Empty Heart

FeaturedEmpty Heart

My darling blog that I have neglected forever and ever. I’m so glad to be back here.
I think it’s only right that I start with an explanation as to why I stopped (well, paused) blogging.
I stopped because I was distracted. I stopped because I became lazy and complacent with my walk with God. I stopped because I had nothing to give. And trust me, you can’t give what you don’t have. I’ll share some of the things I’ve learnt in this time.

Admitting that I am struggling is something I struggle with. I like everyone to think that I have it all together. I like to tell myself I have it all together, even when I don’t. I realize, however, that this only comes from a place of pride. I do not have it all together. If I did, I wouldn’t need God. It is in my weakness that He is glorified.
No wonder Paul says he takes pleasure in his weaknesses. Because weaknesses are avenues for God to show up and show out.

I am absolutely nothing without God. Without God, I am purposeless. I am empty. I am like chaff, blown around by the wind. I am a hot mess. There’s too many gaps within me that only God can fill.
Without God, I get distracted. I look to other things, people, activities to fill the gap that only God can. And this is a dangerous place to be in, because you’ll keep trying harder and harder to fill God-sized gaps with the wrong puzzle pieces. The end result is an empty, frustrated, what’s-the-point feeling because nothing you try is ever going to fit. God alone can truly satisfy the longings of my (and your) soul.

I can’t give what I don’t have. Scripture says

“Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

Another one says

“Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living waters.” (John 7:38)

It is what abounds in your heart that will come out of your mouth. Keyword – abounds.
The water in your belly must be so full, that it starts to flow out. Keyword(s) – so full.
Basically, I cannot manifest God until I am so full of Him that it is forced to come out. And what happens when I am constantly giving out and not spending enough time in the secret place to refill? I run dry. My fuel gauge is on empty. I have nothing else left to write about.
There’s nothing more important than your secret place with God. Your prayer closet. Or whatever else it is called in this our Christianese. It is in this place of intimacy with God that you are empowered to truly live for Him.

One more thing I have learnt is… I cannot run from God. He doesn’t let me. In a way that only God can, He draws me back to Him. Always. This is a constant.
What can separate me from the love of God? Nothing.
God just always arranges it somehow. He sends me signs, He sends me people, He speaks directly to my heart. I am convinced that this God I serve will never let me go. And He will never let you go.

It is my prayer that we never lose our wonder. It is my prayer that our eyes are stayed always on Jesus. It is my prayer that we experience a new level of intimacy with Him. It is my prayer that God graces us to be more intentional in our walk with Him. I feel an urgency in the Spirit, and I pray that God aligns our life with His will for us. Amen.

If you’re in any way struggling with your relationship with God, and you want someone to pray with, to join their faith with yours, or just to talk to, please reach out to me. I’m available.❤️

FLEE

Hey! I haven’t blogged in a while, and I apologise for my absence. I’m not even sure why, I just hadn’t felt a “push” yet. But now I have.
This is heavy on my heart, I’m praying the Lord releases everything He has put in me. I pray that these words shall be clearly communicated, and shall take root in your heart. In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

You know those rubber bands? The ones we use to do everything – pack our hair, pack money, and all of that. Do you ever play with it? Do you ever stretch it, and stretch and stretch, just trying to see how far it can go without breaking?
That’s what a lot of us, as young Christians do with regards to obeying God’s word and I’ll like us to talk about it today.

There are everyday questions that bother us young Christians, and I’ve gotten my fair share of these questions:

Is kissing a sin?
Can we go to clubs/ raves / drink ups as Christians?
Do the clothes we wear matter? What’s wrong with showing skin as long as I’m comfortable?

I’ve gotten to the point where I realise that those are not the questions we should be asking. As Christians, what are we called to be?

You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.
Deuteronomy 14:2 NLT

See what God says we are? Set apart – removed from the rest of the world, chosen to be different, called to stand out. That’s who you are.
Set apart and Fitting in are two opposites. Antonyms. If God has called you to be set apart, why are you fitting in? What is the “it factor” in you that marks you as different from the rest of the world?

