Monday, 30 April 2012

Sin stole from my heart

Sin stole from my heart,
The image of God
The Holiness of God
The righteousness of God
The beauty of God 
And the glory of God. 

The righteousness of Jesus restored in my heart
The image of God
The holiness of God
The righteousness of God
The beauty of God
And the glory of God.

K.Oni

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Miscellanies 40 - His love never runs out


I thought I had exhausted, absolutely exhausted the Love of God for me. I thought I had emptied the fountain, plucked all the fruits, and rejected every invitation till a dear friend named the Holy Spirit whispered in my almost deaf ears, ‘His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on you. It will always remain.’ At hearing this I at once heard a knock, I rushed in tears to open the door, to hold so tightly my brother and Father - weeping for a time on their spotless garment. In my brother’s hand was a crown. I fell on my knees, he placed the crown on my uncovered head and said, ‘we have always loved you. Before you were born we loved you and we shall love you forever more.’

K.Oni

Miscellanies 39 - There is only one church in bristol


There is only one church in Bristol and she belongs to Jesus Christ. I hear she is betrothed to him and soon to be married. I also hear that a certain deceiver has long been at work to make her commit adultery and fornication. The deceiver has been tireless in his approach; enticing and wooing her with precious pearls, sweet songs and unlimited power to reign. But She, knowing herself to be the heir of God and that everything already belong to her fiancĂ©, always reply to the deceiver with the words, “I am my Beloved and my Beloved is mine.”

K.Oni

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Ken's Newsletter 5


Following on from my last newsletter, which was quiet a while ago, I shall briefly talk of the Bristol Christian Union mission week and my work with the students at UWE Christian Union.

A mission week is a week (intensive) where the Christian Union seeks to reach their fellow students with the gospel of Christ Jesus through various means such as lunch bar talks, meal with a message, provocative topic, giving free hot-chocolates to returning student clubbers late at night, text a toasty and etc.

I was privileged to be invited as a hall guest for Churchill and my duty there was to serve the CU. First I would mention the great hospitality of the CU, for I was allowed to eat with them every evening in their hall and thoroughly loved and enjoyed it. The table discussions excited my soul as I was given the opportunity to declare and discuss the gospel with some students. Throughout the week I was able to encourage some Christians, speak at a hall event and distribute flyers for events. God’s Spirit moved in the university as many responded to the talk, Christians were encouraged and the team satisfied with their efforts. My ongoing prayer for Bristol CU is that they may continue to increase in their love for their fellow students in reaching them with the gospel of Christ Jesus.

At UWE a completely different context, my work there is of a peculiar excitement. I work with Baz, a fellow foundationer and on Thursdays we have the privilege of going through the gospel of Luke with a Muslim. We’ve met a couple of times and each meeting seems to be an opportunity to discover the historical Jesus as revealed in the bible.

Sometimes I also meet up with Christian students to encourage them and pray with them although last term there was a real lack of productivity in meeting up with students. Also, we have not committed to doing questionnaire’s which is something that we will be picking up again this term. The aim of the questionnaire is to engage with students concerning the gospel and spiritual (holistic) matters.

I thank God for the opportunities I was presented with in the last term to encourage many Christians and to speak to many non-Christians.

I can say with a great surety, that it is your prayers and supports which keeps me going, and it is the grace of our absolute Sovereign God who gave his One and only Son for a sinner like me, that prevents my feet from slipping. I can say with the psalmist ‘You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip’ (Psalm 18:3).

I thank you for your continual support through prayer and financial giving

K.Oni

Access all areas

news cameraTagged by the Guardian as the ‘minister for Murdoch’, Jeremy Hunt is under increasing pressure because of emails released by the Leveson Inquiry following testimony from James Murdoch. Hunt has not yet given his own evidence to the inquiry but it would appear not only were key players in the Murdoch empire in close contact with his department of culture, media and sport, but the accusation is flying that Hunt was biased towards approving News Corp's takeover of BSkyB. This after the decision was taken away from Vince Cable because he was seen as biased against approving the bid.
 
After resolutely pledging his innocence, Hunt appeared before parliament to answer - or perhaps dodge - these charges. This was also after his adviser had resigned for inappropriate contact with News Corp.
 
This is really all about access - who had access to whom, and what they did with that access. It is also seasoned with a heavy perception that those involved are ‘a different sort of people’. They are privileged and aloof. They do not live in the real word. All of which chimes with an accusation this week by a Conservative MP that the prime minister and the chancellor are “a couple of posh boys who don’t know the price of milk”.
 
Without casting a verdict on what went on in the complexity of this furore, it looks from a distance like this: a group of elite people making decisions between themselves and then presenting them as for the good of everyone else while in fact they are part of a self-serving cycle. The media give the politicians favourable coverage, and the politicians cover the media's back.
 
It looks awful.
 
Is it any wonder that trust in politicians and journalists is so low?
 
