Have you ever sent your child, servant or subordinate on an errand to perform a task who shows unwillingness to do so? Imagine such a child, servant or subordinate murmuring or frowning his face and reluctantly left to perform the task. He came back after a while with the job well done but not without his frowning face, murmuring lips and dragging feet. How will you feel towards him though he performed the task well?
On the other hand, you might have found yourself in a situation where your boss, parent or pastor asked you to do something at a time when you are not willing or in a mood to do such, though you wished to do it. Since you couldn’t disobey him, you eventually went ahead to do the job against your will, having a feeling of being forced to do it. Can you really do it with excitement, and derive fulfilment and satisfaction? I guess the whole time you spent on the job will be miserable just because it was done with lack of interest.
In my years of service to God, I’ve seen and heard Christians times without number complain about their work for God. It is obvious from their words, actions and lifestyle that they are not doing the work willingly. They murmur about the time they spend for church service, meetings, choir practice, and others. They complain that the church/ministry work is affecting their work, business, family, leisure and social life. The truth is that this attitude is harmful to their progress and will not benefit them at all. A careful look at their life will show you how stagnant and unproductive they are. It is high time such attitude is dropped.
God’s commandment is this “Do all things without murmurings and disputing”. Philippians 2:14. When you murmur or complain, you disobey God; and He is not pleased with anyone who does so! Any labour that is done with such attitude is wasted and has no reward.
Dearly beloved, do not be carried away with so many church activities that are not beneficial to your spiritual growth, be diligent to do the work with a perfect heart. Graduate from the class of those who complain about anything they do in church, so that your labour will not be in vain. The next time your pastor or leader ask you to do something, endeavour to do it heartily, cheerfully, willingly, as unto the Lord. Are you a pastor, Sunday school teacher, children minister, chorister, usher, missionary, church member? Whoever you are and whatever you do for the Lord, do it with understanding. Do not murmur. Do not complain; for God loves a cheerful giver. He will surely reward your labour of love.
But how can you really work for the Lord your God with understanding? How can you take up responsibilities in ministry without complaining? How will you spend several hours in leaders’ meetings that affect your business time without murmuring? The answer is right there in the word of God and we will discuss this together in the second part of this message. I love you.
– segun eshorun
Recently, there was a political violence in between the government and its opposition. It led to the destruction of lives and properties. After many days of turbulence with which none of the parties were willing to give in to the other, the former Secretary General of The United Nations, Kofi Annan was sent to the region to make peace and bring about reconciliation. And by his visit, he was able to bring the two parties to an agreement to put an end to the fight.
In the same way, we have been chosen and sent by God to be the peacemaker between Him and mankind. We are the one to bring an end to the enmity between God and man which came as a result of the sin of Adam, by reconciling men to God. ‘All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Christ Jesus, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation’ 2 Corinthians 5:18. There has to be someone to come in-between and settle the rift, so God first of all sent Christ to reconcile us to Himself, and now sent us to go and reconcile the whole world of men to Him.
What an honour to be a peacemaker between God and man! Hear what Jesus Christ said about the peacemakers; ‘Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God’ Matthew 5:9. So when you go about preaching Christ and telling men about the love of God and His power to save, you are called a child of God, You will be identified with your father!
Now it gets more interesting to know that we are not doing it alone or by our ability. It is by the power of God at work in us; ‘To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself’ 2 Corinthians 5:19a. If God was in Christ, and now we know that Christ is in us, then it means that God is in us. So it becomes easy because He is the one that wants reconciliation. He knows how to convince men, all we have to do is to yield ourselves as a vessel.
At this point, it is expedient we know the kind of message that brings about reconciliation. Taking the Kenya case as an example, if Kofi Annan had gone there to condemn or judge those people, the story wouldn’t have been the same. He must have gone there with the message of love and forgiveness. Likewise we ministers of reconciliation have a message that God sent us to the world. One message; a message of God’s love; a message of justification and not condemnation. ‘That God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES UNTO THEM, AND HAS COMMITTED UNTO US THE WORD OF RECONCILIATION’ 2 Corinthians 5:19. We are not sent to the world to condemn the world because Jesus Christ did not come to condemn the world but to save. We are carrying the Gospel, which means good news, glad tidings. It is a message that makes people rejoices when they hear it. Such messages as: the love of God (Romans 5:8); forgiveness of sin (Colossians 1:14); faith (Ephesians 2:8); gift of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 2:12); gift of eternal life (1 John 5:11-12); deliverance from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13); victory (1 John 5:4-5); divine health (3 John 2); divine protection (Psalm 91); success and prosperity (Psalm 1:3). In fact, the list is inexhaustible. Those great things God has done for us as revealed in the Epistles of the Apostles, and the glorious life he has brought to us. This is the kind of message Apostle Paul preached (Acts 13:32-48; 16:31-34). This same message was what Peter preached (Acts 10:34-48).
The same with Philip and other Apostles (Acts 8: 35-39). Our Lord Jesus, who is also our role model, preached only this message in His entire life. No one will hear such message and remain the same. It is a life-giving message.
