Leader-Follower Consequences

One has to extrapolate the meaning of leader-follower consequences to include all functional mentors that guide and develop individuals, young or old into leading a successful life in serving the Lord and humanity. They are such as classroom and Sunday School teachers, biological parents, foster or surrogate parents, evangelists, preachers counsellors, youth leaders and many more. In other words, biological and sociological parents or mentors do expectedly guide and help their wards and the mentored or followers to develop respectable personalities whatever the field of their endeavor in life. The control that they exercise on their followers is usually not the negative type. The end of the nurturing may be glorious or inglorious depending on the level of behavior-pattern that evolved in the individual that was mentored in view of individual’s cognitive resonance or dissonance.

This post covers the situation of master-servant relationship in terms of learning under a master with the ultimate aim of coming to take the place of the erstwhile master who had been served diligently and devotedly devoid of personal ‘hidden agenda’. Abraham remains the proximal and distal father of the Jews as established in God’s covenant with him. He was also an uncle to Lot, indeed a great father-figure from whom Lot could have learnt obedience, humility as well as worship of YAHWEH, the God of Israel. It turned out to be that Lot did not make Abraham a looking-glass self thus did not emulate his mentor, Genesis 13: 1-118. It was obvious that there was a good comparison between the two duos of Abraham-Lot and Mordecai-Esther in terms of humility, obedience, commitment and total yielding to the training and development in the master-servant model in this post. In Genesis 13, we saw how Lot severed relationship from Abraham only to end up as an unparalleled sinner ( committed sodomy); whereas, Esther became Queen to King Ahasuerus instead of Vashti in Shushan the palace. Esther 2: 1-18 and saved the Jews as well from the plan of getting rid of them as conceived by Haman.

In the life of Moses and Joshua, Deuteronomy 31: 3-8, they were a perfect blend of master and devoted servant or better call it apprentice. Before Moses was no more, Joshua was sufficiently fitted into the great task of leading the children of Israel throughout the war of possessing their (Canaan Land) possession in fulfillment of God’s promise to descendants of Abraham. Out of all the spies that went on reconnaissance mission only Joshua and Caleb returned to give an encouraging report. No wonder they were both appreciated. Caleb claimed his own portion of land after about 40 years as reward for their loyalty while Joshua emerged as the great leader. In his watch, he adopted the Law of Victory. Joshua 6: 1-20. Under this dispensation, Achan failed to imbibe the lesson Joshua’s Leadership stood for. Achan breached the Law of victory by stealing some of the valuable items the soldiers were supposed to have destroyed. He suffered total destruction in consequence? Joshua 7: 1-25.

David was highly devoted to God and was constantly enjoying divine grace and protection but his son Absalom chose a life of vengeance against his enemy. He also revolted against his father’s rulership. He subsequently perished. 2 Samuel 15: 1-17. He obviously rejected his father’s control or leadership and surely did not end well. The relationship between David and Solomon showed a child that was in compliance with a great and mighty father or if under a similar boss is more likely to benefit therefrom. I therefore posit that a child that learns from his accomplished parents and never rebels against them, tends to have the good life. But if after their death there occurred
a shift in paradigm from being the image of his good parents or erstwhile boss then any negative consequence would not be blamed on the mentor. King Solomon as a preferred son received his father’s approval to ascend the throne after him. He also humbly asked for wisdom needed to make him God-fearing King and be able to judge his subjects equitably. His request so pleased the Lord that God added prosperity beyond measure, not comparable to any being of his time. His holding YAHWEH in the high esteem gradually waned and he began to marry foreign women and allowed them to bring their gods into the house of worship of the God of Israel, God became disinterested in him. King Rehoboam did neither learn to put God first nor be compatible to elderly advice. As he walked not in the wisdom of God, he lost the ten Northern kingdoms of Israel to Jeroboam 1King 11: 29-40. Prophet Elijah and Elisha epitomized father’s or master’s leadership that the ‘son’ accepted and adhered to tenaciously. Elisha served Elijah so well that it was not difficult for him to request double portion of Elijah’s power when he was about to be taken up in a chariot. He did build himself up not to take no for an answer, even in spite of pupil prophets’ mocking him regarding his master’s departure. He undauntedly followed the master and was richly rewarded. Conversely, Elisha’s servant avariciously demanded and took gratification from Naaman, (head of Syrian army) and bagged leprosy that struck him with immediate effect. Timothy was lucky to have been brought up in the way of the Lord by both his mother – Eunice and grandmother- Lois, ITimothy 1: 2; 2 Timothy 2: 1, such that Apostle Paul proudly adopted him as son in-the-Lord and was able to pull through in the ministry. Hymenaeus and Philetus rejected Apostle Paul’s pure doctrinal mentoring by engaging in profane and vain babbling, for they increased in their ungodliness. IITimothy 2: 17. So also was the case of Alexander the coppersmith in II Timothy 4: 14-15.
The consequences on all of them and in contemporary times can only be better imagined than experienced as followers of Christ.

