I write about a lot of subjects, but one area I develop cold feet is when it has to do with the Church. Many times after writing about the Church I end up deleting all I have written. Peradventure the write up may generate so much heat, perhaps people can see these write ups and use it as a tool to attack the church, perhaps those whose hearts are bruised may attack and think my case is hopeless.
But maybe the courage I developed today, after seeing a message, well a WhatsApp message. This post is in no way a generalization, but an observation.
One scripture that pricks my heart so much is this:
Revelation 2:4-5 KJV
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
What was the first love of the Nigerian church? “Love for community”. Mary Slessor would leave Scotland her country of birth, and come to Nigeria not minding the horror and scourge of malaria; She would invest her life in the ancient city of Calabar plagued by killing of twins, widespread human sacrifice and lack of Western education.
She would eat local diet, learn how to speak Efik, save hundreds of twins left to die in the bush, she would help stop the determination of innocence by drinking of poison, adopt four native children and do all within her power to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
She was a driving force behind the establishment of the Hope Waddell Training Institute in Calabar, which provided practical vocational training to Efiks and has so many notable Nigerians as alumni, the school is still standing today.
Go through the history books and you will see how the early Christians invested in education, health, industry, leadership, morals and character. In fact the schools that held sway in the past had missionary roots.
The early church was so engrossed with the progress of the community where they were situated. In fact in the first church, members sold properties to help support fellow church members. Widows were supported and Stephen and Phillip who were full of the Holy Spirit were assigned with the task of sharing food to widows.
Today however, this is not usually the case, these days we have bigger churches but fewer morals, richer churches but a poorer society, more powerful church leaders but more corrupt national leaders. We have more people rushing to church to prosper, but less actually hungry for God, we prefer our enemies dead than them accepting Christ, we prefer politics to the enthronement of Jesus Christ.
We have members in churches who cannot afford quality education, members with no handiwork looking for miracle jobs, members with little education hoping someone more qualified is dislodged for them, members with poor work ethics.
We have members conformed in the image and likeness of their pastors, than in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. We have rich churches in poor communities that do not feel what these communities feel. We have churches detached from the dreams and aspirations of people in their community.
This post in no way looks down on the great work being done by many Christian churches, no I know a lot of churches are involved in helping out, but this is a genuine call to do more.
This is a call for the church to start proffering solutions to the many societal questions begging for answers. This is a call to church leaders to start talking sense to their members who occupy sensitive leadership positions; this is a time for them to explain our part in civic responsibility and national transformation, and stress the importance of dignity in labour.
I will stop here for today, and get ready for the bullets that would follow.
In another news
Matthew 7:21-23 NLT
Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’
But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.
Let’s get back to our first love and start “Christianizing” Nigeria; and yes the church is you and I.
Credits : Wikipedia
The W Factor
By Ovundah Nyeche.
Today Church, ‘The Wisdom Place’, was interesting and our Pastor Osiri Wisdom spoke about “5 ways to get wisdom” and the message was hinged on the young Jesus’ encounter with the religious teachers when his parents took him for the Passover festival in Jerusalem.
These were some of the things I wrote down in my jotter.
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.
Luke 2:52 NLT
As you grow in stature, you ought to also grow in wisdom.
So how do we grow in wisdom.
Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions.All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
Luke 2:46 – 47 NLT
1) Sitting: Where are you sitting? Who are you sitting with? Where you sit, is where you absorb wisdom. Jesus sat with the teachers of the law; if you are going somewhere you need to sit with those going where you are going and those already where you are headed to.
As this year has started, you need to do an audit of where you have been sitting.
On week to week where do you sit? As you do your hair in the salon, go to relax, hang around people, where do you sit?
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
Psalms 1:1 NKJV
2) Listening: The person you sit with and listen to will affect your direction. What are you listening to? Who are you listening to? In your gadgets what do you watch more? In those places you sit out, what is being discussed? What enters your ear consistently?
Even faith comes by hearing…what do you fill your ears with? In this year, chose to listen to wholesome things and stuff that will move you in the direction you wish to go to.
3) Ask questions: Ask questions for clarification, ask questions so that you can know. The kind of questions you ask determines the kind of answer. Also the best questions are the ones you ask yourself.
Why am I not going forward? Why is my prayer life tupsy turvy? Why is my marriage not working? Why do my relationships always go left? Why is my spiritual life upside down?
Questions can drive thinking and actions.
4) Understanding: Understanding is a by product of the first 3. It is the ability to make meaning out of information or facts.
5) Answering: By sitting, listening, learning, asking questions and having understanding, Jesus was competent to answer questions even at a young age. Nothing just happens.