It leads us to step away from politics and view everything we read in the papers and watch on the news through a lens of scepticism. Access to the political process is siphoned through spin and media management: our knowledge of what goes on is mediated through the filters that are placed on it by those out of sight and beyond our control. 
 
The news presents Jeremy Hunt's reaction to the charges against him with their own particular slant. We hear the lines delivered at the dispatch box, no doubt scripted by an adviser and tested to destruction. The opponents grab the limelight to denounce him and call for his resignation. And then we remember they've written the book on the topic that they're out to publicise.
 
It's almost a new form of sacerdotalism: the idea that we can only reach God through an appointed priest. In this murky context, can we get to the truth without going through a specially appointed gatekeeper, whether that's the politicians, the press or Lord Justice Leveson?
 
Perhaps it is worth remembering that in a world where we do not know what to believe, truth is still real and available.
 
Perhaps, in a world where access seems reserved for the privileged, we can remember that we have access to the God of all things. Not through the edicts of the press, the words of politicians or the judgement of an official inquiry. But straight to God.
 
And when we turn our backs, He does not turn His. When we walk away, He does not abandon us. Our access to God is not dependent on the favourable coverage we give to Him. He hears us in our distress. We can read the Bible and understand what it says. We can call on God and He will hear our cry.

Danny Webster, parliamentary officer - Evangelical Alliance

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Miscellanies 38 - Whether you pass or fail


God does not love you more if you get a first in all of your exams and essays (although you should aim for this) and he doesn’t love you less because you failed in them. His loving us was not based on our passing and failure, if it was, his love for you is therefore merited and conditioned and not unconditional. That would be a tragedy. So rest your mind and do away with all of your anxieties, think not about what the world, friend and families will think of you but think of how God sees you and how he loves you regardless of your failure and success. Whether you get a first or whether you fail, God’s plan for your life hasn’t changed. It is the mystery of divine sovereignty. Think about Peter; despite his failure yet He was still Jesus’ choice for him to go and feed his sheep. God turns our ugliness into something beautiful and he prunes what we already have to be beautiful into something which is marvellous and causes it to radiate his glory and humility. Think about what I am saying. Have you understood it? 

K.Oni

Book Review: A brief history of Old Testament Criticism



The aim of this book according to the authour ‘is a brief introduction to orient students and interested readers to the field while pointing them on to further study and inquiry.’

The athour accomplishes his purpose because reading this book has opened my mind to the history of Old Testament Criticism and to some of the major contributors in Old Testament historical and literary developments.

This book introduces the reader to seven major figures who contributed somewhat to Old Testament criticisms. Gignilliat approach is to focus on the life and work of these seven figures rather than just talk about their critical theories, although, in detailing briefly about their life and work, Gignilliat focuses specifically on the works which contributed to Old Testament criticism. This approach I found to be helpful because the figures behind the criticisms can be seen as people who genuinely struggled or in some cases were seeking to understand the biblical text even though they skewed from the orthodox outlook. For example, De Wette (Famous for his religious history approach of understanding the Old testament) writes of his own conversion:

An un-forgetful outward circumstance occasioned the happiest revolution in my inner life and gave me back the peace I had lost. The imperfect, cloudy faith of my childhood was replaced by one higher and better, the remembrance of God awoke in my heart to new life, and belief in immortality returned in a higher transformed form. Now theology was for me no longer cold, grim moral censor, nor even merely a daughter of history; it increasingly rose up before my eyes to higher, heavenly majesty, to divine dignity.

A fantastic religious experience for De Wette and yet I would disagree with his view or approach to the Old Testament. For de Wette, the historical character of the old testament has to do with the religious makeup of the various authours and redactors actually composing or compiling the material; it is not historical in any sense of reporting the events as they actually occurred.

Later Old Testament critics challenge De Wette’s approach such as William Albright and Brevard Childs who argues for the essential historical character of the old testament narratives was integral to the authority of the bible, even if the reporting of the events in the old testament was blurry in details.
For Brevard Childs, it was essential to retain the divine authority of Scripture where earlier critics elevated the human authors and their context higher than the divine authority. Where other critics have sought to find the true meaning of Israel’s religion behind the canonical text such as Welhausen who argues that  much of Israels early religious life was lost when Judaism formalised the law code, which in turn displaced ancient Israels more natural and intuitive worship. Childs counters this position by advocating the significance of the final form of the biblical text is that it alone bears witness to the full history of revelation. Thus the biblical texts are the locus of revelation and not the events in and of themselves apart from Gods revealed wisdom regarding their significance.

The seven major figures surveyed in this book are Benedict Spinoza (1632-1677). W.M.L De Wette (1780-1849), Julius Wheelhouse (1844-1918), Herman Gunkel (1862-1932), Gerhad Von Rad (1901-1971), William Foxwell Albright (1891-1971), and Brevard S. Childs (1923-2007).

