Love

Pray

by Adenike Omosanya on

 

He said, constantly should I pray
Every day as I walk on the way
And on my bed at night even as I lay
So as to thrive and not fall prey
To the world and its perils, as cheerless as grey

These are warnings given by the creator
For thousands of years ago he gave us a vindicator
Yet right in our midst lurks the devil, the heinous predator
This fight is ours, we choose to lose or be a victor.

Though a choice had been given to us to make
But the decision is rightfully ours to take
From the options spread right before us even as a lake
Life and death – either one, we can’t eat and have our cake,
So we must follow the path each day we wake

The only thing we can find in God as a default
Is the undeserving love He gives as the result
Because reigning with him at the end is his utmost desire
And not until he gets us, will He ever retire.

Adenike Omosanya

Guest turned Bride

by Alexandra Akinnadeju on

By Alexandra Akinnadeju

Seeking for Love,
Searching for Affection;
Ignoring wisdom’s advances,
To the market place I went.

My eyes was only on the bargain
The Price at which I would bid
Not nurturing the seeds I had
Heart empty, I sought.

While love waited at the altar,
I stood lost in line;
He is love,
And Love is not a thing.

Turning aside to see,
I saw his heart
All in his eyes
And eyes only on me

Did he not see my stains and my twisted frame?
If I fooled Him to believe, maybe I’ll believe it too
I had come like everyone else
But I would be his bride it seems.

Standing before me,
Had always been my Prince
I had been invited to my own wedding
I won His heart without a bid!

Though my heart held no affection,
He still beckoned
Broken, I donned my veil,
And walked down the aisle.

Undated

by Admin on

Written by Oluwatosin Fatade

The friendship between Joseph and I could be likened to that described in the Bible of David and Jonathan. Right from the tender age of five when we became seatmates in primary school, we have been practically inseparable. One boy’s decision always had massive impacts on the other. Asides the few inches that told us apart in height, we could easily pass for identical twins; we were ready proof for the theory that God created humans in doubles. Joseph was a sweet soul, he loved me more than he loved himself. I miss that about him, I really do. I could easily have married him had he come as a girl. I remember a certain day in school when the whole class was punished and each student was to be served 6 strokes of the angry class teacher’s rod. He stepped forward to take my dose having taken his much earlier. How he couldn’t feel any pain or anything at all with his skin was a sharp contrast to how emotional he gets at the slightest chance. He once cried at the school garden while we both watched a butterfly emerge for the first time from its cocoon.

Our parents became regulars at each other’s houses as either had to pick, more like snatch, their ward from the company of the other every now and then. Joseph’s parents must have been scared we would become truants in secondary school, because we found no other plausible explanation to their doggedness at seeing Joseph enrolled in a different school from mine. We were more prepared than they were, as they eventually realised. We both planned to fail every separate entrance examination on purpose throughout the holidays; Joseph’s parents threw in the towel after they guessed the plot and we ended up passing the only examination we sat for together at the government college.

Our friendship waxed stronger through the years and we became more alike as Joseph did catch up on the few inches that told us apart much earlier. We engaged in the same activities and studied together. I knew of every crush he had as he did mine. Gladly, for our own sakes, we never crushed on the same damsel. In our first year in senior secondary, Joseph had a new crush. I noticed this one was more intense than all the others I had known, he couldn’t stop talking about her. His emotional side seemed to blow up all of a sudden, I had never seen him like that! Asides being emotional, Joseph was very meticulous and was always bothered about the finest details. He informed me what he was feeling seemed more than just a crush, but he couldn’t tell if it was love. It was then I knew he needed help! All the years we had been crushing on damsels, not once did any of us say a word to them, we only admired from a distance and fantasized in our minds. Joseph was going to talk to this one, and he wanted it to be special.

We had little information about this damsel, we did know however that she was the leader of the school cultural group. That was it! That marked the end of our membership in the school press club. We picked up forms for the cultural group two weeks later after having several sessions of dance lessons on our own at home after school hours everyday for two weeks. The auditions went well, we were fully prepared and focused on the target. Joseph wasn’t taking any chances or wasting any time at all as he intentionally forgot a notebook in the group leader’s hands after we auditioned. He initiated a friendly conversation later on when he returned to retrieve his forgotten notebook.

A year later when we were in the second year of our senior secondary, Joseph wanted her as his girlfriend, being just friends was no longer enough for him. We went over various plans of how he could go about it, we finally settled for getting her a gift on Valentine’s Day which was just three weeks away. We saved up together so he could buy her a presentable gift and express his undying love, we rehearsed the presentation severally. February the 14th that year was a Monday, Joseph and I arrived the school assembly that morning to the cruel news of the death of ‘Toni. She had died instantly in a motor bike accident on her way to school that morning. Why did death choose to take her away on the day we had been planning to sweep her off her feet? Joseph was never the same again.

Every year after then, while others celebrated love on that day, Joseph refuses to exist. It is the only day every year we do not talk, till date. As far as we are concerned, that day does not exist, it must not be spoken of. Joseph strikes the day off his calendar every year.

I spoke to Joseph yesterday, “see you tomorrow” he said. I know that means tomorrow, for today does not exist.

God’s “Never-Increasing” Love

by Admin on

God's Love

 

Have you ever wondered how much someone really loves you? If only there was a universal scale, an S.I unit? Maybe… We all arbitrarily, consciously/unconsciously administer tests in a bid to answer the question “how much?” as it pertains to love and relationships. The yardstick or plumb line differs from person to person. If a certain person was to undergo these tests from say 5 or 10 different people, we’d have 5 or 10 different scores.

