Back to basics!

It is September already! It seems like it was just January yesterday. Its been a very eventful year to say the least.

Several things came to my mind over the past few days about life. Yes, that sounds like a line from someone in his eighties! I remember very clearly that at the beginning of this year, I began a teaching series at our church called “Back to basics”. I was basically saying that we should not drift away from the simplicity of our relationship with Christ. Jesus said in John 17:3, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”. This implies that everything we do for Christ is great, however the most important thing is our personal relationship with Christ and keeping it fresh and alive, as we spend time doing the basic things like studying the bible to know Christ and being in conversation with God at all times via prayer.

Have a great month ahead.

-Pastor Benson

Self Worth Without Success?

When I was much younger, during my teenage years, I was really driven to achieve. I wanted to be a successful guy with loads of money. After I became a Christian I was still driven. When I became a pastor, I was even the more driven to achieve and succeed.

Wanting to succeed in all we do is a good trait. It is quite commendable. However, we may fall into the trap of equating achievements with “Self Worth”. For example, the narrative goes, “I am successful when I have passed all my exams”, “I am successfully when I have accomplished all my goals for the year”…. And on and on.

One interesting thing that I noted from the bible is that God views success for the believer, as a “state” not a destination or list of achievements. I found it odd that God referred to Joseph (see Genesis 37 to 50 for his story) as being “prosperous” whilst he was a slave after being sold into slavery by his brothers. He viewed him as successful when he was in prison.

Success as it relates to “Self-worth” for the believer is a “state” we attain automatically when we become born-again not a destination. Let’s take it to heart.

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

How Are You Really Doing?

I met up with a friend a while ago and he used an interesting phrase during our conversation. That phrase was “a grin and a cup of tea”. Obviously, there was no way I was not going to not add that phrase to my toolbox of phrases.

This phrase basically describes a scenario where we come across people we know and they ask us the question, “How are you doing”, but are not really interested in how we are doing. The question was just a superficial question. The interesting thing is that we know when people are really concerned about us and when things are superficial.

God asked a prophet, Elijah who had gone through the emotions of depression and discouragement a similar question (The Bible, 1 Kings 19:13). God did not ask the “grin and cup of tea” question, He asked because He really cared about him.

God is asking you this question today, “How are you really doing?”. He really means it and says in the bible, Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses…”. Another passage in the bible, 1 Peter 5:7, says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”.

How are you really doing?

Have a great month ahead.

– Pastor Benson

Climbing Uphill, I Need Help!

I spoke to my brother-in-law just as the lockdown started here in England. He was on self-quarantine for two weeks. I asked why he was self-containing himself and he mentioned that he had to cut short a trip to the far East. Apparently, he was meeting up with a few friends from around the world to climb mount Everest (the highest or should I say, the tallest mountain in the world).

I mentioned to him that climbing up and down our stairs at home was a trying feat for me not to talk about climbing the highest mountain in the world. I just pictured myself standing at the bottom of mount Everest and attempting to climb it. There is no way I would be able to make it unless someone was kind enough to airlift me up to the summit in a helicopter!

Our lives are often like that – standing at the bottom of the mountain of life wondering if you will have the strength or stamina to carryon. The good news is that God has given every believer the Holy Spirit who can, using a figure of speech, airlift us supernaturally up the mountain of life. Let us rely on the Holy Spirit who Jesus said will guide us and help us. Jesus states in bible, John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever”.

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

Heaven on Earth!

I was looking around me and thinking about what a world with no stress, pressures (making ends meet, paying bills, no harassment or conflict) or fear would look like. My initial conclusion was that I would have to wait till I get to heaven where Jesus is to experience that kind of life.

However, as believers, we do not have to wait till we get to heaven to experience a life with no stress, pressure or fear. We can enjoy that kind of life here on earth. The question is how?

Well, we can by entering the rest and grace of God, handing over our cares and fears to Him. The bible verse, 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Another bible passage, Philippians 4:6-7, says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We can experience a life where the external stresses and pressures of life do not affect us internally. We can begin to experience, “Heaven on Earth!”, internally.

Have a great month ahead.

– Pastor Benson

Light of The World

I woke up one morning and reached out for my phone (as we all do first thing in the morning). The lights were switched off so I couldn’t see and had to use my hand to feel through the top of  the side-table by my bed in the dark in search of my phone.

After searching through with my fingers for a while I couldn’t find my phone. I finally gave up and got up towards the light switch (which was on the other side of the room). As I progressed towards the switch, I tripped on one of my shoes, then stepped on a slightly sharp object, then tripped over something else. Finally, I got to the switch and turned on the light. I then realised when I looked around the room that my phone wasn’t even in the room. It was in another room.

Life is somethings like that in general. We stumble through life hoping for the best, sometimes we are tripped up with a relationship or disappointed by one thing or the other.

Life is tough!

However, Jesus says in Mathew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He also says in John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”  Let us find true rest in Jesus and guidance for our lives from Him as we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus this month.

Have a great month ahead.

– Pastor Benson

Simple But Powerful

Some of the questions that run through my mind are: how can I fulfil my purpose in God?, how can I become more like Christ? How can I grow in the knowledge and grace of God?… and the list of questions goes on and on.

God has provided a very simple, yet powerful way that guarantees transformation to become like Christ: The Word. The word of God (as outlined in the bible) is one of the means that God has given us to be changed supernaturally to become like our Lord Jesus Christ. As we value and study the word consistently with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be gradually transformed into the very image of Christ.

We don’t have to do any thing complicated. All we have to do is to value and obey the Word of God. Nothing complicated.

Have a great month ahead.

– Pastor Benson

You Are Not Alone

Jesus had been with His disciples for slightly over three years. They had left everything to follow Him. They had left their jobs and all they knew because of this new found faith in the Son of God. He had paid their taxes, healed their mothers, provided food for them miraculously, explained what it meant to be part of the kingdom of God, they had experienced the power of what it meant to be disciples of Christ.

One day, Jesus told them that he was leaving the earth, worse, He would be crucified. Their world came crumbling down. They were in a state of shock: who would look after them, stand up for them, and thoughts of despair went on and on in their minds.

Jesus understood their concerns, however he had made preparations for someone to care for them after His departure, The Holy Spirit.

As believers, we are not alone, Jesus has left the Holy Spirit to help us, guide us, teach us, encourage and to help us to fulfil God’s plans for us.

You are not alone!

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

Back to Basics – Knowing Christ

I am looking forward to a great 2020. I haven’t made myself any extra-ordinary new year resolutions like renewing my gym membership to attend daily, swimming across the river Thames to break current 5000 meters record and so on. I am going to approach life realistically, but still aim high.

God brought a number of things to my attention going forward into 2020, prompting that I should “go back to the basics” and focus on the main thing, “Knowing Christ”. John 17:3 stays that, “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent”.

I am so excited because I have a new year’s resolution that is not only fulfilling but eternal: knowing Christ.

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson

I Love Christmas

I absolutely love the Christmas season. It’s a time where I can look forward to the holiday break, loads of food, presents (from those that remember!) and the whole festivity. It’s just brilliant.

It’s also a time that I take stock of all that has happened through the year: good and not so pleasant. It also gives me a feeling of having a clean slate for the next year. I can make myself new promises like joining the gym in January, eating healthy, reading the bible more consistently, enrolling for a new course… the list goes on.

However, the best part of it is remembering that our Lord Jesus loved us so much that he came to the earth in human form so that we can have a clean slate with God. The clean slate, through his free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Have a great month ahead.

  • Pastor Benson