7 WAYS TO DEAL WITH SINNING PASTORS


In our previous discussion where we considered if we can take actions against a sinning elder, we that it isn’t out of place. What are the right actions to take? How do we take actions? Does the Bible offer us a guideline on how to take actions against a sinning elder? Let’s look at these few guidelines. These steps apply to every Christian but also shows us how to confront a sinning elder.

1. PRIVATE CONFRONTATION & CORRECT JUDGEMENT

When you notice an elder is sinning, you may be greatly disturbed, it is okay that you may struggle to let go or you may be struggling to come in terms with the fact that an elder sinned against you and God but there is a way to settle these issues in the Church which is the same way you settle issues with other believers. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:6

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”

It is your responsibility to confront someone you caught in sin and speak the truth to him or her in love (Ephesians 4:15). You don’t have to harbour their wrongs in your heart or go around making news out of it. You have to confront them privately for what they did! No matter how painful your rebuke may be to them, it is better than the praises they receive from people who never dared to approach them. The Bible says in Galatians 6:1

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”

Look carefully, the Bible isn’t talking about just a onetime mistake but a habitual sin! When you discover someone has been caught up in sin, the first thing you do is to confirm your assumptions without wrongly judging him or her and when your assumptions are true, you should seek to restore such a person in a gentle manner and with a heart full of love while you watch yourself to ensure you don’t get trapped too! The judgment that Jesus condemned is gossip, slander and sentimental judgments. The Bible says in John 7:24

“Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

We can judge things right when we do a careful and biblical evaluation of the situation. We shouldn’t just jump up and start taking sides based on appearance and things that appeal to the emotions, we must look beneath the surface. This is also how we are careful so that we don’t eventually go into sin while trying to help another. When you have confronted someone privately for his wrongs and he continues with it, take the second step.

2. INVOLVE A THIRD OR FEW MORE PARTY

The next biblical step to take is not to broadcast it to the world! You should involve two or three persons as the Bible says in Matthew 18:16 and go to encourage him out of that sin. These two persons could even be witnesses or Church executives. Your visit to the elder isn’t a sign of disloyalty but a portrayal of love for him and the people committed to his care. He may not even understand that it but that’s alright. If this elder continues in the wrong ways then the third step is necessary.

3. INVOLVE CHURCH ELDERS

In some Churches these days, there aren’t multiple elders who the Pastor is accountable. When you have confronted an elder (or Pastor) with few executives and he insists on living the way he wants, you may have to involve the senior Pastor or the Pastors he is submitting to in the case if he is the Senior Pastor of your congregation. The leadership are to take up the matter and discipline the elder. But if he admits he’s wrong, you must stop on this step.

4. LET THE ELDERS FAULT BE MADE PUBLIC

When an elder has refused to change and keeps on sinning the Bible recommends in 1 Timothy 5:20

“But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.”

Many times, the sins of elders will go on influencing those he is leading. He may not even know that a lot of people already knows about his sexual misconduct or his tendencies to always write off money from the church purse for his personal use and he wouldn’t even be aware that he is wrongly influencing various other persons. The Bible recommends that such an elder should be rebuked publicly! Another instance is when an elder makes a public declaration that is totally against the word, the correction should be made public too and not private. This step would humble him and make him steer back to the right path, on the other hand, it will also correct those who had assimilated the wrong teachings.

5. LET HIM LEAVE THE FELLOWSHIP OR THE LEADERSHIP

If the elder had continued in that sinful way after all efforts have been made to address his issues and he insists on living the way he wants, he should come down from that leadership position and also be shown the way out of that fellowship. Now, this is very difficult for a Church organization where the elder happens to be the senior pastor and also happens to assume the highest authority where he isn’t accountable to the members of the Church or even the leadership board. The essence of leaving or coming down from his position as a Pastor is because he would continue influencing other loyalists, he would also continue using the resources of that ministry to shield himself. Concerning this kind of disciplinary action, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

“It is reported that there is sexual sin among you. I’m told that a man is sleeping with his father’s wife. Even people who don’t know God won’t let that kind of sin continue. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you be very sad instead? Shouldn’t you have thrown out of your church the man doing this? Even though I am not right there with you, I am with you in spirit. And because I am with you in spirit, I have already judged the man doing this. I have judged him in the name of our Lord Jesus. So when you come together, I will be with you in spirit. The power of our Lord Jesus will also be with you. When you come together like this, hand this man over to Satan. Then the power of sin in his life will be destroyed. His spirit will be saved on the day the Lord returns.”

