The Fire of God’s Love

What is God’s love?

A good feeling of acceptance or a strong sense of protection from evil?

God’s love is characterised by a commitment to His creation. A commitment to groom, nurture, provide, care, and sustain. The Word says “For God so loved the world” not Christians. His love will be biased if it was only committed to His followers, His nature is void of segregation. He loves the world, He loves His creation and unlike man, His love for us is not based on how well we reciprocate. His love doesn’t diminish when we walk outside His will, it takes a U-turn and chases after us.

God’s love is patient, fierce and eternal. His love never runs out on us because it doesn’t depend on us to keep it fresh. As a matter of fact, we do not have the ability to nurture or sustain it. Our decision to dismiss or accept it does not affect its intensity.

When we read the Adam story, it is tempting to think that God pushed them out of His love and security because they disobeyed Him. On the flip side, God knew that the genealogy of Adam had to begin for Him to send His son to come and provide a channel through which our acceptance seals us eternally to His love. So no, He didn’t push them out, He drew them closer with forgiveness through the sacrifice of the blood of His son, and since we all were in Adam it applies to us too. It is why He says in Hebrews 8:12 “… I will remember their sins no more” because His blood bought us back eternally.

Let’s look at the concept of fire, it refines and destroys. Fire refines gold but is also capable of destroying life and property. Fire burns but also produces. It is true that after a great famine comes a great harvest, if only you let go of all you lost and work towards all you can produce. The question is, what have you decided to make of the heat you feel?

The beauty of salvation is the freedom of choice. God is always willing to refine us as long as we let Him destroy the insecurity we feel, the habits that do not serve our purpose, the jealousy that eats us up, the immaturity that hinders responsibility, the ignorance that hides us from the truth… The list might be endless but the outcome is sure. If we let Him destroy all that is not of Him in our lives, He refines and produces in us beyond our desires. God’swill Ezeonyeka once shared with me that “When God is with you in the fire, the fire is the safest place to be” it blessed me.

Listen friends, the reconstruction you seek will not happen unless you allow God to do the demolition. You cannot get charcoal until you burn wood and no matter how rich your ingredients are, you do not get a meal until you light up the fire.

Let it burn, let the fire of God’s love permeate your being, it is the only fire that truly refines.

Imani Dokubo
© 2023

A LETTER TO MY OLD RUGGED CROSS

Dear old rugged cross
Blessed are you among wood and timber
Because on you rested the greatest sacrifice ever
On that night at Golgotha
On you was my Jesus crucified
And now I stand justified
Before the God of my salvation and life

Dear old rugged cross
It hurts to tell you that many are lost
And those who remain cling to a civilised cross
They have forsaken the ancient landmark
While on a self-satisfaction task
Ignorantly falling to damnation on a fast track

Yes you may have seen some violence
But not as much as there is in my presence
For the love of men wax cold
And iniquity is in abundance
The time of true faith fades away
And religion, false belief finds its way
And unfortunately, the Christians refuse to take their place

I must confess you are quite heavy
And I might stumble and fall on this journey
But all my cares on Jesus I lay
Dear old rugged cross
On you, I sacrifice all my flaws
As I wait for my Lord’s applause

Yours sincerely,
The Young Believer


Ezeonyeka Godswill
(C) 2011

This is War

Battles to be fought

Wars to be won

Knees on the ground

Prayers to the son

Girding on my whole armour

Helmet wrapped in salvation

Shield engraved in faith

Sword spilling fiery words

Shoes dipped in the power of the Spirit

Going in this might

Losing not to naysayers

Victory is mine

For the battle is the Lord’s

Feet deeply rooted

In the finished work of the cross

Seated in heavenly places

To watch a war already won

I fight not with fear or dread

I fight for the greater is in me

I fight ‘cos it’s a good fight

I fight to take what had been mine

I fight to possess what I had been given

I fight ‘cos I had won

I am more than conqueror so I fight!

Oraegbu Philipa Ada

© 2022

Jesus

He, the first born of the spirit was born in a manger
Raised with his people yet considered stranger
Jesus in God’s sight, is considered all that is right

He took whiplashes
That healing be given in all places, races and classes
He at Galilee’s road
Was broken that we be made whole
That we be saved souls
For our salvation was always his main goal.

Jesus was bartered bruised and crushed
All while led to an old rugged cross
To have nails impale his body
That we may become his body
And at the 9th hour, when hope had diminished
He declared it is finished.

For three days , he launched a one man raid.
Defeating devil, demons and death in a perpetual victory parade
And at the third day when he was raised
The power of death was as empty as his grave.

Brown Ini
© 2022

I Will Follow You

My Lord Jesus, the Shepherd of my soul
I will follow You wherever You lead me
I will not fret nor cringe in fear
Even if You lead into the pit
I know it will be for the best at last
I’ll trust You always
For I know the pit can’t ever be the destination
But an only-to-be-routed-through junction
Just as hell wasn’t Your destination
But a place to pass through to the glory beyond
Thus my eyes are fixed on the joy ahead
For I know it will all be worth it in the end
So I rest NOW as I follow You
My mind is not seized with any frenzy
But simply resting in Your love and care
Right through every step of the way

– Funmi P. Adebayo
(c) 2022

Funmi P. Adebayo is a preacher of the gospel of Christ and believes that His gospel covers everything, as God is God of all things without an exemption at all. God has helped him found a ministry by the name, THE SIMPLE LIFE OF CHRIST MINISTRY (AKA THE RESTING PLACE), the platform through which God’s Spirit is helping him to reach out to the world with the simple message of Jesus Christ and by the demonstration of the Spirit and of power, which is solely for the defense and the confirmation of the same gospel of Christ. 

