Like The Teacher

•February 14, 2013 • 2 Comments

John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

As I have loved you means “in the way that I have loved you”. How did Christ love us? To see Christ’s love, let’s look at it from two perspectives; the love itself, and the beloved.

First, the beloved. He loved an odd kind. One that was always there by his side, but that never really cared for him or for what mattered to him. It loved him, not for who he was, but for what he could give them- for the miracles of restored sight and filled stomachs. For stories about a kingdom they cared least about. To them, that was what those lush parables were- stories to pass time till they could get something ‘better’ to do. They came in their numbers with a questionable zeal. All for the wrapping but not the gift. They loved the miracles and not the miracle worker- the plate but not the food. Such a beloved must be really frustrating. Someone who will assure you of their love and presence but who doesn’t really care about what you care for. Someone who will be there to see what you can do, and to be seen also, but who will never be ready to commit. The most frustrating part of it all is not the beloved’s hypocricy; rather, it’s the love you have for the beloved.

And so now we look at Christ’s love. How did he love?

He loved dangerously. His love put him in danger and it made true its threat. It pushed on his blood so hard at Gethsemane that it burst through what must have been a veined sweaty forehead. It lift his hand and put a bloody ear back to where it belonged- Mathias’ head. It withstood the pain of the whip, thorn and spear, and endured the weight of what must’ve felt like tonnes of timber. It dragged the cross and his marred body through the rocky dusty path and right on that sacred altar called Calvary. His love was pure and overwhelming. It was uncontainable and still is unfathomable. But the amazing thing is to whom it was directed. The puzzling thing is the kind of beloved he chose to lavish this beauty on.

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What Love Did

He loved those that did not love him. He loved those that pretended to love him and the worst part is that he knew that the show they put up was not really out of love for him; for it is written,”But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.”(Jn2:24 NIV)

It’s bad enough that someone does not love you but it’s worse that the person should pretend to love you or, that they should love you only for the goodies that you can offer. And that was the situation that Christ was in. That was the song of love that his heart danced to- to love them that did not love him, and die for them that would love him only for what he could fill their stomachs with.

Tough, right?

That’s what he wants from us. That we love, and not just love, but that we love even the unloveable. Them that seem to love us just because we are this or can do that. Those that, from our observation, would not think twice when given a chance to sponsor the quickening of our journey to the grave. That’s what Christ meant when he said,”Love each other as I have loved you.”

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Stones To Bread: The Big Deal

•January 18, 2013 • 2 Comments

The strong gust of dusty wind swept momentarily, hitting his body violently as if in a deliberate move to agitate. His body must have been really frail by now, his eyesight almost failing; not only because of the painful pangs of hunger, but also because of the thousands of dust particles hurled at his eyes by this evil breed of moving air. The sun also had her fair share of fun in tormenting the poor being. I imagine that she must have shone like never before, and like it was her last time to shine. She sent out those rays with undiluted malice; rays, not only of light, but also, and especially, of oppressive heat. It must’ve seemed like nature had conspired against this being, for even the sand would quickly disperse under his feet as he trod on, step after tiring step, leaving him to sink in what was a vast ocean of sand that was punctuated with a cactus tree here and there.

At the zenith of all this turbulence, his hunger must have got the better of him, and so, a though floated by…

Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who had been tempted in EVERY WAY, JUST AS WE ARE- yet was without sin.(Emphasis my own)

Jesus Christ, the God-man, is the one about whom this verse here speaks. He was tempted in the same way that you and I are tempted yet he emerged sinless. And how do temptations come by? James 1:14 (NIV) says “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” We are tempted when our evil desires drag us away and lure us into that sea of sensuality and desire for pleasure.

And in what form do these evil desires surface?

Thoughts!

Sometimes when we think of the occurences of Matthew 4, we imagine Christ seated on a rock somewhere, with the sun shining bright and hard on the seemingly God-forsaken desert. We imagine, farther, that there happens to be a sudden change in weather; heavy dark clouds, in a quick and uncharacteristic move, float above, bringing the brilliant reign of the sun to an unexpected halt. That suddenly, a violent whirlwind erupts near where the Christ is seated, and after that aimless din, it melts away slowly into what we know to be an evil silhouette- a tall lean form, with two pointed horns on its head and a long acuminate tail. We imagine (or at least I have imagined, for quite some time) that this devil gives a loud and mocking laugh before saying those disdainful words,” If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.

