“AS YOUR MERCY AND GRACE DEMANDS”

I Will Run To You

Your eye is on the sparrow
And Your hand it comforts me
From the ends of the earth
To the depths of my heart
Let Your mercy and strength be seen

You call me to Your purpose
As angels understand
For Your glory may You draw all men
As Your love and grace demands

And I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might not by power
But by the Spirit of God
Yes I will run the race
Til’ I see Your face
Oh let me live in the glory of Your grace

And I will run to You
To Your words of truth
Not by might not by power
But by the Spirit of God
Yes I will run the race
Til’ I see Your face
Oh let me live in the glory
Oh let me live in the glory
Please let me live in the glory of Your grace
And I will run to You
And I will run to You
Yes I will run to You


Growing up this was one of my favorite songs — still is, except for the fact that I know the right lyrics now — everybody lied about lyrics at some point right? For the past 7 weeks as we worship(I wrote this two weeks ago), we end service with this very song and God keeps taking me back to my childhood days. I share things I remember from my childhood because those memories are quite meaningful and point out how they relate to my life now. So much about the stories can be traced back to God working in my life, and sharing them, makes it evident that Jesus is real and intimately involved with us(Children).

Think back for a moment, when you were a little child. Did you ever wait at the door with excitement, just to run into your daddy’s arms when he came home from work? How badly did you want your mother to just carry you around. Feeling the warmth and safety, knowing all is well when they are with you. As little children we have a total dependence and trust in our parents, we simply believe they will do what we say. This is the exact imprint of belief God is calling us to as we develop our relationship with Jesus. He tells us numerous times in the gospels, “In order to experience me fully and completely you must become like a little child”— We are children of the Most High God.

He calls us  for this one simple reason, so we might become like little children; simple, free, trusting, dependent, risen, joyful, easy, uncomplicated, untainted and favored. He wants us to know that children live life freely from day to day. They never hold on to grudges, always forgiving (share your candy or toy with me so we make amends), living life, and open to new ideas. But now; there’s something at the back of your mind thinking about what someone said or did to you 10 years ago? Maybe you’re thinking, “I deserve better than this in life?”

Well, our lives began and end with the “Finished Work of Jesus“, in whom we have all things. That means the work on the cross covers the north, south, east, and west, nothing is left undone. We have security, simplicity, rest, satisfaction, power, trust, purity, freedom, just to name a few. This masterpiece was handcrafted and designed specifically for you to call your own, to simply receive. Childlike Faith believing we can be anything! Is your faith based on your timing and expectations? Or is it like that of a little child, where every ounce of your being stands on the finished work of Jesus Christ?

Lets take a look at the faith of one little girl, who changed the destiny of one powerful Syrian man. Naaman was the head honcho of the Syrian army. He had high favor with the king, but there was one challenge, he was a leper. Isn’t that just like us? We are in great need of our “Abba” Father(daddy). This purest form of love he richly lavished upon us, by sending forth his only son Jesus, to die on the cross, so we could experience high favor with the King all the time. Even though the Syrians did not worship our great Creator, they knew victory came from Israel’s God.

During a raid, they carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and put her to work for Naaman’s wife. The little girl began to speak with great faith to the woman. “If my lord would be with the prophet (Elisha), he would cure him of leprosy.” A second time the same words of the little girl were now repeated to the king from Naaman. Still, a third time the same words of the little Israelite girl were repeated. And this time to Israel’s king. The news had traveled to Elisha about the great faith of the little girl. He told the king to send Naaman to him. Elisha told Naaman to wash in the Jordan 7 times. A simple, practical, childlike way of healing. “Go take a bath and you will be clean,” isn’t that just what our parents usually say to us(kids). That is just what Jesus did for us. He washed us with His purity, and made us white as snow.

Naaman didn’t like it one bit, he flared with rage! He was a powerful man. It should be a miraculous healing, right? Nope! His faithful young servants spoke to him with great faith. “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you, wash and be clean!” He finally dipped in the Jordan seven times. His whole being was restored and made new like that of a little child (2 Kings 5:1-19). How awesome is the Living God!

You know how frustrating it gets as a child — trying desperately to get your mother’s attention. Gently tugging at her cloth making her uncomfortable, calling out “Mama, Mama,” over and over again. She’ll finally stop whatever she’s doing, bend down to meet your gaze and carry you. Where am I getting with this?

