The living faith is a growing faith. It is the renewable and overcoming apostolic belief that stands the test of time. That, which is not subject to the vagaries of time, changing situations and circumstances. It is not a consumable that depletes nor a hardware that depreciates, and, it does not become obsolete with time functionally and or aesthetically.
A song writer, W.H Bathurst, described true faith as “a faith that shines more bright and clear when tempest rage without. That, which when in danger knows no fear and in darkness feels no doubt. That which does not murmur nor complain beneath the chastening rod, but in the hour of grief and pain leans upon its God.” braham, Job, Stephen, and Paul the Apostle are examples of people who demonstrated such impregnable faith in the Bible.
When the Israelites were leaving Egypt, they had a great faith in the God of their salvation who had just convincingly and adequately demonstrated His powers and His love towards them. They sang beautiful songs of praise in appreciation of the signs and wonders which they saw and experienced. The songs were real and well intended. At that point in time, to them, there was no god as awesome and as loving as the God of Israel.
Just as Jesus Christ said in Mathew 24:12 that when wickedness would increase, the love of many would wax cold. The story soon changed; they lost colour and composure when challenges arose and trials came up. In Exodus 14:12 they harassed Moses saying ” didn’t we say to you in Egypt , ‘leave us alone, let us serve the Eqyptians?’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” They even at a point made graven images for themselves. It became clear, without doubt, that nothing more recommended Him to them than the miracles which they saw. Their faith had been built on the pillars of those transient signs and wonders that heralded their freedom from Egypt and which they experienced in the journey. It was not in God and the promised land which should have been the main focus.
When the motive of faith is not right, its basis will be defective. Such a faith can not be a living faith. It will be exhaustible when the physical testimonies that hold it are no more for one reason or the other. This is the condition of many believers; most of the objects of the then high sounding testimonies have become stale. It may be that the cars have become old, the houses have become dilapidated or the much celebrated miracle baby is now a source of anxiety and great concern. For some others, it could be that the beautiful prophesies are not being fulfilled or their bones are aching on account of sickness. If they do not have a living faith, their spontaneous joy of salvation will vanish, their enthusiasm in worship will dampen and their zeal for service will wane. Such a faith will faint and die.
I know of a truth that there are believers, even among us here at Foursquare Gospel Church, Olota Captain, whose lot in life is really tasking and whose cross is so heavy. However the scripture in Mathew 24:13 says only those who endure to the end shall be saved. While we trust God for our benefits of sonship in him, we need to realise that the crowning glory of a believer is Heaven. Our salvation that puts us in its path is enough consolation to make our faith a living faith. Stephen endured stoning to death and still rejoiced in his salvation; Job, in his distress bowed down to worship God without charging Him foolishly. It profits a man nothing to gain the whole world and lose his soul, says the Word of God. The night is near and the curtain will soon be drawn on the stage of life. We should concentrate on priorities and not allow the ephemeral things of the flesh to deter us.
As I welcome you all to the last month of year 2017. I thank you for the sacrifices you have made in the outgoing year and I pray that Heaven will grant every one of us good rewards. I am not unaware that we as individuals and as a group will tend to weigh our achievements against our set goals for the year. It is human to do so. Caution demands however that we should guide against the mistake of letting the result of comparing ourselves with ourselves or with the world be the basis of our faith in God. Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross and the hope of Heaven it gives us should be the grandstand of our faith. We will get there in Jesus name. Let us keep faith alive.
“I must work the work of Him that sent me while it is day, the night cometh when no one can work” John 9:4
This is a strident call to the christian duty of soul winning and a stern warning of the consequences of delay. In it, we find a piecing sermon that the coming of the Lord is at hand, and the end is near when the curtain shall be drawn.
The disciples had been deeply touched by the pitiable pathetic plight of the man who was born blind from his mother’s womb. They said “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind? – John 9:2. To this, Jesus responded emphatically ” neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life – John 9:3. Here, Jesus gave the disciples what should be a correct reading and understanding of the times.