When you study this passage carefully, you will discover that the man in question has been confronted and even reported to the Church elders in that congregation but because nothing could be done and the sin continued, it was reported to Paul by concerned persons who asked them to throw him out of Church by the authority of Jesus. Paul instructed that they hand him over to Satan. He didn’t mean that the Church has a deal with Satan, what he was saying is “throw him out of fellowship into the world where Satan rules there system.” Although it sounded tough and harsh, it was a disciplinary action that would drive that person back because he wouldn’t want to stay out there in the world after having a taste of the freedom from sin that Christ has given us. By throwing the person out, he is further disciplined by God in a way He deems it fit. The Bible also says in Titus 3:10-11:

“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.”

6. PRAY FOR HIM, FORGIVE AND MOVE ON

After he has been thrown out, you have done your part and God is pleased with you. If you are a victim of his wrongs, you can forgive him, pray for him and move on with your life allowing God to deal with him His way. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:6

“For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

The Bible also says in Psalms 94:12

“Blessed is the man You discipline, O LORD, and teach from Your law.”

Always ensure that your motive towards him isn’t to see him punished for his wrongs but to get him restored by God and to send signals to others to desist from such actions.

7. SEEK THE HELP OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

If the issue you faced from a Church elder is that which involves physical violence, death threat, rape and so on, it may not be out of place to quickly seek the help of the Police or other law enforcement agencies in your locality. The reason is simple, to prevent him from hurting others, to give him the privilege of seeing how terrible his actions are in the face of the law. While you do this, you may also need to keep others informed about the step you are taking. Concerning the government officials including the various arms of government, the Bible says in Romans 13:3-4

“For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Then do what is right, and you will have his approval. For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not carry the sword in vain. He is God’s servant, an agent of retribution to the wrongdoer.”

Some conducts aren’t what can be fixed right in the Church, some are conducts that bring about the danger in the society and you are doing the right thing by quickly reporting to the law enforcement agencies. They are also God’s agent of retribution to the wrongdoer.

Meanwhile, when an elder or just any Christian admit their wrong and apologizes publicly, showing genuine repentance, they can be welcomed back to the congregation, given some time for godly restoration and assimilated back into leadership after they had taken time to prove that they are qualified for that position.

This is how I believe sinning elders should be handled in the Church as it is the principles of discipline I found in the Bible. Next time, we will be looking at how a Pastor should seek forgiveness, healing and restoration.

God bless you.

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JESUS, THE DONKEY AND PRIVATE JET


Let me start with a disclaimer.

The intent of this writing is not to endorse whether preachers should ride on a private jet or not. This is simply to address the common statement some people use to justify ownership of private jet by Pastors. Let it be noted that I have not said it is right or wrong for Pastors to own Private jets, I am only here to clarify a certain story in the Bible in Matthew 21:1-11, which many private jet owners and their supporters use to justify it which to me is very wrong and a misrepresentation of who Jesus is and what He stands for.

It is a common thing to hear people say “if Jesus was on earth today, He would not ride a donkey but a private Jet.” But I think that statement does not represent Jesus or the significance of His entry into Jerusalem. To make such a statement would mean that Jesus was looking for luxury or convenience when He rode a donkey but that is not true and in fact, we would be surprised to find out from the Bible that the opposite is the case. Here are some few facts I would want us to note down before we continue.

  1. Jesus wasn’t riding on a donkey, He rode on the donkey just on the occasion of entering Jerusalem.
  2. Jesus didn’t own the donkey. The donkey was borrowed for His use.
  3. Jesus used the donkey for a reason opposite of what people assume in this modern age. He wasn’t looking for luxury.

“To make such a statement would mean that Jesus was looking for luxury or convenience when He rode a donkey but that is not true and in fact, we would be surprised to find out from the Bible that the opposite is the case.”

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | New Book By George O.N

What exactly does Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem on donkey signify? In Israel, kings and warriors rode on horses and horses were very expensive at those times. They only ride on donkeys when they are coming in peace so as not to send wrong signals of war. The donkey was usually for agricultural purposes and also for ease of transport among common people. What many people don’t know today is that donkeys at those times were lowly animals and never in any way showcased luxury. If Jesus wanted a luxurious entrance into Jerusalem, He wouldn’t ride on a donkey but on a horse or even chariot!