Jesus is gently tugging at our hearts day and night, calling us to become like little children and — “Run to Him” as His Mercy and Grace demands.

Stay blessed!

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“NOW GROW IN LOVE”

Image result for picture of the display of agape love

I was reading something on “True Love” from the Lamp devotional, my mind went back to something I learnt when I visited ICGC at the beginning of this year. The man of God (Rev. Eastwood Anaba) made a statement; “If you want to know how much you love God then look at how you love your fellow human beings”. So then the question is, Do we really love God? Judging from how we love and relate to people. Our whole existence should be centered on love — because God is LOVE.

We doubt the strength of God’s grace and mercy. Perhaps we are too quick in taking offense, playing the blame game and we also speak love too late. Maybe if we focus more on showing the love of God, then we can embody the beauty of being in His will. Maybe unbelievers don’t believe that God is so loving because so many of us aren’t. We don’t even love ourselves talk of loving others. The only problem is you have to truly believe that and I don’t think you can until you experience it. I think unconditional love is buried underneath our shame, pain, and fear (vulnerability). Someone hurts you and it becomes so difficult to continue loving them as if they did you no wrong. Forgiving them should be easy, right?

I believe this is where we need His divine direction, right?

God will definitely show us how to love an imperfect person perfectly, right?

I believe we all need the merciful exposing spotlight of the Holy Spirit to illumine our levels of love (God bringing us into the awareness of His Love). We have no higher priorities in life than loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, as well as loving our neighbor as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27). We must prioritize the pursuit of those two loves. And if we’re reading the great commandments carefully, the words “all” and “as” should drop us to our knees. They are there to make us desperate for God.

This kind of desperation — utter helplessness — is what drives us to prayer. People who pray are people who know that apart from Christ they can do nothing (John 15:5). They seek to abide in him because they desperately need him. Christians don’t always — in fact, shouldn’t always — feel the emotion of desperation when they pray. Saints who learn to rest most in God’s promises have learned most profoundly how utterly they depend on God for everything. And how faithful He truly is.

None of us prayerfully presses into loving God with our entire beings, or loving our neighbor as ourselves, until we see clearly our profound lack of such love — how much we need to be filled with the Spirit of Christ in order to love like Christ. We will likely keep comparing ourselves against the low-bar of one another, and often feeling like we’re doing relatively okay, until we invite the Spirit of Jesus to examine us. His questions always penetrate deeper. “Do you love others as I have loved you?” “Do unbelievers know you are my disciple by the way you love the Christians I have given you to love?”

Do we really want to know how he views our love levels? He invites us to ask him, and he promises to answer us if we want to know (Luke 11:10). His answer may be devastating. But that will produce the prayerful desperation that brings the growth through Godly grief as stated in (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Whatever It Takes, Lord

I believe Jesus is serious about his commandment, perhaps more than we may think (John 13:34). He did not command us to love one another relatively well. He commanded us to love one another divinely well — to love as he loved.

Honestly, it does not matter that this is impossible for fallen human beings, for we have a God for whom all things are possible (Mark 10:27). And since the Father promises to give his Spirit to those who ask (Luke 11:13), let us ask boldly (Hebrews 4:16) and persistently (Luke 11:5–8)

Prayer

“Whatever it takes, Lord, increase my capacity to love until I love you with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love my neighbor as I love myself”Finally I know must let go and leave behind old things and habits(past), new things I must learn to embrace, and the future (eternity) that I must prepare for. Give me the wisdom to know the difference and strength to forgive — open my arms to receive love and grow more in your love…Amen.

“New Year, New Me”


…indeed time does fly, 7 days down 2017 already. I have been quite observant about the festive season and also asked a few friends about their resolutions and expectations for 2017. The usual excitement about the new year, it’s fascinating phrase “New Year, New Me” and the idea of Cutting people off seems to be on the lips of most people. Why don’t we see the new year as a continual progress of our journey here on earth? Rather we set out so many unrealistic ideas about the new year. We want our lives to be like everything we see on TV and social media and in the process living out on purpose.

