HOW WOULD ONE KNOW THAT A CHALLENGE IS AS A RESULT OF SIN?

 

QUESTION

How would one know that a challenge is as a result of sin? 

P.E.

Warri

 

Pst. Gavin’s response:

It is the Spirit of God in the believer that convicts us of sin. Besides, God has put conscience in every man to convict man of sin. However, some person’s conscience is either dead or inactive (suppressed) that it doesn't convict them anymore. 

If the cause of a problem is sin, God will always reveal it to the believer. It is actually on rare occasions will God reveal it to another person to tell the believer. That is, when the victim is not sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

But beware of the voice of the devil that tends to speak guilt to your heart.


So, how do you know that the cause of a problem is sin? 

1. By the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

2. By exposing your heart constantly to God's word.

As you dwell and meditate on God's word, you will be able to relate what you read in God's word with what you are going through.

3. Praying to God to reveal the cause of the problem will also help.          


Mind you, sometimes, "small" sins (like unforgiveness, bitterness, greed, lies, et cetera) can lead to crisis in our lives. Not necessarily the “big sins” for such are obvious and besides, a child of God rarely commits such.

Let me share my experience on how "small" sins caused problems in my first year in marriage.

There were a lot of conflicts and misunderstanding in my first year in marriage that even little things that would have been overlooked would often lead to conflicts.

I never liked it and I blamed it on my wife, thinking I am a good person, besides I told myself, "I was only trying to enforce the right values in my home as the head of the family." But it was not helping matters.

Not until I prayed over this frequent misunderstanding in my marriage that did the Spirit of God begin to convict me of the sin of IMPATIENCE and INTOLERANCE that was in me.

If the Lord had not revealed this to me, one might think that it was the work of witches and wizards. But thank God, the cause of the problem was unveiled.

So, I took a practical step to work on myself and overcame it. Although it took me time, thanks to God, I am no longer where I was. This step really helped my marriage greatly.

SHOULD A CHRISTIAN EAT SALAH FOOD?

 

QUESTION

Pastor Gavin,

As a Christian, is there anything bad if I eat the food of a Muslim or other religion during their time of celebration, for example eating Salah food?

M. F.

Warri


ANSWER

As believers you must bear in mind that being a Christian does not and should not make you an enemy to any man irrespective of the man's religion. Besides, LOVE for all men is a cardinal virtue of our Faith. And this love transcends religion.

And love is expressed not only in giving but also in receiving. Thus, you receive from those you really love.

Hence, if you claim to love someone but reject the food that the person gives to you because of his religious affiliation, it is considered that you don't love the person in the first place. So, how can you win such a person to the Christian faith? For the person will feel rejected by you for not receiving from him.

One of the training most Christian missionaries are given is that they should accept and receive the food that their hosts give to them, even if they are idol worshipers. Receiving such, denote that they love their hosts, and can in turn preach to them.

What the scripture clearly spoke against is FOOD THAT ARE SACRIFICED TO IDOL. Not because it can have any effect on us or on our faith. But it is simply because of others that are not believers and also because of those who are not mature in the faith.

“But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:” 1 Corinthian 10:28

Hence, we are not expected to accept and eat foods that are sacrificed to any idols or gods, because of the people around who would think that we are associating with their gods and that we approve of their worship or sacrifice.

But if it is not sacrificed to any idols or gods, you are free to receive such foods from Muslim or any idol worshipper.

As for the Muslim celebration called Salah, I don't know if they actually sacrifice the Salah food to their gods. If they do, I won't advise you to eat. It is better to respectfully reject the food.

But if you are in a situation whereby you can't reject the food, eating it will not have any effect on your faith, except you are not spiritually mature.

But avoid the error of collecting the food and throwing it away behind closed doors. That is wickedness and hypocrisy. If you don't want to eat it, say it to the person rather than receiving the food and discarding it behind closed doors.


For Further Reading, Study The Following Scriptures


1 Corinthians 8:4-13.

 4  As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

5  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

7  Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

8  But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

9  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

 10  For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

11  And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

12  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

13  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

 

1 Corinthians 10:19-33

19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

20  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

21  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.

22  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

23  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

24  Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.

25  Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

26  For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.

27  If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

28  But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:

29  Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?

