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Posts tagged ‘Nineveh’

1914 amalgamation an act of God, Nigeria is the promised land – President Goodluck Jonathan.


GEJ

President Goodluck Jonathan  has described the  amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates    in 1914  as  an  act of God.Jonathan, who joined the faithful  at the Apostolic Faith Church, Jabi in Abuja,   for the last Sunday service of the year, however,  identified lack of unity and love  as the greatest problem  facing Nigeria.He likened  the nation’s   challenges  to  those  of the  Israelites when they  were about  to move out of Egypt to the Promised Land.The President  said, “As a nation, we have our challenges. Anytime I look at the history of Nigeria and the challenges we face,  I remember  a  part  of the old testament  in the Bible that talks  about  the Israelites when they decided to move out of Egypt to the Promised  Land. We  have something quite similar.“As you are getting closer to the promised land, you meet more obstacles and thank God for the sermon we have heard here today(Sunday). Even  the  songs  showed that the greatest problem we have  are  lack of unity and love.“Nigeria was amalgamated by our colonial masters in 1914. By  January 1 next year, Nigeria    will be 100 years  .  I totally agree with the minister  that it was not by chance that we are one as a nation, it was ordained by God.“If God didn’t will it  that way and at that point,  the North and South would not have come together. The details of the North and South coming together make  Nigeria a very great country.“I used to say that Nigeria is great not because of its  oil.  We  have countries that produce more oil than Nigeria but nobody talks about them.“We have countries that have multi-billion dollars in  their reserves and nobody talks about them but here we are,  just talking about $40bn in our reserves , yet  the biggest  and  smallest countries  talk  about Nigeria. Why?  It is Because of the diversity from the North to the South,  the human and natural resources, the potential and the population that we have.“ So, Nigeria is a country that has a special blessing from God. It is therefore  left to  us to appreciate God and continue to pray for  his  intervention  for  this country to continue to be great.”Jonathan again promised to bequeath a different Nigeria to the next generation.He said his administration was

committed to working hard to overcome barriers that had  to do with religious or ethnic differences.The President  said it was also when such barriers were  crossed that Nigerian children would enjoy a better future.He said, “I promise our children that we are totally committed to making sure that they meet a different Nigeria.  We will collectively work hard to overcome  our  barriers.“Immediately we cross the  barriers  and we begin to believe that we are all Nigerians and we are committed to the development of this country, our children will surely meet a better Nigeria. We will try our best but this is not the time to  reel out  what we are not doing, otherwise  people  will think I am here to campaign.“But I assure  this congregation, and indeed all Nigerians,  that by the grace of God and your support, I am where I am  today from nowhere. Any Nigerian  child   can also be where I am.“I come from the smallest state in this country and even in my  state (Bayelsa), my community is  one of the smallest. Within my  community  in the state,  mine is one of the smallest  , but I am here today as President  by the grace of God.“That is the type of Nigeria we want to create; a Nigeria where you can get what you want if you work hard,  not  a Nigeria where  you know somebody that  knows somebody that will take  you to  somebody.“We will work with you to help you to get to wherever you want to go.”The President  also  said he was now wary of what he says in public because of the  fear of being  misinterpreted  .He said, “Because for those of us in politics, these days are not the best days to make speeches because any statement we make, people look at how to paint it. The next day when you read the newspapers, you start doubting if that is what you said.“So any statement we make is always  used against us but I am quite pleased to be here with you today(Sunday) to worship with you.In his sermon titled “Living worthy of great mercies, great faithfulness of God,” Rev. Bayo Adeniran said Nigeria would be great again if its citizens learnt  to forsake their evil ways and returned  to God just like the people of Nineveh  in the Bible did.He said, “If Nigeria believes  in God like the people of Nineveh, God will heal Nigeria. The swiftness of God shall visit this country. We are so bothered about external corruption, but there is so much corruption in the heart.”“The nation starts with   the individual and the family. Return to God and God will answer your prayers. Nigeria shall not die, it  will live if we return to God.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

{ Day 348 }.


