CAP MONTHLY E-MAGAZINE // OCTOBER 2021 (FREE DOWNLOAD)

Do you believe that God can use you right now?

That God is interested in you, just as you are right now! This is not a ruse! God can and wants to have a relationship with you because he calls you valuable just as you are, mistakes and all! So we welcome you to download this amazing resource and come to the reality that you are loved and valued JUST AS YOU ARE.

This month’s issue is filled with beautiful poems and eye-opening exegesis on Prayer, and a detailed answer to a question on understanding the assurance of our salvation.

Our special guest Egwu Nnanna Echem manages people, executes projects, and designs solutions. He is the co-founder of Pishure, a tech team building platforms that enable the world to have access to creative content by Nigerian creators, and he is currently engaged as the Product Manager at Habari, GTCo.

With a BSc In Computer Science (UNN), he is an advocate for digital skills and entrepreneurship who uses the knowledge of technology, design, and art to foster conversations, collaborations, and solutions to some prevalent social issues. As a licensed TEDx Organizer, he believes the world can be a better place with actions towards social consciousness, sustainable value creation, and implementation of practical ideas.

You can get your free download here and also share it with your friends. Be sure to share with us your questions, concerns, and what you would like to read in next month’s publication.

THE CHOSEN: Retelling The Story of Jesus Christ

If you are a person who nitpicks your way through movies only going for those that you are sure would prove to be eternally and critically relevant, then we have something for you. This movie series is a Loaves and Fish production, co-produced and distributed by Angel Productions. In a time such as ours, when old movies and screenplays are being rewritten and reenacted using more contemporary equipment, time-honed skills and modern techniques, the great stories of the Bible are not left behind.

Meet The Chosen. The Chosen is a story of a man on a mission to tell his people about God in the face of Roman colonization. It is set in 20-30 AD Israel. The characters are familiar to those who may have read the Autoptic gospel of John or the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The slow storytelling and great acting make for a compelling story by Dallas Jenkins. The plot of The Chosen is non-fiction and based on the life of Jesus Christ. The series aims to showcase Christ “through the eyes of those who met him”.

For anyone who has seen any movie about the life of Christ while he was physically on Earth, the plot will prove enchanting and fully immersing.

The Chosen is a Vidangel adaptation of The Shepherd, a short film also created by Dallas Jenkins. The Chosen is a massively crowdfunded project. Infact, The Chosen is now the top crowdfunded filmed project, having raised over $16.2 million from 316,000 investors.

Yes, there are long moments and the progression is quite slow, but it all adds to the reverence with which Christ is portrayed in this record breaking screenplay. Dallas Jenkins has said that he wishes for the movie series to reach the eyes of a billion people, so it is safe to say that everyone is the target audience.

In a time of a full spectrum of intellectual and cultural perspectives, The Chosen appears to be the chosen Jesus’ story of our time.

Unlike other depictions of the life of Jesus, such as A.D., Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus, The Passion, Jesus: His Life; The Chosen comes away from the usual technique of following Jesus around as he delivers analogies, dissertations and life-changing miracles. The Chosen series also takes the dynamic perspective of portraying Jesus as a shared character in the lives and stories of characters like Matthew, Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter, Andrew, John, James and others.



From wide shots of the choice locations, mid shots of threatening Roman soldiers and close shots of thoughtful Jews; the cinematography is quite engaging, coupled with a rural ambience and sounds that leave you “waking up” from each episode.

The Cast features Jonathan Roumie as Jesus, Paras Patel as Matthew, Shahar Isaac as Simon Peter, Elizabeth Tabish as Mary Magdalene, and Erick Avari as Nicodemus. The Cast is succinctly chosen and proves their mettle from episode to episode; and you can watch the other movies mentioned in this article for a sort of template for the characters. From December 24th 2017 till now, the Chosen has been distributed by Angel Studios.

All in all, The Chosen is a serious project and its impact is just beginning to be felt beyond the circles of cinema enthusiasts, internet explorers and critics.

With Season 2 airing its last episode in July, we are starting a new series of reviews on The Chosen’s season 1 episodes. We hope our perspective on the series’ storytelling will enjoin you to watch it and more importantly, read up The Synoptic Gospels for more understanding on the life of Jesus.

Download The Chosen App here to watch the series for free.

Watch Season One’s trailer here.

It was the happiest day of my life

It was the happiest day of my life when I allowed Jesus into my heart. My heart was flooded with joy and unspeakable peace. In Him I found a friend like no one else would ever be. Just like new lovers, I was always seen with Him; talking, praising, worshipping – I couldn’t get enough.