Work : The key to success

Work is the driving force behind achieving every individual hopes and aspirations. It constitutes common denominator between physical and spiritual endeavors. The evangelists needs to study the bible texts relevant to his outreach all the time. On the mundane level the builder must engage workers skilled and unskilled to be able to start and complete his project efficiently and effectively.

God’s Call is Irresistible 

Whatever begins as an unexpected call or starts in a small way tends to have potentials for becoming great especially when handled with seriousness of purpose. What has an end must surely have had a beginning, great or small. If at first there is a feeling of inadequacy, it is not unusual to first appear like that, but a Christian should know or is expected to have learnt the biblical history of characters like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Peter, and even Saul, who after conversion became Paul the Apostle. Moses and Jeremiah openly tried to adduce reason why they were not qualified to be a Prophet of God.
When the sin of the then world was too much for God to condone, He called on Noah to build an ark in which those qualified to be spared were to be kept when there was to be a deluge to wipe out the exceedingly sinful people. He obeyed by following the dictate of God concerning the measurement as well as the type of wood to use. No one has ever built an ark like that; so Noah was only daintily following instructions from God without any template to adopt.The people confronted him with discouraging attitude but he remained undaunted. At the end, he was saved along with the specified people, plants and animals as well as birds, while others perished in the deluge.
Abraham did start life as Abram before God asked him to leave his fatherland and go to a place he would show him. It was more or less a wild goose chase. God knew before hand what stuff Abram was made of. He obeyed and set out with his father Terar, Sarai his wife, and his nephew Lot. Based on his character and love of God along the line, his name was changed to Abraham – Father of many nations. Tripartite covenant began from him and God fulfilled it all. God prospered him immensely.
Moses was born in Egypt many centuries after the death of Joseph, a Jewish Prime Minister of Egypt. It was at a time when the patriarchal blessing per the covenant was at its lowest manifestation because the Jews seemed to have forgotten their God and had embraced the god of their host in Egypt. Although, they were suffering an exploitative slavery, they were just producing healthy children unlike the Egyptians. This fear-driven envy made Pharaoh to order the killing of all male children born by the Hebrews. God orchestrated saving the life of Moses and even got him to be very well preserved in the palace with Pharaoh watching him grow as Prince of Egypt. His first forty years was in the palace, the next forty years he was a fugitive in the land of Midian. At the end of the second segment he had God’s call to be a deliverer of the Hebrews. He found excuses to avoid being killed for homicide committed in Egypt and basically he was a stammerer. God provided Aaron and Miriam to assist him. He accepted the challenge with humility and was able to demonstrate the power of God over Pharaoh and the kingdom of Egypt through the ten plagues. This represented the third segment of his life. God granted him the enablement to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and to the Red Sea. He led the stiff-necked People of God across the Red Sea with so much trouble from the people he was leading. He could not resign and the people could not fire him because it was a divine assignment from God. There were times when he was on the verge of being stoned, at another time, he prayed God to kill him for the sin of idolatry committed while on Mt Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments- The Decalogue or God’s Constitution – meant to enable the children of Israel to live right before God. God showed him the land that was flowing with milk and honey but did not allow him to get there and he was 120 years old when he was no more.Exodus 2: 23-25 and 3: 1-22.(KJV).
Looking at the circumstances surrounding the birth of Samuel, there was no doubt that his call to serve God was surely irresistible. 1Samuel 3: 1-21 (KJV). At the time of Samuel’s full ministry, one has to recall that Prophet Eli had died as well as his two sons Hophni and Phinehas for their uncontrolled bad behavior in the house of worship. Prophet Samuel was instructed to go and anoint David as King designate since God had rejected Saul and had already been serving in King Saul’s army of Israel. The first spectacular victory was the encounter with the Philistines’ war-lord Goliath. David had so many challenges to face with Saul who tried to get rid of him out of jealousy and the obvious reason of David’s being a preferable successor to King Saul in preference to Prince Jonathan, whose friendship with David was greater than that of twin brothers. David had a humble beginning but his penchant for loving and always depending on God as well as tending his father’s sheep even at the risk of his own life became the obvious human reason why God found him a better alternative to King Saul when he violated the divine rule on division of labor between the king and Prophet Samuel. The Omniscient God what destiny each individual carries and so HE did not have any problem choosing who to do His job whether easy, difficult, dangerous or peaceful.
David road to rulership was with much difficulties, trials and triumphs, but all said he was a perfect fit for the job. King David was declared very dear to God. He was a human being like me or you but was head and shoulder higher in the virtues of obedience, contrite heart ready to admit guilt without rationalizing over his sin even unto God. He, as a ruler in his era, was remarkable and really inimitable. He fought battles and won all just because he made God the winner of battles he fought as he was always making God the fighter of battle that he ever led. David was able to bring all the 12 tribes of Israel together with headquarters in Jerusalem, the city of David and God promised him that the throne of David shall never lack who to occupy it. He never defied or rejected God like Kings Jeroboam and Jehu of Northern kingdom based in Samaria and did not usurp the Saul’s kingship like Hazael did to King Ben Hadad of Syria. 2King 8: 1-15 (KJV) The reign of King David became a reference point in the history of rulership in Israel. So also Jeremiah received divine call, Jeremiah 1: 4-10 (KJV). He like Moses, tried to justify why God need not call him to do a task as onerous as being a Prophet over the Israelites. He claimed, “I cannot speak because I am a child”. God in a trance touched his lips signifying putting His words in Jeremiah’s mouth. He throughout his life did the work of God with passion, weeping as he has spiritually known the impending period in exile.
Paul was another example of those God called into his vineyard. He was efficient and very effective in taking orders from the Priests and Chief Priest to go and hound the emerging disciples of Jesus after Peter has assumed the leadership of the apostles. Lord Jesus had to virtually “arrest” Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus with the intension to bring any disciple bound to Jerusalem for punishment. Acts 9: 3-6 The passage reads thus;