Concerning Jesus coming into Jerusalem on a donkey, Zechariah made a prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 which says  “Behold, your king comes to you, triumphant and victorious. He is humble and riding on an ass, on a colt, the foal of an ass.” I want us to note something very important here. He said the king comes triumphant and victorious but then He said: “He is humble and riding on an ass…” The coming of Jesus into Jerusalem on a donkey was a display of humility and not a showcase of greatness as the world will want to interpret it. In verse 10 of the same passage we see something very significant again which says “I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Let’s understand this in a few points.

Jesus came in humility which the donkey signifies. His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey instead of a horse signified peace. He wasn’t coming to conquer, He was coming with Peace as He is the King of Peace. Riding on a donkey also showed He came to connect with common people instead of kings and religious leaders. But there is another significant aspect of this story that we have not looked at before.

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | New Book By George O.N

“Jesus came in humility which the donkey signifies. His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey instead of a horse signified peace.”

We know that certain things in the Old Testament were types and shadows of what Christ was coming to do (Colossians 2:17). Isaac in the Bible was a type of Jesus and when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, his only begotten son, Isaac rode on a donkey with his father to be sacrificed (Genesis 22:3). We also know the story of the good Samaritan who of course represents Jesus, the Bible says he rode on a donkey. Jesus wasn’t riding on a donkey to showcase wealth or even showcase kingship in the way earthly kings would. Everything about Jesus riding on a donkey exemplified humility, peace and acceptance of common people.

To say that Jesus would ride a private Jet today because He rode on a donkey in those days is a careless statement and gross misinterpretation of the message of the Bible. Jesus showcased a life of humility that is opposite of what many people experience today and if today was to be that day in which Jesus rode a donkey, He would still ride on a donkey. I also understand that people are meant to believe that Jesus was poor that we might be rich and so some would want to interpret it that way saying “since Jesus rode on a lowly donkey, He did it so that we might ride on a private jet.” That is still not true because Jesus becoming poor that we might be rich means something different. Jesus said in Matthew 20:28 “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” It was in the laying down of His life that we might live that He became poor that we might become rich. The Bible wasn’t talking about material prosperity.

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | New Book By George O.N

“To say that Jesus would ride a private Jet today because He rode on a donkey in those days is a careless statement and gross misinterpretation of the message of the Bible.”

Jesus didn’t ride on a donkey with the view of having the luxury of life. If Jesus wanted to enjoy comfort, He surely would have used the money in the treasury to get a full chariot of horses but no! Jesus rode on a borrowed donkey to showcase humility! He didn’t borrow this donkey while He was going about preaching in very far places, He didn’t want comfort as He taught and acted the message of the kingdom! He rode into Jerusalem to fulfil a prophecy. When Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, He asked them to showcase the same level of humility to others.

Now, it is clear that if Jesus was on earth; if today was that day that He triumphantly entered Jerusalem which led to His crucifixion, He would still ride on a borrowed lowly animal and not on a horse, a chariot, a G-wagon or even a private jet. Is it wrong to ride on a jet? I have not said that; at least not yet but it is absolutely wrong and deceitful to say that the reason some should ride Jet as preachers even while so many people under them are hungry is that Jesus rode on a donkey and would ride on a jet if He was on earth today.

Jesus showed us the path of humility and we have to imitate Him in that regard. This may not be a popular opinion but of course, the truth isn’t always a popular opinion.

~ God bless you.

 UNMASKING DEPRESSION | New Book By George O.N
UNMASKING DEPRESSION | New Book By George O.N

LOVE IN DISAGREEMENTS


LOVE IN DISAGREEMENTS
I have got this thing going on in my mind and I felt it would be nice if I’d share with you. We don’t need to agree on everything to be friends or brothers! I know the Bible says two cannot walk together except they agree but then we can walk together on what we agree and decide to dialogue on what we don’t agree, share in each other’s perspective and arrive at a biblical stand. I also agree there are people we may never walk with because even though they are using the “Christian” label, they are intentionally misleading people from the truth.