Day by day, he came. He entered the parlour, went into the dining room. Oh, the dining room! There were lots of breaking of bread. He opened my eyes to mysteries. I learned, relearned and unlearned. I just couldn’t get enough. Every minute with Him was priceless.

Until one day, an old friend came knocking. I peeped and asked what he wanted. “Just a few minutes, then I’ll be out of your hair,” he said. My heart told me not to, but his dazzling smile, pleading eyes, and obliging countenance were enough to compel me. He smiled and entered.

He was with me when Jesus came. I quickly hid him in a little room. Jesus came in, looked at me deeply, and asked. “Is there anything you would like to tell Me?”

“No.”

His countenance fell.

Our fellowship was not so sweet. But I bothered not, I was eager to conclude the story I was being told by my old friend.

When I was alone again, I ran. To the small room. Where he was. He invited me to a party the next day. I agreed.

The next day, I felt very awkward at the party. I missed Jesus. But I can’t bring Him here. This is not really His “thing”. As I was contemplating leaving, my old friend came and introduced me to his other friends. Little by little, I warmed up to them. I forgot the time.

When I got home, Jesus was waiting for me at the dining table. “It’s time for our breaking of bread,” He said. I dragged my feet to the table and half listened, half slept. Jesus suddenly stopped. 

“You were late today. Where did you go?” 

“Oh,” I said uneasily. “Out with some friends”.

“Can I come with you next time?”

“Oh no, never mind. It’s not your thing.” 

“So why would you go to a place I can’t go?” He queried.

“I can go wherever I please. I don’t need your permission. I’m done with today’s fellowship. Please let’s meet another time,” I said.

Jesus, my ever-gentle friend, did not argue. He picked up His scroll and left.

It broke my heart to see him go. But I was too proud to call Him back, to tell Him I was wrong.

The next day, I went late again. I dropped a note at the doorknob for Jesus. You can start without me. I will join you soon.

The next week, I dropped another message. Please, Jesus, can you not use the dining room? Some friends are coming over. The guest room is all yours.

On and on it went. I stopped bothering to check the guest room. I was so busy with my old friend and his friends. 

One day, while reveling with my friends, I remembered MY FRIEND. I asked for help, but none came. I dragged myself outside. My old friend came out and saw me. “There’s more for you here. The party’s just begun. Come and join us.”

Then I saw the loop: I was reveling in discontent, reveling in sadness, reveling in emptiness. I shook my head with a firm “NO” and trudged on home. 

The night was cold. The wind bit into my skin. I was tempted to go back but I soldiered on. Home. Jesus. Warmth. 

I got home. Looked in the guest room. Saw Him, with His oil lamp. Waiting for me. As always. He looked up at me. “You came today. Welcome.”

A tear slid down my cheek. I went to Him, knelt and sobbed. No words. “I am here for you, I love you,” He said

Like a lamp bursting forth, I broke down in tears. After an hour of reconciliation, I gave Him some keys.

“What are these for?”

“They are the keys to my home, my heart and everything I have. I surrender it all to you. I can’t control my life right. But you can. So, I surrender all.”

Jesus smiled His oh, so loving smile, touched my head and said.

“All is forgiven. You are free”.

I have never regretted that decision.

EMENIKE CHINWENDU VICTORIA

©2021

2 Corinthians 12:9

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

The power of Grace was more evident to me when God came through that year in that simultaneous dramatic events of life.

Being one of the best students in my faculty, many would not believe I could be struggling to understand Statistics and Research Methodology because I had a previous brilliant performance in a related course; but the truth was their “efiko” was having a tough time understanding the course. Their “efiko” was empty in statistics.

Not only that, their “SU” brother (Scripture Union brother) was seriously romancing with lust and about to lay with her, but being a leader in the fellowship, time was preventing the showdown. You can imagine the congregation model about becoming the specimen in the devil’s laboratory.

All of that was happening two weeks to the examination. So on this fateful day, I can’t remember what made me to pray. I had never seen myself so broken before. I prayed that God would grant me access to understand the most difficult course in my life and help me to lose appetite for immorality. I prayed until I fell into the hands of sleep.

It was incredible that, I was among the best students for the course when the result was released; and unbelievable how the passion for lust was lost in me. Indeed, I was helped by God’s grace for it saved me from failure and the sweet poisoned hands of lust.

The beautiful thing about God is the unending love to save us from the messy lifestyle. He is always ready to deliver us from danger zones if we will cry out for help.

There is assurance that He has sufficient grace to help us in times of need if only we will approach His throne of grace for inexpressible mercy and grace in times of need as rightly put in Hebrews 4:16. God needs our boldness and openness in running and speaking to Him when things are not going as they are supposed to.