Hebrews 4:15 says that Christ was tempted the way you are tempted. When you are tempted, does the devil show up in such a ceremonious fashion? I doubt. So how does he appear?

Thoughts.

The devil did not appear before Christ in a physical way. He just cast a thought into Christ’s mind. That’s all the devil can do. Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights. He had gone without food, and the Bible records that he was hungry.

Matthew 4:3 (NIV) The tempter came to him and said,” IF you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.“(emphasis my own)

Where was the fault in turning stone into bread? His first ever miracle- the revelation of his glory- involved turning one thing into another for the sake of consumption. It involved turning water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, as recorded in John 2:11 (NIV): This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

So what was the big deal in the first temptation of Christ?

Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,

Hebrews 12 makes us aware of the fact that there is a sin that easily entangles us. Every one has their own weakness, a point which the devil aims at in his scheming. If you are not a fan of cars, for example, you will probably not struggle with the temptation of stealing that cool sport car. If you have the gift of celibacy, you’ll probably not be tempted into fornication. In short, you will be tempted with something that you are likely to fall to.

Then why was the temptation about bread something that Christ could fall to?

IF you are the Son of God.”

The thoughts that floated into Christ’s mind were, “Am I really the son of God? If I am the Son of God, then I most definitely can turn these stones into bread.” The other side of this coin is the thought,”If I cannot turn these stones into bread then I am not the Son of God.”

The temptation was this: doubt what God has said about you being His son. Doubt it and give yourself a more concrete base upon which to believe that you are the Son of God. The temptation was to undermine the Word of God concerning him, for in Mark 1:11 (NIV), it is written, And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

God had just told Christ,”You are my Son, whom I love!” and then days later in the wilderness the devil throws a thought into the mind of Christ,”Am I really the Son of God?? Am I? Because IF I am(IF God was SAYING THE TRUTH,) then I am really powerful and can turn stone to bread.”

And that’s why Christ’s defence to that attack was a reference to Deuteronomy 8:3 when he said, in Matthew 4:4 (NKJV)

But He answered and said, “It is written,  ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

He had to face up and declare to the enemy that man should live, not by the wonders that he sees the Lord do for him (for in Deuteronomy 8, reference was made to how the Israelites would see God’s wonders when He would provide them with manna every morning), but on the words that the Lord says to him. We should believe on the Lord’s word rather than waiting for His wonders and blessings to believe in, for the Lord is beyond all experience!

You see, God says in His word, that we are His children.

Ephesians 1:5 (NKJV)

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

The first temptation of Christ is very many times cast to us too~ “just doubt God”. If Christ turned the stones to bread, it would not be to satisfy his hunger, but it would be to prove to himself that he was indeed God’s Son. It would be a statement to God, telling Him that the word that had proceeded from His mouth was not enough to convince Christ of his sonship. Many times we find ourselves in Christ’s shoes(or sandals). We are tempted to say, if I am really God’s child, that crippled man will stand on his feet the moment I lay my hands on him. If I am a child of God, when I lead worship, a wave will hit congregants and each shall fall helplessly to the ground because they shall be overwhelmed by power of the Holy Spirit. If I am a child of God, I cannot trek all that distance- surely I will stumble upon a direly needed note or coin and board a bus. If I am a child of God, I am the one who will get that job. If I am a son of God… If I am a daughter of God… IF.

The word “if” here is the temptation. The Lord has already called us His children. Why then, should there be an “if” yet we know that the ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous(Ps 19:9~ NIV)? Why should unbelief surface? What if what you wanted does not happen? Do you stop becoming God’s child? Does the failure of an event to happen invalidate the Word of God?

It’s not the hunger, it’s the unbelief. Be ye not caught in the net of unbelief; rather, believe the word of God even when you cannot see it’s manifestation. That’s faith, and without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6~ NIV).

