The Attributes of True Love

The love day should occur every day in a lovely environment. It is ok if a day is dedicated to love-expression but will be much more profitable if such a day includes a period of reflection, reflecting on some attributes of love.

True love is not always determined by the lovely gifts, expensive restaurants, or special date night, but also being real to each other.

These days, love seems to have lost its original definition amid all kinds of self-made, assorted definitions, and thus the reaping of the effects of generationally modified love definitions.

For love to be a real, lasting one, it must be all-encompassing. Somebody said to me recently, ‘I gave up on love a long time ago’. Superficial love, rash and rushed upon, benefit-based, self-gratifying love, does not stand the test of time. It fizzles out with ease.

What are the attributes of Real and true love?

Love is natural; you cannot enforce it, otherwise, it loses its value.
Love is sacrificial, compassionate, patient, and tolerant. It is not about ‘me’ but ‘you’ & ‘us’.
Love sees good parts of their partner much more than the dented parts.
Love is not blind to the truth or faults but manages them well with wisdom.
Love is more optimistic rather than pessimistic.
Love is considerate, not self-centered.
Love does not resist constructive corrections, but submissive and willing to learn. Love is not the boss that sits on the throne and dishes out instructions.
Love is neither proud nor arrogant but gentle. It does not know it all. Love listens and it is empathetic rather than being sympathetic.

Love described in the book of 1Corinthians 13:1-8

Love does not envy anyone but appreciates the good in others.
Love is kind and does not seek its own. It is not easily provoked. It does not desire evil in others nor rejoice in the downfall of anyone.
The resiliency in true love is very great and unique.
The talents and gifts may fail, power, wealth may fail, but not the real love. It abides through thick and thin.

The question is, how do we find such love? Don’t look for it in the other person first, look for it within. As love attracts, it will attract the right one, at the right time, in the right place, from the right person, especially when that love takes its root from God.

Even when a heart does not seem to agree with all of the above, it still gently and humbly seeks after the best of everything. It does not follow after the majority carry the votes. It sought out its uniqueness and make the best of it. It pursues strength where it can only be found. It tracks down the never-failing foundational and reference love that is only available in Christ.

Most importantly is God’s love for us who is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God’s invaluable love for us made Him give “his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This central love is a milestone to any other and a secret of success to any loving relationship.

A Christian Heart

A Christian heart is precious before the Lord

A tribalistic Samaritan people would not allow Jesus and His disciples to pass through their village to Jerusalem. They have heard about Jesus and his connection to Jerusalem and decided to use their power of attorney to resist the pass. The immediate response of the disciples of Christ was to request approval to call fire down upon the village so that everyone in the place, including children, elderly, men, and women, will be burnt alive. They thought these villagers must know that we carry power with us as we go to Jerusalem, the City of God, to worship.

How did Jesus respond?

But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye, know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Luke 9:51-56 (KJV)

Jesus simply made them go through another place; if one door is shut, there will always be another one; we do not have to die there or destroy the people because they wounded our pride or took us for a ride.

Before this occurrence, in the same chapter of Luke 9, there was another scene where disciples silenced some people serving God in their location sincerely. The disciples must have felt that those groups of people did not belong to their executive first class of Christ disciples and thus cannot be doing the same thing as disciples. The disciples had their reasons for muting those local people but Jesus corrected them also.

And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.

Mark 9:38-40 (KJV)

The disciples were obviously struggling with segregation, self-centeredness, the pride of position, place, race, etc. which Jesus corrected, and was documented for us to learn from, as followers of Christ, the redeemed of the Lord.

It is surprising to see all kinds of dissent, divisiveness, hostility among Christians these days, and one could not but wonder why (what could have precipitated all these). It should be a matter of concern if the salt of the world seems to be losing its savor and turning sour. People we are supposed to show the way of salvation and lighten up their heart, quietly sit in the dark watching the drama.

Many people have left the Christian faith or vowed never to have anything to do with Christianity because of the lives of some of us. Those people probably had seen some of our carnality, hypocrisy, division, partiality, displayed or hidden hatred, segregation, name them. Some of us also have left our first love and withdrawn from our zeal, giving the opportunity to the enemy to paddle our abandoned canoe. False teachers saw the lapses, took advantage of them, and blended in perfectly. Jesus said: “but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way”, Matthew 13:25. It is time to come back home brethren; Master is beckoning.