In the Christian communities, many people seem to be in the divides and outside the divide they don’t want to identify with other folks probably because they have some minor doctrinal disagreement. It hurts me that many times some denominations consider others their enemies on the basis of few disagreements. Our disagreement as believers isn’t bigger than our agreements and therefore we shouldn’t let the leaders influence us to hate who they hate or who doesn’t agree with them. We shouldn’t hate people because our pastors don’t like them.

In many families, siblings may disagree among themselves on certain things but it doesn’t stop them from being family. That we disagree on certain things can’t stop us from being brothers. I get shocked how we quickly term someone “antichrist” or even “demonic” just because he doesn’t share the same thought 100% with us and yet we both believe that salvation is only in Jesus! See, there are things that don’t add or remove to our salvation. We shouldn’t become enemies over those things!

George & Pastor Becky

Christians fight over how the baptism was done that it becomes more of a personal fight than the defence of the gospel. For instance, some Christians believe your salvation is not real because you have not been baptized by immersion and therefore once they realize it, they see you as an alien. But, should this cause us to fight? You believe in “sprinkling”, I believe in immersion and another believes it is no longer necessary. But we all believe salvation is only in Jesus and is based in the finished works of Christ. Then we are brothers! And we can work together to some extent, at least on the very things we agree. We preach Jesus together without having to bring in our disagreements on baptism. I have been invited to several organizations including Roman Catholic organizations to come and share the word of God with them. When I go there, I teach about Jesus knowing that the more we know Jesus, the more our doctrines are refined.

You believe in tithing and sowing seeds as a relevant New Testament practice and I don’t believe in those but I believe in unrestricted generous giving to support the work of the ministry. But we both believe that we are saved by Grace alone! Do we really have a very serious disagreement? No! We shouldn’t be enemies! We are brothers and when we are working together on a project, we can stay silent on what we disagree and enforce that which we agree on!

I am not saying voicing our disagreements is wrong because sometimes we need to be strong about our convictions so that others can know why we believe what we believe and maybe see if our views communicate Jesus in a better way. While we can voice out our disagreements, we can do it without hate and intentions to attack anyone’s personality. We can do that in love and we can even walk and work together on what we agree while discussions can still be open on what we disagree so that we can understand each other’s perspective from the light of the word.

You know Paul openly criticized Peter right? But it never made them enemies neither was it a basis to create distance. Paul’s open correction was not as a result of his hatred or envy for Peter but because of his convictions on the finished works of Jesus. Paul wasn’t trying to attack the personality of Peter but he wouldn’t stand and watch the works of Jesus get mocked. Let’s read that portion of the Bible and understand why it was important that Paul rebuked Peter

George and Pastor Becky

“But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong. Before some men who had been sent by James arrived there, Peter had been eating with the Gentile believers. But after these men arrived, he drew back and would not eat with the Gentiles, because he was afraid of those who were in favour of circumcising them. The other Jewish believers also started acting like cowards along with Peter, and even Barnabas was swept along by their cowardly action. When I saw that they were not walking a straight path in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you have been living like a Gentile, not like a Jew. How, then, can you try to force Gentiles to live like Jews?” – Galatians 2:11-21

Peter’s actions misled other people who were looking up to him and Paul noted their actions were not in line with the truth of the gospel and he had to rebuke Peter but it never caused hatred among them! Peter had this to say later in his letter in 2 Peter 3:15 “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.” You see that? Peter never underrated Paul even after that rebuke that came from him. This is how it should be. Many people don’t admit they’re wrong belief because of pride, they don’t want it to look as though they were wrong because they want to always appear superior. It is God’s desire that we all walk in love because what divides us isn’t greater than what unites us. There will always be people who have the different belief from us and yet they are Lord’s followers. We should not reject them, we have to accept them not for any purpose of wanting to criticize them. And by fellowshipping with one another we keep growing into maturity.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12

“Welcome all the Lord’s followers, even those whose faith is weak. Don’t criticize them for having beliefs that are different from yours.” – Romans 14:1

Blessings.
George O.N
The Man-In-God

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DOWNLOAD NOW | HOW TO MANIFEST THE ANOINTING



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What differentiates two believers in their manifestations of the anointing is knowledge and their level of growth in faith but they both have access to same anointing! Sometimes the issues of life seem to put our faith down, sometimes we stand in the valleys of shadows of death and we trip off because we do not know that the Lord is right there with us but this exactly is where we are supposed to manifest the anointing! This teaching contains the Biblical way in which you can express the anointing already available in you. 