Beyond All Experience

•January 10, 2013 • 3 Comments

Many are the times when our pastors, atop the holy pulpits, will say, as if punching words into the innocent air,” God loves you church! Don’t you see- you can see, you can walk, you can hear me, and you are alive! You were able to wake up this morning! So God loves you, oh beloved!!!” And this is normally greeted with heightened jubilation from the excited congregation.

On the first day of the year, I happened to be in such a gathering, where the man of God on the pulpit uttered similar words, which were very enthusiastically received by a congregation that had just ushered in the new year with pomp and glamour- with shouts of joy and declarations of how the Lord would bless them in this year of release for our beloved country. It was an ecstatic moment for all but in the middle of this wave of emotion that marked the moment, I stopped a bit just to consider what had been said:

“I am alive and so God loves me…I have seen 2013 and so I am loved by the king of kings…”

Then my mind ventured a bit farther into this: “There are many who have not been privileged to see 2013; that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love them…does it? In fact, when people pass on, don’t the bereaved say,’We loved you, but God loved you more?’ ”

When one dies, it doesn’t mean that God’s love for them is quickly declining. If you don’t have breakfast tomorrow, or if you fail to get that job that you had eyed for years on end; if you fall accidentally tomorrow and break a leg, or , God forbid, you pass on in a few days, that does not show dented love for you. Nothing that we go through (or don’t go through, for that matter) can be said to be the reason we know that God loves us. Why?

Because experiences and circumstances are with us only for a time, yet God’s love is unlike this in character- it is eternal! It is constant.

Jer 31:3 (NIV) “…“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.”

The love of God is everlasting. Is good health everlasting? Is good performance at work and at school a permanent phenomenon?

1 Peter 2:16-18 (NIV)

16 We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.”

Here is good old Peter at the final stages of this journey called life. He recalls the events outlined in Matthew 17- the transfiguration. He says that he saw the glow, the glory of the Son. He was there when the Son’s face irradiated brilliance like the sun. When his garments were as a fluorescent tube, aglow with blinding light. When, in the stillness of the moment, and while Peter and his fellow disciples stared with stupefied gazes, The Voice broke through the cold night air. The Lord Himself, the great I Am, spoke those choice words into the hearts of the people present: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

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image courtesy of wbisbill.hubpages.com

That must have been quite an experience, don’t you think?

Yet Peter goes on, in 1Peter 2:19 (NIV) “And we have the word of the prophets made MORE CERTAIN, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”(emphasis my own)

Peter is saying, “I experienced Christ in glory as he glowed and almost blinded me and I got to hear the near-deafening very voice of the Almighty in the physical. I had a most glorious experience, but, I consider the Scriptures (the word of the prophets) to be a better show of God’s glory- a stronger assurance of God’s being.”

Interesting, right? I have never heard the voice of God in a physical sense and neither have I seen Christ, leave alone seeing him glow. Am pretty sure that you are in the same boat as I am because personally, I have come across none that has seen Christ in that way. So we can only imagine what it was like- the light; the voice; and for a long time I had wanted to have a physical experience of the Lord. To see him face to face and have him tell me mysterious things, or to hear him call to me in the middle of the night.(for the latter I fasted three days but I got out of the fast a frustrated, dissapointed and more emaciated Christian- but now I am wiser)

But here is Peter telling us that there is no need. There is no need to experience Christ in that way. It will not be as convinving as Scripture. Why?

Experiences fade but the Word of God endures!

Luke 21:33 (NIV) “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will NEVER PASS AWAY.”(emphasis my own)

The experience of seeing Christ aglow faded and never occurred again. You waking up in the morning will one day be history. Your very much appreciated blessings that are in the form of your immaculate looks and nonchalant grace in stride will slowly fade away and so these can never be what we look to to see Christ’s love for us. So what should we look to?

“The Word of God!” Would be Peter’s answer to us.

I am sure you’re wondering how God’s word is the show of His love for us.

Well, He says in John 1:1 (NKJV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So here we see, from the phrase “and the Word was God “, that God is His word. So, if He has given us His word, has He not given us Himself?

And that is the mark of love that transcends all others. His Word is here with us. It’s here to stay and it’s an expression of who God is.