The big question is how much does God love us? God loves us, all of us. This is the truth, don’t struggle with it, even if you don’t believe it.

God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, Jesus to us to die for us John 3:16. The definition of ‘the world’ here is totally inclusive of all of us. God demonstrated His love unto us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8-9 TLB

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.

I hope you do have goose bumps right now, because I do!

He loves us while we were still governed by the sinful nature; neither the sinful nature nor our sins could stop Him from loving us.

He has loved us with an everlasting love (love that lasts for ever); He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He detests sins, filth, He cannot behold iniquity but HE loves you. There’s nothing, absolutely nothing you or I can do to make Him love us more than He already does; nor is there anything to make Him love us any less than He already does.

We can’t do anything to His love, we can’t wish it away, and we cannot cause it to flee. We didn’t earn this love, neither can we ever pay back, but we can respond appropriately. The appropriate response won’t be to try to love back in same measure but to just accept the love HE has offered and let that love drive you to ‘do’.

Have you ever been in love with someone who loves you too much, so much you can’t seem to ever match or measure up or return the favour? Trying to match always ends up in frustration. Always easier and more peaceful to just enjoy the love being dished out to you and give in return what you can.

Let’s say a father has an only child and he decides to hand over all of His bank accounts to the disposal of that child, ALL of his accounts (I’m talking liquid, solid and gaseous cash, assets, bonds, anything valuable, ALL of it! Ok I think you get it now). Now, imagine you’re married to that same only child and everything he owns happens to be at your disposal, everything, ALL. Nothing is off limits, nothing. Just name it and kaboom! So you’re the wife of this only child who has all of his father’s wealth in his custody and at your full disposal, and the father totally approves of this. So, how awkward do you think it is going to be if you, the wife, goes over to the father to ask for some more money? Well, you can actually, but here’s what you’ll find, he can’t give you more, because He’s already given you all even before you tied the knots with his only Son. Rather than ask for more, put what your husband, his son has custody of into more use, access it more. I’d say same of the Father’s love to us, demonstrated through his only begotten son Jesus, to whom we have tied the knots when we believe. We (altogether) are his bride and Yes, we have access to all the father has given him. Of him, the Father said on more than one occasion, ‘this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ Matt 3:17, 17:5; 2 Peter 1:17

So friends you see, it’s not that God doesn’t love you enough or doesn’t want to love you more; He CANNOT, because He already loves you with ALL he’s got! And this is regardless of your relationship status with Him – married, divorced, separated, complicated, civil partnership, friends with benefits – and any other type you’ve invented. Just accept that He loves you, even if you won’t love him back, that shouldn’t hurt, I guess. But imagine how peaceful you would really feel if loving Him back just a little was to be tried? Well, I can tell you I believe He loves me, I have no regrets accepting and I absolutely recommend that you do too! The peace that ensues is heart-warming and unbelievable! Ever heard of the phrase ‘too good to be true?’ This one fits that perfectly except for this fact, it’s true!

The Ten Commandments as delivered to Israel through Moses were summarised into two by Jesus. One was to love God, the second was to love your neighbour. We can for the purpose of this discourse summarise those two as one – LOVE. So we would be right to say God has commanded us to love. He hasn’t asked us to do what HE himself hasn’t already done. In fact, He asks less of us. He loves us unconditionally, even when not sure we would accept this love or return the favour. He died for all, the good, the bad and the ugly. There was yet nothing good about us when Christ died, but He was sure that the love he showed will draw men to Him. Truly, if there was ever anything that has today helped my firm resolve to follow God, it’s His love. It matters more to me than a thousand signs and wonders, His love endears me, and it is indeed ever present and never changing, constant in amount and intensity even through my changing range of emotions and responses.

Some seven or eight years back, I was in my 2nd or 3rd year in school and I was unimpressed with God and very disappointed. I just didn’t feel loved enough by Him, I decided to put God in the docks and won’t back down till I got answers. I made for the school chapel one evening after class, it was difficult to find a private spot in the arena always filled with people praying or singing or holding some meeting. I finally settled for an area close to the cemetery (others had avoided this area, it seemed perfect for me).

So I began my inquest, and like an interviewer-assisted questionnaire I began my interrogation. It felt like a monologue for a greater part of the whole time, I kept on ranting and fuming and expressing my frustration as much as I could. I even sought an instant sign, like a cloud, smoke, fire or even one of the tombstones would shake or open up. Nothing happened, nothing! Disappointment is an understatement to how I felt. Just then, several verses in the scriptures began to creep upon me and I was overwhelmed with a sense of ingratitude and guilt. My guilt wasn’t that I didn’t love Him back enough, but that I failed to see how much He already loves me. Swiftly, my interrogations turned to appreciation and acknowledgement of the proofs of His love to me. I left that place not feeling more loved but realising the unimaginable extent of God’s love to me.

Never hold any iota of doubt in your heart as it concerns God’s love to you, it is total and everlasting. If your sinful nature ± your sins did not hinder His love towards you before you believed or even if you are yet to believe, you can be rest assured that as a believer, nothing, absolutely nothing will make that love less. Becoming a believer will position you better to accepting this love rather than struggling with it. Freely embrace and enjoy a love that is too good to be true, but true.

 

Here’s a song that sums up these thoughts;

 

Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heavens above,

Deep, deep as the deepest sea, is my Saviour’s love;

I though so unworthy, still I’m a child of His care,

For His word teaches me that His love reaches me everywhere!

 

Welcome to God’s everlasting and ‘never-increasing’ love!

 

Oluwatosin E. Fatade

© 2016

 

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