He ended the sermon by quoting James 1: 5 ” If any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He will give it to you. God gives freely to everyone and doesn’t find fault.”
James 1:5 NIRV
I was blessed, and I made personal decisions.
Do you know who I am?
By Ovundah Nyeche.
The next day Moses took his place to judge the people. People were standing before him all day long, from morning to night. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What’s going on here? Why are you doing all this, and all by yourself, letting everybody line up before you from morning to night?” Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me with questions about God. When something comes up, they come to me. I judge between a man and his neighbor and teach them God’s laws and instructions.” Moses’ father-in-law said, “This is no way to go about it. You’ll burn out, and the people right along with you. This is way too much for you—you can’t do this alone. Now listen to me. Let me tell you how to do this so that God will be in this with you. Be there for the people before God, but let the matters of concern be presented to God. Your job is to teach them the rules and instructions, to show them how to live, what to do. And then you need to keep a sharp eye out for competent men—men who fear God, men of integrity, men who are incorruptible—and appoint them as leaders over groups organized by the thousand, by the hundred, by fifty, and by ten. They’ll be responsible for the everyday work of judging among the people. They’ll bring the hard cases to you, but in the routine cases they’ll be the judges. They will share your load and that will make it easier for you. If you handle the work this way, you’ll have the strength to carry out whatever God commands you, and the people in their settings will flourish also.” Moses listened to the counsel of his father-in-law and did everything he said. Moses picked competent men from all Israel and set them as leaders over the people who were organized by the thousand, by the hundred, by fifty, and by ten. They took over the everyday work of judging among the people. They brought the hard cases to Moses, but in the routine cases they were the judges. Then Moses said good-bye to his father-in-law who went home to his own country.
Exodus 18:13-27 MSG
No matter the position you attain in life, you are blessed when you have people that can give you an honest feedback and can tell you the truth, irrespective of whose ox is gored.
Accountability is not weakness, it saves you from many potential and real pitfalls, it also helps you deal with many blindspots.
Never get to a position in life where you isolate yourself from constructive criticism or questioning, and never arrogate to yourself the infallibility tag.
Many times in attempting to answer some questions, more clarity occurs and times papered cracks show.
Moses the powerful leader, Moses the revolutionary leader, Moses the Prophet who saw a part of God, Moses who was handed the tablets scribbled by God, Moses who saw manna and quail, Moses, Moses… Probably owed his longevity to his father in-law who told him ‘Bro, your body go quench oh…you need to delegate, you are not doing it right in this manner’…and yes Moses listened and obeyed, and the impact was noticable and it really helped his adminstration despite being schooled in Egypt and learning from the best and also hearing from God.
No one knows it all…even me ‘I no Sabi many things’ and having the right people in life who can honestly talk to you and encourage you in this journey is key. Never isolate yourself from instruction.
Even the best pilots in the world, still get instructions from their control tower and get feedback from their copilots, their plane system and other pilots flying in the air space.
Imagine the control tower telling the pilot not to land and he responds back saying …do you know who I am? Do you know when I started flying? Do you know the price I paid to be a pilot? Just imagine what would happen.
May these words instruct you…and may you not push the right cycle away from you.
ovdspeaks #HearWord #HearWordseries
By Ovundah Nyeche
Today’s devotion was on ‘Bible engagement’…in this ‘post-truth’ world where God’s absolute is very relative to a lot of people, more than ever before our children need to know and have an experiental knowledge of God and His word.
Funny as it sounds, it is families that make up God’s family/ the church and scriptural engagement is not just the responsibility of pastors or priests or the clergy, but everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord.
We should teach our children to study God’s word on their own and avail them with the many Christian resources available for their age group. They should also learn to meditate and memorize scriptures and most importantly learn to obey scriptures.
‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall read [and meditate on] it day and night, so that you may be careful to do [everything] in accordance with all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will be successful.
Joshua 1:8 AMP’
‘Whatever was written beforehand is meant to instruct us in how to live. The Scriptures impart to us encouragement and inspiration so that we can live in hope and endure all things.
Romans 15:4 TPT’
A LifeWay study done recently found out that out of 40 most likely predictors of spiritual health for a child, that regularly reading the Bible was number 1 out of 40.
As a parent or guardian, do you discuss scriptures with your children or wards? Does your life count as a point for them believing the scripture or rejecting the Bible?
In these days and times, our children need to know God’s word and God for themselves and God is counting on you and me. Like He said about Abraham, can God say the same about you?
I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.”
Genesis 18:19 NLT
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