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FOR SINGLES IN MINISTRY


I normally don’t do a guest post here but I found this very inspiring piece written by Susan Dare that I’d like to share… I copied and posted as is written….

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For those of us who are doing ministry and are single, this will bless us:
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The work the lord has committed to our trust is something we cannot afford to play with! The people we labor over, the souls we save, how much we spend and are spent for people!
We love the people
We care for the people
We pray fervently for the people
We are there for them
They cry on our shoulders
We spend night and day helping them discover the purpose of God for their lives!
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But
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We have our own troubles
We cry too
We are worried too
We may not talk about them… Some times our hearts bleeds!
Issues here and there
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That’s why we can’t afford to marry wrong!
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Ministry is just sweet being with the right person! After all the stress, you come back home to a friend and lover! There is nothing like marrying someone who fits into you in every sense! Emotionally! Intellectually! Spiritually! Physically! Financially! Every sense!
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You can’t imagine the joy when you look at your side, you see a woman who is home for you! Coming home becomes a joy! You are certain you will meet comfort at home! You are a fiery preacher outside but you are her honeybunny, you know waraimin😋!
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Sister, that joy when you are done with blessing the saints and doing all the pulpit stuffs…. You come home to be the baby girl for the man! He pets and spoils you silly!
(I love that baby girl part!Chuckles😌😊)
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We all sometimes just want to have the right shoulders to lean on and that one person that just understands us indepthly and connects with us deeply!
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You sure don’t want that person to be a monster!
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So make your choice wisely!
It’s a once in a lifetime decision!
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So make it right that you look back a decade and more from now and be glad you married posterity!
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I love this couple! It is a deep sonetin!
They make being married in ministry sweet! When you see them…. You just know that people still marry right in ministry! We don’t have to miss it in marriage! We don’t!
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Rev Peter and Pastor Funlola
I celebrate you always!
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Written and photo caption by Susan Dare
#GracefulGeorge

