Text of Sermon preached by Pastor Sam Aweda on Kw. Radio on Sunday Sep. 15 2013
oday, we shall be looking at the Holy book, to know how as citizens, what we out to do in order that we can live happily.
Happiness does not translate to having 100 houses all over the world, riding in the state of arts automobile, having plenty of cash in the banks at home and abroad.
Living happily simply means to know God, and being on the path to heaven, which is the eternal home. But to remain steadfast on the path of heaven, one must have some level of comfort in order not to compromise with sin. Living happily also means having no fear of travelling on the road at any time; day or night. Living happily also means security in one's house; day or night without fear of robbers.
In order to achieve all these, it means everyone and I say everyone must be able to obtain food convenient for himself and his children, having good water to drink, having a good dwelling and living in a good environment, which will promote good health, having good health care facilities in time of sickness and having basic modern life appurtenance; electricity, good roads etc.
These provisions must be collective otherwise those who are impoverished will make life difficult for those who are comfortable. The reason why there is so much robbery and kidnapping in the land. And if anyone wants to dispute what I said, let him build his private home and leave it unfenced.
What is Bible's answer in order that we as citizens, will be able to live a life of minimal comfort, the type, which I just described which will allow us to live a life, worthy of heaven?
The answer is in the Bible. The Bible in the book of Proverbs 29: 1-2 says "When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice but when the wicked are in power, the people groan"
So the choice is ours whether we want to rejoice or groan.
So if we want to live rejoicing, we must do everything to put the godly to administrate the affairs of our government?
Therefore, I am preaching today on the topic "Position of Authority, Who Does the Shoes Fit?
Let us pray.
What do we have to do as citizens in order to be happy?
The Bible hasn't said that it is the stupendously rich that must govern? Not the children of the rich and the powerful. Of course they can if they so desire but they must have in addition to their wealth "godliness"
The Bible recognizes the merit of the righteous to be at the helm of affairs of administration of any nation, State, Local government and the different towns and villages. Why?
Prov. 29 vs 7 answers it: if the godly is in government, they will consider the plight of the poor while the wicked cannot care less.
Are all Nigerians listening?
Thank God for His patience with us in Nigeria because very often, we blame God when we are reaping the repercussion of our disobedience. God says that in order to avoid poverty, we should vote for the righteous people. But we take money and other gifts from those who canvass our votes without checking their character sufficiently and at the end, they sit on our common wealth, leaving us impoverished and we start to mourn and blame God. No one can have his cake and at the same time eat it.
Election into public office in the civilized world is very interesting and the people do not take it lightly because they are aware that their state of wellbeing and that of their children, born and unborn lies largely on who govern them. So they scrutinize the character of whoever desires to govern them very well.
Often, I feel embarrassed for those candidates in the civilized world, the way the public conduct research of their life history and the many public interviews they subject them to.
But in our own case, often, we allow some caber to put someone on the throne, who they can manipulate as conduit pipes to bring them money from the treasury? And when such a one gets into power, he is not answerable to us but the caber who anoints him since he who pays the piper dictates the tune and so we groan under poverty.
Who should we anoint to govern us? Who does his feet fit the shoes?
The Bible in the book of Proverbs 29: 1-2 says "When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice because as it says in vs 7 the righteous ruler considers the cause of the poor. But when the wicked are in power, the people groan because the wicked does not care to know"
If we are not under a military rule but under a democratic rule, we have no reason to groan because we have the choice of who should govern us. And if we do not rejoice because the wealth of the nation excludes us, then we have ourselves to blame because we must not have elected the righteous. We do not elect the righteous because we ourselves are immoral and ungodly like Esau who traded his birth right for a piece of meal.
If we are under a democratic government and we groan in poverty, that must have been the choice we made; we must not have put the people who should make us rejoice in power. And that is our fault because we ourselves are corrupt, wicked, selfish, inconsiderate to ourselves, disobedient to God.
In a democratic government, we should all either be comfortable to a degree or we all are uncomfortable. We can be uncomfortable if the means is not there to sustain the country. But if the means are there like in Nigeria and some live in extreme affluence while the majority live in squalor, then we need a nationwide revival so that we all can live a Bible obedient life. Because the Bible in the book of Isaiah 1:19 says "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land" And the obedience is for all citizens to be righteous in all our ways as the Holy book says in Prov.14: 34 "Righteousness exalts a nation while sin is a reproach" Sycophancy is unrighteousness and doing that on occasions do not allow us to have many who are righteous in power, resulting in our poverty.
We fought for a democratic rule. We said soldiers are bad, soldiers impoverished us. Blood was split in order that soldiers can depart, so soldiers left the scene but because the nation is under the curse of poverty, we enslave ourselves again into bondage of those in civilian clothes, who we must kneel before them before we have money to buy food and pay children school fees. We must call on deliverance Ministers to deliver this nation from the curse of poverty
The Bible in Galatians 5:1 says "Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage" Or is it that we are contended living in bondage?