Apparently, the disciples had failed to see beyond the physical. The Lord Jesus went further in verse 4, our theme text, to impress on them that the problem should be seen as an opportunity to win souls and that the right response should be eagerness to evangelise. A song writer puts it this way: “Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying. Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; Weep over the erring one. Lift up the fallen.Tell them of Jesus, the Mighty to save”
Today, most believers are still seeing the way the Apostles saw in this story. They are busy lamenting and asking desperate questions about the increasing intensity of violence, cannibalism, false prophesies, diseases, famine, coldness of faith and other signs of the end time listed in Mathew chapter 24. They are failing to do the needful which Christ did to take advantage of the situation to win souls. The blind man’s case is like the case of Lazarus in John 11 which won several souls and tremendous respect for Christ Jesus and His gospel.
The current world wide crisis is providential. It is in fulfilment of the last sign prophesied in Mathew 24:14 “and this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations and then the end will come ” This, the Bible in Mathew 24:33 says should prepare us for the end. The problems are a divine arrangement to open a window of opportunity for the entrance and the spread of the gospel in otherwise stone walled Islamic enclaves with iron cast resistance.
The appropriate response of believers to this situation is to strategies to reap the harvest that is now so ripe before it rots away as the night is near. There is no better time to preach the gospel than now. The Holy Spirit is blatantly exposing the deception and wickedness of the satanic religions. The veils are broken and the smokescreens are shattered. Everyone can easily see the difference and choose between the shepherd that died for its Sheep and the one that is consuming and maiming its own. Unbelievers are a people in great distress now. They are drowning and will eagerly rush to hold on to the anchor of Christ if we introduce Him to them.
“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Kingdom awareness is on the increase. More people are getting involved in the work of ministry. Church denominations as well as the number of churches are multiplying. However, it is an open secret today that many of the denominations, even churches within the same denomination, differ on key issues of faith. It is the same faith but sometimes outrightly different beliefs. It is undisputable that they can not all be right. Some must be acting in grievous error out of ignorance or in deliberate violation of the standard
It is reminiscent of the days of the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus when multitudes followed Him for different reasons. Some had genuine interest in His message of salvation, while some followed Him to have an opportunity to trap Him. Many did so for the food and security that He provided. In Christ’s own word, John 6:26 says “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” His counsel was “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” John 6:27
This counsel and Christ’s response to Martha in Luke 10:42 are clear indications that there are priorities in the gospel. Issues and activities carry different weights and relevance. There is a nucleus of the faith that is irreducible and absolutely important to be accorded the most attention. Mathew 13:44 says the kingdom of God is a treasured land which when one finds, he goes to sell all that he has to be able to buy it. For this reason Mathew 6:33 says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The message of John the Baptist was “repent and be saved, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Jesus sent the twelve and the seventy to win souls; and the goal of the great commission is soul winning. Christ’s birth, ministry, death and resurrection is the center and main message of the gospel. Salvation of souls is its goal. While it is good to seek the earthly privileges that are in serving the Lord, the most important goal of the believer must be to make Heaven. It is that which is worth sacrificing every other thing for.
In the race for relevance and reward in ministry, some pray endlessly and some fast without limit. There are those who major in preaching the word, in prophesy, in evangelism, and some in the working of miracles. These and whatever other gospel strategies employed must, in content and context, be with the sole aim of winning souls for Christ. Every believer must examine himself to be sure that he is not off course.
“The Lord of hosts has planned; who can frustrate it? And for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:27. Power belongs to God. He is the origin and the source of power. Other powers that be are ordained by Him and they derive from Him. Job, acting on the witness of his spirit and his real life experiences said, concerning God: “He can do all things; no purpose of His can be thwarted” – Job 42:2.
The Psalmist realised the helplessness of the man who relies on his own powers. He said: “my soul wait thou only upon God; my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved” Psalms 62:5-6. In verse ten of this same scripture, we find his warning that even if riches increase, man should not set his heart upon them but trust and depend on God at all times.
Of course, if the way of anxiety, haste and hurry was the way to gather and preserve achievements, we would require a lot of space to keep them. The truth, however, is that the story of many people, over many decades, can be captured in just one or two lines. That is even if there is anything worth noting at all. It is written – “surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity” – Psalms 62:9. It is not in the power of man to help himself. Life without God is a wild goose chase, an effort and a journey in futility.
David, a warrior, king, prophet and inspired singer, declared in Psalms 62:11
“God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God ” God speaks through His nature of omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. The astounding order of creation in the universe is a clear testimony. Everything speaks of His powers. The works of His hand – the bottomless sea, the land and the mountains; the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars, living and and non living things – are of His great powers.
