Friday, 18 August 2017

Please Permit Me…

Please permit me to celebrate The Godhead. This blog is all about celebrating Jesus Christ the Son of God, God The Father and the Holy Spirit. All Three been wonderful to me and that is inspite of my several wrongdoings. They found me in my own sin, though I thought I was good, and made me realize that I could be the “good person” that I should be. They opened my eyes, by enlightening my understanding, to see that all I had to do to be good was become the child of the only One who is truly good. That was the beginning of a new life for me. That realization that I remained nothing but sinner except and until I allowed myself to be washed in Christ Jesus blood following heaven’s due process for conversion, was the best thing that happened to me because it facilitated my making the right decision – accept salvation that God offers without charging a fee. This is where it all started; when He clothe me with beauty so deep and powerful, it changes the inside as well as the outside; and filled me with indescribable joy that enables one laugh even in pain.

Ezekiel 16: 6 & 8b “But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘live!’ And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field. You grew up and became a beautiful jewel… So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.”

As soon as this happened, He went to work on my inside bringing about changes in my life that became visible externally. I could not help but allow Him make the changes that transformed me so much and so fast, I almost didn’t recognize myself anymore and He would not stop or even let go. Oh my goodness, I hate to even remember that at some point, I chose to do my own thing. A terrible idea which I knew He wouldn’t go along with so I thought it best to put some distance between us. Would you believe that He waited patiently, reminding me from time to time that He was waiting despite the pain He must have felt. He just would not let go. For such is the power of the love of He who has to look away from our sin whilst not losing interest in us? Just when I thought I had succeeded in my plan, He pulled me into His already outstretched arm enfolding me yet again with His love. This time, even more glorious. So I can testify that love always hopes and never gives up. Our God is indeed, love. Hence the song writer says in our pidgin English dialect “I never see this kind love before o – wonder 4x. Jesus na wa o”

Ezekiel 16: 60 & 62 - 63 “yet I will remember the covenant I made with you …and establish an everlasting covenant with you. And I will reaffirm my covenant with you, and you will know that I am The Lord. You will remember your sins and cover your mouth in silent shame when I forgive you all that you have done. I, The Sovereign Lord, have spoken.”

God must be celebrated. He loves so much He gives all He has just to ensure that we ultimately share His place of abode in eternity. When I think of how much I enjoy having “my space” I wonder what He is doing ensuring and/or enabling us live that life here on earth that facilitates our making heaven - a grace walk enabled by The Holy Ghost who is a part of This Godhead that I celebrate today. What is most interesting about His help is the fact that it is so unobtrusive that one almost forgets that they are actually helped and would fail without the help. This is why it is so easy to get carried away and become proud. It is easy to think one is “self- made” become your own idol and attracting God’s wrath; but my goodness! I love the way He improves our self-worth with this help that makes us feel important even seeming to draw men to us though they actually seek our Father. Though He loves us to shine and is great at celebrating us, He doesn’t want us to forget that the stage is His. This must be one of the many reasons Nathaniel Bassey says “take your glory King of Kings, take your glory Lord of lords; Take your glory King of Kings, It belongs to you alone.” He is The Original Celebrity: The only one that truly walks on a natural red carpet – the blood of those trampled when His right arm brought Him victory.

Isaiah 63: 3 “I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger, I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In fury I have trampled my foes.”

Unquestionably, He is The Lord. I celebrate my maker; He who paid the price for me which should ordinarily make me His slave but He set me free instead and just left me with pre-defined limits for my liberty. I celebrate the one who paid for me with His own blood. I celebrate He without whom I can do nothing. Please let me borrow the words of another song by Nathaniel as I sing “Take the stage Lord; have your way. I’m just a vessel and nothing more; and when you are done, please take the glory. I am satisfied just to see you glorified.” For every one whose story is similar to mine, please join me as that together, we can celebrate our God.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Musings Of A Believer

