Word Clinic 35: Handle like an egg

“Hey, my phone!” I screamed aloud, as the new phone I just got fell to the floor; the splitting sound its crashing to the floor made, sent shiver all over my body. My close friend shook his head saying, “Gideon, my phone has never fallen to the floor.” “What!” I exclaimed, surprised. “Wait, wait Clement. How’s that possible?” Then he shared his secret.

I was handling another friend’s phone, an iPhone, which she just recently got. As I began admiring the phone, I discovered its screen was already cracked. “What!”, I exclaimed. “How come? How did it happen? So soon?” I enquired. She sorrowfully recounted how a friend had accidentally dropped it and cracked the screen.

I could go on and on with such examples of phone crashes or accidental falls and the resulting wreck to the phone. And If you would be honest with yourself, you’ve dropped your phone many times in the past. Accidentally, you would say. But what that friend of mine said to me about phone care has really helped me over the years. “Handle your phone like an egg”, he said. The import of his counsel has helped me over the years to take certain measures while using my phone.

You will not hold an egg with other objects, it could crack. So I avoided holding my phone in the same hand with anything else, not even placing it in the same pocket with my key or pen. Once I was done using it, I placed it in a safe place.

You will not place an egg on an unstable surface, it will fall. So I don’t place my phone anywhere it could drop. I don’t place it on my lap, it would accidentally fall when I try standing up. My breast pocket is not also an option. It could fall on my trying to bend over. Working with my phone while on my bed at night was also a bad option. I could fall asleep unplanned, only to find my phone on the floor on waking up. Holding it when not in use during mindless activities of walking, jumping, and so on, was risky. It could get knocked off by someone else.

This concept of an egg greatly reduced my phone falls and screen cracks to almost a zero level, but not to that of my friend. He had never had a phone fall or screen crack.

This brother, when I saw your write-up I thought you were going to write on something spiritually edifying. Now you’re talking of phone care. Na wa for you. Rhema don finish? Someone may be thinking. Well, I just discovered that knowledge is one. And a spiritual parallel could be drawn to most physical events. Let me attempt doing same here.

The phrase “Take heed” should be one phrase most readers of the KJV bible are conversant with. It could be rendered as “take care”, “watch with care”, “be careful with” and so on. It also carries the sense of handling with care; like an egg. A lot of these “take heed” scriptures abound. Let me pull out some.

“Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you fulfill it.” Colossians four seventeen echoes. “Take heed unto yourself and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself and them that hear you.” Paul counsels Timothy in chapter four verse sixteen of the first book that bears his name.

Your phone in this parallel could be your life (spiritual and physical), your ministry or even the word of God committed to you. God would want you to handle your life and walk with him with care, like an egg.

One. You will not place your life in the company of Godless people. It will crack. Do not place your life or ministry in a company or an environment that could choke the life out of it. Come out from among them and be you separate. Evil communications corrupt good manners.

Two. You will not found your life or ministry on unstable grounds, it would crumble. The only foundation to build on that would stand the test of time is God’s word. A life that will not fail, shipwreck or crumble is one that lives by the principles and tenet of what is clearly stated in the bible. For it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one title of the law to fail. (Luke 16:17)

So, my friend was right. Treat your phone like egg, and it won’t fall. God’s word is right. Handle your life and ministry with utmost care, founding it on God’s word, and it won’t fail.

gidmedico

Word Clinic 34: Wrong asking

Word Clinic 34: Wrong asking

“Hey Gideon! Please take these phones and help me load the recharge cards.” said my pastor as he handed the items to me. It was back then in those days when the mobile phone just emerged. It wasn’t invoke to credit your mobile via your bank or an app. One had to manually do it by dialing some codes from a scratch card.

I grabbed the phones and recharge cards from him. I was good with these sort of things; anything information technology, gadgets and the likes was my thing; it was the obvious reason he must have committed this task to me. I would start with the vmobile phone.

