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Relationship not Religion
Put God First Both in Private and in Public
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Writing this book has been somewhat of a battle. I kept getting prompts to be careful how I write it so as not to offend anyone. The truth is that whatever one does in this life, one cannot please everybody. You will probably win some and alienate others. We as Christians, however, know that the Word of God (the Bible) is the absolute truth. It doesn’t accommodate political correctness or opinions of others. It is the Word from the maker of all things, the source of all things. And yes, there are some things that may sound firm, but as a child of God, His words cannot be sugarcoated. It is better to have the fear of God than the fear of man.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
—2 Timothy 4:3–5
Extracts from this book were first published in e-mails to a selected group of people. The extracts drew praises and criticisms alike. These extracts talked about some truths that are seldom taught in churches today, yet they are clearly illustrated in the Holy Bible. I was discouraged by negative comments, but the above passage lifted my spirit and gave me the confidence of the need to get this message out to God’s people with the Holy Spirit doing the conviction of hearts.
In our present world, with the ever-growing prominence of “liberalism” and “political correctness,” the Word of God is fast being watered down to suit the changing taste of the world. I, therefore, feel compelled even more to get the Word of God delivered truthfully and undiluted. For this reason, the foundations of this book are firmly rooted in the Bible with constant references to the Word of God, which is alive, active, and sharper than any doubled-edge sword (Hebrews 4:12).
Simply put, this book is designed to draw us nearer to God, irrespective of where we are in our respective walk with Christ. I myself find sometimes, I just don’t have enough time for God because I am so busy doing this and that. We seem to find time for everything else but God in our busy lives and squeeze God in here and there. Sometimes, we go the whole day without communicating with Him, but we remember Him and have all the time in the world when we are in desperate need. This should not be the case. I discovered that many times we are “convenient” children of God; seeking Him only when it suits us. But that’s not right. It certainly isn’t what God wants (i.e., us coming only when we need something from Him or performing self-righteous acts in front of man). He wants us to love Him and serve Him with all our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 11:13). This is achieved through a growing relationship with our maker. That growing relationship is paramount in this world, where there are many pull factors (distractions) that are perishable and amount to nothing in the context of eternal life with Christ Jesus.
So I have been inspired to write this firstly to convict myself of the need to make necessary changes in my life and secondly to encourage my fellow bro
thers and sisters in the Lord that our relationship with God is far more important than our religious acts. I hope everyone who reads this can take something positive out and be encouraged.
The Encourager of Man
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About the Book
Adeola began a quest to know more about God because he felt what he was receiving from church on Sundays wasn’t enough. On his journey to knowing more about God, he stumbled upon many things that are of great importance to God in regard to our relationship with Him but that churches seldom talked about or put adequate emphasis upon. Adeola dedicated several months to studying the Word of God in order to seek out why these life-changing discoveries about our relationship with God are so essential. These reasons and relevant passages in the Bible that highlight their significance have all been incorporated into this book.
About the Author
Adeola Okubanjo is a growing Christian with a passion for Christ. He spent almost a decade working within the UK Civil Service before embarking on a career in the private sector. He is currently serving as a treasurer in his local church. Adeola is blessed with a wife, a son, and a daughter.