All posts by Nuella. O

Lover of words, lover of the arts, dreamer, believer.

The God Narratives

The God Narratives project is a space to document all the ways Christians have experienced God, His church, His son and the ways they’ve navigated His purpose for us on earth. It will contain a diverse range of voices that will mesh together to create one grand narrative. It’s about confronting life’s crucial questions, examining our inner being [human spirit], and starting the conversation. We’re opening up the project with this amazing account of a relationship with Jesus: read as Colette recounts a turning point in her walk with God, and all the things she realised. _____________________________________________________________________

The End

My relationship with God has been quite the roller coaster ride.

securedownloadSometimes, I am flying on the wings of Grace, fuelled by the emotional high that comes from a Christian retreat or a great sermon at church. Other times, I am buried in doubts about the validity of the Christian faith, the “goodness” of God and the necessity of following Christ. Last year, I reached an all-time low in my faith: I knew God existed but I could not care less that he did. I asked myself and some of my friends: “What’s the point of following Christ, anyway?” Some of the replies I got included: –       “Experiencing God’s love and peace” –       “Blessings from the most high” –        “God’s beautiful plan for your life” –       “High moral standards and being a ‘good’ person” Unfortunately, these words that once made so much sense no longer meant anything. As far as I was concerned, faith was too restrictive and sin was relative. God was unnecessary and non-believers were doing just fine. Fast-forward to October, in my hospital bed, three surgeries and an almost fatal illness later; I had a dream, or a vision, or I was just high on medication. “The King came back from a long journey.  Everyone around me was excited and cheering. They had been waiting on the Lord for so long and finally, He was there!  Everyone was cleaning, cooking, chanting; getting ready for the greatest of feast. I did not rejoice with them. I could not. To me, the return of the King was not a source of celebration but of terror. I was ashamed and afraid” Imagine that! The creator, your Father, comes home after a long absence, and instead of running and throwing yourself in his arms, you hide because of your guilt and shame. That is honestly a terrifying experience. It was also the answer to many of my questions. So…what is the point of following Christ? Christ is the point! Don’t praise God because of the earthly blessings he provides (job, husband/wife, grades, money, etc). Those fade away faster than you think. Praise Him because of the ultimate gift: the open invitation to feast at the table of the King, to worship the Alpha and the Omega, and to be a child of the Most High.

Jesus is not a means to an end. He is THE end.

I pray that this realization changes my life and yours. A verse that inspired me as I was writing this: Luke 19:38-40  “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”  But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”   —  @le_titanium   ***How awesome is that! Comment below or hastag #JesusStories to share your thoughts. We’ll be starting off a series of WLMVT Interviews under this project too, so make sure you subscribe to be up to date 🙂

Servant King

I thought an important follow up to the Be Audacious post would be to really answer the question, ‘how do we reflect Christ??’ It’s one thing saying we’ll be audacious, but how? What exactly are we being audacious about?

The main thing to highlight here is that, being audacious doesn’t mean being defiant /rebels in foolish ways. Jesus is an amazing example of this. He was a living, breathing, incarnation of God’s spirit here on earth, yet he was a servant to his followers and fully committed to the Father’s will. He shows us the beauty of humility and the biblical importance of submission and keeping the peace.  In Mark 12:14-17 the Pharisees and Herodians tried to trap Jesus by asking, ‘Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Ceasar (the government) or not?’”  In his infinite wisdom, Jesus asked them to bring him a coin then said, “‘Whose image is this? And whose inscription?’  ‘Ceasar’s,’ they replied. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and to God what is God’s.’ And they were amazed at him.” (#BOOM. How can we not love this Jesus?!)

The first thing that comes to mind when reading this verse is this, whose image is on me and you? Is it not our creator? The One who made us in his likeness- His signature is in our very DNA. We can see it in the way we all have the innate need to give and receive love, create communities (fellowship), and want to worship something. (Now, what/who we then choose to love, commune [with] and worship is a whole other story, due to free will). But the point here is, we are to give to authority on earth what belongs to it AND give to God what belongs to Him (ourselves). Jesus makes it clear in verse 17, that we are to obey man’s law except when it conflict’s with God’s law. God’s law is his will and his will is in his word. Following his will in spite of earthly custom is how we are audacious. It’s how we reflect Christ, and the image stamped on us. We need to be bold in declaring God’s word with our lives, but also humble in keeping the peace and serving, just as our Jesus served.

As Christians, do our very lives proclaim who we serve? There’s a quote that hits home every time when it comes to this topic and it’s this: “The single greatest cause of atheism today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny him  by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” – Brennan Mannig 

My prayer is that the world sees Jesus in everything we do. That our actions match our words, and that God helps us to reflect His light and love.

We need to walk our talk.

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Back to my previous excitement, how can we not love our #servantking?! Use that hashtag on twitter alongside #worldlight or #walkthetalk to share your thoughts.

