Friday, 30 November 2012

To Hell with the Devil and His Destructive lies

But the hard truth is that most Christians don’t pray very much. They pray at meals—unless they’re still stuck in the adolescent stage of calling good habits legalism. They whisper prayers before tough meetings. They say something brief as they crawl into bed. But very few set aside set times to pray alone—and fewer still think it is worth it to meet with others to pray. And we wonder why our faith is weak. And our hope is feeble. And our passion for Christ is small.

The Duty of Prayer


And meanwhile the devil is whispering all over this room: “The pastor is getting legalistic now. He’s starting to use guilt now. He’s getting out the law now.” To which I say, “To hell with the devil and all of his destructive lies. Be free!” Is it true that intentional, regular, disciplined, earnest, Christ-dependent, God-glorifying, joyful prayer is a duty? Do I go to pray with many of you on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m., and Wednesday at 5:45 p.m., and Friday at 6:30 a.m., and Saturday at 4:45 p.m., and Sunday at 8:15 a.m. out of duty? Is it a discipline?

You can call it that. It’s a duty the way it’s the duty of a scuba diver to put on his air tank before he goes underwater. It’s a duty the way pilots listen to air traffic controllers. It’s a duty the way soldiers in combat clean their rifles and load their guns. It’s a duty the way hungry people eat food. It’s a duty the way thirsty people drink water. It’s a duty the way a deaf man puts in his hearing aid. It’s a duty the way a diabetic takes his insulin. It’s a duty the way Pooh Bear looks for honey. It’s a duty the way pirates look for gold.

Means of Grace: Gift of God


I hate the devil, and the way he is killing some of you by persuading you it is legalistic to be as regular in your prayers as you are in your eating and sleeping and Internet use. Do you not see what a sucker he his making out of you? He is laughing up his sleeve at how easy it is to deceive Christians about the importance of prayer.
God has given us means of grace. If we do not use them to their fullest advantage, our complaints against him will not stick. If we don’t eat, we starve. If we don’t drink, we get dehydrated. If we don’t exercise a muscle, it atrophies. If we don’t breathe, we suffocate. And just as there are physical means of life, there are spiritual means of grace.

By John Piper

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Do you seek to find - Part 1


The divine things are well enveloped, sealed and contained. Available to be open by him who seeks to find -

 

“Do you seek to find?”

 

“Everyone who seeks surely seek to find”.

 

“They ought to but not all who seeks seek to find. Some seek for seeking sake, some seek because they were told to seek - some seek out of curiosity but only a few seek to find. Those who seek to find are those who will find what they seek and in finding what they sought will their soul be satisfied unable to move to the next quintessence satisfaction. Many who seeks seek the wrong thing, for when they find that which they sought, they lived as if they never found it thus they never find what they are seeking for”.

 

“Have you found what you seek”?

 

“Yes my little entrepreneur. On my journey through the vast open road, I came to a little off road, very narrow and straight. Only I, my reason and soul could fit in - everything acquired thus far from the wayside of the vast road could not be taking in for there was only space for I, my reason and soul”.

 

“What did you do my professor?”

 

“Ah, I did what any thinking man would do my little adventurer. I sat a while with my precious belongings pondering if there was enough for me for the rest of my life, or was I to lose it all for this narrow road. Besides I knew not what this narrow road offered except for its deep darkness and sign which read ‘at the end of this narrow road and in-between are enveloped the divine things to whomever desire or dare to open them.’

 

I considered a little longer, eyeing my possessions, noticing among them that there was no divine thing among them; all I had were earthly things soon to perish while I live or to outlive me when I die. As a thinking man now praising my mother for teaching me the paths of wisdom, I renounced my worldly possessions and placed both foot on the narrow road. At first it was light, and then a gravity of heaviness wrapped around me as the darkness makes the world evening. What is this and where are the divine things I asked myself? Did I renounce all of my belongings for this? Did I renounce the light of the sun for the shades of a valley? – I looked back desiring to return for I saw the gold which I had left by the road’s entrance, sparkled brighter than ever my eyeballs saw it. It was as if it spoke to me, not to my heart but to my flesh. It said ‘leave the difficulty of the narrow road and come play and dance in vanities market. Our lives can be spent in leisure and luster by pleasures side and wanting’s ride - leave this effort consuming narrow road and place thy foot once again on the vast enticing open road. The gold spoke to my flesh but not to my heart - my heart loved this narrow road but my flesh despised it - so I did what any thinking man would do”.

 

“What did you do my master?”

