The Lord Jesus Christ said,

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (            Matt. 5:14-16 NKJV)

God created light first so that it may illuminate other creations. Without light, other creations would not be visible; shape and color would not be recognized. That is why, scientifically, light contains all the colors and without the light we cannot differentiate between colors. When light hits a creation, the creation is revealed with its shape and colors. Contrarywise, the absence of color(light) is complete darkness.

Scripturally, Light symbolizes truth and righteousness, the true word of God that has been sown into our lives. This word has transformed and renewed our mind to do the will of God. We also must spread on this word to future generation.

How do we get this light?

The Bible states that Jesus is the true light (Jn. 1:4-9), He gave this light to everyone that came into this world. Jesus Himself confirms it that He is the light of the world and that all those that follow him will not walk in darkness but have the light of life (Jn. 8:12).

To be light to the world is to open the eyes of the world (people living in the world) to turn them from darkness to light and from power of the devil to God (Acts 26:18). However, the first thing that must happen is to see yourself first through the light, stem yourself into that real source of light – Jesus, before you can be a light to the world.

The amount of the word of God you know and your compliance to that word which you know determines the amount of light you carry. The more the word of God you know the brighter you are and the more you can impact the world. So, read the word, meditate on it, act it and allow the Holy Spirit to direct and empower you; then, your light will be seen by all.

Jesus wants to shine through you, use you to communicate His message (the gospel) to the world since you yourself have received the light. You are to illuminate and enlighten the eye of the understanding of the world, and to keep the world away from deceivers who wants to keep them in perpetual darkness.

How does our light shine?

  • Hold fast to the word of life – scripture and preach the word (Matt.28:19-20)
  • You must be outstanding after understanding the word of God and then distinguish yourself away from the world because the world is full of evil and perversity (Dan. 6:3)
  • Do your best in the will of God without complaining or disputing
  • Be harmless but be wise (Matt.10:16)
  • Display godly character and behavior that is worthy of emulation and pleasing unto God.
  • “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2Cor. 6:14). This is not to hate or having nothing to do with them; but even among them, you must display Christian virtues that will deliver them from darkness into the light. you must separate yourself from every ungodly practice and evil appearance.
  • Your light is more evident in your thinking, utterances and action. When it is rightly displayed according to the scripture, it will have positive effect and changes on the world.
  • Your light must glow steadily without flame; what do I mean? As a Christian who is preaching the gospel and you want to change life, you must not be a condemning disciple, but a light that attracts and bringing people to Christ.
  • Your physical appearance must be appealing and tasty, not to be scary, condemning or worldly. However, your appearance must be accompanied with love, peace, joy, happiness etc. – reflecting the fruit of the spirit (Gal.5:22-25)
  • Being a light, you are to show the way and life to the world. Jesus is the light, the way and life. The gospel must be preached

You are an epistle of Christ that must shine

The intensity of your light and its coverage depends on your growth in the faith which will result to your zeal to enlighten the world. “…let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phi. 1:27); “be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1Tim 4:12).

Don’t be a Christian without touching the life of another person, that is the evidence of your obedience to the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus admonishes us to be light to the world, to glow; there is no Christianity in hiding; hence, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden (Matt. 5:16).

            “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men” (2Cor. 3:2)

By Lawrence Abitogun


“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1Pet. 5:8-10).

There are three kinds of enemies that you must beware of because they are very close to you and you are not likely to see them or thinking they can harm you. These enemies are not new to many older people due to their experience; but to the youth of this generation who have no secret but to expose all their life being on social media without knowing the danger behind, These enemies are there watching them, looking for an opportunity to steal, kill or to destroy their vision, dream, plan or their goal (Jn. 10:10). These enemies are,

  1. An inevitable relation
  2. Your confidant/associate
  3. The unknown spy

An inevitable relation

An inevitable relation enemy is a blood or distance family member attached to you in one way or the other whom you cannot avoid. Example – husband to wife, father or mother to children, sibling to sibling, cousin to cousin, in-law to in-law, nephew to uncle, niece to aunt etc. these relatives can be enemies to one another if they are not spiritually alert.