And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. —2 Peter 1:19

God has raised up leaders in the church throughout the generations who have functioned as prophets of God crying out against the sins of the people. John Wesley, for instance, turned England back to God when the people’s personal unrighteousness and apathy had brought them to the edge of societal chaos. This outcry is similar to the prophetic cry against social injustice, but different in that it is specifically directed to the people in the church. It is less like Jonah prophesying against Nineveh and more like Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesying to Israel and Judah. People such as Billy Graham, Charles Colson, John Piper, David Wilkerson, and A. W. Tozer stand out in my mind as prophetic ministers raised up to cry out against unrighteousness in the church as they revealed the deep things about the knowledge of God. Their words have been anointed by the Spirit to awaken hearts to holiness and passion for Jesus.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, give us a clear understanding of the men and women of God whom You are using as prophetic ministers to our world today. Anoint their spirits and awaken their hearts to holiness and passion for Your Son. Cause us to be attendant to their words, that we do not miss the revelations of Your Spirit that they bring.

God uses such prophetic voices, just as He used
John the Baptist, to prick the conscience
of believers unto full revival.

By MIKE BICKLE.

Five Principles Of Revival.


Stan Coffey
Jonah 3:1-10

This morning if you will turn in your Bible to Jonah 3, I am going to talk about five principles of revival or five principles of spiritual transformation. You can find these in Jonah 3:1-10. Can you imagine a revival greater than the revival at Pentecost? At Pentecost three thousand souls were saved. The Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples. The Bible says that they spoke in unknown languages. The Scripture teaches that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, great and mighty things were done. And one day, three thousand people were baptized into the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And yet the Bible tells us of an even greater number of people being saved under the ministry of an Old Testament prophet named Jonah. We have heard so much in the first two chapters about how Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. I heard about the dear Christian lady who was going to visit her grandchildren in a far away city. She is sitting on the airplane getting ready to take off. A gentleman in a very expensive suit sat down by her side. And he saw that she was reading her Bible. He was not a Christian. He was a very wealthy business man. He said to her, you are not one of those people who believe every story in the Bible are you? And she said yes I am. I believe every story. He said, you mean you really believe that a fish was great enough to swallow a man. And that a man lived in side a fish for three days, that he survived that ordeal and that encounter? You believe that? About what the Bible says about that man named Jonah? She said yes I do. I believe every word. He said, well, what if you get to heaven and Jonah is not there? What if that story is not true, that Jonah is not in heaven and you can’t ask him about it? She said then you ask him about it where you go!

I. A GREAT PRINCIPLE
Now the first thing that we see in this story is a great principle. It says “and the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time…” that is a great principle because God had given the Word to Jonah the first time and he blew it. God said go to Nineveh and preach what I bid thee to preach. But we know that Jonah did not want Nineveh to repent because Nineveh was the arch-enemy of the people of Israel. He wanted Nineveh to be destroyed. Nineveh was an evil city that had done many wicked things to Jonah’s people. So Jonah went the other direction. He went the opposite direction from the will of God for his life. He went to Tarshish. He boarded the ship and he went down in to Tarshish and down in to the ship. And then down in to the water, and then down in to the great fish, in to the belly of the fish. And any time you go away from the will of God, you go down, down, down, down until you get so low that you are going to say okay God I give up. I will do your will. And when the fish three days later coughed Jonah up on the shore, Jonah had cried unto the Lord …

Our Salvation: A Study In Jonah.


The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD (Jonah 1:1-3).

The book of Jonah may be studied for many reasons, but a chief reason is for what it teaches about God‘s sovereignty. Sovereignty is a problem for some Christians in certain areas. There are areas in which it is not a problem, of course. For example, most of us do not have problems with God’s rule in the area of natural law. Gravity is one illustration. God exercises his rule through gravity, and we do not have difficulty at this point. In fact, we are even somewhat reassured that objects conform to such laws. The point at which we do have problems is that at which the sovereign will of God comes into opposition with a contrary human will. What happens at this point? God could crush the human will and thereby accomplish His own purpose with a ruthless hand. There are times when He has done this, as in the contest between Moses and Pharaoh. But generally God does not. So what happens in such cases? Does God give up? Does He change His mind? Or does He accomplish His purposes in some other way, perhaps indirectly? The answer is in the book of Jonah.

