The day was the first of April. An announcement was made through the Public Address System in Heaven. The Lord was giving out something special to His children.
The Angel cleared his throat as he spoke through the microphone, “All Christians have special grace today. You are allowed to do whatever you want, and however you want to. Don’t worry about the cost or any form of consequence, it is all at the expense of Jesus and has been paid for. Just make sure you do it in love.” The Angel said loud and clear.
I hardly let the angel finish the last statement before hurrying off in search of sister Mary. The grace was to last for a day. I could not wait any longer.
Sister Mary was a sister with a difference. Her beauty radiates within and without. Loving, cheerful, compassionate and kind, there is hardly anything you could do that would offend Sister Mary. All of the brothers in the bible college adore her. She was the one that took care of our needs. Her light complexion and soft looking skin made her ever more attractive. I could not help but have a secret crush for her.
“Sister Mary,” I said, seeing her seated, under a tree in the church compound, during the lovely warm Sunny day. She was reading her bible. “Have you heard the announcement?” “Which announcement?” she asked, rising to greet me, smiling to display those beautiful set of immaculate white teeth.
“The one in heaven,that all of God’s children are permitted to do whatever there hearts desires today. It is to be done in love at Christ’s expense. No sin will be counted against you. It is freedom galore all at the expense of our saviour,” I said. “You have come again with your heavenly announcements, so how do you intend to spend your own freedom to do whatever you desire?” she asked.
Sisters Mary’s jesting about me and my heavenly announcements was not unusual. As a bible scholar, I had done a lot of pondering over the scriptures. At one point I dwelt on the passage of 2 Kings chapter two from verse one when Elijah was to be separated from Elisha by a chariot of Fire and whirlwind. What caught my attention was the way virtually all of the prophets knew that Elijah was going to be taken away into heaven.
At each point they asked Elisha whether he knew not that his master would be taken away to heaven that day. Elisha replied that he knew. How did they know what was about to happen in heaven, I wondered. They must have listened to the heavenly news. I realised that there must have been news in heaven that God’s children had the opportunity of accessing. Some people are attuned to CNN. Some to the BBC, but for those who care, one could be attuned to God’s station in heaven, I reasoned. From then onward I sought to attune myself to the heavenly station. I stopped watching T.V, reading newspapers and listening to any form of non-christian music.
Eventually my dedication paid off as I began to hear clearly what the Lord had to say. I was later to be referred to as “thus saith the Lord.”
Sister Mary stepped foward and looked compassionately at me in the eyes. My heart skipped a beat as we exchanged eye contact. She smiled again and shook her head with pity. It seemed she knew what I was about to say. It was as if she could read my heart! “Sister Mary you need to understand how I feel, “ I said, my heart gently pounding. “ I can’t hide my feelings. I have falling in love with you! That is the simple truth.” I reached out and took her in my arms. There was little resistance as my hands caressed her smooth, velvet skin through her silk blouse. I drew her closer and could feel the warmth of her chest press against mine.
The softness of her thighs pressed into the hardness of mine. I could feel her lips quiver as mine gently grazed hers. I was closing in, my body was trembling. Something was giving way... just then brother Olukoya, the school Principal appeared on the scene.” What are the two of you doing, “ he asked, seeing us in a tight embrace” oh, it was the heavenly announcement” I said, trying to break away awkwardly. I knew he was conversant with such pronouncements since we had discussed the issue extensively in the past. Oh, you mean that, it was just an April fool...” he said .
Ah, I said, apologising profusely to the sister who blushed as I quickly adjusted my already slipping off trousers! It seems I had gone too far already. I hope God does not change His mind. I am sure he also has a sense of humour” I offered.
Sister Mary looked at me and smiled gently shaking her head as I bent down to retrieve the zipper button of my trouser! I Looked away from Olukoya’s direction.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, just adjust your clothes properly and go back to the class” he said.
A day is but a thousand years with the Lord.