I scratched the card and began typing the numbers ending with the hash tag. I then hit the dial button and waited a while. An error message popped up. What is wrong? I thought. I started typing the numbers all over again, this time with utmost attention. After sending the command, the same error message. “This network people sef”, I bemoaned. “Let me load the MTN, this vmobile network can be very unreliable.”

To my amazement, my experience was the same with the MTN codes. I tried loading them three consecutive times to no avail. Then I paused a while to think. What is wrong? I must be missing something. These cards can’t be both wrong, I contemplated. As I peered at the scratch cards, it hit me. What I’ve been missing was staring at me. I was loading the wrong cards. I had switched the codes. I typed MTN codes for vmobile and vice versa. As I paused, allowing my embarrassment to soak in, the Holy Spirit whispered, “You sometimes do same with your asking. You sometimes ask amiss.”

Many Christians are frustrated as to why their prayers are not yet answered. They ask God questions they know they wouldn’t get answers to. “Lord, why me? Haven’t I prayed long enough?” They rebuke, cast and bind the ‘bindables’ to no avail. They renounce all ancestral covenants over and over again, yet their prayers still remain unanswered. What could be wrong? One problem could be wrong asking.

Someone may be shaking his or her head in disagreement saying, “Wait, wait brother, the Bible places no category to asking, it says in Matthew chapter seven verse seven, ask and it shall be given you… Why are you classifying asking?” I’d give you the response I gave a brother who tolled this line years back.

I told that brother he had just made an unbalanced reference to Matthew seven. The balance was found in James 4:3. “You ask and receive not because you ask amiss…” There’s such thing as wrong asking. And if one could ask amiss, then the contrast is true. There’s such thing as right asking. How can the believer tell when he or she is asking aright or amiss? First John five fourteen helps us with this.

“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us”, and by extension, answers us. God only answers a prayer that is in tandem with His will. To ask outside His will is to ask amiss. And the perfect place to find God’s revealed will is His word. The Bible.

The problem with unanswered prayers is never God. It is always you. And just as I figured out the error with loading my recharge cards by tracing it to me, by the same manner, retrace the problem of your unanswered prayers to you. One of which could be wrong asking.

gidmedico

Word Clinic 33: Blood-washed

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It was a crazy weekend. It was Saturday morning and I had not done my laundry for days. The portable washing machine I had was malfunctioning and I couldn’t survive one more week because I was running out of clean clothes. So with all the resolve I could muster, I shut my doors to clinical work and set out to do my chores. I was going to go the traditional way.

This was one chore that was stressful for me. Bending my back, scrubbing those clothes with my hands soaked in water and soap; squeezing water out of those fibres. What a herculean task! But I survived. And after about three hours, I was done. Then there came the feeling. I felt good. Really good. Staring at those clothes, which were once dirty and smelling, now sitting in my bucket sparkling and scenting good, made my day. If my only reward for this toil of washing was this clean feeling, it was worth it. And then the Holy Spirit drew the analogy.

I was quickly reminded that I was blood-washed. Oh how sorry my pre-salvation state was! When I was buried in the mud of sin helpless. Oh how unsightly it was, knowing the terrible things I wasn’t supposed to do, and finding myself doing those exact same things. And then how the Love of God, embodied in a human form as Jesus Christ, came down to the earth, to work His work of showing me how to live, and finally dieing on a cross, to pay the utmost ransom for my redemption.

I was quickly reminded that the ransom was His blood, which was His life. For the life of a flesh is in the blood. And that blood did the cleansing. A cleansing that was far from superficial. For it purged even to the conscience, giving me a new life and a clean slate. A cleansing that not only forgave my sins, but one that justified me, like I had never sinned. For the cleansing work of His blood defied all cleaning mechanism ever known. For it took care of all sins – those committed and those to be committed.

I could picture His blood straining through every fibre of my being, doing its purifying work. For the blood that made me perfect at the new birth, was still doing its purifying work of keeping me perfect. Its potency is unrivalled, ever able to keep me from evil.

Then I discovered the feelings were unparalleled. For the feeling I had when I stood peering at those clean clothes, was nothing compared to that I now had after reminiscing on the finished work of Christ. It felt so good staring at my new man in Christ. It felt really good.