Okay, back to our rubber band talk. I say that stretching that rubber band just to see how far it can go is what a lot of us do everyday as Christians.
Our minds are saying – “How far can I go before it becomes a sin?
It’s just kissing after all, we’re not going to get naked or have sex.
It’s just clubbing after all, I’m not going to get drunk or something.
And so it goes on, there are so many instances.
You try to quiet the still voice within you that tries to convict you with a “well, the Bible doesn’t actually explicitly speak against it.
As true lovers of Christ, should this be so? Are we supposed to be living a “law-led” life or a Spirit led life? Should we be trying to live on the verge of sin? We’re called to be set apart. Our life goal should be pleasing our Maker. If we’re conforming with the rest of the world, there’s something wrong somewhere.

What I would say is check the motive behind everything you’re doing. These little issues that bother us young Christians, if you want to partake in it, ask yourself why. What is pushing you?
This urge inside of you, what is the source? Why do you want to? That’s the real question.

I love what Paul says to Timothy here.

Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts.
2 Timothy 2:22 NLT.

Think on that for a minute. Run (not negotiate with, or try to wiggle around) anything that stimulates youthful lusts. I love that it says anything that “stimulates” youthful lusts, and not just “run from youthful lusts.” Anything at all that will lead you to sin, run. Just run.
There’s a beautiful example of fleeing in the Bible, I’ll show you.

And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me! But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out [of the house].
Genesis 39:12 AMP

This was Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife.
Your focus is not on this world, but on the world to come. And I pray that God empowers you to know how and when to run.

I’m going to end this with my go-to scripture

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT

Prayer.

My Father, thank you for my life. I ask that from this moment, you teach me to live a Spirit led life. I ask that for direction Lord, that you show me the way in which I should go so that I may walk in it.
Help me Lord, that I will not be conformed to the standards of this world. May I be truly set apart for Your glory. May I be a light in this dark world. And when people see me, let them see you in me. I ask in the name that is above every other name Jesus, Amen.

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Dear God ( Ore. M)

Dear God,

Before I say much, I want to thank you for everything you are to me. You are my friend, my father, my comforter and peace, my joy and my strength. You’re the song on my lips and the Rock I cling to. You really are everything to me.

I know my recent neglect breaks your heart as it does mine. I am sorry. As you know, I’m back home for summer and honestly, it’s been one struggle after another. Countless times my flesh has overpowered my spirit and I know it is as a result of not feeding my spirit. I must admit, my spirit is malnourished and weak. I haven’t been eating and digesting your word which is life to me. I’ve merely tasted it on some days and on other days, I’ve had no appetite whatsoever. I’ve let myself be deprived of my joy, strength and peace that comes from you and created space for anger, worry, pride and the idea of self-reliance to creep in.

When I look at my shortcomings, I want to run and hide like Adam and Eve did in Genesis. But you show me day in day out that you’re having none of that. That you love me too much to let me go. YOUR LOVE AND GRACE SURROUNDS ME ALL AROUND. When I think I’m running away, I find myself eventually running into your always open arms. This holiday our relationship has been one sided and the fault lies with me. I’ve been too silent but I hear you always. You still choose to speak to me, you still use me, you still protect me and shower me with numerous blessings. You’re so beautiful in all your ways.

Oh God, I actually want to just shout to the world how GREAT you are. This holiday has been a sober one for me. I’ve been learning, you are teaching me yourself and sending many of your children to share the knowledge you’ve given them. You’re teaching me that I am a soldier in your army therefore, I’ll always have work to do. A message to deliver, people to help, intercessory prayers to raise and your word to impart. I think what holds me back is the belief that I’m not even there yet so what right do I have to open my mouth. Hearing you tell me over and over again that while I’m working for you, you’re working in me so that my light can shine brighter before men who will in turn give you glory is very comforting. Thank you dear Father.

