TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This must be said.

It grieves me when I wake up early to go to work only to find another man who had woken up much longer than I did preaching to souls that need to be preached to.

I am not saddened that they preach, but I think that if you’d go through all that sacrifice to do a noble thing, then that thing should be done right.

Painting pictures of hell, creating awareness about the existence of demons isn’t what the gospel is about. In fact, a strong rebuke against sin isn’t what the gospel is about too.

All that will never CHANGE a man. Only the gospel is the saving power of God. Only the gospel CAN make men be BORN AGAIN.

Think about it…The only reason why a *danfo driver uses a seat belt is because he sees that he is approaching a Lastma official. The instance he gets past the checkpost, he throws it away like we dispose used toilet paper. The Fear of *Lastma bends him to use the seat belt, but as soon as the sight is gone, he returns to his posture as a non seat belt user.

All those sermons about hell and the rest only put fear in the hearts of men. Fear bends people’s will, it doesn’t change it. As soon as the picture you paint fades from their heart( and it will fade b’cos really, we’ve got important issues like fuel to think about too ‪#‎lol‬), they soon return to the very things you tried to save them from.600x600

The gospel is the GOOD NEWS. It is a story of LOVE and perfect love casts out all fear. The Gospel doesn’t DEMAND change from people who can’t even change in the first place, it OFFERS change to those who would BELIEVE. The gospel doesn’t say go to church, rather it says God is running back to you, open your heart to him. The Gospel doesn’t demand that you love God, it preaches that God loves you, has sent his son to die for you so you can be forgiven of ALL sins, and so you can receive NOW, eternal life.

Think of it, who wouldn’t love God back after he has received God’s love and forgiveness. And love is the fulfillment of all the Law. When we see the love God has for us, we are propelled to reciprocate the love to him and the people around us.

So the next time you decide to preach the gospel, ask yourself, is my message a GOOD news? If no, then it’s probably not news at all.

Before you repost that facebook message, will this sow the seed of LOVE in men’s heart? If it won’t, then it is probably not worth your time.

Selah

*A Danfo bus is a commercial peassenger bus popular in Lagos Nigeria

*Lastma is a traffic enforcement agency in Lagos.

A Christmas day Speech

index

Our Christmas barbecue in church was tagged ‘Jesus’ birthday’. And like some other birthday parties we attend, folks were given the chance to talk about the celebrant. How they met him and how their relationship has been thus far. I didn’t get passed the mic and so I’ve decided to recount my own story here.

*coughs*

As much as I’d have loved to, I can’t remember the exact day, hour and second I met him. Like I can’t remember the exact day, hour or second I met my other friends. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t a ceremonious meeting, or maybe it’s because our love happened softly. They say it’s wise to choose good friends; in my case, the best friend there can ever be chose me and I’m glad I agreed.

in my case, the best friend there can ever be chose me and I’m glad I agreed

I’ve always been a ‘Christian’ for the most part of my life that I can remember. I did everything the average Christian does. I attended church services as often as I could, I argued about religion at every slight opportunity, gave my own share of N5 when it was offering time, slept through sermons only to be tapped out of it rudely by ushers, etc. it’s a good thing to have been raised up a Christian. But I find that all my parents did was introduce me to a religion and that helped me find faith and Jesus. You don’t find Christ until you believe him and his gospel. And that didn’t necessarily happen at an instance for me really, it was a gradual deepening process that I went through over time. That’s partly why I don’t have a date I can name. All I can say Is that I have come to believe on him and I always re-affirm this faith as often as I have needed to.

And that didn’t necessarily happen at an instance for me really, it was a gradual deepening process that I went through over time

Now to how our relationship has been thus far…

The first thing that strikes me about the lord is his love for me. Ours has so far been a truly true love story. Countless times I have failed and disappointed him; countless time he has forgiven. Why and how he does it, I can’t exhaustively explain, I don’t even try to reason it out, I just enjoy and bask in it. Jesus’ love has never been conditional. He’s loved me at my best and at my worst. When the feeling was mutual and when it wasn’t. Whether I felt like it or not. His love has been that constant ‘X’ in my life’s mathematical equation.

His love has been that constant X in my life’s mathematical equation.

His loving me has taught me what love really means and has led me to love him much too. It has also taught me to love others; to be tolerant of their faults, to always look for the best in them, and to always offer to help bring out their best at all times.

His faithfulness is epic. Just when you think he’d leave you, there he remains with you. Through thick and thin, he’s never ashamed of you even when you are ashamed of yourself. His loyalty is legendary. He has been faithful to me and the things that are important to me.