I write today with a heart full of thanks to God. My heart rejoices in the goodness of God who has been and still is, “my glory and the lifter up of mine head”. I have always known that God is great and mighty but as I get older, I find that God is even more great and mighty. Just when you think you know a whole lot about Him, you find there is much more to know. The knowledge of God keeps unfolding so that there is always something new to know about Him. I learn about Him from studying and He makes the knowledge more real by permitting experiences that test the knowledge and I am glad to let you know that He goes through every test with us ensuring that we are never alone and also, that we come through gloriously. Today, I am sharing some of my thoughts as I reflect on the past with a view to strengthening my resolve to go forward. I am sharing some of the things I always remind myself of, that my path may be straight. I am convinced that the seemingly little things matter the most in determining who we are and whether we end up failures or great. So here are some of my thoughts.

Proverbs 4: 13ampc “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.”

One of the realities of today’s world is that we resist instructions. We often only take in instructions when we are in deep trouble and need the instructions to get out. Even then, as soon as we are delivered, we revert to detesting instructions. Maybe all the new ideologies have something to do with it, we just all seem to know what to do; everyone is now in a way, his own god and so, doesn’t need any instructions/counsel, not even godly instruction/counsel? We resist instructions so much we don’t even listen or read long enough to hear/understand what we have to do; and even when we do, we don’t accept it. Sadly, even in the church, the flesh is so strong that accepting instructions is a major weight. This challenge with taking hold of instructions has made the fulfilment of certain promises difficult in some lives because they resist the instructions that precede the fulfillment of the promise. Yet the bible admonishes that we hold on to instructions because it is our life. Life’s instructions are laid out and no one is compelled to accept or reject them; God leaves that decision to us but He hopes we accept. Of course ungodly instructions (any instruction that contradicts the word of God) must be rejected but there are instructions we must accept inspite of the way we feel about them.

Hebrews 4: 12 “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.”

I have in the past few days, read articles where Nathaniel Bassey has spoken greatly of the way his life has been impacted by our relationship as a result of which people have prayed that God would give them such impactful relationships which is really great. What he left out and many have also missed, is the fact that he listens to and accepts godly counsel; he is obedient. I wonder if people would still desire such relationships if they also have to take hold of the same set of instruction he had to hold on to. It is one thing to have “that parent” but another to be “that child”; you also have to be “that child” for the instructions to be translated so powerfully. Taking hold of instructions is always easy when the instructions are for another; wait until you have to comply. Godly counsel is not the easiest to accept because The Word of God cuts, as the sword that it is, always seeking to destroy the flesh; however, it is necessary even if just for the purpose of discipline. God is well aware of our struggles with instructions so He encourages us to take hold of them because they are life. The truth of life is given as instructions and if we must succeed we have to accept and/or take hold of them.

Proverbs 4: 25 – 27 “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”

We have to look straight as much as lies within us; and within us is all the strength we need to look straight. It is true that we as mere mortals are often distracted but we must do all we can to remain focused; our gaze has to be fixed and that starts with a decision. It takes a deliberateness to remain focused; it doesn’t just happen as we live. Distractions are a normal part of life, a reality allowed by God so that distractions would always be all around us. These seek to make us look anywhere but ahead so we must insist on looking forward if we must make a straight path for our feet, which is our responsibility. Never make excuses for yourself that absolve you of responsibility for your “zig zag path”; the responsibility is yours and no one else. You can resist the distractions. Even athletes who intend to win train to resist distractions. If you allow yourself to be instructed by every voice, you will not go forward in life.

