A for Apple

“We were as gods, seated in the arm of the great king, till the knave came and stole everything”Adam

In the beginning …

In a time before the first chord of condemnation dropped from the liar’s lips, before his accusatory tones spread like a wildfire across the expanse of time and space.

Time was still in diapers. We join the story at a junction called the beginning where the Ultimate Intelligence had just begun His masterpiece – Heaven and Earth (apologies to the other planets).

Continue reading A for Apple

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So …

 

Listen carefully to the sound of your own heart beating.

The sky around you is darkening. The mares of night race through the dusty streets. You are in this moment the Prodigal son returning home. It has been years since you last saw the starry skies over your birthplace. The streets are unwelcoming. Those who pass by gaze upon you with disgust.

Why not? After all you are clad in the entrails of pigs. You reek of vomit and your disheveled hair is crowned with sores.

Listen. Do not let this moment pass you by. Latch on to the feeling.

For there is a lump in your throat.

The men drag you to the center of the market. Their hands mean and fierce make no attempt to cover your nakedness. Who are you? Not the lowly tavern wench. You are not even the local harlot, but you are a mother caught in a minute of indiscretion with another. They drag you with menace in their hearts. Their intents are malicious. Your children watch you. Your husband hides in shame.

Wait. Allow the thump thumping resonate through the empty spaces surrounding you. Quieten the raging of your raging heart and listen.

The salty winds lash at your face. Your feet is unsteady yet you walk towards your teacher. Those behind you are not startled by your arrogance and brashness. The teacher calls out to you. His hands outstretched invite you ever closer to him, but the waves are threatening. They crash against your faith and assail your belief.

You begin to sink…

Pause.

I wish I could unpack the gravity of God’s affection for you. I wish I could break it down with words so light and easy that you would be left with no other option than awe. Alas I cannot. For there are really no words to describe this kind of love.

John in documenting the discourse between Nicodemus and his Rabboni, Jesus the Exalted One makes reference to the emphatic nature of God’s Love. He writes, quoting Jesus that “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son”.

I wish I could unwrap the depths of the SO of God’s Love. There are deep mysteries tucked in this two letter word that so emphatically qualifies the love God has for the world. Can I dare to compare this Love to that of a mother whose child is about to be divided to solve a puzzle? Can I dare to compare it to the affection that brightens the eyes of the groom as he beholds his bride.

What on earth, what in our hearts makes such a love so appealing, so attractive? Why does it pull our hearts in ways that the tragic story of Romeo and Juliet never could?

Be rest assured that this is the kind of Love that treks the jagged path way of Golgotha bearing not just the cross but also the agony and burden of the world. This Love empties itself of all claims to God-ship and drinks  the bitter tonic of death. Despite the knowledge that many would reject him, this Love makes provision for their redemption and reconciliation.

Men who have plunged the depths of this Love emerge with changed hearts as Naaman did from the Jordan River with a raiment of skin as new as a baby. This Love possesses in its grip a nectar so delightsome that men who have tasted of it are infused with a power that causes them to outstrip trained chariots.

Such a Love is SO. It is lavish and lush. It is delectable and delightful. It is not as the decadent affection of death and hell. It is not as the trifle trinket of lust and greed. It is glorious and gracious.

Isaiah 43:25 I, yes, I alone am he who blots away your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. [Living Bible (TLB)]

This manner of love is bestowed upon us. It takes the undeserving and makes him deserving. It qualifies the unqualified. This Love looks upon the prodigal son and without mincing words says “WELCOME HOME”. This Love beholds the adulterous woman and utters words with tremendous gravity “I DO NOT CONDEMN YOU”. This Love says “YOU ARE AS I AM”.

It is the kind of love that says you are chosen, accepted and beloved.

Romans – So now, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady. Then, when that happens, we are able to hold our heads high no matter what happens and know that all is well, for we know how dearly God loves us, and we feel this warm love everywhere within us because God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, with no way of escape, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners who had no use for him. Even if we were good, we really wouldn’t expect anyone to die for us, though, of course, that might be barely possible. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since by his blood he did all this for us as sinners, how much more will he do for us now that he has declared us not guilty? Now he will save us from all of God’s wrath to come. 10 And since, when we were his enemies, we were brought back to God by the death of his Son, what blessings he must have for us now that we are his friends and he is living within us!

It is this sort of love that forgives even though the sin is yet to committed.

Ephesians 1: 4 Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!

Now all praise to God for his wonderful kindness to us and his favor that he has poured out upon us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved; and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace—for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times.

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It is the form of love that touches the untouchable, and looks with compassion upon those reckoned as ugly. It is unfathomable. It is this Love that blows through the vale of bones and causes dead men to arise with newness of life. This Love is the “mother” of the New Creation.