The bible states,

“For son dishonors father,
Daughter rises against her mother,
Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.” (Matt.10:36)

Biblical examples

  • Cain killed his brother Abel because his (Cain) offering was not accepted
  • Jacob and Rebecca robbed Esau of the first-born inheritance – a mother and one of a set of twins against the other one of the set.
  • Joseph’s brothers sold him as slave in order to kill his(Joseph) dream
  • Samson was delivered to his enemy by his wife
  • Absalom forcefully dethroned his father David as king over Israel

There is a saying that the nearer the blood, the bloody they can be. Is this always true? Sometimes, it is; as it was, so it is, and so it will be until the end of this age. Let us look at three examples from the Bible.

 Son to father relationship

Can David separate himself from Absalom, Father to son relationship? Absalom killed his brother Ammnon and later eyed the kingship throne while his father David was still ruling. He drove his father from the throne.

Sibling to sibling relationship

One of the problems that put people in trouble comes as a result of their unguarded utterances and openness. If Joseph had known that his brothers were envious of him and that they can plan evil against him, he wouldn’t have told his dream to his brothers. You must be spiritually sensitive every moment and be secrecy about things pertaining to you. This is not about lying to someone who asked you about the secret to your well-being, but you are safeguarding your destiny.

Husband to wife relationship

Do not succumb to pressure to leak your secret or the secret to your success; keep your secret and let people see your blessing. Samson was pressurized by Timnah to tell the secret to the riddles he posed to his enemies. Hence, Samson said to the philistines (his enemies),

“If you had not plowed with my heifer

You would not have solved my riddle” (Jug. 14:18)

Who can be closer to one another than husband and wife; of a fact the long-lasting relationship anyone can have on earth before death is the relationship between spouses and is the only inheritance that each one of them can have and no one can take it away from them unless both decided to separate or until death do them part.

Twice, Samson succumbs to pressure and leaked the secret of his power; this is husband to wife relationship. Beware, do not be enticed with smooth and persuasive word; sanctify your ears to keep it from listening to untrue statements or unholy pressure.

Your confidant/associate

Do not trust in a friend; Do not put youconfidence in a companion; Guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your bosom (Micah 7:5).

Do not put your trust in a confidant

Ahitophel was the grandfather of Uriah, whom David sent to be killed in war front because he committed adultery with his wife Bathsheba. Ahitophel was a close associate and counselor to David when things were good between them. Because of what David did to Bathsheba, the daughter in-law of Ahitophel, he decamped to join Absalom to unseat David from the throne as a revenge. People that you lean upon and trust will disappoint you when the occasion arises. Therefore, be on guard and be sensitive

Do not put your trust in a friend

Many will pose to be your friend, but they supplant you behind (1Sam. 23:17). Your friend may pose as a uniform associate (doing things in common, drinking and merry together) but enemy of progress. The moment favor placed you above their cadre, by default, they developed a hostile attitude toward you out of envy and jealousy. Do not put your trust or confidence in a friend. A friend can remain a friend until you offend or disappoint him/her; then you will see the other side of that friend.

A friend can be so crafty to the extent of pushing you to commit sin and leave you to suffer the consequence alone (2Sam. 13:1-15). Who is your friend? Are they friends that are immoral, indecent or wayward; be sensitive and discern who they are.

A friend who inclines at exacting and committing evil is not worth associating with; a friend who is always condemning others and preventing people from coming close to you for his/her selfish reason is not worth associating with; separate yourself from such.

Beware of Master and subordinate relationship

Saul wanted to kill David because of his fame, because he (David) was outstanding for doing what others could not do. David was more preferred than Saul by the people; this led to enmity and the reason why Saul was seeking to kill David. This is the same David whom Saul had requested permission from his father to stay with him and David is a close friend of Jonathan his son.

Your immediate boss may pretend to like you, but he is envious or jealous of you; maybe you are more knowledgeable or thinking you might be favored more to take a position that is higher than his. Such a superior will be setting trap for you to make mistake. In short, he will be looking for your downfall.

