Dearly beloved, I bring you greetings in the name that is above every other name, Jesus Christ the Son of the living God and our soon coming King. Today is a special service, it’s the 3rd Anniversary of Nehemiah’s Court, and I want to especially congratulate the leadership and every member of Nehemiah’s Court for this great feat. What started as a mustard seed, has blossomed into a reputable leadership initiative, impacting countless lives, and I truly rejoice with you. I know that the best is yet to come. This morning, I have come to ask you a very important question; What are you doing with what you are hearing? The only way our lives our families, our church, our offices and the society at large can become better, is by us shining our light.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
(James 1:22 KJV)
The book of James focuses on practical Christianity. It guides you on how to practically live a life of faith. I will encourage you to take out time to read the entire book, it will bless you. In our text today, James tells us that we deceive ourselves when we fail to put what we are hearing into practice. Every service day we gather here, we sing praises, dance, listen to a good sermon, and fellowship with one another, but there’s no point in us gathering if we fail to put into practice, all that we come here to receive. Now don’t misunderstand me, it’s good to sing and dance, hear good Word and fellowship together. But if that’s where it all ends, then we have missed out on the purpose of the church. Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” When you put into practice what you are being taught from the pulpit, then you are shining your light.
I was listening to a ted talk the other day, and the speaker was making a presentation on the role of faith in Africa. The speaker said, “there are over a billion Africans professing strong faith.” Continued saying, “a recent economist article stated that ‘the face of the future of the world’s most popular religion is African.’” Do you see that. Of course it’s not a hidden fact that Africans are the most religious people. But the question remains what is the net effect on the society? How is your being a christian affecting your community? How are you impacting the next person. Remember that we are the light of the world, and we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13-14), so why is the society not feeling our impact? I dare say it’s because a lot of us are not acting on what we are hearing. Yes we hear good sermon and teaching, we even take notes, but more often than not, once we leave the service, that’s the end of it.
Beloved, it’s time for us to arise and take our place. Today, information can be accessed at the press of a button, so what we are faced with is not a lack of information problem, but an action problem. We live in a world that knows too much, and does too little; people glory in the fact that they know, but very few apply the knowledge they have. Child of God, if our society will change, then you and I must begin to put the Word of God into practice. In Genesis 1, the bible says the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And God said, let there be light, and light appeared. This tells us that it is light that expels darkness. Therefore if darkness must be expelled from our world, then we as God’s children must shine our lights.
Child of God make up your mind to put into practice the words you hear from the pulpit. The bible says it is those that act on the Word that are blessed, not those that hear the word alone. I pray that this week everyone that comes in contact with you, will experience the Jesus that you carry. I bless you in Jesus’ name.
In His Royal Service
Dr. Mike Okonkwo
The Presiding Bishop of TREM