 

“Oh my young seeker, I sat down and stilled my movement to listen to the argument between my soul and flesh- an hour argued but nothing gained. Both employed logic to perfect conclusions, even reason could have no sway till a passing stranger whispered to my ears, then immediately vanished to trust the sign for what have I yet gained. At this my flesh and heart stilled to ponder the words spoken. Ah flesh said my heart’s tongue - you are never satisfied by the possessions gained thus far and history tells us that with more gained the satisfaction will still elude - yes said the flesh accepting the heart’s remark with pry. Then reason rang her judge’s bell that this narrow road is to be marched, walked to finish, even though we have no light to gain what’s contained in the envelope aright.

 

I stood up and walked my young designer and there is much contained in this story to tell.

It worsened as snow and hail came in frightening speed reducing me to cower under ledges seen. I found a little grace of help, a stick to walk and a blanket to warm until finally, after a week’s plod I did find a tavern converters training hall. Surely for fellowship in here I have, my flesh has almost wearied my heart to return to my gold’s arms”.

 

“Welcome stranger, nay, none here are strangers - all are friends, nay, more than friends - brothers, and sisters, mother’s and father’s, grandmother’s and grandfather’s - tell me young convert what stronger bond than this creatures on earth can have?”

 

“None I reflected - for a brother is a friend but not every friend is a brother - and a father’s love is unconditional, the children’s right by birth”.

 

“I see you have converted your walk - straying from the vast business enjoying road to this dark valley - every converter has a story to tell - sit my young one over a hot cheer.”

 

“A hot cheer - never have I tasted such a thing - but since I have opted in your wishes I shall employ -”

 

“Brother of mine this hot cheer will make you smile - ease that flesh that’s aching your heart”.

 

“Dear sir, before this I buy, may I have a water to soothe my thirst?”

 

“There’s abundance of that available on the road you walk - did you not see it?”

 

“Nay sir, there was only snow and hail which fell”.

 

“Oh those were all for you to drink - on this road the pleasure is in the pain and yet there is more to gain”.

 

“Was I to drink the snow on the floor opening wide my mouth to catch the hail - surely it is unsafe, unkempt by man’s design, so I passed it by”.

 

“Many a convert have this much said except those whom grace was given exceedingly much to understand that the pleasure is in the pain. The comfort and gain is all immediate or soon after the pain. The ways here are upside down, in is out and out is in - much earthly reason cannot prevail here, not even Aristotle’s and Kant’s wisdom carry much weight here - sit now brother - there’s much of this song on the road to be song”.

 
K.Oni

Remembering Romania


It’s almost been six months since our visit to Romania as an Ex woodlands foundation team but the thoughts of the children that we visited in the orphanage still brings back a concrete animation of our time there.

We flew to Bucharest from Gatwick, enjoying much the privilege of flying over land and thanking God for having the resources to do so. On our arrival we were picked up from Bucharest and journeyed to Constanta, the city of our short visit.

I adored our accommodation, I admired the friendliness of the Men who picked us up and the love of the woman who opened and gave us the key to our abode. I remember the first evening like one remembers a cool evening; it was relax, quieted and mellow. We had pizza for dinner and went for a walk to explore our new terrain. The morning felt like a cold evening for I was forced out of my own will to have a cold shower, but redeemed in the fellowship with my friends as we broke bread with one another.

We came to Constanta for two reasons, 1. to visit the churches and 2. To visit the orphanage. Our visit would not be like a man who goes and visit a businessman, no, ours would be like a visit of a brother to his beloved sister. We were to follow that Christian principle of going to serve rather than waiting to be served. The banner of our hearts was love and that unconditionally.

We visited the girl’s orphanage and immediately upon seeing the first small eyes, I was moved with love and zeal although my heart wasn’t so much excited when I was portioned to do some tilling. We cooked for them and more of the girls showed up and with each dovely eyes, some rougher than others, I loved them all and wished the best for them.

We visited the boy’s orphanage and there was a high energy of welcome. Full of gratitude and playfulness we did some activities and the most consistent activity throughout our short stay was that of painting their kitchen. I loved the boys and their diversity. 

Saying goodbye is the hardest of all. A good day was ended due to the coming of the night. We had to leave them and before leaving we shared what our dreams where. When it was my poor time to share, I spoke. They clapped when I said my dream was to become more like Jesus.

I will be posting more of remembering Romania as the flashbacks appear in my ageing memory.

K.Oni

Are you heeding to the true gospel call?