So now, as we kick start our year, it would be wise for us, as we jot down our carefully considered resolutions, to remember that the accomplishement of these resolutions, or the failure thereof, will not be a reflection of God’s love for us. It will us a lot of good if we do not long for, and overly value experiences beyond the appropriate extent. If we do not measure the depth of a worship session by how much grief (that results in tears) we experience and also that we do not link God’s love to anything that has a time frame of existence.

God loves you, yes, not because you got to read this, but simply because He has given us His Word- He has given us Himself; for God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

In His love for us, He has given us Himself, which means that He has given us His Word, and that’s because His Word is undoubtedly beyond all experience.

Happy New Year!

Man On The Mat

•December 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Mark 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Amazing!!! When he saw their faith! SAW! Faith can be seen! Where was their faith evident? The Bible says “when he saw their faith” referring to when he saw what they had done. The climbing to the roof and removing part of it so that they could lower the paralytic man is what was a demonstration of faith. How? These guys went through a lot of trouble just to reach Christ. Four guys, climbing up a roof, then pulling up a paralysed and anchor-heavy body of another man. It was a struggle. A seemingly foolish thing to do, and so the only way one could be a partaker of all that trouble is if they were convinced that whatever they were doing was worth it. They knew that all they had to do was to present their friend to Christ, and all would be well. An interesting thing to note here is the strength we draw from faith. Here are men, some pulling and others pushing at what is the great weight of their helpless friend. They edged their way through an eager crowd just to get to an entrance that could now not serve its purpose. This should have been the point of surrender. Here, they should have raised the white flag and called it quits. But no! Not these men. Not the men whose fuel was faith, and faith in Jesus Christ. In their minds rang the message,”If only we can get to Christ, all of this will be over!” The song of hope in their minds sounds just like that of the woman with the issue of blood for twelve years,“If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”(Mark 5:28). This faith in him made her press through a stubborn crowd of people who just wanted to be near him. It made the four men break up the roof that lay between them and what they knew was their salvation. Faith gave them the strength to keep going. It oiled the pistons that were their hands and feet. It made them work- Oh so hard!

That’s why the most important works of God that we can do is to believe in Christ. To have faith. The disciples once asked Christ,”What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Then Christ witfully answered,”The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Jn 6:28-29
Then they asked him, “Whatmust we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of
God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

The only work that God wants from us is believing in His son. Faith, because from this faith, we will do the seemingly undoable, and with zeal, for that matter. And in so doing, we will have faith that works. And hence we can be said to do the works of faith, as spoken of in 1 Thessalonians 1:3.

Remembering without ceasing
your work of faith, and labour of
love, and patience of hope in our
Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of
God and our Father;

The actions of these four men who display enviable determination scream a valuable lesson out loud- the cost of friendship! These four were not just your average idler on the street with nothing to do other than count fly after passing fly. No! They must have been people who knew the paralytic quite well, if not well enough. They must have been people who had seen the pages of life turn, page after excrutiating page, together with the man on the mat. They had seen his tears, heard his moaning and felt his weight on their backs one too many times. They were his friends. People given the grace, by God, to love and to cherish their ailing colleague. And that they did faithfully.

Four men- with a fifth hopelessly motionless, on a mat- edge their way through what must have been a really annoying crowd. They try their best to use the courtesy their mothers must have imposed on them in their earlier years and by the time they get to the entrance, their patience has been worn out by the rudeness with which every member of the crowd ignored their need to pass and the weight that so maliciously pulled on their muscular but now fatigued hands.

They reach what they had thought would be their gate to salvation, but much to their disappointment, they find it blocked. Their world seems to come to a halt for a moment. They stare at each other, with their blank faces displaying the emptiness of their exhausted minds. They had put up their best act. Spent their all in a bid to save a friend. All minds are exhausted- all hearts worn out. The glimmer they thought they had earlier seen now started to dim and, simultaneously, hopeless gloom creeped back in. Slowly, but surely and seemingly teasing. They were drowning into that sea called despair. Am imagining that one of them must have signalled to the other three to put their friend down and accept the bitterness that life had just served them with. They probably bent their knees in readiness to stoop, with each avoiding eye contact with their bed-ridden friend. It is at that moment- that dire, moment that the genious idea must have been birthed.

