FIRST LESSON: REVELATIONS 2:4-5
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because, thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from where thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
SECOND LESSON: MATTHEW 22:37
Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
GOLDEN TEXT: LUKE 14:33
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that foresaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
THE CAUSE OF HUMAN SUFFERING:
Beloved, the above text form the summary of our Lesson. The people of the world ask you daily about what the Father says. This is the answer to it, that the Father says mankind should remember the point from which he has fallen, repent and continue in his original good works assigned him by his creator, otherwise, the Father will come soon and remove the candlestick out of its place.
A local adage has it that when the cause to a particular event is forgotten, there is bound to be problems. When God created Adam and Eve, were there anything like juju, fornication, eating of meat and fish, snuffing, smoking, or the love for material things? Was there anything like money?
Were there the various means of transportation as we have now ? What obtained at that time was the unconditional love for God. There was no craving for materialism and the desire for evil. That is the original love: "Loving the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." He is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is also the only one who cares for you. This explains why we have to love and obey Him alone.
God has something against us because our love for Him has waned and has rather developed towards the things created by God. Therefore, except man retraces his steps back to God, and the original love for God, his problems will be endless and insurmountable by him. My salvation and the salvation of the whole world is dependent on our adherence to this piece of advice. He has made it clear that He is a jealous God. Therefore, this is best time for man to repent and to return to his first love for God.
The Lord has warned that you should not love the world and the things of the world for whoever loves the world has not the love of God in his heart. The love that prevails in the world now is the love for food, money, women,men, cars, buildings, and other material things. He had promised to visit the iniquities of the parents on the children and their children's children of the third and fourth generations of those who hate and disobey Him. It is therefore our duty to love Him alone. He has also enjoined us not to have another God apart from Him and not to make any graven image for ourselves. That we should not worship anything created by man, nor should we dine with idle worshippers.
Why do you submit yourself to the things of this world? Does it mean that you were created by food, drink, roots, attire or any of the material thing? Were you not created by God? We should have love for him alone.
The problems plaguing the whole world, both whites and blacks are traceable to man's disobedience and his lack of love for God. Whoever fails to forsake materialism is heading towards destruction. Food itself is like medicine. It is meant to be used and not to be worshipped. So also are such things as clothing, houses, water, and other material things. Man is not expected to adore or love these things more than God who created them. Except man divorces his love for material things and sticks to his creator, man cannot have peace.
Do not worship stones, tree, trunk, root, or any other thing apart from God. God loves man more than all else; but man has done nothing to reciprocate the gesture. Man has divided his love into various places, love for cigarette, women, shoes, men, drink, politics, clothing, cars, and other things. Thus leaving God with none. You should ask yourself the reason why God who created the world should turn round to warn man not to love the world nor the things of the world. He is life, the beginning and the end.
We have no other Father except Him. No other thing can save man, NOT EVEN THE ANGELS, APART FROM GOD HIMSELF. If we forsake the things of this world right now, become penitent of our sins and follow Him, then the Father will accept us into his flock and grant us salvation.
BEWARE OF MATERIALISM:
Our Lord Jesus Christ made His position on materialism known when a certain young man asked Him to persuade his brother to divide their father's inheritance among them. He asked the young man who made Him a divider and a judge between them. He went ahead to advise the young man and others too to beware of covetousness for whatever a man possesses, his life is not in his hands. How would you feel, for instance, if your child, wife, or brother, foresakes you to prefer and appreciate the things you provide for him/her? Man has today become an object of mean repute and destruction.
Man is ready to destroy his fellow man for the sake of food, money, clothing, cars, land, shoes, and other transitory things. God's injunction to man is for him to love his fellow man and that he should not kill. But man has rather thrown such injunctions to the wind.
Man is such a shameless being. He hangs a piece of wood or metal around his neck and finger for protection. If pieces of wood and metal should be used for protection what then is the work of God, the creator of all things? Have you forgotten what happened to the children of Israel when they preferred and worshipped the image of a golden calf made out for them by Aaron? God got offended and destroyed them in their millions. That is why you are enjoined now not to tempt your God as did the Israelites and were destroyed by the destroyer.