Mat 16:24-27 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done."


To preach the true gospel of Christ’s to unconverted souls in this manner, namely, the gospel call that tells them that they must forsake everything they own and carry their cross, if they should desire to follow Jesus Christ, will cast many waters upon their candle-lit desires. For if their desire to follow Christ was merely rooted in their entertainment, joy, wealth and privileges in this world, then those solid hard-hitting words of Christ will immediately quench their entertaining thirst to believe. But if their candle-lit desires were lit by the matches of faith, then it makes the challenge set before them the more excellent, the more glorious and the more worthy a price to be attained at the end of their faith than at the beginning. Those with faith will be eager, although with exceeding help to overcome every hazard, to stay on the narrow road, to mourn in repentance if they should stray and to expect whirlwind times on their path to glory. Those with this burning faith will not be swayed by the arrows of suffering for they will say, ‘what shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, distress, famine, nakedness, danger, or gun, separate us from the Father’s electing love?’ ‘No, never can these things separate us because our faith is much precious than gold and silver which perishes.’ And if these faith carriers be met by men’s philosophy or reason, they shall say that these philosophies and reasons are empty and have no power unto godliness, for Christ is our wisdom.

Do you have this burning faith or are you destitute of this divine knowledge? Christ, in calling you to his gospel has called you to his cross and to your cross. It was his Spirit speaking through his beloved apostle who said that we must go through many trials and tribulation to enter the kingdom of God. You may say, sir, but we have no hardships in this land, there is a freedom of religion, we are an affluence society and many of us have much more than we need. My friend, is it not written that anyone who desires to live a godly life will be persecuted? It is written so. This tribulation is not merely external but it is also a tribulation of the soul. Have you no mourning over the remaining corruptness in your soul, have you no discipline for your body, have you no challenges for your culture, are you not in tears over its ungodliness and wicked ways, have you no love for sinners? If you seek first his kingdom, then persecution will come and greet you with a well-deserved kiss. We are not to run into suffering, but if godliness exposes us to them then let us pray that God will make us more godly. In my case it is true that when I feel a very godly soul that I feel a great burden of anguish for the lost, and more personally, my feelings rise high for a certain person whom my soul loves. I wish it gone but they are heavy upon me. Our desire for righteousness increases and in a land where there are many injustices, those with burning righteousness will seek to set the land on fire.

And also, if you feel no great hardships in following Christ then I recommend to you as well as to myself to make more personal sacrifices. Love wildly and give generously. Give to the point where it will cost you to give. Love to the point where it would make no sense to love. The true gospel calls us to deny ourselves and it is a sad thing in modern evangelicalism that we have reduced this call to a mere decision without any weight of substance or destitute of the real nature of what it means to follow Christ.

I mean when we have reached the point in a service where we call people to accept Christ but tell them that this confession only has to be made in their hearts because, of perhaps personal embarrassment, is almost a cry against the boldness that Jesus requires of his followers. I mean, if this is our teaching in a safe compound then what will the new believers think when they are in the world pressed hard to deny Jesus? It will be harder for them or even for us to stand up for Christ. In the first century Paul said in Romans 10 that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. What this meant was not a quiet attestation but a stance that says that Cesar is not Lord but Jesus Christ. The implication for this confession is death by hungry lions, or death by fire.

My friends, we must remember the gospel to which we have been called, we must take the gospel to our community without embarrassment, and we must live godly. Remember the solemn call of Christ and decide if you are ready to hold out his banner in a world that would crucify him all over again because of who He says he is.

Mat 16:24-27 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done."
 
K.Oni 

 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

There’s a reason I’m loving you


There’s a reason I’m loving you

It’s a reason I can’t explain

It’s like trying to explain immediate knowledge

I think therefore I am

I see you therefore I love you

Every-time you are in my view I’m in love all over again

You are a song I’ll never stop singing

A picture I’ll always draw

Even though our feelings are far away

Mine is a truth I cannot explain away

I’ve tried many times to colour it through

But your dye keeps coming through
 
There’s a reason I’m loving you



It’s a reason I can’t explain
 
K.Oni
 

 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Miscellanies 60: And as I prayed

And as I prayed for a brother, I could not help but believe my prayers, and as I gave communion to a sister I could not help but believe the words that I spoke; that 'in this moment the blood of Christ is being applied to our very hearts, cleansing away all of our sins and making us anew.' In this very moment was the ache of my heart lifted that indeed my name is written on his heart and never will I be forgotten by God but remembered. Not loving me less in my pitiful hour of sin and not loving me more in my happy minutes of righteousness because I am already seated with him at his right hand.