Relationships have different phases and regardless of how rocky ours may get, you’re still God and you do not change. You’ll never give up on us and you’ll give me the strength to fight for us when I entirely depend on you. Another important lesson you’re teaching me in this period of my walk with you. I forget this so many times and really all I should do when I doubt is to look back and see how good and faithful you are.

Lastly Yahweh, I want to say thank you for changing my circle of friends. Thank you for moving in the lives of people around me and drawing them closer to you. I see you changing hearts and you alone deserves the glory. Thank you for building young men and women who call upon your name day and night and make a daily effort to live for you. I ask that you keep them on your path and you give them everything they need to continually shine for Christ and Christ alone all the days of their lives. I ask that you help us all live for you, to be totally sold out to spreading LOVE (YOU) to the ends of this world so all men may be saved. Thank you for your Spirit in me. I’m hearing your voice louder than ever and fellowship with you is sweet! Oh yeah, thanks for lifting my writer’s block and helping me with the talent you’ve given me.
 

Thanks for always being there. You are my King. I love you Abba.

Ore.

If You Do Good

Before I begin this post, let me just say this. I love the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I love how He works. And I love how He uses little things around us to signal us sometimes.
I was just stepping out of my room, when I heard some of my housemates reminiscing on an old song we used to sing when we were younger. I don’t know if you know it, but it goes like this:

If you do good, Kingdom!
Oh oh oh oh, Kingdom!
Oh oh oh oh, Kingdom waiting for you! 

If you do bad, no more kingdom!
Oh oh oh oh, no more kingdom!
Oh oh oh oh, no more kingdom waiting for you!

It brought a smile to my face. But somehow, I was convicted to listen to the words of the song again. And I realised how wrong the song is.
Christianity has been perceived to be about doing good, about being a good person, about doing the right thing, about following all the rules, about being a charitable person and all of the works.
But permit me to challenge that thought system? Permit me to say that Christianity is not about being a “good” person, it’s about being a “God” person.
This is reflected time and time again in the Bible. The world’s standards of “good” is not always God’s standard.

Remember Rahab? The prostitute? She saved the Israelite spies. You remember how she did that? By lying.

Joshua 2:3 – 6
Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.”
But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.
And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.”
But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof.

Shouldn’t lying be punished? Shouldn’t Rahab be considered sinful? Isn’t she a bad person, going about lying like that?
Here’s what the Bible has to say.

Hebrews 11:31
By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

When Jericho and it’s inhabitants were being destroyed, Rahab and her family were not destroyed with them.
And do you see what the Bible credits it to? It credits it to her faith!
According to normal standards, Rahab lied. She was a bad person. According to God’s standards, Rahab obeyed.

Let me tell you about another woman I love so much. The woman with the alabaster box who poured expensive oil on Jesus’ feet.
She was immediately rebuked by the disciples.
Why would you waste such expensive oil? Doesn’t being a good person demand that you be charitable and that you sell the oil and give it to the poor?
I love the fact that Jesus Himself rebuked them.

Matthew 26:7 — 9
A woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.
And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?
For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”
But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me.

He showed us how true Christianity is not about being a good person, it is about being a God person.

A God person is ready to obey God at all times.
A God person is led by the Holy Spirit in all that he does.
A God person is focused on pleasing God, and not on appearing good in the eyes of the world.

Your good deeds can not please God. Several times, I’ve heard people say “because it’s Sunday, I’m not going to insult you” or something along those lines.
Someone also once told me that when you do one good act, it cancels out two bad acts you’ve done in heaven.
But that’s not how the Kingdom of God works.
Instead, focus on being led by the Spirit of God, rather being a good person.
Because there will be good people, who will not inherit the Kingdom of God. And there will be supposedly bad people, who will inherit the Kingdom of God.

You can always email me with your questions, somtoudeke@gmail.com

Stay blessed!