Then there is his grace. I like to call it my shine. Prior to our relationship, I was pretty much average. There was no boldness, no confidence, no uniqueness; or maybe they were all there, but I never found them. Christ has helped me see my best self and attain it. Of course this is a process; I keep getting better and better, brighter and brighter, smarter and smarter, wiser and wiser, richer and richer, finer and finer, every day and in every way. God’s grace has made and is continuing to make all the difference in my life.

And lastly, he gives me hope. That hope is why I’m always joyful, positive and full of life and energy. I truly understand what it means to have life and have it abundantly. I am truly alive. Not that I don’t have bad days, but through it all I shine. Nothing ever keeps me down. I’m aware that he’s always got my back. I know that in the end, it will all be alright; and that if it isn’t, then it is not the end. No matter how today seems my future here on earth and hereafter is never bleak. His hope brings this boundless excitement into my life. And this means a lot to me. It allows me fly without wings, be free just as the wind; it allows me to be me and to enjoy the process of living life.

His hope brings this boundless excitement into my life. And this means a lot to me. It allows me fly without wings, be free just as the wind; it allows me to be me and to enjoy the process of living life.

There are countless other things to write, but I’ll save ink and paper for another day. This has not been an attempt to get you to believe in Jesus and start your own relationship with him (if you don’t already do so); it has only been an attempt to share my overwhelming experience with my savior. I’ve only written as much as words and talent can permit me, there is so much more to our relationship than I can find words to express. If this moves you to want to have this same experience too, then I’d be glad it did, and I’d be happy to help out.

Compliments of the Season.

Have a prosperous new year!

 

 

 

L.O.V.E

I have heard a lot of people say that there is no such thing as true love. I completely disagree.

Quite evidently, there is a lot of falsehood and deceit everywhere. In many cases, counterfeits are usually produced in larger quantities than the original because they are cheaper and easier to make; but the existence of fakes isn’t disproof of the existence and reality of an original, as a matter of fact, it proves it.

When Jesus hung on a tree on our behalf, he proved and preached 1 Corinthians 13 in its truest and purest form. No greater love than this, than a man should die for another, and Jesus did die for us. Even in fairy tales, the greatest expression of true love is painted as when a man sacrifices his life for his lover.

How then does this relate with your search for true love or the existence of it.

In several places, the bible relates the love Christ has exemplified for the church with the same a man should have for his wife. A husband is required to love his bride as purely, deeply and intimately as Christ loves the church. That love should be so strong that it makes him one with his wife such that he loves her no less than he loves himself.

This Christ-like love is God’s expectation and requirement of us as men. We are not expected to give anything less. God won’t ask us to give something we are not able to afford. For every expectation God places on a man, he accompanies with it the capacity to fulfill it.4199531-you-are-in-love-normal

photo credit: Google

I therefore have no doubt about man’s ability to love his spouse truly and deeply, or on the existence of pure and true love.

We all just need to come to that point where we decide that we won’t give anything less nor settle for anything not true.

It is equally important that we don’t succumb to the idea of the non-existence of true love as claimed by several people who have probably had bad episodes in their lives’ drama.

It’s a lie you and I shouldn’t believe nor accept. Because our beliefs are simply thought patterns we have dwelt on for so long and have accepted as truth. As a result, they become self-fulfilling prophecies of our fate. The realities of our thoughts soon become the realities of our lives. If we choose to join the band wagon of people who claim and believe that only fake love is obtainable, then fake love would be all you can attract to yourself and give to others.

We must come to terms that true love isn’t just a fairy tale fantasy that is possible only in Disney movies, but rather a present day reality of a wise few who dared to believe in its possibility. We must believe that pure love is attainable even in this degenerated generation of ours.

We must believe that love is indeed beautiful and that we have the capacity to give and receive it in its whole, pure and best form; and that even if the true love doesn’t become everybody’s reality, it can and will be ours especially if we commit ourselves to giving it.

When you think this, that’s just what you’d get.

#IBelieveInLove

Soaga Afolabi

IWrite, ISpeak, IINspire

i wont give my life to christ, pls dont give yours!!!

