Love and Respect



Healthy lifestyle 1


A picture, we’ve been told is worth a thousand words. Pictures speaks volume.


Our relationship with God creates a healthy lifestyle in such a way that God desire continually pours himself into the cup of our life until it overflows with his character and grace. It’s the healthy lifestyle in putting God first and consuming his word. It is in that place of fellowship with him that we release all our  pressure and stress.


In our time of scripture and prayer we create a room for him to fill us.  In that process we are changed.

Romans 12:1.


Inspirational Nugget = Your thought process about God’s word can change you.



He cares for you


Peter asked the question in the storm-troubled-ship. The question points to whether Jesus cared for him and others (Mark 4:38).  He said; “teacher, do you not care that we perish?”

Sometimes,  everyone has a negative thought from time to time. They’re simply the price we pay for living in an imperfect world. And those negative thoughts, when not properly controlled and dominated by God’s positive word, distort the reality of our lives, and weighs us down with overwhelming stress.

The unanswered question is whether those negative thoughts reflects the whole truth of the matter. It doesn’t, because God’s word has made provisions for us in the cross. Like animals help their young, he carries us through life storms.

Can a mother forget her sucking child that she will not have compassion on the child of her womb? Yet the word says; “she may, but God will not forsake us” (Isaiah 49:15). He will always care for us, because he advice us to cast our worries upon him (1 Pet. 5:7).

Open your heart and mind to God’s presence in your life. Remember how he has made things work out well in the past. It is better to have the right perspective, by allowing the creative and productive thought of God’s caring love and grace  flood our heart than wonder in the dark. He cares for us and will always do.


Inspirational Nugget: Banish negative and disparaging self-talk by speaking about God’s caring provision for your  life.


Not the righteous; but sinners

Mark 2:13-20

Not the righteous; but sinners

th2 Not the righteous; but sinners

Jim Rohn, an inspirational speaker, told his audience about the trajectory that occurs in people’s lives.  This time his story was about the Vice –President of a prestigious company. She is currently pulling down a hefty six-figure salary at the time the story was told, but it was not always like that. She has had a string of promotions behind her, and sure, more to come.  Even though she has never asked anyone for money, her decision came one day from the hind sights of rejection and humiliation by someone who had it. According to Rohn:  “as a housewife, one evening, not many years ago, the young housewife realized she didn’t have enough cash on hand to buy some of the groceries she needed for the rest of the week.”
As a stay-at-home mother and wife, she was entirely dependent upon her husband for income. So, when he arrived home from work that evening, she asked him for an extra 10 dollars.”
Hearing the question and request, he turned to her with visible irritation. He heaved a sigh, rolled his eyes, and tauntingly sneered, “What for?”
“Surprised and shocked, she was stung by the contempt in his voice, and by the humiliation she felt at having to grovel for a measly 10 dollars.”
 At the point she made a decision to turn her life and round and never looked back. 
In the text, “Jesus said to them “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. I do not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.”
The master came for the broke, rich and downtrodden.  His message cut across the social status of his days. Powerful enough to get the attention of the scribes that would make them question if he was really the savior.  He never relegated sinners when he knew who they were. His teaching style was transparent enough for the sinners that came around him. They came not to be humiliated and judged by him, but to have fellowship with him. Reading the text, Today, I wonder the type of message we are sharing that propel sinners running far from our fellowships and churches. I question the message that we share that scares and push sinners away from us. It is not our desire to do a soft teaching that keeps you enjoying your sinful condition without acceptance of truth. But for Jesus message to attract people of that social standing he probably could be teaching what we are not yet teaching. Now, who can be more powerful than Jesus?  Jesus message embraced sinners and tax collectors.  There was no exception. He wasn’t there to be like them because he knew who he was. He was there for a purpose.  I can imagine what the media would have said today if Jesus was parading himself as the righteous one and still having dinner with sinners. Not very good to the church goers, but powerful for the media.  Jesus life in the text highlight some of the key point every believer should embrace.  One of them should be relational skills with people different from us, not judgmental lifestyle patterned by differences.
The scribes, and religious leaders in the text, wouldn’t confront Jesus. They, instead went to his disciples. I can relate to the challenges of confrontation, maybe confrontation was difficult for them, but I would rather speak with the main person than the disciples. Even at their indirect confrontation, Jesus still responded to them in love. 
The text is reflective of the term George Orwell, the author of  “Animal Farm” used when he wrote about media propaganda. He used the concept of  “double think” in 1984.  Eric Arthur Blair was his real name, but for political protection; he used Orwell.  Blair defined “double think” as the reliance on inherently antagonistic thoughts in the construction of one’s ideology.  As a political writer, he considers double think as the attempt to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancels out, knowing it is necessary to forget, than to draw it back into memory at the moment. Double think was often effectively employed when masking out some ambition under the justification of defending something different. The scribes in the text was not after the sinners, but after Jesus, because in previous text, it was easier to notice their antagonistic and self-righteous stand.
Through “reality control” the propaganda of Jesus eating with sinners, was a complete truth, covered with telling carefully constructed lies.  As the text reveals, the attack for Jesus to be judged. It is identical to what we currently experience. Like the corporate media today, there is a need for us to Identify the narrow spectrum. Jesus came for the sinners; not the righteous. The self-righteous were already sinners because we cannot satisfy God on the basis of our works; but on the provision of what he has provided through grace in his son. It is important knowing righteousness is the right standing with God, but the righteousness wasn’t attained by our works; but our reliance on the grace of God in Christ. Everything based on us attaining a relationship with Christ divorced from  Christ puts us in need of him. And it for that reason he came sharing the truth of the kingdom –  he has come for the sinners; not the righteous.  The term “sinners” reminds me of C.S Lewis in “mere Christianity” where he explained that a sinner is an enemy of God that needs to lay down his sword and surrender to him. It was for the purpose of sin which he came.
The central truth of the text is established when we are able to teach and still love people in spite of where they are while at the same time maintaining truth with them. Jesus ate and drank with tax collectors and sinners. He related with the people he came to save.