Your boss in your place of work may not like you for the reason of race, gender, color but will retain you because he is deriving something that he cannot find somewhere else from you. The moment he/she finds someone he likes that can do what he is deriving from you, you will be relieved of your job.

It could be the other way around; your subordinate may be looking for your downfall because he is eyeing your position. This is unavoidable enemy because he/she is your coworker. You must the sensitive and be on guard through prayer.

Life scenario

I used to be a General Manager of a company; some get to this position by merit, some get there by the virtue of trust (security reason), and some get there by seniority. I believed mine was based on security reason. I worked for the company to the best of my knowledge, ability and with the fear of God. I did not keep back a penny that belongs to the company. I tried to work with every worker in the company as a team rather than being a boss. This is the way I was taught and the best way the company can make progress.

Moreover, whenever I hold meetings with heads of department, some will cooperate, give suggestions and report to me. As the GM, I see most of the happenings in the company and if there are problems, my job is to find solutions. That was the reason I was made the GM in the first place. However, in a situation where the problem is beyond what I can handle, then I will take the matter to the directors or to the chairman of the company.

There are some heads of department that I sometimes place above others, to them I always confide in on some confidential matters. These heads will go behind me to the Chairman and suggested to him what I have in mind to tell him. Sometimes, they go there to say contrary things against me; other times, whenever I laid down a rule that does not favor them, they quickly go to the Chairman to tell lies against me of what does not happen. All just to create an impression that will make them receive favor from the Chairman.

This is an example of what happened to Daniel (Dan, 6:1-24). But through prayer unto my God, I prevailed over their evil plan.

The unknown spy

An enemy who spies on you; you don’t know them, they are agents; they can be human being or spirit being (principalities, demonic powers, spiritual rulers in high place). Biblical example is Doeg, 1Sam. 21:7. Doeg is a monitoring agent for Saul who reported to Saul that he saw David being given the show bread. Brethren, there are satanic agents around that are closer to you than you thought. You cannot see them, but they operate in the unseen. Thanks to God Almighty whose protection is always over us. These agents are looking for the slightest opportunity to strike a child of God.

The Bible states,

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place” (Eph.6:10-12).

Again, the scripture states

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds” (2Cor.10:4)

Therefore, according to the scripture, we need to put on the whole armor of God to defeat these agents (Eph. 6:10-18)

Finally

A kiss to a betrayal

Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve, he betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ with a kiss. An enemy who posed to be a friend, a close associate who ate in the same plate with the Lord; if this could happen to Jesus, how much more will happen to you a mortal man; be on guard. He was paid to betray Jesus Christ; unrighteous gain which he did not enjoy at the end.

The scripture states,

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1Tim.6:10).

Mammon has become the god of this age and the quest for money has become the root and causes for many blood relatives to betray themselves. Father or mother is not safe in the hand of their children because of their wealth; siblings are envious and jealous of one another because of the accomplishment of the other; distance relation organized crime against an outstanding member of the family. 99% of evils committed today are related to quest for money.

What then can we do?

The scripture states,

“… Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matt.10:16b).

There is the need to use our common sense to check out those that surrounds us. There is the need to be sensitive and keep our antenna up and watch out for any uncommon signals received from people around us; especially, people of our house hold. Do not allow sentiment to prevail over spiritual prompting in choosing whom we should allow to get close to us. The righteous should choose his/her friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray (Pro.12:26).

To be wise as serpent and humble (gentle) as dove is the way to deal with any inevitable enemy, whatever their relationship may be.

To be wise as serpent

It means your sensory must be functioning properly. Snake sensory organs picks up thermal reading. Snake discerns what others don’t see; hears or smell in the natural; scents particles in the air with their tongue: as it can discern, so it is a supplanter (it overthrows its enemy as soon as it discerns)

As a Christian, you must be able to discern with the power of the Holy Spirit, see beyond the surface and know the spirit and heart motive behind the people around you.