You know what? He has made us able ministers of the new testament (2 Corinthians 3:6).
So you are able to reconcile men to God!
– segun eshorun
Usually, disciples (followers) act in the same manner as their masters. They talk like their master and do the things they see him do. This explains why the disciples of Jesus spoke and taught with authority after His death just as their master used to do while He was with them. (Acts 4:13). In our contemporary society, one can easily know the denomination a Christian belongs to either by the way he/she dresses or the way or things he/she says. In most cases, for example, the women in a church emulate the pastor’s wife in dressing and fashion. This means that a minister’s lifestyle go a long way to affect other people’s lives. If so, it then follows that a minister of God must live the kind of life that God wants his followers to live. The only way to achieve this is to be a doer of the Word yourself.
I once heard a preacher telling his listeners to do what they hear him say and not what they see him do. This is ridiculous and does not conform to what our Lord Jesus taught us. In the book of Acts Chapter 1 Verse 1, we saw what the life of Jesus was and how that of a minister of God should be. “…of all that Jesus began both to do and to teach”. Note the Scripture above didn’t say he began both to teach and to do, rather He started by doing it, then He taught others to do the same thing. That is a minister. “…but whosoever shall DO AND TEACH them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven”. (Matthew 5:19). Apostle Paul is another example of a typical minister of God, and he is always bold to tell the churches to do the things they see him do. “Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me; those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard and seeing in me, do” (I Corinthians 4:16, Phil. 4:9).
As a minister of God, you ought to do the word of God, and teach others to do the same. That is where the progress and maturity come from (I Timothy 4:15, 16). Do you preach godliness? Then live a godly life. Do you preach healing and miracles? Do it first. Do you preach prosperity? Live a prosperous life first. Do you preach faith? First put your faith to work.
Whatever you are teaching others, make sure they are what you are doing.
– segun eshorun
Whao! They are all fully ready for the race! The field is clear and the tracks are set! Indeed: the field is surrounded by many lovers of the game! What are they there for? To watch the race of course! Everyone is interested in knowing who comes first! Even though none of the competitors hope to come last! Yes! They’ve all under gone strict trainings….
Those that needed medical attention did not fail to seek it! The muscle is set and prepare for the game-it’s a race! Everyone on his track, waiting for the whistle to blow. Of course, they know the rules and they know what disqualifies, so they must not cross the border…! Each following his lane! Now! Everything is set: On your marks…. Get Set…. Go!….. The race has begun … the crowd is hailing, clapping and shouting .Hmm….nh… Will they be carried away with these praises of men? Will they try to look beside them to see who just mentioned their name in hails…? No they concentrate on the race! For the crowd will only be interested in whoever comes first! So all of them are being hailed but only one gets the prize! Ten are on the marks now but only one will come first! Just one gets the prize! Indeed, none of them is playing on the field; none of them is walking; they’re running with all their might! But only one, just one gets the prize! All of them have spent time in strict trainings…. But the first comer gets the prize! What a waste of strength, waste of time it is for the rest runners? The hails they received at the start of the game soon turn to shame and pity – for only one comes first! Though tired and worn-out…. yet without prize! Though strictly trained and very ambitious…. Yet without prize of course! Not the runner but the winner..!
Yes! Even though we all run daily our Christian race… But only the winners get the prize, not the runners. People of real faith who are blessing many souls; people of hard and sacrificial labours of love; people of sleepless nights interceding for souls; people of evangelism tours into villages and rural areas. God loves them …but remember: in a race, all runner runs, but only one gets the prize…! Just one gets the crown! Very well… the father is ready to reward all our labours of love. But the crown is actually for the winner, not the runner. Run therefore to win and not just to participate!
“So daily, I beat under my body, bringing it to subjection, that after I might have preach to others I myself may not be cast-away”. Here is the rule that guides the race of the kingdom! That we may not fail to daily work upon ourselves… that we may not concentrate on building other “houses” while ours lies in ruin…!
That the word we preach and teach may have a solid foundation in us that we may not dispel in trials of life …. Let’s therefore watch our ways and doctrines closely. Denying the flesh daily of its lustful desires… Let not keep moving up and down for the prosperity of ministries at the expense of our personal relationship with God.
Remember; our Father will reward – but not the runners, but only the winners…!
GET SET … AND GO …. FOR THE PRIZE IS YOURS!
– raphael aworinde
Grace is yours in Jesus Christ. I write to remind you that the church of Jesus Christ was not designed to be a competition ground. The goal of your local assembly should not be to outplay the other. Your focus should never be shifted from saving unbelievers to snatching the available believers from other assemblies. Do not let your messages be packaged to tell people how a particular personality and interpretation of doctrine is better than that of the next neighbour. For God has not called us to compete with one another but to complement each other.
You may never get to a point in your lifetime where all Christians say and believe the same things because they all have different rate of growth even as they try to measure up to the full stature of Christ. If Matthew and John who were eyewitnesses to the events in the life of Jesus, did not write about them in the same way, then what about your followers who are trying to understand what has been written. Do you expect that they say all things the same way?
