So Romans 9: 18 says, "So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen."
It's been a few weeks now since I posted Part One of this series, but I still remember what the Lord said in response to my questions.
He said, Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 9:18 are not mutually exclusive. They are both true.
You see, to our very-human eyes and brains, these two verses are mutually exclusive - contradictory, even.
One says that God's thoughts towards us are good, and not evil, while the other says that He chooses to harden hearts so that they refuse to listen.
How can God who only wants good for a person choose to harden their heart so that they refuse to listen?
It. Just. Doesn't. Fit.
Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 9:18 are not mutually exclusive.
Yet, the Lord stands His ground: "Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 9:18 are not mutually exclusive, Ronke."
The Lord is asking me (and you, of course) to open our minds to a universe where Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 9:18 are not mutually exclusive.
The Lord is asking us to understand in faith. Maybe we can't understand now with sight, but we can, with faith.*
We may not understand WHY or HOW it is even possible, but it is.
There is a paradigm shift here: Not trying to use human logic to prove the Bible right, but using the Bible to prove your thinking right (i.e. inform your thinking).
And if God - who made the heavens and the earth in six days - says that Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 9:18 are both true, then they are.
It is true because He said it. Not because you can prove it - using logical reasoning or scientific evidence.
It is true because it is true.
Does this sound foolish?
Then, I must be saying something right. **
*2 Corinthians 5:7
** 1 Corinthians 1:18-27
Not trying to use human logic to prove the Bible right, but using the Bible to prove your thinking right (i.e. inform your thinking).
I finished When Dimple Met Rishi a few minutes ago, and I am just ruminating. This is not a review or anything like that. But if you must know: I thought it was a well-written piece of art.
It was quite obvious that the author, Sandhya Menon, was personally acquainted with the struggles of being a non-white immigrant in the United States.
What struck me most about this book (you know what...maybe this is a review?)...
As I was saying, what struck me most about this book is a statement that Rishi makes about Christianity always being the default in the United States. You know, Easter holidays, Christmas holidays, Christian-ese words interwoven into day-to-day speech.
Basically, Rishi was saying that Christianity is the majority. And other religions, like Hinduism in Rishi's case, are in the minority.
If you are a Christian and you are reading, I am willing to bet $5 that your initial reaction was, "No, it is not!" And you are probably ready to start listing instances where Christians have been persecuted, and ....yeah.
Well, I am a Christian, so I get it.
Here's the thing: Rishi is right, technically. We've all heard about WASP, right? The White Anglo-Saxon Protestants who were (and still are, for the most part) at the top of the social food chain.
See how somehow Christianity is roped into that title?
So whenever people talk about "the Guy," "the Man," the "society" they are rebelling against, Christianity is always, unfortunately yet unmistakably, there.
Well, I hate it.
Because if all the WASPs truly embodied what it meant to be a Christian, there wouldn't even be a WASP. Does that make sense?
Like if they truly were Christians, would they not be known for their love instead of their exclusivity? Would they not be known for Jesus rather than for jewels? (some good old-fashioned alliteration for you)
Christianity, in the true sense of the word, is not in the majority.
Heck, we are in the minority - actually, the worst kind of minority: The minority that everyone thinks is the majority, so when they raise their voices to be heard, they are shut down, because no one wants to hear anything the privileged princesses have to say.
Rishi's statement hurt because it rings true of a trend I have noticed of late.
The Lord Jesus Christ, in His unassuming humility, has somehow become the Man;
I hate it, but I don't have to defend the Lord's honor. He is quite capable of doing that Himself.
I just wanted you to know, dear reader, that being a Christian is more than a title. It's about loving Jesus.
**Picture pulled from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28458598-when-dimple-met-rishi
Is this thing on?
Gil Joe and Nkay will always have a special place in my heart. When I first started doing this relationship thing with Jesus, their lyrics were my constant companions. They taught little ol' me that being a Jesus lover was nothing to be ashamed. of.
Love you guys!
Album Title: #AfroGospelToTheWorld
Artist: Gil Joe x Nkay
1. Nobody: Love...Love..love...love this song! The fusion between Afro beats and EDM in this track is too much for my un-Zanku-able legs to handle. I can't with this song: the lyrics, the strategic placement of the beat drop. It's like, after you proclaim to the Lord that there is nobody else, you're like, "let me show You what I mean!" Please hep me clap for GilJoe x Nkay and Proud Refuge.
Song Credits: Gil Joe, Nkay, Proud Refuge
2. Do: If you have heard this song, be honest: do you not have "That You do" stuck in your head? I'll be honest: I do! 😆 (see what I did there?) Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, when I first heard the song, I slept on it. But now, I can't sit still when it comes on. Gil Joe, well done. Jesus is the new wave!
Song Credits: Gil Joe
3. Better: Seriously, Gil Joe's growth as a producer has grown so much from Maturity. Don't get me wrong, all the songs on Maturity are dope, but the songs on here are Better. See what I did there, again? Hehe.
Song Credits: Gil Joe, Nkay
4. Shackles. Y'ALL!!! Y'ALL.!! Y'ALL! Y'all... I 😭 freaking love 😭 this 😭 song.😭
Okay. Okay. I will calm down. I promise: I am not overhyping this track. Everything about this track is a hit. The beat, the lyrics, the enthusiastic voices of Gil Joe and Nkay...even the timing fit! (the song came out when the Shaku shaku dance was in its prime). I mean, Shackles & Shaku shaku. This review practically wrote itself.
Song Credits: Gil Joe, Nkay,
5. With Me: Whoever came up with the idea for Gil Joe and Nkay to release an EP together is a freaking genius! The drums on this track give me so much life. I really do believe that God still has so much for me when I hear this song. Gil Joe and Nkay have this uncanny ability to sing a song with swagger. As if the lyrics were created for that beat and the beat for that lyric. Nothing else fits.
Song Credits: Gil Joe, Nkay
6. Since You Came: I honestly wish this song was longer. I really could listen to Mr. Nkay groove on this beat for hours. This song feels like a R &B -infused love song, and who better to sing a love song to, than the Lord of love Himself? Also, Nkay's voice on this track is probably the best I have ever heard it. Love, love, love it!
Song Credits: Nkay
7. Issa No: This song is sassy! But you wouldn't know it if you weren't paying attention. In that classic chill Gil Joe x Nkay way, they saunter through this track with sass and swag. I am a fan of this song.
Song Credits: Gil Joe, Nkay
Nothing compares to when you sing a song for the Lord. It just fits.
I think that is an apt word for this EP. "Fits."
#AfroGospelToTheWorld fits and I'm a fan.
There is something about Pastor E.A Adeboye.
It is in his quiet confidence, a confidence that comes from trusting God.
It is in his disarming smile, a smile that declares to the world that Jesus is his joy.
It is in his unassuming gait that tells of many hours spent kneeling before God.
It is in his blindingly obvious love for Jesus.
I think we all see it. I know I do.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye is more than a pastor. He is a son of God.
Like a son, he listens; he obeys; he praises; he serves and lives for God.
Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye is more than a pastor. He is a father to many of us. He is our Daddy G.O.
Like a father, he teaches; he prays; he leads; he serves, and he loves us.
Great men come and go, but the impact of a father remains.
Like a father, Daddy has led in righteousness.
Like a shepherd, he has served the sheep.
And like children, today, we honor our father-in-the-Lord, Daddy G.O. (Pastor E.A Adeboye.)
We pray for many more fulfilling years to come. We love you.