A Great Commission

Interestingly enough, this is the point at which the book starts. For it begins with a commission to Jonah and with Jonah’s refusal to heed it, In other words, the book of Jonah begins with a formal expression of God’s sovereign will and with a man’s determined opposition. We read, “The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.’ But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD” (verses 1-3).

There is some dispute as to the location of Tarshish. It has been identified with one of the cities of Phoenicia or with ancient Carthage. Most probably, Tarshish was on the far coast of Spain, beyond Gibraltar. And if this was so, it means that in his disobedience Jonah was determined to go as far as he possibly could go in the direction opposite from that in which God was sending him. Nineveh was east. Tarshish was west. We can visualize the geography if we imagine Jonah coming out of his house in Palestine, looking left down the long road that led around the great Arabian desert to the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and then turning on his heel and going down the road to his right.

Why did he do it? We can imagine some possible reasons. We can imagine, first, that Jonah was overcome by thoughts of the mission’s difficulties. They are expressed very well in the commission which God Himself gave Jonah. God told Jonah that Nineveh was a very “great city,” and indeed it was. In addition to what the book itself tells us – that the city was so large that it took three days to cross it and that it had sixty thousand infants or small children (Jonah 4:11) – we also know that it was the capital of the great Assyrian Empire, that it had walls a hundred feet high and so broad that three chariots could run abreast around them. Within the walls were gardens and even fields for cattle. For a man to arrive all alone with a message from an unknown God against such a city was ludicrous in the extreme. What could one man do? Who would listen? Where were the armies that could break down such walls or storm such garrisons? The men of Nineveh would ridicule the strange Jewish prophet. If Jonah had been overcome with the thought of the difficulties of such a mission and so had fled to Tarshish because of them, we could well understand him. Yet there is not a word in the story to indicate that it was the difficulties that upset this rebellious prophet.

Perhaps it was danger? The second word in God’s description of the city is wickedness. If Jonah had taken note of that wickedness and had refused to obey for that reason, this too would be understandable. Indeed, the more we learn of Nineveh the more dangerous the mission becomes. We think of the prophecy of Nahum, for example. Nahum is written against the wickedness of Nineveh entirely, and the descriptions against it are vivid. “Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims! The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots! Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses – all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft. ‘I am against you,’ declares the LORD Almighty. ‘I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame’ ” (Nahum 3:1-5).

What was one poor preacher to do against such hardness? Would they not simply kill him and add his body to the already soaring heap of carcasses? Thoughts like these could have made Jonah afraid; and if he had been afraid, we would not blame him. But again, there is not a word in the story to indicate that it was the danger that turned Jonah in the opposite direction.

What was the reason then? Well, in the fourth chapter of Jonah, after God had already brought about the revival and had spared the Ninevites from judgment, Jonah explains the reason, arguing that it was precisely because of this outcome that he had disobeyed originally. That is, he declares that he knew that God was gracious and that He was not sending him to Nineveh only to announce a pending judgment, but rather that Nineveh might repent. Jonah’s own words are: “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity” (Jonah 4:2).

As we read these words carefully we realize that the reason why Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh was that those who lived there were the enemies of his people, the Jews, and that he was afraid that if he did go to them with his message of judgment, they would believe it and repent and that God would bless them. And he did not want them blessed! God could bless Israel. But Jonah would be damned (literally) before he would see God’s blessing shed upon these enemies. So he fled to Tarshish. We can understand Jonah’s motives if we can imagine the word of the Lord coming to a Jew who lived in New York during World War II telling him to go to Berlin to preach to Nazi Germany. Instead of this, he goes to San Francisco and there takes a boat for Hong Kong.

We may laugh at that, of course. But before we laugh too hard we should ask whether or not we are in the spiritual ancestry of Jonah. True, we have never been sent to Nineveh, and we may never have run away to Tarshish. But the commission that has been given to us is no less demanding than Jonah’s, if we are Christians, and often our attempts to avoid it are no less determined than his were.

