ETERNAL SALVATION – For The Records


From 2015 when we started George’s Diary Blog to this moment, a lot of thoughts has been shared on the subject of eternal salvation, some of the opinions also came from the notes I havee kept from years before 2015 when God started opening my eyes on the subject of salvation. Some of these thoughts may have been improved and made clearer as we grow. Before I heard the word “OSAS”, I already believed that Salvation is eternal. The reason was simple, that was what I understood as salvation from the day it became clear to me. John 3:16 which I started quoting as a little child says

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH, but have ETERNAL LIFE”

First, the criteria for salvation is the belief in the Son sent by God to the world; Jesus. In a nutshell, that is faith! So, salvation is by faith in Christ Jesus. Secondly, the invitation was given to whosoever and the result of believing is that “whosoever” shall not perish but instead have the life of God. I grew up knowing John 3:16 even before I could read comprehension in school. The doctrine of eternal salvation is accurately and vehemently captured in John 3:16

If you’ve followed George’s Diary, you’ll see a consistent use of the word “eternal salvation” other than “once saved always saved”, while you may find traces of the later, we have been much more consistent with using the word “eternal salvation”. The reason is that many people hinge on semantics to discredit us and therefore I prefer to use those things I know are word-for-word in consistent with what the Bible teaches. This doesn’t mean I believe differently from what many others who use the word “OSAS” believe. Another reason is because of some very few personal thoughts that I have kept to myself until there is more light in that area. The only thing I want to achieve with this article is to make my stand on the doctrine of eternal salvation very clear.

This is the same doctrine for which I have been abused by fellow church-folks, the same doctrine for which many severed all ties with me and the same doctrine for which my conviction is too strong that it had to rob me of the wisdom of reaching a compromise to keep some relationships, especially those who believe that once you don’t believe what they believe, you’re an enemy. The religious folks will always play the major role in the persecution of those who stand for the truth and the funny thing is that they won’t know they are persecuting us, they will always see it as though they are fighting for God.

There are few points that capture a large chunk of our stand, here in George’s Diary and other affiliate outfits and ministries on the doctrine of eternal salvation otherwise known as eternal security.

1. WHOSOEVER IS IN CHRIST is a new creature. We became new in our spiritual DNA, our past loosed hold on us which means that our new life is founded on God’s righteousness and not on sin!

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

2. There is no place for works for the guarantee of salvation. We act as saved because we are saved, we don’t act to be saved. Paul called Galatians foolish for ever thinking they can earn salvation based on works.

“Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” – Galatians 3:2‭-‬3 NLT

3. A believer cannot lose his salvation, a believer cannot reject salvation. Anyone who claimed to be a believer and later denounced the faith, he never believed in the first place. When people denounce the faith, it is proof that they never believed the gospel. To believe is without doubt; doubting to the extent of turning back from what was once claimed to have been believed

“These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.” – 1 John 2:19 NLT

4. A believer doesn’t sin, but even if a believer does sin, we have an advocate who intercedes on the behalf of the believer. The sin of a believer doesn’t nullify salvation. This is the ever-active work of Jesus! Jesus is the atonement for the sins of the entire world.

“My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” – 1 John 2:1‭-‬2 NLT

5. We rest on the finished works of Jesus, we can’t improve on it or maintain it. If we are in Jesus, we are saved.

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” – Ephesians 2:8‭-‬9 NLT

6. The power of sin has been dealt with. The ability of sin to keep you condemned has been destroyed. You are now subject to God’s grace.

“Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.” – Romans 6:14‭, ‬18 NLT

7. There is only one unforgivable sin and that is the sin of unbelief. It is unforgivable, not because God is lacking in some degrees of mercy but because total unbelief is the rejection of salvation in its entirety. To deny Jesus is the sin against the Holy Spirit.

“But anyone who denies me here on earth will be denied before God’s angels.  Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” – Luke 12:9‭-‬10 NLT

8. The maturity of the believer is not hinged on dos and donts but on the revelation of God’s word, as it renews our mind. We were not given ministers of the gospel to teach what is sin and what isn’t sin, the essence is for the maturity of the saints.

“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” – Ephesians 4:13‭-‬14 NLT

9. We produce forth fruit as a result of what God is doing in us. It is God working in us to do good works and show forth our salvation.

