It’s time to hear Him

 love

I am more careful in my interaction with people these days, I don’t assume to know them, their culture or religion. I wanted to invite a course-mate to a Christmas party in Church and somehow I ended up asking if she was a Christian, she said yes but said everything about it is complicated. She’s not the only one in that line of thought; I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and he said he gets a bit confused when he goes to different churches and sees the different modes of operation/worship. Some churches choose to kill their enemies by calling down fire from heaven while others may just say a simple prayer of forgiveness over them which some may think, it’s not enough. Question is – is there any right method or doctrine?

A time came when the people of a certain village didn’t come out to acknowledge or receive Jesus, His disciples; James and John after observing it, got angry and asked Jesus if they could command fire from heaven to consume them just like Elijah did but Jesus rebuked them and said you don’t know the kind of Spirit you are, the Son of Man did not come to destroy lives but to save them Luke 9 vs 54 – 56. In Matthew 17, Jesus took 3 disciples – Peter, James and John to a high mountain and they witnessed the Transfiguration but something note-worthy happened. In vs 4 ‘Peter after witnessing the appearance of Moses and Elijah, asked Jesus if he could build 3 tents for the 3 of them (Jesus, Moses and Elijah) but while he was still speaking vs 5 said ‘A shining cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said This is my beloved Son, HEAR HIM’.

I’m sure you are wondering what this is all about, just stay with me. Moses and Elijah were powerful prophets in the Old Testament, the law and all the commandments came through Moses and he spoke to God like a friend while Elijah challenged 400 prophets of Baal and God showed Himself by letting down fire from heaven to consume Elijah’s sacrifice and let’s not forget he didn’t see death but was caught up in heaven. Peter had forgotten who Jesus was and wanted to place Him on the same level as Moses (law-giver) and Elijah but God had to remind him of something very important; Hear what Jesus has to say and in Luke Jesus said He came not to condemn but to save.

Somehow Christianity is divided on the lines of doctrines hence the difference in worship and operation. It gets really difficult to tell what’s right and acceptable these days. There’s a lot of confusion and it hampers the Christians from reaching out cos some of them are not too sure of what they believe and may get scared if they are confronted with questions about their belief. I am one of them but I am constantly reminded to take up the message of Jesus Christ. Moses gave the law and it proved how incapable we are to keep all of it but Jesus came and through His death we have victory over the law, does it mean we have the liberty to abuse the law. NO, rather we even go above the law to live a life that is considerate for our next-door neighbour, in essence we love them and think good thoughts towards them.

In this era of bloodshed in Paris, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan and the rest of the world, what will Jesus say? In this era of gay rights and the justice system, what will Jesus say? In this era of man’s inhumanity to man, killing of school children, incessant rape, what will Jesus say? After Jesus had gone through excruciating pain and humiliation on the cross, He asked God to forgive them. As Christians can we take a step further from our individual church doctrines and listen to what Jesus has to say. The message of Jesus is centred on love and that’s who we are; anything short of that, is contrary to His message. You want to make disciples of nations, that’s a good project but people will listen more to your actions than what you say. May we step out and become CHRIST-like.

LOADS OF LOVE

JMAD

N/B : – Photo Credit : – www.leadershipethicsonline.com

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My book of remembrance.

Book of Rememberance

As a kid I had lots of diaries, I remember my dad giving me a diary that had perfumed papers and a lock. I so adored it, I took it for an Inter-Secondary school competition, carried it wherever I went and took down notes; felt like a tourist. Down the road I had diaries that contained memorable events, especially dates where someone hurt me. At least it aided my memory.

There has been a debate on what gender the computer should be referred to. Someone said a female, because of the ability to store information and many years later the information can be retrieved. I quite agree. I am good at storing information especially the not so good ones. Therefore anyone who hurt me had a special place reserved for them, it had to take a total wipe-out of my brain to remove the memory but even at that, some tiny fragments of memory may still get attached to a strand of hair. Some years back, if you had a look into my heart, you would have seen many people held bound because of unforgiveness. Funny thing is, some of them may not have known they hurt me, it may have been a casual statement and I clung to it.

Unforgiveness

Over the years God has been breaking me and teaching me how to let go. Am I saying it’s been easy? Definitely NO! There were times I was let down by people I believed in and all I felt like doing was slam their heads into a wall but I couldn’t, I will just vent out on my pillow with uncontrolled tears while on some other occasion I was so shocked at what the person did, a single tear couldn’t drop, I just stared into space in silence. Through it all I’m getting better.

Recently our house-help did something really annoying, I was so upset and I just said I’ll try and be a little mean to him. You know what? I had said that so many times in the past and I never did it and it occurred to me, I was beginning to let go and give people some more chances. Truth is, we say this prayer a lot, in fact we grew up knowing it “Lord forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”. Has it become a ritual we just say or do we really mean it? If it’s a ritual then you’ve no problem, but if you mean it then you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

Forgiveness

You may be like me or even had worse cases of betrayals, disappointments and all; you’re saying you can’t give anyone another chance. I wouldn’t blame you, I don’t know how you feel and may never know. Truth is, in times like this all we want is for our feelings of anger to be pacified by getting back at the person. Here’s the thing, you’ve been hurt already, and holding onto the hurt is only increasing the pain. Maybe you didn’t have the opportunity to prevent the situation but you have the privilege of deciding what that situation will do to you. It can only make you better or worse. If you ask me, I think you should go with the better choice.

Let go and live. You may have to go back to your childhood memories to start the forgiving process. Bishop T.D. Jakes in his message “Faith to Forgive” said, Jesus knew the importance of forgiveness that’s why He prayed on the cross for the forgiveness of those who crucified Him, so on His resurrection He wouldn’t be held back. You have carried that hurt for too long. It’s time to let it go. If you want to travel far, you’ve got to travel light. Unforgiveness is a truck load; it’ll simply wear you out. It doesn’t end in just saying I FORGIVE YOU rather mean it. Don’t go bringing it up to some other person, leave it buried.

Traveling

I started doing something a while ago. I have a book where I write down all the good things that happen to me. It’s my own BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE. Whenever I feel down, confused or finding it hard to trust God, I flip through the pages. It’s a way of reminding me, if I pulled through then, this too shall pass. When I’m gone, it can be a form of encouragement to anyone who stumbles upon it.

I urge you to tow this path of life. Give room for people’s short-comings besides you ain’t 100% perfect. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” Prov. 4 vs. 23 NIV. Be careful what you let into your heart. The battle of unforgiveness is won there. Go to bed every night with a light heart, if you have to call to make-up before you sleep, be bold and do it. Unforgiveness is a silent killer. May God strengthen you as you take this step.

Loads of Love

JMAD