Proverbs 4: 23 “Guard your life above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

We protect so many things and that is understandable. We guard our wealth, reputation, and several other things and then leave the one thing we ought to guard, unguarded. We are so busy guarding those things that our hearts are left very vulnerable to attacks. We must be very careful to ensure that we tend our hearts. It has to be fed God’s word, protected from certain environments so it does not take in useless information and become unhealthy. We are our hearts. If for example, there is envy and jealousy in our hearts that is who we are notwithstanding who we may think we are or hope to be. It doesn’t matter the state of your heart as you read, if your heart has been left unguarded, you can begin to tend it today. God bless you.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Really? You Don’t Know Who You Are? It Ought Not To Be So

Please how does one person live two different lives simultaneously? In church - great believer living righteously, even cries during worship (note please that I am by no means suggesting that tears in worship is the hallmark of true believers), yet in the midst of unbelievers - “one of us” and “us” laughs whenever a believer describes “the double life believer” either as church member or believer? This is a spiritual health problem which is fast becoming acceptable and even normal. We just laugh about it facilitating its acceptability so much so that it has become the more common look of believers especially around where I live. The problem with this is that people now assume that most believers live the double life. Also, the world is now witnessing a lot more such believers; who have a form of godliness but unable to access the grace or power to live as and do what we should. I guess this bring us to the question we hate to be confronted with in our private moments - who are you?
Galatians 3: 26 “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

This identity crisis and/or personality disorder is a big problem that is largely a result of carnality in the church. It is sad that we struggle with knowing who or whose we are because this struggle impacts us negatively. One cannot correctly determine their identity without first correctly determining whose they are and the worth or caliber of whose they are. Unfortunately, a lot of us would rather not know the personality of whose we are because we don’t want to be too “churchy.” So, we would rather be borderline believers – maintain the Christian label but remain comfortable with evil. Hence, these sicknesses are common amongst believers who keep their walk with God at a very superficial level. We can’t be two persons in one person; that is like being possessed with a contrary spirit. The level of confusion, pain and damage this causes in the midst and lives of believers is indescribable.

Ephesians 2: 10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”

I have found that anyone with an understanding of the personality of He whom we call Father, becomes different. This is understanding that goes beyond the intellect. It is an enlightening by the Holy Spirit which lightens spirit, soul and body of man and cannot but influence one’s thinking. Without making an effort to be different, you just find that you see yourself differently. It certainly erases any form of low self-esteem or double living and releases healing for all such emotional sicknesses. That boldness and/or confidence that comes with knowing God is a direct consequence of this enlightening. It is absolutely incompatible with all or any personality disorder.

Galatians 3: 29 “And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.”

We must realize that children are not owned by parent. This is even more so for every born again child of God. Parents are just custodians to whom God, who is our real parent, entrusts precious things who need initial help which includes nurture, protection and instruction in the way they should go - the way of The Word of God. The seed of God is in all of us, for every man is made in the image and likeness of God, but remains dormant until quickened by the Holy Spirit. Every tree is a reflection of its seed despite that the tree grows really big. Everything that makes the tree what it is, is in the seed; and so it is with God’s children. We carry the seed that is and makes us who we are. You are very okay; you just don’t know it so you act like you have a personality disorder. Unless and until you accept that you are okay and start acting as such, there is nothing anyone else can do. This understanding is ignited by The Holy Spirit with whom we must continue to fellowship. It has nothing to do with one’s financial state but available to every child of God. It is revelation knowledge of our God.

Daniel 11: 32b “But the people that do know their God will be strong…”

No one is healed of any personality disorders including living a double life, by blaming other people. Blaming others makes it impossible to see your need for healing. Until we see ourselves and the “diseases” we shut out healing. Sometimes, we need to take a minute to ponder on some of our responses and take responsibility for our misdemeanor so we can set our healing in motion. No one needs to appear even a little “rancid” just to cover up these disorders. It is grievous to see believers who feel the need to have a haughty look and/or attitude just trying to cover up these issues. Instead, it not only makes one look bad but ensures that God is unable to fellowship with them. Whilst it is true that believers are blessed, money is not in any way indicative of a good relationship with God. Our attitude goes a long way to tell others about our relationship with God which is the actual determinant of who we are. No matter how bad you may think it is, healing is available if you desire it.