If you call yourself a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, or a Hindu, why do you keep a big pot, bottle, or bury something in your inner room for protection? Why do you go about with rings, amulet or talisman for your self protection? Do such things have life? Are stones, stick, leaves, and other idols capable of giving life? They are rather instruments of destruction. It is the worship of all such things by man that incurs the wrath of God upon mankind. Food, clothing, idols, wine, shoes, and ointment cannot save man if God deserts him. The world is today in turmoil and if judgement should commence now, none would be saved. It is because of His love and mercy that He has undertaken to remind us once again of His injunction to love Him and keep His commandments. If you fail to love God your creator, for what purpose then did He create you? Except all the inhabitants of the world retrace their steps to their creator, they will continue to face distress and gnashing of teeth. He has promised to remove the candle stand from its place if man remains unrepentant. He has timely advised you to store your treasure in heaven where thieves will not break into and moth cannot corrupt. The treasures laid on earth are unprofitable. Let all your love be centered on God and all will be well with you.
THE ONLY HOPE FOR MAN :
Recall that when Moses moulded a serpent and hung it on a tree for the people to look upon whenever they were bitten by the deadly snakes, it was only those who obeyed that were saved and those who did not were destroyed. Therefore, in this present age, of the multitude of people who will listen to this gospel and comply with it are saved and the light of God shall shine upon them. Wherever your treasure is, there lies your mind. It is for this reason that your daily subject of discussion and interest rest on money, juju, charms, women, politics, cars, clothing, food, and other material things. How then will God be pleased?
Read the first lesson again.
FIRST LESSON: REVELATION 2:4-5
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.
YOUR LIFE IS NOT IN YOUR HANDS:
Our Lord Jesus Christ told a parable to that young man who requested Him to divide his father's inheritance with his brothers. He told the young man that, there was once a rich man who stored plenty of food in his barn and sought his soul to rest, eat, and be merry. At that same night his soul was demanded of him by God. Christ asked him who shall enjoy the food and wealth the rich man had stored. Such is the fate that awaits all those who prefer the things of this world to the love of God. Man has fallen short of the grace of God because of his disobedience, his love for and pride in materialism.
People have forwarded themselves into governments, church denominations, and other societies for the sake of acquiring material wealth. Instead of discussing how to obey God and to keep His injunctions, the people of the world meet regularly only to talk about how to cheat and humiliate others, how to loot the treasury, distort information and mislead the public. This explains the severity of the current hardship all over the world.
Human beings are carnally minded and are disobedient. What is going on the world is mere 'POLICE ACTION.' The worst is yet to come except there is a change of heart by mankind. He is a jealous God and so, He should not be provoked. It is written that:
Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it, except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. (Psalm 127:1).
This is why the people who are kept at the helm of affairs have failed the people . None is capable of ruling or leading the world, not even the angels are capable. Upon all the political and administrative changes taking place all over the world, yet none has been successful. God alone has the key to peace, and success and prosperity.
THE ONLY WORTHY LEADER:
Politicians write beautiful manifestos and promise heaven and if voted into power. But things become worse than ever before after being voted because as soon as they assume duties, they set about pursuing selfish programmes. None can better the lot of his fellow man except God. If you ask me to choose or vote for any good person to lead the world, I will have no choice, for there is no good person to be voted for. God is the only Being, the owner of all governments, in heaven and on earth. I would rather vote for the Father.
When the whites came to Africa they saw our people and everything they did as crude and uncivilized. Therefore they had to replace all the indigenous governments and institutions with theirs. Before long, Africans began to protest against the colonialist and their system. They agitated for independence. The struggle to free themselves from the yoke of colonialism and bondage intensified and many African countries were later granted political independence. The question now is, has that independence brought peace and progress to the Africans? Has the struggle for liberation and domination ceased?
There are coups and counter coups, secessions and tribal wars in Africa in particular and in the world in general. Those either appointed or voted into the various political offices have never lived up to expectation. This is because they neither know God nor His laws. They do not love Him. When a blind man leads another blind man, both will fall into a ditch.
We have a Father and a Ruler who is just and caring, yet man has rejected Him . He is the one who has enjoined you not call anybody father or lord for He is the only Father and Lord. We are brethren and derive our origin from Him. Christ said, "I am the vine, and my Father is the husband man. Every branch in me that beareth not the fruit he taketh away; and every branch that bearth fruit he purgeth it that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:1-2).
One of our spiritual choruses rendered in Igbo has it that a tree that blossoms and yields good fruit is being watered by someone. Therefore anybody who refuses to recognize his creator is condemned.
