Hope

hope

We have met with disappointment from several quarters in our quest to achieve set goals, to realize the potential we believe we possess.

But we have not folded our arms or assumed indifference as life passed with its numerous opportunities.

We are not sulking or faulting anyone for our let-downs. Neither do we go through life requiring that everyone shows us pity on account of whatever we have suffered.

We fell sometime ago but we are standing now. We have chosen to be “powerful and not pitiful.” And remarkably, we are still chasing hard after those dreams. We are assured of the fact that we only lose when we quit- and we don’t want to lose.

It is not that we have concrete assurance of reaching that mark. When we look around, we see more failures than successes. And, while there are a few success stories, the bad far outnumber the good.

But we persist, when there is little in the way of encouragement.

If it is neither the guarantee of success nor its evidence, what is it that has compelled us to try one more time? What is the force behind this perpetual resurgence?

I am thinking Hope.

I first wrote this poem a long time ago- before I started this blog. Its message is hope. And, it doesn’t surprise me, that something so powerful should be so many things at the same time.

Hope is gentle;

Hope is mild,

Hope is fiery;

Hope is wild,

Hope is brave;

Hope is audacious.

Hope is certain;

Hope is sure,

Hope is wiry;

Hope is strong,

Death is darkness;

Hope is light,

Hope is resolute,

Hope is firm;

When hope is threatened,

Hope will fight;

Projections may be grim,

Hope won’t mind,

Hope will rally,

Hope will survive;

When the chips are down,

Love would cry,

Faith would sigh,

Hope will smile;

Hope is vital;

Hope is life,

Hope is escape

from that abyss;

Hope is patient,

Hope endures;

When friends leave,

Hope will stay.

And in the end,

Hope will win.

Ifeoluwa.

P.S. Hope is Christ

If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1 Cor 15:9 (kjv)

Heaven…….and Valentine

It’s been a while since my last post. I am sorry. This new post is unlike the others in that it’s a poem. I hope that you will connect with it and be blessed.

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Hebrews 4:11(kjv)

Heaven:

The hope that obscures our pain

Our only escape from wrath to come

Heaven:

The reason we rejoice in mourning

The essence of our fortitude-

It’s why disappointments do not break us;

Why our losses do not faze us

Heaven:

The sense in our joy;

Reprieve from our sorrows;

And repose for our souls

Heaven:

Our compensation.

His life was given to purchase it

When we lose our lives

We’ll find it.

 

You probably expected a valentine post on the 14th. The song I will share below is my  belated  valentine… muse. It describes the futility of trying to explain the love [for us] that moved Christ to die on the cross. It runs:

”How can I describe

A God that’s indescribable

How can I explain

Love that’s unexplainable

Oh………………..

My heart sings

Oh………………..”

There is no greater love.

Elisha Asked for Jars

Hello

Do you have a pressing need?

You really want a job, or long for increase of some kind. You want to be recognised for your work…or you just want something better than what you have now.

I have been thinking. Try taking stock of what you have. Is there any route from where you are to where you want to be?

It could be remote, but there has to be.

If I desire to travel by sea to some distant place then I must make adequate plans for a vessel of some sort.

In other words, if I need miracle wine, then I’d better have or get water, at least.

A woman in distress went to Elisha to seek help. Her two children were to be taken as slaves in exchange for money her late husband owed.

She was poor and powerless to prevent it.

Although, Elisha knew this, he still ventured to ask: “What hast thou in the house?”

Poor as she was, she had a pot of oil.

But Elisha did not stop here. It was good that she had oil, but it was money she needed.

She had to get jars- a lot- from her neighbours. And then, she poured the oil into as many jars as she got. She exhausted the oil in all the available vessels, and when they were all filled the oil stopped.

She sold them and had enough money to pay her debt and take care of her family.

At the wedding in Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle, they needed wine and they had water.

Water was turned into wine.

In the same way, as we seek a miracle, we need to have our “oil” in hand. That job you seek may require more skill or education than you possess at present.

Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days. Ecclesiastes 11:1 (kjv)

You may need to improve your connections, increase your work rate, go for necessary training, manage your time more effectively and so on. Like that widow, you would need to get a lot of “jars.”

Like learning how to drive if you are praying for a car.

Invest in yourself for the day your Elisha comes, and continue to improve. Because your blessing will be proportional to the number of jars you have accrued; how much you have improved.

Go and get your jars!!!!

 

 

 

 

Save Lives

It must be exciting to save a life or to at least try.

Even though I have never found myself in such a situation, I can imagine the excitement that comes with knowing another person’s life depends on your acting fast- the pressure to do exactly the right things and apply years of training to good effect.

Say something really dramatic like, CPR for someone who’s had a heart attack, the Heimlich Maneuver for someone choking on meat or yanking a guy bent on suicide from a railway track.

Obviously, these feats require courage, a sense of responsibility and I think, a lot of energy. They require us to actually do something. Of course, youu do not save lives simply by thinking about it.

I have drawn parallels between these and an even greater responsibility: God’s commission to spread the news of His salvation.

By reaching out to others with the gospel we help secure their lives after this life; because this life is sure to end  someday. And then the things that matter now won’t hold value anymore.

We cannot also do this by just wishing. It is also vital that we remember that someone’s eternity may hinge on our speaking out. And that God is depending on us to do it.

He knows how difficult it will be to convince them by yourself therefore He has not sent us to convince but preach. Preach the message confidently because you believe it.

Tell them of God’s love and His sacrifice. That Christ died and was raised to take away all sin. He knew the severity of God’s punishment and chose to bear it Himself.  He was aware they’d probably reject Him but still took the chance.