Friday, 28 July 2017

His Love = Our Commitment

One of the best things about getting born again, are the privileges and/or benefits we enjoy. God loves us so much, He has a table of goodness laid out for every one of us. The goodness or benefits laid out are so exciting that they have been successfully used to lure people to Christ; unfortunately though, many such persons have found themselves in the place of murmuring and complaining, which God hates. Dealing with the reality of this salvation which contradicts the premise on which they accepted salvation just got too tough. Some others even quit completely. They couldn’t cope with pain caused by disappointment; disappointment from finding oneself in a place which contrasts very deeply with where one thought they would be. Sadly, some no longer desire the true encounter that precedes salvation because they assume that they already had a taste of it and didn’t like it: of course, they are not aware that what they tasted is not the real thing. It takes an encounter with our Lord and Savior to enjoy the sweetness of this faith, with a knowing and an acceptance of the fact that the privileges we enjoy come at a cost; because man is inherently selfish. It takes a regenerated mind to put others first, esteeming them higher than one’s self.

Philippians 2: 3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”

Romans 8: 17 “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together, with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.”

The primary reason a man commits to God is a realization that he is a sinner who needs God’s forgiveness and cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ. He acknowledges his deep need for His sin nature to be dealt with and brought under control so he makes Jesus Christ Lord and Master over His life. Until one comes to the place where He sees his life without Christ for what it truly is, he would not sincerely yearn for salvation. It is an awareness that instigates a complete transformation impacting spirit soul and body. It starts with a longing or cry to heaven for liberty from the filth of sin and control of the sin nature, to which heaven responds with forgiveness, cleansing and appropriation of Christ righteousness amongst several other benefits including access to grace which is an enabling by God through His Spirit to live the life that pleases Him. Until that complete work is done, one is not yet empowered to take on the responsibilities that accompany the privileges that come with salvation.  The Holy Spirit whose presence in a life signifies that this change has taken place, is given by God to also help us effectively accomplish our responsibilities.

Mathew 11: 28 “Then Jesus said, ‘come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens … take my yoke upon you … and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden is light.”

The privilege of being a joint heir with Christ definitely comes with responsibilities. That commitment to Christ is just the beginning and not all that is required of us. God has not called us to an irresponsible life where He does everything and we do nothing but just enjoy the benefits. He requires us to reciprocate His love, goodness, mercies and kindness. Our commitment to Him comes with responsibilities that must be embraced alongside the privileges. Some of the privileges include the fact that we become keepers of God’s precious word and consequently, custodians of mysteries which is in itself, an awesome privilege. The least God expects of us is that we keep that which was committed to us as we should.

1 Corinthians 4: 1 – 2 “So then, let us (who minister) be regarded as servants of Christ and stewards (trustees, administrators) of the mysteries of God (that He chooses to reveal). In this case, moreover, it is required (as essential and demanded) of stewards that one be found faithful and trustworthy.”

Faithfulness is a key ingredient for success as a believer. Until we learn faithfulness and commitment, we would find this faith a little more difficult and without The Holy Spirit, an unacceptable burden. God demands faithfulness from every one of us so that we really do not have a choice as some of us would like to believe. Making commitments and keeping them is the hallmark of true believers. Our salvation involves a commitment to God and the working out of it involves several other commitments. From one level to the next, the commitment required is weightier so that much more is required to keep them but the reward is also greater. We come to God far from perfect but our aim is to be like Him and He knows, so He sends us a very willing and able Helper in the person of the Holy Spirit. We must always remember that He walks with us, keeps records and rewards. What will be found in the books concerning you when all is said and done?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Have You Been To Lo-debar?

I had an exhausting chat with a gentleman a few days ago. He went on about “how tough things have been” (colloquialism for financial challenges) for him; and all this in the same way he has done every time he has visited me in the three years. Indeed he was at his worst this time and understandably so, because his financial challenge is at it’s very worst and he sees no way out or forward for himself. In all the three years or more, he has been and still is, waiting for a major financial boost which he believes is the only thing that will take him forward. This time, he further explained that his “pill of hardship” is even more difficult to chew, because he has lived a “clean life” devoid of sin yet God would not inject the much needed capital that would transform his life. Of course, he forgets that all our righteousness is as “filthy rags” before God. Though he is born again, he acted like one under the law making a list of all the bad things he stayed away from unlike several others whom God appears to be blessing.

