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Christian Living


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hat we want to examine this morning is Christian Living. We want to examine the foundation on which we are standing. We thank God for many wonderful blessings and privileges we have had since we started this camp meeting. It is the joy of our heart that God called us to bless us.

 

It is the Word of God that reveals our shortcomings. When we realised our positions, confessed our sins and forsook them, God forgave us. The Word of God will continue to direct and lead us to Glory.

 

 Paul the Apostle in his testimony said there is only one founda­tion and that is Jesus Christ. God wants us to examine how we are building upon the foundation. He wants us to build upon this foun­dation perfect obedience, through which we may be privileged to enter into everlasting rest.

 

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Je­sus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corin­thians 13:5).

 

God has given'us His Word to improve our stand with Him all the days of our lives. We need the Word of God to examine our lives so that we would be able to line up with all His precepts. If we want to live a life pleasing to God, His Word must be our bon­afide property. We must possess it if we want to be perfect. It is not by hearing it only, but more importantly, by practising and obeying the Word.

 

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for in­struction in righteousness:

"That the man of God may be perfect, throughly fur­nished unto all good works"(2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

 

The Word of God is the yardstick by which we measure our  lives to be able to determine whether we are still on the standard of the doctrine of God or we have backslidden from the faith. The rea­son why this is so is explained in verse 17, "That, the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

 

When we hear the Word of God, the Word is to us a mirror in which we behold ourselves and go into a covenant with God. While on our knees, God reveals ourselves to us the more. As we pray, He saves, sanctifies and baptises us with the Holy Ghost.

 

"And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

"He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

"And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself

"And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live" (Luke 10:25-28).

 

This man, who was a lawyer, knew the law and what was ex­pected of him through the Scriptures. The power to obey the Word and do it was what was lacking in his life. It is not profitable for us simply to hear the Word of God, know or memorise it without actu­ally practising what is there. We ought not to be hearers only but doers of the Word. When we hear the Word of God, it is necessary for us to pray hard so that the Word may be effectual upon our lives. We confess our sins, and through the application of the Blood of Jesus in our hearts, our sins are removed and we get right with God. It is then we can say we have become Christians.

 

"THOUGH I speak with the tongues of men and of an­gels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal" (I Corinthians 13:1).

 

If you want a miracle accomplished in your life, seek and ob­tain salvation. The greatest miracle is the change of a man's heart. When you repent of your sins and you come into covenant with God, no matter the problems that may come, He will give you the solution. God will answer your prayers, and you will become the apple of God's eye. He says, 'They will call upon My name and I will answer because they have set their love upon Me.'

 

"And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not char­ity, it profiteth me nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3).

 

There are some who profess to be Christians because they give alms to the poor. But Paul the Apostle makes us to understand that even if one goes beyond giving everything one has to the poor and in addition gives oneself up to be burnt, all that profits nothing, ex­cept it is borne out of God's love.

 

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up" (1 Corin­thians 13:4).

 

God actually tries us to know our stand with Him as He did to Job. Job was an example of a man who was patient in trials and tribulations. Because of his endurance, longsuffering and patience in pains, he was able to scale through his entire difficulties and be­came victorious at the end. As Christians, we should pray to God to grant us the enabling to wait patiently, endure and have longsuffer­ing, so that we shall have the blessings of God.

 

The Love of God means entire sanctification. When we are entirely sanctified, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts and we will be able to wait patiently to do all the commandments of God. Whatever we are asked to do, we shall have no difficulty whatsoever in complying. When we are in that state, a lot of oppo­sitions, criticism, slandering and conspiracy may come our way. Notwithstanding, we shall still be very patient and endure hardship — that is true Christian living.

 

`Love is patient and kind.' At sanctification, the Lord takes away all bitterness from the heart. You have neither hatred nor the desire to avenge. Joseph was wronged by his brethren but because he had consecrated his life to God and had the Spirit of God, he was able to forgive them.

 

`Charity envieth not, vaunteth not itself and is not puffed up.' When others are promoted to higher positions, you are not to envy them but to rejoice with them that the joy of God may be multi­plied to you. Beware! Lest the root of bitterness spring up in you and defile you. We are to submit ourselves under the mighty hand of God so that, in due season, He may exalt us. God called us; we did not call ourselves, therefore, wherever He places us, there we shall be satisfied, whichever position God gives us, we must thank Him for it.

 

Something happened when the Children of Israel were in the wilderness. Miriam and Aaron, Moses' lieutenants who were older in age, grumbled against his being their leader and overseer. God was displeased with their attitude and they nearly lost their lives because of this. Miriam became leprous and Aaron pleaded with Moses to pray to God for mercy so that they would be forgiven. When you have a leader, no matter his position, status and back: ground, your own duty as a follower is to be obedient. Back up your leader. There should be no room for jealousy and backbiting. You are not here to seek position; be exactly where God wants you to be. When you do that, God is going to bless you.

 

"Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil" (1 Corinthians 13:5).

 

Along this Christian pilgrimage, we ought to support and en­courage one another. If one of us is doing something for God, we should support and pray for him. A tree does not make a forest. When the work is jointly done, there lies the blessing of God.

There are many people who are in darkness; it is our binding duty to extend the love of God to them. Many are living a life with­out hope, without any joy and are completely lost in sin. The Gos­pel has not been preached to them and they have not known the power of God. It is our duty as Christians to go to these people, pray for them, and invite them to our meetings so that they will come and have the favour of God. We know what God has done for us, and we want others to share out of the bounties of the blessings of God. May God not allow us to be selfish. God will make His grace so abundant in our lives that we may be able to extend the blessings of God to others.

`Love thinketh no evil.' As children of God, we are not to be in the company of those who are planning evil or planning to make things go bad. We should be in the company of those who are al­ways looking for how things will progress.

 

"Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth"(1 Corithians 13:6).

 

How happy is a child of God when he sees the Gospel pro­gressing! The child of God will do all within his power to see the Gospel progress further.

 

"Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things" (1 Corithians 13:7).

 

God told Timothy to endure afflictions as a faithful soldier of Jesus Christ. When God saves our soul, He fills our heart with love. We are soldiers of the Cross, and no man who entangles himself with worldly pursuits can please the Master. As Christians, obsta­cles, problems and afflictions may come our way, God wants us to endure them all.

 

"Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye" (Colossians 3:13).

 

We ought to forbear one another. Maybe you are a student liv­ing with others in a room, you are to live peaceably with them. This is the will of God. If any offends you, you should be able to forbear and forgive because that is the mind of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures say, "as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."

Charity is something that goes on for ever; it does not fail. May God not allow His love in our lives to fail.

 

"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

"And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance pa­tience; and to patience godliness;

"And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly 60

kindness charity.

"For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

"For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:5-11).

 

If any of these things are lacking in your life, you need to have a dialogue with God so that at the end, the Kingdom of God may be yours.

 


By Rev F. Akinboye
 

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