Dear God, I’m trying my best.

Dear God,
I’m trying my best.

I saw this tweet on my timeline, and I had to pause.
Can you relate?
The 300 and something retweets it got indicates that a lot of people can.

But you know what? We’re trying our best in the wrong ways.
We’re trying our best to step out of living lukewarm lives. 
We’re trying our best to break free from all kinds of addictions.
We’re trying our best to be better Christians.
We’re trying our best to stop sinning.
We’re trying, and trying, and trying, yet we keep failing and failing and failing.

Want to know why? Christianity is not about trying. Your relationship with God is not about your efforts. It’s not about your willpower to overcome temptation. It’s not about your strength to break free from that addiction.

Zechariah 4:6 NIV
So he answered me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.

It is about The Spirit of God. It’s about recognising that you are a weak and infallible vessel, with absolutely no strength of your own. It is about surrendering; about admitting that you cannot handle your affairs on your own. You cannot live a holy life on your own. You cannot break free from addictions on your own.

You know what happens when you try to do it on your own? You fail. You get fed up. You get exhausted. Because you’re relying on your own strength.

A relationship with God happens when you stop trying. That’s the beauty of surrendering. That’s why it’s a relationship, and not mere “religion”.
God is not waiting for you to “fix yourself” before coming to Him. He’s not waiting for you to get your stuff together before going to Him.
He wants you just as you are. Just as you are, go to God. Let Him take your every worry, and every burden away. And watch Him prune you into the masterpiece He has destined you to be.

Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, I’m tired of trying. I’m tired of trying and never getting anywhere. I’m tired of depending on my own strength.
I am a weak and fallible vessel, and I ask that you empower me. I ask that you teach me to depend on You alone for my strength.
And I ask that you mold me into the vessel of honour you have destined me to be in. I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

What’s Your Reason?

Lots of times when I’m writing a blogpost, I don’t know what it’s going to be about till I start writing. A “writing burden” fills my heart, and just like that, I know it’s time.

I pray that the Holy Spirit will speak through me. I pray that hearts will be made ready for this word. I pray that the word of God on this day will fall on fertile ground. As I plant this seed, may the Lord cause there to be an increase in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Acts 19: 23-27 CEB
At that time a great disturbance erupted about the Way. There was a silversmith named Demetrius. He made silver models of Artemis’ temple, and his business generated a lot of profit for the craftspeople.
He called a meeting with these craftspeople and others working in related trades and said, “Friends, you know that we make an easy living from this business. And you can see and hear that this Paul has convinced and misled a lot of people, not only in Ephesus but also throughout most of the province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands aren’t really gods.
This poses a danger not only by discrediting our trade but also by completely dishonoring the great goddess Artemis. The whole province of Asia—indeed, the entire civilized world—worships her, but her splendor will soon be extinguished.”

This is a simple message, yet I can feel the weight of it on my heart.
Paul was going about preaching the Gospel,  doing the work of God, and performing unusual miracles. Many hearts and lives were surrendered unto God.
Then comes Demetrius. Demetrius heard of the mighty things God was doing through Paul. He heard of the message of Christ Paul was preaching, and he was threatened by it. He was threatened by it simply because it could disrupt his work, his singular source of income. And so he worked to sabotage the Gospel of God.

It’s easy to see how important money was to Demetrius. So what happened next? The devil capitalised on his love for money. His love for money became an obstacle to the transforming power of the gospel of God.

And so it is with us. There are so many things we hold so dear to our hearts that the devil places it as obstacles to the Gospel of God in our lives.
These are little things that keep people from fully surrendering to God. They are numerous, and also very person specific.

Ask yourself. What is preventing you from having a true and personal relationship with God? 

Friends? What are they going to think? What if they stop hanging out with me? I might lose might popularity.
Irrational fear. What will happen next? Do I have to stop going for parties? Change the way I dress? Start listening to gospel music? Stop having sex? Break up with bae?