The problem however is that many times we want to prove superheroes and pretend to people around us that things are fine whereas we’re on fire. However, it is only when we have the understanding that God only strengthens us when we expose our weaknesses to Him, until then, we will continue to struggle with our infirmities.

God is beckoning on you to see that the activation of His strength for you is in presenting your weakness to Him. God’s strength cannot be released nor His power be on you if you are still running in your strength.

Beloved, I beseech you to pause, present your area of struggling and infirmities to Him. For it was written in Isaiah 40:29 that, He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength; and in verse 31, the clause with assurance states, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Won’t you pray for strength for your accepted weakness?

© Josh’ Oloyede Oluwafemi.

You are the Right Size

Have you ever got a gift for someone, say for instance a pair of shoes and then after the razzmatazz of presenting them, you found out that you got the wrong size. It is quite an uncomfortable place, right? Here you are with a really nice gesture that somehow was cut short because not every information was considered or you were simply mistaken.

Of course this might have not been your fault for a variety of reasons, one of which include that you are human. Humans make mistakes, humans don’t always have access to all of the information.

However, God is not that way. When he was going to give this world the gift of you. He had all the information, he put everything into consideration and he made no mistakes. He created you to a perfect fit. You are the right size!

That is why you can not be like anyone else and trying to be is just an effort in futility. You were made specially for your purpose and God saw to it that you are the right size. For God so loved the world that HE GAVE YOU.

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
#NowThink

The criticality of our lifestyle as world changers

An Issue Paper presented at the National Strategic Youth Missions Summit, Salem University Lokoja, Nigeria by Steven Kator Iorfa

Introduction

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.(Mt 5:13-16)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect(Rm.12:2)

We live in a generation where the undiluted Word of God is already scarce. The youths especially can no longer endure the sound doctrine of God’s word and therefore teachers, mentors, disciplers, pastors, etc. are beginning to look for more appealing ways of presenting the gospel. They adopt high sounding philosophical and psychological motivations to get young people coming to church, and in very bad scenarios, some have employed devilish methods to attract, exploit and retain members. 2 Timothy 4:3 is fast catching up with us and before our very eyes, our friends, colleagues, children, wives, husbands, fathers and mothers have begun to accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and are beginning to turn away from listening to the truth and are wandering off into myths. However, in all of these, our heavenly Father has affirmed over and over again in 2 Timothy 2: 19 that His firm foundation stands, bearing this seal:“The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” What more can we say? Generations may come and go, civilizations arise and fall, dispensations change, but the Word of God will remain. The interpretation of His instructions on Christian holy living and conduct will not be subject to geographical locations or changes in generations. It is therefore critical that as world changers, we begin to pattern our lives and conduct to reflect the change we want to make, the change God has called us to make. To do this, we have to adopt a lifestyle different from what the world knows, has defined and accepts. We have to conform and be transformed to the life of Christ, the kingdom lifestyle. 

This plenary addresses issues on godly living for young persons who are aspiring to change their worlds. And it must be noted here that asides the term “world” meaning the physical planet earth, our worlds could mean the different platforms our Father has graciously granted unto us to serve him through. Thus, I would be having us treat the term “world” in a generic sense that would encompass the worlds of politics, academia, fashion and entertainment, sports, health, science/technology and innovation, art. Even the world of religion and spirituality. We will briefly define some key terms and then go on to look at the lifestyle of a world changer, its nature and criticality.

Lifestyle: a) Someone’s way of living; the things that a person or particular group of people usually do; b) the particular way that a person or group lives and the values and ideas supported by that person or group; c) someone’s way of living, for example the things they usually do, where they live, what they spend their money on, etc.

Critical: a) of the greatest importance to the way things might happen; b) extremely serious or dangerous; c) extremely important to the progress or success of something

World-changer: A world-changer is someone who is committed to changing the world. A Christian online devotional has this interesting thing to say about who a world-changer is; A world changer is not someone who blends in, a world changer stands out, sticks out and stands up ready to make a difference. A world changer goes beyond the usual expectations of Christianity. A world changer finds the most intense demands that Jesus places on Christians and does not shy away from them but goes after them with all his/her heart. A world changer does whatever it takes to get the job done. A world changer pursues God passionately. A world changer has been radically, completely and totally changed by their relationship with God. 