“Wait!” One of them must have said suddenly, with an uncharacteristically lit up visage.

With the blankness of their faces maintained and even emphasized, the others must have stared at the source of the word.

“I have an idea!”

Silence.

“What say ye we use the roof?” he continued on to spew the contents of his mind.

The puzzled looks on his colleagues’ faces is a clear indication that further elucidation was required and so he beckons to them to come closer and he explains himself.

Slowly and with masks of worry they digest the idea. Carry their paralyzed friend up the roof? Really? How exactly were they supposed to do that? Getting him from home had been the herculian task of the century and now they had got to the end of their means. Their minds must have been reeling, trying to figure out how exactly they would take the man on the mat back home. They could hardly drag their own bodies around because of how tired they were and now someone was suggesting that they muster what was left of their energy and work against the great and mulish force of gravity?

“Wow!” They must have thought.

Eventually, they got past that moment of internal conflict. That internal tag of war; to do, or not to do- that was the question! And we know the rest of the story.
They DID!

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image courtesy of pinterest.com

And so comes the question- Why? Why set aside time? Why allow that sapping of their strength? Why struggle with a burden not their own? Why rack their brains for a solution in that moment of lonely gloom? Why keep on going? Past the force of gravity? Past the hardness of a roof? Past the inaccessibility of their friend’s salvation? Why?

Why not?

Value.

They knew the worth of their friend. The value the paralysed man had. He probably did not help them dig their farms, neither did he help them tend their flocks. He probably even didn’t visit their homes. But all the same, they saw value. They saw his worth, not because of what he did, but simply because of who he was- their friend!

So now you have it! Love! Love explained their relentlessness. It makes heaviness light and is the torch for the dark alley.

Love for people has a cost. The cost, for Christ, was his life. For the four men, the cost was their energy. Their time. Their sweat. Their emotions.

And so the same for you and I that know Christ. It is our duty, as friends; as family, to carry our ailing loved ones to Christ. They could be ailing physically, emotionally and even spiritually! What these four men teach us is that it’s up to us, people who know where Christ is, and what he can do, to carry our beloved to Christ. Will it be easy? Definitely not! We will come across stubborn crowds called fear, and the great force that pulls down called discouragement. Up there after overcoming the discouragement we will meet the hard roof that is the hardness of the ailing person’s heart, and the process will begin. Brick by agonizing brick we will dismantle the hardness and finally Christ will be in our view. Then with gentleness, we will lower the person to Christ. And Christ will utter those life givinng words:
“Child, your sins are forgiven.”
And
“I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

And that hustle and struggle is what is reffered to in Colossians 4:12 when Paul writes, “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”

It’s a struggle for them that we love, validated and fuelled by the warmth of the flame called love. A bout with circumstances, for them that we cherish and hold dear and close to the heart.

It’s the labour of love.

The ‘fool’

•December 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Psalm 53:1- The fool says in his heart,” There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no-one who does good.

In Mark 7:21, Christ said, “For from within, out of men’s heart come evil thoughts,” to mean that evil thoughts originate from people’s hearts; and last in the list mentioned in Mark 7:21-22 is folly. So folly, an element of uncleanliness, stems from our hearts.

Hebrews 4:12 speaks of God’s Word being living and active and some point says,” it judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts.”
So when Ps 53:1 speaks of a fool saying in his heart that there is no God, it means that this is a man of unclean heart (because he has both folly and evil thoughts) who has a certain attitude in his heart. A certain perspective toward life; a stand; a philosophy; an ideology; his basis of life and core of his deeds; and that, we’re told, is “There is no God.” Notice that he does not say it in his lips, but in his heart. That it is something that is hidden from fellow men, and it’s something that he does not confess, but that he lives it, for it is his attitude towards life- that there is no God.

A car is a machine with a body, an engine and wheels. If you were to separate these three elements, none would be good enough to be called a car. You wouldn’t call the four tyres a car, nor would you, rightfully, call the body alone a car. Point is, for a car to be a car, it has to have all its elements intact, failure to which you will say about the tyres, engine or body, “This is not a car”.