What was Jonah’s commission? “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it” (Jonah 1:2KJV). It consisted of three main words. He was told to “arise.” He was told to “go.” He was told to “cry.” This is precisely what we have been told to do in the Great Commission. We are to arise from wherever we happen to be seated. We are to go into all the world. And we are to cry against the world’s wickedness, teaching it all that we have been taught by Jesus. Matthew’s form of the Great Commission says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Wings of Dawn

Verse three tells us of Jonah’s attempt to get away from God, and it gives us the consequences of that attempt. It is surprising that Jonah did not know of these consequences before he ran or consider how impossible it is to escape God.

We must remember at this point that Jonah lived relatively late in Old Testament history, certainly long after the psalms were written, and that he therefore knew or had ample opportunity to know those great words in Psalms 139: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalms 139:7-10). Did Jonah know these words? Probably. Then why did he not remember them as he set out in the ship for Tarshish?

As I read that psalm I find myself wondering if the name of the ship upon which Jonah set out might not have been The Wings of Dawn. The story does not give the name of the ship. But that is a good name for a ship; and if the ship of the book of Jonah were so named, it would be an irony well suited to Jonah’s situation. Did he notice the name, if this is what it was? Did he notice the rats getting off as he stepped on? If I understand sin and disobedience at all, I suspect that Jonah noticed none of these things, so set was he in this folly. No more do we when we take our “wings of dawn” to sail away from God across life’s sea.

God’s Sovereignty

At this point we find our first great lessons regarding God’s sovereignty. For built into Jonah’s first attempts to get away from God are two results which will inevitably follow whenever anyone tries to disobey Him. These results are in verse three, that is, one verse before the one that tells of God’s special intervention in sending the storm after Jonah’s ship. God has His special interventions too. But the fact that these occur before this indicates that they are as inevitable in spiritual matters as physical laws are in the physical universe.

The first result is that Jonah’s course was downhill. He would not have described it that way. He would have said that he was improving his lot in life, just as we also do when we choose our own course instead of God’s. But it was downhill nevertheless. In verse three, we are told that Jonah went “down” to Joppa and that having paid his fare he went “down” into the ship (see Jonah 1:3 KJV). This is not accidental in a story in which the words are as carefully chosen as this one. Nor are these two instances of the word down isolated. Two verses farther on, in verse five (KJV), we are told that Jonah had gone “down” into the sides of the ship, that is, below decks. Then in chapter 2, verse 6 (KJV), in a prayer which takes place after Jonah has been thrown overboard by the sailors, Jonah describes how he had gone “down” to the bottom of the earth’s mountains beneath the waves. That is a lot of going down! Down, down, down, down. But it is always that way when a person runs from the presence of the Lord. The way of the Lord is up! Consequently, any way that is away from Him is down. The way may look beautiful when we start. The seas may look peaceful and the ship attractive, but the way is still down.

There is another result. In his excellent preaching on Jonah, Donald Grey Barnhouse often called attention to this by highlighting the phrase “he paid his fare” (KJV). He noted that Jonah did not get to where he was going, since he was thrown overboard, and that he obviously did not get a refund on his ticket. So he paid the full fare and did not get to the end of his journey. Now, says Barnhouse, it is always that way. “When you run away from the Lord you never get to where you are going, and you always pay your own fare. On the other hand, when you go the Lord’s way you always get to where you are going, and He pays the fare.”1

Jonah illustrates one-half of that statement. The story of Moses’ mother, Jochebed, illustrates the other half. Jochebed conceived Moses during a time of great persecution by the Egyptians, a time in which the young male children were being thrown into the river to die. When the child was born, Jochebed and her husband, Amram, tried to hide him as long as possible, suspecting, I believe, that this was the one who had been promised by God to be the deliverer of the people. But at last the baby’s cries grew too loud, and another plan was necessary. The mother made a little boat of bulrushes, covering it with tar. She placed Moses in it and set it in the reeds by the river’s bank. Then she stationed Moses’ sister, Miriam, at a distance to see what would become of him. Though she wanted her baby more than anything else in the world, Jochebed trusted the matter to God, allowing Him to do as He wished with her and the child.

The daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river, and when she saw the ark in the water she sent her maids to fetch it. When it was opened she saw the baby. He was crying. This so touched the woman’s heart that she determined to save him and raise him in the palace. But what was she to do? Obviously the child needed a wet nurse. Where could she find one?

At this point, Miriam, who had been watching from a distance, came forward and asked if she could be of assistance. “Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?” Miriam asked.

“Yes,” said the princess. So Jochebed was brought.

At this point Jochebed is about to receive back the child she most dearly wanted. She would have done anything to have had him. She would have scrubbed floors in the palace, anything. In fact, suppose the daughter of the Pharoah had said, “I am going to give you this child to raise. But I want you to know that I have seen through your stratagem. I know that this young girl was not up on that hill watching by accident. She must be the sister of this baby and, therefore, you must be the mother. You can have your child. But as a sign of your disobedience to the Pharoah, I am going to cut off your right hand. . . ” Well, if she had said that, Moses’ mother would have held out both hands if only she could have had the child back. But that is not what happened. Instead Pharaoh’s daughter gave her the child, declaring, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you” (Exodus 2:9).

“I will pay you.” That is the point for which I tell the story. Jonah went his own way, paid his own fare, and got nothing. Jochebed went God’s way. Consequently, God paid the fare, and she got everything. So I repeat: When you run away from the Lord you never get to where you are going, and you always pay your own fare. But when you go the Lord’s way you always get to where you are going, and He pays the fare.

But the Lord

Now in one sense Jonah’s story is over at this point. That is, the story of his choice, his disobedience, is over. God has given His command. Jonah has disobeyed. Now Jonah must sit back and suffer the consequences as God now intervenes supernaturally to alter the story. This point is made very clear by the contrast between the first two words of verse three (“But Jonah”) and the first three words of verse four (“But the Lord” KJV). It is true that Jonah has rejected God. He has voiced his little “but,” as we sometimes do. He is allowed to do it. God’s sovereignty does not rule it out. But now God is about to voice His “BUT,” and His “but” is more substantial than Jonah’s.

What does God do? Well, He does three great things. First, He sends a great storm. The text indicates that it was a storm of unusual ferocity, so fierce that even experienced sailors were frightened. I never read about it that I do not think of that other storm that also frightened experienced men on the lake of Galilee. The men were Christ’s disciples, and Christ was with them, although asleep in the boat. For awhile they rowed. But they were in danger of sinking and were afraid. So they awoke Jesus and cried, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

Jesus replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The disciples were amazed and asked “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (see Matthew 8:23-27).

The Lord who can calm the troubled waters of your life is the same Lord who can stir them up to great frenzy. What He does depends upon whether He is with you in the boat or, which is a better way of putting it, whether or not you are with Him. If Jesus is in your boat- if you are going His way and are trusting Him – then, when storms come, you can cry out, “Oh, Master, help me!” and He will calm the violence. But if you are running from Him – if He is not in your boat and you are disobeying Him – then He will stir the waves up.

Second, the Lord prepared a great fish. Farther on in the story we read that God also prepared a small worm to eat the root and so destroy the plant that shaded Jonah. So we notice that, on the one hand. God used one of the largest creatures on earth to do His bidding and that, on the other hand, he used one of the smallest. Apparently it makes no difference to God. He will use whatever it takes to get the disobedient one back into the place of blessing. Are you running away from God? If so, he may use the cankerworm to spoil your harvest. He may use the whirlwind to destroy your barns and buildings. If necessary, He will touch your person. He will use whatever it takes, because He is faithful to Himself, to you, and to His purposes.

Finally, God saved a great city. This last act, like the others, is an act of great mercy. For the city did not deserve His mercy. Yet He saved it, thereby preserving it from destruction for a time.