It is not too late to retrace our way back to the cross and cry out to God for the restoration of a right spirit within us. Our world still needs its lights and salts. Our world still needs God. Those that have been saved are to stand for the salvation of others and be good ambassadors of Christ.

A blind man was brought to Jesus for a touch of a miracle; Christ touched him, and he got his miracle instantly, but the man could only ‘see men as trees, walking’ (Mark 8:24). But when he acknowledged his incompleteness to Christ, he received the second touch, and this time could see men as men. This second touch experience is what many of us need these days; the Sanctification of our heart. If we can sincerely look inward individually and humbly pray for revival in our personal life, together, we will influence our world for good.

When my Finger was found Guilty

Every season or circumstance comes with its challenge

I was once driving on a very slippery road covered with black ice. With my fingers wrapped firmly around the steering wheel and my eyes fixed on the way, safety stood out clear as a priority in my mind. Pressure mounted up quickly when a car behind me could not stand the way I was driving. He did everything possible to intimidate me and scare me off the road, but I did not budge because there was no way around it. When he effectively got the long-awaited chance, he pressed his horn so hard to call my attention and right away gave me a middle finger. At that moment, before my brain could think through it, my body had already responded. One of my fingers was up in retaliation. I knew some people negatively use some fingers but honestly, I was not used to that, so I had no idea which finger was associated with what, neither did I know what I was doing. My spirit-man was activated immediately, and I felt so terrible. It was like I should rip off that finger from the rest of them as I sadly and shamefully drove home. I reported myself to my family on arrival, ruminated upon my action, and prayed for more grace that stand any heat of anger.

Calmness in harsh weather makes the season look beautiful

In our present world are so much pressure and stress. Different people are fighting various battles, and sometimes, there is a transfer of aggression. Many things had happened this year that had altered our world and disoriented its balance; some lives lost, jobs lost, health threatened, trusts broken, educations affected, youth and children impacted in the struggles. Even the church of God had its share of the challenges. A friend once sent me this message:

“I am very very depressed. Now another lockdown. I need freedom. I need old habits of thinking to be loosed from me. I have had too much sorrow.”

That is why we must be patient with one another and persevere in the trailing challenges. As believers are not exempted from the challenges in our world, the grace to bear it is made available in Christ, and we need that grace daily before we get sunk in the situations. David the King in the book of Psalm 119:83 had this testimony to share:

“For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.”

Jesus gave us a head-up in Luke 18:8 while speaking about the injustice ravaging the featuring world in His parable,

“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”

Christians must be determined to keep their faith regardless of any prevailing circumstances. The battle will be over eventually, and we must show up on the side of victory. God that led the children of Israel by a pillar of cloud in the day, and a pillar of fire in the night, still rules in the affairs of men today.

The whole world cannot wait to walk out of 2020 and start a desirable life in the New Year, but then it is just a second that separates the new year from the old one. Our dispositions and actions determine what is new and what remains old in the new. Every New Year will always come with its challenges. That is why we need the grace of God and wisdom in the new year to survive with ease.

Drive with God into the New Year, safety is guaranteed

Merry Christmas!

Imagine a world without comfort, a world without sunshine and hope, a world packed only with human beings of various opinions and ideas, a world without a real Soldier to fall on, a world without Christ, empty of God and void of His mercy? Just take a moment to think about it.

Even though December 25th does not affirm the real birthday of Christ, the world will always stand still to acknowledge and reference the Savior of the world. Even if all Merry Christmas greeting is turned to Happy Holiday greeting, the unbeatable landmark has been set to stand forever. Right from birth had risen oppositions upon oppositions; even a whole respected and powerful king declared a war against a little child because that Baby was not just a baby but a Savior of the world.

Many have come and gone, names have risen and fallen but not this One that brings redemption, hope, comfort, deliverance, true freedom, joy everlasting. Thousands of songs had been written about Him saving the world and giving comfort in hopelessness, including the one written by Andrea Crouch titled ‘Through It All’, “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God, Through it all, Through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”

 How grateful we are for the love of God that made Him give “his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Regardless of the darkness covering the earth, we thank and magnify God for that light of Christ which continues to shine and lighten the paths of life.

It is a joy to the world indeed.

The Star of Bethlehem

The Biblical Star of Bethlehem or Christmas Star, as reported by cbn.com and taken by several people from South Africa, Italy, all over, took the attention of the world on the 21st of December, 2020.