In quantum and in quality, physically and spiritually, all that man wants and all that he seeks can only be found in God. Real protection is only in God and by His power; true prosperity and true promotion are His prerogatives. Failure to realise and be guided by this fact will result in riotous and crisis ridden life that is sure to end in regrets. It is an irony that man leaves God, in more instances than not, out his plans.
The ember months are around the corner again. The consciousness that the year is coming to an end begins to dawn on all of us. Most people at this period of the year start to measure achievement against goals. The desire to accomplish, to meet up, to make up and to make a mark and be remarkable begins to heighten about this time. Activities pick up in homes, and pep up in offices and market places. The hustle and bustle increase and the roads get busier by the day. We must tread with caution.
The rush and the hurry with which businesses are conducted assumes an unbecoming dimension. This unbridled chase in a great haste, leaves, in its aftermath, a sour taste in the mouth of many people. It is usually in the form of disappointments, accidents, robberies, arson etc. The mere thought of this time of the year sends jitters down the spine of many people.
As believers, we should not fear what the world fears. We must know that it is an unwarranted stigmatisation. God does not preset the end of the year for evil. It is leaving Him out of our plans that cause problems. Let us recognise the power and the place of God in our lives. Let us give Him His due regard and reverence. We and all that God has blessed us with are for signs and wonders. With Him on our side, we will not have a share in the sorrow and the pains that may travel with this period in Jesus name.
I read 1Corinthians 3:8-15 while speaking on “The in-escapability of the Day of Reckoning” in my Word of Exhortation at our Annual General Membership Meeting (AGMM) on Sunday 30th July 2017. Three days before the AGMM, specifically Thursday, July 27, I ministered at our monthly 12-hour interdenominational prayer program – Thunderous Thursday. The theme was “Guide Me With Your Counsel Oh Lord.” The reference Scripture was Psalm 73:24
While considering the two passages and other related scriptures, I saw that a man’s life is presented with chances and choices amidst riddles and mysteries which are the dynamic forces that create its events. I saw also that man owes his life to God and God is interested in how he lives it since He created him for a purpose and had a special plan for him. Man, though free to make his choices, will be held accountable for his life by God
If, as these scriptures show, the quality of every man’s work will be tested with fire, that which is built using gold and costly stones will survive, but the work of him that built with wood and straw will suffer loss. The Spirit of the Lord opened my understanding to the fact of the existing Foundation. The Foundation being the set standard, there is the need for whoever that builds to build according to pattern. Man therefore will be acting in utter darkness without constant recourse to his creator who knows and holds the plan.
Living by Revelation is living a Spirit led life. It is a life instructed and guided supernaturally. For such, actions, inactions and reactions are virtually premised on received divine supernatural disclosures of special information, or intelligence relating to what is to be done. Just as Daniel needed divine revelation to unravel the mystery of the king’s dream, every man needs the light of God’s revelation to live a purposeful life in this dark world. If he does, without doubt, he will shoot and hit target and achievement of purpose will be easy.
Revelation is much more than learning. It is a profound insight that is possible only from the realm of the spirit. Daniel said:
“And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh” Daniel 2:11.
Revelation could be through vision, dream, the written Word, word of prophecy, trance, audible voice, among others. They are supernatural windows to either access the past and or to peep into the future accurately.
The quality of the revelation depends on the source. For everything that God does, the devil has a counterfeit. Hence, caution is highly required to differentiate between the revelation from the living God and the one from Satan – the impostor, otherwise the beneficiary will be worse off. The Bible says: Numbers chapter 12 verse 6, God said
” .. Hear now my words: if there be a prophet among you, I the LORD, will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream”- Numbers 12:6
As believers in God through Jesus Christ, we are sons of God by adoption. The father desires communion with us, His children. He is willing and waiting to reveal secrets of life and living to us that we may live well and that we may please Him. It is very important and necessary for all to avail himself/herself of this divine privilege. Even if one does not value the peace that it gives, he must seek it to please God since he will be held accountable for his life on the Day of Reckoning.
The month of July marks the beginning of another Foursquare year. Like seasons, a new year offers opportunity for stock taking. It is usually a time for reflection, review, reordering and repositioning for a new beginning. It comes with fresh hope, renewed zeal and greater energy to surpass the accomplishment of the out gone year.