Whatever your reason is, listen to this, it does not count. Your reason is not enough to keep you away from God. God loves you too much. And absolutely nothing can separate you from that love.

Step out of your reason today. Run into the open arms of God and cling tightly to it, don’t let go. You and I, we need God more than ever right now.

Isaiah 55:6-7 hcsb
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near.
Let the wicked one abandon his way and the sinful one his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, so He may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for He will freely forgive.

Scandalous Grace

Matthew 20: 1-15 (MSG)
“God’s kingdom is like an estate manager who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of a dollar a day, and went to work.
“Later, about nine o’clock, the manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed. He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a fair wage. They went.
“He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o’clock. At five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’ “They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’ “He told them to go to work in his vineyard.
“When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with the last hired and go on to the first.’
“Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar. Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager,
‘These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us, who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’ “He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you. Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy because I am generous?’

About a year ago, I read this scripture for the first time and I felt outraged on behalf of the workers who started first. It puzzled me, I just could not understand it.
Interestingly, a year later, I understand completely. It’s about grace. The shocking, absurd, outrageous, irrational grace of God.

I tried so hard to understand this parable, this grace with my flawed human thinking, but it made no sense.
Do you see what happened there? Put yourself in the shoes of the guy who started working early in the morning, let’s say 5 am. You’ve worked, and sweated, and pushed, and heaved. And some other guys, they came in and joined you at 5PM. A whole 12 hours later. You’ve probably already even done the very hard part. And at the end of the day, you’re given the same wage; 1 dollar each.
Wow. That makes no sense. But you know what? That’s okay because grace does not make sense.

There’s something else. The estate manager went out to look for more workers at 5PM. He found some men standing about, and he asked them why they were standing about.
The reply that came was

Because no one hired us. (Matthew 20:7)

So they were the castaways. The unwanted ones. Everyone else had been hired but not these ones. They probably weren’t qualified enough for the job. They probably weren’t strong enough. I mean, the whole town probably knew them as the “no-gooders”. They just weren’t good enough.
Yet still, the owner of the vineyard, a man I’d love to call Grace comes in.
Mr. Grace comes in and says you might not have any qualifications but I [Mr Grace] will qualify you.
You might not be strong enough but I [Mr Grace] will strengthen you.
Others might have rejected you, but I [Mr Grace] have chosen you.
They think you’re not good enough, but I [Mr Grace] will perfect you.
Oh, and at the end of it all, I will give you a good and perfect reward; the eternal crown of life.

That sweet, perfect, irrational but infinite grace of God. The grace that I believe is beyond our human comprehension. You don’t have to understand it. Just believe, and accept it.
The grace of God is extending His arm to you today, saying it does not matter how much of a 5pm worker you are. The Grace of God is bigger than any mistakes, bigger than any addictions, bigger than troubles, bigger than your problems, bigger than your secret sins. The Grace of God is sufficient. Accept the grace of God today.

Pray:

Dear Lord Jesus, as undeserving of your grace as I am, I ask for it today. I ask that you shower me with your infinite, unending grace. I ask that your grace shall strengthen me. I ask that your grace shall perfect my weaknesses. I pray that by your grace, I will be given the strength to walk in your love. By your grace, Lord, may I daily become more like you. In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

Tongues Speaking: My Personal Testimony

I’m going to be sharing one of my personal experiences and testimony today, mainly because I was convicted to.
I pray that God will use this testimony to bless and minister to you, in Jesus name. Amen.

Speaking in tongues. This is one of the more controversial gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Born and raised a Roman Catholic, I personally did not believe in tongues speaking at all. I figured whoever spoke in tongues was just talking gibberish. It made me laugh. I never payed much attention to it anyway because I  hardly ever came across people who prayed in tongues, most Catholics do not believe in it.
So yeah, about two years ago I began to grow in my relationship with God. I developed a friendship with God (and this is another testimony) and I began to read my Bible more. Somehow, I became curious about speaking in tongues. It used to be so foreign to me, but not so much anymore. And I had friends who prayed it tongues, I was fascinated.
I took my Bible and read all there was on speaking in tongues (and the Bible has a lot to say on this). It was honestly very fascinating. I figured that if the Bible said it, then it is true and it is real.
And this is the point where I began to crave it.