In the same way, for God to be God in our lives, we have to acknowledge ALL that makes Him God. ALL characteristics of God are the ones that make Him God. God is good, loving, all mighty, omniscient, and omnipotent, among other magnificent traits. Anything short of this goes below the standards of God. As in, if you believe in an all powerful, omniscient and omnipotent being who is NOT loving, then we can’t call that being ‘God’. Hence, you are saying in your heart, “There is no God,” because in reality, there is no other God but YAHWEH, so in your mind if YAHWEH is not God, then there is no God!

In other words, for God to be God in our lives, we must acknowledge ALL truth that we know about Him(Remember that if we fail to acknowledge Him, He is not affected. He won’t lose anyhting, but we surely will).

The difference between Christianity and Islam, for example, is that Muslims believe that Christ was just a man- a powerful prophet; whereas Christians believe that Christ is the son of God. And such a seemingly small difference makes ALL the difference so that now the two religions are very different because the very essence of Christ is that He is the Son of God!

Even Now

•November 28, 2012 • 4 Comments

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God’s speech is a case of “Maji
yakimwagika hayazoleki”
(Swahili for when
the water spills it cannot be
drawn). When He says it, it is
done. No question about it. Saying it is an
equivalent of doing it, because
He does things by speaking. Hosea 6:5 speaks of how He killed simply by speaking,
and Genesis 1:3 tells us how He
created through words. He says
it, it is! Psalm 19:9 tells us that the ordinances of the LORD are
sure, and Jeremiah 1:12 says that He watches over His word to fulfill it.

Having laid so much emphasis on the strength of the words that the Almighty speaks, consider Joel 2:1:

For the day of the LORD is
coming. It is close at hand-

So here God is saying that the day of doom and gloom is coming; and so because he has spoken it, it is sure to pass. He goes on to describe this day of the LORD. He describes how terrifying that day will be, and then He says in Joel 2:12:

Even now,” declares the
LORD,”return to me with all
your heart…”

The LORD says let there be light
and there is light; He says you
will have calamity and indeed you are in calamity. He says you will
rejoice,and you are already drowning in the ocean of inexplicable joy. So now, He is speaking to a people that are somewhat doomed because He has said that the day of the LORD is coming. They were people to be faced by a
numbingly frightening calamity- the army of locusts.

And then He says, ”Even now,”
these being words that seem to
be spoken into a situation bereft of hope.

Imagine this situation: You’ve
just come home, to what is your
humble abode; and you’ve come,
fatigued from the hustle and
bustle of the world and emotionally maimed from
the din that you had to endure
out there. You retire to your home to find no food to comfort your grumbling tummy. So,
while on your energy saver mode, with barely enough energy to keep your eyelids from embracing each other out of the heaviness of your tired eyes, you drag yourself to the grocer just outside your house. What greets your eyes snatches you from that
state of depressing fatigue and
brings you back to earth. It makes you alert and makes you search for your watch in your pocket frantically but seemingly involuntarily. The report of your watch only confirms your worst fears, in the defense of the grocer- its 11 in the night. It’s late, and the grocer was justified to have closed shop. But still, you are hungry. Couldn’t he have bent the rules, just for today? A hungry
man(or woman) is an angry man(or woman)-you are
angry at the grocer for having
closed shop at 9, which is his usual closing time. Today he should have got
late. He should have known that your day would be so hard- especially TODAY. He is a
good-for-nothing grocer, and
with that, you turn to head
home, with curse after unmentionable curse being
pressed out through your pouting lips.

Then a deep sonorous and
familiar voice cuts through the
cold of the night.

“Hey, you’re not planning to
sleep hungry now, are you? You
know you can buy something for supper here,”

You remain silent in disbelief,
and in what seems like nature’s
attempt to respond to that unanswered call, the crickets now chirp away, as if they have only now discovered that they can make this irritating noise- as if in an attempt to aggravate the agitation you are now just about to recover from.

You look at the grocer and, not
sure of what he just said, ask,
“Even now?”

“Yes, even now!” comes the
flood of hope.