The Scriptures obliged us to respect those in authority. It is actually their office i.e the office they represent, which is honour to father land. In actual sense, the public is their boss. They opt to serve and we pay them for their services? Who then is the boss, the one who is paid or the one who pays? But due to ignorance of Nigerians, the one who is paid, who eats free food and rides free car, still boss the people who put food on his table. The book of Hosea 4:6 says "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge"
We lay the foundation of poverty right from the time to pick party nomination form. The fee has excluded the poor. The fee has disqualified the poor and limited it to the wealthy. If someone picks gubernatorial form at a fee of N1m and submits the form with a fee of N5m, making a total of N6m and someone picks presidential form at a fee of N1m and submits it with N10m, what message is that party sending? How many Nigerians can have a savings of N1m in all their working years? Such parties that fix those fees are simply saying that those offices are not for the poor or the middle cadre. They do not have the wisdom for those offices.
The Bible frowns seriously about snubbing the poor. Proverbs 14: 31 says that "Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker----" I therefore counsel all Political parties who fix office filing fee outside the range of the poor to repent immediately. They are committing sin to God and to the people of the country because you are not giving everyone the opportunity to serve. Does wealth translate to wisdom? The one who may be able to administrate the government properly, who can cause us joy may be in the camp of the poor but by fixing the filing fee outside his reach, the country has been denied of the best the country can have.
It is possible that some wealthy ones sponsor a candidate but the usual result has always been that the loyalty of the candidate is to the one who sponsors him rather than to the State and it is the citizens who suffer it with poverty. And where the candidate after he assumes power decides to disobey his sponsor, the sponsor makes governance impossible for him and again it is the citizens that are hurt.
How do civilized countries pick their candidates?
Presidential filing fee in the Democratic Party (USA) attracts $2,500.00 (N375,000)
Can anyone compare this with the Presidential filing fee of a Nigerian party, which is fixed at N11m. or ($73,000+)?
Presidential filing fee in the U.S, the richest country in the world is $2,500.00 while in Nigeria it is $73,000.00. In naira equivalent, it is N373,000.00 in U.S, the richest country in the world while it is N11m in Nigeria.
In the U.S, the general rule is that filing fees for primary elections are set by the state board of elections and are set at two percent (2%) of the salary of the office sought.
Not only that, in the U.S, if you are poor and cannot afford the fee for the form, you are still not disqualified, simply get 5000 signatures of registered voters. Note it carefully; it does not say 5000 party card members but 5000 registered voters. This is a country that looks for only the best who they can entrust their lives into his hands. They do not take chances.
For God sake when shall we start to do things rightly in Nigeria?
The character of whoever wants to govern us must be scrutinized and scrutinized because it is our life. The Bible is in agreement with this as stated in Proverbs 29: 1-2 "When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice but when the wicked are in power, the people groan"
We should be wise by now that accepting money, bags of rice, packets of sugar, cotton fabrics otherwise known as Ankara and give electorates handsome money and buy automobiles, build or renovate the houses of a selected few in the community in order to have their votes are gifts that lead to everlasting poverty.
Those gifts are like the baits, contraptions or deceits of fishermen, which on the long run becomes poison to the fish in the river. The citizens have made themselves objects of trades. Those gifts eventually become our own share of the commonwealth and we should be contended if after those people get into power they allocate all the state's money to themselves, their families and their surrogates while the rest of us live in penury. They have used us as business and it is expected that any businessman must have profit. Citizens should then be contended with dilapidated schools, poor health facilities, dirty environment, killer roads, poor electricity, dry pumps etc.
Therefore, if we want to live happily, whoever we want to elect to lead us must be of impeccable character. Therefore, his character must be checked, checked and re-checked.
There is also the absolute need to consult with God i.e. pray earnestly for God to guide us in the election of whoever attains any public office because if he does not have the fear of God guiding his actions, we shall groan, we shall suffer, we shall live in poverty and we shall not be able to live a life worthy of heaven.
But if we have someone who is godly, with the fear of God guiding his actions, we shall rejoice as the book of proverbs 29 states and we shall be able to live a life worthy of heaven and our journey to heaven will be smooth.
The need to seek God's face before we choose a leader is demonstrated after Saul, the 1st king of Israel persistently disobeyed God and God had to end his dynasty and pass it to someone 'after His own heart' The story is in 1sam.13:14
This fellow was to be found in the house of a man by the name Jesse, a native of Bethlehem. The story is in 1Sam. 16.
Jesse had 8 sons. Samuel the man of God was to pick judging by appearance among the earlier seven of Jesse's sons presented to him but God warned Samuel saying "God does not see as man sees for man looks at the outward appearance but God looks on the heart" God who sees the heart of man, who knows who fears and obeys him chose David, Jesse's youngest son as king.
I encourage anyone to read the Old Testament of the Bible and you will discover that anytime they had a godly king, the people lived in peace and were happy but each time they had a king who did not fear God, the people mourned.