WARNING: this piece is hazardous to the religious mind of a Christian. Reader’s discretion is advised. 🙂
I have spent the past 5 years of my life as a student of the prestigious and highly religious Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy, ile-ife, Nigeria. About 2 to 3 years of that time, I served as a pastor to a campus fellowship…… a responsibilty I’m pleased to have been trusted with because it gave me a platform to bless people. Those were perhaps the best periods of my life. Having said that, something like what I titled this piece many would reason should not be heard from my lips and many of my friends and colleagues will be deeply surprised and some disappointed I am posting something like this. Despite all, I choose to maintain and stand upon what I’ve said; it isn’t a mistake, I won’t give my life to Christ and if you stick to this a little longer you’ll know why and probably opt to do the same.
First, I searched through the KJV bible (using my e-sword) and shockingly, I did not see ‘literarily’ anywhere in which Jesus asked me to give my life to him (methodology: type give your life to christ( or me) in your bible search engine and scroll through the results if you find any). I searched the epistles again which I personally attach a lot of importance to and disappointingly I still couldn’t find any such request or instruction there. Desperate to be convinced, I opened the highly contemporary THE MESSAGE translation hoping someone would have sneaked in something king James mistakenly omitted but it was still the same story.
All my life as a Christian, I’ve seen and heard many preachers (myself inclusive) ask people to give their lives to Christ. All that while all of them seemed to have used a bible when preaching but now I wonder which bible they got that idea from because I can’t seem to find it in mine.
I then decided to do something else. I replaced the ‘g’ from give with an ‘L’ to get the word live. I re-did my search and this time I came across some scriptures and I’ll love to point your attention to the one below
2Co 5:15 And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.
(AMP) emphasis mine

We are asked to live for him rather than give our lives to him. Now, this is the point I get to say that living for Christ and giving our lives to him pretty much mean the same thing. It’s just plain semantics but I believe it got some people’s attention but before you get at me for that let me now also state and explain the point I am really trying to get across. What I really want to bring out here however is that our life is meant to be lived not given away. God gave us life so we can live it and not just keep it or store it up somewhere.
Here is the problem with ‘giving our lives to Christ’. Most people who have this mentality tend to fall into either of these 2 groups. The first group are those who claim with their mouths to have ‘given Christ their life’ but who then go behind and take it back by the way the live that life. They are the ones who live life as they please with no regard for the precepts and instructions of God (they place all the importance on the moment they ‘confessed Christ’ and have no regard for the period after that).
The second group are the ones who ‘give their life to Christ and refuse to do anything else with it. They prefer to leave it all to him so he could do it all for them (looking at this closely, most people here do it not out of love for God but rather out of fear of hell and a selfish desire to have him do things for them). Many people that live with this give-away mind-set refuse to really live life. They are the heavenly-conscious-earthly-irrelevant-people who have trusted their lives in God’s hand waiting for Jesus second coming and doing all they can to avoid the world, its people and its system so as not to get ‘corrupted’ with the sins of this world. They won’t go into politics, entertainment, business or anything. They are okay with just getting by….they sing ‘this world is not my own, I’m going home one day to meet my God’.
So its like 2 extreme positions. Those that are over-living and those that are not living at all. Once again, balance is our problem.
Really like Dr Myles Munroe said, there is indeed no greater burden than freedom as freedom requires the highest level of responsibility. Christ has bought us freedom. However, he didn’t pay the price of his life so that we can be dummies and robots for him, rather like the verse above said, he wants us to live our lives for him. See this…..he lived because of us and died/ gave his life FOR us so we can die to self first and then LIVE FOR him. Christ expects us to be responsible enough to live right, choose right and by our living, reveal his love and wisdom to the world, spread his gospel, all of which will eventually bring glory to his name.
So salvation is not an escape route from hell as some people view it, but rather a door into a new life of kingdom responsibility. God wants us to live life and do good works here on earth while we are at it. He didn’t ask us to receive him only to wait till when he’ll return to receive us, but rather that we should get busy living our lives to establish his kingdom here on earth. In essence, the essence of salvation is not so that you will make heaven but beyond that, that we should create heaven here on earth for others around us thereby leading them in the process to God.
Jesus instructed in Luke19:13b that we occupy till he comes. In other words he was saying get busy with living life! Jesus was telling you here not just to give your life to him, fold your arms and expect him to keep it for you only, but rather that you live your life, unleash your potentials, make impact, and Achieve Greatness.
Let me state it clearly again as I conclude. Giving your life to Christ and living your life for Christ really mean the same thing. I made that decision for him a while back and it is the best I’ve made so far and I stand by it. What I have tried to point out is the problem having a ‘give your life to’ mind-set creates. It produces Christians who are either living life in their own terms with no regard to God’s will and desire, or Christians who have decided to stay alive but stop living life because Jesus is coming soon. If you fall into any of the 2 camps, you need to get out now! Start living life and this time live it for him. To do that, you’ll have to ‘die’ to self first so you can begin to live for a greater cause (john12:24-25). Remember he lived first and then he died and now he lives for ever. So live for him on earth, be his representative, touch lives, make impact, create an heaven experience for those around you, invade the systems and take over them for God, bless your generation and leave your foot prints on the sand of time. Christ’s finished work avails you all these and more. To whom much is given much is expected…. Achieve greatness.
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun
@inspireda4

