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Goodnews Missions Relationship Salvation

THE INVALUABLE LOSS

I know of a woman who deals in gold. She sources for them and sells them. We call her Iya.

Iya goes through so many processes before she gets to the point of sale for her gold chains. Her account game is top-notch. She cares for her gold like she would her children because she knows she was giving value to her customers.

One morning, as she walked around her store taking stock, she noticed one of her gold chains was missing. She instructed her shop assistants to make a clean sweep of the store. They swept and searched multiple times that day with no gold chain to show for it. As she sat looking at her shop assistants attend to customers, she could not take her mind off the gold chain. She got up and swept the store again by herself this time but the gold chain remained missing.

Her shop assistants kept looking at her like she was a mystery. They could not stop whispering. It is only a gold chain, one said. This store is filled with thousands of gold jewelry and she’s bothering herself with one tiny piece of gold, another said. They could not hide their surprise. They kept looking at her with so much surprise. Anytime she implores them to sweep or search again, they did grudgingly because they expected her to let it be. The gold chain is missing and that’s it. That should be the least of Iya’s worries.

Every day when Iya resumes at the store, she would ask if they perchance saw the gold chain. She wondered if they are even helping to look for it. Her shop assistants could not understand why a gold chain should bother her that much.

After thirty days of searching, Iya found her gold chain beside the bin. Her joy knew no bounds. She gathered all her friends and neighbors, throwing a party – sumptuous meals were the order of the day.

Iya screamed repeatedly at the top of her voice, “come and celebrate with me, I had lost my precious gold chain, but now I have found it” 

This was Iya’s response every time something went missing, and she found it in the most unlikely places, another time it was her brooch, after one year she found it where her husband kept his carpentry materials. The most beautiful materials were continuously found in places where they had no business being. Iya never failed to throw a party! Her reaction never shook, the same steady joy and love at finding those things again.

This is Lord’s reaction to soul winning.

The question is, are we like the shop assistants? Are we working with the Lord to ensure all lost souls come back to him?

This is one way you can bring joy to the Lord. How well are you doing this? 

Categories
Goodnews Missions

THE BEAUTIFUL FEET

Mark 16:15- “As you go into all the world, preach openly the wonderful news of the Gospel to the entire human race’’.


My mother used to tell me that her mother had beautiful feet. She meant it literally. Her feet were fair and frail, you will think that they’d snap at the slightest pressure. My Grandmother’s name was Kemi. She had a corner shop about fifteen steps from our house, and she never failed to play music. We used to call her Maami. Maami was eighty-eight years, and she evangelized always as she took the fifteen steps from our house to her shop. She was always ready to tell somebody about God.


Today was the day that we buried Maami. My mother had a story to tell about her;


Maami always told of her time with the Bangubangu people in Congo. Maami was only five days into the age of twenty-two and she constantly felt like she needed to be doing something. She was always tired and constantly felt unfulfilled. The opportunity to travel came and she just couldn’t say no, they were to leave in less than a week and the requirement was that you had to be Christian.


Maami was going to go, even if her mother thought it irrational.


Maami and her beautiful feet walked the roads of Bangubangu. For a month, because of how little she knew the only truth she was certain of enough to tell the people there was that God loved them. So, for every day in her first month, she’d walk up to people, hug them and tell them that God loved them.


In every inconvenience, discomfort, and cruelty, Maami fed the people three words that she knew without a doubt.


Two months down, and she wasn’t finished. She had just begun, and in every other place, she went, in different countries, she labored for God. Telling and showing people God’s love.


My Mother ended by saying that Maami had beautiful feet, and I am now reminded of the lyrics; How beautiful are the feet of they that carry the Gospel. Now it makes a little more sense.


PS: Not everyone will have the capacity or even the ability to get to unreached people groups, but in the circles that you find yourself in, be reminded of the great commission- not just in words, let everything you do be coated in the love of God. Let the words from your mouth not be in contradiction to the words of the Bible. Talk to people about God shamelessly.