K.Oni

This We Believe

Many evangelical Christians are instinctively suspicious of the whole idea of creeds and confessions, those set forms of words that certain churches have used throughout the ages to give concise expression to the Christian faith. For such people, the very idea of such extra-scriptural authoritative statements of faith seems to strike at the very heart of their belief that the Bible is the unique revelation of God, the all-sufficient basis for our knowledge of Him, and the supreme authority in matters of religion. 

Certainly, creeds and confessions can be used in a way that undermines the orthodox Protestant view of scripture. Both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches invest such authority in the declaration of the institutional church that the church creeds can seem to carry an authority that is derived from the church’s approval rather than conformity with the teaching of Scripture. Evangelicals are right to want to avoid anything that smacks of such an attitude. Yet I would like to argue that creeds and confessions should fulfill a useful function in the life of the church and in the lives of individual believers.

First, Christians with no creed simply do not exist. To declare that one has “no creed but the Bible” is a creed, for the Bible nowhere expresses itself in such a fashion. It is an extra-biblical formulation. There are really only two types of Christian: those who are honest about the fact they have a creed and those who deny they have a creed yet possess one nonetheless. Ask any Christian what they believe, and, if they are at all thoughtful, they will not simply recite Bible texts to you; they will rather offer a summary account of what they see to be the Bible’s teaching in a form of words which are, to a greater or lesser extent, extra-biblical. All Christians have creeds — forms of words — that attempt to express in short compass great swathes of biblical teaching. And no one should ever see creeds and confessions as independent of Scripture; they were formulated in the context of elaborate biblical exegesis and were self-consciously dependent upon God’s unique revelation in and through Scripture.

Given this fact, the second point is that some Christians have creeds that have been tried and tested by the church over the centuries, while others have those that their pastor made up, or that they put together themselves. Now, there is no necessary reason why the latter should be inferior to the former; but, on the basis that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, there is surely no virtue in turning our backs on those forms of sound words that have done a good job for hundreds of years in articulating aspects of the Christian faith and facilitating its transmission from place to place and generation to generation. If you want to, say, reject the Nicene Creed, you are of course free to do so; but you should at least try to replace it with a formula that will do the job just as effectively for so many people for the next 1,500 years. If you cannot do so, perhaps modesty and gratitude, rather than iconoclasm, are the appropriate responses to the ancient creed.

Third, the creeds and confessions of the church offer us points of continuity with the church of the past. As I noted above, there is no need to reinvent Christianity every Sunday, and in an anti-historical, future-oriented age like ours, what more counter-cultural move can we as Christians make than to self-consciously identify with so many brothers and sisters who have gone before? Furthermore, while Protestants take justifiable pride in the fact that every believer has the right to read the Scriptures and has direct access to God in Christ, we should still acknowledge that Christianity is first and foremost a corporate religion. God’s means of working in history has been the church; the contributions of individual Christians have been great, but these all pale in comparison with God’s great work in and through the church as a whole. This holds good for theology as for any other area. The insights of individual teachers and theologians over the centuries have been profound, but nothing quite matches the corporate wisdom of the godly when gathered together in the great councils and assemblies in the history of the church.

This brings me to my fourth point: Creeds and confessions generally focus on what is significant. The early creeds, such as the Apostles’ and the Nicene are very brief and deal with the absolute essentials. Yet this is true even of the more elaborate statements of faith, such as the Lutheran Augsburg Confession or the Westminster Confession of Faith. Indeed, when you look at the points of doctrine that these various documents cover, it is difficult to see what could be left out without abandoning something central and significant. Far from being exhaustive statements of faith, they are summaries of the bare essentials. As such, they are singularly useful.

Evangelicals should love the great creeds and confessions for all of the above reasons. Yet we should ultimately follow them only so far as they make sense of Scripture, but it is surely foolish and curmudgeonly to reject one of the primary ways in which the church has painstakingly transmitted her faith from age to age.  


 

Purely Theoretical


 There are many people in the world, alas, who are interested in religion, who talk about it and are always ready to have a debate about it. Many of them read books about religion and listen to lectures on the radio about it: perhaps they even listen to sermons in church about religion and are tremendously interested. But it is purely a detached, intellectual interest, something that they like to play with in their minds and to talk about to others. So the point I am making is this: Surely, this is infinitely worse than the position of people who say there is no God. Indeed, is there anything more terrible than a purely theoretical and academic interest in God and in religion and in the godly life?

 Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Dead Religion)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The kingdom of God is always advancing, will you see it settle in your generation?


I AM not willing to accept the kind of Christianity that the last generation endured. As good as it was and as platformic as it was for us, yet I am willing that we should move to a greater degree of glory.

The kingdom of God is always advancing and I will not see it settle in my generation. I will, with all that I am, weak as I may be, give all my strength for the sake of Christ, so that this generation may have no excuse and not say that the lights hid underneath a lampstand. Collectively we shall shine as bright as the sun. It is God in us who will achieve his purposes but as long as I have this earthly tent, I am to live the best kind of Christian life possible, namely, that fullness of life to which Christ called his disciples.

This life is not an easy life, in all honesty it is a difficult one. But it is a life which has seen and tasted the goodness of God and seen the beauty of his face in the eyes of his beloved Son. Without this taste or knowledge, no man or woman will march up death’s valley, carrying the banner of Christ with such sweetness and joy for all of mankind, or their neighbour to see.

The gospel is a beautiful proclamation – it declares the Love of God for sinful humanity. It declares them freedom from all of their oppression. It desires to raise up men from the ashes and seat them with princes – it desires to cause the sick to rejoice – it desires to make the hopeless full of hope and it desires to humble the proud.

This gospel declares man’s only hope for salvation, and if I really believe that, then I have no time to play with trifles. I have no time for earthly sinful pleasures, because ultimately if I play with her, I am of no earthly good. I will only be adding to the defilement of the earth, but I should have time for love, because it is only by love for each other will the world know that we are the Disciples of Christ.

My friends, I am asking you right now this question, what is stopping you from living your Christian life to the full?

I am not saying that we all have to become missionaries or enrol into seminaries in order to become pastors – no. But what is stopping you from distributing the fragrance of Christ to the arena you have been called to. You see the gospel is not a religious gospel – the gospel is a kingdom gospel and it reigns over every aspect of human life. The King of the kingdom is concerned not just about the activities that happens within the church walls but also with what happens in the economy, in the education, in the arts, in businesses, with the law. The king is concerned about it all and his kingdom must reign in those things.

When Christ came into the world to declare his gospel, He preached it to the poor and removed the oppressions which had casted them into poverty, namely their diseases. He preached the gospel to the rich and those who believed where liberated from their addiction to wealth. They were humbled. He preached to those who were outsiders, namely women and they were given equal status in the kingdom of God.

When God kingdom comes it invades the social injustice of the world.

It liberates both oppressors and captives. And of course not all men accept this truth and the gospel will in the end be to their ruin.

My friends we must not be driven to fear when men spit at the gospel truth or trample on it. They did that in the days of Jesus and had him crucified. We must shake such dust from the whiteness of our clothes and march on to preach to all men, remembering that although they crucified Christ, He rose again.

We must live today for today, we must pray for the breakthrough of the kingdom today while it is today and when it is tomorrow we shall pray for tomorrow. I know that we have our eternity secured – our tomorrow is not in dispute but it is in dispute for many without Christ. Tomorrow their eyes may not see, so I am concerned for them today. I will live the best Christian life that I can so that I give my neighbours the best chance of seeing the goodness of God, and God willing, it will result in their salvation.

K.Oni

A fairy tale loss – Part 1


Upon a time, before the golden rings circled the earth, and princesses clustered by streams, arose one of imaginable feat, singing a song of bliss not woe, tearing the rippling rain from full clouds, thundering rainbows beyond solar galaxies, was the one intelligible, zealed, winged with love, pure as the golden throne, chanted his refrain of honey for a nymph, whose eyes once caught by stammering seas, melted and roaring for she, at once the trees adulterated eyes, replacing Sun with her nourishing smile, earth opening to kiss her with pearls, gold scratching the fire to refine something for eyes to behold, a transcendence worth, clothed in purple cloth, hair brownish black, skin pale as white creamy dew, fragrance myrrh breath, ivory towered tightened skinned galloping chest, drawing gods from unknown dynasty to bow a rain of diamonds, etching love with blood at her regal feet.

The one zealed, winged with love from flower to flower flew, drawing closer to the nymphs beloved secret bed, dandling past the jealous trees, weighted with awe, closer, imagining a kiss result in his dawn, intimacy known, his evening close, succumbing to his grave a full-strength man, lived and forsake a thousand lives, but one with her no wish for a death to die.