We have never seen anything like this

We have never seen anything like this

We have never seen anything like this

Mark 2:1-12

Russell H. Conwell was known for his story “Acres of Diamond.” Many have found his story inspiring and challenging. To others, it has helped explore their untapped talents and gifts; they never knew they had. Funds have been raised to build universities by the way he tells his story. People thought differently after hearing his story, and others created wealth that made a difference in lives within their communities. It was just the way he tells his story. The theme of his story focuses on how the owner of a diamond filled land, ignorantly sold his land in search of diamond in another foreign land. At the end, he died broke, sad, poor and wretched. The new owner of the land ended up being the most wealthy and richest diamond owner in his days. The secret to his wealth was that diamond was discovered in the land he bought from the man who couldn’t discover it. Russell tells his story with so much suspense that keeps his audience spell bound.
Similar to the diamond story, Conwell also talked about the California gold rush era.
In 1847, a man own a ranch in California, it was during gold rush. He read there was a huge discovery of gold in southern California. He sold his ranch to Colonel Sutter and started off to hunt for gold. Colonel Sutter put a mill on the little stream in the land, one day, his little girl came home playing around with sand and there was a shining scales – It was gold. The man who wanted the gold had sold his ranch and gone away and never to return. Now, Colonel Sutter is the richest owner because gold was found in the ranch he bought.
As I read this text in the Bible, I can relate to the Russell story, I can imagine friends, families and people that knew something better than gold was around – it was the words of Jesus. Jesus was ultimately presenting timeless truth that was better than diamond. The author, Mark, remarked in verse 2. “And many gathered together so that there was no longer room, not even near the door: and he was speaking the word.”
I had many questions reading this text. What was so powerful about the words Jesus was teaching that would prevent the crowd from creating space for the paralytic man. I also noticed that Jesus responded to their faith. I thought that was very significant. He told the paralytic to get up and pick up his pallet and go home. He did it in the presence of everyone. I can understand explaining in details is beyond the purview of this write-up. I would remind the readers, how much God’s word can transform. At the same time lies the healing power of his word to forgive sins and raise up anyone from sick beds. There is power and truth in the word that should not be traded or sold for anything. Jesus simply spoke to the paralytic man. And he obeyed, because his grace will always take us where his words leads us. Gold and Diamond are important, so is the word. The story present to us how that we have acres of diamond in our mouth, which is the word of God in the text. We do not have to miss out by running around trying to get it. This is similar to what Andrew Womack would say “you’ve already got it, quit trying to get it.” The word is near thee, even the words of faith.” Rom. 10:8.
At the end, the people said: vs. 12. “We have never seen anything like this.” They had been used to the familiar, now the uncommon has set in. Evans “How?” Because speaking of the paralytic man, it states “And he got up and immediately picked up his pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God. They hadn’t seen or heard a story so powerful, and a message so true that would lift them up. Now they did. It was obvious that they had never seen anything like this before, but Jesus did it all for them.