And as I carried the bucket to spread my clothes, I was grinning from ear to ear, my risorius aching. I couldn’t stop smiling, for I enjoyed the feeling, and was the more motivated to live out the resurrected life. For it feels good to be blood-washed.

gidmedico

Word Clinic 32: Don’t wait till their funeral

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Years back, during my medical school days, my attention was drawn to a magnificient potrait bearing the picture of a man on a professorial regalia, standing on a small table beside the entrance to the main theatre. I drew nearer to the portrait, my eyes fixed on it, wondering what the occasion was. Then a book in front of the portrait caught my eyes. Peering at it for a while, I discovered what book it was – a book of condolences. Then the occassion dawned on me – the professor was late.

In a bid to satisfy my curiosity, I flipped through the pages of this book. I had never been through one before. What sought of things were written in such a book? A book for the dead? Did the dead need a book? Or was it for his family members? I began skimming through it. “I dearly miss the professor. He was such a warm person…  – Dr Ibe” “… His smiles took away depression. He always found a way to get through to you. We’ve lost a great gem. – Mrs F. S. Adeleke” “He was my teacher. And much more, a father. He was a giver to the core. His kindness is unparalleled. Prof, you left too soon – A. S. Ojo” And the accolades went on and on. This man must have been a great person of impact, I thought. For not only did he reach the pinnacle of academic pursuit, but he broke through to the innermost depth of people’s heart. I concluded.

As I walked away from the table buried in my thoughts, the Holy Spirit said to me, “I wished they said those things they wrote to him while he was yet alive, he may have lived longer.” I stopped suddenly, startled. What the Holy Spirit had just said was the whole truth. And this would lead me to a train of thoughts.

We seldom speak words of affirmation to those around us. Words like “Well done”, “You’re doing great”, “You look good”, “That was so kind of you”, “Thank you”, the list being endless. We assume our love ones know we appreciate and acknowledge who they are, and the good they do. But they want to hear us say them.

I can recall the awkwardness that filled the atmosphere when I got home, and for the first time told my sister, “I love you!” She didn’t know how to respond, because she was surprised. But as seconds passed, I saw her expression change. She felt good. She felt loved. Not just because she assumed I did loved her, but especially because she heard me say it.

In Judges six eleven, we find Gideon who was to be appointed by God to lead Israel against the Midianites, at a winepress threshing wheat. When I first read there, I wondered if the winepress was the right place to thresh wheat. Then I found out why he did that in the same scripture – to hide it from the Midianite. He was indeed timid. So it was surprising when the angel of God in his salutation called him a mighty man of valor. Valor ko, valley ni. But as I read on, I understood why he called Gideon by that appellation. He saw into the future and called those things that be not, as though they were. He had one intent – to affirm and encourage Gideon.

Joshua was overwhelmed at the start of his ministry in Joshua chapter one. Moses had just died and he had to step in practically into Moses’ shoe. It was in this moment that God said to him, “… be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged…” Now, those were words of affirmation. Those were words that lifted the soul of Joshua and spurred him on to the massacre he later unleased on the Canaanites.

If God spoke these words of affirmation and reassurance to Gideon and Joshua, and other men and women He walked with, then we can’t do otherwise. He expects us to extend His hand of comfort to others. He wants us to show gratitude to our love ones and every one around us. He wants us to remind those around us of their worth and purpose.

When last did you tell your mum and dad that you love them? Parent, when last did you appreciate your kids? Employer, have you told that employee of yours how hardworking he is, and how you trust him? Or are you waiting till when he quits his job out of frustration? Church leader, have you commended that committed member of yours? Are words like “thank you” alien to your vocabulary?

Why wait till their funeral before letting out those sweet words? Why starve that love one of yours the merriment that sweet soothing words do to the heart? Why not decide that you would daily be of value to those around you, by spurring them towards their purpose with your words.