Galatians 5:  4 – 5 “For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.”

It is bad enough that he was unintentionally working out his righteousness; his attitude becomes even more destructive, because he was obviously complaining and murmuring against God, without intending to do so, which said attitude only separates one from God. Indeed, the bible lets us know that God hates murmurers and complainers. Since he was full of bitterness, thanking God was far from his mind and all because he was at “Lo-debar”; that place where every believer would come through at some or several point(s) in the course of life. Whilst it is true that it can happen suddenly making it more painful, it is easier to embrace it whilst steadfastly looking to Jesus Christ with a deep assurance of faith that the season would pass leaving one with a testimony and their mouth filled with laughter. It is a time to draw strength from God and waste no energy wrestling with life. Though God does not take us there, He allows it for a purpose and is working to bring you to a wealthy place but if you get disconnected from Him how does He then bring you out? You may think you don’t have strength to hold on but that is because you have not tapped into that which is on the inside of you because everyone is strong who knows this God; you need to tap into it.

Psalm 66: 12 amp “You made men (charioteers) ride over our heads (in defeat); we went through fire and through water, yet you brought us into a broad place of abundance (to be refreshed).

Daniel 11: 32b KJV “But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.”

Lo-debar is that low place where Mephibosheth was. If you ever find yourself there or are there as you read, please tap into that strength that you may hold on. There are witnesses who have been and come through successfully so you will too. Naomi was there and she came through; Ruth was there also like several others. Indeed, Naomi fainted but thank God for grace that sent her Ruth whose strength provided support for her. This is not physical strength but the strength that comes from having a real and true knowledge of God who resides in us. Interestingly, Naomi had known God for much longer than Ruth had. Indeed Ruth’s knowledge of God came from knowing Naomi and her family; yet she got to know Him even better so much so that she became a pillar of strength that Naomi drew support from. This thing has nothing to do with the length of time one has been a believer, but everything to do with how much of Him one wants. God will respond to anyone who seeks Him diligently.

2 Samuel 9: 3 – 5 “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family... one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet… ‘where is he’ the king asked…In Lo-debar…so David sent for him and brought him…his name was Mephibosheth.”

Lo-debar is that place where Mephibosheth who once lived in the palace now lived; not even in his own house but with another household and in their home. Who would have thought one’s circumstances could change so radically? But it did and suddenly too. Thank God his response was appropriate. The strength one needs to survive in Lo-debar and respond appropriately when it’s time to leave is not physical otherwise Mephibosheth who was lame in both legs would not have survived and made it out of there; it has everything to do with knowledge of God which is the result of deep hunger for and pursuit of Him as well as a readiness for Him to come so that one can respond correctly despite the difficulties one is engulfed in.

1 Corinthians 10: 10 “And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death.”

Murmurers will most likely miss God when he comes to take them out of Lo-debar because murmuring and complaining impairs vision. It limits thanksgiving which the Psalmist says prepares the way for God’s salvation. How can anyone thank God genuinely if they see no reason to do so. Nobody will take for you the steps you need to take to go forward, God will make a way and grant one the grace to walk through it but it has to be your decision and feet to walk; hence the gentleman has been there for longer than God intended. Of course, Lo-debar is not the most desirable of places but a valley experience that we will all go through if we must become whom God has destined for us to be and accomplish that for which we were saved. Don’t hide from it and don’t seek it: it shall surely come at some point and you can’t be there even one minute longer than necessary. God bless and strengthen you.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Be Sober; Be Vigilant … For your Adversary …

I am blessed to attend a church where “unpopular but godly sermons” are often preached: very simple details of our faith which are often overlooked for the seemingly bigger and catchy things that seem to attract more people. These details, though mundane, remain some of the hallmarks of Christ followers; those things that people see and they know for certain that these are disciples (a.k.a fanatics) of Christ. This past Tuesday, one such sermon was preached at our mid-week service – a reminder of the fact that we must be sober and vigilant. Peter, (a follower of Christ and one of those for whom the word ‘Christian’ was coined for the way they faithfully adhered to Christ teachings), having successfully lived as Christ disciple; lets us know that sobriety is a must for a successful Christian life.
 