 As the Bible is not at the mercy of anything, science takes its root from it. Is not that revealing? The next appearance is to come up in 2080. Who can boldly tell of the occurrences that will happen between now and then? Oh, God does! He allows the revelation of part of His plans also.

When Christ shall come also, all eyes shall see Him.

“Behold, he [Jesus Christ] cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Revelarion 1:7

 “And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 22:7.

Dear friends, that is why it is dangerous to modify the biblical instructions or soften them up to suit our indulgences and accommodate our errors. But when we sincerely humble ourselves before God, He will help our shortcomings and grant us grace to follow.

TEN YEARS OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS; SLEEP ON MOTHER

Some things are irreplaceable to some people. Some histories have come to stay regardless of anything. There are realities people must face no matter how much they try to bury them. One of those is losing a mother.

Exactly, ten years ago, my mother left us. It started like a stage play that suddenly turned real. She walked into the hospital for surgery by herself. Although, thousands of kilometers apart, the arrangements were made perfect with the best surgeons and best set of doctors. Although everything went ok, she never made it past the recovery room.

Before the surgery, we had a heart to heart discussion and ensured her right spirit with God. As a woman of prayer, she had also spent time in prayer for a successful surgery, so we were hopeful for the best.

As I patiently awaited the report from home, some unusual things happened and what followed was a song that busted in my spirit mind in such a way I could not resist. It was the ‘Hallelujah Chorus’. I quickly twisted the song in my mind to suit what I wanted, interpreting it to mean Hallelujah, mother has fully recovered from the recovery room. But a few hours later, I got the news that she had slept in the Lord. Uhh!

It was painful, very painful, and I could still feel the fresh pain. The story of her life is worth a book. Many questions flooded my heart, including the hearts of my siblings, in-laws, her husband, as we could not stop asking questions. Thank God, the answers came one after the other, and all we can say is: God is good all the time and is ever faithful.

It has been ten years now, and the mercy and faithfulness of God have stood the test of time.

Every 11th of December will remain a memorial to us.

The Wise Virgins’ Wisdom

Assuming the doors of churches are closed completely, and church fellowships become forbidden, how long will our faith be able to carry us?

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Luke 21:36

It’s high time we make our faith ours and daily validate our relationship with Christ.

Drawing from the ocean of knowledge in the Bible and the wisdom of the wise virgins, we must be equipped with extra oil for our lamps, in case things tarry beyond our expectations.

Matthew 25:2-13
[2]And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
[3]They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
[4]But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
[5]While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
[6]And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
[7]Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
[8]And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
[9]But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
[10]And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
[11]Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
[12]But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
[13]Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Continue reading “The Wise Virgins’ Wisdom”

Let God be God

No matter how deep we are in our relationship with God, we are still human, subject to all kinds of temptations, situations & human errors. That is why we cannot take the place of God in anybody’s life or in anything. God is still in charge of His creations.

Let Satan, with all his fans and constituency, join themselves together, they can never push God to the corner or take Him by surprise. The business of any believers is to humbly follow God’s words and not be too wise in our eyes. If we were not there in the foundation of the world to assist God in the creation exercise, how do we think He is not able to sustain those creations without our help? It is good to be zealous for God and stand for our rights before those rights are taken from us, but then, that zeal must be according to knowledge for it to yield its rightful fruits. It is also, a top priority to keep our souls over fighting for our rights. We cannot afford to lose our way while seeking the way out.

Paul the Apostle was so worried about some brethren that he had to pen down his concern this way:

“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God”.

Romans 10: 2, 3

The wisdom of God is unsearchable. There are some things we will never comprehend until we take our last breath on earth. That is why we must stay within the confinement of the revealed words of God in the Bible.

I have cried and queried somethings about life. I have had questions that I could not figure out the answers. I don’t have all l wanted or prayed for all the time. I have been showered with much love and have seen the opposite of it as well. I don’t always feel God tapping me on my shoulder and say daughter, don’t worry, all shall be well. Would that mean that God is helpless to help me? I don’t think so. Should my relationship with God be: “What I want I must have and what I pray for must be answered”? I only came to realize that God’s ways are not my ways all the time, and my pains, my tears, and unanswered requests could be parts of His plans. I know, without any doubt, that God is real, and He is faithful.