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul why are you prosecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘who are you Lord?’ Then the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you are prosecuting’. ‘It is hard for you to kick against the goads’. So he, trembling and astonished, said Lord, what do you want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Mandate received, Paul used his hitherto energy for destroying the Apostles to encourage and even charted a new course of evangelizing the heathens or the worshippers of idol. Paul the apostle, did so much to take the gospel to the Gentiles more than any of the apostles in spite of his personal ill-health and risk to his life including shipwreck. In it, the prisoner became the ship’s Captain. He gave them the massage of hope that no life would be lost.    

CAN MAN CONQUER FEAR?

Fear has been described as “an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger (usually accompanied by a desire to flee or fight)”. Fear is caused by some factors like when one is saddled with an assignment one feels one was not adequate to do well. This type of fear is not out of guilt. it is just the fear of inadequacy or of possible failure that one detests. Moses knew his end had come and needed to cede power of the anointing to Joshua. Naturally, Joshua was genuinely afraid though, he had undergone a long period of tutelage under Moses but the heavy anointing that enabled Moses to do the much he did especially confronting Pharoah in the historic “Let my people go” debacle. Not that alone, the way the children of Israel were treating him constituted a load of fear in Joshua. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt. At the Red Sea, God used Moses to create pathway for the children of Israel by parting the Red Sea into two creating dry land for crossing over. The host of Egyptian army that was pursuing them perished in the same Red Sea because it closed in on the Egyptians and drowned them one and all. Joshua knew how great the burden of leading the children of Israel in the sense that Moses was for all initially before Jethro (Moses in-law) came to teach him how to delegate responsibility to lighten the burden of governance. There were so many problems that were frightful to Joshua BUT Moses assured him not to fear. He accepted the advice and took the children of Israel to the promised land. He led them in all the battles that were fought before being able to possess the land God had earlier given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Another brand of fear was the fear of polluting his pedigree as Abraham asked “his eldest servant of his house ” to swear to him with a view to going back to Abraham’s father’s house to bring a wife for his son Isaac. in this situation, Abraham feared going against God’s warning that his descendants must not take wife from the Canaanites. Genesis 24: 1-15 (KJV). This type of fear is as a result of ensuring doing God’s will. On the contrary, the fear that gripped David was guilt induced, following Prophet Nathan’s revelation of his covert sin; that is, adultery and consequent murder of innocent Uriah. He felt so much guilt that he penitently confessed his sin to God and begged for forgiveness. Of course, the Almighty God forgave him and did not have to die in accordance to Mosaic Law of “An eye for an eye”. Prophet Jonah treaded the path of disobedience and refused to go to Nineveh. Instead he set out for Tarshish to avoid going to preach repentance at Nineveh. After the deadly storm at sea, the mariners fished him out by lot. He requested to be thrown into the sea for the raging storm to stop and saved the ship from total wreckage. The bible told us that a mammoth fish took him to the port of Nineveh after spending three nights and days in the fish’s belly. During the stay,he reflected on his act of disobedience, repented and was pardoned. He entered Nineveh and preached repentance. Fear arising from the guilt of the people of the prosperous city made them repent by fasting and praying from the King to every citizen including children and even animals. The repentance was total and acceptable to God. this was the fear of reprisal over the guilt of the people. God forgave them and averted the looming disaster. The bible revealed that the city suffered the disaster hundred years later because of grievous sins.