The words of the pure are pleasant words (Proverbs 15:16). You are God’s righteousness. You are the pure. Let others hear those pleasing words. Words of affirmation. Let them hear it now. And not at their graveyards.

gidmedico

The Will Of God 09 – God’s Will for His creation

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The bible, the book of books, began with a striking phrase – In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. His creation was both celestial and terrestrial; material and immaterial; physical and spiritual. We will later find in scriptures that the heavenly beings consist of angels, in all forms – some so tall that they could set one foot on the sea and the other on land; others so mysterious, described as beasts having six wings and full of eyes within. We also find that in the earthly realm, man, the cream and crown of God’s creation, had the great lights, stars, water, flying and land creatures at his command.

Proverbs sixteen four makes a succinct statement about the purpose of all God’s creation,  “The Lord has made all things for Himself.” He made all things, everything, with no exception. “For the world and all that is in it belong to the LORD ; the earth and all who live on it are His.”(Psalms 24:1 GNB)

God is the object of creation, and not the people or things created. He made all things for Himself. They were created by specification to suit Him. Everything created was made for His use, to show forth His glory and to give Him pleasure.

The psalmist in Psalms nineteen verse one resounds, ” The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.” In chapter 145 verse 10 he continues, ” All your works shall praise you, O Lord ; and your saints shall bless you.” Creation by design was made to reflect in essence, the glory and character of the Creator. The created are to exist in such a manner that only the Creator is seen and heard. His works, animate and inanimate, were made to sing His praises.

God should savor the aroma of His creation and derive pleasure. “For you are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for you have created all things, and for your pleasure they are and were created.” said the twenty four elders in Revelations four eleven, as they fell before the throne of majesty and worshipped.

God alone is worthy. Not the created, whether the most beautiful of angel or the most strong of men. None is qualified to be the object of creation, other than the Creator. God alone should derive the pleasure, and the satisfaction from the existence and exploit of the creation. For He alone deserves the glory for all His works does, He alone deserves the honour for all their lives exude, and He exclusively should have the power, to do as He wills in their lives.

For the will of God for His creation is that they please Him. Simple. For by His will they were created and have their being.

gidmedico

Word Clinic 31: Love Objective Love Subjective

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I’ve met folks who insist that God doesn’t love them. And when I ask why, they go on to mention how God has blessed the other brother or sister more than them. When I try encouraging them by stating that God loves all of us His creation equally, they blatantly disagree. “If God’s love is everlasting, why am I not currently experiencing it?” they would ask.

The reason there appears to be a dilemma as to whether God loves all of us equally is because many believers fail to understand that God’s love can be categorized based on human’s perception into objective love and subjective love.

Love objective. God is love. First John four eight establishes that. God does not change. Malachi three six, among other scriptures testify to this. If these are true, then God’s love never change. What that means is that God doesn’t become more loving. His love for you doesn’t increase or decrease because of what you’ve done or failed to do.

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV) That was God speaking to Israel. The love of God is everlasting. It is His essence. It continues to emanate from His person, never appreciating nor depreciating. “Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:8) It can continue heading in one direction, never fading, even if it generates no response. This is objective love.

The love He has for sinners is the exact same measure He has for saints. The love God gives is never based on our performance, “For God so loved the world that He gave Jesus…” (John 3:16) And when did God do that? While we were still sinners. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV). The love of God shines, on sinners and saints alike. But why does the saint seem to enjoy the love of God in a measure greater than the sinner does?

Love subjective. Even though God’s love towards all is the same, everyone does not experience the same measure of that love. Why? Because the measure of God’s love we experience is dependent on our response to it. The saint is saved and the sinner is not, because the former responded to the Love of God that hung on a tree, by believing.

These were the words of Christ, ” Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:21 NIV) Someone may read this and conclude that God’s love is conditional. Well, it depends on which you’re considering. God’s objective love is unconditional while God’s subjective love is. You loving God by obeying His words is your positive response to God’s love. And as you do this, the Spirit of God, working in your spirit, opens you up to more of God’s objective love, and your measure of love (subjective) increases, making you more like Christ. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

So, an obedient believer appears to be experiencing more of God’s love than the disobedient one. And God appears to be loving the devout Christian more and showing Himself more to the faithful one. This is love subjective.