Differences may always exist between us, but we should focus more on our origin – God, our mission – evangelism, our destination – heaven, and join hands together to fight the enemy – devil. “When we focus on personalities, preferences, interpretations, styles or methods, division always happen. But if we concentrate on loving each other and fulfilling God’s purposes, harmony results” (Rick Warren).
Our differences do not necessarily need to result in negativity. Just as different notes on a piano keyboard are necessary to compose a good music; our differences will result in a beautiful success if we have the right focus. Let us be more passionate about the ultimate goal rather than our individual roles. Let’s work together to win many more souls into God’s kingdom.
Some of us are saying we belong to Paul, others are saying we are protestant, but God is saying – you are a Christian, with a global mission that is bigger than the project and constitution of your local assembly.
You know so well that the boundary of God’s family, which is the body of Christ, is beyond your local assembly. Therefore, everyone that has been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ should be treated as your brother/sister. See them as partners in ministry and not opponents. Share bible knowledge with them. Rejoice with those accomplishing great feats for the Master, rather than maligning them in envy. Pray with them and for them. Let’s turn off the local mentality … and appreciate the global reality.
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with [you]. 1 Corinthians 9:20-23
Jesus is not coming to walk the face of the earth again. But praise God, He is still here – in you. People need not look for Him anymore for He is evidently displayed in you.
The brevity of the question bellies the utmost importance it connotes. Is Christ seen in your everyday life? Is he heard in your private conversations/is he perceived in your presence? Is he felt in your touch? Is he tasted in your attitude? Is Christ the reason for your living? Are you ready to say “not the I but the You in me”? Are folks readily introduced to the overwhelming grace of God? Are you forward to let known the reason of the hope in you?
You may likely be anxious about how your message will be received. But let these words of the apostle Paul be to you an encouragement.
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:23-24
– gideon gbeja
|And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. II Cor. 15:18
It is humbling to observe the fundamental importance of our placement in God’s scheme. Imagine the absence of the wholesaler and retailer in a chain of supply. It would spell frustration, both for the producer and the consumer and could eventually lead to the death of such a business.
Such a basic idea, yet so profound – God depends on us to be the herald of his product – salvation for the world. He reconciled us to himself and then made us agents of that same reconciliation. You may wish to ask where your area of coverage is. Well, look no further than your sphere of contact, your workplace, neighborhood, etc.
Everywhere and anywhere you are, display your wares – God’s love so unique, His redemption so total, His grace so free, His salvation so full.
Remember you are God’s middleman.
– gideon gbeja
For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 2 Cor. 9:12
In the eighth and ninth chapters of 2 Corinthians, Paul teaches about giving as it should be done in the New Testament. Verse 12 of Chpater 9 is particularly insightful.
When we give, the first requirement is a willing mind. It is meaningless to give anything when the motivation is not love.
Equally important is the fact that our giving is accepted according to that which we have. Too many times we make statements like, “I wish I had a million Dollars. I would give it all to support the ministry.” Or others like, “If I had my life to live all over again, I would spend more time serving God.”
Well, you probably do not have a million Dollars anywhere, and you definitely do not have your life to live all over again. What you have right now is what you are expected to give. What you can do right now is what you are expected to do.
Don’t wait until you have billions before you give. Don’t wait until you are behind a pulpit before you preach. Don’t wait until you have resigned from your job before you start labouring in the ministry.
“If a man have first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that which a man hath…”
– jide lawal
“Whatever we do, it is because the love of Christ controls us” II Corinthians 5:14
In ministry, we are faced constantly by challenges and choices. It is easy to do the right things for the wrong motives if we do not constantly check our motivation. Many people are involved in God’s work because of so many things; a longing for the praise of men, self glory and ego, amassing wealth, societal recognition, freedom from a guilty conscience etc. Most believers are not concerned about their motives because they have taken sides with the world which says ‘the end justifies the means’.
With respect to God, whatsoever we do, His desire is that we do it for the right reason – because of His love.
“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love”. I Corinthians 13:3 (MSG)
In our service to humanity and devotion to God, he expects us to do so because of his love. So let’s check our hearts and let’s do things because His love propels us to do so.
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, THAT HE MAY HAVE TO GIVE TO HIM THAT NEEDETH. – Ephesians 4:28
I have shewed you all things, how THAT SO LABOURING YE OUGHT TO SUPPORT THE WEAK, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. – Acts 20:35
What an interesting injunction! This is certainly a revolutionary reason for recommending hard work.
Paul says, “I want you to work, so that you may have funds with which to support the poor.” Many times we have heard believers talk about how they don’t really want to be rich, they just want to be comfortable.
Well, no where are we told to be rich, or comfortable either. Instead, we are told to work hard and earn money so that we may be able to give to those who need it. You may have various financial goals and targets in life. Today I would like to ask you to add the support of the poor and needy around you to the list.
Work hard. For the sake of the poor.