Categories
Christmas Goodnews Missions Salvation The Gospel

WHAT DOES CHRISTMAS MEAN TO YOU?

Research shows that the word ‘Christmas’ comes from an old English word ‘Cristes-messe’ which means Christ’s mass.

Christ’s mass – a gathering for Christ. A gathering to awaken tired minds, and a dose to remember his love for all of us.

To many people, Christmas means different things. So, I decided to document what Christmas means to different people for you before telling you what Christmas means to me.

Also, I will love to read what Christmas means to you too.

Here’s a collage of what Christmas means to some;

“There is no Christmas without Christ- the knowledge of this, that I have someone who would always look out for me gives me a reason to be merry, no matter how terrible the year was”.

“It is a time to come together with my family and become one”. 

“It is a reminder of God’s sacrificial love. I get to celebrate a God who became man, for my sake”.

“It means love to me; I can’t explain it. It reminds me how much God loves me. This has become a charge for me to love others.” 

Like the song says- “who would have thought that the lamb will save the souls of men”.

“It shows the love of God to send willingly a sacrifice that we may have victory over sin forever, coupled with the Love of Jesus for us, to carry the cross willingly that we may never have to”.

Back to me.

Anytime I was asked what I did for Christmas, I was always quick to say we do not celebrate it in my house. This was because there were no decorations, stockings, or even wrapped gifts. There was nothing out of the norm on Christmas day. It was cooking, going on drives, and sharing food. In some way, I belittled what we did as a family because it was not out of the ordinary. That’s what I thought.

However, this is how our culture celebrated Christmas. And this is how we expressed our love.

Beyond the activities of the day, Christmas is like the last puzzle that makes the year complete. It is that holiday that reminds us again of the birth of the one who came to the earth to love us completely while we are yet sinners. 

So, with care and dexterity, let Christmas this year be one of love- let love be felt greatly.

Let the joy of the reason of the season fill your heart. Let other experience His love that has been shed abroad in your heart.

However you choose to celebrate, ensure you do not forget the mighty gift of salvation. Also, remember that many people are yet to experience this gift for which you are celebrating right now so find time this Christmas to pray for their salvation.

So, how will you be celebrating this Christmas?

Categories
Christmas Goodnews Relationship Salvation The Gospel

THE TEN PERFECT GIFTS CHRIST GAVE US

From the birth to the ascension of Christ, you and I were at the center of the Lord’s redemption plan. And as Christmas approaches, we are reminded of these valuable gifts.

On the first day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – A promise of a conception of the one who would love me just as He does. Isiah 7:14

On the second day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – His First-Born Son wrapped in cloths and placed in a manger. His humility personified in his birth. Luke 2:7

On the third day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – A clear understanding of His supremacy. Angels, the Shepherds, Simeon, and Anna, all glorifying the one whose love is supreme. ‘’Glory to God in the highest Heaven’’. Luke 2:8-20

On the fourth day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – My Teacher of what was, what is and what is to come. My Lord was preaching in temples, three days went by and still unfound. Luke 2:41 -52

On the fifth day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – The Miracle Worker. The One who came for all and was not ready to leave any behind Acts 10:38

On the sixth day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – The Perfect Prayer. All of my desire, wants, need, the reason I am on earth wrapped up in the words only Christ can give. Matthew 6:5-15

On the seventh day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – My Savior. Scourged. Beaten. Nailed. All for me. Matthew 27:27-44

On the eighth day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – His Resurrection. Christ defeated death. He fought and got the keys of life so I might have eternity to look forward to. Mark 16:1-20

On the ninth day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – His Mandate. His Will. The one act I can do to give Heaven so much joy. Matthew 27:27-44

On the tenth day of Christmas, the Perfect Lover gave to me – A part of Himself, The Holy Spirit – to keep, guide, and remind me of His Word, Acts, and Love till He comes to take me home. John 14:26

Ten days to Christmas with each day a reminder of the gift Christ gave us for our Christian journey.

