Word Clinic 33: Blood-washed


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.



Word Clinic 32: Don’t wait till their funeral


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.


Word Clinic 31: Love Objective Love Subjective


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!


Word Clinic 29: Don’t just mark time


I currently reside in a rural community with a high life expectancy. It is commonplace to bump into very elderly men and women in their eighties and nineties, walking about, some strong enough to go about their farming businesses and attend functions like marriages, others are so frail that they just sit in front of their houses hailing passerbys. While many of these people celebrate long lives, many of them have hitherto lived unimpactful lives. Many men in their old age still come back home drunk, and only specialize in championing townhall arguments. Many women, elderly ones, specialize in throwing tantrum, so that their children, grand and great grand children can always hang around them.

For many, this is the goal – to live to a good old age. Fair enough, because the Bible promises us long life; for you shall see your children’s children… (Psalms 128:6). But remember, that the Bible also says what you should be doing in old age – the works of the Lord; for you shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord (Psalms 118:17).

Year in, year out, people stand in churches, unbelievers inclusive, to testify of God’s goodness – how He has spared their lives. The hearers scream and rejoice with them. But I wish those same hearers could hear the testimony of God about those testifiers. Their response may be different.

The goal should not be just to mark time, but to live impactful lives. Do not stop your reading of Psalms 90 verse 12 at “teach us to number our days”, please continue your reading to, “that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” That’s the goal – to live after the wisdom of God, a fulfilled life.

Many believers are increasing in chronological age and are celebrating more spiritual birthdays, but they are waning in spiritual fervency and exploit. God is not just interested in how long you live on earth, but what you do with your time here. Some believers are already dead, but the air is resounding with the impact they have made, and the sands proudly displaying their indelible imprint. Yet, you are still alive and even some of your immediate family members and friends have zero experience of your God.

Jesus lived, as some estimate, for about thirty-three and half years, yet His impact on mankind is everlasting. Many may have commented that He died young, and a shameful death at that. But what was the comment of God concerning His life on earth, “This is my beloved Son in whom I’m well pleased.”

Paul, the apostle, also died as a middle-aged man. No immediate family, no accrued wealth, yet the impact his life made on mankind still lingers till now – for he was one of the founding apostles who took the gospel of Christ to the gentiles, authoring by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit over two-thirds of the New Testament.

It is not how long, but how well. It will be double honours, and indeed should be, that you live a long and fulfilling life. You should desire that your life remains relevant to God’s eternal purpose till the very day you breathe your last. The onus lies on you to seek to know His specific will for your life and do it. Not just some, but all His will.

Make every day, of every year count. Not just on your calendar, but in God’s agenda, by doing His will this year.


WORD CLINIC 28: Don’t worry

WORD CLINIC 28: Don’t worry

“Doctor, I want to thank you for the surgery you did on me to remove my right scrotal swelling. And my groin swelling too. I’m immensely grateful. I was really scared then, especially when the scrotal swelling persisted after the surgery. But you kept saying, ‘Don’t worry. Don’t worry. It would subside.’ That really helped to calm me. And indeed, it went.”

And just like that patient of mine, I’ve made it a culture to always tell my patients, and those around me, not to worry. No matter how bad the prognosis is, I always end my consulting sessions by asking them not to worry. I state the facts about their health condition and about what solutions medicine has to offer, then end with the reassuring note that they should not worry. Because worry helps no one. It rather makes things worse.

And that was exactly what Jesus was saying in Matthew six twenty-five downwards. He asked us not to worry about our life – what we would eat, drink, or wear. He made us understand that life is more than food and clothings. “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” asked Jesus rhetorically. He summed His admonition by asking us not to worry about the mundane things of this world but to place premium on things of eternal value, then other things would be sorted out.

I’ve found out that worry does more damage in our society than many of us realise. Many people suffer from mental health issues because they have allowed the enomousity of their problems to weigh them down. Depression is on the rise. Its prevalence is so high now that we read in the news almost everyday about someone who committed suicide. Chronic diseases like hypertension are on the rise too, worrying being a major factor. Some people struggle with sleepless nights, swallowing pills after pills in order to get some sleep. But after my long consultation with them, I find out that the problem most times is psychological. Worry.

Our work place has not been left unaffected by this menace called worry. Worry has reduced the productivity of many. It has led to some traders giving out the wrong change; to some factory workers letting their hand slide under the machine, chopping off a finger; to some health workers administering the wrong medication to their patients; to some teachers and lecturers assigning the wrong score while marking scripts. The extent of worry’s damage is endless.

Many relationships have been made sour due to worry. When worry sets in, joy disappears. You become disinterested in the activities you do with your love ones and friends. The passion dissipates, and everyone around you is saddled with the responsibility of making you happy. You cast that depressed mood on others around you, making the time spent with them unfruitful, and straining the relationship in the long run.

