We are looking at the subject the Merciful King. You know, if you’re had been playing the social media lately, you will see that the church is under some kind of attack. It’s been on for 2-3months, some people have attacked the payment of tithes, they are attacking specific leaders in the church, they are attacking the church in general. And you know, some of the criticisms were very valid.
The Church is under attack from three main sources;
The first is the Unbeliever’s – the antichrist
The second is a class of people the Bible called the False Brethren. There are number of scriptures that described the false brethren, one scriptures describe them as enemies of the cross, another scripture describe as people who work disorderly, you know, those are people who have given opportunity to those who do not know Jesus to be attacking the church
There’s third category of people that are responsible for the attack of the church and that is Ministers God did not called. You know that there are ministers God did not call. If you have read the scripture in 1st Samuel 2:35-36, the story talks about people from the line of Eli, you know God dismissed the whole ancestry of Eli and that none of them would ever be priest in the house of God. I pray that you will not come under the ministry of a man God has not called. Because if you come under the ministry of a man God has not called, he can only minister death to you. And that’s why I want to encourage our young people who keep hopping from one church to another, from one center to another center, you know, you need to be sure of the man whose teaching you seat, under whose anointing you seat that God has called him. If God has not called him, he can only minister death to you. Those are the people responsible for the attack that is going on against the church.
If you are active on social media, you would have seen a video of a man with out-riders, driving in a big limo to go and preach. And as I reflected on it, I said this man with large retinue of out-riders going to preach about a man who rode on a donkey. Isn’t that a contradiction? The man was going to preach about a man whose only…the closest approximation to luxury was that He rode on a donkey. Those are the kind of people that are attracting the attacks on the church. If you involved in organizing programmes, you will see that some ministers would say put me in a five star hotel. A five star hotel to speak about a man who doesn’t have a place to laid His head. We see all kinds of contradictions but we should not be taken aback.
We are talking about the Merciful King and we are going to be looking at it under three different sub-headings;
- The profile of the Merciful King
- The Plan of the Merciful King
- The promises of this Merciful King
Before we examine the profile, there is a need for us to pay close attention to what our understanding of whom Kings are. Let’s look at some kings in the Bible. We can look at King Nebuchadnezzar in Dan 2. The Bible says the king had a dream but forgot the dream, then he called astrologers and magicians to tell him his dream and interpret the dream and if they cannot, he will cut them into pieces and make their houses a dunghill. The same king made a golden image and command the people to fall down (not even to bow down) and worship the golden image. And that anyone who refused to fall down and worship would be bound and thrown into the fiery furnace. And you know he did that. So our understanding of kings is cruelty, very insensitive people, wickedness and all sorts. If you don’t know what kings are, that’s an example of a king.
There was another king, Ahab. He was interested in Naboth’s vineyard, interested in some other person’s property. It was like your next neighbour is interested in your house. And he went to Naboth and Naboth said no, he cannot sell his father’s heritage and the Bible has said assets must not be transferred from one tribe to another tribe. And the king was depressed because of this. And his wife queen Jezebel took over. What was exciting to me was that Jezebel wrote a letter on behalf of Ahab in 1st King 21. Let’s open the passage because it opened my eyes to certain things that I ever knew existed. I’ve read the passage severally but this time, I saw something different. 1Kings 21:8 – reading about the letter Jezebel wrote.
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. 9 In those letters she wrote:
“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”
11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.
She said they should proclaim a fast. I was shocked when I read it that someone who was embarking on evil should proclaim a fast!
That’s what kings are capable of doing. Kings can frame you, or you thought its only Nigerian police that can frame you? Kings could frame people, tell the world what you are not, say what you never did and that was seen in King Ahab. And Ahab was driven by greed.
There was another king particularly friendly to Christians, King David. David defiled his neighbour’s wife and to cover it, he sent Uriah (the husband of Bathsheba) with a letter, may you not bear a message that will carry your destruction. The content of the letter was to be position in the fore front of the war and not only at the fore front but withdrew from him so that he will be under attack. That is what kings are capable of doing! We are talking about the Merciful King and the only reason why you should seek Him. Because Jesus truly makes a different! What is the difference between what David did and what girls who commit abortion did? Concealment! David run to God, you too should run to God the Merciful King.
The profile of the Merciful King
Now, let’s look at the profile of Jesus, the difference that Jesus made. Let’s look at Luke 5:5 the difference that Jesus made on Peter.