1 Peter 5: 8amp “Be sober (well balanced and self-disciplined), be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion (fiercely hungry), seeking someone to devour).

James 4: 9amp “Be miserable and grieve and weep (over your sin). Let your (foolish) laughter be turned to mourning and your (reckless) joy to gloom… in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. (He will lift you up and give you purpose).

Sobriety, unfortunately, now almost sounds like a bad word which it isn’t. It sounds so bad that even believers disdain it, which may again be another trick of the enemy. It seems to suggest that one is boring, dull and maybe, even sorrowful; which is everything but what it really is. To be sober is of course a state of mind with an outward expression but it is having a well-balanced and/or measured attitude of mind. Indeed, without sobriety, one cannot have a heart of thanksgiving because it would be tough to see beyond one’s circumstance when life is tough; for our God doesn’t always reveal His goodness in ways that are immediately acceptable. Sobriety is an attitude of mind that allows us weigh our actions as we should and be measured about our responses to the things that life throws at us. Without it, one’s judgement is bound to be impaired. It is the attitude of mind that James describes when he counsels wrong doers to be sorrowful for their wrongdoing so that they may thereby set in motion a process that will eventually move God to lift them again.  

Ecclesiastes 7: 3amp “Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad (deep in thought) the heart may be happy (because it is growing in wisdom).

1 Corinthians 10: 23amp “All things are lawful (that is, morally legitimate, permissible), but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things lawful, but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things lawful, but not all things are constructive (to character) and edifying (to spiritual life).”

At some point in our walk with God, we don’t really struggle with the obviously bad. Our struggle becomes more of ensuring that one does what is right to do and at the right time. When we cross these fine lines, we may get into the “flesh” making it easy for our enemy to successfully attack.  It is often said that “the line between our flesh and Spirit” is very thin so one may unknowingly and without intending to, cross it. A sober attitude of mind however, prevents such mistakes. Jokes for example are good; they make us laugh and the bible says laughter is good medicine; but despite its goodness, there is a line that when crossed, the jokes may become uncomfortable for a believer. Sobriety lets us know when it’s time to stop before the jokes become “foolish jesting” as well as when we are devoid of a sense of humor and stiff; which has made many unwell with sicknesses that defy medical cure because laughter is the cure.  

Ephesians 5: 4amp “Let there be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse (obscene or vulgar) joking, because such things are not appropriate (for believers)”

Proverbs 17: 22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

Satan takes advantage of people who are flippant and leave carelessly. This sobriety does not in any way suggest that one is sorrowful; if anything, it ensure that one is not sorrowful. It is a hallmark of the prudent and ensures that our lives remain that living sacrifice that gives God a fragrance that is pleasurable to Him. If you have a hope of a glorious end, then sobriety is that attitude of mind that helps you measure your life to ensure that you are walking the path that will take you there. If we want to live our lives as vessels unto God whose desire in all things is to give Him pleasure ensuring that He takes all the glory; then, we need to live with a sober attitude of mind because our flesh desires for us to live carelessly giving it room to facilitate our living for ourselves even without intention to do so. It is impossible to give God “the stage” if one is not sober; you will compete with Him for that stage even without meaning to do so.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Loving Him Cost Something

Araunah owned a field which King David wanted but Araunah preferred to gift it to the King. David however, would not accept it for free because he wanted to build an altar for God on it and he had purposed not to give God anything that cost Him nothing. It’s easy to assume that living with that attitude of mind is easy; but if it is, a number of us would easily be described by God as “a man after mine own heart” which is not the case. David loved God and was mindful of Him. He sought always to give Him the best and at his own expense. He didn’t always do right but his love for God was always right so that his heart was described as perfect toward God. He loved God so much he trusted Him greatly so that if he had a problem, he could never accuse God; he instead, sought to know what was required of him so the problem could be fixed. Indeed, true love is not selfish. Love is not love until it esteems the other and the deeper the love, the greater the esteem and trust. No matter how much we claim to love, the depth of that love is tested by the extent of our trust and David’s love for God passed the test.