The covenant of God with us for the new year 2017/2018 is “New Glory.” New glory not only for ourselves as individuals nor our Olota Captain church alone, but for our community and the Foursquare Movement in Nigeria. We will no more pride ourselves only in the achievements of the past, Heaven will refresh our testimonies and greater shall be our rejoicing.
This appears a wishful thinking in an environment of social malaise, economic recession and general decadence that are prevalent in our land. I heard it clearly, that if we are willing, the zeal of God will make it possible, and many will weep for joy. You and I hold the keys to this all important move of the Spirit in our midst.
We all desire positive and great things for ourselves and our nation; we all know what the problems are; we all know what the solutions are; we all have a part of the solutions as individuals; and, we all know that it will not begin until it begins. What we all expect is, however, the one who will make the sacrifice and lead the pack.
The story in the thirteenth and the fourteenth chapters of the book of first Samuel is very instructive. The Philistines sorely intimidated the people of Israel and challenged them to a ferocious war. This was after they had raped the land and rid it of all the blacksmiths to the extent that on the day of battle no one but Saul and Jonathan had weapons in the whole of land. Most of the thousands of soldiers assembled by Saul for the war deserted and worse still, several of them decamped to the Philistines army, to fight against their own people, because of fear. In the final analysis, the Lord gave victory to Israel.
Israel prevailed because of one man who volunteered to face the challenge head on. In 1 Samuel 14:6 it is written “And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.” In that story, Jonathan took it upon himself to fight to save his race. He decided not to wait for anyone and he expected nothing from anybody. He desired victory for Israel and he was ready to be the sacrifice for it if necessary.
Our theme for the month of July shall be “VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: WHO WILL I SEND?.” We will be reading from I Samuel 14: 1-6 and Nehemiah 2:15-20. A volunteer is a person who acts out of his own freewill, not by assignment, and without legal obligations. In verse one of the same chapter fourteen, it is written that Jonathan did not tell anyone, not even King Saul his father, who was fear stricken and could have discouraged him. Jonathan was a volunteer. Nehemiah was another good example of a volunteer. But for him, the wall of Jerusalem would not have been rebuilt. A volunteer notices a need and he meets it.
Prophet Isaiah said “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” – Isaiah 6:8. The volunteer is self appointing, self motivating, self compelling and self propelling. He does everything for free, out of his own volition and of his own freewill. A volunteer makes sacrifices, and makes himself a sacrifice if necessary.
The Lord is looking for volunteers. If the families and the church will make progress, each one of us must be willing to be used of God to meet the perceived need in every area that we are individually endowed without waiting for anyone. We are all quick to notice the gap but we are reluctant to fill it. Apostle Paul wrote to Titus “And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need and not be unfruitful.” – Titus 3:14. Each one of us must be willing to work for the change that is desired.
Loyalty is a sense of unwavering devotion and total commitment to a relationship. It connotes an impregnable solidarity with someone, that is borne out of love and or great respect. Apostle Paul said “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:38-39.
The truest test of loyalty is challenges, which provide possible excuses to severe the relationship or do things that will undermine its integrity. Ruth stands out as a good example when it comes to loyalty. Faced with the death of her husband, and, with no hope of another in Naomi’s family, she chose to remain in the relationship. When asked to return to her people, Ruth resolutely said “do not urge me to leaveyou or to turn back from you. Where you go l will go, and where you stay l will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God” Ruth 1:16
The disciples remained loyal to Christ’s great commission even to the last drop of their blood. They passed the baton to committed faithfuls from one generation of believers to another till the time of that great Evangelist and preacher – Aime Semple McPherson. MacPherson, who founded the Foursquare Church, encapsulated the Gospel message into the fourfold doctrine, and twenty two tenets of faith of the Foursquare Movement. Believers, especially members of the Foursquare Church, are expected to be foot soldiers of Christ, preaching His Gospel faithfully without adding to or removing from it. This is loyalty.
As soldiers of Christ, we must
– be courageous to defend our faith whatever it takes – Nehemiah 4:17-18
– be honorable and worthy of the name of the Lord God – Genesis 39:9
– assist the fallen comrade – Philemon 10-17
– never accept defeat – Acts 4:18-20
– adhere strictly to the codes of christian conduct – Galatians 5: 13-26
– be loyal to the leadership of the Church – Romans 13:1-2
“It pays to serve Jesus, I speak from my heart, He’ll always be with us, if we do our part. There’s naught in this wide world can pleasure afford; There’s peace and contentment in serving the Lord. I love Him far better than in days of yore; I’ll serve Him more truly than ever before. I’ll do as He bids me, whatever the cost, I’ll be a true soldier, I’ll die at my post.”