GRACIOUSLY TIMED

One of the existential questions I have fought within my lifetime is “why were we born?”

I did battle with this thought many times because I could not fathom the justification that I was born without my consent and now, I had to make good decisions in order to make heaven.

Needless to say, decision-making tires me out. The struggle was not about making good decisions but that I was forced into this position by no choice of mine.

Today, I think God has been gracious enough to reveal answers I think might come in handy for anyone in a similar predicament as I was.

I would like to present this answer in the same way I got it chronologically and hopefully, it will make as much sense to you as it did to me.

First, we start with the concept of original sin. The book of Genesis opens us to God’s revelation to Moses on how the world we currently live in began. It points out many fascinating ideas that I would like to dabble in but for the sake of this discussion, I would stick to specific verses that would be useful.

And the LORD God commanded him, “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die” (Genesis 2: 16-17).

Here we see God provide the instruction our forebears were eventually going to disobey. I used to look at this instruction in very literal terms, but a new light shone on it when I considered the fact that the book of Genesis was a vision to Moses and he was probably trying to interpret heavenly mysteries in human terms.

This meant that the significance of the instruction was more worthy of note than what type of fruit was being referred to. Thinking in this line, I believe that God gave Adam a choice between letting God decide what was good for him as opposed to gaining that knowledge for himself and doing the decision-making by himself.

In effect, God was telling Adam, if you take on decision-making, you are going to be killing yourself.

This understanding built my first step towards an answer and I believe it has credence to it because the stress of decision-making is why I got into this predicament. If we take our focus off me for a moment, we find quite glaringly that humanity on its own proves that we are not great at making decisions.

Many of the sorrows we suffer on earth are the direct or indirect implications of our decisions.

It is important to note that our good intentions do not make this any better because, the flaw in our capacity to make good decisions comes from our inability to operate as God – having all the information of past, present and future.

This would then mean that our best option was and always have been to allow God to do the deciding for us. Adam and Eve should have known better.

Now, riding on that revelation, I feel I would like to have words with Eve and Adam when we get to heaven. I was inclined to think this was their entire fault, making me the innocent recipient of someone’s mistakes. I did not think God was fair to let their problem become my destiny alongside all the millions of babies born every day. For this, God provided a thought process that I would like to share with you.

Consider the language from Genesis 1: 20 – 31. A recurring phrase you would find is “…after its kind” followed by the instruction to reproduce.

Dr. Myles Munroe does a great job of explaining this phenomenon by pointing out that God put the future of the plant within it in seed form. The same he did with animals and also with man. Thus, when you hold a mango in your hand, the fact is it is just a mango, but the truth is that you are holding a potential forest.

This reasoning can then be applied to humanity and we can make the conclusion that when Adam and Eve made the wrong decision, we all did it together because we were already in them… just in seed form.

Now comes the good part:

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22).

I know it is odd that I am romanticising the separation of man and God, but I have recently come to an understanding that makes this a bittersweet beginning to the human dilemma.

According to the vision, Adam and Eve have sinned, God has doled out the punishments (which when we study closely, is in the favour of man) and the last thing he does is create a rift between himself and man.

This rift may look like a move of anger, but the verse clearly states why it was necessary and even a move of love – if man in this state (filled with the knowledge of good and evil) were to remain in the garden, he would have access to eternal life. On the surface, it doesn’t look like much of a problem until you consider the possibility of life as we know it existing forever. If that doesn’t scare you, it scares me.

Humanity and world systems have failed too many times to prove that we are not great at this decision-making thing. We do have our moments but overall, we are barely getting by. So, it is grace – that God keeps us from eternity, for a while. This is what I believe time to be – a enclosed moment in eternity to live out the mallady of self-will.

Here is an analogy to help with this. Imagine a father warns his son to not play by the roadside. The son does not adhere and in a freak accident hurts his ankle and falls on the road in such a way that he could be killed by oncoming traffic. The father’s first reaction would be to yank his son as quickly as possible to safety first before tending to his hurt ankle. I now believe this was what God did.

Sin was a minor problem, but eternity would have been worse off so he yanks us off the road and places us in a capsule called time. While we are there, he tends to our wounds by offering payment for our sin that we don’t deserve and a power to overcome sin in a way that is beyond human. Then, he would eventually round up time and take us back to eternity. Only that this time, we would not receive eternal life in our failed nature but in a resurrected nature, insured by God himself.

I hope this answers some questions and hopefully raises new ones. In the end, God’s love is consistent through the scriptures and in our experiences when we let him. The key is to honestly approach him first as Saviour and then as Lord. It does make sense when you wholly experience it.

 As for me, I am so glad God cares enough to provide answers to the ramblings of my mind.

GODSWILL EZEONYEKA

201020

A boy stared with sightless eyes at the starless sky

The smile across his neck would be pretty if it wasn’t bloodshot…

Like one of the many bristles of the brush, his head held ink, dark and red, ready to paint you a picture.

Of what dead hopes taste like on the tongue of hearts tired from trying

Just this morning his eyes held a song,
His knees said a prayer.

Someone lied to him, said there was salvation in the dead fingers of a nation’s anthem.
Told him to keep faith in the green-white-green textile

He came out with a song, just this morning…

So now the boy gazes.
Undead eyes pregnant with horror.

There are missing pages in his story. Hungers never spoken.

And today, we offer paltry libations of honor, to the heroes whose mangled bodies paint our history.

St.Davnique™️
©2021