The apostle Peter in First Peter five verse seven admonished us to cast our cares upon the Lord for He cares for us. And indeed, that’s the solution. Problems exist, no one is denying that. And they always would. But are you to go about your day carrying the heavy load of your problem on your head? The answer is “No”. The Bible has asked you to lay that burden of your problems on the Lord, because He is concerned about you; your life – what you would eat, drink, put on; the man or woman you want to marry, the car you want to drive, the phone you want to buy, the children’s school fees you’re to pay, the bills you’re to settle, and every other mundane things. He is more concerned about them even more than you are. So please put them on Him. Because He is able to carry them and solve them.

There’s this song I love about burdens and problems that I grew up to hear Christians of my father’s age sing. (Those of you born recently, and those who didn’t mix up with Christians of the 19th Century may not know it.) I’d just share the lyrics with you.

“Leave it there. Leave it there. Take your problems to the Lord and leave it there. He will surely deliver you, as you put your trust in Him. Take your problems to the Lord and leave it there.”

Many a times, folks would go to the altar and cry out to the Lord singing the above song, pouring their hearts to Him and casting their burdens on Him. The truth is that many do cast their burdens on the Lord in the place of prayers, but very few leave it there. For many, no sooner did they pray, asking the Lord to take over their problem, did they start worrying about that same problem. If you have laid your problems on the Lord, leave Him to carry it. Don’t bear those burdens again through worry.

And the last time I checked, worry is not a fruit of the spirit. Joy is. So don’t let the devil box you up. Don’t worry, but rather, rejoice evermore.


WORD CLINIC 27: Two-faced Christian

WORD CLINIC 27: Two-faced Christian

First consultant. An endocrinologist. A worker in church. Sits in her consulting room, and says to her patient who was attempting to profess his healing. “In this clinic, I am your doctor, and you have to go by my prescription. When we get to church, we can discuss faith and other Bible stuff…”

Second consultant. An orthopaedic surgeon. A pastor. Sits in his consulting room and attempts making a case for Christ after his patient, a Muslim, took his bait, by beginning a discussion about Allah. “I am a doctor, but I believe in the spiritual realm, and it’s obvious you do also. Sickness has a spiritual undertone which is sin, which Jesus dealt with. And your Qu’ran also talks about Jesus…”

Two believers. One two-faced, the other, holistic.

And sadly, I find many two-faced Christians these days. Believers who live their ‘secular’ lives, leaving God out of it, and live their Christ lives leaving their secular activities out of it. They confine God-consciousness to only their quiet time and church services, and live entirely different lives with no trace of Christ during their regular daily activities. 

These two-faced christian folks see it as unprofessional to bring God into work. “Let’s talk politics not Bible.”, some will says. “Christianity should not be mixed with medicine. You have to remain neutral when dealing with your patients.”, some christian medics will maintain. “You don’t understand how the cooperate world works. You need to tip people with cash to open doors.”, some believers would say in defence when reprimanded about giving bribe.

There isn’t supposed to be a dichotomy between the lives we live inside and outside the church. If your fellow work colleagues, with whom you’ve been with for years, have no clue about your christian faith, or your fellow church workers, have no clue about what kind of secular job you do, or your neighbours where you live, have no idea about your faith nor the kind of work you do, then you’re a hypocrite. There should be a superb sync between your church life, work life, and all other lives. In fact, you should have just one life which is Christ.

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see…” says Matthew five sixteen. What light? The light of Christ exuding from your life. Who is to see this light? People. When are they to see it? During your every day activities.

Mind you, I am not saying believers should be mediocre, praying when they should be working, or reading their Bibles when they should be attending to customers. I am only saying you should not box your Christ to church and christian gatherings. You carry God, and God is a spirit. You are born of Him, so you are a spirit. Therefore, all your activities are spiritual. And you should know this. And work with this mindset.

I can’t remember having to introduce myself in any gathering as a Christian. But every single place I have stepped into, complete strangers related with me as a Christian. Some even addressed me as pastor. I was carrying no Bible; wore no clergy attire. I had no badge on my clothes or body. But I have a seal of the Holy Spirit in my spirit, which exudes Christ in my words, actions, and worldview. So whether I am eating amala, or seeing patients, or buying food stuff at the market, people should see Christ and call me a Christian.

“. . . The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are the hands of Esau.” Genesis 27:22. This, Isaac said when Jacob deceitfully presented himself as Esau in order to steal his blessing. And many believers are doing the same today. Their voices profess Christ, but their hands are acting worldly.

To be two-faced, is to be a monster. And even you won’t want to behold it. To be one-faced is sane. The face of Christ.