Lack of loyalty is disloyalty. It is counted as rebellion in the military and it is punishable with death. The same spiritual fate awaits the disloyal and the deserters who abandon their duty post in Christ.
The month of June is observed yearly as Loyalty Month by The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria. It is a time to reflect on our individual and corporate activities and strategies as an evangelical church. This is to ensure that they are strictly in line with the dictates of the word of God. To celebrate loyalty, Pastors in Foursquare exchange pulpits; also, the theme of the month and the messages are guided by the National leadership of the Church. I wish all of us a pleasantly memorable loyalty month.
The month of May is our Family Month. We will be considering the Faces, Facets and Facts of family units, and, family life with the study of the earthly family of Jesus Christ as the model of the ideal Christian home. We had a series of teachings on the subject of The Family, in our Bible Study, in the months of February and March. So, we will be treading on a familiar ground.
A family is any group of people who live together, related by blood or marriage, especially parents and their children. Those who are bonded together by a common faith are also called a family. Christians, through faith in Christ, are members of the family of God – John 1:12
The interaction of the members of the family – father, mother and children, produces family values. The society itself mirrors the sum total of the values of the constituent family units. Whatever change, therefore, that is desired in the society must start with the families and the change desired in the families must start with the individual members.
Families have a common ancestor, a common heritage as well as common characteristics that distinguish them from others. Jesus had an earthly family (Mark 6:3) Learning about Jesus family will draw us closer to Him and enhance our appreciation of God choosing an ordinary human family to nurture Jesus during His childhood.
The father is the male head of the family; the man in marriage. God counts on him so much for the success of the family. He is given much preeminence that through him the family is defined and described. He is the symbol of authority, and protection.
These can be said of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus:
– he was tolerant and understanding – Mathew 1:18 -20
– he was sensitive to the Spirit – Mathew 1:20-24
– he exercised self control; Joseph didn’t see his wife until Christ was born – Mathew 1:25
– he put spiritual values above self interest.
– he was obedient to divine instruction – Mathew 2:21
– he taught his children true worship – Luke 2: 41-50
The Mother is the female partner in marriage. She is the manager of the home. Her influence on family life is enormous. She molds the children, models them after the man and makes or unmakes her man.
Mary was the earthly mother of Jesus (Luke 1: 33-35. )
– she was courageous to accept God’s will – Luke 1:38
– she valued Spiritual privileges
– she endured disgrace and risked death – Deuteronomy 22:23-24
– she had faith in Jesus.
– she dutifully followed Jesus till He was fulfilled
Children are offsprings and fruits of the womb. They are a unifying factor. Jesus had a humble beginning as a child, He grew up with other children in the family. These can be said of His childhood:
– Jesus had a humble beginning – Mathew 8:20
– Jesus was subject to His parents – Luke 2:51
– Jesus managed to live with his half brothers and sisters.
– Jesus put the mother in care of John the beloved
– Jesus brothers were unbelievers till He died – Mark 3:21
– Jesus did not put Mary in their care but with John the beloved
– Although they were unbelievers, Jesus did not reject them
– Jesus brothers were not by the Cross
– Jesus brothers exercised faith in Him only after resurrection
– Jesus humility and accomplishments changed them.
– they were in the group that met in Jerusalem before the Pentecost – Acts 1:14
The ideal Christian family is the one with the attributes of Christ.