Acts 13: 22 “About whom God said, I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart.”

1 Corinthians 13: 5Amp “Love… is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily provoked (not overly sensitive and easily angered)”

True love is costly. It believes the best. Those who love God believe the best of Him. Believing the best of anyone is not something we work at; it flows naturally from the amount of love we have for them. If we love God, then we just know, even when things are obviously not going well and life seems to be working against us consistently; that though He permitted it all, He’s intentions remain good and He is working good. Hence Job struggled with cursing God as his wife counseled him to do. Through pain and great difficulties, he could not think or speak evil concerning God. Job could not accuse God. I believe his wife may have loved God too, but not enough to remain on His side as their lives seemed to evolve in ways they did not understand or appreciate and seemingly, without an end. Her love for God was not deep enough to impact her perception of God unlike her husband whose love was so deep he could not look away from it enough to curse God.

Isaiah 41: 8b “… Abraham my friend”

No wonder! Though He calls us friends generally, He calls some “my friend”. This is that level of friendship that makes one believe that no matter how bad things look, His thoughts toward them are good. No matter how much we want to believe we love, our trust level gives us the true picture. You see all the seemingly wrong things but you remain steadfast believing the best. If you are quick to blame and/or accuse someone you claim to love so deeply, whether directly or indirectly, then you may not love the person as much as you may like to believe. If your relationship is about you, what you are going through or He has done to you or the cost to you and such like, then you may not love Him as much as you think. Of course, the fact that you desire to give Him suggest a level of love but this is about that love that is special and qualifies one to be “special friend”. How dare you suggest that you are special when you know you are the focus of the relationship? Neither selfishness nor self-centeredness exist in a truly loving relationship. Real love is selfless to the point where it naturally “believes the best.” Unless and until we love God, we cannot truly love another. I guess this is why people think they love so much they kill the one they love out of jealousy but that is not love.

1 Corinthians 13: 7 “Love bears all things (regardless of what comes), believes all things (looking for the best in each one), hopes all things (remaining steadfast during difficult times), endures all things (without weakening).

Unless and until we love God, we cannot truly love another. I guess this is why people think they love so much they kill the one they love out of jealousy but that is not love. It is only to the extent that we love God that we can love others and our knowledge of God impacts on our love for Him. You have to know Him to love Him. If you love someone based on what you see only, you have a problem; you need to know them enough to interpret their actions correctly and so it is with our God. Love is real; it is not built on fantasies.  The people we love are not loved because they are perfect; we love them because we are saved but the depth of our relationship with them is tied to the extent to which we understand and accept them which comes from engaging them. Our love for God is deepened only as we engage Him. Otherwise, that love remains elementary.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The person old life is gone: a new life has begun.”

To love Him is to present ourselves a living sacrifice which definitely cost something, simple as it sounds. A yielded life is tough especially because we have minds and a right to make choices and/or decisions. Every decision for God is a decision to die to something you would naturally want albeit wrong. It cost something to unlearn and learn so we would rather add knowledge to what we knew but that is not what God requires of us. He demands that we unlearn or empty ourselves that we may learn or be filled up. The unlearning process makes one look silly, but when He fills us, we are numbered amongst the honored. Our God rewards every sacrifice and or labor of love and yearns for it. He cares even more when it cost you something hence the story of the widow’s mite. Please think deeply, when was the last time you gave of yourself such that it cost you deeply? Think on it that you may judge your love for Him correctly.