And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
I know many of you seeking nose on the lagoon day time trying to catch fish is not how fishing is done. Fishing is done in the night, fish are nocturnal and that’s why we have to import frozen fish.
So, Jesus said to Peter launch into the deep. But Peter said something that “nevertheless, at your word, I will let down the net”. Peter was an example of a man whose career has failed, a man whose business has failed because he did it and ran it on its own. But he said “at thy word, I will let down the net”. You know we are in Dec 2017 already and if you give an account this year and you can’t really have the checklist of good success because the word of really didn’t come to you because every time God said stand, you sit, and seat, you stand, every time He said don’t, you did….Peter said at thy word, I will let down the net. As we plan to enter 2018, you must make up your mind that going forward, the word of God will matter in your life. That the word of God will take precedence and not when they asked you to be part of what God did not endorse either in your office or at home or village meetings. That we are going to give weight to God’s word just like Peter did. And when Peter obeyed Him, there was restoration; he caught so much that he beckon on his friends to come. When God blesses and prospers your life, it can’t be hidden, it can’t be concealed. As we plan to enter 2018, you’re going to make a personal decision that the word of God will start counting, that when God says don’t, you will not and when God says do you will do. You are going to make up your mind concerning that.
We are looking at the Profile of the Merciful King. After he had ministered to the people, He started ministering to Peter and he was overwhelmed that he fell on Jesus feet and said depart from me for I am a a sinful man. Did Jesus mention sin to him? He was overwhelmed by the goodness Jesus showed him. There was an announcement made here about a family that had a baby, usually when an announcement were made about families having babies or people that will get married, what is the normal response in this church? We just clap! Some people leave it at clapping ooo. As we enter 2018, we are going to do much more than clapping, God is going to make you a minister, you are going to minister to people’s need. You have been waiting on the Lord for the fruit of the womb, look at what Jesus did to Peter, Jesus ministered to Peter and His ministration overwhelmed him that drew Peter to the Lord. You have been waiting for the fruit of the womb, you are going to identify those who have babies and buy baby materials for them that will be your point of contact. You have prayed and I know you’ve been praying but you are going to take the step that Jesus took to win somebody. Jesus ministered and that ministration drew Peter to Him.
There is something that is trending on the net lately; I don’t know how many of us are following the story of a homeless man who gave $20 (the story here). When they say somebody is homeless abroad, he’s truly homeless. Because such people you’ll see them in train stations and awkward places. A lady was driving in the night on the free high way and ran out of fuel. Just imagine a sister driving in the dead of the night along Lagos-Ibadan express road and ran out of fuel, there are two possibilities, a salvation from God or something else. Then this homeless man showed up and I’m sure in the woman’s mind she would be thinking the end has come. The homeless man discovered that she didn’t have fuel and homeless people are beggars. And then, the homeless man took a jerrican and went to a gas station to buy fuel and came back to this woman. When the woman shared this to her boyfriend they decided to go on the net (the story here). to start raising money for the homeless man. About last week they have raised about $402,000, and they bought a house for the homeless man. $20 that the homeless man got from begging and by giving it out has yielded over 140 million Naira. You know there many people in this assembly who think the only thing they have is need. You are going to make up your mind as we enter 2018 however small your resources, you will commit your time into somebody’s else.
As I was preparing this message, there is a testimony I have to share. I entered University before Jamb started…I like saying that because I’m not part of the Jamb crowd. There are about six universities then and I entered University of Nigeria. I became a believer before I entered the university as a teenager in this Church. So, during the second year in fellowship, there was an announcement made that we should volunteer for some of our brothers who are preparing for very critical examinations. You know, brethren who came in to study medicine, there is a particular exam you do in part 2 or 3 they call it second MB. That exam is usually a make or mar exam. If they brought in 100 people to study medicine, by the time they do second MB, they have reduced to 50, others have look for Biology or other causes because they will ask them to withdraw. So in our fellowship, we used to be concerned about brethren who are in medical class so we were asked to volunteered, I raised up my hands to volunteer. So they attached me to one brother named brother Uche. What was my job, I will go and wash brothers Uche’s clothes, iron etc because bro Uche was preparing for the second MB exam. That’s all, that’s what I did, wash, pack his clothes from the preparation of the exam till after the exam. Bro Uche passed his exam, bro Uche has been a doctor for over 35years in Lagos now.
