It isn’t my relationship that redeemed me.
Some of us have been to terrible, dark places in our lives – paths we blame ourselves for journeying; so that if any man or woman should choose to love us, deep within us we believe there lies our redemption.
“She can be loved”
His proposal tells the world “she can be loved”, and having her by his side makes him ”desirable”. Is it partly because, although we say Christ has redeemed us, we continue to hold ourselves guilty of our past? This is certain, you will never be able to pay for the life you lived, and there is nothing you can do to change your past. But His blood is more powerful, more than capable of helping you to recover from those mistakes and healing your traumas. His blood calls you a new creation. Even if you were the worst of sinners, there is no darkness, no failure, no history that the blood of Jesus cannot overcome and wash away.
“…bought at a much greater price”
Do you long desperately for ”Mister right’‘? Well contrary to the world’s fairytale there is no knight in shining armour who can save you, because the truth is – we all need saving. Maybe you’re already in a relationship? Do you love it when people talk about your relationship? Does it give you a confidence in your self-worth, which you dare not carry alone? The truth is, no relationship status, no ring can redeem you, because you were bought at a much greater price. Are you able to love and appreciate your worth, the unique value placed in you by God? Or are you still angry and still ashamed? I find I feel more confident since getting engaged, it’s like you carry a stamp on your left hand that says “you’re worth it” (like the L’Orèal ads). But the novelty will soon wear off and then what? Will you seek for the next thing to make you feel redeemed and cleared of your past?
Christ is before you asking you, “Woman where are thine accusers?” Think about the woman accused of adultery, even after the accusations ceased why did she remain there, stood before Jesus? Perhaps her greatest condemnation – the one that kept her where her accusers left her, was her own. What have you done wrong? How have you messed up? Whatever it is, I have news for you, you have been redeemed. You don’t have to justify God’s love towards you or His blessings in your life. There is no need to feel ashamed anymore, when the spotlight is on you. They don’t see who you used to be, they don’t see your past sins and struggles, they see God’s glory. They see YOU, redeemed and refined by Christ – because you are. Jesus took your shame to the cross, you have been redeemed and there is no catch, but believe that your redemption is in Christ.
Your redemption is not pegged on your relationship status. When it comes to the matters of your inner-self, your relationship status is irrelevant. Start addressing those memories that try to convince you that you haven’t changed. Read about Paul, he could have carried the shame and guilt of a notorious past, persecuting the church. He would have been justified to seek the approval of the people he was sent to share the Gospel with, but instead he allowed his identity and call in Christ to be the driving force of his life. You can too.
It isn’t my relationship that redeemed me. I was a wreck, and Christ saw me, broken, desperate and tired, and He carried me. Long before my Fiancé noticed me or even knew who I was, long before there was any proposal in sight, Christ began a work of redemption in me. So I encourage you today, to forgive yourself and forgive your past, and begin to learn about your redemption that is everlasting in Christ. As my Pastor often says – “your past is past”, and no man can, no man has redeemed you and no man will, but the living God.
May God help us to believe His unconditional love towards us, may He teach us step out of the shadows of our past and hand over every negative memory and guilt to Him, and may God teach us to truly love ourselves, in Jesus name amen.
Peace & Love
Rightly so, as children of God we desire to look like our heavenly Father. All too often I understand the frustration when we fall short.
As one of three children, I remember how jealous I became when a family friend visited and said my sister resembled my Mum more than I did. She was clearly mistaken. The competition was never-ending between my Sister and I, to resemble our parents.
“You have your Dad’s eyes”, they would say. “You are a carbon-copy of your Mum!”
They were so passionate and sure of their observations. They enjoyed making the comparison and I enjoyed being reminded of my roots, where I came from.
Identity is a complex thing.
Whilst reading daily devotionals about what it means to be Set Apart – to be Holy, I recognised my strong desire to be like my heavenly Father and God’s even stronger desire, expressed in His word, for us to be like Him.
As the devotional revealed to me:
The more time I spend with my Father, the more I seek Him – to learn Christ, to know Christ – the more I will look like Christ. The fruit of the Spirit of God can be borne in my behaviour, my character, my lifestyle and the condition of my heart. My journey in Christ isn’t hopeless.
It amuses us when we see the resemblance developing between a married couple. They may have the same mannerisms or finish each other’s sentences. The similarities that become apparent between two good friends – two peas in a pod – so that one might be mistaken for the other. Likewise, a growing relationship with God is the avenue to looking more like Him.
Being Set Apart may not be easy, and yes it is a daily exercise and a continued goal, passing days, passing months, years and decades.
But how delightful it is to look like my Father,
A display of His splendor,
To be refined by His manifested love for me,
Created in His image, formed in His likeness.
The more we spend time with God, the more we are conformed to the image of Christ, the more we can be Holy and Set Apart like Christ.
For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
My prayer is that Lord, Your love for us will not allow us to weary of seeking You and spending time with You. Teach us to delight in You Lord, so that we will look more and more like our Lord and personal Saviour Christ Jesus. So that we will be conformed to the image of Christ, just like You intended in Jesus name amen.
Peace & Love
BEING SINGLE IS BEING WEALTHY
Many of us don’t understand just how privileged we are even before we say “I do”.
Let me explain.
When you are single you have a currency £$ of potential at your disposal. A blank chequer.
You have access to a savings account banked with:
Whilst we’re single, the time we have for ourselves is probably at its maximum. Because we don’t (yet) have the responsibilities (privileges *wink*) of attending to and loving our spouse 24/7, as well as all the other responsibilities that come with married life – we are able to focus more on ourselves. This is the perfect season to discover your likes and dislikes, your skills, your strengths, your weaknesses and do something with and about them.
