Saturday, March 13, 2010

LOVE

Once upon a time as a student, I was taught the use of appeal by advertisers to lure customers to a product and the types of appeal varies. There is sex appeal where girls are used, dressed sexily to attract men to a product. I remember the fear appeal that tends to bring fear to the customer, unless he or she uses a particular product or stops the use of a product. Health organizations for instance can use the fear appeal to promote the dangers of cancer and others. They can use it to also sell their products. eg ‘Malaria kills’ use Zayzeequin to treat yourself’.

Now, let’s talk about churches and the use of appeal. Love appeal versus fear appeal. The church basically is where Christians go to fellowship together and worship God. There are some who think that the church is a place only for the saved. How wrong. There are some church workers who would be uncharitable to some people, because they feel those people are not holy enough or are too worldly.

I remember an old episode of Desperate Housewives. Lynette Scavo went to church after the hurricane that almost destroyed all their lives. And she raised her hand in church to question the reverend. Bree Hodge schemed to make sure Lynette never returned to her church, until her reverend told her he found Lynette refreshing because of her questions.

‘Soul Winning Out Where The Sinners Are’, a book by T. L. Osborne said it all. He said that we Christians should take the church out into the world where the sinners are because we have made the church into a kind of temple that is intimidating to the ones we are supposed to be bringing into the presence of God.

Most times than not we have preached fear instead of love. Fear and love can actually make people do the right thing, but while one will be out of respect and sincere love, the other will be out of obligation because of fear.

I got thinking about this yesterday while driving down in a taxi in Ibadan. I saw a banner that said ‘Unending Punishment for Sinners’. It made me wonder. If I wasn’t born again and I am being preached to that unless I repent I will burn in hell for eternity, I doubt I will be convinced to accept God.

Love is magical. God is love. He loves you so much that He considered you worthy enough to be redeemed of your sins by sacrificing His only son for you. And forever the blood that Jesus shed on the cross, will cover you. Forever you have access to God because by the blood you have been bought.

We are mandated to preach the gospel throughout the nation. Not all of us can evangelize, but we can preach our beliefs and the Christian principles by the way we live our lives. Enough with the use of fear, in with love because that is who God is. He is love, and when that message sinks in, sooner than later, we will realize why we must fear Him, afterall, He is the Almighty.

This whole fear thing ‘Unless you repent, you will roast in hell’ should not be an opening for the unbeliever. It portrays God as wicked. The church is home for the unsaved. Where is the love?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

In My Head........

What do I understand and what don’t I understand? Recently I find myself asking this question over and over again. I listened to a sermon in church today titled ‘Holy Spirit my helper’. I understood what the pastor was saying. I especially understood when he said, ‘our Christian experience should not stop at our salvation because there are times we run dry and feel disconnected from God and can’t even pray’. I understood that perfectly, because for a while now, I have being disconnected from my Lord. I can’t remember the last time I had my quiet time in the mornings. I used to enjoy that so much every morning because I wake so early to get in His presence. I don’t even know how I got here. I can’t even say a simple prayer. I find lately that sometimes, I try to seek help from God, and I feel really guilty because I know I have broken our communication and I feel I don’t deserve His help. Yet He remains faithful and loving and still looks out for me and protects all that are dear to me.

I want to say a prayer, but I only stop with a few words. He knows I need help. I am crying for help. I need to move from this place back to where we were, so I can go deeper in our intimacy. Here I am, packing my load to return to rock city tomorrow, and I saw my bible. It pains me to note that it just occupied space in my bag and I didn’t touch it at all.

Now is not the time to be disconnected. Now is the time when I need You most. A period when too many decisions have to be made in many areas of my life. So I am crying, please help me Lord. With what specifically, I really don’t know, but I know I need help. And the type I need can come from You alone. Holy Spirit my helper, You know ......... and I am grateful and thankful for all You have done recently, and for helping us cross that bridge today ........ but the journey has just started ......... besides I don’t like thinking about issues. It makes me lose weight and you created me slim so ......... I still need help really. Please......