“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” – Philippians 2:12‭-‬13 NLT

10. The believer in Christ shouldn’t be afraid of judgment on any grounds because the believer is saved and eternally secured. Our love grows perfect every day in Christ.

“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.” – 1 John 4:17 NLT

11. The Holy Spirit is the seal and guarantees that we are safe in Christ and that God is with us forever.

“The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” – Ephesians 1:14 NLT

The only grounds on which people who question the doctrine of eternal salvation do so is is these questions “are you now saying we should continue sinning? Do you mean that if a Christian dies in fornication that he is not going to hell? Do you mean that when we don’t ask for the forgiveness of our sins that we are still saved?” But to some extents, these questions show our level of maturity, why should a Christian be thinking fornication all the time? Why aren’t they asking “if I was bitter about someone in my heart and suddenly die, am I going to hell?” Why are they only talking about the sins that we deem big?

The reason we keep debating sin is that we think it’s by moral instructions, that we can get men to growth… No, it’s not. Sin shouldn’t be a subject to dwell on, sin has been dealt with and as we grow in the word of God, we become more like God in the body, we continue to wear off the clothes of sin.

It’s either we are covered or we are not covered, its either we are saved or we are not saved. It is either we are sealed or we are not sealed.

When we discuss the gospel here at George’s Diary and other affiliated organisations, especially as regards to salvation, we don’t teach what we simply read in books or hear others, you won’t find us quoting anyone except the Bible because this is the same gospel that saved us when we were lost and confused. What changed us was the good news of God’s grace and his never-ending love. Our convictions stemmed up from the word when we knew nothing and when we knew no man!

We are so assured of our salvation that “making heaven” isn’t a prayers point you’ll ever hear us pray. When I do something wrong and I come to God in the place of prayer, I pour my heart to him and affirm how I didn’t get it right but I am not pleading for forgiveness to get God to forgive me, I am already forgiven even before I sinned, I simply key into that truth in all humility and absolute reverence to God. I also don’t have anything against people asking for forgiveness if that’s the level they operate in but the more you grow the more you understand what Christ has done and the more you stand on it.

When we keep teaching the word, we will discover that there is a change that comes from the word which moral instructions can’t give. If the gospel is God’s power unto salvation, we are rest assured that the gospel will also produce in us the desired fruits of the Spirit. To keep asking if believers will go to hell when they do something wrong is to outrightly say that the word lacks power and isn’t efficacious.

Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commandment” The Bible tells us further that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts. It takes love to live for God’s glory and not a list of ten commandments or a persistent announcement and threats of hell. What Jesus asked us to do is to be witnesses for him and not to start marking people for condemnation.

I pray for you today, that as you open up to God and the words of his grace, you are built up and grounded and as you discover your inheritance in Christ, you live more and more for him. May the eyes of your understanding continue to be enlightened in the knowledge of God’s word so that you can be able to do what’s pleasing to God. Amen.

Blessings.

-George O.N-
House of Vasileia

PERFECT SALVATION


The salvation that comes from God is perfect, it is complete and it is purely genuine. Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make forgiveness easy for God, he didn’t die on the cross to give us merely a second chance to get things right, he got it right on our behalf and we were credited with his own track record. Forgiveness of sin is no longer our pursuit for God has forgiven all sins right there on the cross.

It will be a joke if the death of Jesus didn’t cure the sin problem. The death of Jesus on the cross finished the battle, it ended the issues separating us from God and united us with God. Sin is no longer the problem, it has been dealt with on the cross, it cannot and will never take a believer to hell.

This sounds controversial to a moralist but this is the basics, a kindergarten course point in Christianity. This is why Christianity and moralism cannot run through the same pipe! As beautiful as moral instruction is, Jesus didn’t come for moral instructions, many people are doing great jobs already when it comes to morals. You don’t have to be a Christian to be moral, some unbelievers are very much more moral than many other believers. Being moral is not the same as being a Christian.

