For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one and exalts another. (Psa. 75:6-7)
One of the many ways in which God is described in the Bible is The Judge. This means He has the final authority to give a verdict concerning any matter or any person. While humans may offer opinions and perspectives, or even suggest who is right or wrong in a matter, the final authority rests with God. Similarly, God also reserves the right to pronounce the appropriate sentence or punishment for every misdeed or He can choose to be merciful, as He often does.
Continue reading “The Lord is the Judge”
God often takes action in pursuit of one soul. He would turn a nation inside out and stir the hearts of many preachers, leading them over mountains and into valleys, just to save one soul. He would overturn the laws of nature and break the protocols of men to make a point to one man or woman. Such is the tenacious nature of God’s love – unfailing, undistracted, unmoved by human whims and caprices. Come see our God, who places a great value on the human soul – he is the One who never leaves the one behind.
This is one of the greatest promises in the Bible, tied to the appearance of Christ at the end of this age. To see Christ as He is (not as we think or imagine him to be) implies that we will be completely free from the limitations of our human minds, which colour our perception of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It means that our hearts will be completely pure and whole. Even more exciting is the resultant reality that “we shall be like him”. Our ability to see Christ in His true form will result in us being transformed into the same form as He. Exciting!
The Bible is also clear that as we behold the glory of the risen Lord, we are transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory. This is our reality here and now. The challenge we face today is whether our eyes are unveiled as we look on the Lord. Veiled faces do not make for transformed hearts. Every veil must be taken away, and that only happens as we turn to the Lord with sincerity of hearts. Do we still hide from the Lord like Adam and Eve after the fall, or are we honest about our struggles and failures as we seek His mercy and grace?
Scripture References: I John 3:2, II Cor. 3:18
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. This statement is as simple as it is deep. There is a common saying that “we do not see things as they are; we see them as we are”. This is consistent with Scripture. Titus 1:15 reads, “To the pure, all things are pure…”. To see God requires that the many barriers and biases in our hearts be taken away so we can perceive God clearly, without prejudice or pride. Clarity of perception, not only in seeing God, but also in discerning people, demands that we maintain pure hearts.
So how do we maintain pure hearts? By meditating on the Word of God. God’s Word reveals his highest expectations for us, and leads us into truth. It exposes faults in our thinking, and brings us face-to-face with our shortcomings. If we submit to its authority, we are persuaded to restructure our thoughts and change our ways. If we do not, we resist and reject him, remaining in darkness, which many have done. But to admit His ways are higher and better, and to yield to them: this is how we develop a heart that is pure.
Scripture References: Matthew 5:8, Psalm 119:9
In every healthy human relationship, there must be a good dose of a repentant attitude on both sides. We are constantly learning about each other, and finding out things about our friends, families and colleagues. If we are not disposed to “repent” or make changes, we are very likely to keep hurting or offending people we claim to love. We must commit to doing better when we fall short, and our commitment has to be backed up by the right actions. This is the language of true love – making sacrifices for the sake of other people.
On the other hand, the absence of true repentance gives room for breeding of mistrust. We humans are creatures of habit and judgment. We watch patterns and make deductions. When you don’t make changes after you claim to be sorry or repentant, you send a clear message that you do not mean your words. Whether they pick on it quickly or not, people remember, and when the great occasion comes when you need their trust, they will call to mind your behaviour. It is very important that we consciously commit to learning and evolving in every relationship.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (I Thess. 5:18, NIV)
Today, I want to send you a quick reminder for a very important Christian attitude: giving thanks! Giving thanks refers to speaking words of appreciation to someone for something they have done (or will do) – an expression of our gratitude to them. While I will focus on giving thanks to God, I also realize that a thankful heart towards God usually doubles as a thankful heart towards fellow human beings. As simple as it is to give thanks, it is an attitude that many have not cultivated because they have allowed their situation to determine their attitude.
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The last few days have been difficult for a lot of Nigerians. The #EndSARS protests which started as a spontaneous reaction to police brutality became a wildfire that spread across several cities of the nation. Hoodlums began to take advantage of the protests to wreak havoc, leading to a worrisome security situation. Sadly, on the same day a curfew was declared in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, armed security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters with an unverified number of dead people and several injured. It was indeed a traumatizing experience for many.
Continue reading “Through It All”
The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Here I am, lying in quiet contemplation
As you gently serenade my soul
With lyrics sung to an eternal tune.
You speak peace to my storms
And bring an end to my fears.
Your words stir my lukewarm soul
And awaken my heart to heavenly love
Love so tireless that it chases me
Down to depths of depression where I sink
Love so true that it pulls me out
From the chambers of darkness and death
As I fade away from the view of a busy world:
A world that moves on with ease
When this fragile frame I finally lay aside
Your love draws me out of myself into You
Into purpose and service and sacrifice
With fulfillment and everlasting joy
In Your presence, I find abundance of peace
Even in the midst of a troubled world.
So, once I was lost chasing shadows in the dark
But now I am found, shining brightly like a star
The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
I am loved with a love that never ceases or fails, drawn with a kindness that has no precedence. God’s love calls out to me in the day time, whispers to me in the night seasons, heals me when I am wounded and restores me when I am broken. This love, so surreal, rejoices over me with gladness, like a sheep once lost now found. He sings to me joyfully as I lay quietly in the palm of his arms, covered by His love, without care or concern in this world.