1 Corinthians 12:13a
Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.

Oh, how I desired. I craved and I desired and I prayed. I told God that if speaking in tongues was really of Him, then I wanted to. I prayed for months, but I didn’t get an answer. I didn’t speak in tongues.
After a while, I just gave up. Maybe speaking in tongues just wasn’t the will of God for Catholics like me. Maybe God requires a certain kind of person to speak in tongues – someone overtly spiritual, someone that wasn’t me.
But you know what? God surprised me. It was the first Sunday of my second semester in university, I was at church service. We were worshipping, and the minister was leading this song – Here I am to worship. I don’t think I could ever forget.
I was singing and worshipping and all of a sudden I began to speak in a new tongue. I couldn’t shut up. My mind kept saying – “Somto, shut up” “You’re speaking gibberish, people might hear you” but my mouth refused to shut up. These strange words just kept coming out, and I couldn’t stop it. Wow.
Through it all, I learnt God’s timing is the best. And speaking in tongues is as real as you and I are.

How Speaking in Tongues Impacts Me
It daily strengthens my relationship with God.
It gave me a new level of intimacy with God. When I pray in tongues, I’m speaking to God in a language no one else understands, it’s like I’m whispering secrets to Him. It’s like speaking to your best friend in a secret code you both devised – It brought me so much closer to God.

1 Corinthians 14:2 NIV
For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.

It gives me the confidence that I am praying exactly what God wants me to pray about.
Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

When I pray in tongues, I don’t know the words I’m saying. I surrender my prayers over to the Holy Spirit and He prays for and through me.
The Spirit of God searches the deep things of God, and no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God  (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), and so I’m confident that when I pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit is praying the will of God for my life and the life of the people around me into manifestation. The Spirit of God searches the deep things of God and prays it into manifestation in my life. Glory!

My prayer life has never been the same
Ever since God blessed me with the gift of speaking in tongues, my prayer life multiplied.

1 Corinthians 14:4a
Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves.

Speaking in tongues is like a spiritual work out. It has kept me sensitive and in tune with the Spirit of God. I’m able to discern more clearly. And I’m able to tarry in the presence of God. I’m able to spend more time in His presence. Glory.

If you desire the gift of tongues, ask God in faith. Be persistent in prayer.
And if you already have the gift of speaking in tongues, use it. Pray in tongues at every chance you get.
Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in all that you do.

Remain blessed.

God and You: The Love Story

I never realised how much of a love story Hosea is, until now. It’s so beautiful and I want to share it with you.
I pray that my words shall carry the convicting power of the Holy Ghost, and the words I type shall be of God. I pray that it speaks to you in a special and unique way. I ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.

Hosea; A faithful servant of God. Imagine his surprise when God asked Him to marry a prostitute. Imagine him saying “God, seriously? Are you sure?” I myself was filled with righteous indignation on His behalf.
He obeyed. He married her, and she bore him three children. Life was good.
And then she left him. She left him for another lover. She picked her former slavery, over her God given husband. She left him with three children to raise, and was content to go back to her former life of harlotry.

Hosea, heartbroken would probably have said something like “God, I’ve done what I can. She’s gone and now there’s nothing else I can do”.
But God said to Hosea:

Hosea 3:1 NIV
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress.

And so Hosea went back for his wife.

Now, imagine the thoughts running through Gomer’s (Hosea’s wife) mind. “How can this man come back for me? How can I hurt him so deeply and yet still he forgives me? Yet still, he wants me back. How can he love me despite my harlotry?”

