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Showing posts from June, 2010

The eye of faith

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It is very easy to praise and rejoice in the Lord when everything is going well. When there is no sickness, no pain, no poverty, no suffering, and etc but blessed are those when marked with great affliction and sorrow can yet say blessed be the name of the Lord and rejoice in him as if there troubles is light and  momentary. They posses the eye of faith because there eyes are set on the things unseen.


Bless your name oh Lord

Though I have not much in me

No outward security

No money to see me through

Yet I will praise you Lord

For you have become my strength

My security and comfort

K.Oni

Behold, you are fair, my love!

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Kiss me with the kisses of your mouth
For your love is better than wine
Because of the fragrance of your good ointments
Your name is ointment poured forth

Behold, you are fair, my love!
Behold, you are fair!
Like a Lily among thorns
So is my love among the daughters

Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods
So is my love among the young girls
I sat down in her shade with great delight
And her fruit was pure to my taste

I brought her to the banqueting house
And my banner over her was love
I sustained her with cakes of chocolate
And refreshed her with ointments

Kiss me with the kisses of your mouth
For your love is better than wine
Because of the fragrance of your good ointments
Your name is ointment poured forth

Most of the line for this poem is taking from the songs of solomon 1&2

K.Oni

Racial Harmony and the doctrine of grace

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Last Sunday, I had the privileged to travel to London to hear Pastor John Piper preach at Jubilee church. It was great to be there and I thank God for Jubilee as they love God and are committed to racial harmony in their community. Below is a summary of what John piper preached on racial harmony and the doctrine of grace.

- We are all sinners (Rom 8:7-8. We cannot make ourselves live,(eph 2:2), Lazarus didn't raise himself from the dead (1cor 2:14), Jesus raised him. All human beings are equally dead, blacks whites and every shade in between. Hell will be totally racially diverse,(Rom 2:9)because God is no respecter of persons of who is thrown into hell. This should humble us of our own sins and make us more patience with those who sin against us.

- God Almighty before the foundation of the world chose to save you, (Acts 13:48). Those who believed where those who were ordained and that was why they believed thus it is unconditional because it is based on no spiritual or ethnic selec…

Are There Two Wills in God? Yes.

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If you've never before heard about the existence of two wills in God, I recommend reading John Piper's article, "Are There Two Wills in God?" (which is also an appendix in the book The Pleasures of God).

In essence, what the doctrine states is that there are... well... two wills in God. The first will is his will of command (or as Edwards says below, "law"). This is expressed through God's revealed desires for people, desires such as "Thou shalt not kill," or "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

The second will is his will of decree, which is the will by which God brings to pass all that actually happens, whether it accords with his will of command or not. This is also known as his secret will, since what God intends to do in any one event is unknowable to us, except for what he reveals through prophecy.

Here is the entirety of Jonathan Edwards' Miscellanies #7 (reformatted a little by me,), which he wrote in defense of this…

Meeting John Piper

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The three amigos from Bristol town headed towards the north of London to meet and hear him whom they have admired for so long and indeed that admired person was John Piper; but all three are very much aware that Pastor John is a servant of the Lord and that Piper is nothing (1cor) but it is God who causes the increase in case if any one should think us of idol worshipping.

The journey took two hours and I slept for half of it sitting in the back with a comfy pillow on my head while I dreamt of being a king and having a beautiful queen at my side (that was a joke), I just slept. Any ways we arrived at the church and to my surprise there meeting place was in a cinema which was really cool though I was tempted to buy a popcorn and a coke but that would only make worship very difficult. Two cinema screens were almost full and the church was very welcoming.

The service began and I was touched by the passion of the leaders and how they loved God and his glory. The congregation was very jo…

Imagining that Jesus is Lord

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This has been a week of attention grabbing headlines! There’s been a mix of controversy (the budget), firsts (a woman Prime Minister for Australia), endurance (longest game of tennis is history), expectation (Glastonbury), arrivals (a new version of the iPhone), regret (if you’re General McChystal) and nail-biting moments (if you’re an England fan).

As I attempted to choose one of these events to reflect on in this week’s FNT article, I began imaging Jesus being involved in each of these situations. I imagined him sitting in a Westminster cafĂ© debating the budget and being at a barbeque chatting about what to expect from Julia Gillard. I pictured his eyes moving from left-to-right-to-left-to-right at Wimbledon and him setting up a tent at Glastonbury . I thought about him having a look at a friend’s new iPhone, eavesdropping on the conversations taking place in the White House and sharing the anxiety, pain and jubilation of football fans throughout the world.