This book is not a comprehensive attempt at expounding the very complex history of the Old Testament interpretation.

I will finish this review with a quote from Herman Bavink on how we should view scripture:

Scripture, accordingly, does not stand by itself. It may not be construed deistically. It is rooted in centuries long history and is the fruit of Gods revelation among the people of Israel and in Christ. Still, it is not a book of times long past, which only links us with persons and events of the past. Holy Scripture is not an arid story or ancient chronicle but the ever-living, eternally youthful word, which God, now and always, issues to his people. It is the eternal ongoing speech of God to us. It does not just serve to give us historical information; it does not even have the intent to furnish us a historical story by the standard demanded in other realms of knowledge. Holy scripture is tendentious: whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4). Scripture was written by the Holy Spirit that it might serve in guiding the church, in the perfecting of the saints, in building up the body of Christ. In it God daily comes to his people, not from afar but from nearby it is the living voice of God.divine inspiration, accordingly, is a permanent attribute of Holy Scripture. It is not only God-breathed at the time it was written; it is God breathing.

Purchase A brief history of Old Testament Criticism at: http://zondervan.com/9780310325321

K.Oni


Book review: My name on his tongue


my name on his tongue…Until I found 
That Home
Is inside
Not out
That the view changes 
Depending
Where I sit
Which window
I look out of


Mixed blood 
Is like an old trailer 
that’s always frowned at
Because no matter where 
It’s parked
It’s always 
Out of place…”

Laila Halaby was born in Bierut, Lebanon, to a Jordanian father and an American Mother. She speaks four languages, won a Fulbright scholarship to study folklore in Jordan, and holds a master’s degree in Arabic language. In addition to writing novels, Halaby also write poetry and children’s fiction. My name on his tongue is a book of poetry where Halaby addresses the issues of identity, belonging, race, war, childhood, motherhood and friendship.

Halaby’s genius comes through in her seamless ability to transfer the reader into her world without the reader necessarily possessing a knowledge of her past. Each poem is self-sufficient, clear and personal.

The book is divided into four parts viewed from Halaby’s perspective: as a tourist, a child, an exile, and an opponent of war in the middle east. At the end of the book, Halaby includes a letter she posted to the new elected president, Barack Obama, identifying with him by touching on their similarities (both mixed race) and urging Obama to consider the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza.

I rarely read a large collection of poetry by one single authour as I am accustomed to purchase poetry books which are more dominated by themes than one single authour’s experience and Journey. Halaby’s book was a delightful experience into understanding her struggles and thoughts of her own cultural identity; one which I can relate. A must read for lovers of poetry, and her use of imagery and punctual words awaken the world which Halaby details in the mind of the reader. She inspired me to write two of my own poems: My new home and Why don't we sit outside, (click on the title to view).

“Arabs maybe under suspicion
But now we are interesting too
It is time for our voice to be a part of America’s ethnic fiction….”

Purchase book here: http://www.syracuseuniversitypress.syr.edu/spring-2012/my-name.html

K.Oni

Monday, 23 April 2012

More short poems


Kandace, Kandace I once heard a story
Of a little fish who baked a whaley cake
How the fish did it, I still wonder till this day
I hoped you may have heard the story
Of a little fish who baked a whaley cake





Kandace, Kandace give us a smile
I want to see it again, which made the angels rise,
And the sun, the moon and stars.

K.Oni

On a very small hill


In a little place on a very small hill
Lived a little King and a little small pig.
One very little day, the pig went a little way,
To visit his little small chick.
They enjoyed a little kiss, 
And played with a little small bee.


K.Oni

A prayer for my soul


My Dear Lord
I begin my prayer with a confession- 
For the sake of peace for my soul
I must confess my awful sins. 
It seems the arrow of sin has killed my love for you - 
No more am I awed by your beautiful glance.
I dread your presence and Holiness.
The arrow of sin, when it pierced my heart
Leaked its deadly poison into my soul - 
So that sins which before I could resist 
Have become to me a thorn, a continual pitfall.
The depth of jealousy which I find in me, I find astonishing.
It is so bitter, so hateful.
It kills my brothers and sisters.
My disposition towards them is filled with hypocrisy.
I am envious, consumed with selfish ambition, driven by pride
And I find that horrible principle of adultery in my heart.
My dear Lord,
My soul fears that I may be a reprobate 
At last to be buried under the eternal flames of hell - 
That perhaps before I leave this life my faith may depart from me.
That I may sell it for 30 pieces of silver - 
That I may trade it for sin or for pleasure.
But I am not completely senseless
I now more than ever cling to your words and promise
Which says
‘To him who is able to keep you from falling, and make you stand
Without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing,
To the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
Be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time 
And now and forever. Amen.’
You are able my dear Lord to keep me from falling. 

