Wednesday, 4 July 2012

WHAT ARE YOUR INTENTIONS OF ACCEPTING JESUS?

Matthew 10:37a
He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:

Today mark 20 years since my dearest mother Catherine Ablayo Gbekle passed away leaving behind at the time of her death, five daughters and seven grand children. On this very day my life literally came to a standstill and everything I thought I knew as a 21 year old girl then all came crushing before my very eyes. My mother had been ill for 8 years from stroke - paralysed on the right hand side of her body and before she passed away on that faithful morning of 4th July 1992, she had been in a coma for two months, bedridden, eating through tubes and was completely in darkness not knowing when it was day neither did she know when it was night.

I was shattered and at this point had lost all hope, total trust and faith in God. How could He (God ) do this to His own devoted and committed disciple? Was my question. My mother was a true Christian in the real sense. She was a woman of the  fruit of the spirit -  love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith! She lived a true a Christian life daily in how she related to people and how she did things. My older siblings used to be so crossed with her over her extreme tolerance and compassion towards people especially those who constantly hurt and abuse her trust and hospitality. She taught us to be forgiving, loving and show compassion regardless whether we are in the right or not. Not only that, to be generous and caring especially towards strangers because if we are only generous to people we know, we haven't done anything out of the ordinary.

I could go on and on but something last week got my attention as I was reading the Book of Matthew. The very words of Jesus in chapter 10:37a, "He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:..." As l read this verse, I couldn't help it but felt the sadness it pieced that pieced my heart-- something hit my spirit as if that was the first time I was reading that verse. lt felt like a sharp knife cutting through my heart. Then it dawned on me how very ignorant I have been and how very badly I failed the test of faith and my love for Jesus at the time. As a very young girl, I loved the Lord with all my heart and as a result in my first few weeks in High School in October 1983; I accepted Jesus as my Lord and personal Saviour when I was invited to a Scripture Union meeting in my then new school as a freshman who has only been there for a few weeks. I was at the time full of enthusiasm, zeal and passion for the Lord.

However, what I didn't know at the time was how very ignorant I was of the word of God. And because I was a day student, and had to be home at a certain time after school none of the seniors who in the Scripture Union were able to help me develop my faith through the word of God properly. Now I was on fire so excited knowing that finally my faith will heal my dearest mother and it didn't matter whether her faith was weak or not. I was so confident my mother will be back to normal and everything will go back to how they were. At this point I didn't realise how much I loved my mother and how much l put her before God. I prayed for my mother, took her to healing crusades believing and trusting God for a supernatural touch.

Then not long after l joined a church called Global Revival Ministries after attending one of their crusades and seeing all the miracles that had taken place. I said in my heart this is my church but in all this I still didn't realise my coming to Christ was purely for selfish gains and not because I am a sinner who needed a Saviour to redeem, cleanse and forgive me of my sins so I can have eternal life through the finished work on the Cross through Christ Jesus. I took my mother to every prayer meeting, the ones that took place in the Achimota forest, in the church, healing crusades and every miracle hour service that took place in my church and around where we lived.

Now, as time went on, I saw no physical change in my mother's condition and that upset me so much. I first blamed it all on my mother for having weak faith and then on God for not honouring His promise as the one who heals all of our diseases. I said to God,  didn't you say if only I believed I can ask this mountain to be removed and it will and not only that I can cast out demons and heal the sick in your name? So what is happening? Why can't I heal my mother? I became very bitter, resentful, angry and unforgiving that I decided not to go to church again neither did l want to have anything to do with God. I was distraught and lost all hope in what I had believed in throughout my whole childhood into my young adult years. Then when she passed away years later in 19992, my entire world crushed right in front of me and I didn't recover until June 4th 2009 when my business went to liquidation after loosing everything I had worked so hard for.

I said an inner court prayer like Hannah's. I cried out unto the Lord and asked Him to kill me because I just couldn't bear life anymore neither did I want to live any longer since He God hated me so much to torment my soul and life by taking away everything that meant something to me. Then, I said what do you want from me Lord? Then I had a change of heart and said, please Lord don't kill me because I don't want to die now. But please preserve my life and I will do anything and everything you want I don't care what it cost me for as long as you preserve my life and free me of all this pain, anguish, bitterness and unforgiveness. The truth is, He did and gradually over the months I found my church where He God had called me to serve (my place of covenant). Since then He is been working on and within me shedding off all the junk that have accumulated in me over the many years.

He knowing very well, that 20 years since my mother died was this week had to open my eyes to this word in Matthew 10:37 once again but this time with the revelation and knowledge in understanding what and how l missed out on receiving from Him because I wasn't worthy to be called His disciple. Jesus said in Luke 9:6, "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." And the bible goes on to say in Matthew 10:38-39, "Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it" I literally lost my life when I ignorantly thought I had found it through all that the world had to offer me.  I became so much in love world and everything it had to offer. I was totally consumed by it, you didn't need to be told; you just had to see me to know who was in control of my life - the lust of this world. l got any man l wanted, wore the latest brand name clothing of my choice: not having any respect for anyone and especially for money because l was hard working, so knew how to earn so what was it that anyone could offer me? wow! 

Dear friends, what I want to share with you today is; Jesus gives us choices and numerous opportunities to come to Him but sometimes through our own selfishness we miss out on that call by not heeding to it with all sensitivity and alertness in the Spirit. I have come to understand the scripture in Matthew 6:25-34 and it has opened my eyes to what is important and what is not. I spent my life worrying about how my mother was going to be healed when I should have been seeking  first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things ( the healing, deliverance, marriage, joy, peace, understanding, wisdom, knowledge) and every other thing or things I desired would have been added and given unto me without a struggle. Very expensive lesson learnt though!!

No wonder Jesus says, for lack of knowledge His people perish. That was certainly me for a very long time until I let go of self and let He Jesus be the Lord of my life completely and totally in every single area of my life. I want to use today to thank the Lord for finding me worthy enough to give me a second chance and to open my eyes to His truth especially in this season of my life. I am in constant awe of you Lord and words cannot express my heart of  gratitude towards you for delivering me from the pits of sin and ignorance. I now know that even though at the time it wasn't very pleasant to lose my mother at such an early age, I believe you made her live for 8 years after her stroke to give me enough time to come to know you personally as Lord and Saviour. Now I do and I am forever grateful to you and I promise to serve you for all the remaining days of my life on this earth. I am happy to carry my cross daily, to follow you and to lose my life for your sake for it is only then will I find it.

My Dearest Mother Catherine, I know you are in the bosom of your loving Father and I believe you are happy to know now that I have come to know the truth and indeed it has set me free from all bitterness, anger and unforgiveness. I know some day we shall meet again in Heaven where there will no more tears but just pure joy and peace in the Lord Almighty. Love you mommy but Jesus loved you more and I love the Him.Amen!!! 

ln memory of my late mother Catherine Ablayo Gbekle who passed away twenty years today. To God be the glory!

2012 By Enyonam Gbekle. All rights reserved.

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