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

clutter: guttermost or uttermost

What we call store room in most homes and offices is actually where we have chosen to keep all our clutters. Clutters refer to those numerous possessions we have but don’t really need, or those we no longer use but then for some strange reason or the other, have simply refused to dispose.
In elementary science, I remember being taught that matter is anything that has weight and occupies space. Well, I have reached a conclusion that this definition applies to our subject matter today. Clutters have weight and occupy precious space; Space that ought to be used for something else is what most of us use to store up unnecessary clutter. One obstacle to progress and increase in life I believe is clutter. Clutter isn’t meant to be kept, but rather thrown away. And the following few paragraphs will attempt to convince you on why you clear your homes, offices and yes heart of all that is unnecessary.
Although, Clutters generally refer to materials and stuffs, but in the context I am writing from, it could also mean habits, character behaviour, desires, goals and ambitions. The morale and what needs to be done is the same. Whether it’s an idle ambition or an old skateboard, or some familiar habit, or that old shirt in your wardrobe; all clutter pose the same problem and so require the same type of counter measure.
You have probably heard about the sermon on the old wine bottle and new wine (Luke 5). These 2 Jesus taught are non-compactible. They simply can’t go together. If new wine is gonna come, old wine bottle must go. And this applies also to other life in general because if new stuffs will come in, old stuffs must go. Unaware to most people, the Clutters we keep prevent new stuff from coming in. if new stuff meets clutter inside your home, there would be chaos everywhere. And so the new prefers to stay away until you make room for it.
But then, have you ever wondered why do people tend to keep clutter? I learnt something called the revealed preference hypothesis in micro economics. Basically, this says if the new is better, the new is preferred. And this is the psychological reasoning of every rational person. So everyone wants better and everyone wants the new. So if clutter keeps stuff from coming in, why do people still keep it? The great rabbi Jesus also reasoned along this line and proffered some answer to this. He explained that no one who takes the old wine straightaway desires the new because he will feel the old is better. This is a classical problem of the human mind.
This is what I call an illusion of abundance. It has been our general assumption that having is always better than not having and that half bread is always better than none. But in reality, half bread at times is what keeps full bread from coming in. our human nature of always wanting and acquiring has mis-programmed us such that we are deceived into thinking we have abundance when we don’t dispose unnecessary stuff away. But then, it is only an illusion because that abundance is of little or no use and so doesn’t profit or bring gain. The truth however is that plenty doesn’t always represent prosperity and there are times when less is more.
There is a law that says until there is a release, there can’t be an increase. Jesus told his disciples that there is a man that scatters and yet increases but another that gathers and yet tends to nothing. The illusion that this false abundance brings is only temporary because we soon discover (even though we mostly choose to disbelieve) that the clutters we have refused to let go of so it can cause new to come in soon becomes so stale that without choice it has to go but this time it is without the ability to reproduce and cause new things to come in.

Change is not always without pain and sacrifice but still yet it is one thing I life that is inevitable. Everything changes with time either for the better or the worse. When we don’t allow for positive change that though painful, makes us better; then negative change which is even more painful would be imposed on us.
A seed needs to be killed for it to reproduce. A seed not released and sowed (killed) cannot reproduce itself. And seed just like opportunities have life span. When stored longer than necessary, they become stale and unable to reproduce. When your seed goes stale, it becomes a total loss. You can make that clutter a seed. Its your choice; will you rather sow it and let it multiply or keep it while it decays and rusts away.
In conclusion, your old wine or clutter are not necessary bad things or spoilt things nor are they bad habits or failed goals and ambitions. They could be good stuff. They don’t just refer to obsolete possessions of yours; in fact at times they might still very useful stuff. Yet, we still need to let them go. Realize this, the best enemy of the best at times is the good and so if we let go of these good stuffs, better ones can come.
The message here is to clear our clutter. Get rid of the unnecessary and stale. Give away the ones you can, sell some and others are best in the dustbin. Check your habits too. Some don’t make for greatness. Get rid of them too. Re-examine your vision, goals and ambition. Some of them need to be re-casted; others are just not in tune with what God as revealed to you as his intentions for you. No matter how wonderful they are, let them go. Re-appraise your knowledge base. The illiterate of this century are not those who can’t read or write, but rather those that can’t learn, un-learn and re-learn. Equip your mind and be willing to let some things go so that better ones can come in.
To go up, we need to give up. When we release we increase. When we clear our clutter, it moves us from the gutters to the utters of life. It teleports us from the lowest grounds we might have been struggling in to life’s peak and zenith. It’s your time to shine. Succeed
Soaga Afolabi

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.