We’ve received some interest from people who want to be World Light blog contributors. Working on a line up! Interested too? Send an email to theworldlightmovement@outlook.com with your ideas x

@nuellaswords

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Bible Study

-Mark 1:40-44 – Jesus heals a man with leprosy then instructs him to go to the temple priest and offer the sacrifice the law demands for thanksgiving
-Luke 2:51- Jesus was obedient to his parents (though he created them!)

We Engage Culture for Jesus

This message by Lecrae pretty much sums up everything the World Light Movement is about, and the vision for its impact in Lagos and the rest of our country.

In a nutshell, Lecrae stresses that as Christians, we need to be cultivators! We need to take the things that are in our world and create honourable things for God. Are we still living in a secular vs sacred divide? Where we’re Holy on Sunday and opposite the rest of the week? Where we don’t know how to view our world through a biblical lens? This fractured approach to life prevents us from impacting the world and being light. As already said in the previous post, we need to be audacious and demonstrate what redemption has done for us, to the world. The three step model set out in the video is apt in describing how WLM also wants to go about impacting our culture:

1) Engage the culture– this is the act of knowing the people; knowing the values, and ideals. Being able to speak the language and culturally contextualise. Be genuinely interested in the people around you and engage them with Christ.

2)Love the people in the culture– people are not projects, they are souls that matter. Reflect Christ’s holy love to the world. Connect with people.

3)Rehabilitate the culture– paint a picture of what it looks like when Jesus radically changes people. This is our light. Build, serve, be involved in the care of our city and the world at large.

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Our mission is to show this country a radically different picture. To show what it really looks like to live under the Lordship of Jesus. To move away from a fractured and religious vs secular worldview, to a radical, relevant and Christ-like culture. Ultimately, to see more connections with God and more transformations in people’s lives.

I hope this gives some clarity on the vision for WLM. To be a part of it, send an email to theworldlightmovement@outlook.com and we will respond with more information on how you can make an impact.

thanks for reading and do watch the video to be blessed and inspired by Lecrae’s message!
– @nuellaswords

Be Audacious

When I hear the word ‘audacious’ I think ‘shock, scandal, sharp intake of breath-hand over mouth’. Indeed, the Oxford dictionary defines audacious as ‘showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks’. What stands out for me, is the element of surprise, and surprise denotes a departure from the norm. It’s easy to see what the norms in our society are, by examining what everyone does. You will notice a trend and common denominator, indications of what is acceptable in our culture. It’s funny how many young people for instance, do the exact same thing (e.g. weed, get wasted) and somehow believe they’re ‘badass’ or rebellious. That behaviour isn’t necessarily rebellious; it’s simply doing what everyone else does and perceives as ‘cool’.

But how about a pure life? A life dedicated to the living God?

What I love a lot about the Bible, in particular the New Testament commandments and the life of Jesus, is how audacious it all is. Jesus went against all that was ‘culturally normal’ at the time. He broke the rules, for the cause of His Father. In John 4 v 7-10 Jesus asks a Samaritan woman for a drink at the well. You might be thinking wow, great… doesn’t sound too shocking though. But verse 9 makes it clear what the shock factor was: ‘The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans).’ Here, Jesus interacted not only with a Samaritan, but also a woman (in public), which was unacceptable at the time. Yet he ignored social convention, in the process showing the grace of God and introducing her to the living water (v 10). Fast-forward some years later, and you find the early Christians being persecuted and brutally killed for the sheer audacity of their faith. They went against norms as simple yet fundamental as making sacrifices to the Roman gods- sending ripples around the empire. Wow. Can you imagine the level of passion and courage these men and women had, to risk being killed (fed to lions, etc) for their love for Jesus?

This, and all the acts of Jesus and his disciples, should challenge us about the lives we live as Christians today. Are we too comfortable? Do we fit into society too easily? Stepping outside of cultural norms requires boldness. Ministering to people means stepping outside of the comfort zone and ‘meeting them at their well.’ Being a Jesus follower needs a level of audacity in this world. We can’t follow Jesus and conform to the world’s culture at the same time. It doesn’t work! To be light, you can’t be afraid to look different. We live in an increasingly self absorbed and self-conscious culture, so you’ll be surprised at how much this holds people back. It’s all about the image these days.

What we need, is for more people to take hold of their identity in Christ, and and make that their image. Yes, you can divert your passion, creativity, time, voice, social media platforms to loving God, loving the ‘unlovable’, and sharing Jesus. Don’t be afraid to show who your Lord is..who you’re on fire for. Don’t shy away from going against the grain, surrendering to and living for Him. We need to be bold to see a real movement of God in our city, and country. Christ is our light, and to shine that light in a dark world, we need to be audacious.

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Hashtag #worldlight and #beaudacious on twitter to share your thoughts on this post. Also, follow @worldlightmvmt to be up to date on the blog posts. If you are based in Lagos and are interested in being a part of the WorldLight Movement send an email to theworldlightmovement@outlook.com with your ideas and questions or how you’d like to contribute to the blog. Alternatively, you can use the contact form below.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
– @nuellaswords

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Bible Study (for more on this topic)