I encourage us today to choose leaders who have the testimony of having the fear of God so that we can live happily, able to live a life worthy of heaven so that we will not go to hell.
Also in a democratic setting, unlike military rule, everyone must be godly because if the leader is godly but the citizens are ungodly, the godly leader will achieve nothing because the ungodliness of the populace will pull his government down. In fact within a short time the camp of the ungodly will impeach him.
We have seen it happen in a State government in the second republic where a governor was godly but the ungodly house of assembly impeached him quickly and installed one of their own.
We have also witnessed a former leader who when he was in uniform was able to achieve some level of success but after he returned as a civilian leader, he saw hell in the hands of the ungodly teaming masses.
Let us pray
On May 18 when we met at Circular hotel Ilorin for a Town Hall meeting, the hall was filled to capacity with people filled with enthusiasm for a country where we can have some minimum life comfort.
A question was put forth as the meeting drew to a close if we shall be willing to have another meeting, lasting 3 days where we can fashion out what as citizens, we ought to do in order to have a country, which we can be proud of. The chorus of "Yes" filled the air.
An inter-religious Committee was suggested, which will work on future plans in order to achieve the type of country we desire. Those who volunteer to serve on the committee had been meeting and have now come up with a plan to call for a 'Solemn Assembly" to last 3 days.
This call for a Solemn Assembly is favoured by all Church leaders & Ministers, Council of Immans and this Mission. The dates are October, Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 & Friday 11. It will take place at the Ilorin Stadium starting at 400pm each day. We shall be starting early so that we can finish in good time to allow the women to return home and prepare dinner.
I can confirm that it is not God's wish neither it is his plan for us to live in poverty or how many of us parents will be happy to see our children suffer or in affliction? If we, who are human beings will not see our children suffer, how much God who is full of mercy, compassion and love?
We are suffering because we have left undone what we ought to do. And there is nothing further God can do except we obey and do what we ought to do. Even if we are acting in ignorance, as the going says ignorance is no excuse in law.
This is the reason why this meeting is so important for every citizen of this nation, whichever religion, tribe, men and women, young and old, from all walks of life including criminals. A solemn assembly is the answer to our diversified problems at this time. It is a must to have a solution to how we can live a life of minimum comfort.
Watch for further announcements regarding this assembly.
Once again, the dates of this assembly are October, Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 & Friday 11and it will take place at the Ilorin Stadium starting at 400pm each day. Do not keep this information to yourself, announce it to your family members, neighbours and at work place.
Take for example a father sends his child to school, pays the fees, bought the books, gives him/her all other financial support but if the child keeps missing classes and at last does not do well, who is to blame? Is it the father who will read and study for the child? The father can only fulfill his own side of the obligation, which he has done. It remains the child to do his own side of the obligation.
God has done all He needs to do for us in Nigeria in order for us all to live in comfort so that we are not tempted to compromise with sin and miss heaven. Heaven should be the goal of every soul because that is our eternal home and no sinner will get there. This is why we must do everything to make ourselves comfortable so that we can live a life worthy of heaven.
Many of us will like to live in the part of the world where things are organized and are beautiful. Many perish in such pursuits. Others have caused themselves a lot of sorrow. The efforts and patriotism of the citizens of those countries make those countries beautiful and comfortable to live in. Why can we not join our forces together to do same for Nigeria?
It is the devil who intimidates us, suggesting and making us to believe that Nigeria cannot be like U.S. or UK. We must resist the devil and stop saying all kinds of negative things concerning our own country, after all you do not have another country, which you can claim as your own except you want to deceive yourself. So take action in transforming the country to a land of pride, for posterity and the sake of coming generations.
Many often say that Nigeria is bad and has no hope again but they still bring children into the world via Nigeria. If they believe that Nigeria has no hope, why should they for God sake bring children to a hopeless country? Do they want the children to suffer? They must not be kind. If you already ruled Nigeria off, then stop to give birth to children except you want the children to suffer.
Jesus could not perform many mighty miracles in His place of birth because of the unbelief of the people. Unbelief is a serious handicap and a damaging factor to the transformation of Nigeria. We must henceforth start believing that Nigeria shall do well, after all we were on the path of progress before. All we need to do is to return to do those things we have snubbed.
I want everyone who always say that it is a bloody revolution that need, to have a re-think and consider a spiritual revolution. What does anyone gain by bloodletting?
Forget about military take over. We have tried it, we did not fare better. There are a very few military personnel who will risk their lives to stage a coup and will not think of themself first.
So what we need is a spiritual revolution. I am yet to find citizens of any other country that are religious as Nigerians. The missing link is just that we are yet to use our religiosity to the benefit of the nation. This is the reason for this Solemn Assembly, which we are calling.
Again, the dates are 9, 10 & 11 October and the venue is the Ilorin Stadium starting at 400pm each evening. This is going to be the 1st of its type in Nigeria where both Christians and Moslems will worship together to seek the face of God on one particular issue that shows no respect to any party; Christians nor Moslems.