Saturday, 31 December 2016

Friday, 23 December 2016

The Father's love

Sometimes, I get lost admiring my brother's cuteness and innocence and  wonder how I came to love my little brother so much. I used to think I developed love for him when I first saw him as a newborn but now I know. I actually started developping love for him even before he was born. Before he was born, I had dreams of a having a brother and would look at pictures of babies in baby magazines with him in mind when my mum was pregnant with him. These planted that seed of love I would have for my brother to come. That seed of love only grew stronger the very moment I saw him for the first time.
       'I started developing love for him even before he was born'.
Does this remind you of something? Well for me, it does. It reminds me of our heavenly Father, God.

Before we were born, there may have been people who were expecting us excitedly. They had already bought baby things for us, thought of our names and were ready to make sacrifices to take care of us. You could say, the moment they discovered we were in our mommy's tummy, it ignited that fire of love towards us in them.

     But what about the One who created us; that even before we were in the womb already:
1. had us in mind. Isaiah 46:3b: I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born.

2. made plans concerning us. Genesis 1:26-27: Then God said, 'Let us make man in Our image, to be like us....[27] So God created human beings in His own image.

3. knew what our purpose would be. Isaiah 49:1b: The Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb He called me by name.

4. (Embryology students are familiar with this part) Each day,each week, He carefully transformed us from zygote to morula to bilaminar disc to trilaminar disc to embryo to foetus.(I assure you this is is very complex) Psalm 139:13-17:You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body...[15] You watched me as I was being formed...[16]You saw me before I was born...[17] How precious are your thoughts about me, O God....

He knew we would be born into sin but He still wants us to be with Him someday so He sent Jesus to die for us. John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that He sent his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

We are still alive? Who is keeping us and why? Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

We have gone through our worst periods yet survived. How? Mattew 28:20b: And be sure of this, I am with you always , even to the ends of the earth.
          Dear reader, what message am I trying to pass? God loves us. Even if:
1. the world turns their back on us, He says in Isaiah 49:15-16: "Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has born? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you![16] See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in My mind is a picture of Jerusalem's walls in ruins( PARAPHRASE: always in my mind is a picture of you even in your most down broken moments).
2.our close ones leave us, He says in : Isaiah 44:21b: I,the Lord made you, and I will not forget you.
Isaiah 43:1-2: But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you...[20] When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
3. others have written us off as trash, He says in 1 Samuel 16:7b: The Lord doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart."
4. we may have condemned ourselves as too dirty to make it to heaven, He says in Ezekiel 18:24.: " Do you think that I like to see the wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live!
Ephesians 2:4: But God is so rich in mercy and He loves us so much
5. we feel we are worth nothing with nothing of value to contribute to the world, we are not the first people to be in this situation. Look at Isaiah 49:4: I replied," But my work seems useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord's hand; I will trust God for my reward.[5] And now the Lord speaks- the One who formed me in my mother's womb to be His servant...[6] He says,"... I will make you a light to the Gentiles,..." [7] The Lord, the Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says to the one who is despised and rejected by nations,...: "Kings will stand at attention when you pass by. Princes will also bow low because of the Lord, the Faithful One,The Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."

   He loves us despite our imperfections, disabilities, shortcomings, flaws,failures,mistakes, past and background. I John 3:1a: See how very much Our Father loves us, for He calls us His children and that is what we are!
Ephesians 1:4: Even before He made the world, God loves us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.[5] God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do and it gave him great pleasure.

We are no mistake; we are planned. Jeremiah 1:5:"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart...

We were loved even before we came to earth, we are still loved, we will always be loved... by our Heavenly Father, Jehovah God.
Romans 8:35-39: Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity or are persecuted or hungry or destitute or in danger or threatened with death?....[38] And I am convinced that nothing can ever seperaye us from God's love...[39] No power in the sky above or in the earth below- indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed Christ Jesus Our Lord.
You can click the video below to listen to an uplifting song by Hillsong about God, the Father.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The Little Things That Matter

We are in the 21st century- often called the ‘jet age’ – the period when everything seems to move fast…well like a jet. We eat fast food, drive fast-moving cars, we send messages to any part of the world within seconds thanks to the internet, even children grow fast because of the prevalent media.