Can man conquer fear? It is not just a rhetorical question. The answer is , it is possible provided man chooses to have “defensive fear” or lives his life in opposition to sinful acts by obeying and worshipping God. David and other notable figures in the bible actually rested their hope on the Lord and the Almighty God did not disappoint them. His killing Goliath with divine weapon without using traditional weapons of war, was due to his declaring that Goliath has defied (insulted) the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Only one stone from his catapult was divinely directed to pierce through Goliath’s skull through to his brain. David used Goliath’s sword to cut off the head of the dreaded enemy of Israel. It therefore behoves Christians to trust in God’s faithfully. Peter on one hand , Paul and Silas on the other hand conquered their fear to achieve great feat of carrying the gospel to the heathens as required of them. Instead of skulking in fear, the disciples were praying intensively until the angel of the Lord went and freed Peter from maximum imprisonment. So also, Paul and Silas defied fear and never succumbed, they held a night vigil in maximum prison as well that God honored resulting in all their stocks being broken, occasioned by an earthquake. It was the head of the prison guard that fear nearly made to commit suicide.. in conclusion, trusting and obeying God are both paramount to conquering fear. Interpersonal relationship should be tailored to doing unto others as you would like for others to do to you. Paul believed in Christ after his conversion so much that his life was thenceforth lived for Christ without fear. He so boldly defended himself before the Sanhedrin that they could not collectively carry out what they set out to do for him– “To kill him”. By the same divine boldness, he received enough strength to plead his case so well that he won an appeal unto Caesar. A Christian who is able to learn from past and present true men of faith, all things being equal, would be able to conquer fear convincingly.

Please share this post with all your contacts on all your social media.

Hanging Around With

In my opinion concerning “hanging around with sinners” cannot be taken on its face value without examining the pros and cons. There are arguments for and against. I read about it from Notforthenorms by Nicholas Brown and found the post very interesting. it made me look closer than just being perfunctory about this fundamental christian practice. i asked myself these questions. Should a Christian associate with a sinner? Who is a sinner? Is a Christian saying he is alien to sin or iniquity? Is the Christian above sin? If he is not, should he desist from interacting with other Christian sinners? Many of this type of questions made me look at the topic from the stand I took.

To my mind, criticising or complaining about Christians who hang around with sinners of whatever shape or form cannot be totally wrong because the devil has its subtle ways of beguiling would-be victims. Should we forget peer group influence? Show me your friend and I’ll know who you  are. How deep-rooted that he could not be surreptitiously lured out of Christian ideals. If his faith is so tap-rooted as to be able to withstand external negative influence, great, he will be more likely to exert his own influence on the sinner; otherwise the Christian may become another Apostle Paul’s Hymenaus and Alexander IITimothy 1:20 The parable of the Ten Virgins illustrate how A christian can still hang aound sinners and yet not get defiled. The wise five had extra oil but the foolish five did not. The oil representsanointing that the Christian should carry. It has to be constantly renewed. This sort of explains the rise and fall of men and women of God. A Christian must always be on guard irrespective of people you move with.