In the book of Job, Eliphaz the Temanite, a friend of Job, was a man of the words, eloquent and very classic in his presentation about God’s nature. Though his descriptions of God were great, the applications of those words as related to Job’s situations were so wrong that God had to rebuke him. God also made Job forgive Eliphaz and the other friends, and also, prayed for them. Men and women of God, please, let us be wise and be careful. We can not be wiser than God. We must understand our limits in the Kingdom and allow our zeal to align with God’s way, knowing that God is still God, so merciful, yet principled.

We cannot but give God His place. Working with Him with human reasonings will land us in danger. We must not take the privilege of knowing Him for granted. He is still God and got everything under His control.

A Veteran’s Kindness

Lest we forget

It was springtime, and the green grasses were springing out from every corner. So, it was time to dust the lawnmower. Bringing it out, I discovered it would not start. I loaded it on my truck, and off to the Home Depot, I drove. Getting there, it was clear I might have to buy another one as the warranty on this one had expired, and the store does not fix the broken lawnmower. So, I went to check out on the new one and could not but notice this very elderly man, looking more deeply into new lawnmowers and giving them a diligent examination. I could tell that he was an experienced man. So, I took my chances and approached him for advice. We got into a talk wherein the man simply gave me a lecture on my quest.

It was lovingly too great to have a conversation with this stranger. I told him I had my lawnmower at the back of my truck and was hoping I could get it fixed. Without hesitation, the man requested that I take him to my car so he could have a look. He glanced at it and told me that he could fix it for me but I might have to come with him to his place. So, I and my daughter jumped into the car and drove behind this committed stranger.

We got to his place eventually after driving in a circle for a while. I could tell that he was still trying to master the road. Arriving in his home, I realized his daughter had just moved him to stay with them, being now elderly. But there was something unique about the man, kindness. It was a virtue that could not be mistaken. 

Without wasting time, he got into fixing my lawnmower. He had a massive workshop with all the needed pieces of equipment. He pulled out different kinds of tools, flipped over my lawnmower, diagnosed the problem, and gave me another lecture on it.  I could not just imagine this act of humanity from this elderly-man.

This man did not only fix my broken lawnmower but also serviced it, all for free, as he won’t take anything from me. He also told me he was going to sharpen the blades. By the time he got the electrical machines together and started sharpening the lawnmower’s blades, neither I nor my daughter could stand anywhere close. The spray of fire that was emanating from the sharpening equipment was both scary and frightening. But how about the man facing the fire? Wasn’t he feeling the fire?  So, I asked him. He stopped a bit, showed me his two hands, and told me that he does not feel any pain there. Visually, I could tell some differences. Right away, he went into his past, unfolding his life history as a Veteran. As I am writing this article, I am in tears. I could not just imagine such sacrifices. Many times, we see and take things on a facial level and act casually. But when we become privy to the real story, our perspective of things changes.

In my wonderland, crawled I out to ask this, my angel, why he decided to take a stranger to his place and help. He said to me his life has always been about helping as many people as he could. He said his family grew up knowing that. Uhm! He said his life has been to show people service and love. Within those minutes, I could picture his lifestyle, his pains, his sorrow, his satisfaction, and joy in the type of person he chooses to be. While he went back to continue with the fire spraying machine, his daughter and grandchildren drove in. I could honestly imagine what was going on in their mind, but obviously, they knew their Veteran father well.

This act of kindness will always paint a unique canvas in my mind every November 11th.

Thanks to all the Soldiers and Veterans who have sacrificed, sacrificing, and will sacrifice. And thanks to their various families as well. We appreciate you all!

Mind Controller

Jim Morrison said, “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”. The honest question is: What do we actually allow to control our minds? What is it that informs our opinions, beliefs, and actions?

The mind is very powerful. Like the Digestive System, it will process whatever we feed it with. But there is something that l love about this digestive system, it breaks down food, assimilate useful substances, and excrete (discard) waste products. The nutritionists advise a healthy diet for a healthy life.

David Jesse, a wise and beloved King who had seen ups and downs of life, declared in Psalms 119:15-16: I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

A lawyer named Paul who, also became an Apostle, advised Christians at Phillipi to be careful about what they allow in their heart. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

There are many factors out there competing with the love and grace of God in the life of believers. Allowing the words of God to control our minds will keep pushing us back to God and His way. A life shaped in God’s words is more peaceful and fulfilling than the one controlled by the media, feelings, society, people, achievement, pleasure, ambition, privileges, etc.

Only God’s words can properly straighten the crookedness in man. That is why it better to allow God’s words to be our mind controllers.