Being a Christian means accepting Jesus and his finished works. It means admitting that we have been saved from sin on the record of Christ! It means we have been discharged and acquitted, we have been declared holy and pure not based on our own efforts but based on what Christ has done! The Bible says

“God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.” – 1 Corinthians 1:30 NLT

Look carefully at the above verse, consider the tenses closely and we see that it is all in the past! God is not going to unite us with Christ, he has already done that! God isn’t promising to make Jesus be wisdom for our benefit, he already did that! Christ is not trying to make us pure and holy,  he already made us pure and holy! He isn’t promising that on the last day, he will free us from sin if we are able to come to the end without breaking the rules, he already freed us from sin! This is the new thing that God promised us to do and he has fulfilled that promise!

Jesus paid for sin once and for all! The Bible says

“When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” – Romans 6:10‭-‬11 NLT

Jesus is not trying to break the power of sin, he already broke it! Now, we are no longer living to sin, we are dead to the power of sin, we don’t exist to sin anymore, we are now alive to God through Christ who is our life! The death of Jesus dealt permanently with sin! The Bible says

“For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” – Hebrews 10:14 NLT

The salvation of God is perfect, we are perfect even as we are being made holy! Isn’t it something to shout about? Holiness is not a pursuit, we are holy already. Because Jesus paid for our sins once and for all, sin will no longer exercise dominion over us. No believer can be condemned by sin and for sin because the offering of Jesus covers it! One might ask “does this mean we go on sinning?” But there is no “continuing in sin” for the believer because we aren’t in sin in the first place,  we were delivered from sin and we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, how then can one say that we are continuing in sin?

When the Bible says SIN SHALL NO LONGER HAVE DOMINION! Do you know what it means? It means that sin has no power over the believer! Any believer who still gets scared at the mention of “hell” didn’t hear the true gospel. We don’t exist to sin anymore and only unbelief is the basis by which people are condemned. They aren’t being condemned because Christ isn’t willing to forgive them, they are the ones walking into condemnation by themselves. This is what the Bible says

“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.” – John 3:18 NLT

Pay attention to the words, read carefully and slowly. THERE IS NO JUDGMENT against the believer in Christ Jesus because God has already passed his judgement! This is his judgement “anyone who believes will not perish but anyone who doesn’t believe is already condemned!” (John 3:16).

We aren’t waiting for deliverance to come, we are already delivered! The Bible says

“…for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9 NLT

He already called us out of the darkness and we harkened to that call by believing in Jesus who is the price for our sins. This is not what will happen, it has happened! THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST IS SAVED! It calls for thanksgiving, it calls for responsibility but it doesn’t call for maintaining salvation. The salvation that comes from Jesus is not faulty that it needs some kind of maintenance. You aren’t the one trying to hold yourself, you belong to God now and he is holding you! The Bible says

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,  for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.” – John 10:28‭-‬29 NLT

Jesus didn’t say “I will give them…” But “I give them…” He is our unrestrained supply of life, he is life! No one can take us away from God’s grip the moment we come to Jesus, nothing can separate us from the love of the father because God is mighty to save to the uttermost! This is how perfect salvation is. For the religious mind, this sounds untrue because they can’t believe how it is possible for one to be saved easily! Well, this is what the word of God says and I chose to believe it.

Just like a man is united with his wife, God is united with us in Christ Jesus! We have become one with him on the basis of what Christ has done. And just like a loving mother holds on to her child no matter what he does, God is holding on to us!

If you couldn’t get yourself saved from sin, is it salvation that you can maintain? When police save you from armed robbers, it may not be perfect. This is not the kind of salvation man gives, it is salvation from God… Perfect salvation!

If you are finding it difficult to understand or believe, I pray that the eyes of your understanding be enlightened to see the inheritance you have in Christ according to his riches in glory. As you stay in the place of the word, it will get clearer every day.

Blessings!

STRENGTHENED BY GOD’S GRACE


There are days we get so weak during hectic tasks and we may have to depend on energy drinks and some intakes of sugar to stay strong. There are men who consider themselves weak and they depend on paracetamol, tramadol or other substances for strength. Strength is such a thing that everyone desire! If there was a way to get strengthened without any side effects people would never be weak.

It’s not just a physical thing! A lot of people desire to be strong emotionally and spiritually. The same way we seek substances to help us stay strong when we are weak, many of us always seek ways to stay emotionally strong. Unfortunately, those who often brag about being strong emotionally and put up a strict and reserved personality are the ones who are very soft and emotionally weak. They are scared of getting hurt, scared of being left alone and scared of exposing their vulnerability. They only put up some attitude as a defence mechanism.