Categories
Goodnews Relationship The Gospel

THE ONE TRUE FRIEND

Have you ever felt tired of being a Christian?
A little bit fed up with people, and just really hungry to show people that you are not stupid?
Extremely fed up with being taken for granted?

This one is for you. I write this with you in mind.


I used to be a hard guy. Like a straight-up hard guy. There was nothing that would have made me extend grace. Nothing would have made me use silence like a sword to those that stepped on my toes. I mean if you are trying to see what I can do, I might as well show you.


I also would like for you, my darling reader, to remember that I was a Christian too. I ticked all the boxes.


Church – Checked
Tithes – Checked
Everything, every single thing was checked.

But then, I started to get cautions from the Holy Spirit. But before I unwrap all that I am now, I must tell you how I got here.


It was a Monday. The normal hustle and bustle, a day as stressful as Nigeria. I was tired, with a sprinkle of frustration. Right on the verge of snapping but not quite there yet. All I wanted to do was smother my bed and pillow with tears.


I rarely socialized. It was always me, my journals, and my tears.


As I settled into my room, I picked up my book and began to write. Tears dropping on each page, the ink of my pen mixing with my tears, as I wrote;


Dear God,
It has been a while but be rest assured that these tests didn’t take a break.
I am tired of all I have to do, and I am wary of this void that runs deep.
I want to want you more than I do,
And I want this hole filled.
My heart is tired and my soul is shattered.


The human relationship test can be hard. Knowing what you can do in response to a hurt but getting cautioned not to can be hard. Hard to the soul. It can hurt so much you will begin to feel abandoned and like you do not count.


Before I could get to the bone of this hurt, on how I felt abandoned- I heard something. It is transient. What initially sounded like a suggestion became an affirmation.


‘I love you’, that was what I heard.
‘Can you not feel me?’
‘I’m always here’ ‘stop running’ ‘focus on me’.

Repeatedly, not once and not twice. It lulled me to sleep with its warmth and strength. Those words are a blanket to my tiredness and the treasure of a warm cup of tea, on a rainy day.


It was all I needed. It has carried me through a plethora of storms and had grounded me on days that try me. It has been ye and amen for me. The words of the Father. It has helped me caution my reaction – acting only as the Father, my friend who see my hurts, will have me.


The best part of all of this love and this friendship that makes other friendships better is the availability for all.

Even when my fellow man tries me or hurts me, I am confident about the friendship I have with Father. The one friendship my soul truly needs.


The omnipresence; for all and at all times.
You can have it too. Talk to the Father. He is waiting.

Categories
Goodnews Relationship Salvation The Gospel

TO BE IN PERFECT PEACE

“I will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in me”- Isiah 26:3


To be in perfect peace. I feel the need to analyze this scripture- but instead, I will tell you a story.


Toyin was a Jesus girl, everything about her was Godly- like everyone else she probably had struggles, but we didn’t see them. She was always in church and had a steadfast smile on her face.

Toyin was like an extension of God. She always had a compliment to give. Best believe that was not all she gave. Toyin was my roommate and had the above scripture written on a sticky note and pasted on her wall. Every morning before she left the hostel she would recite it- and I used to wonder why.

To me she was peace on legs, why did she need the reminder?


It was Wednesday and we had a test, Toyin is a law student – we both are. After this test, we came back to our rooms and she’s had so many missed calls. She calls back, and the news is tragic, both her parents had died in an accident.

She screamed once. This was her only reaction. She, then, turns to her scripture and says it repeatedly. This was how she slept through that unfortunate Wednesday.

However, as days passed she kept whispering these words that are most likely to a random person, letters- but to her promises.


I know you are wondering if we ever spoke about it. Yes, we did, 2 months later when she was back to herself – well almost. She still cried herself to sleep every night.


This was how the conversation went:


OG: Toyin, how can you be so happy? God just took the people who loved you most on earth away. How are you still living?


