The second message I delivered during the retreat of the Scripture Union, Lagos Region, was on, ‘Why we are to be holy like Jesus’. I reminded them, how on the previous day, we saw the divine investment God made in Samson and Saul. Saul was anointed king and filled with power from above. Samson was made holy from the womb. To be like Jesus, we have been saved and filled with the Holy Ghost.
God is giving us now, this message on holiness, so that we will not join the bandwagon in compromising our faith. We are to be different from the world, by becoming like our Jesus. As some believers were travelling, the police stopped their vehicle, and requested their driver’s driving license. A Pastor pleaded at once that he forgot it at home, whereas, he had not renewed it. Some believers tell lies habitually.
Holiness enables us to succeed in ministry. To Rev. Archippus, Paul said, “Take heed to the Ministry which you have received in the Lord” – Col. 4:17. He might have seen some irregularities. In discharging their duties, some of us forget accountability to God, the Owner. Paul rebuked Peter for misconduct – Gal 2:11-14. The Yoruba culture is that you do not reprimand your senior but Dr. Gbenga Daniel, former Governor of Ogun State, said something very interesting, “But we went to school”. It means that education overrides culture. Christianity overrides both. Paul was right. Samuel rebuked King Saul for disobedience. He told Saul to wait till he arrived in Gilgal for him to make a sacrifice. Saul did not do that. He rather made the sacrifice. Samuel rebuked him: “Your kingdom will not continue” – 1Sam 13:8-14. It did not.
Samson’s preoccupation was on women and not on his ministry. In Judges 14:1, he fell for a woman from Philistine, the enemies of God. When his parents objected, his defence was that she pleased him, not God. ‘Be ye holy’. In Judges 16:1, he found a harlot. In 16:4, he found another woman, Delilah, the architect of his death. Carelessness can cause a Minister to commit adultery. Imagine a Pastor going to rest in a hotel after delivering a powerful message! If he must go, why not go with his wife? Well, Satan may send his daughter on ‘evangelism’ to get him there! The lady may pretend to be sick and requests for prayers. Uncle may end up sleeping with her! Will you blame Satan? We need holiness to enter Heaven: “Without holiness, no man can see the Lord” – Heb. 12:14. Lazarus, a poor man, made Heaven but a rich man, living close to his hut, went to hell – Luke 16:19-31.
To be like Jesus is to live like Him. He demonstrated that spiritual relationship is more important than that of blood, the day His mum and His siblings visited Him, where He was ministering. The expectation was that He would rush out to receive them. “My brothers and sisters are those, who hear My Words and do them,” He said – Mark 3:31-35. What do you consider first, tribe or Christian relationship? We are also to behave like Jesus: How did He behave? Ask Pilate, His trial Judge, “I find no fault in Him” – Luke 23:14. He called Jesus, also, ‘a Just Man’ – Matt. 27:24. Can your servants, spouse, tenants, landlady, driver, etc, describe you that way?
To be like Jesus, is also, to submit our will to God as He did. “I came not to do My will but the will of He that sent Me” – John 6:38. “My meet is to do the work of Him that sent Me and to finish His work” – John 4:34. Jesus had His will but He surrendered it to God. This is holiness. Samson’s defence in marrying an unbeliever was, “She pleases me well”. Some believers are like him, doing what they like. David rather asked God, ‘Shall I pursue? Will I overtake?” Was it not apparent that he should pursue the people, who kidnapped his family members, stole his property and burnt his house? He must seek clearance from God first. Holiness is leaning on God, even when the solution seems apparent.
Being like Jesus, 1Pt. 1:15-16, means, doing miracles like Him. Imagine, raising Lazarus from death, four days after his death! Ten lepers – Luke 17:12 – met Jesus and pleaded that He healed them, though they knew that He did not attend any Medical School. He did not jump up and down as we do praying and rebuking the demons. He only told them to go to their Pastors for confirmation of their healing. That is my wonder. Imagine any of them meeting his wife on the way and if she asked him where he was going and he told her. “But have you been healed?” She might ask, seeing the spots all over him! Would she not start to cry that the disease had entered his brain? None of them minded that but trusted Jesus and they were healed. That was why some people carried their sick friend to the housetops and let him down for Jesus to heal him. That is the type of power He wants us to have.
A major item in our programmes in those days was Testimonies, because of great miracles taking place. Is it true today? Why not? ‘Be ye holy’. Miracles are good as they encourage people, especially, the unbelievers and young converts but we do not go after them. I lost my phone and we prayed for its recovery. The next day, it was returned to me. My maid, who I had led to the Lord some weeks before that day, confessed that she did not believe that I would recover it when we were praying. It is all about faith in the Lord Jesus.
Jesus touched a leper – Matt. 8:2-3. Nobody ever came close to lepers. They tied bells on their waist, shouting ‘Unclean’. That was a man Jesus touched! A leper! A great demonstration of love! He wants us to be touching lives. Do you touch lives? Do you offer your seat in the bus to elderly people, especially, women? A woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus and was healed – Matt. 9:20. Can people in need touch you and have their needs met? That lady wearing the same shoe every Sunday, can she touch you for another pair of shoes? Can that widow, struggling to pay her children’s school fees, touch you for their fees to be paid?
Jesus forgave His murderers. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing,” He pleaded with God in Luke 23:34. Stephen also forgave his murderers – Acts 7.60. If a man, fresh from the US, working in Chevron, approached a lady in your Church, concerning marrying you and the woman told her that you committed abortion last year, when you are still a virgin and he then married another lady. A year later, you hear what the woman did, will you forgive her? Can you now release those, who have offended you?
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471;[email protected]