of unloving religious kingpins.

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