K.Oni

Miscellanies 37 - Its ok to worship God


It is ok to worship God with pleasure - it is ok to jump up and down and swing and move your body. It is ok my friends to sing from the depths of your being for these external things are natural for the happy soul. Let it be manifested accordingly to the individual, but for heaven sake do not suppress it for the sake of what man may think - feel free to celebrate; surely, the celebration of a godly assembly certainly should not be less of that of an unholy one, where men feel themselves free to worship idols while we worship the true God. Shake the earth with your victory shout - proceed your meetings with an everlasting decree that all glory belongs to God. With our whole body we shall worship him. 

K.Oni

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Would you persuade me to be a Christian?





The Apostle Paul, standing before King Agrippa and Festus was finally given permission to speak for himself, that is, to make his defence against all the accusations of the Jews who wanted him dead. The blessed apostle unravelled his testimony to the king and the crowd, declaring unashamedly the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and saying nothing more than what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass, that is, that the Christ must suffer and that, by being first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to the Jews and to the Gentiles. Festus, hearing this heavenly testimony to which the blessed apostle was not disobedient, branded Paul to be mad, his great learning was driven him insane. King Agrippa had a different reaction for he was a man instructed in the scriptures and familiar with the prophets. Agrippa responded to Paul with the words, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?’ To which the apostle replied ‘Whether short or long, I would to God not only you but also all who hear me this day might become such as I am - except for this chains.’ (Acts 26).

Paul’s whole life was spent in trying to persuade people to become a Christian. The great apostle was unashamed of such a declaration, for he knew of God’s dreadful terror on the coming judgement day where every soul without Christ will perish under the great omnipotent wrath. Paul knew of such a day, a dreadful, awful hour where mankind and angels alike will behold the greatest manifestation of anger and hatred towards sin. Those found under its canopy will ask of themselves for all eternity, why they did not heed the gospel when it was presented to them and that for their benefit. In that dreadful hour which knows no end, man and angel alike will forever hope for another gospel, but there will be no more sacrifices. No other Gospel may be preached except that which calls man to repent and trust Christ in this life.

The great Apostle also knew of the great benefits in becoming a Christian other than escaping the judgement which is to come. Therefore, the apostle with great zeal seeks to persuade every man, great and small to become just like he is, all except the chains. The apostle wanted them also to be partakers of the divine nature, to be blessed with every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places,  to have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading which is kept in heaven for them. To be Sons and daughters of the living God, to have redemption through the blood of Christ, to be forgiven of all trespasses, and to be sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. These eternal blessings belong to those who are Christians and what great privileges they are. It is true that at last, when the Son of God comes to visit the earth again, he will claim everything (forcefully) to be his and there is nothing that none can do to prohibit him. The whole earth and heaven may stand together, all of the governments of this world and under the earth may have their treacherous counsel to plot against the anointed One, but in vain do they plot. With his great power, the Son of God will claim his universe and renew it and every soul will bow their knee to recognize his absolute, supreme sovereignty. It is therefore necessary, that being a Christian is the best decision one can make, for every good thing at last will be yours. God is yours for all of eternity and you are his. You are blessed with a sweet eternal life and in this life you have the great honour of being an ambassador of the great king. You are his representative, his delegate to humanity.

But as it is, there are many who will not heed such a call, and like Agrippa, who will not go the full distance and become Christians (not yet persuaded) and there are many reasons for that.

  1. Many do not know what true Christianity is - There are very few people who acknowledge what true Christianity actually is, which is, a union with Christ, even more, a union with the whole trinity. Our blessed Lord once said ‘And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ His beloved disciple also tells us what the true nature of Christianity is; ‘and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.’ Some people know not this kind of Christianity but they are very familiar with a moral, dutiful religion where a great deal of emphasis is placed on performance and rites. They are familiar with the form but know nothing of its power, and of the second birth which is of the Spirit and not of the letter. They are but strangers and pilgrims to the inner working of the Spirit and aliens to the living waters of Christ. Many of these kind may have gone to church for years, be very leaned in Christian doctrine and familiar with Christian practices but they have never been born again. 
  2. A fear of man - For the fear of being laughed at or ridiculed by the popular media or by the wise professor of this world, many relinquish their desires to be true Christians. These are found to be fine concealers, like those who hide their light under a bushel, who camouflage their faith by imitating the colours of the surrounding environment. Like Peter they would deny ever having any associations with Christ, and unlike Peter never repenting of such hypocrisy. Christ among their worldly friends is a thorn, a thorn to their reputation and pride. Among Christians they would champions his name as if they have already died for him a thousand times but amidst their worldly friends they would be quick to play the part of the ignorant and scarcely affirm those orthodox doctrine associated with his name. The Lord Jesus Christ gave warning to such men that if they should deny him before men, He would deny them before his Father and the angels. 
  3. The love of money - The rich young man when he understood that he must part with his money in order to follow Christ went away sad and sorrowful. He learnt that mammon and Christ have no union. Many in our day, because of the love of money, because of the love of the world, when they find out the truth that old wine skins and new wine skins cannot mix will sorrowfully depart from Christ and slowly apprehend those things which the gospel of Christ has called them to forsake. Like a dog to his vomit, they will return.
  4. The love of pleasure - Our generation seeks pleasure and they seeks it ravenously. They must have it by any means and thus when they hear the gospel of self-denial, they wash their hands from having a part of such a decree. They distort the message in order to suit their need or altogether forsake it because it is not in accord with the want of their flesh.