Imagining Jesus in those si…

Conversion by Jonathan Edwards

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'Tis most certain, both from Scripture and reason, that there must be a reception of Christ with the faculties of the soul in order to salvation by him, and that in this reception there is a believing of what we are taught in the gospel concerning him and salvation by him, and that it must be a consent of the will or an agreeableness between the disposition of the soul and those doctrines; so that the disposition is all that can be said to be absolutely necessary. The act cannot be proved to be absolutely necessary; that is, it can't be proved that there is not the disposition before there is an act because it

is said by some that [the fact that] a man can't be saved before he has actually believed, if he is come to years of discretion, is plain by Scripture. But I say, no plainer than that a man must actually live a holy life before he can be saved; for the Scripture in many places speak as plainly about the necessity of a holy life as of believing. But by those expression…

It is you my Lord

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This is a poem about a person who is fighting his feelings because love for somebody else is taking over their love for the lord and the person wrestles to have the love of the Lord first and foremost in their heart and the love of others will be secondary but not dominating.

Oh, why do I love you
My heart is heavy for you
I thirst for your presence
Like an empty man
I desire you like a young child
Longing for his mothers arms
I cannot sleep and my dreams are constantly of you I awake and I cannot shake this weight. Oh my Lord, I feel the hurt this is to my soul I want you more and I do pray my Lord That you may be heavy upon my heart For your yoke is light and your burden easy Your presence is constant and you will not reject me I am weary and do not want to make her an idol It is you I truly thirst for Satisfy me that I may glorify your Name.
K.Oni

Mistakes, consequences and forgiveness

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For one month and 29 days now, a damaged oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has been pouring oil into the sea, polluting the water. On Wednesday, BP’s boss Tony Hayward agreed to pay a minimum of $20 billion into a compensation fund for the victims of the oil spill. And, after a number of failed attempts to contain and stemming the huge flow, BP’s latest containment device finally seems to be making a difference. But for many, it’s simply too little, too late.

In amongst all the hysteria, speculation and confusion about who said what to who, and who is responsible for what, it strikes me that there’s a rather important question that’s not really being addressed, either by the media or by our governments.

That is, How do we handle notions of responsibility in a compensation culture?

In this case, just as with many situations where a beautiful relationship has gone belly-up, the offended party (pretty much the entire USA in this case) is eager to lay the blame squarely at the feet of the off…

Jump

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Last week as a church student group, a couple of us went to a place called Jump. It was a kids play centre and had laser quest too. It was an awesome time as we all acted like kids again. Below is something that I wrote the morning after as I like to keep a track, like a diary of things i get up to or feel.

It is the best of things this morning to approach my Lord in prayer, though early as it is, it is indeed wonderful and a pure delight. Though I know not what to pray for, yet I will to pray with the book of Romans open in front of me. I must confess that I had many things on my mind, a certain person was on my mind, the poor also and some other things that made it uneasy for me to sleep. Nonetheless the Spirit inside of me drove me to pray.
The night before was awesome, like a kid I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at Jump. Playing laser quest and going through obstacles sure challenged my fitness. The people I was with made it a delight, I enjoyed my time and played a friend at footbal…

Be alive

Oh how I weep uncontrollable at my sins. I have but pity for Christians who do not taste the goodness of the Lord, that are carnal because they have set their minds on the flesh. I plead with you to turn, for you have died to sin, and have been set free. Have this mind in you, the mind of Christ. For you have been raised with him, united with him in his death and certainly united with him in his resurrection. Christ no longer is dead but alive, he died to sin and the live he now lives he lives to God. Therefore in the same way, live your lives to God, be dead to sin and use your body as instruments of righteousness.

K.Oni

From death to live

The passages below,(some are paraphrases) shows that as Christians that we should live for righteousness and be dead to sin. Our struggle with sin can be overcome because Christ was crucified and he was raised from the dead, therefore we too have the Spirit of holiness in us and whatever is your struggle, you can overcome.

For we know that our old self was crucified with him, so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been free from sin.

The death he died, he died to sin once for all, but the life he now lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Grace leads to righteousness and the law leads to death. The grace of God sets me free, the law holds me under sin.