To be gentle as dove

The dove represents the symbol of peace. You are to transmit, make and let your peace rest and abide on people that the Holy Spirit approves. As the transmitter of peace, you cannot be harmful, but be a dove filled with the Holy Spirit and be a carrier of peace toward all. However, not everyone will accept this peace. In that case, you will activate the snake sensory organ and change your course from them.

Sometimes, you cannot avoid them – your sibling, your children, your spouse, your parents, in-laws etc.; you can receive them with all gentleness, not driving them away; however, you must be wise enough as to how you deal with them and seal off all areas by which they can enter your life – prayer/fasting.

Have a good knowledge of people that are close to you, at home or at work; where they are going, their activities, how their utterances match their behavior. A lie from any one close to you is a signal of danger, resist and distance from such.

How to overcome these inevitable enemies

  • Be vigilant and sober – 1Pet.5:8
  • Be spiritually at alert
  • Dissociate from bad company – 1Cor. 15:33
  • Keep your secret to yourself
  • Be swift to hear and slow to answer – Jas. 1:19
  • Do not give a place for satan to take advantage of you – Eph. 4:27; 2Cor. 2:11
  • Wear the whole armor of God – Eph. 6:10-18
  • Consult only God with your problem – Ps. 40:4
  • Seek God’s counsel or guidance for your quests
  • Weigh all human counsel and guidance in the will of God before you act
  • Keep your heart with all diligence – Pro.4:23
  • Keep doing what is right and do not get worried about these enemies – Is. 41:10-16
  • Do not put your confidence in man or the order of this world- Ps. 146:3; Rom. 12:2
  • Stay away from any associate that is always negative about your good ideas
  • Focus on Jesus to lead you through life.

Prayers

  • That God will deliver you from all inevitable blood relations who are your enemies but posed to be friends
  • That God will deliver you from distance relations who are your enemies.
  • That God will deliver you from any inevitable associate that is eyeing your position and wanting to unseat you and take over that position
  • That God will reveal all the secret plans and the evil motives that are planed against you by all inevitable enemies
  • For grace to be sensitive and acting according to the prompting of the Holy Spirit concerning these inevitable enemies
  • That God will foul and bring to nothing every plan of the enemy who posed to be a friend

So shall it be in Jesus name.

By Lawrence Abitogun


 

“Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;
When I fall, I will arise;
When I sit in darkness,
The Lord will be a light to me”. (Micah 7:8)

The Bible encourages us to restore anyone who is overtaken in any trespass with a spirit of gentleness; why? We need to consider ourselves lest we also fall into temptation of a similar trespass (Gal.6:1-5). However, we are to think good of our neighbor how we can bring him/her back to God.

Why should someone rejoice in the downfall of his/her neighbor; especially, in the downfall of close relation? Sometimes, the rejoicing degenerated to the point of despising the trespasser. It does not even stop at that point; it is the intention of the despiser for the trespasser not to be alive.

In the book of Obadiah, the people of Edom were happy at the captivity of Israel by their enemy. The captivity came as a result of Israel’s sin against God. The fact that Israel was punished for her sin does not mean that Edom was more righteous than Israel. Also, Israel’s captivity does not give Edom the right to despise her. We all know that Edom is the descendant of Esau, brother of Jacob; why should blood relations be happy at the calamity of other relation

If this happens between close relations, how would it be between distance relations and those that are not even close at all? But as Christians, we all belong to each other; we are connected and bound by love through our Lord Jesus Christ; we are one.

What are the reasons that would make someone to despise his relative, neighbor or another human being?

  • Assumption of having physical security – power, riches/wealth, armed or intelligence – trusting in earthly security
  • Envy and jealousy – of things others have and they don’t.
  • Resentment and unforgiving – seeking revenge
  • pride – the feeling of superiority over the others

These reasons and more may generate hostility among one another if care is not taken; we must allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thought so that it will not build an evil stronghold in our heart.