Some may say that it is foolish to believe such a message and thus not become a Christian. True, that the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing but yet it is the foolishness of God and thus wiser than the wisdom of men. Paul, in his defence before ignorant Festus declared of his gospel that ‘I am not out of my mind but I am speaking true and rational words.’ The gospel message is very rational for it says that Man is sinful and God his Holy and this Holy God has provided an atonement for their sins, the man Christ Jesus. Believe, and you will live by faith and through faith.

In a short or long time, I hope my life will be spent in persuading all to become Christians and become like Christ. I hope never to be ashamed when the humanitarian ask of me, 'why do you do such good deeds?' I pray I may reply - 'I wish them all to see the good works my Father in heaven has prepared for me to do; to give him all glory and for them to all become Christians.' Such replies should never be hidden under a bushel but to be placed on the candle stick.

K.Oni



Water footprint

The Environment Agency declared this week official drought zones in numerous English counties and warned that water shortages could last until Christmas.Farmers are rethinking the management of planting root crops and water provision for their cattle. Beyond our borders, water scarcity affects more than 2.7 billion people. In several regions, poverty, drought, and war prevent access to safe water. Mostly women and children spend a good part of their day hauling water. Safe drinking water is a daily health threat for millions of children. Water is described as the ‘oil’ of the future and it is likely that wars will be fought over it. So beyond environmental, health and social factors there is a moral and political dimension. Water provision in much of the world is a matter of justice.
 
The scarcity of water asks questions about our individual and communal stewardship. Professor Arjen Hoekstra created the idea of the ‘water footprint’, an indicator of both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or producer. For example, the water footprint of a soy burger is about 160 litres, whereas that of a beef burger is about 1,000 litres. Professor Hoekstra said: "Water problems are often closely tied to the structure of the global economy. Many countries have significantly externalised their water footprint, importing water-intensive goods from elsewhere. This puts pressure on the water resources in the exporting regions, where too often mechanisms for wise water governance and conservation are lacking. Not only governments, but also consumers, businesses and civil society communities can play a role in achieving a better management of water resources."
 
Water was a precious commodity in the region where Jesus lived. Interestingly, his conversation with the woman at the well is the most extensive recorded dialogue. The introduction that “…he had to go through Samaria”, does not refer to a geographical route but rather to his missionary thrust. Samaritans were among the marginalised groups in society; ethnic and religious outcasts. Subverting the gender, social and religious dynamics, he engages this Samaritan woman in a conversation about living water. She may have expected Jesus to point her to an underground stream, which would have been an invaluable source. However, he speaks of the living water that will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:4-26).
 
The prophet Jeremiah refers to God as the “spring of living water”. Yet, the people have forsaken him and have dug their own broken cisterns that cannot hold water. The effects of such brokenness are all around us. In this season of drought and leakage, we see a call for the living water of God to flow into conversations across boundaries and borders.
 
God’s promise that He will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground is reflected in Jesus’ encounter with this woman. As their conversation progresses, he describes the true worshipers who will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. The well of life in Christ affects all aspects of life, restoring the individual and communal cisterns. Beyond the spiritual life, it will address hosepipe-bans, consumption, global markets, boycotting of products and effective international diplomacy. It causes justice to roll down like a river, righteousness like a never-ending stream.
 
As we follow in His footsteps may we leave an alternative ‘water footprint’ and see a well of salvation spring up.
 
Marijke Hoek, coordinator Forum for Change- Evangelical Alliance
 

Friday, 20 April 2012

Swing me soft


She is still a monumental beauty
 a transfixed image sealed in the field of my memory.
I venture there often to play and watch. 
 This cool evening 
She was by the swing possessing a pale face. 
I watched her dwell in sadness for a time till she realised
 a dear friend was watching her poor countenance. 
 She called out, my lover, my lover.
  come here and swing me soft.
 Allow a movement into my still state.
I drew near 
unable to resist her call
 for she charms my soul 
whatever theme it may be. 


K.Oni

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

God's fashion style


This brief post is concerned with God's fashion style, that is How does God clothe us. God's ultimate garment, or suit jacket or for the girls, the dress, which He covers us all with, is His Son, Jesus Christ. But underneath it, we find thick layers of colourful clothing, when on any given day we may wear numerous of these clothing but not all at the same time depending on the day and situation. On a very cold day, it is more a necessity to wear more layers than one would wear in the summer. Therefore God bids us to open his wardrobe (which he has given to us) and has lavishly enriched with all manner of clothing, for us to put them on and to never go out or in without the Jacket or the dress which is Jesus Christ.