30  For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

33  Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

WHO DID CAIN MARRY

 


QUESTION:

Pastor Gavin, who was Cain’s wife? Was Cain’s wife his sister?"

S. A, Lagos.

 

ANSWER:

16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.

17 And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch.

Genesis 4:16-17.

The first time anything about Cain's wife was mentioned in the Bible was in Genesis 4:17. And the verse didn't suggest that he got married after or before Abel's death.

Verse 16 of Genesis chapter 4 did not say that Cain got married in Nod. Rather, it was in Nod that he impregnated his wife to give birth to Enoch. 

The Bible did not specifically say who Cain married or who his wife was.

It is important to recognize these silent points I just raised from the above scripture.

So, who did Cain marry?

The only possible answer is that Cain’s wife was his sister or niece.

The Bible does not say how old Cain was when he killed Abel (Genesis 4:8). There is the possibility that both of them were full-grown adults and that they had their own family before Abel was killed.

If that is a possibility, then it is likely that before Abel's death, there were more than 4 persons on earth which the Bible never gave account of, which is not unusual.

Not forgetting that the Bible gives priority to recording the names of men more than women, except if the Bible wants to say something about or around the woman.

Besides, the Bible recorded that Adam and Eve gave birth to other Children beside Cain and Abel.

"And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:"

Genesis 5:4

So, the possibility of Cain getting married to either his sister or niece is there.

Even the fact that Cain was scared for his own life after he killed Abel (Genesis 4:14) indicates that there were likely many other children and perhaps even grandchildren of Adam and Eve already living at that time.

Since Adam and Eve were the first (and only) human beings according to the account in the Bible, their children would have no other choice than to intermarry. God did not forbid inter-family marriage until much later when there were enough people to make intermarriage unnecessary (Leviticus 18:6-18). 

HOW TO SET YOUR FOCUS ARIGHT

 

Pst. Gavin Aleogho

1. By Focusing On Jesus

"[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity],"

Hebrews 12:2a AMP

Focusing on God helps you to cut off the many distractions that the devil throws at you. Focusing on Jesus puts the fear of God in you, which invariably gives birth to the wisdom of God in you for a successful life.

You will agree that there are many things fighting for your attention, but if you learn to focus on God through His Son Jesus, everything will fall in place.

Besides, then will you be able to clearly define your goals and purpose in life.

 

2. Set-Up Clear Goals

At different points in your life, you must learn to set up SMART goals that are aimed at helping you to get to your proposed destination. This will start by having a clear purpose for your life. If you are having challenges with setting a clear goal for your life, know that a relationship with God will help you in this regard. You might also need to speak with a Counselor. If you need to consult a Counselor in this regard, I am available to help you.

When you have no idea where you are going, then it becomes very easy to be carried away with the wind of pleasure that comes, but when your goals are set clearly, you will be able to keep your focus.

 

3. Avoid Distraction

Allowing distractions in your life will either slow you down to your purpose or it will stop you from getting to your glorious destiny. You must learn to take charge of your life by not yielding the control of your life to another and by having the right priority in life, putting people and things where they belong.

 

4. Daily Habits

Success in life doesn’t come as magic! You can only achieve your goals by developing daily habits of productive activities that will bring you closer to achieving your goals on a daily basis.

You should ask yourself, “what should I be doing daily, that will bring me closer to my destiny?”

If you are a student, developing the habit of daily reading and studying is a good habit you should form.

Depending on your field and goal, look for the habits that you can cultivate to make you outstanding in your field.

Taking giant steps in life is good, but developing a productive daily habit is a steady path to attaining it.

 

5. Develop Discipline

To stay focused in the pursuit of your goal, you must be disciplined. Discipline is necessary because you will not always be motivated. You will have reasons to quit, but discipline will keep you on track.

It is good to have wonderful goals, but if you lack discipline, you will never attain your goal. The level of success you will ever achieve is determined by the level of your discipline.

Discipline will sure help you to stay focused.

 

6. Surround Yourself with Motivators and Encouragers

"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of Counselors there is safety."

Proverbs 11:14

Surrounding yourself with people of the same value and people that motivate and encourage you towards your goal will help you to stay focused. This is one of the secrets to my success as an individual.