We died to sin, how can we live any longer in it.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin as instruments …

John 6:66

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, preaching on the passage from John 6:66, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” said, The defection in this case was on account of doctrine... The truth was too hard for them, it was not to be borne with. “It is a hard saying. Who can hear it?” A true disciple sits at the feet of his Master, and believes what he is told even when he cannot quite comprehend the meaning, or see the reasons for what his Master utters; but these men had not the essential spirit of a disciple, and consequently when their Instructor began to unfold the innermost parts of the roll of truth, they would not listen to His reading of it. They would believe as far as they could understand, but when they could not comprehend they turned on their heel and left the school of the Great Teacher. Besides, the Lord Jesus Christ had taught the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, and of the need of the Spirit of God, that men should be led to Him, “for Jesus …

Staying Awake this summer

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This summer a group of us will be reading through the letters of Paul. The aim of this is to help us stay awake for the summer. You may wonder, what does staying awake mean? basically at the last Christian union meeting we were warned of the danger of falling asleep over the summer term, of neglecting God's word and church and practical duties which would lead us to backslide and fall asleep. So to help us stay awake I thought it good that it may be of use to create a face-book group that aims to encourage us to read our bibles, pray, be zealous for good deeds, bringing Christ in all we do and etc over the summer terms. So far we have begun to read through Romans and what a joy it has been. We read a chapter a day and hopefully in the coming weeks I'l post up things that I have learnt and also questions that people may have and attempt to answer it. Feel free to join the fb group too. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=132909050053867&v=info&ref=ts#!/group.php?gid=1…

Submission and Headship in the Home where I Grew Up

By John Piper

Last Sunday's message was on the meaning of submission in marriage. I did not have time for this closing illustration. So consider this an application at the end of that message. The point is that my mother's submissive role in relation to my father was not owing to lesser competencies. It was owing to the God-given nature of manhood and womanhood and how they are designed in marriage to display the covenant relationship between Christ and the church.

I grew up in a home where my father was away for about two-thirds of each year. He was an evangelist. He held about twenty-five crusades each year ranging in length from one to three weeks. He would leave on Saturday, be gone for one to three weeks, and come home on Monday afternoon. I went to the Greenville airport hundreds of times. And some of the sweetest memories of my childhood are the smile of my father's face as he came out of the plane and down the steps and almost ran across the runway to hug me and kiss…

Surprised by Joy

As a young child, I always went to church and as I grew older, there was an emptiness inside of me that craved after pure joy. Joy that would last a joy that gave my soul peace, but I sought it in everything, everything else but Jesus Christ. Like Wilberforce, I was a man whose soul was drawn to heaven. many things I would do, like follow my desires and go with the crowd. I thought in them pure joy could be found but time and time again, it left me empty like a woman who constantly day after day goes to the well to fill up her bucket. This unfound joy led to the gradual misery of my searching soul. I could not enjoy the companies of others with a pure affection, though I had many friends, My love for them was not deep. I kept relationships at skin deep because I did not want them to know of my misery. I came to university with this burden, and the craving still remained. I saw beauty in everything, but where was its source. Is there an ultimate beauty? If there is then pure joy must b…

wrath of God

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive with Christ- by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2

Consider how awesome our God is and consider how awful we are. The first three verses of Ephesians 2 focuses on the wretchedness of man and how utterly they deserve wrath because they are nothing else but children of wrath. if God should have left all men to continue in their state, they would have all received nothing but wrath. It amazes me that those without Christ and those who do not know God show contempt at the wrath of God. They ridicule it and mock it, they say well if God is a God of love, then how can he be wrathful? for then how should God deal with the sins of men. Should he pass it by and show indifference like so many of them do? Should he ignore the cries of justice and not uphold his glory? God is not like you and will punish you and your sins. He bends his bow and points his arrow at …

Faith

There may undoubtedly be such a thing as is called the testimony of faith, and a sort of certainty of faith that is different from reason, that is, is different from discourse by a chain of arguments, a certainty that is given by the Holy Spirit; and yet such a belief may be altogether agreeable to reason, agreeable to the exactest rules of philosophy. Such ideas of religion may be in the mind, as a man may feel divinity in them, and so may know they are from God, know that religion is of divine original, that is, is divine truth. Yea, this faith may be to the degree of certainty, for he may certainly intuitively see God and feel him in those ideas; that is, he may certainly see that notion he has of God in them. The notion of God, or idea I have of him, is that complex idea of such power, holiness, purity, majesty, love, excellency, beauty, loveliness, and ten thousand other things.9 Now when a man is certain he sees those things, he is certain he sees that which he calls divine. He …

The New Testament and the New Government

On Tuesday I attended ‘A Service For the New Parliament’ in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey. It included parliamentarians across the political parties, and a number of them read the Scripture readings and led prayers. The Address was given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and leaders of other denominations, including the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster , Vincent Nichols, participated.