While men utterly despise and reject you, this Love says you are ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED. This Love is emphatic and dramatic. It silences the raging of death, disease and destruction. It wipes clean the handwriting of the curse. It breaks the chain and brings calm to the chaos. This Love is as the sweet whisper of the teacher’s voice before the storm.

This Love is SO…

Selah.

– @dami_maverick

Held

I am held in the hollow of his hands,
by the rivers that make me glad.
He keeps me in his alcove of affection,
Shielding me from harm and hell’s machination.

I am kept by the power of His Love,
His is a variant that fits my soul like a glove,
When the storms of life venture near,
I am assured of peace for He is here.

I am held up above principalities and powers,
My spirit fears neither death nor the witching hour,
For there is a constant witness in the furnace,
I have a Father who ever lives to give me rest.

I am fearless in the den of raging beasts,
Calm in the eye of fires stoked by pride and persecutions.
For within me is domiciled one who is greater,
I am His beloved and He is my Lord and Lover.

I am held in the hollow of his hands,
Adorned with grace on my head like a garland.
I am cradled in all that He is and will ever be
I am His, He is mine and I am free indeed.

– @dami_maverick
Written in His Love.

No weapons

There are no obstacles
To the one who is God’s tabernacle
For He dwells within her,
Therefore she will not be moved.
She is as Zion, mountain of the Lord.
She is incorruptible, born of the seed of the Word.

There are no limits,
To the one who is of one Spirit,
Who is fashioned from the very Rock of ages,
Whose voice silences the boasting of the water that rages.
She rides triumphant over death and hell,
She sets the captive free and locks darkness in its own cell.

There are no barricades,
To hold the one who broke death’s gates,
And to his Ecclesia he has committed the keys,
For to rule and reign after his pleasure and will.
She is impenetrable and impregnable,
The hounds of hell cannot prevail against her.

There are no weapons
That can prosper, no matter the form or fashion,
For she is garrisoned on every side by the angelic,
At her command, eternal military might is marshalled.
None can withstand her glory and light.
For she is His beloved, adored and pleasing in his sight. 

She, the emerald of grace is in the hiding place,
For she has received the fullness of grace,
Her scars He has wiped from her face,
And she is adorned with righteousness as finest lace.

– @dami_maverick

Reality of Righteousness

Listening to Pastor Onayinka Olusegun‘s teaching on the Reality of Righteousness and I find the scales falling off my eyes.

The constant rhetoric in churches, designed to bombast the believer into a form of righteousness, is that we are to “work for our salvation with fear and trembling”.

With voices raised and fists clenched the preacher with all his garb and garrulity attempts to arm-twist the believer into confessing his sins in order to obtain the forgiveness of God.

{Once a preacher arrived with much fanfare and pomp}

She and her band of merry men portrayed a God who would be so petty as to be marking church attendance register and counting the number of hours prayed. It was a drama that moved many to tears as they realized the utter “depravity” of their state.

After all if God was to demand that we enter heaven on the basis of our works who would make it? Upon completion of the fiasco the preacher does the perfunctory altar call with such venom and gusto that if you would think that anyone who did not respond would instantly be plucked by angel Michael and tossed into the lake of fire.

To my amazement many who claimed to be ministers of the word began to emerge and respond to the call. They were pricked within them by the message of the drama and upon thorough introspection realized that there was nothing worthwhile within them.

I sat down wondering about my own salvation. I knew it was good to never miss the assembly of the saints and to pray and so many other aspects of the faith but within I knew that the reason I was saved wasn’t a function of the things I did but that which Christ already accomplished for and in me.

{So I stayed seated… }

Do we not realize that “all these faith we are sharing” is only as effective as our acknowledgement of what we ALREADY have in Christ (Philemon 1:6). We can with hell scare a man into the church but we cannot do with fear what a revelation of love will do and that is show him that he is the church.

He is taught that unless he brings his sacrifice (of confession of sins of commission and omission) daily he is at risk of losing his salvation like a market woman is wont to lose her gold trinkets in a congested marketplace.

This form of churchianity is alas a sham and a tragic imitation of the life Christ offered. For we know that God is faithful and just to forgive (1John1:9). We know that He demonstrates his faithfulness and love by giving us his son (John 3:16) and this He did freely (Romans 8:28) and this He did while we were still in sin (Romans 5:8)

So it is neither the volume nor viciousness nor violence of our prayers that move God to forgive. Isaiah pens these words at the behest of the Spirit. “I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” (Isaiah 43:25 – English Standard Version).

It was God’s prerogative and He exercised it in Christ.

Now back track to the second paragraph where I said “work FOR our salvation”. Did you notice the mistake? Let us see where that verse is taken from.

[Philippians 2:12] – Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation …

It is yours. You have been given. This is no mystery. This is the mind of the Father. Paul is simply urging that we make manifest that which is already ours by nature.

[Colossians 1:14] – In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, …

[Ephesians 1:7] – In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

Selah.