Besides, scientists have affirmed that non-smokers that are exposed to smokers’ exhaled fume are likely to remotely get affected as if they were smokers. The sheep is humane, docile and herbivorous while the dog is canine, carnivorous and always barking. By words of elders in certain traditional society, it is said that the sheep that hangs around with the dog shall in time learn to bark and eat what the dog eats. Agreed that Jesus gave an excellent example of interacting with sinners in Matthews 9: 9-13; but then  who among us in these days is as holy, charismatic and authoritative as our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe the intrinsic meaning of ‘Hanging around with’ goes beyond a devout Christian interacting for the fun of it, rather it has to be for the purpose of exerting Christian ideals on the sinner. This should not be taken to mean that Christians should not have interaction with sinners. The question centers around the Christian’s strength of character not to yield to the ways of sinners while he continues to pursue the help he is to render with prayers and supplications as well as his own exemplary life of faith in God that must speak louder than hard-core teaching of Christian doctrine to the sinner.

A focused Christian, as a non-pliable believer, should be best suited for hanging around with sinners with a view of spreading the gospel and in compliance with Jesus’ mandate to the disciples in Mark 16: 15-16 that states…….”Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (NKJ).

Meeting With Jesus

Our Lord Jesus Christ as our redeemer, died for the sin of all men both Jews and the Gentiles. By his great commission to the disciples, we learnt that they should make all men disciples of Jesus who are supposed to carry the good news even to the uttermost part of the world. From Mathews 28: 18-20 (KJV) we learnt: “And Jesus came and spake to them saying; All power is given unto me in heaven and in the earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world Amen”
One thing is clear from inception and indeed from the time of the Prophets that He was coming to save the lost children of the House of Israel as can be seen in the Book of Isaiah 9: 6-7: “For unto us a child is born,unto us a child is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom,to order it and to establish it with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall perform this.” (KJV). In Micah 5:2, his mission was stated: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of the shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose going forth have been of old, from everlasting”
The idea of meeting The Lord Jesus is far from mundane meeting to socialize, rather,it is for meeting the Lord Jesus for His divine intervention to solve man’s problem. Mary mother of Our Lord asked the service people at the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee when the celebrant of being disgraced for starting a feast he could not sustain to a logical conclusion. The servants met Jesus and did according to Mary’s instruction. “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it”. The product of the unalloyed obedience, brought to the occasion a refreshingly qualitative wine usually served at the beginning of a wedding party. The wine was so sweet and heavenly tasty that it was highly commended by the chief guest at the occasion.
The day the lady with the issue of blood, that day as she succeeded in touching the helm of Jesus’ garment instantly she became whole. The incident was recorded in the synoptic gospels of Matthew 9: 20-23; Mark 5: 25-34′ Luke 8: 43-48 the woman did not just ordinarily get cured but had worked hard before getting the rightful result. She had issue of blood for 12 years without solutions in spite of spending all her fortune. The only solution open to her was Jesus. She then resolutely pursued meeting Jesus who she knew was the right person to solve her problem by miracle healing, far superior to the art of the physicians. In spite of all impediments, as people seeking help thickly surrounded Jesus; she had a focus just “touching the edge of his garment” and by unyielding faith on instant healing “if only she could” ; she dated the devil by not shying away from receiving what, by God’s grace, was hers. I dare say that her faith was in

tune with the healing power and holiness of Jesus. In other words,she faithfully prepared to receive the grace of God that cost her nothing except her unwavering faith. In contemporary times, there are still men of God who possess the gift of miracle healing. All those who have faith are still being healed like Jesus did and asked subsequent generation to do likewise. In Luke 5: 17-20, the faith of those seeking for the paralytic man’s healing is comparable to the woman with the issue of blood. They had to beat all odds by opening the roof bring the man to the feet of Christ for his assured divine healing. In Hebrew 13: 8 (KJV) we learnt; “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today and forever” Malachi 3:6 in the Old Testament echoed the same assurance, “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed”. James1: 17 says “Every gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the father of lights, with whom is no variable ness, neither shadow of turning”. Whatever any believer is believing God for , without any shadow of doubt will manifest for the world to see. As great as Prophet Daniel was the Princes of Persia withheld the answer to his prayer already already sent by God.It took his fervent his fervent prayer and unshakable faith to provoke the intervention of Angel Michael before the hindrance was dismantled. Meeting Jesus in spirit and in truth ensures forgiveness and healing of all wounds, be it spiritual or socio-economic and all.