CALLED BUT SCARED


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The Church is very important to God and God takes everyone He has specifically called into ministry serious regardless of their fears! Many times people who has been specially called by God give up because they got afraid! At some point Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.”
They told him, “We are also coming with you.” They immediately went out, and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing (John 21:2-4). While they were there, Jesus came looking for them and specifically for Peter!
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You can imagine that! Simon Peter went back to business because that was what he thought as the only thing he could do! Peter was supposedly broke during the death of Jesus (I just think so), he had no money on him and that was why Jesus didn’t ask him to take care of His mother, He asked John to do that instead. No wonder Peter said to the man in Acts “silver and gold I have none” he didn’t say “we have none…” Because John might probably have but he had none at that moment.
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I am trying to picture how Jesus came into their midst, with love in His eyes and beaming smile all over His face! I am sure He walked in like a very concerned father! The same people He had referred to as “brothers” before His death, He called them “Children” knowing they needed Him as a father at this time, He manifested as God the father! Children could get afraid, children could give up anytime especially when there is no physical assurance of their parents! That God has called a man doesn’t mean the man has matured! Calling doesn’t mature a believer like a thunder bolt! It was with these difficulties they were experiencing that they started getting trained for maturity. Jesus therefore said to them, “Children, have you anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” They cast it therefore, and now they weren’t able to draw it in for the multitude of fish (John 21:5-6). Jesus was concerned inasmuch as they had all given up! He didn’t come blaming them and cursing them for giving up! He came with care and assurance. He showed them once again like He did before “I am able to make you! I am able to keep you!” They got fish, a lot of them and they also got food to eat. They needed that assurance…
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A lot of Pastors have given up on Jesus because they got broke in the process, they have all gone back to business because they seem to have lost all. One terrible thing is that as people decide to give up on the vision God has given them, they are influencing other persons following them to also give up! Peter said to other disciples that he is going back to fishing, he didn’t ask them to follow him! But come to think of it, if Peter was giving up, what would be the fate of others? Was it not the same Peter that Jesus said He will build His Church upon the revelation he had? They all followed after Peter’s decision. A lot of believers are carrying the destiny of others in their hands and their decisions can strongly affect that of others. Imagine if Kenneth Haggin gave up, imagine if Reinhard Bonkee gave up! Imagine if Pastor Chris Oyahkilome gave up! Imagine if all the men doing great things in the world today even after they are gone gave up, I wonder what will happen to a lot of destinies depending on them! Peter’s decision influenced others too and all the disciples went back to business!
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Jesus came anyway because He cared for them as much as He cares for the Church which they will all be instrumental to! Jesus had called them specifically for the cause of the Church and Jesus just wouldn’t allow them mind their businesses. Before now Jesus would always come and go and Peter must have felt this whole thing was over for him. He must have wanted Jesus to be there as close as He used to be (Jesus was there all the time, he was yet to realize that) and he must felt so guilty denying Jesus! For him, it was just over! But Jesus wasn’t giving up on Peter either.
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So when they had eaten their breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I have affection for you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you have affection for me?” Peter was grieved because he asked him the third time, “Do you have affection for me?” He said to him, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I have affection for you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Most certainly I tell you, when you were young, you dressed yourself, and walked where you wanted to. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and carry you where you don’t want to go.” (John 21:15-18) When Jesus said “do you love me more than these?” I am sure Jesus was saying “do you love me more than these business? More than the pleasures? More than the comforts of life?” And by asking those questions Jesus was also saying “Peter, I want you to love me and only then can you feed, tend my sheep… Leave your business and face mine! This is why I have called you.”