The words “even now” are used
in a situation that seems
hopeless. Solace offered when least expected. God speaks to a nation under punishment- a people who are suffering after judgment has been proclaimed on them. And to this nation He dares to give a semblance of hope- even now! Yes, you are under punishment and are doomed to being attacked by the army of locusts, but He says ”Even now!”

You have messed up and think
that all is lost. You have ‘backslidden’ in one way or another and feel like it’s impossible for you to be restored because of what God says in His word in Heb 6:4-6:

It is impossible for those who
have once been enlightened,
who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace.

Even now!

You feel lost. You are late. Time
flew by and left you clueless,
shattered your plans and very adeptly made you a mess. The
relationship you wanted is now only a dream and the job you worked so hard for is only a sweet fantasy, or worse still, a bitter memory.

Even now.

It’s all done, it’s all lost, and there is nothing to it. Even Scripture says so. It is finished.

Even now!

There are flames in the place you would wish to, but sadly can’t, call home. Fire-not the mixture of burning gases,but rather a mixture of scorching words and crushing actions. Flames that dance mockingly in your home that you think is a God-forsaken hellhole because there is more harshness than sweetness,coldness than warmth and loneliness than comfort. And you think that this crazyness is beyond repair. The wounds that your tender heart has suffered this far cannot surely be healed. The tears that your pillow has been drenched with cannot be replaced. They can’t go back where they came from. The damage is already done:-(

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Even now!

Even now return to God with all
your heart. It will never be too late for you to return to God- for you to be restored. The vocabulary of the LORD is devoid of the word ‘late’ for to Him a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day (2 Peter 3:8) and the concept of time to Him is meaningless.

So?

Even now!

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Wall or telly

•November 11, 2012 • 1 Comment

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Ezekiel 33:11~
“Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the
Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in
the death of the wicked, but that
the wicked turn from his way
and live. Turn, turn from your
evil ways! For why should you
die, O house of Israel?’”

In the Bible people are told to repent and TURN FROM THEIR WAYS. Repenting is not saying sorry,it is a 180 degree turn from our ways. A change of lifestyle.

I have a friend whose weakness is sugar. My friend eats sugar with a spoon!!!!…yea,its that bad. So now, I was thinking,if she had a bowl of sugar right in front of her she would eat away with no qualms. If she wanted to stop eating the sugar and turned away from it so that she looks at the wall behind her,then she would stop eating for a while. If the only thing she did was to turn and stare blankly at the wall behind her, after sometime she would just return to the sugar as long as it was still on the table. But if,on turning away from the the object of her weakness and addiction, she turns and watches t.v or turns to talk to someone then she will not return to the sugar as long as the t.v or person will keep her occupied enough.

And so the same thing applies to repentance. Repentance is not just TURNING FROM YOUR WAYS but its turning towards God. You could turn from your ways and towards church ministry, religion or godly people but thats not true repentance because all of these things are, in all honesty, quite uncaptivating. That would be a case of serving the creature (created) rather than the Creator (Rom 1:25). These things could turn us from our ways but its only a matter of time.

So what’s true repentance?? Dont just turn away from your ways,but turn to Jesus and fix your eyes on Jesus.

Heb 12:2~ “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the
author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him
endured the cross, scorning its
shame, and sat down at the right
hand of the throne of God.”

Christ is the Author of our faith. An author is a writter of a book. Your faith, thus, is as a book. So think of an author seated down to write a book. He first comes up with the whole basic idea, joins up the little ideas needed to expound on the main idea and ensures they flow. An author knows his stuff. He knows the idea inside out and only he can really explain it and convince people about it. Writing a book takes time,no matter how little that time might be. In the ssame way, when you have turned away from your bowl of sugar and onto the t.v, it will take some time for you to get really engrossed in whats happening on the screen. And so we see that even afyer having repented, one will need some time as they are being changed; as their faith is being authored.

Another thing is that Christ is the perfector of that faith of ours. He makes it perfect. Thats why even men of strong faith end up having flaws here and there-coz their faith is in the process if being authored,and being perfected; its on its way there but is not yet there,but should get there.

So now,again,turning doesn’t matter. Where you turn to is what really matters. Will you turn to the wall or to the t.v set?

Its your call:-)