FAITH AND FAITHFULNESS

                   

 

God is always faithful to them that have faith in Him. However, God never denies man any of the basic necessities of life like air, water, sunshine, moonlight, rainfall , fire and more. In affirming the foregoing, there is a common saying in a community that translates into; ” The rain has neither friend nor foe, anyone that is found on its path, it falls on him or her.” There are other specific needs of man which differ from person to person. These needs can be spiritual, physical or both. The satisfaction of these needs from God depends on ones interaction in faith-based prayer and fasting through Jesus Christ the son of the Most High to God’s throne of grace. In Lamentation 3: 22-23, we read. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” 
Even though God remains faithful to man’s cause, it is man’s faith that wavers and doubts are known to set in, meaning that it is man that veers off course. Anyone that persistently doubts God will find it an uphill task to receive God’s grace. The wicked , satanic or godless people can prosper to an extent of making the world bewildered as to how and why such an undeserving person was ‘so blessed.’ The bible also explained that it is just a prelude to the damnation of such people. It is not biblical figures only that had and showed faith, the ultimate success of Abraham Lincoln in politics was a result of his unshakable faith in God. Mahatma Ghandhi of India had an unshakeable faith in the cause of gaining independence for India in 1946 and we believed God honored his

faith.The first President of America – George Washington demonstrated faith the way he commanded the U.S. Army to the point of fashioning a Republican Constitution for the United States of America. Chief Obafemi Awolowo of Nigeria, was imprisoned but the unshakable faith he had in God (that he would not die in prison) saw him released when a counter-coup took place in August 1966 and immediately became the Vice -Chairman of the nation’s Federal Executive Council, he also headed the Ministry of Finance throughout a thirty-month civil war without external borrowing to fund the war expenses. Such personalities in modern times demonstrated man’s faith being honored with God’s faithfulness to all that trusted in HIM.
Faith and faithfulness are very essential to the joy and happiness always observable in the life of true Christian believers. During the times of sorrow man’s faith in God prevents winding back from being deeply involved in serving the Lord. At times of joy a faithful believer never gets overjoyed. What we see in the life of successful athletes is that a lot of them over indulged themselves in the use of alcohol, sex or drugs. The end result is usually sorrow-filled retirement period for they would be no more be in position to sustain the life-style they have created for themselves when they were earning big money. We learnt about having faith in God from bible characters like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as revealed in Hebrew 11: 1-32. This passage also alluded to other people like Enoch, Abel, Moses, (God called the most humble man that ever lived) who also doubled as the deliverer of the Hebrews from Egypt after 40 years of slavery. The bible alluded to the principles behind the faith the characters had: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it elders obtained a good 

 report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrew 11: 1-3) (KJV).
From Social Science perspective, psychology teaches having faith in oneself to such an extent that it serves like a pillar of strength. It invigorates anyone who can trust that if he or she believes something is achievable, problem being tackled is half solved. This is not to say that contemplating doing evil can be treated like planning or attempting to do good. The center piece of a born again Christian is making effort to please God and anchoring such on Christ’s righteousness. 

WE NEED EACH OTHER TO SURVIVE

No one is an island. We need each other and one another to survive at all times. If we consider the physiology of human being or all the component parts of an organization, we will see that all parts have to work in unison or else, the individual will report sick or indisposed to say the least. By the same token, an organization that cannot work as a team, will sooner or later become dysfunctional. For the married couple, they need to strike a balance between them in living with little or no disagreement in order to present a common front. Failure to place themselves on a common platform will bring problem that will engulf their children except for divine grace upon the children. Be a team builder and sustainer. No country is sufficient for itself, however developed it may be. In the days of trade by barter , the insufficiency of man is quite obvious. What a person has the other man does not have and so people had to exchange goods to supplement what they do have. The developing countries of the world had to look up to the developing world to source raw materials. After processing them in their industrial establishments they must look out for market in order to dispose the manufactured goods. They may in the course of exchange have greater economic gain over developing world. It is however certain that in the absence of market for finished products , there would be colossal loss on the part of the entrepreneurs. In politics it is said that there is no permanent enemies or friends. It is only when the association is beneficial to all parties involved that friendship can last long. As soon as the benefits are not equal or near equal there is the tendency for the relationship to break down. Political realignment is very common when there is comparative advantage for one to affiliate or join the association. Man as a social animal derives joy in belonging to a party, social or religious organistion. 