The world changers’ lifestyles

a) Dressing 

Do we now begin this endless debate about dressing? About whether it is okay to put on this and that as world changers? A world changer knows that when our Lord gave a command, He meant it and they are determined to live up to the standard. A world changer does not conform to the standard of dressing dictated by this world. He or she sincerely yearns to fulfil the mind of the Father. A world changer knows that he/she is always in the presence of God the Father and permit me to say that there is no sincere child of God who does not know how to dress and appear before his/her father. As God is with him/her always, so his/her dressing also, always must please the Lord. Or has the interpretation of the Word of God suddenly become subject to geographical locations such that our compliance with and obedience to it varies from place to place? Have we become so pretentious that the intensity of our obedience increases with our proximity to church alone? Are we world changers? Do we desire to become world changers? Can we please let our dressing and appearance reflect the true nature of the life we carry? Let’s be reminded of the scripture in Hebrews 4:13 which says “no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account”, and remember that He knows the very reasons why we dress the way we do. There is a pattern for Godly dressing, the pattern a world changer is known by.

b) Earthly riches and wealth

What about the love and desire for earthly riches? I know this is another area most believers do not agree on. But has our Lord not also clearly stated in Hebrews 13: 5 that as believers we should keep our lives free from the love of money, and be content with what we have? For our Father has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. What does this mean for us? Does this translate to our living beggarly lives and becoming burdens to our brethren and the heathen who seem to prosper? No. Our heavenly Father has also promised in Mathew 6: 33 that if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, then all other things will, in addition to His kingdom, be given unto us. We are not to live poor all our life. How else do we speak into the financial crises of our generation? How do we offer solutions to the enormous financial challenges of missions? We are to tap His resources for life, ministry and missions. But even if, He so desires, that through the denial of earthly riches, His children’s character be polished, shaped and sharpened, would we then as clay, tell the porter how best we want to be moulded?  

c) Prayer life and personal altar

A world changer is on fire for God and his/her prayer altar is always burning. He or she recognizes the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 18: 1 that men ought always to pray and not to faint. World changers are committed to building an intimate secret life with God for they know that in it alone lies their strength. Therefore, they will not trade their Quiet Times and alone with God for anything else. They cherish the refreshing times spent in the presence of God and are always eager and yearning to return there. King David, a man who radically changed his world in his generation, had this to say about God’s presence; “one thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” (Ps. 27:4).

Conclusion

In Mathew 28: 19, our Lord Jesus Christ commanded saying, “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In other words, go therefore and change the world. How else can we change the world other than through the very best way we live our lives?

Firstly is the need to understand that the ability to really change our world and not just try to slightly improve it can only be divinely given with the ideas needed divinely inspired as in the case of Joseph and Daniel. Changing the world requires a power from Him that made the world.  Truly changing our world is about changing men and bringing them to the point that they become like Jesus. Where there is a complete transformation and renewal of the mind. It goes beyond an ability to put together a long list of exhaustive dos and don’ts to an internal transformation that seeks a fundamental foundation laying that equips an individual with the ability to take the right decision even in situations never met before or never put down into law.  This can only be achieved as God gives a man the ability to do so.

The second matter that proceeds immediately from the first is the fact that this ability is not available for every dick and harry. The decadence we have seen thus far cannot be attributed to the inability of God but rather the unavailability of usable men. There are those certified by heaven to carry out this task. Only such certified individuals get endowed with the divine grace to affect their generation and leave indelible marks of eternal worth upon the sands of time.  2Chr 16:8-9, makes it clear that God is actually more eager than us to demonstrate His power upon the face of the earth, but the bottle neck of the whole mix remains in the ability to locate such men on whose behalf He can show Himself strong. Such men that He can point to other men, such men about whom he can say “this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him”. It is needless to say that such men are scarce. This necessarily brings us to the point of realizing that it is such men who please God that will get endowed. Now the big question is what is the criteria, and the clear answer is “life”. There is that life that God is willing to associate with, that life that pleases Him, that life that He can call a friend. These are lives embedded in divine consecrations, lives that the actions you constantly see is a manifestation of the fact that they are completely sold out to Christ, again, lives who’s lifestyle is embedded in consecration. Heb 11 gives an account of such men in the Old Testament, men who loved not their lives. Even though they had limitations. They had not experienced the death and consequent resurrection power of the cross. As it is written Christ in you is the Hope of Glory.

The inability to connect with the almighty, the very SOURCE is what makes many resort to other means, but alas they can only be noise makers not change agents. If we must have devoted workers, honest students, faithful husbands, submissive wives, responsible fathers, sincere bosses, the list goes on… We must have correct lives to compel a following, lives inspired by God. True change comes from above.

We see few of such lives already existing in the world of missions, but many more are needed in business, law, engineering, medicine, banking…..lives before whom the Nebuchadnezzars of their professions will tremble and bow and acknowledge as in Dan 4:1-37. That the Lord HE is God. 

Steven Kator IORFA

© 2019