The undoing of most people is that they run away from people that motivate and tell them the truth. This is very dangerous!

Your counselors, mentors and teachers are not just guides to you, but they also serve as guard to you helping you to stay on your line, keeping your focus.

 

7. Have Faith

Another factor that will help you to stay focused is to have faith that despite the uncertainties, you will one day achieve your goals. This is the confidence that things will go well despite the present challenges.

"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."

Mark 9:23

So, stay focused! Never forget that your ability to focus on what matters most will determine your results and your future.

KEEPING YOUR FOCUS

 By Gavin Aleogho

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,"

Philippians 3:13.

One of the factors that can either slow you down or stop you from attaining that glorious goal of yours is lack of focus, otherwise known as distractions. When a person is not focused on his goal, he is guaranteed to fail.

Focus is the concentration of your attention to a course or a goal. It is the channeling of your energy, resources and time in one direction in order to achieve a specific goal.

We all have energy. We all have time. We all have some forms of resources, no matter how small they are. If you can learn to channel your energy and all that you have to just a course, you will be amazed of what you will achieve in life.

A jack of all trade is guaranteed to be master of none; this is because his energy is shattered and depleted. In the same vain, you cannot achieve everything in life. You cannot be everything in life. You must learn to define the course of your life and channel all you have to achieve that course. 

Staying focused will help you to achieve much in your defined course. Even if your strength and resources are small, you can maximize it and achieve much through focus and make the world to notice you. To make a mark in life, focus on one goal and give it all it takes to succeed.

Focus gives you a sense of purpose; it is the fuel that will keep you moving in the right direction. Without which you can easily give in to the many things craving for your attention. 


Signs that you are losing your focus

Some people start well in their chosen endeavour, but as time progresses, they begin to lose focus.  Signs that show you might be losing your focus on your goals are;

1. Loss of interest, joy and satisfaction.

2. Procrastination and daydreaming.

3. Waiting to be motivated.

4. Unwillingness to complete projects.

5. Seeing only difficulties and obstacles.

6. Doubts about your chosen endeavour


The Devil’s Agenda 

It is the devil’s agenda to destroy your life. Besides using spiritual attacks on an individual, one subtle way the devil uses to shatter the lives of many individuals is to break their focus in attaining a particular goal. Satan does this by bringing in distractions, discouragement and presenting alternatives which have immediate gratification.

So, an individual may not experience any “spiritual attack” per se, but when he looks back at the many years of his life, he finds that he has not been able to achieve anything substantial. He has not been able to do anything meaningful with his life. The reason is simply because he never concentrated on achieving a major goal with his life.

See, you only have one life to live, not two lives. Use that one life to pursue one major course. You are sure to succeed if you do that.

 

Focus breakers

Try to avoid the following things that break people’s focus;

1. Distractions.

2. Shortcuts

3. Alternatives.

4. Immediate gratifications.

5. Cares and worries of life.

6. Unwillingness to sacrifice for a course.

7. Lack of discipline.

8. Competition and unhealthy comparison.

 

The effect of lack of focus

When you are not focused in life, you are bound to suffer the following:

1. Loss of time, energy, resources and opportunities.

2. Inability to complete a task or project.

3. Inability to build a solid foundation for the future.

4. It will hinder your greatness.

5. Unfulfillment and a waste of life.

 

What You Ought To Focus On

There are three things you ought to focus on in life, they are;

1. Focus on your relationship with Jesus and on developing your spiritual life.

There are lots of secrets about your life and lots of potentials in you that are not known to you or to any man yet. It is only God your Maker who knows it, and He will unveil such to you when you focus on Him and maintain an intimate relationship with Him.

2. Focus on developing your mind

Your mind is one of the greatest resources that God has given to you. You must learn to develop your mind through feeding it with the right information, because when your mind is deformed, you become deformed.

There is no limitation to what you can become in this life. The only limitation you are experiencing is in your mind. So, focus on developing that mind of yours.

3. Focus on your goals and future

Where are you going in life? What are you aspiring to become? Where do you see yourself in 10, 20, 50years time? Focus all your TIME, ENERGY, RESOURCES to get to that glorious future.

If you are not focused, you won't get there. It will not be because of any spiritual attack. It will only be because you were distracted by temporal pleasures.