God is so determined to perfect His good work in us that He will continue to do so with whatever it takes, regardless of the obedience or disobedience of the Christian. Will you go in His way? If you do, you will find the way smoothed out and filled with great blessings.

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Why Buildings (And Nations) Fail By Olugu Olugu Orji.


By Olugu Olugu Orji

In Architecture, failure is simply the inability of a building to fulfil its design objectives. So if a building was designed specifically to attract the public’s attention in order to boost patronage and that does not happen, then that building has, to that extent, failed. This principle also applies to parts and components of a building structure. A window, for example, is designed to let in natural light and ease ventilation. If an enclosure, despite having a window, remains dark and stuffy, the window as a component and the enclosure have failed.

A building does not necessarily have to collapse for failure to occur even though building collapse is most certainly the ultimate form of failure. That a highway has failed does not mean that it no longer supports traffic. Heart failure is not exactly synonymous with death: it simply means it is performing way below installed capacity.

When failure is attributed to a nation, it does not also mean cessation of existence. It only means that nation is not living up to her raison d’être. If the welfare and security of citizens is the reason a nation exists, and yet the citizens are left to their own devices, the extent to which citizens must cater for and secure themselves is the extent of the nation’s failure.

Why do buildings fail?

1.    If a building is wrongly conceptualized, it can never meet the design specification; and that is failure.

2.    A building may be well designed but if poorly executed, it can also exhibit tokens of failure. A design may have provided for cross-ventilation but if after erection the windows fail to open properly due to poor workmanship and supervision, such a building or any component part can be termed a failure.

3.    The process of use can also precipitate failure when regular and mandatory maintenance is not carried out, or is badly done.

All cases of building failure can be traced to both human and material elements. The human element accounts for at least 75% of all failures. It is humans who make poor design decisions, badly construct such buildings and engage in abuse and neglect of the same buildings. Even in cases where materials are below-standard quality, the human element is partly complicit. Except in rare cases where quality of materials cannot ordinarily be known, most cases of building failure traceable to compromise in material quality bear the imprint of human intervention usually for pecuniary gain.

Because no nation can fulfil all her obligations to citizens, none can claim not to manifest some degree of failure. So if some people choose to characterize Nigeria as a failed state, it should not be such a big deal but an incentive for leadership to buckle up.

Just like buildings, nations fail. I appreciate why some people are vehemently opposed to tagging Nigeria as a failed state because it conveys the impression of a barely-functioning entity. While this may not be a fair description of the whole system, there are certainly sectors for which near-collapse and comatose are fitting labels.

Nations fail for about nearly the same reasons as buildings.

1.    Faulty conceptualization. The British who cobbled Nigeria together were primarily motivated by selfish, economic interests

2.    Those who have run Nigeria so far have done a very poor job. With very weak institutional structures, Nigeria has been run more on ad-hoc bases.

3.    Even the few promising structures are criminally denied maintenance through unqualified leadership, corruption and poor funding. The result is a nation incapable of supporting the citizens’ highest aspirations.

Happily, failure can be mitigated. Since it is clear that the human element is more critical in the proper functioning of any nation, we must inaugurate a regime that ensures that only those willing and able actually assume leadership.

“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil,” says the Good Book. Because evildoers are not adequately and expeditiously punished, evil thrives and will soon overrun the whole landscape.

It is deception of titanic proportions to suggest that Nigeria is indivisible much like the makers of the Titanic had dubbed it unsinkable. If we persist along the precarious course of incompetence and moral incontinence, the ship of state will capsize faster than it takes to recite the National Pledge.

Some Americans had prognosticated years back that Nigeria will cease to be in 2015. Even if that was a prophecy, only we as Nigerians hold the key to whether it comes to fulfilment or not.  The ancient Biblical city of Nineveh had such a sentence of annihilation hanging over it with a moratorium of only forty days!

The people of Nineveh acted appropriately by repentance and the execution of the calamitous judgment was stayed. Nigeria’s problem is more human than material; it is more moral than it is structural. No matter how often we tinker with the Constitution, as long as leaders and the led remain greedy for filthy lucre, we will keep going round in circles.