This kind of love is hard to comprehend. But that is the love that God has for us, His children.
In the book of Hosea, God said the prostitute Gomer is Israel. And so the prostitute Gomer is you. You and I.
And like Gomer, we have flirted with the things of the world. We have made other gods (- social media, boyfriends, money, fashion, education and the list goes on) our number one.
God, who Hosea represents has called us to Himself and loved us with an everlasting love. Yet we run back to our former lovers – our old gods, thinking that the love of God will run out for us.

Dear friend, God loves you deeply, completely and unconditionally. He loves you despite your past, and despite your mistakes.
Like Hosea went searching and calling back Gomer, God is calling you back. He wants you. Answer to Him today.

Romans 8:38-39 NIV
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Sinful Woman and True Worship: Giving God Your All

Today, I want us to talk about a Bible story that has left me completely awe – struck. One of my favourites really.
And as I do, I pray that the mighty Spirit of God shall back my words. That these words shall be of God who sent me, that it will minister to you in a special and unique way, and at the end of it all, you and I shall be blessed. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Luke 7:36-38 NIV
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.
As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

Wow. At that time you see, it was customary for a host to assign the lowliest of servants to wash the feet of visitors. Oh and the feet of guests had to be washed because they lived in dusty deserts, and wore sandals. And so walking on the streets always resulted in very dirty dusty feet. (You can imagine!)

So, this unnamed woman who the Bible refers to as “sinful” came into the house of Simon. She assumed the lowliest of positions by washing the feet of Jesus, but she didn’t just stop there! She took a step further and washed his feet with her tears! What?! Imagine how much tears she shed just to be able to wash those feet. That to me, is one of the greatest acts of humility I’ve seen.
She didn’t stop there, she wiped those feet with her hair! Her hair oh. The Bible calls the hair of a woman her glory. She gave all her glory to Jesus. Just wow.
And then she kissed his feet and poured perfume on it. She gave Jesus her substance.
It no longer had any importance to her, all she wanted was to worship her Jesus, and so she gave it up. Glory.

Luke 7: 39-48 NIV

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

There is no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
Like Simon condemned the sinful woman, the world may condemn you, people might make you feel like God will never love you, like you’re too dirty to enter into His presence,  but Jesus Christ will never condemn you. Just go to Him as you are, and remain in Him.

Luke 7:40-43 NIV
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”  “Tell me, teacher,” he said.   
“Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,  and the other fifty. 
Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”   
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”  
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

Simon tried to condemn this woman, but Jesus told him an interesting story. This has to be my best part.
The one with the bigger debt forgiven will love the moneylender more right?
When you understand where God has taken you from, where He’s brought you to and where He’s taking you to, you will worship Him as such.
This woman knew that Jesus had taken her sin, her guilt, her condemnation away. She worshipped Him as such.
People looked at her and couldn’t understand what she was doing, wiping dirty feet with her hair, but she understood. She knew what Jesus has done.
Listen, you have to know what God has done in your life so you can worship Him as such. When people try to interfere with your worship, it should be inconsequential because you know the debt that Jesus paid for you, and so you love Him as such.
I’ll share a personal experience. I was at the mall with my sister on this day, and an old friend we’ve known for years walked up to us and said hi. Of course we were excited to see him. Then he said “I heard you’ve become one of those born again sisters, always doing prayer and fasting. I’m sorry for you.” His exact words.
He left, my sister and I looked at each other and we laughed. If only He knew how far Jehovah had taken us.
Beloved, don’t let anybody interfere with your worship.

Luke 7 : 44-46 NIV
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 
You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.

How is that Simon hosted Jesus in his home, a whole Jesus Christ of Nazareth, yet he gave Jesus no water for His feet, no kiss, and no oil for His feet?
How do you treat the presence of God? How do you respect the presence of God? How do you act in the presence of God?
Give God all of you.

Luke 7:47 NIV
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

I pray that this ministers to you, as it has ministered to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Shalom!