Is Loving Easy…?


Chioma looked up from her book and stole a glance at Kingston as he spoke to the cashier and she smiled. They had both decided to hang out at the cafeteria. She liked him… what was there not to like? The easy manner about him, his unconventional jokes and the way he always made her want the best for herself.
“Yeah,” Chioma thought to herself, “he could have a little annoying streaks but who was perfect?” on the other hand, there was someone Chioma didn’t want to meet and as she saw him approaching she pushed her cap lower, which helped in concealing her messy hair and face altogether, hoping he hadn’t seen her.
“Oh no!” she thought. She brought out her phone and pretended to check something on it when she felt a light tap on her shoulder. Chioma scrunched up her face beneath the cap but looked up with a smile.
“Hi Kunle,” she said, but in her mind she was looking for a way to escape. “How are you?”
“I’m good and you?” Kunle sat down next to her and grabbed the book she had been reading, he looked at the cover and turned it over to probably read the description. Chioma said she was fine and looked at Kingston, wondering when he would be back. God forgive her, but she couldn’t stand talking with him. He just tended to infuriate her and make her lose her cool… quite the opposite of what Kingston did. . .

Real love loves for love’s sake and not because the loved one is lovable.

Yes, I have been in such a situation. When I read a book which reminded me of the bible telling us to love our enemies . . . I was like ok . . . how am I to do that? I can’t imagine having to talk to this person or keep taking on the insults he slips off once in a while.
We see someone we like; someone that we are ‘crazy’ about and would love to spend the rest of our lives with. So we take it as far as the altar and vow to be with them till death does us apart.
But what about those that we can’t even fathom liking, not to even talk about love.
Obviously in your life you would have come across some people that exasperate you and would make you want to run to the other side of the room when you see them. (or is it just me?)
I personally love Mexican soap operas and other romantic movies, though they have made love look so easy but in reality how easy is it to love someone you can’t stand?
To be factual, it’s not as easy as ABC. It’s easy to say the words but to act it out is the most important thing.

So . . . How do we all do it?


The Fear of GOD


By Simi Akinremi

Usually, we’re afraid of our parents because we know they have the upper hand and so we dread the things they may do if we tick them off. We try to please and obey them, and as much as possible emulate them because these are the things they want to see in us. Bottom line here is that, we’re scared of them for the things they’re capable of. Whether we love them or we don’t…
When we speak of our relationship with God, we often say we “fear” Him, but do we really know what it means to fear God?
Does it mean we’re scared? Are we afraid of Him ‘cause we know He’s got the world in His hands and He can crush it whenever He likes? After all…He’s God and nobody wants to be in trouble with the owner of the universe.
We lift up Holy hands and proclaim that we love God. But whether we love Him or not, we may still choose to fear Him because He’s our “customer-service guy”; the run to guy anytime something goes wrong, and a change is needed or a refund probably.
Some people may fear Him because they want to wake up in the morning for that job they go to everyday that meets certain needs of theirs. And of course, some people just fear God because… Well, because He’s God really.

We often forget that:

1. We are not meant to be afraid of God. He’s our Father and He’s not some uptight grouchy person who gets mad easily. The Bible says that God is slow to anger. Why then are we afraid of the man who says His thoughts for us are of good and not of evil?
2. We shouldn’t fear Him for all the wrong reasons. Understanding what the fear of The Lord is helps us to know the right reasons.
So what IS the Fear of God?
The fear of God can be described as showing true piety, which is reverence to God as Psalm 19:9 says, The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of Jehovah are true and righteous altogether. It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread, but rather, parental reverence. That is why, God is called “the fear of Isaac” that is, the God whom Isaac feared. Gen 31:42, 53.
A Holy fear is one we as children of God should have, working in ways acceptable unto God knowing that our salvation is on the line. We should serve God wholeheartedly and worship in spirit and in truth and let it serve as a reminder to us that He is not some dictator but our Father and so filial reverence should be given unto Him.

As seen in the New Testament, it serves as a prevention of carelessness in religion and a motivation for repentance. Philippians 2:12 says that, ‘So then, my loved ones, as you have at all times done what I say, not only when I am present, but now much more when I am not with you, give yourselves to working out your salvation with fear in your hearts’
In Hebrews 12:28-29, we are told to give God worship as pleasing to Him…in Fear and respect.

So why Fear God?

If you love God, you would wish to know more things about Him, you’d want to obey His commandments and run away from evil. So fearing God is shunning away from evil.
Fearing God brings divine wisdom which helps us to know Him, as a result of our quest to know Him, the Holy Spirit begins to dwell in us giving us a wise mind. The foolish see their ways as right and have no need to gain more knowledge especially because their love for God is not real. If it was, their fear for Him would lead to the beginning of wisdom.
The fear of God which represents Divine wisdom should guide us in the things we do. Thus, in conclusion we should fear God because we love Him and He loves us and that’s all there is to it.

(Proverbs 1:7, 3:7, 9:10)

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A call to intimacy: Once upon a lover


They say looks are deceiving, so she must have deceived me numerous times with her seductiveness, her words of affirmation and deep concern. After all that was what I wanted and she offered it to me on a platter of gold.
That was when my death had begun. The title of the song, ‘killing me softly’ became a reality to me. How would I have known she was a lady in the morning and an astute prostitute at night?
The words of lady wisdom had spoken to me over and over again. But what was wisdom in the presence of pleasure, no matter how short lived? What was common sense in the place of a night of passion? What was sensible thinking in the place of uncontrollable urges?
It started with a thought and then the seed grew in my heart and my actions followed after. I was led astray but at my own will. I knew right from wrong but still made the choice to follow. I thought I was in love…..I thought she had everything I wanted but she could never satisfy my need as I realised probably, maybe life was better off with my first love……
Now I have lost everything. My first love that I had abandoned to chase a life of passion and desires. How had it happened? I thought she was too boring. I was bored and tired of the same ‘ole thing. But now I realize things were much better with her, her consistency in life was of comfort to me; her loyalty and faithful love far more than I could handle. So why had I strayed? Why was the story of the good times now known as ‘once upon a time’? I needed to go back to her, ‘cause she was truly the love of my life. And my only hope now is if she would have me back…..
But then I had also drifted from my true lover; the lover of my soul…. The person who loves me for better, was now a distant thought. How had I come to this place? I’ve had one too many with whom I devoted my attention and care but this one was special and different.
I had lost my devotion and dedication to God and chased after a goddess in a skirt; I lost all focus and drifted further away from Him. The only way back was to retrace my footsteps and go back. And so I did just that, I went back to Him and confessed my sins with a sorrowful heart and asked for His forgiveness. From Him I got the courage to approach my wife of ten years begging and pleading for her to take me back…..

How often we stray from God and place other things highly than Him. The gods of the Old Testament may not be the same ones as now; the money, spouse, fame, sin, our work for God; which could all very well be present day gods. We remember how forgiving and kind He is but sometimes tend to forget we are to fear Him for He is the consuming fire. Gradually, our fear for God dissipates and we are left with nothing. We are left to doing things our own way guided by ourselves.

And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,
And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.

2 Chron 33 vs 12 – 13

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