We thank God for another Sunday, another day, another grace. We thank God for the many testimonies that has come forth.
1 Peter 3:15 [But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:]
We are more or less in a generation where people are confused. Even strong Christians are confused: always asking – which way do we go? What way do we go? What do we do? The church is being challenged on every side. Messages coming from the pulpit are confusion, especially to those who refuse to listen to the true word of God.
On the radio recently, a family program was being aired. A pastor was invited to come speak. He shared two experiences on the day. He said, a parent brought a child to him for counselling and the child professed to be in atheist saying there was no God, asking why he should believe in God – especially because when it came time to pay school fees, his parents will sow the money as seed offering in their church. As a result, the boy became an object of ridicule in school. So while the parents sowed in anticipation of reward from God, their child was suffering in school.
The second example the man gave was that, at a time he had three cars. A young man walked into his office and said he wanted to sow a car into his life. The man then asked if the young man had discussed the sowing of the car with his family – the man said no, but that he was merely led by the spirit. The man said OK, collected the car, and sowed it into the young man’s life again, after which he counselled the young man.
There are several confusing messages out there today.
Recently a top hotel took a man to court because he had stolen over 30million naira. When the man was accosted, it was discovered he had sowed bulk of the money to the church. Even the government is part of the church’s challenges – there are several instances where the government has had to interfere in the affairs of the church because of diabolic reasons as well as the lavish lifestyles of some men of God.
God is not a magician.
The bible gives a pattern of how to give. It tells us the issue of our tithes and offerings. Apart from the 10% tithe, there are other forms of tithes specified by the bible. If you are not paying tithe, whatever you are spending the money on is cursed. The first fruit of your labor is for the priest. Giving is a biblical mandate. Paul reminded us that if we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly, if we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully. Though the New Testament does not lay emphasis on giving with laid down rules and procedures as does the Old Testament, it does not condemn it.
Today, there are many confusing messages that rock those who are not grounded in the word of God.
The truth is, this did not start today. It has always being. Jeremiah 35:1-10 [The word which came unto Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habaziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites; And I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the door: And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites pots full of wine, and cups, and I said unto them, Drink ye wine. But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers. Thus have we obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab our father in all that he hath charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, nor our daughters; Nor to build houses for us to dwell in: neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed: But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.]
During the time of this event which happened at the tale end of the two kingdoms of Israel. Because of disobedience the Northern Kingdom had being taken into captivity. The Southern Kingdom were also disobedient and they were about to be taken away. The Southern part that tried following God, had rejected Him completely.
In the midst of the confusion around them, in the midst of all the noise – we can still hear the instruction of God. We can still follow the precepts that God gave us to follow.
2 Timothy 1:11-12 [Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.]
After our confession of Jesus in our lives, we must know whom we believe. We must, through study of the word, know what God expects of us. Because if the reliance is merely on the messages from pulpit, then its easy to allow confusion to set in.
We must be in a position where we have done our little bit before we can confidently preach Christ to others. Apostle Paul declared that he knows whom he has believed and that He is able to keep him to the end.
2 Corinthians 4:1-5 [Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.]
Apostle Paul has made bold to say he is not preaching with craftiness, or deceitfulness. Unfortunately not many pastors of today can make the same claim. They craftily preach the word of God – especially from the angle of what they can gain from the audience.
URBC stands on the true word of God. You cannot sit down under the teachings of this church and be led to confusion. The gospel is expounded and taught the way it should.
Apostle Paul not only spoke, he demonstrated. 2 Thessalonian 3:7-10 [For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.]
In conclusion, rejoice in that hope you have. Demonstrate Christ. Showcase Christ. And with meekness, be ready to answer people. Are we ready to showcase Christ in our offices, our business, our homes, in all that we do and the way we carry ourselves?
We pray you grant us the grace to live above tempations and issues that stop us from lving according to your standards. We will live like the Berean Christians, searching your word to know which way to go. Grant us the spirit of discernment to be able to discern the truth from the false doctrines out there.
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