So every single year, with a new year approaching, you hear most people say “New Year, New Me” and I’m wondering how come you’re a new person each year yet there’s still no visible progress in your life? Is there really a new you every new year? Honestly, this is not a phrase that I want to live by. I don’t see the need to go and start changing everything about myself just because we’re entering a new year. Not that I am perfect, because by no means am I. But I actually like the person that I am, and I don’t have the desire to ‘change’ myself. Entering this new year I don’t want to change myself, I want to better myself. My ultimate new years resolution for 2017, is to become the best possible version of myself (according to God’s will) that I can be aside it being My Year of Divine Manifestation.

Although it really wouldn’t hurt to include getting a gym membership (which I already started a few days ago let’s hope I don’t give up on it), expanding my savings account, and ditching some old habits for my resolutions this year, those are not my main focus. I want to dig below the surface and focus on something that really is important, and that is myself. If I have learnt anything over this past year it is that the only person you can truly count on aside God, is yourself. I learned just how important it is to take care of yourself in 2016 (To constantly pick up yourself after every low moment pressing on and holding on to Christ). You are in control of your happiness, the way your life ends up, and the ultimate person that you are. 

I’m at a good place in my life, where I have a better understanding of who I am, and who God wants me to be. But I also know that there is always room for a little self improvement, and you will never stop growing as a person. Well, I am making a list of resolutions I want to live by to make sure I am the best possible version of myself this new year;

  • Speaking of growing as a person, I want this to be a year of growth. I want to grow from the base of the person I already am into something even greater. I want a deeper relationship with God. Grow more in my walk with Christ to have a better understanding and relationship with the Holy Spirit than I do now.
  • I want to use my heart in ways greater than worrying about people who don’t care about me. Touch lives and inspire people to be better and give more. I want a strong, positive influential group of people surrounding me this year. People who push you to do better, and ones who are there even through the hard times.
  •  Instead of so many nights spent out having fun, where you’ll barely remember the night anyway. I want to spend more time doing things I enjoy, that I won’t forget about. Like spending my free time writing, going for walks, reading more, spending time in church, fellowship, or going to chase a sunset.
  • I want to love myself, the same way I want someone to love me. The level of respect I want to receive from someone else, is the same respect I want to show myself every single day. I don’t want to take a single moment for granted. I realize that life is short. I want to love with my whole heart, spend my time making a difference, and surround myself with the ones I love every chance I get. I want to stay true to myself, and who I am, no matter what. I believe honesty is the best gift one can ever give him/herself. Your life can only get better when you’re honest with yourself.
  • I am blessed to already have a great family (family goes beyond people you’re related to by blood), but I want to spend even more time together, not just during the holidays. Because in the end family always will be the most important thing. I don’t want to have hate in my heart for anyone. Even the people who have done me wrong, deserve happiness. I want to truly forgive and forget (learn to be “unoffendable”). Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes sometimes. 
  •  I want to set real goals, and actually accomplish them. I want to chase my dreams, and never give up, no matter how many times life tries to knock me down. I want to remain driven (Focused), and not let anything stand in my way. I want to aim higher. To believe in myself so much that I feel like I can truly do anything I put my mind to with the assurance that God is always on my side.  

This is something for those who are so expectant to find love this year, not to burst your bubble tho. A new year is not a yardstick for measuring how soon you can find Mr. Right or Ms Right, No. There’s more to Love than just emotions — I believe it has more to do with purpose, God will give you someone you need rather than someone you want if only you’re patient. His best is worth waiting and praying for. So why don’t you stop spending any more time trying to find THAT PERSON, but rather to be THAT PERSON. Love isn’t something you can search for. It will happen when it’s meant to happen, a good kind of love can never be forced. So for now, instead of searching for that person, become that person.

So by this time next year, when I am once again reflecting on the year and thinking of another resolution for the following year, I hope I can honestly say that I followed the resolutions I set for myself. I hope I am the same me that I am today. I hope I still have my smile, more rooted in Christ, the same positive attitude, and the same love for life that I do now. But I also hope that I can look back on the year and honestly say that I’m an even better person than I was. 

“Because he has focused his love on me I will deliver him. I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls out to me, I will be with him in distress. I will deliver him, and I will honor him.” (Psalm 91:14-15)  — Give this a try, put your focus on God this year.

Ps; these are my thoughts (resolutions) and might not necessarily work for you. Nevertheless, go into prayer and ask God to help you identify the loopholes in your life and also guide you to make the right resolutions that will help shape your life in order to see tangible progress. Stay blessed!