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Yes, Peter wasn’t sure if he loved Jesus that much and so he wasn’t answering the questions Jesus asked. He rather answered questions with questions but Jesus wasn’t giving up on Peter who had lost passion and desire perhaps due to fear, brokenness and all of that! This tells us that the Church is more important to Jesus more than anything else.
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Again we also see that we are all called into ministry but Jesus specifically calls certain people for a greater purpose of the Church! We are called to reach out to the world but some are specially called to reach out to believers who are in the kingdom. Jesus carefully selects those who are to be Pastors and other Ministers with whom He perfects the Church. When Jesus said He will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail, He was to do it with the ministers He has called for the Church. Yes, every believer have a role to play, every believer wins souls therefore bringing the blocks but the Pastors, Evangelists, Prophets and so on are putting these blocks in the right places and the body of Christ is being built into a magnificent edifice!
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The Church is worthy of every sacrifice put into it! Jesus showed Peter he would become successful as a fisher but there is something greater that is worth sacrificing his career of fishing! He didn’t start telling Peter “it will be okay…” He was rather telling Peter “nothing is else is worth it… Do you love me in the sense that you can give up on your quest for money and focus on building the Church?” No wonder Jesus said concerning the revelation of Peter saying “upon this rock I’ll build my Church!”
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It doesn’t matter how much you were beaten! Peter was there looking at Jesus been beaten, he had lost hope! If Jesus was beaten and killed without doing anything how much more him? No wonder he denied Jesus! Jesus is patient, He knew Peter would shake strong but didn’t give up on Peter! Jesus calls people into ministry regardless of their fears but He also builds them up as much as they allow Him! That you don’t have a strong heart doesn’t disqualify you if God has called you, Peter was afraid! Yes, he experienced the miracles but at point he got afraid and gave up, causing other disciples to also give up! But Jesus came looking for Peter again just the same way He is looking for people who had given up! No wonder, after that encounter they were willing to wait at the upper room till they are filled with the Holy Spirit! They were willing to just live for Jesus afterwards.
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Maybe it never went as smooth as you thought, maybe you became broke and it became tougher! Maybe those nations God already told you you would conquer with the gospel seem to be closed on you and you start thinking maybe God just changed His mind about using you! Maybe you betrayed Jesus as much as Peter did and you felt God has looked away from you! Hold on a second, Jesus isn’t giving up on you yet!
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God is aware of the toughness but He wants to build you with that toughness so you can build capacity, loose flare for things that doesn’t matter and manage those resources well when they come! Same Peter who became scared and weak got strengthened afterwards! No wonder after they got filled with the Holy Spirit, this same Peter stood and spoke boldly to 3000 men not counting women and children and they all gave their hearts to Jesus. Using the same Peter who was tired and afraid, Jesus began the very foundation of the Church! Peter became the first winner of souls with the gospel of Jesus!
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I think Church leaders have a lot to learn from Jesus! Often times we ignore the weak hearted because we are afraid they would do less! At a slightest sign of lack of commitment we write them off and say “he is not fit!” Oh well, maybe he isn’t fit but Jesus doesn’t call people because they are fit, He makes those He call fit for the calling! Just like Jesus sowed a seed of revival in the heart of Peter with words, we can also call certain persons we feel are giving up in their commitments and talk to them with love just as Jesus talked to Peter. By asking Peter to take care of His sheep regardless of the fear and brokenness, Jesus was saying to Peter “I know you are afraid and weak but I still believe in you, I still believe in your greatness! Just trust me to use you as much as I want to!”
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Are you giving up because you’re afraid and broke? Are you giving up because you have checked and saw no means of carrying out that vision God gave you? Are you tired because you tried and it seemed it wasn’t working? Don’t give up now, don’t decide to just go face your business and leave all these stuffs! It is in this toughness that Jesus wants to build you up so that you become a wonderful edifice! I believe God has spoken to someone today! Why not cry out to God now and tell Him “Lord, I trust you again! Lord, I am available again!” It is much easier for you to stay strong because then Peter never had the Holy Spirit but you do! The Holy Spirit in you is the Spirit of Jesus in you and He keeps bearing witness to your soul that He will never leave you nor forsake you!
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Blessings!
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#GracefulGeorge