The above story paints a true life scenario of the heart of man. Let those who have in anyway engaged in any thought that could be said to be immoral towards another person not judge. If the secret thoughts and fantasies of your hearts were exposed for all to see how would you fare? Let’s admit our weakness and pray that God gives us all a blanket covering in compassion rather than judging and seeking the punishment of one another. He is a loving God that extends His everlasting grace and understands our weakness. Let us enjoy his mercy and forgiveness as he overlooks our shortcomings. Like little children, who are not afraid to make mistakes, let us express true love for each other? He has forgiven and forgotten your past short-comings. Let’s rejoice and unite with a gladdened heart! Even if we feel someone has done something wrong. Let’s leave it to God and hope he will just let go and ask us all to go back and play as if it never happened. If he says that he will judge, he did not say we should do it on His behalf. Why do we play the role of God in judgement? In most cases like Jesus with the adulterous woman, He will unconditionally pardoned for the absence of a Holy witness - If he judges one then he will have to judge all. He rather loves children who unite and forgive each other. We are all His little children.What kind of God do we want? One who searches out and punishes all our sins (including mine and yours?) or one who let's us all go scot free? Who says God does not have a sense of love, kindness, compassion and humour.If we do he surely does. Who says he does not want to share in our jokes? And laugh gently at our childlikenes and share in our embarrasing most hidden secrects.. The question is are we still childlike? Lets make God rejoice again. what does he want? Sincere LOVE IS THE ANSWER.
This story is for an illustration purpose only.
Read more articles by Bode Ayodele or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Thank you Cynthia for your straight forward comment on my piece, “God’s April fool Day.” As the holy Spirit would have it I was immediately led to read your direct, further response to the article in your article titled “ What kind of God He Truly is.”
I will start with your comment in your article referenced above on God’s Holiness. It is true that God is Holy, but do we know what to be holy really is. Holiness is derived from the word “whole” to be holy is to be “whole” complete without sin.
What does this mean? Jesus is our true example. It means to live above the law. You will recall that the scribes and Pharisees who were the custodians of the law were doing everything they could to fault Jesus. But Jesus put aside the law and operated in love.
Jesus made them understand that he was so holy there was nothing he did that could be considered wrong. He was one with God and thought it not robbery to be equal with God. (Philippians 2:15)
The bible also says I should let this mind be in me which also was in Christ Jesus. This means like Jesus, I should be mindful that it is not robbery to see myself equal with God or to say “I and my father are one” or “when you have seen me you have seen the father.” How do I qualify to do such? By being and operating in love under all circumstances (1 John 4: 16) more on this later.
Jesus changed the law, he nullified the Sabbath saying it was made for man and not man for it. He told the Jews that Moses law as regards divorce was given because of the hardness of their hearts” (Mark 10:5) In other words if they had a softer heart what Moses said would have been different.
How do we live above the law. This is seen in Galatians 5:22-23, it says But the fruit of the spirit is… starting with love and ending with faith. Verse 23 however goes on to state that “against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:1 says we should stand fast in the liberty (freedom) werewith Christ has made us free.
In other words, anything done in the fruit of the spirit, as far as this verse 23 of Galatians 5 is concerned, there is no law that can judge it!
When we read the bible we initially easily see a God that “sends into the punishment of that fiery abyss.” But who does the bible say God really is: “…God is Love and he who dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in him” 1 John 4:16.
This love was seen manifest through Jesus. Despite all that the law said about adultery when he had the opportunity to apply it against a violator he over-ruled judgment on the grounds that none of her accusers were without sin. I can imagine those stone carrying Pharisees, not knowing whether to stone the woman to demonstrate their outward holiness in the eyes of the public (which is all they really wanted to do); stoning Jesus for not rising up in anger and condemning the woman for doing such when he was still on earth, or even stone themselves for being so stupid not to have thought that that was what Jesus would have said in the first place!
Yes, you could argue that he told her to go and sin no more, but if going by what he said in response to how many times Peter should forgive his brother: (“Not seven times but seventy times seven “(Matthew 18: 21-22)) I am sure that if that woman’s case came up before the Lord, in his mercy she would be forgiven yet again and again. (At least the Lord would go by his own words!)
There was this woman who showed affection towards Jesus by using her hair to cleanse his feet with oil. ( Luke 7: 37-47)Today ,if a woman is seen showing such affection towards a pastor filled with love in public and he encourages it, both would be condemned as being immoral. (Although we know what a lot of those who preach against sin openly let happen behind closed doors!) Jesus in love encouraged the woman - (come closer, don’t be afraid, I can imagine His heart telling her.) I am sure that the woman was saying in her heart “I don’t know what else I can give to this wonderful man. I just want to show him how much I love him.” Jesus who knows all things knew who she was and the bible does state in verse 37 of Luke 7 that she was a sinner. Maybe, she was another prostitute who fell in love with Jesus because despite his holiness of character, he would not condemn her.