The scenario of Edom rejoicing over Israel

When the Israelites were being carried away captive,

  • Edom joined Israel’s enemy to attack Israel;
  • Edom laugh Israel to scorn instead for them to sympathized with them; they reproached, mocked, ridicule, disparaged and despised them
  • Edom helped the enemy to reveal the Israelites hideouts;
  • Edom delivered Israelites who crossed to their territory over back to their enemy; and
  • They possessed what the Israelites left behind.

Edom was doing all these ridiculous things as if they themselves were not guilty of the sin for which their fellow brothers were being punished for (Rom. 3:9). The scripture states “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

The scenario of Job being despised by his friends

Most of us know what befell Job was permitted by God, not for destruction but to confirm His testimony of Job as a righteous man; also, it is a test of Job’s faith. Many times, we don’t know the cause of whatever someone is going through, and the next line of action by human being toward that person is to rejoice over the person or tagging the situation as being the reward of sin.

Job’s friends initially sympathized with him, but later turned around to call him a wicked man and that he was suffering for his sin. Sometimes we have to be careful about inputting meaning into what we don’t know. The more reason we must not rejoice over anyone that seems to be going through one problem or the other.

God’s benevolence mercy changes ugly situations

If God has not cursed you, whatever unpleasant situation you may be going through is temporary. Many times, we go through certain situations only for God to draw us nearer to Him or sometimes for our own safety.

The Lord condemned the accusation of Job’s friends that they spoke nothing they know of Him. God penalized Job’s friends and commanded them to sacrifice a burnt offering and have Job to pray for them. At the end God Himself justified Job as the only one who spoke well of Him.

The Lord blessed Job twice as much as what he had before his crisis (this is after he had prayed for his friends – forgiveness). This is God’s benevolence mercy in action. He stretches it toward anyone who turn back unto Him without partiality.

It is not good for a Christian to despise a fellow Christian; it is not even good to do it to an unbeliever. Our God is the God for all. You never know, your good response to others in time of trouble may heal their wound and turn him/her to God.

Whatever any reason a person is being punished for is not meant to destroy such a person, but to bring him/her to repentance. Do not be happy at your brothers down fall, because God is able to reverse the situation of your enemy to fall on you.

Beware

God’s judgment on a person or a nation or someone in distress should not be an avenue for reproach, yelling, mocking, scorning, disparaging, ridiculing or being happy at their calamity; rather, it calls for you to beware and caution yourself so that you don’t fall into a similar situation (1Cor. 10:12).

Don’t rejoice at the fall of your brother or neighbor; rather, pray for them that they may repent and be in good stand with God again.

Is anyone rejoicing over your downfall or over your downtime or over the moment at which God is bringing you back to Himself? All you must do is to be like the prodigal son who said, “I will go back to my Father”. The book of Micah 7:18-20 states, “Who is a God like You…”

  • He will pardon your iniquity
  • Passing over your transgression
  • Does not retain His anger forever
  • He is merciful
  • He is compassionate
  • He will subdue your iniquity
  • He will cast your sin into the depth of the sea

God is ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. When you come back to Him through our Lord Jesus Christ, you will rejoice in God and you will have a refreshing moment before Him, because He will establish you again (Obadiah 17)

All you need to do

  • Do not allow your situation to cause anger that will cause you to sin (Ps. 4:4; Eph. 4:26)
  • Use the moment to meditate on the word of God
  • Put your trust in the Lord, who has relieved you of previous distress and He will do it again
  • When you put your trust in God, there is that confidence built in you that you will overcome your reproach; you will dwell in safety; you will not fear but to rejoice over again in the Lord.

The scripture states

“When the Lord brought back [a]the captivity of Zion,
We were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with singing.
Then they said among the [b]nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
And we are glad” (Ps. 126:1-3).

Pray these prayers.

  • Grace to stay away from sin to fall on you
  • God to deliver you from the power of sin
  • God to protect and prevent you from anything that can bring shame or reproach on you
  • God to return the wishes of your despiser upon them
  • Grace to please God and do His will to overwhelm your life.

God will shame those who rejoice over you.

By Lawrence Abitogun






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