Golden peacock, coloured nymph alone, awake, unaware amidst her paradise exposed, transfixed on beauty entirely her own, no nymph eyes for splendour for splendour not her own, coloured in pride, character conceited, a vanities lover and purity chastiser, alarmed now, disturbed by the light voice, unmaintained, despised that flew her way.

Sprinkled with jasper dust, staring the one zealed and winged with love, finding insufferable, worthless poignancy, her he dared to feast, at once sought his valueless death, knowing her beauty at present his emotion secured, called him Adam, nearer nigh, to task him his death supply.

“Fair Adam crowned creation’s god, I dream a wish with you my lips should fall, eternal springs of open love, whiteness dove will you be mine at my appeal?”

The one zealed, winged with love overflowed with light brighter than the midday sun, trembling anew at what his eyes foresees, a life with her no wish for a death to die.

“Your smooth-lipped call, surely my heart inspired, no higher melody of obedience in me can rise, say and pray, your request is my life, if thee be the prize, my jubilee will have no demise”.

Bright flew her words, deep in his heart, poisoned unknown her feminine brilliance has blighted his mind, from her true wants, he leaps a clueless man into the forest beyond, to fulfil the nymphs desire that has overcome his heart.
K.Oni

Friday, 23 November 2012

The Joy of Confession 20


Sinner: Dear Sir, it seems that I’ve wandered far away from God, away to my many imaginations and not to him. I have wandered into the lust of my heart, into the pride of my soul and into the conceitedness of my condition. This valley I have trodden far too long and in the end I have found that it only brings about my drowning in the sea of flesh. O the misery to my spirit that I have wasted many precious years which brings me now to repent with bitter tears; but I find it hard to stay the course of righteousness. Dear Sir, please help me for no more can my soul linger in the broad way for I am tired of sin and straying. My soul is sick, my heart is sore; please my strength renew.

Sir: My poor son in the faith, far you have wandered into the shadows of darkness but today come home. God is calling the prodigal, even though you have wandered far from his presence, yet he is calling you back. I am glad that you are sensible of your condition and do weep bitter tears for there are many who would not shed a single drop of tear for their wandering into the world. But you my son do display that the Spirit in you is grieving. Now, there is not much I can do for you save this, that right now Christ is applying his cleansing blood into your heart. He is dipping you into that precious fountain that saves from sin, that precious fountain so rich and sweet, he is casting your poor soul into it, plunging your filthiness into his righteousness. And do not worry, you cannot stain his garment for he covers you with his righteousness. Therefore my son, nothing keeps you back from his presence, come home.

Sinner: Oh Thank you Sir, I do feel in my heart a warm sensation of love. I do feel myself being washed as white as snow. O I am so glad that I have entered into that fountain and came home into his presence. O for a thousand joy and praise for Jesus.
 
K.Oni

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Love that I see in this community


And I’m loving the love that I see in this community

The jubilee summer seems to have bud in Camilla’s soul

Kate rising high colouring the house Gold

Hames dancing bright, Harry smiling till the evening fold

Gotta open the curtains for the whole world to see

Something seems to change every time I come back in.

Watching Ben’s vision, He’s the Spirit’s Love guitar

Irresistable Louis, A true homie till my final breath

Always got to stare, Rachel is a bright star

Illuminating our minds with feelings that makes a brotha smile

I do believe God opens his curtains, for heaven to watch and see

The Love that I see in this Christ centred community.

K.Oni

  

The preacher's gospel truth

It was in the beginning of the gospel truth that many had tried to supress and eradicate it. The Pharisees and the Sadducees tried to supress and destroy it by calling its preacher a friend of the devil. After failing magnificently to suppress the gospel truth, although they crucified its preacher, yet it travelled on and on to Jerusalem, Judea and to the ends of the earth. The preacher's disciples carried on the gospel truth after witnessing the resurrection of the preacher. In their sweet yet difficult errands, they were met by many oppositions especially those who were Judaisers who tried to turn the gospel into law, yet the gospel truth marched on. Then came the persecution of Rome, but Rome could not cage the gospel. With every martyr came ten new convert. After this, the institution of Rome moralised the gospel trying to remove the power of God from it, but their efforts came to no avail, for the gospel truth marched on in the hearts of the reformers and those within the Roman church who had a love for the preacher and his gospel truth. Then the liberals tried to lock up the gospel truth in their naturalistic endeavours, but failed to supress the supernatural nature of the gospel truth. Then came science with all of its worshippers, but in the end science was reconciled with the gospel truth, although the battle still carries on, yet the preacher's gospel truth marches on. And through out history especially in the last two centuries, there has arisen many haters of the gospel truth, namely those who deny the deity of Christ, and those who deny the powerful workings of the Spirit. They have all been bowed under the greatness of the gospel truth. For to this modern day, the deaf are still hearing, the dead are still raised and the savages are still believing. The preacher's gospel truth shall forever march on, for the preacher has sounded his truth that will never call retreat.