In the beginning, man’s life was simple and pleasant. He had no crisis within and no crisis without; co-habitation was peaceful; his relationship with his creator was that of partnership. It was harmonious and devoid of complications. He lived a robust life, regaling in power and affluence as lord of the Garden (Genesis 1:28)
A big vacuum came into his life when he was cursed and cast out of the presence of his creator; the shield of God’s glory was removed from him. He thus became naked, exposed and vulnerable. As a wanderer, he began to know the pains of rejection, experience poverty, and feel the terror of fear and hopelessness. At which time, he was helpless and started to cry –(Genesis 3:17-19)
As men increased, on the surface of the earth, crisis multiplied. They had to grapple with the sorrow of murder, incest, sodomy, persecution, slavery, oppression and all sorts of evil which were consequences of impaired relationship with their creator and improper fellowship with themselves (Genesis 4:8; 6:5; 19:5;39:20; Exodus 3:9)
Prophet Isaiah lamented “ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil doers, children that are corrupt; they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel into anger; they are gone away backward.” Isaiah 1:4
God moved to save man. He started with clothing him with the skin of the animal; the Ten Commandments, and went on to give the creed of religious observance and sacrifices. These set the code of worship and lists of the dos and don’ts to sanitize and regulate interaction among men. With all of them, true peace still eluded the world (Genesis 3:21; Exodus 20:3-17; Exodus Chapters 21 to chapter 40; Leviticus Chapter 1 to chapter 27)
The cry did not cease with the creed. Religious rituals and sacrifices could not save man. To annul sins, the penalty must be higher than the value of the offence. God had to give His only begotten son in self originating compassion (John 3:16). Jesus Christ’s blood, shed on the Cross of Calvary gives total cure (Col. 2:14). The Cross restores life and hope to man. Calvary Love sufficed where the creed failed (Hebrews 9: 8-14)
The Bible says “And God saw every thing that He had made. And, behold, it was very good.”- Genesis 1:31. This means that God created every thing perfect. The word of God is true but it is also a fact that there are so many imperfections in the world today. Why do we have diseases, starvation, insecurity, man’s inhumanity to man, poverty among others which include but not limited to natural disasters? What is God doing to bring solution is another question. The irony is that the solution has long been provided but man is oblivious of it and so he suffers. We are the solutions. Man is the solution that God has provided.
Man needs to understand his relationship with God; he needs to know his position in Him and his purpose without which life will be meaningless, mindless and a mess without focus. Even though God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, yet, He is not arbitrary. As Great as God is, He chooses to work with man as partners. We will examine PARTNERING WITH GOD as our theme in this month of March, the Bible text will be Gen. 2:15. I am sure that many people may see the theme as an overstatement. Yes, I know partners are associates in a common activity; they are coworkers of significant relevance to the achievement of the common objective and each one is a critical factor in the equation of their common goal. Given this definition of partnership, one may innocently ask: how then can man ever be considered a partner with the great God?
The opening verse of the Bible says “in the beginning, God created Heaven and the earth” – Genesis 1:1. So, nothing was created but by God. The question in Job 38:4 suggests that God did it alone. It says “where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Yes, I agree, it is true that God created all things – living and non living; it is also true that man was the last to be created on the sixth day. He even created a palace-of-a-garden called Eden before He formed him. But it is undeniable that God so much loves man that He makes him a glorified participant in His creation project.
It is written in Genesis 2:15 “And the Lord put the man in the garden to dress it and to keep it.” We can deduce from this and the entire story of creation that:
The “health and wellbeing of the garden was the part of man in project of creation. God desires to be the Lord over man and He formed man to be the lord over His creation. The problems in the world are as a result of man’s neglect of his part; and, he is the solution to the problems.
God will not come down from Heaven, not anymore since the days of Adam and Eve when the first family messed up the garden. He will use man to solve man’s problems. The Bible says “for brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but in love, serve one another. For the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” – Galatians 5:13-14.
I am sure of these, if everyman will be his brother’s keeper there will not be insecurity; if we can eschew greed and selfishness there is enough provision of food and shelter for all; if we can preach and make all disciples of Christ, the Gospel will heal the land of Boko Haram, kidnapping, arson, murder and all such vices and if everyone will choose to offer his best to humanity, the ruler and the ruled will live in peace and prosperity.
We are the solutions that God has provided for the problems of the world. It is not just beginning now, it has always been so. Noah partnered with God to preserve the seed of human race and of animals during the flood. Moses partnered with God to bring the Israelites out of Egypt; Rahab partnered with God for the fall of Jericho; Prophet Nathan and Bathsheba partnered with God to secure David’s throne for Solomon; Christ Himself appointed us as partners of the great commission –Mathew 28:19; Romans 10:14.
For anything that God will do, He will use the instrumentality of man. How great our families, community, church, Nation and the world would be, if only we will struggle to outdo each other in love and sacrifice? It will be awesome to love others as you love yourself? May those who God has appointed to partner with Him in the fulfillment of our destinies not fail in their duties in Jesus name. Have a Spirit led Month of March.