Obviously, we need each other or even one another to survive. As a body of Christ, we are the church and we exist in our different units to help each to survive. The kings of Israel needed the prophets for God’s approval before they wage any war. Joshua needed God to show him why they lost the battle with a small community. The word of God came to let them know that one of them has disobeyed God’ instruction not to take any war booty from the earlier war. It happened that Achan took and hid the item in his tent. Aaron was raised to priesthood as a helper to Moses who had defect in speech. To unite the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel, Abner, Saul’s war commander had to defect from the house of Saul to cede the ten tribes of Israel to David. Abigael’s action helped David to desist from taking vengeance on Nabal who denied David’s fugitive entourage victual in spite of having rendered unsolicited help to protect Nabal’s sheep from being attacked in the wilderness. Jonah was sent to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh before God averted the impending disaster. The people abided by his preaching and God forgive them  until hundred years later when there was no one to warn them as they reverted to their earlier sinful ways and God had to punish them.

We need each other to survive (Continued)

No one is expected to survive being alone without interacting with others. Inter-dependence is another word that bears testimony to having others at ones beck and call. This age has been thriving on inter- dependence. The poor needs the rich . the rich and powerful also is in need of the poor. The developed countries need the developing countries for economic survival.

Take for instance, it is only two agreeable people that can walk, live, dine and wine or work together in harmony. In Amos 3:3 (KJV) it says “Can two work together, except they be agreed.” From creation God saw the need for companionship before taking a rib from  Adams’ chest, with it, HE created Eve. That was the first instance of surgical operation on mankind. Genesis 21: 21-24 Without doubt, togetherness has been ordained by the creator. In Genesis 2: 25, there lies the testimony that we are supposed to accept each others nakedness or fault. If we love without hating each other, we are less likely to see or capitalize on the fault of the other person and be able to survive together in peace.

The bible is replete with people working , living, fighting, even believing in the fatherhood of God that helped them survive during turbulent times in both individual life and the nation as a whole. David and Jonathan were so fond of each other that they entered into a covenant that blossomed past the life of Jonathan. It was that bond that made it possible for David to survive Saul’s overt intension to kill him. It was this genuine companionship that also brought Mephibosheth from Lodebar to the king’s court. He was also vested with the status of Prince and was able to eat at table with the reigning monarch. 

We need each other to survive is re-echoed in the plot to kill Apostlle Paul. After the Sanhedrin had called him to question. By divine dynamism he perceived  the two strange bed-fellows – Pharisees and the Saducees. They differed on the  belief over resurrection. He declared his being born and bred a Pharisee; who grew up under the strict tradition of the Pharisees. The division stalled the decision that was about to be taken. Another plot was hatched and his sister’s son got wind of it and leaked it to Paul while still in custody. The young man was referred to the chief captain and the plan was foiled. The planners on oath to kill Paul got disappointed as he was guarded out of Jerusalem to Caesarea via Antipatris. If Paul’s sister’s son were to be out of the scenario, they would have killed him while returning to the High Priest for a phony retrial. Acts 23: 11-23 (KJV) Man’s need is helped or nourished by his faith in the Almighty God who knows the end from the beginning. He recompenses in accordance with every individual’s thought, words or deeds. God does not abandon His own. His grace does not reckon with man’s iniquity except for those who forsake Him.

To be on the safe side in terms of finding help for survival in times of serious trouble, we need to look up to heaven from where comes our help so says the Psalmist in Psalm 121: 1. Here are clear instances of providing help for people in need. It was God’s plan to send Joseph to Egypt ahead of future calamity of no little dimension. His being there was to prevent a situation of wiping out Jacod’s lineage out as a result of seven-year famine in Egypt. Not that alone, what the glory, splendor, magic and majesty of Pharaoh could not do Joseph was already there to do it. Even though, he suffered in the hand of his kith and kin and in Prison in Egypt for offence he did not commit, but the purpose of God was fulfilled. Joseph was available to help Egypt and the whole of Pharaoh’s kingdom from the grueling  seven-year drought.

