Profitable things to learn

I never understood it till I lived beside stream for about a year. During the dry season I say that all the trees, grasses, and shrubs withered away. Some caught fire and were scorched to ashes. But one interesting thing is that all the trees, grasses, and shrubs along the path of a stream never withered for a second. They were evergreen. On realizing this I found that I could easily predict the presence of a stream by watching out for that patch of forest that remains evergreen during the dry season. This is what David noticed and likened to a man that delights in God’s law.

Psalms 1:2-3
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

That man or woman of course will be productive, make money, have a prospering life, full of peace and growth, and he will not wither. When seasons change, when there is a global recession, when banks are folding up, when unemployment is rising, when businesses are folding up, when the market index is plummeting, when inflation is bullish, he will not be affected. So is a man who fears the Lord.

It’s very instructive and enlightening. The paths of success are not mysterious or just happen-chance. You can put yourself on it today.

When a scorpion stung my roommate I was asked to get some local remedies. The list was startling but for his sake and lack of better knowledge I obliged. Palm kernels, onions, kerosene,… Yep, kero. On my way back, remembering the anguish my fellow mate was going through I decided to take some precautions. I wore my NYSC boot instead of my regular sandals, and took a lamp. The fear of a scorpion bite was upon me. It was then I realized what the psalmist meant when he said Thy Word is a light unto my feet and a lamp unto my path.

Thy Word is a light unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Put in a more direct form, thy word helps me make the right choices in life by helping see clearly the dangers on my path. This is invaluable to me because I then stopped reading the bible for religious reasons and more for practical reasons. I found that I could profit much from it and boy have I. Why go through trouble when you can avoid it. Unfortunately for my friend, he was asked to drink the kerosene and being in serious pain he drank kerosene, ate a bunch of onions, and lots of palm kernels. I doubt if any of these helped because they brought new problems. Truth is when you have a life problem you can easily do wrong things if you have no clear understand or foundational principles to guide you.

God doesn’t seek worship from your lips if it doesn’t come from your heart. Like my mentor said yesterday, praise and worship can be only physical exercise if it doesn’t come from the heart.

Seek a practical experience of God. He is closer than you think. Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. God speaks to us all everyday, sinner or not, Christian or not. The question is do you hear Him? He wants to lead guide, protect, love, provide, heal you. Why? Because He is your Father in Heaven and loves all men more than we can understand.

The last lesson and most painful, if not traumatic lesson I’ve learned is forgiveness. There was a very erroneous belief if me that Christ has died for my sins so automatically, all my sins, both future and past, both knowingly and unknowingly are forgiven. There is one side to it that is very important but very inconvenient.

Matthew 6:14-15
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Men… That’s a part someone forgot to delete I thought. Truth is I’ve found forgiving to be a difficult task. Hmmm… and just realized too that since we were created in God’s likeness forgiving is not easy for Him too. I think that really demonstrates the immeasurable depths of the love of God. Can you love the man that killed you own son? The guy that stole your phone, the police man that extorted you, your friend that stabbed you, your lover that left you… Have they been forgiven? Was it easy? Then imagine forgiving and loving a man that killed your son without any just reason. Even if there was a just reason will you agree?

I think one reason to forgive is therefore simple, God will not forgive you if you do not forgive men. Simple and short.