Conclusively, for you to claim to be a person who is focused, you must have;

1. A goal (course) you are pursuing.

2. You must be giving all it takes to attain that goal.

3. Anything that doesn't align to your goal should be considered as distraction and discarded.

4. Keep at it and you will get there.


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

Ecclesiastes 9:10.

BREAKING FREE FROM BESETTING SIN

 

Question:

What is your counsel to a believer who is sincerely trying to live right and break free from a particular sin, but keeps falling into the same sin? M. F.  Warri

Pst. Gavin’s response:

This is the reality of many believers. They are not happy about a particular sin. And they are sincerely trying to come out from it, but they keep falling into it.

The person does not need deliverance as some may suppose. They don’t need a devil to be cast out of their life before they can overcome such sin.

Let me give five simple but profound solutions to this problem:


1. Engage your willpower. Be determined to stop the sin.

You must be willing and determined to stop the sin. This decision has to come from within you. Nobody can stop you from doing what you still find pleasure in.

So, the first step to breaking free from any besetting sin is to engage your willpower and be determined to stop it. This is your first step out of any besetting sin.


2. Give your life to Christ and be filled with God's Spirit.

No human can quit sin by his or her own power. But when you sincerely submit your life to the Lordship of Christ and get filled with God's Spirit, then will you be able to do what you naturally could not do by your own human strength.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”

Zachariah 4:6


3. Kill the fuel.

Disconnect from whatever or whoever is making you to keep committing that sin.

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

1Corinthains 15:33 

Take for example, if a person wants to break completely free from the sin of sexual immorality. He or she must disconnect from friends, companies and relationships that lure him into that sin. He must also stop reading, watching and listening to sexually explicit books, movies and music. This must be done INTENTIONALLY.

 

4. Get along with believers

Get along with godly people who you can learn the scripture from and also learn from their lifestyle.

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

Proverbs 27:17 

Influence is powerful. When you get yourself among believers who influence you directly or indirectly with their lifestyle, you will find it easy to change your own lifestyle for the better.

 

5. Renew your mind by the word

Beside the many advantages of reading the Bible, one of the major benefits is in the renewing of the mind.

Collecting and studying scriptures that addresses the challenge you are going through, will help a great deal.

For example, a young man who is battling with the spirit of lust and immorality can get all the scriptures that speak on and against immorality. Studying passages like Proverbs 5, 6 and chapter 7 will help a great deal in this regard.


THE MYTH OF USING THE HARD COPY BIBLE TO CAST OUT DEVILS

 

Question:

Is it right to use the Hard Copy Bible to cast away demons from a person by placing the Bible on the person's head or waving the Bible at the person? M. F. Warri

Pastor Gavin’s response: 

It is wrong to do such. It is not scriptural.

The power of God is neither in the hardcopy Bible nor is the power in the letters of the Bible, for "the letter kills" (2 Corinthians 3:6).

The hardcopy Bible, in and of itself is powerless; it is like every other book in the world. This statement might sound blasphemous to some. But that is the truth. I am not talking about “content wise” but “printing wise”. For the content of the Bible is spiritual, unlike other printed books.

You don't place your mathematics text book on your head to understand mathematics. In like manner, you don't place the Bible on your head to understand it or put it under your pillow so as to wade off evil spirit, even though the Bible is regarded as a holy book.

If the hardcopy Bible actually works as you suppose, we will have been dropping the hardcopy Bible upon mad men for their deliverance. That would have been very easy for anyone to do.

To understand, apply and benefit from your mathematics text book, you must read it and apply the principles to your daily affairs that require counting.

So is the Bible. To benefit from the Bible, it must be read, understood and received into the heart. Afterward, applied to real life situations like casting out of devils.

The content of the Bible must be received into the heart of man and then mixed with his being, before it can be useful to the man.

Although some persons claim to have some results when they used the hardcopy Bible this way, I don't know how true that is. But that could just be a case of exemption due to God’s mercy on the minister’s individual’s ignorance.

Just be aware that there is nowhere in the scripture that instructs us to do such.

It is God's word in a man's heart that produces results. Not the hardcopy Bible.

There is a difference between esteeming God's Word and idolizing the hardcopy Bible. We must avoid the error of idolizing the Bible.


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