Clothes are worn to cover nakedness and for defending the body from cold or injuries. These are the primary reasons why clothes are worn, but clothes are also worn for the sake of style, or to display one's identity or personality. God clothes us so that we may be like his Son, manifesting all of his holiness and ways and to the praise of His glory.

The clothes which the Lord has adorned us with is described as being beautiful (Isa 52:1) and being the best (Luke 15:22). The clothes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia, (Psalm 45:8).

What do we find in the wardrobe


  • Salvation (psalm 132)
  • Righteousness (Psalm 132:9, Job 29:14)
  • The new self (Eph 4:24)
  • Compassion (Col 3:12)
  • Kindness     (Col 3:12)
  • Humility       (Col 3:12)
  • Patience       (Col 3:12)
  • Gentleness  (1Pet 3:4)
  • Modesty (1Tim 2:9)
  • Self-control (1Tim 2:9)
  • Love        (Col 3:14)
  • Jesus Christ Rom (13:14) - This is not an exhaustive list.


These clothes are ours because Jesus Christ has purchased them for us and it is like the servant of Abraham who brought out jewellery of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebecca. Likewise the Spirit brings out this beautiful attires for us to wear with all adorned with the aroma of Jesus Christ.

What do you need today? Reach into your God-given wardrobe and pull out a piece of clothing and wear it, put it on by the Spirit. Do not open your old wardrobe and put on the filthy clothes found in them, but open your new wardrobe and put on the Clothes of your God which Jesus Christ has happily and expensively purchased for you.

K.Oni

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The butterfly’s song


The leaves sang a butterflies song


The wind steals it and sang it to the moon


The shooting star escort it down to the waves


The waves waved the butterflies song 


Back to the ears of the downhearted butterfly 


Who had lost her butterfly song.


K.Oni

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Why don’t we sit outside


The first time they looked and look 
Now they sit. ‘Can I have the usual Please’.
The feminine one pours her speech
The toned brown eyes smiles and sieves.


Once a week they meet to laugh
To dance away the trifle of life.
To cut the edges - trim, trim.
‘Oh, its already time to leave.’


‘Today, why don’t we sit outside?’


Sitting sideways, normally face to face
The feminine one turns; head down.
The toned brown eyes tries to look in her eyes.


She speaks with purple scented Iris words - 


‘Our afternoon song we can no longer sing.’

K.Oni

Psalm 17 - An exposition



This Psalm is a prayer of David. It is a supplication, a pleading to God Almighty, who is the judge of all to execute justice and vindication for his appointed King. A man under great unjust persecution will not be weary to take his case to God when man and law have become his enemies. His eyes will be closed with tears flowing from much affliction for vindication and deliverance from wicked souls who seeks to destroy his life unjustly. Thus David pleas to His God to (Psalm 17:1) hear a just cause. By a just cause is meant that God should give his ears to hear a fair case. The accused, David, feels that he has immorally been inculpated and his accusers have brought an unfair indictment against him. But God, knowing the veins of the hearts, being just and righteous, loves to hear a just cause; therefore David directs his plead, bidding goodbye to the corrupt judges. Attend to my cry! Lord please do not neglect my groaning, do not be far from this court of affliction but come and attend. Sit upon your throne and listen to my cry for justice. Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit! Lord, my God, my lips are free of deceit, there is no untruth found in them. All of my petitions are founded in truth, they are not exaggerated or interwoven with lies. 

The saint may come before His Lord his God with a just cause; we may survey the vastness of the fraudulent trials upon this earth and bring them before God Almighty. As he is a God who loves justice, therefore, he loves to hear the petitions of those who campaign for Justice; those whom have not given their lips to deceit, but to truth. David has lost hope to seek vindication from the hands of men so he prays earnestly to God that (Psalm 17:2) from your presence let my vindication come! Let your eyes behold the right! The heavenly tribunal will render the right verdict; from heaven itself will light shine forth to condemn this darkness of injustice. Heaven, being outraged by the awry of the courts of the earth below will render his own verdict from the Kings of Kings and Lords of Lords and vindicate the just - vindication will ultimately be distributed from sovereign hands, setting free the captives, those held by the chains of unjust decrees. Do not be weary in your dungeon of discrimination and inequality, do not cease thy prayer, but continue its fervency, for the God who loves justice and hates iniquity will vindicate you from his presence and bring the rulers of darkness to nought! God's eyes will behold the right; he will, when he finally rises to judge all of mankind. He will execute pure righteousness that none will be found to be unjustly treated. Such will be the severity of the execution of his righteousness that the only ones who will be vindicated are those who are found to be without wrinkle or blemish; those without the spot of sin who have been rightly and justly clothed with the garments of the Lamb. God will try the hearts of men and will judge the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. O sinner, have you any secrets in your hearts at this moment? Confess them now lest you should be found with them on that great awful day, when the entirety of your hearts will be laid bare. If you are found to be with them, you will be thrown into the fire, yea, and your whole body. Better it is that you cut them off now than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. God will judge our hearts in the final day but in the present he also tries our hearts as the Psalmist declares: (Psalm 17:3) You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, you will find nothing.