WORD CLINIC 26: Christian Diligence

WORD CLINIC 26: Christian Diligence

I currently live in a community in which most of her youths are lazy, lazy to the core. Most do not want to go to school, neither do they want to learn a trade. They just want money. Quick money. Today, they’re riding Okada, tomorrow they dabble into carpentry which they know nothing about, swindle some people, get some money. The day after, they follow the bricklayers and do some shabby jobs, just to make money. And what do they do with the little money they get? Squander it on alcohol, hard drugs, women or the latest fashion. If this menace was only limited to unbelievers I won’t worry much. But sadly, I find this same degree of laziness even amongst believers.

Christians are meant to be the gold standard of diligence. Some brethren have mistaken grace for laziness, thinking that the finished work of Christ forbade the believer from doing any kind of work. But a careful student of Scriptures and disciple of Christ would discover that the entire Bible encourages the believer along the lines of diligence, and that Christ is a perfect epitome of hardwork.

By way of definition, diligence is a constant, devout and earnest effort to accomplish whatever is undertaken. It is persistent exertion of the body and mind in the execution of any task. A diligent person is inclined to work.

After the apostle Paul had written his inspired systematic theology on the doctrines of the Christian faith in chapters one through eleven, to the Christians at Rome, he went on in twelve to admonish them on how to practically apply these doctrines. One of such admonishments was found in verse eleven, “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” I love how the Good News Bible renders it. “Work hard and do not be lazy. Serve the Lord with a heart full of devotion.”

There exists two prongs of diligence. Persistence and Passion. For every work to be described as hard, and any labour as diligent, it must possess these two qualities.

A diligent person is persistent, devoted, committed and consistent. That person’s work is not haphazard. He or she can be trusted, shows up when needed and completes whatever task that is started.

Also, a diligent person is passionate, energetic and earnestly executes a given task. That person does his work with enthusiasm that is infectious. He or she doesn’t grumble while working, but puts his or her might into the work. For these persons love their work.

In what areas should a believer be diligent? In all areas actually. But the scriptures lay emphasis on some areas in which a believer must be diligent.

If there is one fundamental area a believer should display diligence, it is with guarding or keeping the heart. Proverbs four twenty-three says, “Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Everything you do, or will become comes from your heart. Seeing the gravity of this, you must with all diligence censor, keep a watch and be deliberate about the thoughts you allow in your heart.

A believer should be diligent in doing God’s will. This is explicit in all of Scriptures. “You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God…” said Moses to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:17. The Psalmist affirmed this by saying in Psalm 119:4, “You have commanded us to keep your precepts diligently.”

Another core area of diligence is with the study of God’s word. In the admonishment of Paul to Timothy his son in 2 Timothy 2:15, he said, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” He had earlier told him to give attendance to reading (1 Timothy 4:13). 

Many believers are guilty in this area of the study of God’s word. They hardly read their Bibles. For those who do, they only take a cursory glance daily at the bible, just to appease their conscience. When was the last time you deliberately did a thematic or character study from the Bible? When did you last reference a Bible concordance or commentary or dictionary? Have you read through your entire Bible with the intent of knowing and doing scriptures?

A believer should be diligent in praying and seeking God. Jesus told His disciples that men ought to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1). Paul told us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonian 5:17). The writer of Hebrews reminds us that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). For we pray little. Oh that we would display the utmost diligence in seeking God in the place of prayer.

Time will fail me to mention other areas in which a Christian should display diligence. In training your children (Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 4:9); in helping and ministering to other believers (Hebrews 6:10-12), with discipleship and nurturing of those placed under you (Proverbs 27:23).

Some Christians may say, “I no get strength for too much work o! My life no like stress at all.” But that isn’t true. For God has given us as believers all we need, and the power to be diligent through the finished work of Christ. (2 Peter 1:2-3; Philippians 4:13). So you have the grace to be diligent.

Diligence has its dividends. Hard work pays. The diligent is prosperous. His soul is made fat and his hands make rich (Proverbs 13:4; 10:4). He receives favour from God and people (Proverbs 11:27), is highly honoured among men (Proverbs 22:29) and rises up to leadership positions (Proverbs 12:24).

I’d like to sound a note of warning. Diligence is not being a busybody. Some persons are seriously working, but as busybodies. They wander from house to house, meddling with other people’s matters and saying things they ought not to, in the name of counselling (2 Thessalonian 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 4:15). Mind you, this is not being diligent.

Also, diligence is not doing things hypocritically just to make a show. Some believers engage in lengthy spiritual activities like praying, fasting, teaching, visiting, and so on, just for a show, to please others. They have the Pharisees as brothers. For Christ did not condole their acts of hypocrisy, neither will He approve them as diligence.

No one wants to work with a lazy person, not even the lazy. Diligence endears us to people. And if a Christian is to shine as light, he or she must exude diligence.

And if your morale is low, and your countenance fallen whenever it is time for work, you’re lazy. Please repent.