Toyin: OG, God will keep in perfect peace, those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him. I want you to understand that just because I say these promises, I didn’t question God or I wasn’t angry with him, does not mean I don’t feel the intensity of what happened. Death is contrary to everything He has promised, but me staying angry with God, will mean to question his love. OG, what has happened doesn’t change the fact that the Father loves me recklessly, or that I will trust him with my future.

These words are reminders to me, and each time doubt crawls in, I am reminded of the perfect peace that I have, once I trust Jesus.
Perfect peace comes by acknowledging the ugly parts of this world and knowing that my mind will remain intact through it all.


Perfect peace is the wing of a dove, called trust.
Perfect peace is going to bed knowing that you will most likely fall, but Abba would not let you fall.
Perfect peace is still trusting God when our plans do not work.
I say it every day, to remind myself to trust God- because OG, who else will die for me?


Hey you! This story is fiction- but it was the only way to explain this scripture. I want you to know bad things will happen, even when you carry Jesus on your head, bad things will still happen. Proverbs 24:10 is an assurance that trying times will come but we have the Prince of Peace by our side all the time. He is always there and ready to help. Ready to still the turbulence and give you peace even as you walk through the fire and great waters.


This is me reminding myself, and reminding you to trust God. Live in perfect peace, and like the lyrics say- Jireh you are enough. So, if all you have is God, you will still be happy, content, and in peace.

Categories
Missions Missions Salvation The Gospel

THE FATHER’S BRIDE

I

I have always wanted a grand wedding.

Flowers and light.

An event that was pure bliss, nothing more and nothing less.

I have always wanted grand gestures and public affection. A love that was not shy and ashamed.

I have always been a giver; you can be sure I wanted a giver too.

I wanted all of these things, and a list of another million – I got them and lost them.

The greatest of all that I have lost is time.

The time I wasted sinking in undeserving thoughts and rejecting all of the love that was being offered to me. For the years I stayed looking for things that I would not even accept if they were given to me, it was like a treasure hunt. Looking for what you would not use because of the thoughts that you were not good enough.

I stayed longing for things I wasn’t ready for. It was tragic.

WAS

I have always known God too. The type of knowing where you walk across the street from someone that is really a stranger but you shout a ‘Hi’ with excitement that has no root. That is how I knew God. That is what it was, surface-level knowledge. I popped in when I was drenched in needs and disappeared when satisfaction was my stench. I don’t know why and I don’t know how but this relationship might have as well been called complacency.

This was me. Screaming from the rooftops that God was good and not really knowing God’s goodness. Testifying of his love, and not accepting his love. Talking of his mercies and not understanding his mercy. I was the opposite of everything I said. No vulnerability.

AM

I don’t know whether to say I found God, or he found me. I like to think he wooed me.

He gave me sixty and six love letters, each one explaining why I am deserving of his love.  A bundle of reasons why guilt should be non-existent. He used Paul to show me how significant I was to him no matter what I had done, and David to explain that nothing I had ever done was too much for him to forgive.

He showed me Esther, the kind of confidence that comes with his love, and Hosea the selflessness of his love. Lot to show his goodness and Joseph to show that he was all I needed.

I was convinced that with this love, there was no betrayal. He was honest and he wouldn’t let me down.

AND NOW

Standing here, owning that I am fearfully and wonderfully made- regal in a way that drapes and satin cannot make me. Confident and sure of eternity with my lover. He starts his vows;

Whispering to me, his voice dressed with strength. Each word clear- without confusion;

“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I have proved my passionate love for you, by dying in your place. I am a safe place of shelter. I’ll never stop believing in the best for you”.

“When you fail to love me back, I will not be defeated. I’ll never give up on you. There is nothing that will separate you from my love, this love will triumph”.

“Our love is perfect and drives away all guilt. Yesterday does not matter, I still love you I want my love to continually nourish your heart.”

“These are my promises”.

With tears in my eyes- not tears of unbelief but of gratitude, that I am known fully and loved just as much, we share a warm embrace.

This wedding beat my wildest imaginations, best believe.