Who are those Jesus condemned. Only those who continued to use the law to harass the weak-minded. For the later, Jesus only gave them love!
The bible says we should judge not and we will not be judged, (Luke 6:37) It also states that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. (I guess he who lives by the law will die by the law as well”)
How did Jesus react to his disciples when they encountered wrong doers. John was a man who wanted to enforce fiery judgment on those who denied Jesus passage through their village. He wanted to call down fire. Jesus forbid him from doing so. Later, John became a disciple who was so full of love he was called John the beloved, even encouraging the show of affection amongst brethren. As bible scholars would tell us, it was only John out of all the disciples of Jesus who was not martyred! I am sure the love he practiced must have saved him. (This does not suggest that the other were wrong based on their knowledge I’ll however agree.)
As you can see from my pervious articles Cnythia, I used to be just like you. I used to condemn everything that had an appearance of sin. As a Pastor, I found it difficult to overlook those in error. I almost killed myself rather than allow myself indulge in any satisfaction of the flesh. Members ran away. Not that that was what bothered me. But I could see they were also giving up on God Almighty. They felt he was too harsh and they would, by my own standards of holiness, never make heaven. At a time I locked myself indoors to just separate myself from this sinful world. I preached that the Lord would judge all sinners but I really wanted him to forgive me. And then Jesus spoke to me softly. That is when he taught me his message of love!
Cynthia, like Nathanael you are a woman of God without guile. Very soon, you will also be touched by the Lord to share this message of love like I do. Do you realize that there are many who are Jesus on earth today because Jesus lives through them. Like Paul they can say I have died yet I live, but not I but Christ that lives through me. (Gal 2:20) They have taken up there cross and followed Jesus. Like Paul they die daily.
(Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me.” In Corinthians 16:31 he said “I die daily.” From both scriptures considering that Paul was alive and still on earth when he said this indicates that when it comes to eternal life and making heaven, the bible is referring to spiritual death and not physical death.)
But he who dies like Jesus will also rise and live for evermore like him in eternal life. Eternal life and heaven itself starts here on earth: In Ephesians 2:6 we read “And hath raised us up together and hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” In 1 John 5:11 we read: And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life and this life is in his son.” In 1 John 5:13 we are told: “...that we may know that we have eternal life...”
From these scriptures we can see that once we have accepted Christ in faith we have been given eternal life already,(… has given to us eternal life)( 1 John 5:11) not that we shall be given it later. We have made heaven already, not that we are still hoping to make it.
If Paul said that it was no longer him who was living but Christ living through him he meant that when you see him you see Jesus. If he was Jesus living in the body of Paul it meant that like Jesus he could remit and forgive a person of his sins. What you are doing Cnythia is that you have denied yourself of the pleasures of the world to follow Jesus. You have given your all and all of these things you have forsaken shall be restored back to you on earth. Jesus said that those that forsake wives and children and houses for my sake shall receive a hundredfold now in this time... Mark 10:30 Now in this time means here on earth.”
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteous and all these things shall be added unto you,”
Finally, for people like you who continually die to self to please the Lord the Lord will rise within you begin to show unconditional love to sinners and will now become another replica of Jesus. When this happens then you will also forgive and let go those who have erred, and like Jesus judged those who try to always use the law to judged the weak-minded. Such weak-minded people (like the sinner woman that showed love by coming close to Jesus to wash is feet with her hair or the adulterous woman) will now see a loving forgiving Jesus in you. When they see you, they would have seen our Lord Jesus!
To conclude Cynthia, I have read the bible over and over again and mind you, I have seen God express what I’ll consider a sense of humor in the bible! (Particularly, the Old Testament) Time will not permit me to bring out some of such aspects that reflect this that I have noticed in the Old Testament.
For now, thanks again for your comment and for seeking to serve the Lord with all your heart, might and strength. Very soon my dear sister in Christ Jesus you shall receive your just crown.
I read through your short story and I beg to disagree about God having a "sense of humor" where Sin is the issue. The problem stems from a person's defective view of Who God is and that limited perception results in a warped conclusion of God's Divine Character. Firstly, God is Holy and His Word tells us to be holy. We cannot trifle with sin and ungodly conduct and say "It is April Fool and God won't mind." That is not what the Bible says.