When we are weak we can not do much, we cannot fight and we cannot win. Weakness doesn’t guarantee victory anywhere, it’s not a virtue and it isn’t anything to be desired. But guess what? At one point or another, we will always experience weakness, we may not be strong all the time! The most cultured and moral person will still get to that point where they entertain certain thoughts. It is such a problem that we employ more strength in our ability to stay strong, we exhaust even the strength that we have as we seek strength.

Aside from how we pursue physical, financial and emotional strength, we also pursue spiritual strength. Some do this by depending on religion, some do it by joining certain mystic cults, some do it by reading horoscope, some do it by avoiding religion at all simply because they made an effort to seek strength there and it failed them. Atheism is another kind of spirituality, we can’t do away with the spiritual. Whether we realize this or not, nobody can entirely do away with spirituality. If we reject every known religion and spirituality that we know, there are forms of spiritual things we engage ourselves in without even knowing it.

Man is a spirit with a soul and body! God understands our weaknesses, he understands the frustration involved in seeking for strength, it’s like a hungry man exhausting the little money he has on a bet, a bet that isn’t sure! The frustration is intense. God offered us a way to escape this spiritual frustration, it makes us free of worry, it sets us free entirely from pursuing spiritual strength. Isaiah wrote in 40:29 of his book

“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who has no might He increases power.”

This has been God’s tradition since the beginning, he looks out for the weak people and offers them strength! He offers us spiritual strength and it shouldn’t be part of our struggles anymore. We may be struggling to make money, we may be struggling to deal with a breakup but our real personality which is the Spirit is strong! The problem has always been man’s rejection of God’s offer. Some reject God’s offer of strength in ignorance, they think it is just another religion, they think it’s another way that isn’t trustworthy.

God gives strength to the weak, this is spiritual strength but when the weak rejects this strength, how then can God empower them? God didn’t provide us with what to be sought for, we have no efforts to add any more, we have nothing to do any more than accept the strength he has offered us. We have believed that being morally sound and perfect in character will increase our spiritual strength but God has given us strength in a way that our character isn’t a problem anymore. With that strength, we can then live better. We become moral not as a pursuit of spiritual strength and favour but as an expression of the strength we have. The demand to live right as a believer isn’t in the sense some religious people seek it. It is like mounting a solar system and still not using electricity during sunshine! If the sun is shining, our lights should be shining. Paul wrote

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.” – Philippians 2:12‭-‬13 NIV

We work, not in pursuit of salvation but as a reflection of what God is doing in us. We are not like the religious people who do all manner of rituals and charity in pursuit of salvation. We work as an expression of what God is already doing in us.

God ended religion in Jesus, the demands and the burdens of the law were fulfilled in Jesus. The man had been burdened with so many demands, the demands placed on man is above the little strength he has. And what did God do? He gifted us his own life that we might seek spiritual strength no more and just live the life he has given us. Why still go to the mountain to pray for seven days in pursuit of power? Why fast for twenty days just because we seek the anointing of Jesus? Why stay awake every night fighting a spiritual battle that was won already? Why the stress over what isn’t a problem again? Concerning our freedom, Jesus said

“I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”
– John 16:33 GNB

It is by being united with Jesus that we experience untold peace and rest from all the struggles. It is the suffering of religion and the world that Jesus set us free from, this was some in spiritual strength in the sense that even if the world rejects us in the body, we’re victorious in the Spirit!

It is on the release of God’s strength that we find a standing, religion will not offer us this freedom. No matter the sacrifices and duration of prayers that we pray every day, nothing compares to the freedom God has given us through Jesus. Instead of pursuing the anointing of Jesus, we should take heed to what John wrote

“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
– 1 John 2:27 NIV

We have received the anointing and it remains in us, we need no one to teach us otherwise other than what God’s anointing in us is teaching us. We don’t have to pursue it anymore, we don’t increase in anointing, we have all of it. The anointing means God’s presence and we have all of him!

Are you still pursuing spiritual strength? Why not accept the offering of God and be free from all worries? Is it the worry of hell or the worry of being accepted? We have been set free from all of them and therefore we don’t pursue it anymore, we simply live God’s life and enjoy his presence.