The principal reading was the classic ‘God and Caesar’ passage in Matthew 22.16b-21. ‘Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ The statement is frequently used by commentators to justify a separation of ‘religion’ and ‘politics’, but that divide is an enlightenment construct, not a New Testament one. Sitting in the service, I again reflected on what the New Testament’s view on government is. It’s not possible to set out a comprehensive theology of government here, but it is possible to put three building blocks in place.

It’s c…

ENTHUSIASM

John the Baptist was a person greatly moved by the Spirit. He preached to the people in a very earnest manner, warning of their danger, calling upon 'em to fly from the wrath to come with great pathos, manifesting his great engagedness not only in words but deeds: his incessant labor and great self-denial and great boldness in his work, fearing none, reproving great and small, whereby the people, seeing and hearing, were mightily moved. Christ therefore says concerning him, Matthew 11:7 and Luke 7:24, "What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?" Which seems to imply that there is such a thing as men's being mightily moved and actuated by something that is pretended to be the Spirit of God, but yet is vain and empty as the wind, exceeding unsteady, and soon comes to nothing, though violent; and that the persons that are the subjects of this emotion do show their great weakness in yielding to it, and being governed by [it]. Such there wer…

The celestial gate

My dream is light
But I have to fight
I took my flight
And what a plight
A pilgrim’s day
On the narrow way

All the while
My cross I took
I strolled along
And met some saints
We sang sweet songs
To our Lord above

What is this?
In front of us
You don’t belong to our Lord
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ
Be gone and depart from our path
Still he lingers
Still he stays
Perseverance is what we say
On our knees
Though we are weak
Jesus Christ is all we need

Now he’s gone
Some bread in front
We eat for a while
On the narrow path

The gate is nigh
We ran with awe
Unbeatable joy
The celestial gate
Is gold and tall
There we saw
St peter and John
They led us
To the presence of our Lord
Who crowned us all
With a golden crown

K.Oni

How shall I approach you

How shall I approach you

How shall we greet

what will I say

And what shall we do

All this I wander

Yet we are to meet

How shall I approach you

Yet I do not know

I wish I could say all that's in my heart

That you may feel my thoughts for you

K.Oni

Disconnected

We are by nature disconnected from God, the human story begins with God creating man in His image for his glory. Man was and is to worship and dwell in the presence of God. The relationship was healthy. Man walked in the coolness of the day with God who shaded them with many delights. Was your heart not satisfied Adam and Eve? You were connected and you were meant to enjoy each other forever. You were connected so why have you become disconnected, why is this now the human story when it was not so? It was because you chose another way you chose the way of disconnection. You did not follow the way of God or His truth but you chose the lie, you believed the serpent and followed the desire of your own flesh; you chose your way and have become disconnected- you made us all disconnected. I cannot blame you, for your story is my story. I too have have waked my own way and chose the path of disconnection. I chose the flesh rather than the Spirit, I rejected Him and loved my disconnectedness.…

psalm 131

I love psalm 131 and would recommend all to commit it to memory. its a humbling prayer and one that exhorts God for his greatness and the willingness of the individual to still and quieting their soul. Time and time again I sit in deep humility and would repeat this psalm and remember to put my Hope in the LORD

My heart is not proud O Lord
My eyes are not haughty
I do not concern myself with great matters
Or things to wonderful for me
But I have stilled and quietened my soul
Like a weaned child is my soul within me
O Israel put your hope in the Lord
Both now and forevermore

K.Oni

Seeing you

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Seeing you is a delight to my soul

Your fragrance so rich and sweet

You are clothed like the flower of the field

And your simple beauties like the lilies

My passion for you as the Sun to the day

You are marvellous and your eyes shine like the stars

Your face gleam like the twinkling stars

Seeing you is a delight to my soul

K.Oni

Tears, questions and theology

As I write this article, police are piecing together the events that led up to Derrick Bird’s horrific shooting spree. As this tragedy unfolded in Cumbria on Wednesday, shock and disbelief were quickly followed by tears and questions. Perhaps the most prominent question was ‘Why?’ Why did this 52 year old taxi driver start killing people? It’s a question that may never be fully answered, and even if it is, I doubt we’ll ever be able to understand it.

This weekend, it is likely that the focus of the ‘Why?’ question will move from Derrick Bird onto God - especially if there’s a Christian in the room. Why does God allow things like this to happen? So, if that ‘Christian in the room’ is you, what’s your answer going to be?

My suggestion is this: Don’t provide an answer to their question!

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t respond, that would be rude, just don’t respond with an answer! If we’re honest, we’ve all probably tried that, and however ‘right’ our answers were, I doubt they were th…