God’s love (objective) is shining to all. His desire is that all responds to it and be saved. And that those of us saved,  continue to obey His word and walk in love, that we may experience more of His love (subjective).

Christ gave us only one commandment – to love. We owe others only one thing – to love. The bible says nothing about setting aside a day to remember love, neither does it say anything against it. “Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord…”(Romans 14:6) We are to love everyday. But if a day has been set aside by the world to commemorate love, then we christians must set the pace by reminding ourselves of God’s love and showing it to the world. For we owe them love; we owe them God.

Happy Val’s day!

gidmedico

The Will Of God 08 – Different perceptions of God’s will

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From my observational analysis of the prevailing worldviews in the Christian circle as regards God’s will, I’ve found out that there exist mainly two ideologies about the will of God: the railroad and the parking lot worldviews.

Those Believers with the railroad belief system understand God’s will to be very specific and regimented just like a railroad. They believe God’s will is very detailed to the nitty-gritty of what a believer should do, how he or she should live, and what he or she should possess. To them, God’s will should confine and constrain the believer just like the rail track does to the train. In a nutshell, God’s will spares no area of the Christian’s life.

Other Christians with the parking lot belief system understand God’s will to be generalized and loose. They believe that the will of God just draws a large boundary within which a believer is given several right options to choose from. And that just like a parking lot, in which anyone could choose in whatever place to park, as long as it was within the alloted boundaries, God’s will offers generalized views and counsels on matters of life, from which the believer could safely choose as he pleases.

The railroad worldview believes that God has in mind the specific course a believer should study in school, while the parking lot worldview believes the believer could choose to study any course he or she wants, as long as it advances the gospel of Christ. The railroad belief system maintains that God has planned out the specific person a believer should marry before hand, while the parking lot belief system opines that a believer can marry whoever he or she wants as long as that person is a christian. The parking lot disposition believes that God’s will doesn’t encompass trivial things like the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the music you listen to, and so on.

It is obvious these worldviews are opposed to one another and cannot both be right. Only one of them can be true, and the only way to find out which is, is by lining both up with God’s word. Whichever agrees with God’s word is truth.

When God called Jeremiah, He said to him in Jeremiah, the first chapter, the fifth verse. ” Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” If this verse is xrayed, God’s plan for Jeremiah looks quite specific. God affirmed that He knew everything about Jeremiah; that appears encompassing. He then specifies what occupation He wants Jeremiah to engage in – a prophet. God didn’t just express His desire, but He appointed him to that office insinuating that it was a settled matter.

When God called Abraham He said to him in Genesis twelve one, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” This instruction appears specific. God’s will didn’t appear to offer Abraham options as regards his location. God was saying He would show Abraham where He wants him to live. He didn’t give Abraham options of several good cities he could dwell in. Abraham was going to be led to only one place that God had chosen for him. We later found out that that place was Canaan.

In Galatians two seven, the apostle Paul made us understand that God called him to preach the gospel specifically to the Gentiles (non-Jews) while apostle Peter was called to preach mainly to the Jews. Who would have thought that God would be specific about a specific group of people He would want reached by a specific person.

Jesus, commenting on how He lived His daily life in John five nineteen said, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” In all honesty, this sounds regimented. Christ was saying He could not just do what He chooses to do but only what He sees God the Father do. He could do only what God had specified for Him. If this was the way Christ lived, then the believer has no any other option, because Christ suffered for us, living us an example that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21)

Based on these few examples of believers that worked with God, we see that the parking lot worldview of God’s will doesn’t fit in. God’s will is very specific for all the people He has dealt with, Christ inclusive. And anyone who carefully studies the Bible as regards God’s will – doing a character study on all those who walked with God – will jettison the parking lot ideology and embrace the railroad perspective of God’s will, because it is Scripture.

If God permits, I would discuss the will of God for creation in the next study.

gidmedico