While we may struggle to get over a breakup, a financial constraint or fatigue in the working hours, we have been relieved of struggling or pursuing spiritual strength. We simply receive the strength God has offered us, we grow in it every day and we express that life of God in us. Isn’t this freedom?

Blessings!

BEYOND ME | The Story


Picture of a worshipper

The pictures came alive, replaying in my head and hauling me into the scene. That juncture that Jesus, in all his power, awesomeness and glory allowed himself to be put to shame, allowed himself to be beaten, mocked and treated like a common criminal. I pictured myself in that scene, I saw myself standing at a corner, watching as he dragged the cross along, scratching off clouds of dust with the end of the long bar of the cross from the ground and stumbling at some steps.

I peeked as the soldiers beat what we call “the hell” out of him. They made jest of Jesus each time he cried out. Then, I turned to look at the Jews, I saw them becoming happy for once with the Roman soldiers, for the cause of getting Jesus out of the way. I saw friends and enemies form a coalition. These Jews were presumed to be friends of God, Jesus was supposed to be their hero! I watched as they were being fascinated with what Jesus was going through.

But then I shuddered in tears, knowing that the very reason Jesus was going through this is me. He was not dying his death, he was dying my death. He wasn’t suffering his suffering, he was suffering my suffering. He was doing everything possible to satisfy the demands of a law that passed the sentence on me even before I was born. In those tears, I could feel his stares, his eyes were red, blood running down through a corner. I watched him look at me saying “it is all for you…”

He wasn’t making an accusation, he wasn’t holding me responsible for his death, he was speaking in a tone that confirms it was the path he had chose to follow in his human manifestation. It was his desire to ignore his divinity and be in my shoes. They couldn’t give him a break, I saw how terrible my sins were, they were as terrible as his sufferings. God’s anger on sin was satisfied with him. It is safer to say that God satisfied his anger for sin on Himself. This was God, choosing to walk like man, choosing to bear the consequences on a flesh he had worn.

He was pushed down and he hit his head on the rock, it was this same head on which crown of thorns has been worn upon. The thorns pierced into him even harder, I heard him shout! I couldn’t behold the sight anymore, I was broken. I threw my face away and then I was hearing hits! At each hit, I would hear him shout in agony. I turned to look, the nails we’re being pierced into his hands and his feet. All this was just for me, the cross was my mine, the suffering was mine but he took it over from me.

After the cross has been raised, I managed to look up and stare at him with misty eyes. Many things happened, was it about the sour drink he was fed with? Was it the mockery? I heard him pray “forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do”. That was an everlasting demand for forgiveness, it was a once and for all demand. I felt strongly that he was saying “I have taken their place and your anger is satisfied by now”.

The teariest moment came when it was apparent that heaven had turned back on him. God turned back on him, put it this way, he turned his back on himself! This was the same man who had healed the sick, who raised the dead, he opened the eyes of the blind, who healed all manner of diseases! This is the same man who has been nailed helplessly to the cross, he had become a sight of mockery. That was supposed to be me, I deserved nothing but that cross…

He cried a cry that was supposed to be mine, he said “Father, why has thou forsaken me?” I fell on my knees, knowing this was supposed to be me, I was supposed to be the one who has been forsaken. Here, God fulfilled the promise he made, he had said earlier “I will remember your sins no more” Why? Because Jesus would take them upon himself. Confirming my thoughts, Jesus said, “it is finished”. The struggle, the wrestle with sin and all the failures were over! The war ended! Afterwards, he gave up and died on that cross, carrying the burden of every man on earth and bringing it to an end.

On numerous occurrences, I break down in tears reminiscing God’s love and mercy. Anyone who doesn’t know God may find this funny or strange. I am the only one who can tell with limited words that I have experienced God, I have seen His mercy and the feeling leaves me only in tears, it makes me recount my steps and know if I have been living a life of appreciation towards that sacrifice Jesus made.

How about those nights God would come to me in dreams as a child, carrying me on his laps and telling me things with smiles all over his face! It might be just a dream to you, but it means a lot to me now. How about that morning when I was woken by a voice, I knew it was him and he gave me an instruction. What about the days his powers had surged through my hands? Experience isn’t enough but I have experienced him to an extent I can’t doubt him any more. When people call us jokers, I only realize their extent of ignorance, I don’t blame them.