K.Oni

The flowers do sigh


When autumn sheds her last remaining shells

The flowers do sigh,

for rushing winter

Begins their funeral march.

 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My heart redeemed


My heart redeemed, won again by God's gracious kindness. He, everyday, reminds me that He is my heavenly Father, not near to strike me at every manifestation of sin but one who is at hand to grant me mercy, so that I can be blessed for my spiritual poverty and in turn desire ever exceedingly the hunger and thirst for righteousness. He has won my heart with unending Love. Day after day his mercy speaks to me whispering of the ever overflowing blood of Christ which covers all of my iniquities. My good Father also tells me that his salvation is more than the forgiveness of sins. His salvaiton is as broad as the whole earth. Everything, upon the death of his Son, held on the tree by love, was restored and will be consumated in the day and hour of his return. The whole world has him wrong and None will ever comprehend his true nature if they do not see him through Christ. Oh I pray that every day I will see your heart through the heart of Christ my Saviour.

K.Oni

Friday, 9 November 2012

Life should be lived with a Smile


Every day I walk to work. If I leave at a certain time I see the same people almost in the same place where I saw them the day before. There is one particular person who I look forward to see every day in my journey and it is a woman with her two children cycling to school. I see them cycling, the children being adventurous in their drive and the Mom careful and steady making sure that her kids are ok. I am not even sure that the kids are necessarily hers but that’s my assumption. I love to see this woman and her kids because as she cycles past, she always smiles at me and I always innocently with great joy return her smile. There is something about that moment which touches the soul like a bird’s joy sucking the juice out of a lily. A simple smile can demonstrate the heart of a person. This is why I conclude that life should be lived with a smile and besides Jesus came eating and drinking.
 
K.Oni

 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Miscellanies 59: This message I proclaim on the pillars of absolute truth


I am not in the manner to go in the way of some in the past. I am not a friend of controversy but I am a friend of the truth - this heart which has seen the beauty of Christ and experienced the love of the Father can only rise upon this worldly stage as to declare to you that Christ is the way, the truth, and life. In this market place of ideas of which the philosophers and my neighbour's bid me to cater, but O I cannot, for I must cater for the truth of Christ and his gospel which calls every other way wrong, declares man a sinner, God a loving righteous holy God, and Christ the only mediator.  This message I proclaim on the pillars of absolute truth. I am not first a servant of man but of God; and I call to memory the scriptures which must be proclaimed to this ignorant generation and if their portion is to be like it was for the people Isaiah was called to preach too then I must preach. They were ever hearing but never understanding. But I pray that the hearts of the people will be like those of the people of Nineveh, that when reluctant Jonah came to preach they believed - and I like Jeremiah, his words burn inside of me to preach to his people and to the gentiles.
 
K.Oni

This rising feeling of speechlessness

This rising feeling of speechlessness only with her
quietened conversations remained sealed in my heart
longing to speak of more romantic theme
settling only for the mundane speech.
My heart burns hotter than the sun
manifesting forth duller than the grey skies
only if these banks I could break for u to see the gushing waterfall of my heart for u my sweet
but speechless my love displayed
silenced by fear, kept trembling with rumours heard,
that she now taken,
ringed by a son from the midlands shores.

K.Oni


 

Monday, 5 November 2012

When the Bible Blows Your Mind

The Bible teaches us to expect mental jolts when we think about God. It teaches us that our familiar ways of seeing things may be replaced. For example, it says, "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!" (Romans 11:33). Or again, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).
 
One of the reasons (not the only one) that some people reject the biblical teaching of unconditional election is that it seems and feels to them out of sync with other teachings in the Bible - like the compassion of God for people or the moral accountability of people before God. It seems to many that God can't choose unconditionally to save some and not others and then also feel compassion for those he does not choose and hold them accountable for their sin.
 
The problem here is that our instinct or intuition for what is right or possible for God does not fit Scripture. And the danger is that we shape Scripture to fit our feelings.
 