Now, exactly 30years after, my daughter was in England trying to enter medical school. People called my wife and said let this girl go and do Biochemistry or Biology and then can now apply as a graduate to enter medical school that they don’t take international student like that. I said no. So my daughter applied to 4 schools and they will call you for interviews (not like other courses) to be sure that the candidate really wants to study medicine. And for starters, if they don’t call you for interview it means that they are not considering you. All the 4 schools invited her for interviews. I put my wife on the plane to join her for one of the interviews and at the interview, the school was to admit 180 students but 18 spaces for international students meaning only 10% space are given to international student. The interview my wife went for, when she came back and has she was giving me the feedback not knowing that she was giving bad news said parents brought their children from India, Pakistan, New-Zealand etc to fight for what…18 spaces!. To cut the long story short, of the four schools she applied for, she was given admission into three. The Holy Spirit reminded as I was preparing this message that remembered bro Uche. My brother, God is not any man’s debtor! You have to make up your mind than just be a receiver to be a giver however small. Go to the children church, there are children from less privileged homes that come to church without shoes, you can buy shoes for them. They organize VBS in this church, and when they call you to come and teach, you asked how they are going to pay you. Ah! I pity you, I just pity you! How much can Sis Victoria pay you? Sis Victoria runs with a budget but Heaven doesn’t have a budget! You need payment from there not payment from here. We are talking about the Merciful King. Perhaps, poverty in our midst would reduce when people learn to give and what you give might not be in cash, it can be your time.
The second experience was Jesus contact with the Samaritan woman. In the contemporary world, that woman would be qualified and be described as a “lady without reputation”…a lady that has passed from mr A,BC and D. In the lexicon of morality, they would say the person has no reputation. That was the lady who Jesus encountered. And if you listened to their discussed, you would see that the lady was selling a product. She thought she had a target by going by the rules….very unnecessary discussion, that’s how she started. Jesus wouldn’t want to be drawn into that. Jesus said if you knew the gift…and then the woman quickly turn it into religion about where to worship. And Jesus said go and call your husband (following the Jewish rule). The woman said to Jesus she has no husband and Jesus said you are correct. Note, a man who lives in adultery has no place, a man who lives in adultery cannot prosper, he has no identity, nobody will recognize him, he may be considered a big man but in Heaven he has no place and on earth. Jesus said you are right for you have lived with five different men and you are on the sixth one. For starters, Jesus disciples were disappointed that He was discussing with that woman but because of the mercy of God. The woman needed deliverance! Bible scholars have written all kinds of things about her and that she only come to the water place when no other person would come. If you read your Bible very well, you know Rachel was met at the water place, you know Rebecca was met at the water place and when do they normally come to the water place? In the evening time. But this woman came in the dead afternoon because she wanted to run solo. We are talking about the Merciful King, Jesus encountered this woman and He gave her a scripture that you and I must go with. He said God wants those who worship Him to worship Him in spirit and in truth. You know, there is no room for grand standing…you want the Pastor or the G.O to see you. You have to start worshiping Him in spirit and in truth, that’s the only acceptable worship. What did the woman do, the Bible say the woman ran back into the city to call her neighbour saying have seen a man who told her everything she has done, could this be the messiah? The people came to the city, how many days do they stay with Jesus? Two days…they spent two days with Jesus listening to Him. They said we believe in Jesus not because of what she has said but we heard it ourselves.
They have been telling you one month one person we have not delivered on that and many of us would come with a long list of request. The Bible says how beautiful the feet of those who preach the Gospel and he that winneth soul is wise. If I were in your shoes, I would do more than one month one person, I would set myself a target that God would be proud of me. I would set a target that God would have no choice. One month one person….even that one month you have not delivered and you want God to lift you up? You want God to favor you? You want God to answer your prayers? Even His heartbeat, what concern Him the most you haven’t done! The woman ran into the city and she won more souls than many of us who have been in the Lord forever! Because she couldn’t hide what the Lord did for her.
In looking at the profile of Jesus, the third person I’m going to talk about is demonial man of Gadara. John 4. How many of us here have visited the psychiatric hospital here? When you see mad people in the road many of us did not know some of these mad people have relations. The Bible say the man was in the tomb was often chained but most times would break the chains. You know there are ways chains can be break and yet you are not free. This mad man would break the chains and yet not free! The Bible say the man would cut himself with stones. Oh the man who is on drug is doing what? Cutting himself with stones. And when Jesus appeared, he went to Him. You know there was an introduction, Jesus said what is your name, he said I am legion (meaning we are many here)…there was an intro, everytime you appear before God there in an intro…He would ask what your name is…oh it could be adultery your reality would be asking for yourself. Oh it could say you are a thief, covetuous, extortioner. How is the spirit introducing you is a question you must find answers to. To cut a long story sort, Jesus delivered him. What was excited to me was what Jesus said to him, He said go to your people, show them what great thing the Lord has done for you. How many of us have shared with our people, your mother, father, relatives, brother and sisters the great thing the Lord has shared for us?