God looked beyond me, he looked beyond my flaws and said: “I will be your God and your father, you will be a son”. That was what I became! Jesus died, but Jesus resurrected. His resurrection is another story, exciting experience that resources may not permit me to talk about at this very moment. But I know one thing, by death, he destroyed the powers of sin over me, rendered it useless and declared me holy and free from sin!

If it is by that same word by which the world was made that I was declared righteous, then I am righteous. If he said I am free, then I am free indeed.

Listening to Yadah’s “Beyond Me” keeps bringing back this feeling, it keeps stirring my heart and leaving me with tears upon tears. Only I can tell how God has dealt with me in love. One may ask “but you don’t have money yet. You don’t have your heart desires yet…” No, it’s not about what men can give, it’s about what only God could give. It’s not a fulfilment that money can give, it is not a fulfilment my heart desires can give me. Nothing else can fill this vacuum that only God can fill. I can’t trade it for anything.

The joy of salvation is not something I can source from anywhere else, it is not something I can get from eating certain kinds of food, having certain kind of friends, going certain kind of places or attaining certain heights on earth. It is so beautiful knowing that I am a friend and the son of God, knowing that God’s love and mercy have made a dwelling in me. God didn’t give me a second chance to make things right between us, he made it right and asked me to accept it. He gave me no terms and condition, he gave me no further rules, he didn’t increase the burden. All he wanted was that I accept his offering and I did.

*This title “Beyond Me” was inspired by a song, Beyond Me by Yadah

Blessings

THE PRODIGAL SON – The Story


A certain affluent man had two sons and the younger one came asking for his fraction of the inheritance from his father. Normally, a man’s testament becomes effective when he dies but this young boy wasn’t waiting for that time, he wanted to have what was presumed to be his share. The startling thing is that he wasn’t reprimanded by his father, his father who possibly didn’t pick offence with his request.

As a plausible father, he granted his son’s request, calculated all he had and brought out what was deemed to be his younger son’s share and gave them to him. I like to think that his second son was there while the whole thing was being evaluated. The Bible said he gathered it for some days which means that he spent time ensuring that he truly got what was his share completely.

He left his father’s house and sojourned into a far country. He went to create his brand. You know, we always hear things like “you can’t achieve certain things till you leave your father’s house.” Abraham left his father’s house after all and so it didn’t seem wrong to leave and do his best. He was an enthusiastic, ambitious young man who was full of vision but also full of himself.

He did his estimations, he took a bold step, he took a risk and he made his investments. He obeyed many laws of entrepreneurship but it all wasn’t good enough. He squandered all he had, starting from the cash to other properties! Who knows? Possibly, he also did all manner of bets, played all manner of casinos, went to all manner of clubs; living the best of his young age. You hear those quotes too, right? Life isn’t two, we only live once! Yea, it seemed proper to make his once-living worth it.

When everything was gone, it was dawned on him that he messed up. Of all the alternatives he had, going home to his father wasn’t in the option. He wouldn’t want to face the embarrassment, he didn’t want his elder brother to laugh at him, he didn’t want his father to berate him and chase him out of the compound. Just like some parents treat their daughters who get pregnant out of wedlock, he felt his father would treat him worse. After all, everything that belongs to him has been given to him.

To make ends meet, he applied for all manner of jobs but he wasn’t even qualified for any. The only job he qualified for was to feed pigs! Pigs are unclean animals and honourable people don’t rear pigs! This was what he seemed qualified for. He took up the job but things were getting more difficult. He started appreciating old memories of what the servants usually enjoyed in his father’s house and he thought it would be a nice idea if he applies as a servant! He garnered courage, there was nothing to pack because everything was gone! He had said to himself

“How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.”

While nearing home, he was scared, wondering what would be his fate if his father sights him. He knew his offence, he wasn’t ignorant of it. Making a request wasn’t the offence but his attitude, motive and carelessness was the problem. His request was placed on a platter of selfishness. Somehow, he knew what the judgement would look like but again he just wanted to try and ask his father to make him the least of his servants.