OUR LOYALTY | TO CHRIST, NOT TO MEN


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Growing up in a Christian home, mum would always take us to a nearby Pentecostal Church for Sunday services whenever we didn’t beat the time to meet up with the 6am Mattin Service at the Anglican Church we belonged to then which was very far from our home. I grew up seeing the difference between the Pentecostal Church and the Anglican Church as just brand name and I also assumed the only difference between us and the Roman Catholic Church was the veneration of relics and all those stuffs.
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Growing up in a home where we had a wider acceptance of various denominations while showing our commitment to the Anglican Communion, I wouldn’t really say for sure I was holistic with professing Anglicanism; I was rather identifying myself as a Christian. As long as folks believed in Jesus as the Lord and Saviour, I had nothing to object.
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The difference came when we attended the Pentecostal Church again after a very long time of meeting up with the schedules of the Anglican Church we belonged to. One of our teachers in the Children Church had asked us why we had been missing services and we explained but she came to the congregation and announced “let’s welcome back the lost sheep.” I was enraged, like seriously? Lost sheep? Even at my little age then I knew I wasn’t a lost sheep. She had called us lost sheep because we were attending services elsewhere. I knew I belonged to the flock of Christ and it was an insult to my salvation to regard me and my siblings as lost sheep. We revolted, left the congregation and they never saw us again.
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Back in the school, I started emphasizing on how Anglican I was, I started being conscious of denominational divide and in fact I started noticing how the Pentecostal folks regard us as dead Church. I became more of a denominational advocate than I was a Christian. Talk against the Anglican Communion, if I could beat you, I will beat you! I was zealously trying to protect the “real Church”.
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As I continued to grow both in stature and in faith, I started understanding certain things, the scriptures were clearer to me and I began to retrace my steps. I didn’t have to read Paul alone, I also had to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, James and the rest! While they were different authors, they all wrote about same God, opening up realities in progressive truth! At some points Barnabas and Paul had disagreements, they went their separate ways but they were united in purpose.
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As long as we are humans, there will always be flaws but we shouldn’t let those flaws separate us or come in the way of the real thing God wants from us. In Christianity, we are one, united in Christ and there is neither Anglican nor Pentecostal. In Christ, it doesn’t matter who your Pastor is or who you submit to, we ultimately submit to Christ. When someone you follow isn’t pointing you to Christ but to himself you have to look well because you are headed to disaster! Every man of God is a “man” before he is “of God” and we must always understand this and never allow ourselves to be deceived by their human flaws! If you think men of God don’t make mistakes, ask Apostle Peter why he was living in hypocrisy towards the Gentiles! A man of God operating in the apostolic office in the first class, one of the pillars of the Christian doctrine but not without human flaws! Would we now say that since it was Peter, it is a “holy hypocrisy?”
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Yet we see something very significant! While Paul rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy at Antioch (Galatians 2:11), Peter exalted Paul’s teachings in his writing (2 Peter 3:15) and called him “beloved brother”. Today, we always see a different case! I don’t understand why certain folks would see the rest of Christians who isn’t led by their Pastor as “second class believers,” maybe the problem lies on the weakness and immaturity of their Pastor who isn’t teaching them well. Many times it is insecurity that breeds a lot of this mess! While many were saying they were loyal to Paul and others said they were loyal to Apollos causing dissension among themselves in the same of allegiance to one Pastor or another, Paul rebuked them and said they were just being worldly! (1 Corinthians 3:3-4). Certain leaders today would delight at such stupid loyalty, they would feel proud that they had been able to win the heart of men to themselves but that isn’t what Jesus has called us to do! Paul wrote in verse 5 saying “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role. I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” (BSB)
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I have seen Pastors who instruct their followers never to listen to any other preacher or teacher, never to attend any other service that isn’t in their denomination, never to use any other ministry material that isn’t from their own ministry and I wonder how we ever got here! Their reasons may be partially valid but they aren’t valid enough. You may not be able to plant seeds and water them at the same time, Paul planted, Apollos watered but God was in charge of its growth! Every minister of the gospel has been called for the planting and watering of seeds, none has been called for the growth of that seed! No one is responsible for the growth except God! In the Acts of Apostles, the bible says they walked in one accord but the bible made a wonderful remark about God adding to their numbers (Acts 2:47).
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Our little issues as denominations become very obvious because there is hatred everywhere! As the bible says in Proverbs 10:12 “hatred stirs up strife.” Every minister wants to pull the other to the ground so that only he would appear credible! Throughout the Bible, love has always been presented as something that covers multitude of sins! In Proverbs 10:12, Proverbs 17:9, 1 Corinthians 13:4, James 5:20, 1 Peter 4:8 all presented love in this manner saying one thing about love covering multitude of sins. While our diverse congregations may have one disagreement or another, we cannot be exclusive to ourselves alone, we may feel we are achieving success that way but we would do just much more when we let love reign.
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This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be careful of false teachers and we shouldn’t expose them. The Bible says we should test every Spirit but who is responsible for testing every spirit? It is not the Pastor who actually test the spirit for his members, every believer should be able to test every Spirit as long as they are being fed with the truth of God’s word (1 John 4:1-3).
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We must learn to appreciate each and everyone’s gifting! There are men God has called as Pastors and another as Evangelists, another as Prophets and so on but most times we don’t allow people function in their offices around us because we feel insecure! Why should a pastor feel insecure? Is he feeling insecure over his people or God’s people? Isn’t it God who builds His church? Isn’t He the one who promised that the gates of hell will not stand against the Church? People are hungry and you alone cannot be enough for them! I say this authoritatively because one man has never been enough for you unless you aren’t passionate about growing. In my library I have several materials from several men of God; I don’t depend on just the writings of one man because I believe God waters me through them all! While Paul was planting, Apollos was watering… You see that?
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This is what we do when we preach and teach the word beyond our local assembly! When we write on our blogs, we are watering our readers. When we organise home bible studies for believers who belong to a local church, we aren’t stealing members, we are watering them! There were obviously people Paul watered whom he wouldn’t say he is responsible for their planting! What we do in ministry is to complement one another. The Bible says in Ephesians 4:11-12 “And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach the unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.”
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You see that? God has made every minister and has gifted them with necessary offices for the equipping of the Saints and to build up the body of Christ. We may not all have reach the unity in faith and in knowledge but that is what we are building towards! The more we mature, the more we reach this unity. No man builds a house alone, even when God wanted to make man who would be His temple, He said “let us make man” which means no building can be successfully built single handedly. When you understand this, you wouldn’t hinder your members and yourself from being watered! Any man who wants your perpetual submission to himself alone isn’t helping you; we are only pointers to Christ! We are of Christ, not of men. Our allegiance is to Christ, not to men. So we can support ministries that are watering us too, we can be partners with ministries that aren’t necessarily the local assembly we attend every week and we can be united for effectiveness. When we work in one accord, we give God the room to increase us. Church increase isn’t about the increase in your local assembly but increase in the body of Christ. If you are only concerned about increase in your local assembly and not increase in the body of Christ, you are just building a brand; you aren’t raising the banner of Christ. We must decrease that He might increase.
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God bless you
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#GracefulGeorge