21st January, 2018
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Hymn of meditation: PH 314
I need thee ev’ry hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like thine can peace afford.
I need thee, O I need thee, ev’ry hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my Saviour, I come to Thee
Any good father gives good things to the well-behaved child. If the heaven shall open for us, it must be because we have repented and believed in the Good News. The three operative words in the chosen theme are: ‘Repent, Believe and Goodnews.
- Repent means to be sorry for one’s sins and determine not to go back into the sin again. Luke 19:1-10 tells us of the story of Zacchaeus who made a lot of money through dubious means. After an encounter with Jesus Christ, he realised his sin and paid up all he has taken from people. This is one clear example of how we must behave when we claim we have repented a total change in behaviour.
- To Believe is to think of something or someone as true or honest. Acts 16:31 – believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.
- Good news: the kingdom of heaven has come, God is with us and cares for us, and Christ heals us from our physical and spiritual sicknesses. There is no sin or problem too big for God to handle. It does not matter what we have done in life; God forgives and heals us when we call on Him.
The Lord calls us today to repent from our sins, our wrongful actions and believe in the Goodnews. He is calling on us to repent from our sins of lying, cheating, stealing, our sins of sexual immorality, homosexuality and any other we may be involved in.
Bible says the first step in turning to God is to admit you are a sinner as John the Baptist teaches us in Matthew 3:2 after which God will receive and help you through. That’s the reason for altar call at most Christian gatherings to give people the chance to admit their sin before God, confess and be saved.
The Kingdom of heaven begun when God Himself entered into human history as a man and today, Christ lives in our hearts, but the kingdom will be completely established when sin is totally wiped away from the earth.
In the first reading from Jonah 3:1-5, the prophet got a second opportunity in God’s redemption plan for the people of Neneva to repent of their sins and turn to God. Equally in this present time, there is so much sin in the world today. God is calling on us to go preach to the world just like he also called Noah in his days to call sinners unto repentance before the floods came.
The world is polluted with all manner of negativities today; stories of infidelity in marriages, self-made prophets and men of God who take undue advantage of desperate women who come to them for prayers for seed of the womb and many more. Incest has also found its way into society these days and its stories flooding the news nowadays. Bible also makes us understand that “judgement will begin from the house of God”. The church is not exempt from the many evils happening in the world today. Adultery, fornication and the like, between members and leaders alike have all crept into the House of the Lord and gotten many involved. If God had earlier decided to destroy this world like He did in the days of Jonah, He would have had all the reasons to do so. I speak to you today like the Jonah of today asking you to change your ways and repent.
The story is told of a doctor who made so much money from conducting abortions for many women that one evening as he sat down to count the proceeds, he fell asleep still not through with counting. Bible says the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy and so for that night, the devil paid him a visit and took away everything he had laboured for. Corruption abounds also in the employment sector where business owners demand sexual favour from women before offering them job opportunities.
The stories above indicate there is so much work to be done. As ‘Jonah’ of these times, God expects us to reach out to the market places, churches and our neighbourhood to tell them to repent of their sins and come to Jesus. Let’s rise up and make a difference.
No matter how much we pray, there is no way God can provide if we continue to hold on to what is not ours and continue to deprive people of their personal peace and belonging. If you continue to wrongly abide with a man who is not yours, hear the Word of the Lord as from a ‘Jonah’ of this time, repent and move away from that abode. Martin Luther King Jnr. stood up against the Roman Catholic Church and brought in its wake the reformed church that we have today. Let’s be determined to rise up and fight any evil and bring the light of God there.
In the third reading from Mark 1:14-20, Jesus calls His disciples from the shores to reach out and fish for souls. Today He calls market women, medical practitioners, traders, caterers and all to be His disciples. When Jesus called the fishermen at the shore, Bible says they left everything and totally gave in and followed. Today, some, like the early disciples, have left lucrative jobs, gotten involved and following still. All God is asking us to do is to leave what we are holding on to and begin to follow Jesus Christ. He is calling on us to seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness by following Him to win souls for Him. In Isaiah 6:8 God asks “whom shall I send and who will go for us?” How many are willing to respond “Here I am, Lord, empower me and send me”. The fire that marked the success of the early church and even in the quite recent history of our churches start-ups today appears to have died. God needs people to send, to reach out to the world and tell people about Jesus. He is calling us to be evangelists, apostles, teachers, prophets and instead of responding to the call, we rather are busy with the chase after material things of the world, evident in people using their own children for money rituals just to gain money.
We have the Presbyterian Church established today because some people left the comfort of their own homes in Basel to bring the message of the Kingdom and Christianity to our shores. Today, you are also being called to do your part, respond to the call and your life will never be the same.
In conclusion, I tell you that Jesus Christ is coming soon. All the signs and unexplained events are clear indications. The recent pronouncement that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is not an accident; it is only prophetic. One may ask just like the jailer asked Paul and Silas in Acts 16:30 “…Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” and they responded to him in the verse 31 “…Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household.”
I call upon you today to repent of your sins, accept Christ into your life and as you do that, I pray that God would be kind to you and take away His wrath from you.