Finally, what enhances helping each other to survive begins with at least a person to have the divine and appropriate positioning to be able to carry out the assignment. A man of God was indeed in need of money to fund his thriving ministry. by divine intervention, he met an old acquaintance who hinted him about a vacancy that existed in a work-place for which he was eminently qualified. At the time of interview, he prayed for God’s presence with him to ensure success. It happened that even before the start of the interview, the interviewers expressed their delight in him for honoring their invitation as if he was the person they were desperately looking for. He proved his mettle, and the result was immediate. He, from then forward, had enough working fund to fuel his growing ministry.

BLAME GAME AMONG BELIEVERS

To play “blame game” is a means of talking or behaving in a manner to make it seem that one is faultless, or a form of “holier than thou” attitude. One does not want to be blamed for any misdeed. One tries to hide the truth at times, it may be in the form of alibi, as if one was not connected with the offence. Call this tendency other names like ”Passing the buck”, or ”Blame shifting” , the fact remains that a guilt has occurred and one does not want the blame. The habit is as old as human race. Remember the story of Adam and Eve’s tasting the forbidden fruit. Although, Eve was tricked into it by the deception of the serpent; but they, on their own, whatever the circumstance disobeyed the rule of God’s Law already known to them. Eve rather than blaming herself for not obeying God blamed the serpent. Adam, the head of the family, refused to take responsibility, found it convenient to blame Eve. Genesis 3: 12-13

On the contrary, God was not being partial to King David when any time he fell into sin, he never felt the need to cover up or blame his sin on someone else. For instance, God did not want him to have population census of his subjects , Joab, his war commander warned him as well, still he went ahead with the project and incurred God’s wrath. After the end of the exercise, David felt guilty for disobeying the God of Israel, and started praying for God to “take away the iniquity of thy servant; I have done very foolishly”. In consequence, God gave three alternatives from where to choose one punishment. Prophet Gad was sent to deliver it to David. Out of the three punishments he chose to fall into the hand of the Lord–Three days of pestilence–. I believe that since David has humbled himself before God, because David was sensitive to his sinful act, God caused the angel to stop the killing of the population. 2 Samuel 24: 17. I believe all believers should emulate King David in never to engage in blame game. It saved the people from being wiped out during the punitive pestilence.
 In the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25: 21-30, the servant with one talent to work with resorted to blaming his master’s wickedness who the servant described as trying to reap where he did not sow. Self-deception and envy did not allow him to realize that the one talent given him was his master’s seed sown into his life. He should not have blamed anyone for his refusal to let the investment on him yield quantifiable returns. The parable is still relevant to our everyday life where man continues to blame God or the devil for self-induced disaster. An apparently great man indicted for financial impropriety or sexual abuse would always blame the devil or his fate that led him into the ignoble act. At times, not knowing why a loved one died, the surviving spouse would rather blame God for the personal tragedy of losing the most valued person to him or her. Proverb 19: 3 says “The foolishness of man perverteth his way; and his heart fretteth against the Lord.” (KJV) The above verse tends to describe the approach to life of those who engage in blame game.
We were all born in sin, and some seem to behave as if they are holier than others. They tend to castigate others as to shift blame on such people whereas their own load of sin is heavier than those they were projecting as miserable offenders. Matthew 7: 1-5 puts it in this way: “Judge not that ye be not judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how will thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye, and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye and then shall thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (KJV). The Executive who is never able to manage his time effectively will always find it easy to put the blame on his spouse, the family or on phantom traffic jam on his way to work. Any believer who engages in blame game is playing with his eternity. We all commonly sing and say “Only Jesus can save.” Yes, but it is only they who are with renewed spirit and who worship the Lord in spirit and truth that we believe will be saved or possess a secured eternity.
Relating our foregoing discussion to our daily life , one who does not plan to succeed and consequently fails to succeed must not blame the devil, witches or wizards for his or her failure and its resultant suffering and anguish. Praise the Lord !!!.