…Condemns religion devoid of godliness
By THERESA ONWUGHALU
Presiding Chaplain, Chapel of Christ The Light, Lagos, Reverend David Kolade Verralls, has called on Christians to have genuine repentance and live a godly life. Verralls made the call yesterday during The Sun 10th anniversary thanksgiving at the chapel, Alausa, Ikeja. In his sermon entitled: Spiritual Transformation, Verralls said some people thought the Lenten season was to do good only for that period while the rest of the year was spent in sin.
“If you are just participating and there is no spiritual transformation, you are wasting your time. God is not interested in your holy fast but your spiritual status. Don’t have a status of being religious and not spiritual. In Phil 3:1-10, Saul boasted about his knowledge in the Jewish traditions and the Mosaic laws. Some of us are good in keeping all Christian traditions and culture. We have so many Christians today, who are highly religious.
The Christianity of our time is devoid of godliness. Are you a spiritual person or a religious one? How much of ourselves have we offered to God? How much of God have you discovered as a Christian?” he queried. According to him, “today, we talk more about positive margin, we don’t talk about integrity. Profit syndrome has eaten deep into our fabric that we no longer care about our names. Please as Christians, let’s have a positive change.
This will bring divine direction and add values to our lives.” Rev. Verralls, who prayed for The Sun, said this was a time for Christians to live a better life for Christ. Reflecting on the chapel’s general theme for the year, Rehoboth, Divine Enlargement, Verralls said, one of the keys of the enlargement of coast of blessing, was to learn to appreciate and thank God. “It might not all go out well the way you design it but then you look back and around and find a reason to thank God.
There will be more reasons to thank God after the 10 years anniversary because God will so position and advance this organization to a strategic position.” The cleric said for God’s faithfulness to increase upon an individual and business, one must do the right thing. “If you look round the environment of Nigeria, it is very difficult for business to survive without God. That you are surviving does not mean that you have capable staffers, who are efficient and effective but because of God’s grace upon their lives. I pray because of the reason of your coming today, grace shall be increased in your lives.
You are here today because you acknowledge God as the head. Because of the thanksgiving, God’s grace shall be double upon The Sun.” He, therefore, urged The Sun and other media houses to report genuine news. “There are times we have platforms to celebrate our glory. I hope the news you are selling across is nothing but the truth. A lot of leaders are depending on your information. We should get the news that will create an enabling environment for the public to behave right,” he advised. In his testimony, the Managing Director, Mr. Tony Onyima, glorified God for the journey so far and acknowledged Nigerians for being there for the company.
Onyima, who was accompanied by his Deputy, Mr. Femi Adesina, and a large team of management and staff to the event, thanked God for His mercy upon the company. His words: “We thank the Lord for His mercy. We started The Sun in January 18, 2003 and when we see where we are coming from and where we are today, there is every reason to thank God.” According to him, “We, human beings take a lot of things for granted. The fact that we sleep and wake up, we don’t seem to appreciate that miracle.”
Onyima said for God to keep the organization and staff for good 10 years was more than enough to say thank you. “We operate in an industry that is so peculiar that mortality rate is so high and if you survive in that industry for 10 years, there is reason to thank God. We started small with a 30 year-old machine on January 18, six months later, we went daily and from then Nigerians have been faithful,” he stated.
The managing director recalled that the company had passed through many challenges. “We have received direct and indirect threats, particularly during the third term campaign. It was very obvious that every morning we wake up going to the office and we never knew whether one would return the next day. “There has been a whole lot of challenges, the Boko Haram. Some of us are aware that our office in Kaduna was bombed and up till today, our correspondents in some of the states are still in hiding.
As it is, nobody knows where they wake up each morning. “In 2010, on the eve of June 29, we had a devastating fire, which would have crippled the company. In fact, most staff did not know that at that point it was only God’s grace that saw us through the year. And on Friday, by His grace, at that same spot, we have a new building, where we are going to hold staff thanksgiving.” “Most of us know in this economy that going to bank to borrow money is a very tough decision with all the conditions.
But the fact that we have gone through and we have come out clean shows that God is very faithful to us.” On the reason for the celebration, Onyima said, despite the fact that, “We are not saints yet God kept us and made us the best. We started from 2003 with less than 50 staff but today we are a little above 500. That is why we are celebrating because we need to acknowledge the God factor in our lives. With all these I think the sky is just the limit, I mean not our limit.
Therefore, I thank God and everyone who has been there for us.” Rev. Verralls, on his part, commended The Sun newspapers for the contributions they have made to national development and urged the editors, staff and management of the company to continue to do the right thing, reassuring that God would continue to prosper them both individually and collectively as a company.