Let me conclude by repeating a solemn warning made by Someone who should know to a people who, like us, were under the delusion of exception: “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Olugu Olugu Orji mnia
nnanta2012@gmail.com

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

The Mercy of God.


And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented [changed His mind] of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. —Jonah 3:10

After much resistance, Jonah yielded to God to go to Nineveh to preach repentance to that great city in Assyria. Then the pronouncement was made that after forty days God would judge the city with His wrath.

With urgency, the king declared a fast that even included the animals. The people wept and begged for mercy, and with an open heart they prayed to God. Because they humbled themselves in prayer, God lifted His declaration and spoke life, and not death, over them.

Our God does not show favoritism, for His mercy extends the globe (John 3:17). The love and mercy of God can reach anyone—from the uttermost to the guttermost. He can reach out to wherever your unsaved loved ones are and set their feet on the Rock of their salvation.

Think of loved ones who are lost, and pray for their salvation today. Think of those in your city, nation, and world who are lost. Pray for their salvation today. Ask God to be merciful to them and to seed His Spirit to convict, deliver, save, and heal them today.

Jesus, I pray for the lost this day. I pray
for my loved ones who are lost. I pray
for all the lost in the world. Extend
Your mercy and send forth workers
into the harvest to proclaim
Your good news. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

7 Things I Have Learned or Am Learning About God.


Woman-thinking© Photoroller | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images

Just because I’m a pastor, that doesn’t mean I don’t continually learn things about God. It’s a daily process for everyone. Here are some things that I have learned or am learning about our Heavenly Father:

Sometimes God opens doors simply to show me that He can.I’ve seen it many times. God seemed to provide an opportunity, only to later make it clear that’s not the right one for this time. It’s always though an encouragement than when He is ready He can and will make a way.

God’s plan for my life is always bigger than mine. Every. Single. Time. I have underestimated Him all my life. You’d think I’d learn.

When God stretches us we are never the same. God style elastic never goes back completely in place. He has stretched me so many times and each time I was forever changed. I’ve learned the places He stretches He also longs to fill with Himself if I will fully submit to His plan.

God has ways I have never even thought about. You don’t learn this one until after the fact, because you couldn’t script it if you tried. Hollywood couldn’t. But God’s ways are not our ways. Period.

God uses people I wouldn’t have expected. (People like me) It always bothers me when people dismiss others because of their past, apparent inabilities or even their current condition. God tends to make me eat my words when I do that kind of thing. God uses whom God chooses.

God allows the darkest periods of my life to produce the greatest light. Every major breakthrough in my life has come after a period of profound darkness. I’ve learned the best things I know about life and God through the most difficult seasons of my life.

God never gives up on me. In some ways, I feel like Jonah. I’ve never felt called to go to Nineveh, but I’ve resisted going where God called me to go or do at times. Sometimes for a season and sometimes only briefly, but I’ve run. I’ve stalled. In the end, God always has the final word. Imagine that. I end up obeying or my life is a mess until I do.

What has God taught you or is He now teaching you?

Written by Ron Edmondson

For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.

Ron Edmondson is a pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky. He is also a church leadership consultant who is passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Prior to ministry, Ron had more than 20 years of business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner. Follow Ron on FacebookTwitter, and his blog at ronedmondson.com.

Daring to share…


“We are therefore Christ‘s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
2 Corinthians 5:20

Several years ago, I was in a Bible study where a physician shared various medical issues people of the Bible experienced.

In one example, he discussed how Jonah would have looked after spending three days in the belly of a fish submerged in seaweed, seawater, and the fish’s digestive acids. If you have ever had your hands in water for an hour, you know how wrinkled and gnarly they look. Now, think of your whole body wrapped in seaweed and submerged for 72 hours in salt water.

And this was no ordinary fish; it was especially prepared for Jonah. That fish was so large that it could swallow a whole man. To get to this size, the fish had to be around for a while. Once the fish vomited Jonah out and onto the Mediterranean shore, probably in Syria, it told Jonah to go to Nineveh, a three-day journey across a dry, hot desert.