God has tested his heart, God has visited him in the night and finds nothing in him to condemn; like the confident Apostle who stated to the Corinthians, 'For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.' The Lord has tried the Psalmist and visited him at night when it is in this late hour that the Sons of men are prone to sin. Job 24:14 says, 'the murderer rises before it is light, that he may kill the poor and needy, and in the night he is like a thief.' And Micah 2:1, 'Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hands.' Also John 11:10, 'But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.' And Romans 13:12, 'The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.' Also 1Th 5:5, 'For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.' The Lord tested the Psalmist in the night, He visited him when man is apt to get into all kinds of mischief, but even then the Lord finds nothing; no transgression or wickedness because the Psalmist purposed that his mouth will not transgress. O what a purpose, what a firm earnestness to forsake the company of darkness. The tongue is the spring of evil. It has the power to bring life and death. 'If any man does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body' (James 3:2). What a purpose to make of a confirmation of not transgressing with the mouth. Imitate! My dear saints, like the psalmist, let us purpose in our hearts to subject this small yet powerful tongue to the chains and chamber of righteousness. Let us bid it to speak no evil, to utter no lies, to succumb to truth, to forsake malice, to bid farewell to deceitfulness, to speak life instead of death, to bless and not to curse. If we neglect this so noble a purpose, I fear that we may stain our bodies with its vileness, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. Let us not transgress with our lips and when we do, let us remember so vividly that atoning sacrifice shed on our behalf - shed for poor sinners whose tongue is apt to go astray, blessing God and at the same time cursing men. Let us humble our heads before the man who wore the crown of thorns, who intercedes on our behalf, and clothes us with a righteousness that is entirely his own. He is the only perfect man and because of him we are perfected. 

By keeping a bridle on our lips we shall avoid many transgressions; our speech among men shall be holy and sanctified. The Psalmist sought this holiness (Psalm 17:4) With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. Many men seek to accommodate themselves to whatever company they find themselves in; they seek not to stand out or to differ too much from the morality of the group. For the sake of acceptance and belonging, many throw away their identity or good conscience. It is so with our youth today. They forsake the principles of Christ and eat the feast of secularism. They make friends with culture whilst unknowingly and sometimes knowingly stab Christ with the spear all over again. But the Psalmist treasured the words of Christ; he treasured the scriptures and laws found in them for that is how the psalmist can discern right from wrong. All that is good and noble, all that is worthy and pleasing to God is to be found in the scriptures; and those that keep his words or his commandments are those who truly love him. The words of Christ are a gem, they are like precious silver, they are honey to the mouth and those who keep them or abide by them will not stray - they will not for one moment sit with the enemy and indulge in their wicked activities but will be wholly separate unto holiness. This does not mean that we possess a pharisaic spirit; on the contrary, we are to be found in the midst of them showing them the most excellent way, and of the grace of God which welcomes poor sinner to turn into the house of mercy and righteousness. The psalmist (Psalm 17:5) held fast to God's path; therefore his feet have not tumbled.

Wicked men are always walking on slippery surfaces, they know it not, otherwise they would soon move to the levelled path of righteousness. At any moment they are due to fall and fall into hell forever. It is only the hands of Sovereign mercy which stops them from slipping and falling forever. The saints of Christ are those whom Sovereign mercy has placed upon the smooth and solid grounds of Christ righteousness where henceforth they cannot slip. At times it may feel that they are slipping and will fall at any moment but as Sovereign grace will have it, it shall never be. For when the saints find themselves to be slipping all they need to do is like the psalmist (Psalm 17:6) I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. God is always at hand, forever near to listen to the calls of his children. Our earthly fathers may have some deficiencies in always not noticing when their kids are in urgent needs of them but it is not so with our heavenly father. He is always aware; forever incline to bring you a happy and holy disposition that in order to achieve his desired ends. He might for a season make you walk through the valley. When you are in such a dark valley you may say with the psalmist (Psalm 17:7) Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Saviour of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. You are free to declare such from the Lord your God. For it was in love that he predestined you for adoption as sons in Jesus Christ his beloved. It was in the same love, the same pleasurable love which flows from his heart to you, that in Jesus Christ, there is redemption and forgiveness of your trespasses. God has demonstrated his wondrous love towards you that while you were yet sinners, enemies and wicked rebels, he saved you, he sent his one and only beloved Son to die such a horrible, sin atoning redemptive death for you. Now in your dark valley, rest your souls upon him who justifies the ungodly, cast all your cares upon him and he will save you from your enemies - even though you may perish in your valley, yet you shall live and dance; for he has redeemed you and saved you with his mighty stretched hand. 