Right from the time of Adam and Eve man has never accepted God. Man has always given high regards and recognition to material things. That is a great insult to God. Whoever advises you now to put your faith and trust in man is ill advising you and such a person should pray fervently for himself. The scripture has said that :NONE SHOULD HAVE FAITH IN A MAN WHO BREATHS THROUGH HIS NOSTRILS. Is it not a good time for mankind to love God, to obey and adore Him so that peace may abound?
There is nothing anybody can do for his fellow man. When Pilate asked Christ a series of questions before His crucifixion,He rebuffed when Pilate told Him that he power to either set Him free or condemn Him. He retorted that Pilate himself had no authority to do anything except such power was given to him from above.
The Jews regarded Christ as an evil man and troublemaker. But God said He was His beloved son in whom He was well pleased and that the world should listen to Him (Christ). Of the two, the world and God, who is a liar? On another occasion when they were well fed with bread and fish by the Lord, the Jews were so pleased pleased that they wanted to crown Him their king. Knowing their plans, He departed from the area because such exercise did not bring glory to God.He went away to advance the glory of His Father.Let reference be made to the second lesson.
SECOND LESSON:MATTHEW 22:37
Jesus said unto him thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind.
WHO GOVERNS THE WORLD ?
The above passage explains the kind of person who will rule the world. Any person who desires to be among the rulers should love God with all his heart,soul, and mind. Such is the kind of person in whom God will abide and he too will also abide in God. It is because of man's departure from his first and original love for God that He has something against man. God Himself is love and if we possess the virtue of love for Him, then we will rule and reign with Him. In God's rule and kingdom there is neither black nor white, young nor old, man nor woman. That is why the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of God and His Christ where He will reign for ever and ever.
Let mankind do whatever he pleases to solve his problems, but instead of solving them, the problems would be compounded. Let a man kill, steal, loot, indulge in idolatory, and initiate into various secret cults, his problems will remain with him except he repents and follow God. The creator and owner of heaven and earth is here on earth quietly watching how rogues struggle for what rightly belongs to God. Is it possible that God would retire into heaven above, leaving the vast expanse of earth desolate?
Yet should anything happen to man now, he would first call on God to help him and not his money, houses, fleet if cars. If all, irrespective of tribe and tongues, status and faith, should go to God on bended knees, the world will be in peace and prosperity. Man, juju, food, money and the other mundane things are completely useless. God promised to rule and reign forever. (See Isaiah 2).
THE REIGN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
This is the era of the Holy Spirit and His reign. He has completely brought down the activities of man. All should stop roaming from left to right, suffering as if the creator is not here with us. We are not Fatherless. We have a Father of fathers, an ever caring and ever loving Father, if only we obey Him, all our problems will be solved. It is shameful and unthinkable that man should resort to worshipping logs of wood, stones, and other things created by God. Has juju ever created anything?
Instead of man to recognize and appreciate the wisdom and power of God he attributes the things that happen daily to evil forces. It is only God who is capable of doing what human beings cannot do. Our Lord Jesus Christ made the dumb to talk, and the deaf to hear, then instead of the people to praise God, they rather attributed the power to Belzeebub. It was for this same reason that God was provoked when the Israelites made themselves a graven image and worshipped it. God on His part did not waste time to destroy them in their thousands.
This is the era of the Holy Spirit. People should refrain from fornication, idolatory, and all forms of vices so that His bountiful grace may be granted to us.
THE PRODIGAL WORLD:
The inhabitants of the world are prodigal children. The prodigal son only returned to his Father after he has squandered his wealth and has lost every hope. Despite his iniquities, his father did not hesitate to welcome him back into the family with pomp and pageantry. That is the kind of reception that awaits any man who is penitent of his sins and returns to God. Return therefore all ye men of the world, for your Father seeketh for you. Except you all comply with this instruction, peace and prosperity shall continue to elude the world.
God had declared that if any should love Him in his heart, He would surely make His dwelling place in that person. This shows that God has no other dwelling place than the heart of man, and except man loves God, there is no other source of salvation for him. When you abide in Him and He in you, then will you be one with Him. And He will then take dominion over your whole body. He rules in peace, love, truth, and mercy. His rulership is different from human's. The word of God has neither beginning nor end. Let reference be made to the golden text.
