2019 JUNE EDITORIAL – SERVING OUR GOD IN GRATITUDE

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 “James 2:26:  For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”

The helplessness of man in the determination of his birth or death, the ignorance of what tomorrow births, precipitating a total dependence on a higher power outside himself, should make man perpetually and irrevocably grateful to His creator on a second by second basis.

A wise man once said “count your blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”. This phrase is very relatable because we tend to forget very quickly the good things God has done for us while unendingly stewing in the ones we consider ‘bad things or misfortunes’. And yes, it is based on our myopia – inability to see beyond our noses that make us lament endlessly for the scripture says in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose”. Invariably meaning that no matter what you experience in your life, all is well as our God, His Holiness Olumba Olumba accentuates all the time.

The members of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star are the luckiest people on earth to reside with God, the Father (physically for decades) and experience His style of administration, in love and practically exemplifying the lifestyle expected of a Christian. In practical terms, we watch him solve issues of poverty, rejection, settler/indigene, land conflict, family, marriage, business, charity, minority persecution, interpersonal interactions and relationship inter alia, all against the backdrop of the scriptures illustrating how a Christian is expected to resolve all of life’s plaguing issues in ways that are pleasing to God Almighty.

In all His interactions with mankind on all the issues mentioned above, the Holy Father has displayed unparalleled humility, patience, endurance, kindness, benevolence, compassion and love and thousands of people are beneficiaries of His generosity. The point is that besides all the spiritual blessings bestowed on us by God every second of our lives, Brotherhood of the Cross and Star members in particular are recipients of His physical blessings and as such, should be twice as grateful to God as the rest of humanity.

Though the Holy Father assists His children covertly, some are still aware of the physical contributions He has made to most members of the Fold.  The King of kings has either started up several business for people or boosted their existing business with cash gifts. He has paid for house rents, burials, births, marriages, school fees (in Nigerian schools and overseas) and sundry other challenges of members, on a daily basis, without complaining or humiliating the receiver and always with a smile on His face.

And on the spiritual side, He fights all our obvious and hidden battles, gives and sustains our lives, heals ours and our children’s ailments, redeems us from wicked ancestral bondages and covenants, provides for our uncountable desires beseeching Him every second from around the globe. He protects, provides, guides, guards, salvages, celebrates and honours us even when we are undeserving sometimes. As a matter of fact, our very next breath depends on Him so how can we not show commensurate gratitude for such selfless love?

Counting the blessings of our Holy Father is not the focus of this write up though it is necessary to highlight a bit of it in order to properly contextualize this editorial. It is to remind us to evaluate our services to Him and hence our sense and depth of gratitude to our God for all He does for us every instant of our lives.

The expression of gratitude to our God is simply in service, in other words, work. What do we do on a per second basis to show our gratitude to our sustainer? Are we lethargic or fatigued in His service? Are we humble and tireless in our contributions towards the development of the Kingdom or do we grumble with snide remarks on the frequency of fundraising activities? Do we contribute daily to the upkeep of our Bethels or the Kingdom which we are such lucky legatees? Is the work we have done so far in this Kingdom, given to us gratis, proportionate with all the Holy Father has done for each and every one of us on a daily basis? What will happen to us if the Holy Father were to ignore our requests and supplications to Him because they are too ‘frequent’? Imagine if He were to withdraw His protection from us, for even a second, in response to our ingratitude and arrogance; how will we fare?

An honest reflection on the above questions will speak truth to our spirits and souls. The stark reality is that most of us display numbing levels of ingratitude yet the Holy Father continues to tolerate us and promote us to positions of honour.  Without any ambiguity, the Holy Bible states in the Book of James 2: 14 – 17 “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone”

The importance of work is further clearly re-emphasized in James 2: 26 which records that “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”.  The only way to show gratitude to God is by action – works. A great number of members are tireless in the performance of work in the Kingdom in terms of evangelism, contributions, cooperation and full hearted participation in activities at committees, Fellowships and all strata of the BCS administration and it is easy to appraise their level of faith.  Some others, however, even reject appointments, outrightly grumble and quarrel if coopted to serve or approached for donations and, sometimes, even when they grudgingly accept appointments, become clogs in the wheels of progress. Their depth of faith is also discernable.

In essence, the depth of a man’s faith is directly proportional to the intensity of his passion to serve God selflessly, enthusiastically, honestly, joyously, amicably and readily at all times.

In this year of our God, His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu, we must cogitate over all our Holy Father does for us and ascertain if our gratitude has been adequately proportional with the service we have rendered so far in this Kingdom.

We pray for the grace to recognize the indispensability of our God in our lives as well as to bolster our faith in Him so that our passion for service in His vineyard can be intensified.

Quotation:

In essence, the depth of a man’s faith is directly proportional to the intensity of his passion to serve God selflessly, enthusiastically, honestly, joyously, amicably and readily at all times.

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