SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014.

Ven. Ernest Onuoha




‘Be ye free from the love of money; content with such things as ye have: for himself hath said, I will in no wise fail thee; neither will I in any wise forsake thee. So that with good courage we say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear: What shall man do unto me?’ Heb. 13v5-6.

ACCORDING to Matthew Henry’s commentary, the design of Christ in giving Himself for us, is, that He may purchase to Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and true religion is the strongest bond of friendship. Here are earnest exhortations to several Christian duties, especially contentment.

The sin opposed to this grace and duty is covetousness, an over-eager desire for the wealth of this world, with envy of those who have more than ourselves. Having treasures in heaven, we may be content with mean things here. Those who cannot be so, would not be content though God raised their condition.

Adam was in paradise, yet not contented; some angels in heaven were not contented; but the apostle Paul, though abased and empty, had learned in every state, in any state, to be content. Christians have reason to be contented with their present lot. This promise contains the sum and substance of all the promises; I will never, no, never leave thee, no, never forsake thee.

Sometimes I feel that we do not know or understand very much this God we are serving; He really cares for us if only we can trust Him and stop looking sideways. Yes, He does mighty things. I think the devil is aware of God’s love for His children and sometimes He plants in their hearts fears, doubts, complaining spirits and anger in order to make them feel that God is not sufficient for them in all situations. But today, God will open our eyes to behold that He is enough, we need only to trust Him. He says:  ‘I will never leave you or forsake, I am your helper, don’t be afraid’, Amen.

I will not forget in a hurry the testimony of the former Archbishop of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province and the Bishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Joseph Akinfenwa given during his preaching at the floor of the synod of the Diocese of Nike on May 3, 2014. He noted: ‘as a Clerk in the then railway corporation and a choir boy, he got married to his heartthrob, Mrs. Nike Akinfenwa and in quick succession, they had and lost three babies. This took him and his wife to different corners, where solutions were thought to be found but all to no avail. The marriage nearly broke up. Then came the wagging tongues of neighbours and evil suggestions from ‘do gooders’ that they were not compatible in marriage, a proof of which is the lost of the three babies.’ What did they do? Thanks goodness, they turned their situation over to God and He handled it. They became servants of the Lord and surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ as Lord and personal Saviour. God then surprised them, for He gave them two boys and a girl, all of them Masters degree holders today. Yes, it is good to trust this God, as He knows how to wipe away tears.

The psalmist in his own situation wholly depended on God and therefore saw Him as his shepherd. Jesus the Son of God also told us: ‘I am the good shepherd, for I know my sheep and they also know me,’ Jh. 10v7-16. Implying, I know what they are going through and like a good shepherd, I will always lead them to pasture and so, they do not need to panic. With Him in all situations, they are safe.

Ven. Ernest Onuoha

Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,
Delta State.

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