Yes, he can. Would he?


Yes, he can. Would he?

Yes, he can. Would he?


Mark 1:40-45.

 Vs. 40. And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching him and falling on his knees before him and saying; “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Harold Kushner, the Jewish rabbi, strikes deep emotional cords in “why bad things happen to good people.” His caring voice, profound message of tolerance is worth everyone attention. Kushner expresses human struggles with a mixture of sensitive authoritativeness. His writing has shown how acceptance and forgiveness can change relationships. As a modern literature, psychology and theologian of over thirty years, he pen it this way in “How good do we have to be.” Eating the tree of knowledge did not condemn Adam and Eve to die. Animals die. It conferred on them the knowledge they would one day die, he went further; “and it is that awareness, more than the experience of death itself that is the unique burden of humanity.”

While the knowledge of death cannot be disconnected from sickness and diseases. In the Bible text above, having the knowledge of sickness and disease wasn’t enough to keep the nameless man quiet. He was described in the text as a “leper.” He was identified by his sickness. The leper left his familiar and common place to an uncommon place by asking for Jesus.

When he saw, Jesus, he beseeched him and went on his knees, which is a sign of worship in their collective culture. Before going on his kneels, he knew Jesus could heal him. There is not doubt in his mind about God’s ability to heal people. Some people believe God can heal them. The unanswered question, is: Would he? Is he willing? Is it his will to heal or clean people?

When teaching about healing,  Andrew Wommack would say; “where I would lost most people, is not in whether God can heal, but when I tell them to come pray for the sick.  People would withdraw.” People don’t have much problem professing and confessing God’s ability, but knowing his will in that ability is the issue.. The issue we get everything mixed up is whether God wants to heal us.

As Doctor Johnson, puts it; “people need to be reminded, more than they are instructed.”

W e need to remind ourself daily how much God can heal,  and how willing he is to heal and cure people from their sicknesses and diseases. It is his will for us to be healthy. The leper took advantage of that will and became healed. We can do the same today.




A secret of being soughted

The Secret of being sort after.

A secret of being soughted

Mark 1:29- 39.

34“And the whole city had gathered at the door. And he healed many who were ill with various disease, and cast out many demons; and he was not permitting the demons to speak because they knew who He was.”

Robb Thompson in “You are healed “ cautioned: “people should never act condescending towards people that go to the doctor, because without doctors many people would be dead.” True, I strongly believe that doctors are doing a good job and I would recommend doctors for people of Faith. On another hand, the reverse could be the case when not properly understood. However, faith and reasoning are never exclusive. While healing is important and part of God’s plan, people still get sick and those that can’t be healthy can receive healing from their sickness.   His original plan for his people is: Perfect health. Perfect health is the ultimate plan. In today’s text. I noticed that Jesus was being sorted after by many people. His disciples articulated it better, in “vs. 37. They said; “Everyone is looking for you.“ There wasn’t instagram, twitter or facebook in his days, yet people soughted  after him. What was the secret of being soughted after?