He was still at the gate, his heart was skipping beats, he was lost in thoughts and he walked slowly hoping that this journey doesn’t end soon! But he heard someone call out his name in excitement, it was his father! He never expected that. He strengthened his gaze to see his father running towards him.

He had many thoughts flying in and out of his mind. Perhaps, his father was excited that he finally got a chance to kill him. He might have thought he was running down towards him to draw his sword and slash his throat. He stood his ground though, perhaps saying to himself “I deserve whatever comes upon me today.” But as his father drew closer, he could see smiles all over his face, he could see love written all over his father. His father ran to him, spread his arms and allowed him to fall into his embrace, making him get the feel of security and the comfort of having a father!

He wanted to tell his father what he faced, he wanted to sing apologies into the high heavens, he wanted to give all the excuses in this world but his father wasn’t even listening to him. Even before he realized his mistake, his father had forgiven him. Even before he thought of looking for ways to justify himself, his father already justified him. Till date, his father never heard a line of his plea because he never needed it! He already forgave his son!

Still in that embrace, his father remembered that very day his son was leaving, he had walked behind his son and his entourage, he had stopped by the gate looking at his son disappear into space. He had stood there watching the space with tears silently rolling down his eyes. He remembered sitting at the gate hoping his son would change his mind. Every morning, he would walk down from his room to the gate to sit, wait and hope that someday, his son would return. He wasn’t doing this because he didn’t value the other son. There was a space in his heart each of them occupied. They were both very important to him and he couldn’t afford to lose one. He had continued his daily ritual of sitting at the gate till that faithful day that his son came back to him.

The father didn’t start blaming him for going away, he didn’t start demanding an explanation. Although his young son left him and forgot him, he didn’t leave his son not forgot him, his heart was with him always. His son’s attitude towards him didn’t change him, it didn’t change the way he saw him. Now that his son was back, he won’t let go of him again. His son didn’t come back just because he has been humbled, he came back because he has exhausted all possible options. But his father’s love changed him instantly, it melted his heart and humbled him; working wonders of transformation in him. While he was still trying to explain, his father was already making orders. The decoration company had arrived, the hall was set, cooling vans we’re arriving, dancers and entertainers had filled the compound. Messages have been sent to dignitaries and the Father’s business partners everywhere were getting busy and ready.

The first son just finished for the day. He had assumed the role of the managing director of his fathers business. He could hear sounds of celebration echoing from the compound as he came nearer. He beckoned on one of the servants who was passing and asked him what was going on but he got the biggest shock of his life when the servant informed him that his younger brother just came back and their father is throwing the biggest party in town in celebration of his return.

He was not just shocked, he got very angry! He was there when his younger brother took what belongs to him and left, he was there while his younger brother was away. He has been the one trying to run his father’s business all those while and no one has ever thrown a party on his behalf. He walked out on the servant and started raging towards his father’s room.

On getting there, he met his father laughing with his younger brother. His younger brother was narrating some of his experiences and they would laugh over it. He could not take it. It was obvious his younger brother didn’t come to appreciate his father, he came because he had no other option. Was he going to have a share from what doesn’t supposedly belong to him now?

He noticed his younger brother was wearing one of his father’s favourite robe and on his finger was his father’s ring. He was wearing a reserved scandal too! He had never worn those before! He wondered what his brother did to deserve this, the word “inherited favour” wasn’t familiar to him yet.

“Father!” He called out angrily, interrupting the moment. His father turned to look at him, his brother did the same also. His eyes and that of his brother met, there was anger written all over him but he has got no word for his brother. “Look at him, the prodigal son!” He murmured to himself. Then he faced his father and said to him

“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you have thrown a party for his return!” He stared at his brother while he spoke

His father smiled, shook his head and walked towards him. He held him on his shoulder and said “come here son”, he paused and continued “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Do you know who this story is about? It is about God and you! He already forgave you even before you had a change of mind, He was and is still eager to receive anyone to his warm embrace. He isn’t listening to apologies, it’s unnecessary, He already overlooked it all! On the cross, Jesus said, “it is finished!”

Regardless of how you feel, regardless of how other people feel about you, God is in love with you. Why not take a walk back home? It is tough out there but it is beautiful and secure in God’s arms. I know you didn’t work for it, but you don’t have to. I know you don’t deserve it but He said you do!

Blessings.

Based on Luke 15:11-32