Bleached white when he came out of the fish, I’m sure he was quite a sight walking across the hot desert with the sun baking his skin. Can you imagine what his clothes and skin must have looked and smelled like? No one was going to offer him a ride in that condition. No wonder the people of Nineveh took notice of him. As he walked for a solid day through the ungodly Nineveh, the largest city in the world at that time, Jonah proclaimed their destruction because they denied God.

If a bleached-white guy was walking down your street, sunburned, smelly, predicting your annihilation, would you immediately put on sackcloth and ashes and pray to the God this guy is proclaiming? I think not, but the very existence of this man, somewhere, out there in Nineveh, caused even the king to strip off his clothes, put on sackcloth, sit in an ash heap, and ask God to forgive his people.

Now, that is an evangelist!

Prayer: God, thank you for your word and the example of Jonah. Thank you that I can be a witness no matter what I look like. I just need to be in the right place at the right time, wherever you want me to be, so that I might share what you have done for me through the sacrifice of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.

Devotion: How have you shared what you have witnessed about Jesus Christ to others?.

By Fred Gillett, Crystal Cathedral Pastor

Lifeboat – Sharing the Heart of God (4 of 4).


Series: Jonah

This sermon includes the sermon outline and the full sermon transcript. Below you will see a preview of the outline and a portion of the full sermon.

“But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, ‘O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.'” Jonah 4:1-2 (NIV)

1. OUR CONDITION REVEALED

“‘Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ But the LORD replied, ‘Have you any right to be angry?'” (Vs. 3-4)

“Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city.’ (Vs. 5)

—-

We’ve all read books and watched movies that have surprise endings, where the story takes a strange and unexpected twist and you just didn’t see it coming. Well we’re concluding our series we’ve been in the last several weeks in the book of Jonah. Today we’re covering chapter 4, the final chapter, and we’re going to see that the story takes an unexpected twist. But first let me recap the first three chapters.

God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh, the most wicked, but yet the most influential city of that day and God wants Jonah to tell them the good news, that he’s giving them a second chance if they’ll turn to him, but Jonah doesn’t like God’s plan because he can’t stand the Ninevites, so he runs from God, but he immediately runs into trouble.

The ship that he’s on hits a huge storm. The sailors throw him overboard, but God provides a great fish to swallow Jonah and redirect his plans. And it’s in the belly of the whale that Jonah is desperate and he turns to God and God gives Jonah a second chance and then Jonah walks into Nineveh and preaches to them and they turn to God and God gives the Ninevites a second chance. So God gives Jonah a second chance, God gives the Ninevites a second chance, sounds like a happy ending to me, doesn’t it? Well, yes and no.

There’s a strange twist in the end, but we also find some strong truths in this strange twist. So open your Bibles to Jonah chapter 4 and let’s dig in. Now would you stand in honor of God’s word and just help me out. Read this out loud with me. “But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the Lord, Oh Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshus. I knew that you’re a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love. A God who relents from sending calamity.”

Pastor Kerry Shook

Bomb disables Iraq fuel oil pipeline.


BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Attackers bombed and disabled a pipeline carrying fuel oil from Iraq‘s largest refinery to a province north of Baghdad, the oil ministry said on Sunday.

“A bomb attack led to an explosion in the 16-inch pipeline transporting fuel oil from Baji refinery toNineveh province,” said ministry spokesman Asim Jihad.

He said the ministry expected repairs from the blast – which occurred early on Saturday some 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad – to take several days.

Fleets of trucks were transporting oil to Nineveh, which gets all its domestic fuel via the damaged pipeline.

The attack coincides with growing political unrest, with Sunni Muslims in the western provinces accusing Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of marginalizing their minority sect.

At least eight car bombs exploded in Shi’ite neighborhoods across Iraq’s capital on Sunday morning, killing at least 26 people.

Attacks against Iraqi energy installations and oil pipelines have declined in recent years as security has gradually improved since the U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003.

Iraq, OPEC‘s second largest crude producer, has signed oil contracts with a number of foreign firms to develop its long neglected energy sector.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Reuters

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