We are looking at the profile of a master; anybody Jesus touches touch somebody else because the love of Jesus was so overwhelming that nobody can keep it to himself. You can’t keep it to yourself even the mad man of Gadara can’t keep it to himself when Jesus encountered him. He had a message for his people.
You are going to make up our minds that by the mercies of God as we entered 2018 my life will be a life of impact, I must touch somebody, I must be a blessing to somebody and God will make you like that in Jesus name.
The plans of this Merciful King
What are His plans?
In Jer 29 – …thought of good and not of evil to give us hope and expected end. Everything God do starts with thought…conception. Meaning that you and I must aligned ourselves with His thoughts – thoughts of good, we must align our lives with His thoughts. Phil 4:8 says whatsoever things are good, honest, pure etc. we should think about those things…so we must align our lives with His thoughts. I am a surveyor by training forget about my banking life. When a government draws a master plan and says there are going to be a road from Ijebu mushin to Ijebu ife, speculators would start buying lands because they know when that road is done, prices of land would shoot up suggesting that smart people aligns their plans with that of government. You must align your life with the thoughts of Jesus Christ, you must work in what is good and honest.
Look at our country Nigeria, every Nigerians complains about Nigeria. And if we are to trace any cause of the problem, we are all the cause of the problem because we have refused to align our lives with the thoughts of the Lord. We need to align our lives that has we enter 2018, all I will be thinking is how God would make me good to somebody else, how He would make me honest to somebody else, how God would make my life inspire somebody else…that’s all we should be thinking. The first plan is thoughts, the second plan, He says in my Father’s house there are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you and I’m coming back to take you. That is where the challenges is. When the son of man says I’m going to, I’m coming back, what is that telling us? To wait! And that is where Christians has the most problem…waiting! Oh, it was waiting that cost Saul the kingdom you know that. Saul couldn’t wait. Because he couldn’t wait what happens to him, he lost the kingdom. What was he praying for, he was praying to preserve the kingdom and he lost it because he didn’t wait. Five of the ten virgins, what destroyed their testimonies? They were chaste people, they were very disciplined people but they couldn’t wait so when the bridegroom came, they were excluded.
How are you handling waiting? You are unemployed, no job yet, how are you spending your time? Oh, you are engaged to be married, you are not married yet, how are you spending the intervening period? Are you spending it in lust, fornication? How are you handling waiting, that’s what will count ooo. How do you handle waiting for the next business? Are you handling it by committing it to God or you are playing it in the Nigerian way…oh they say bribe you bribe them…competing with bribing and corruption! How are you handling waiting? Jesus said I go to prepare a place and come back to take you up to himself that where I am you will be also. But note something, when He comes back, he will say to some people, you workers of iniquity; depart from me because I don’t know you. May God not say that to us. It depends on how you have handled waiting. Have you handle waiting by compromising, they say do it this way, you say let’s join them ooo, if you can’t beat them! Oh, the moment you have join them because you say you can’t beat, you will never beat them! But if you withdrew, like Meshach, Shadrach and Abnego withdrew, all you will have is testimonies of victories.
The Promises of the Merciful King
We have looked at His profile, we have looked at His plan, let’s look at His promises. Let us open to Matt 18:18 – (Nobody can have it better than that)
Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
There is nobody that can have it better than that. In the lexicon of banking what it means is been given an open cheque, just fill it as you desired. He said if you asked anything in my name, just considered it done. That is the promise that He made and you and I have to respond to that promise. Imagine you get to heaven and you are coming in empty and they asked didn’t you had that promise? We must respond to that promise…He said anything we bound on earth shall be bound in heaven and anything we loose in here is lose in heaven.
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out..
The passage give you and I an opportunity, an opportunity for a new beginning because He said “he that come to Him I will by no means cast out’.
I would like us to bow our heads and reflect on that promise, talk to God, you have not handled the year well. Everything God said you have done something different. And you know too that it has not worked the way you desired it. You are going to make peace with God and ask for a new beginning. That is the beauty of a Merciful King, He gives us a new beginning.