Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka on Thursday declared that the old politicians need to voted out in the next General Elections. Soyinka advised Nigerians youths to take up the challenge of leadership by showing interest in elective positions with a view to serving the people better than the old politicians, who he…
The journey in 2018 has started. With confidence, you can say how 2017 was with you because it is now in the past tense. It will not be difficult for you to detail the various areas that you did not do well, and can analyze the possible causes. In this New Year, 2018, you may not want to trek on the same track so as to avoid the mistakes of 2017. It could be that the Lord Jesus did not travel with you.
It is possible to assume that He did, when He did not. It is also possible to claim that we crossed-over to 2018 with Him, when He did not. It had happened before. Dr. Luke, in his Gospel, 2:41-51, captured it. Uncle Joseph and Aunty Mary were in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast, when Jesus was twelve years old. At the end, they left for home. After a day’s journey, they discovered that Jesus was not with them. That was bad news: not knowing that Jesus was not with them!
Whatever blame we have for them should be kept at the shelf for now. We should appreciate them for realizing their mistake before it was late. It is possible not to realize that Jesus is not with you until you arrive home. That home could be Nazareth or the end of life! Wisdom demands that as the journey into 2018 has started, we should be sure that Jesus is travelling with us. If I am travelling to the US or UK, you will be surprised the number of times I check and crosscheck my stuff for my International Passport. Someone may pack my things, but not my International Passport, for without it, I cannot enter the US or UK. Jesus is the Passport we need for 2018 and for life. Are you sure He is travelling with you?
‘Why did Uncle Joe and Aunty Mary presume that Jesus was with them?’ you may ask. Things around us may lead us to the same presumption. Uncle and Aunty might have seen other youths and teenagers singing and jubilating in front or behind them on the journey home, and thus concluded that He was one of them. In the same way, the position we hold in the Church or Ministry, the miracles that follow our ministrations, the way God has been using us or had used us, can mislead us in drawing the same conclusion. In the sight of God, the story may be different as He can use anybody. In simple terms, Jesus may not be travelling with us. He might have done so before but now, the story has changed.
A journey home without Jesus in 2018? God forbid bad thing! Life is useless and meaningless without Him. Appreciating this truth, Uncle Joe and Aunty Mary turned back, to look for Him. Pride could have precluded them from doing this, considering the distance they had gone. Going back would entail meeting other families returning home from Jerusalem and informing them of the bad news, the predicament, et cetera! But they did not mind it. Some of those people might pity them and behind them, criticize them for carelessness. That did not bother them as long as they would find Jesus. Tiredness would bring discouragement but they refused to give up, going to every nook and cranny, looking for Him. After three days’ journey, their effort yielded dividend. They found Him! Praise God! God told us that if we seek Him with our whole life, we would find Him. And that was the testimony of the couple.
It is interesting to note where they found Jesus – in God’s House, doing Bible Study with the Senior Pastors! This is our challenge. If your spouse is looking for you, where will you be found? If you are looking for your child, where do you normally look for him? It is painful if you find your child or you are found in a beer palour, cult meeting or among robbers. If we are God’s children, our children will be found in the Church, Christian Fellowship, school library, mission field, et cetera. ‘Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it’. Prov. 22:6.
The Jewish Leaders, with whom Jesus was doing Bible study, discovered that His knowledge of the Bible was amazing. It was not because He was God’s incarnate. It was all about His upbringing and choice. What parents ‘garbage into’ a child, is what he ‘garbages out’. That explains why Paul encouraged Timothy, his spiritual son, to study the Word of God until God approves him – 2Tim 2:15. Our Lord Jesus, as an adult, was spending time in prayer, thus teaching us that we can do what He did through prayers. He even said that we could do greater works than He did. No matter the height we might have attained in the Church or in our Ministry, if we do not spend much time on our knees and also, learning to believe God’s Word and promises, it will take us to nowhere.
We should appreciate what Mary did, when they saw Jesus. Many mothers, instead of appreciating God first, would have abused, slapped and cursed Him. Not Mary! She only expressed their pains in searching for Him. There was nothing wrong with that. When she said, ‘Son… thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing’. Jesus could not keep quiet. He corrected her immediately, reminding her that Joseph was His foster father and not His Father. His Father is God. He then told her that He must be after His Father’s business, teaching us to be giving priority to God’s work.
Christians respect people but do not fear anybody. We tell the story as it is, human feeling notwithstanding. Uncle Joe did not protest nor take offence because he was in the picture too. The angel of God told him about the virgin birth of Aunty Mary, his wife, and he accepted.
Yes, 2018 has started. Thank God for the moral decisions you might have made about wine, woman, et cetera. Have you made similar vows in the past and found yourself breaking them a few weeks after? If that was your experience, the Lord Jesus really might not have travelled with you. If He did not, then be wise to do what Uncle Joe and Aunty Mary did. They realized their error and ignored the excitement of going home to rest, and perhaps, Uncle’s desire to go home and finish the furniture he was making for someone, they rather went back to look for Jesus. Nothing is more important than to have Him in life’s journey.
2017 was a great year for me and my family. We had divine visitations in many aspects of life. It was a year worth celebrating. But 2018, I know, will be greater than 2017, for you and me. God has given my family the message for the year 2018 through my wife: ‘Walking and Living in the Supernatural’. You can also key in to it.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471;[email protected]