He stands patiently at the door of their hearts knocking and waiting to be received.

Tell them that although He does not promise a smooth sail, He promises never to forsake His own. He promises to supply all their needs. All they’d need to do is ask.

Tell them a life with God is an adventure that always results in fulfillment.

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son 1 John 5:11 (kjv)

God has promised eternal life through Jesus alone. Those who believe in Him and faithfully keep His commandments will live for many years after this world has passed.

Remind them that although He is patient, there is not much time left until He comes.

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32 (kjv)

Don’t be discouraged by their indifference. Keep praying for them. Trust God to keep His word.

 

 

 

 

This House is Not for Sale

not for sale

For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body… 1 Cor 6:20 (kjv)

This topic would draw laughs from many quarters. Chances are that you have seen it today. I would not be surprised if it were on some house on your street.

It is not ubiquitous,  but it is certainly not scarce to find. It is at least as common as barbed fences around Lagos houses. Believe me, there is no stereotype house, it can appear on any building- beautiful or not so beautiful,  large or small.

Wherever it is found however, its message is clear and is this: Steer clear of this property,  it’s taken! The warning -now hackneyed out of any gravity- Beware of 419 usually follows.

I believe that the purpose of this notice is not so much to portray it’s unavailability as it is to declare its possession by another party.

No matter how little the price paid to acquire it is, the genuine owner does not wish to sell.

In the same way, God has acquired a much-valued property- and it is not your church building. Like those landlords, He does not wish to give it up. He paid so great a price that it would be quite impossible for Him to give us up so easily.

The death of Jesus on the cross was the price. The sacrifice is so potent as to wash away all sin.

By this sacrifice, God confirms his love for us. It was given us gratuitously- we cannot justify it. David was so perplexed he had to ask: “what is man that You are mindful of him.”

He redeemed us from death that was sure to come. He literally bought us.

There is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ 1 Cor 3:11 (msg)

It is only logical that Jesus whose death purchased our life should be the foundation of a life pleasing to God.

God’s word makes it clear that we are to build on Him. We begin to build when we accept His offer of salvation. We do not build just anyhow, Christ’s sacrificial life is our stereotype.

…because He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for for the brethren 1  John 3:18 (kjv)

The only proof of our love for Him is obedience to His commands. His command is that we should love one another as He has loved us.

He adds that the best way to love is to lay down our lives for our friends; to dedicate our lives to improving the lives of others.

Of course this is easier said than done. The costs of such a life would be great. We will have to forfeit our pride, comfort, ambitions and even our reputation. But the rewards are enormous; in this life and in the one to come.

Therefore, we must fix our eyes on the prize, which among other things is a crown of glory that never fades.

He promises that whoever does his will will abide forever.

Remember, we are His house, and we do not build haphazardly. We gradually become like him as we obey. Our high priest was made perfect by His obedience and so shall we be.

God: Our Sufficiency

Most times, God calls us to do things that are seemingly bigger than us- they require more skill, more talent, more boldness than we appear to possess- but we must not despair.

God has called many people before us to equally daunting tasks. The results (when they obeyed) were as remarkable as the tasks were audacious.

What would you call striking the red sea with a rod in hopes of its parting? How about shouting to bring down great walls or fighting a war by singing and shouting? None of these things are logical, but God asked Moses, Joshua, and Jehoshaphat respectively to do them.

God is saying: “My strength will suffice.”

Even today, Men are still doing the extraordinary by just simple obedience. Today we sing Horatio Spafford’s “It is well” with conviction. The hymn was composed after he received news of the death of his four children. He had lost a lot of properties in the Great Chicago fire two years earlier. He was so stricken that his church members pronounced him punished of God.

I believe it takes more than human fortitude to be in the middle of so much loss and still hold on to God.

I think the reason why God calls us to tasks out of the ordinary is because He wants us to lean on Him; to trust in His power, and to remind us that he is sufficient.He is saying: “My strength will suffice.”

Besides, every day of your life has prepared you for this.

Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment…Mark 6:8 (msg)

Jesus said when He sent out the twelve in twos: “Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment for this. You are the equipment.”

There is only one thing to do when we are called- Obey.

The results would exceed your wildest dreams.

#theendofathingisgreaterthanitsbeginning

 

The Beginning

The Beginning

Well, this adventure was going to start at some point. Even though it had started many years ago in my mind and words, all my wishing could not create it. I have realized that the will to accomplish any task is not usually  accompanied by the fierce determination required to have it done. Hours upon hours of deep reflection could not bring me to it.
I read other blogs that ‘convicted’ me of my inactivity. I stumbled upon several encouraging articles but these weren’t enough.
There was no particular turning point really. My repentance was more gradual than immediate; the result of several deductions rather than one mind-blowing epiphany.
I know at least, that it is better to live your life for something than to laze around about it. We won’t be around for ever you know. We should try to leave a mark somehow.

Our contribution does not have to be earth-shattering . Not everyone will be president or governor or missionary or Nobel-laureate.

I am not the perfect writer, but to start a blog you do not need to be Jonathan Safran Foer. The same goes for every other venture. If we wait until we are perfect at it then we would wait a long while. We must start now.

It is of the utmost importance that we affect positively, the lives of people in our sphere of influence; to be the light in that corner.

light

I intend to write on a variety of topics. I hope that God will be the center of this blog- its unchanging theme- for the simple reason that He has a way of making ungainly, awkward things look beautiful.
This blog is me coming out of my comfort zone. Needless to say, it is uncharted terrain for me, but I hope to enjoy it as much as you do.

Please do not forget to share this blog with friends if you like it.

#theendofathingisgreaterthanitsbeginning