The Scriptures teach that God chooses who will be saved before we are born or have done anything good or evil (Romans 9:10-12). "It depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy" (Romans 9:16). The Scriptures also teach that we are responsible for the obedience of faith and will be judged if we are disobedient. "But for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury" (Romans 2:8). We are chosen (or not chosen) unconditionally for salvation. And we are accountable for our faith (or unbelief).
 
As I said in my sermon on 12-8-02, I do not fully understand how God renders certain the belief of the elect and the unbelief of the non-elect. If you want to go deeper into this, I recommend Jonathan Edwards' book The Freedom of the Will. It is slow reading, but you will grow more from the effort than you can imagine.
 
To help you accustom yourself to living with such felt tensions (unconditional election and human accountability) consider two similar ones from the example of Christ.
 
First, we see Jesus weeping over Jerusalem because the things of the kingdom were "hidden from [their] eyes." But on the other hand we also hear Jesus say that God has "hidden these things."
 
Luke 19:41-42. And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes."
 
Luke 10:21. In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will."
 
Second, we see Jesus feeling compassion for those who were sick - irrespective, it seems of their faith. On the other hand, we know from illustrations and teachings elsewhere in the Bible that God is finally and decisively in control of sickness. So we have Jesus feeling sorry for people who have sicknesses that God's wisdom has ordained (at least for a time).
 
Matthew 14:14. When [Jesus] went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
 
Exodus 4:11. Then the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?"
 
1 Samuel 2:6. The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
 
Implications: 1) Don't cancel one truth in the Bible because it feels out of sync with another.
 2) Don't draw emotional or behavioral implications from God's sovereignty that contradict faith, compassion, accountability, prayer, evangelism, or hard work. On the contrary, consider Colossians 3:12 and let your unspeakably happy condition as "chosen, holy and loved" produce "compassion, kindness, humility and meekness."
 
By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Shelter

While the new James Bond movie had the biggest Bond opening weekend in half a century, the sky seemed to literally fall in two days later when the Frankenstorm of the century raged through the Caribbean and smashed into the US East Coast. The trail of devastation is massive as US President Barack Obama declared a "major disaster".
 
"Let the sky fall, when it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall."
 
While Adele's noirish ballad is a Bond theme song that beautifully accompanies the film, the violent forces of nature highlight the fragility of our humanity in which we can't always stand tall, as livelihoods, homes and lives were lost this week.
 
The psalmist recognises that our shelter from life's storms is ultimately only found in God. "How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings" (Psalm 36:7). The prophet Isaiah similarly depicts Him as the stronghold to the needy in distress and a shelter from the storm (Isaiah 25:4). When the sky crumbles we can dwell in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
 
"Skyfall... When worlds collide, and days are dark."
 
In dark days and colliding worlds, James Bond may entertain us but the reign of God transforms us. For we not merely find our shelter, but we become a shelter for others."A king will rule in the right way, and his leaders will carry out justice. Each one will stand as a shelter from high winds, provide safe cover in stormy weather" (Isaiah 32:2).
 
This week, Children's Minister Edward Timpson warned of the dark clouds over the teenagers who leave the care system and face a "cliff-edge" as they become trapped in poverty and joblessness. As the sky seems to fall in on the most vulnerable children who need the most support, he rightly spoke of a "national scandal".
 
Thousands of the most vulnerable children in our society have nowhere to call home. Every day over 50 children are taken into care. They are removed from chaotic, abusive, neglectful or desperate situations. While some need a temporary home, others need a permanent home with a new family. There are 4,000 children waiting to be adopted and 8,750 more foster families are needed. The Home for Good initiative identifies that God's people are uniquely positioned to foster and adopt these vulnerable kids.
 
The apostle Paul reflects on the Spirit of adoption who placed us into the family of God. His phrase "the Spirit of adoption" gives foundational images for life: the placing in a family, the gaining of identity, and the re-socialisation in terms of new family values.
 
Paul's adoption metaphor is a radical piece of imagery that portrays the equality of salvation and addresses a communal identity. God's children, adopted and led by the Spirit, are heirs of a new world and marked by the hope for the fulfillment of a new reign (Romans 8:14-37). The Spirit has profound implications for the social make-up of this community and redefines its boundaries. A new social and ethical order is created in the existing social and power structures of society (Romans 12:1f).
 
As God's adopted family, we are marked by hope and take part in the divine reign. We are indeed meant to be a shelter from high winds and provide safe cover in stormy weather. We are meant to place the lonely in families. We are all invited to a new future.
 
Marijke Hoek, Forum for Change coordinator - Evangelical Alliance