By Ignatius Chukwu
A life of holiness does not preclude hard work and creative entrepreneurship especially in these days of harsher economic situation, a Redeem pastor, Omolara Joseph, has admonished Christians.
Instead of sitting to wait for manna to fall from heaven, born-again Christians must stand up and work harder to escape the present inflation that takes away money from peoples pockets in exchange for few goods.
Bottom line: Live a holy life but get up and put your hand on the plough.
Born-again Christians who think manna still falls from heaven must wake up in the face of biting economy, a female cleric has warned.
Pastor Omolara Joesph, a zonal pastor in the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Port Harcourt, says every Christian must find something doing with the hands to escape the harsh economic conditions that have enveloped Nigeria in the past weeks.
The cleric, simply known as Mummy Lara, disclosed this to newsmen at the Redemption Hall Model Parish (RHMP) at Elelenwo section of the Garden City when the area organized a send-forth party for her after over eight years as area pastor of the RHMP.
Giving a piece of advice as a onetime manager and administrative expert in the corporate world on how Christians can overcome the deteriorating economic situation, Mummy Lara said there is a problem in the Church, which she said is that people believe that once they are born again, manna will begin to fall from heaven.
Insisting that manna does not fall anywhere anymore, she said even as a Christian, one must still work hard. “Saint Paul was preaching and building the Kingdom, yet he was a tent maker. We must stop making ourselves beggars in the Church and must put our hands on the plough while we pray.
“Many times, we call ourselves church workers but we are very poor. Often, we make ourselves beggars.”
She said it is the work of our hand that God will bless through our prayers, not an empty hand, because even to multiple bread and fish, some loaves were required. She also advised that Christians must seek multiple streams of income in these harsh times to avoid too much suffering and exposure to temptation.
Saying the economy can behave how it likes (and that God will have to help the politicians to get it right), Mummy Lara admonished Christians that do not have anything doing to get busy in their own small corners and make sure they get it right.
“That means, while you live a holy life, you are also hardworking, you are not a lazy person and you are not putting all your burden on the Church and expect the Church to be ‘Father Christmas’.
“Every natural group in the Church must be encouraged to put hands on the plough and be industrious. Advise the teenagers to learn skills especially during the long vacation so they won’t be idle. Knowledge is power, and knowledge gained can never be forgotten.”
On the spiritual side, Mummy Lara commended the Redemption Hall Model Parish of the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Elelenwo that just treated her to a send-forth party.
She described the days as exciting day and warm, but advised the congregation and the church to keep the fire burning. “They should make sure that the altar does not lack fire at all. So, every natural group in this church must work to become stronger spiritually. That means they must ensure two important thing; They must ensure a righteous life, a non-compromising Christian life; Next, they must live a fervent Christian life.”
She went on: “When they understand the environment where they are, they cannot afford to go to sleep. This environment needs a burning Altar, it needs a fervent Alter. Every group in the church, workers and pastors, must keep the fire burning. It is as simple as that.”
According to the cleric who was born a Muslim, the reason is because if they keep the fire burning, the enemy cannot overcome them. “It is as simple as that.
“And, when anyone is in control in the realm of the spirit, he or she controls the physical. It is as simple as that. When your own Altar is vibrant, all other altars must be subdued. It is that simple.
“God will help this Church and they will continue to grow, in Jesus’ name.”
Speaking earlier in the church to show appreciation, Mummy Lara, who betrayed some emotions through tears urged the RHMP to hold fast to their area pastor, Kayode Babatunde, who she described as her spiritual son, saying she trusts him to do even better.
She said: “I miss the children of this church a lot. I will be praying for them. I want to assure this church that my prayers cover all the zone including you, the Redemption Hall Model Parish.”
In his short sermon, another zonal pastor, Caleb Onofeghara, who said he was an area pastor when the RHMP was established in 2009, reminded Christians of what he called the four ‘R’ of God.
He mentioned them thus: “God remembers: God does not forget your work. God rewards: Its according to your work. Man rewards, but God rewards in His own way. That is why it pays to serve the Lord. God raises: God raises those who serve Him, just as God has raised Mummy Lara to the level of Zonal Pastor. She did not start ministry life as zonal pastor. God reigns: If we suffer for Him, we will also reign with Him.”
He thus urged Christians to give their best when serving God and expect the best reward from God.
The zonal pastor commended the area pastor (Babatunde) for being the first to organize a send forth ceremony to a predecessor, saying the event was well packaged and presented.
The children choir drew tears from most people when they rendered a farewell song asking Mummy Lara to remember them as she departed the parish.
The women led by Mummy Chinyeaka Tosin presented an exciting drama mimicking how Mummy Lara speaks. Many persons gave testimonies of turn arounds during Mummy Lara’s time, all admitting that the spiritual life of the church grew exponentially. Many also gave tributes to the calm nature her husband, Engr B.T Joseph, who is seen as lover of all and father of all the children of the church.