The disturbing question was: Why was he being soughted after. As I read the text, I noticed one secret. First, he wasn’t looking for accolade, nor was he exploring the global oil regime. He was attached to the will and purpose of his existence – which was to please the father. Related to this, was what Earl Nightingale mentioned in his ‘classic secret to success CD’ of everybody trying to be like everyone else. Conformity, he alarmed, is the struggle of our age, without adherence to our purpose.

Vs. 35. In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.”

Early in the morning, Jesus rose up, according to the text, he was willing to do what others wouldn’t do out of mere convenience. Because of Jesus attachment to his purpose, he was undisturbed by the words of the multitude. Jesus was a man of purpose. Myles Munroe, a Bahamas teacher, known for speaking about purpose, would probably say: “Jesus knew his purpose, hence he wouldn’t abuse it for temporary fame. In Excellence in Character, the author states, “the person of character embraces change in order to achieve God’s place for him in history.” When Jesus embraced submission to his purpose, it helps recall what Robb Thompson, would call, submission is the proof that one has earned the right to be called a person of character.

Jesus healed people because he spent time in prayers. He developed a strong relationship with the word, which was the secret of his being soughted after. The relationship empowered him; resulting in his ability to speak the word and get people healed. That same power is (what we have), or can have, if we are not believers. We do not have to remain sick and broken by living in silent despair. There is always healing in Christ.

Our relevance in a field is directly related to the value we bring to enhance that discipline. Jim Rohn eloquently put it this way; “people don’t get the same pay based on hours; they do get pay differently based on the value they bring to their place of relevance. Jesus value was tied to his relevance to his purpose and to prayers.

I would rather spend time with the master than spend time seeking out fames. Time with the master is the secret of being soughted after. If we act like everyone else, we can obviously not change anyone. But when we do what others are unwilling to do, we are on a sure way to being sought after.



Unromantic Invitation: Follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men.

“All my love to you, its your kiss that does all the magic to me, forever you changed me, there is no love like you. Forever you’re the king in my heart, forever you reign in me. Forever your love remains. Your love is eternal and changes my world.” I thought those should’ve been the words the fishermen should have heard from Jesus before making any decision whether to follow him or not. Nope! this case was different and counter-culture.  C.S Lewis would say, “we live in a world paraded with promises of eternal romance, yet  delivers less on those promises.” The word in the text was, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” vs 17. Mk 1:17.

As I ponder on those words, “follow me” in the text. I realized John The Baptist had just introduced the man to everyone. Being a follower, in my opinion, doesn’t sound right these days, because we seem more interested in leadership. While I love leadership skills, I recently started thinking about ‘follower-ship’, but as an academia, I can argue that most of the Ivy leagues school are more interested in people with leadership skills. It makes me wonder if ‘follower ship’  is  an issue worth rejecting in people. It obviously doesn’t sound politically correct following this man with those few words. Before I concluded the text, I read the previous verse. Mk.1:14. Now John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the GOSPEL of God.”

I thought it was the GOSPEL that would have propelled them into leaving what they were doing to follow him. I’m sure the gospel was a message of love that was strong enough to make them become like him. His invitation was to make them become like him. At the end, I would expect every follower to become a leader. As Rob Thompson would say, “the outcome of our life is determined by those we grant access.” It was the gospel that would give them the advantage, and the  access to the information that would ultimately create the changes. Malcolm Gladwell in his non-fiction book – the outliers wrote, “We have, I think, a very rigid and limited definition of what an advantage is, we think of things as helpful that actually aren’t and think of other things as helpful, that in reality leave us stronger and wiser.”  Following Jesus was the key in the text, because it would make them stronger and wiser.

Being a follower of Jesus is a huge task, because it demands obedience and trust to a commandment that has an overwhelming positive result. Before Christ called them in the text, I noticed Andrew and Simon where in their place of primary assignment. College professors would usually tell students to stay in their place of study; ensuring they complete their task. “Get the degree “ are often my repeated words, “go back to school and ensure you complete the task. While I may be biased as human sometimes do. I know the call to follow Jesus requires an active, yet insightful initiative on our part. It would require listening. Listening to the call is relevant to a believers purpose.

– Evans Akpo.


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