GOLDEN TEXT: LUKE 14:33
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
YOU MUST FORSAKE VICE TO LIVE:
Beloved, the above injunction is loud and clear. Man has to forsake lies, deceit, hatred, idolatory, stealing, division, arrogance, and disbelief in your Creator. You should surrender everything to God. Except you do this you cannot be His disciple and cannot inherit His kingdom.
REPERCUSSIONS AWAIT THE WORLD:
You may have read about a certain man who had a vineyard which was fenced around and left into the care of security guards. When it was time for harvest, the owner of the field sent labourers into the farm to the harvesting but the security guards would not allow them. They captured and killed all the messengers sent by the owner. The man again sent another set of messengers, much greater in number than the first group. All were captured and slain. The man finally decided to send forth his first born son to the field. The people quickly descended on him, believing that he would eventually own the farm if allowed to escape. So they killed the heir-apparent to the farm. They did all these with the hope of gaining ownership of the farm.
The question now is, upon all that they did, were they able to seize the farm from the owner? In the final analysis, Christ asked them what would happen to such wicked servants when the rightful owner of the field finally arrives? The listeners replied that he would destroy all such servants and give the field over to other servants who are faithful to Him.
TIME FOR RECOMPENSE:
Whatever it pleased a man to do, let him do. Let him invent more sophisticated weapons and erect iron walls around himself. The owner of the field has come to pay each person according to his work. Those of you who claim ownership of the land, trees, human beings, and other things in the world, should hold firmly to them and wait for God's reaction. God is the Creator and owner of everything in heaven and on earth.
In the whole world it only Christ who says all that belongs to His Father also belongs to Him. This is because He is one with the Father. Any person who can proudly say "I and my Father are one," can equally claim ownership of whatever belongs to God. Love one another and surrender yourself and everything around you to Him and all will be well with you.
GOD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THAT HAPPENS:
People trace the problems and starvation in the world to certain persons. The question is what about the problems in your house, who is responsible? None is responsible for the famine and other problems in the world. Did He not promise to shake this earth ? Read Revelations 3:8-11. Only those who believe in Him shall live.
This is the kingdom of God in which righteousness dwells. The things held to be of uppermost importance are righteousness and joy. Man had hitherto cast his hope on another man which has invariably spelt doom upon himself. Change your mind now and love God with all heat soul and mind and He will surely manifest His goodness on you. It is written:
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof. The world and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart: Who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Anyone who is desirous of reigning with Him should give Him total love, otherwise he will labor in vain. Except you forsake all that you have, you cannot be His disciple. Whatever you had claimed to be, and whatever power you claim to have, forsake everything and surrender yourself to Him.
This is a familiar story I have been telling you. Once there lived a certain man who bought a slave who was very hardworking and so became very prosperous. The slave in turn bought many other slaves and became even richer than his master. It became the talk of the town that a slave became richer than his master. As a result, the slave became arrogant and swollen-headed. After much noise about the wealth of the slave over his master, it came to pass that a day was decleared for stock taking. So everybody in the community assembled to find out exactly who was richer, the slave or his master.
When the people gathered, the slave was given the opportunity first to take stock of his property. As he counted all that belonged to him, the people marvelled and clapped in anticipation of a complete victory over his master. After he had concluded counting his property, the master stood up to take his own stock. He enumerated the few things he had and then added the slave himself together with all his property. The whole arena was quiet and the people noded in agreement. Everybody was stunned.
This is exactly what is happening to mankind and God, the owner of us all. Empty did man come into this world and empty will he depart. Everything you see in this world will remain behind to original owner, God. Man has struggled, engaging himself in various jobs, some of them odd, just to get rich. In the end he departs, taking none of the things he had accumulated to himself. Normally, God would laugh you to scorn when you claim ownership of the woman, the man, the children, the money, and all the other things in your possession.
Many preachers and labourers in the vineyard of God have abandoned their work in search of private businesses for quick gains. That is the height of foolishness. You should now realise that the very business which you abandon the work of God to enable you pursue, belongs to God, your body and your soul belong to God, everything in the world belong to God.
So beloved, I shall not take you any further. It is said that a stroke of the cane is sufficient for the wise. He that has ears should hear what the Holy Spirit has imparted to the world. May the Lord Bless His Holy Words.
THANK YOU FATHER.