God loves his saints abundantly very much so that it was his pleasure to lavish upon them all of the heavenly blessings and riches, restricting nothing from them but giving them his all. Nothing was withheld, not even his one and only beloved Son. Men would still have been greatly blessed if God had given to his saints everything but His Son. Men would have still been endowed with great wealth and be more precious than the finest jewel and be a billion times richer than the angels. But sweet and agape love knows no restriction; with our heavenly Father, we witness a first rate love, a love that lavishes his finest gift without measure. He gives us what we need most, Himself. The whole trinity is ours to enjoy. 

The psalmist pleads to God to keep him as the apple of his eyes; that is, for God to consider him tender and precious, to behold him as it was written in Deuteronomy 32:10, 'He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.' The psalmist is seeking for the same treatment, for the same precious look which fends off every malice from bruising and biting the precious apple. As well as (Psalm 17:8-9) beholding me as the apple of your eyes also hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me. David looked to God for refuge from wicked men who sought to do him great violence, he pleads to God to hide him under his wings. David's enemies wanted him dead. They wanted God's anointed to perish from the earth; they have seen the rising of his greatness and how the good Jehovah was with him. So in jealousy like Saul they plot his death and have no inclination to wish him well. 

Psalm 17:10 They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly. These enemies of David are brutes who possess no traces of humility. These ungodly men are like Jeshurun who grew fat, and kicked; stout, and sleek; then he forsook God who made him and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation, (Deuteronomy 32:15). They are also like Pharaoh who had neither pity nor mercy for Israel but was a mortal bathed in pride for Pharaoh said, 'Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go', (Exodus 5:2). Wise men would have taken the prayer of Hannah to heart and obeyed it when she prayed, 'Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed,' (1Samuel 2:3). But foolish and prideful men have no spirit to humble their pitiful souls before God but like the beast, they will continue in their transgressions and utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. David's enemies spoke arrogantly and there are many today who speak arrogantly against Christ and his church. Their swords are sharpened for persecution, their intellects increased for the sake of bringing down Christ from heaven and their mouths opened to ridicule God's glorious gospel. Throughout the centuries, ever since the birth of the church (Psalm 17:11) They have surrounded her steps; they set their eyes to cast her to the ground. (Psalm 17:12) They are like a lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking in ambush. Jude spoke well of these bringers of chaos and confusion who  have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, (Jude 4). 

David had his share of treacherous enemies and wicked souls who were willing, not for a price, but for the sake of satisfaction that this David, if they should have their way would be among the dead in a moment. But David, being a righteous man, for he understood that doctrine championed by the reformers that God justifies the ungodly pleads to heaven, to His Adonai to (Psalm 17:13) Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, (Psalm 17:14) from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants. 

David is demanding of the LORD to awake, to put on his strength, as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. For was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the dragon? And also for deliverance, pleading with Habakkuk when he uttered, 'Are you not from everlasting, O LORD my God, my Holy One? We shall not die. O LORD, you have ordained them as a judgment, and you, O Rock, have established them for reproof,' (Habakkuk 1:12). 

These men who have been ordained to bring about calamity against God's elect, whose portion is their belly, men who have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. They have fattened their hearts. But also we see that bounty of common grace where God himself fills the wombs of wicked men with great abundant treasures with which they are satisfied and have enough for their next generation. 

These men are men of this world having as their head shameful Adam, contrary to those who have been redeemed by the head of the new humanity, Christ Jesus. Like their master they are not of this world, for if they were of this world, the world would love them as their own; but because they are not of the world, because Christ has chosen them out of the world, therefore the world hates them. Dear saints, do not be alarmed if the world hates you; if they place no invitation through your door for the party, do not stress or think to powder yourself up so as to be agreeable with their manners and ways. You are from God. There is a greater and more delightful feast which awaits you. But whilst you wait, seek out ways in which you can invite those who have been blinded by the devil, seek with all earnestness for you have been persuaded of the terror of the Lord, therefore reason with them and tell them of the danger at hand. 

Sorrowful Job, lamenting of his own sorrows says of the men of this world, ‘Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them. Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and does not miscarry. They send out their little boys like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol. They say to God, 'Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways, (Job 21:7-14).

They do not desire the knowledge of the ways of God but we find a better answer in the heart and mouth of David for he says as we all should say and believe (Psalm 17:15) As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. Whilst men of this world seek their satisfaction in this world, with all of its material blessings, the saints of Christ will seek it in Him. They shall at last be satisfied on that glorious day, when all heaven and earth is renewed and they themselves adorned with the new resurrected body and behold their God as he truly his. They shall be satisfied and for all eternity and more be awed, delighted and have their souls filled with the glorious display of the image of God, beholding him in his glory and marvellous holiness.

K.Oni