    If we were to come down to our goals and dreams, we want to achieve them fast. We want to lose as many pounds possible within a month. As students, we are already holding down jobs. We want to be famous already so we have thousands of friends on Facebook and Twitter. We want to make money fast… so we do MMM, icharity, Giversforum, Bitcoin,Bet 9ja and other similar networking businesses.

I admit, I too am guilty of this. As a girl still living under her parents, I crave independence sometimes. I want to start making my own money. I want to be what I want to be not in years to come but now.

2016, Nigeria experienced the ‘BOOM’ of networking businesses aka online making quick money schemes that are not illegal. Everywhere you go, every call you get, every social network, the question that comes your way is: ‘Have you heard of MMM/Ultimatecycler/Help2get…etc. They all had amazing different offers but one thing they all had in common: An assurance that you would yield stupendous profits- even up to 90%- of whatever you invested into them.

  So I involved myself in two or three of them and you could guess why. In particularly one, I put in the largest sum I had ever invested in the networking business (don’t worry, it was not even up to a quarter of a N100k but it was still big for me :/). I was told that within one week, I had get four times what I had put in. One week passed and it never came. I was downcast. Two weeks, then three weeks…then still nothing. I ‘mourned’ for my loss. All I wanted to do was to make quick money as long as it did not involve illegal means and it did not work out.

   One day during my ‘mourning’ period, the water supply finished in my house. I had put

on the tap but only drops came out. I left a bucket under it anyway. Some hours later, I came back to it. The bucket was full to the brim and overflowing. No, the water supply was not back neither was the tap flowing normally. Matter of fact, it still trickled out water but because the bucket had remained under it for hours, it had eventually got full.

   I learned a lesson that day: It’s the little things that matter.

All it took to fill up that bucket were the drops of water that never stopped coming. All it takes for a toddler to start walking is one wobbling toddle at a time. All it takes for water to boil is that 1-degree rise in temperature. All it takes to finish one book is one page at a time. All it takes to get to the end of a staircase is one step at a time. All it takes to make a building is one block at a time. All it takes to grow a church is one soul more each service. All it takes to create another generation is a baby to be born. All it takes to make a millennium is one day more. (Can you give more examples? Write them in the comment box below J ).

So you see, it is not the big things that really matter but the small things. Remove the small things that make up the big thing one by one, you had end up with nothing.

If I want to be an artist, I have to consistently practise even if it means making sketches. If I want to lose weight, I have to eat right and exercise each day. If I want to succeed and achieve my goals, I have to work hard towards it every day.

We want to be successful, fulfil our purpose, be millionaires but all that won’t happen overnight or even over months. It may take years to come but that effort we put in everyday is what will take us closer to our dreams.

That small smile we give out may be all it takes to brighten up someone’s mood. That little prayer we make each day is what draws our miracles closer. A short sentence: ‘I love you’ (but said with sincerity! ) can save people from feelings of loneliness, sadness, depression or worse. And better: it makes a person feel valuable and loved.

  So let’s not feel bad if we have not achieved our goals yet. I would never forget what a cartoon character I once watched on TV said, ‘I may not be where I want to be but I am better than I was yesterday’. Neither should we be so hard on ourselves if we made mistakes along the way. After all, the only people who don’t make mistakes at all are only those who never do anything.

Experience is a teacher and each day another opportunity to start again. Remember whatever we want to be or get just requires that extra something.

No doubt the Bible agrees with me on this. See what it says in:

1.       Zechariah 4:10: “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”

2.       Job 4:10: “And though you started with little, you will end with much.”

3.       Isaiah 60:2: “The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the Lord will make it happen.”