When we are single, we have a wealth of potential. Although God is penning our lives, He has already instilled in us desires, passions and talents that He wants us to invest into the world around us for His glory. Like the parable of the talents: The servant given one talent made two mistakes.
1. He was afraid and as children of God fear cannot be part of our vocabulary. Don’t be afraid of failure – He who started a work in you will be faithful to complete it. Oh and don’t believe the lies, when they tell you that you have to be a damsel in distress before your knight in shining armour can come and “rescue you” – I’ve been saved once already – by JESUS – so thanks but no thanks. And Guys, she doesn’t have to see you as her hero before you believe she really likes you.
And 2. He was lazy. As children of God we are called to a life of service, exploits and prosperity – just like Christ, just like the many examples of men and women of God in the bible. People who worked hard like David, lived sacrificial and obedient lives like Abraham and served God courageously like Deborah. So this is the perfect time to take those godly risks and put your gifts and ambitions into practice. Don’t wait till you marry to become successful, take the talents God has given you to the exchangers now! Like the good and faithful servants.
What talents do you have?
What skills do you take for granted?
Start with asking God what He wants you to invest in.
Ladies we don’t need to hang around idle, waiting for our other half to notice us. And Gents, you don’t have to considered every girl you come across and find your wife through trial and error.
Be sure of this, if you make yourself available to God and fix your eyes on Him, He will not hide a good thing from your sight.
Being single is being rich with potential.
So start fulfilling your God-given potential today.
Waiting with a purpose is sure to be a better experience than rushing through life’s seasons without one. May God pave our paths with His instruction, His mercy and His grace in Jesus name amen.
Stay tuned for the next post on being Single and Rich!
Peace & Love
So for those of you who have yet to see my latest video
I basically talk about my decision to study relationships in accordance to the will of God and to use Joshua Harris’ books: I Kissed Dating Goodbye (new edition 2003), Boy Meets Girl – say hello to courtship (2005), Sex Is Not The Problem (Lust Is) (2003)… to edify me on this journey.
Chapter 1 – So This Is Love? :
After reading the first chapter, I was slightly overwhelmed, partially with self pity and partially with guilt. It’s hard to accept that every relationship you’ve had with the opposite sex in relation to romance and otherwise has been one selfish act after the other, hurting you and the recipient. It occurred to me that I really did not understand what it meant to love, especially the opposite sex. I felt sorry for myself, because I felt this may have stemmed from the effects of an absent father figure. Then I felt guilty, for trying to put the blame on my circumstances, and almost making the same tragic mistake again. I don’t think its advisable for any woman or man to involve themselves in a romantic relationship before they learn what it means to love someone, with the love of God as the affection we aspire to connote. That doesn’t mean idolising, but perhaps sacrificing, what makes you feel good for what is best for them, or as Joshua Harris explains in I Kissed Dating Goodbye:
‘Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person like God has loved us. To lay down our desires and do what’s in his or her best interest. To care for him or her even when there’s nothing in it for us. To want that person’s purity and holiness because it pleases God and protects him or her’ (2003, p.19)
I had quite an emotional response to this chapter because it hurt to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure how to love someone, as God loves me. All I knew is I hadn’t been applying God’s love to past relationships, romantic and otherwise, spent in tears, loneliness and desperation. So what decision did I take once I experienced this revelation? I prayed to God for forgiveness, for my lack of understanding and selfishness, I surrendered my heart to him and I asked him for guidance and support. I then spoke with my Pastor (which took some courage and humility) and asked for a mentor, to oversee my journey to learn how to be a single Christian, exercising the love of God in all my relationships.
Now I’m excited, because I know the best is yet to come, as I grow closer to God, I get further away from my past and life becomes just that little bit lighter. Of course I want to get married, I can’t stress, just how much I want to get married, but it isn’t the peak of life. To me marriage sounds like a ministry, a means of serving and glorifying God, it requires planning, preparation and God’s support. I look forward to experiencing it by the grace of God, but I know there’s a lot of planning and preparation necessary, if God is to add a relationship and marriage to my testimony.
I pray that those who need to make a similar decision will join me on this journey, to discover how to walk in the love of God, I pray God will forgive us for our selfishness and lack of patience by his mercy, that he will descend upon us the enabling spirit to love as he loves us, to be patient, disciplined and diligent to his will for us in Jesus mighty name, amen. And I pray that he will provide us guidance and mentorship in Jesus name amen.
This performance from P4CM poets Ezekiel and Janette..iks is by far one of the most moving spoken word performances I’ve seen to date (I’m a spoken word artist, so my perception maybe somewhat biased), with the risk of sounding over dramatic. I was deeply inspired, moved, edified by the performance and the lyrical content.
‘I’m trying to remember why I was created’ – How many of us have even asked God this question and genuinely desired an answer, or do we ponder on this questions of purpose as an excuse for not acting? We get so engulfed in trying to behave as Christian as “Christianly” perceivable that God’s purpose for us barely gets a mention. Sometimes the answer is just waiting for a faith-filled silence, on our part, to trust that God knows the desires of our heart and he won’t leave us wanting.
‘Weaving a little bit of his will with a whole lot of mine’ – the whole point of Christianity is complete and total surrenderance, not 20% and not 99%, but entire surrenderance to the will of God. The more we surrender to his will, the further forward we move.
‘My love is based and his love is based on how I feel’ – Too often we allow our emotions to delegate the choices we make, I’m angry right now so I’m going to eat my feelings, I’m lonely so I’ll go and see her – who will make me feel worse than I previously felt, I’m jealous so I’ll tell her secrets or point out his flaws. To be gentle (One of the fruits of the spirit) is the antithesis of losing control of one’s behaviour because of one’s emotions or basing a decision on emotions alone, without asking or receiving instruction from God.
May God enable us to be patient in love, especially loving him and led by his guidance and not our desires in Jesus name amen. x