The man that God uses
“….Moses chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of all people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens… Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word”. And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, ” (Ex. 18:24-26, Acts 6:3-6).
In 2 Tim. 2:20, the Apostle Paul talked about vessels as found in the household of God. He observed and rightly, too that some were for honour, while others were for dishonour. However, the items that were fit for the master’s use were those for honour. To Paul, God cannot use ‘drift wood for sacrifice”. Therefore, the vessels used by Him must be sanctified, cleansed and set apart. The Bible beckons on the child of God: “be holy, for I am holy”, (Lev. 20:26, 1 Pet 1:16) and “worship the Lord in the beauty of His Holiness”, (Psalm 96:9).
Initially, Prophet Isaiah ran a maintenance ministry. He was content to be associated with the mighty. He forgot he had a mandate from God to His people. And so, when King Uzziah died, he confessed: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple”, (Isaiah 6:1). Therefore, for him to be used by the Lord, he was purified, his sins forgiven and then he gave himself to the Lord, when he had the call, (Isaiah 6:6-8).
In Ex. 18:24-26, we read how Moses chose able bodied men to assist him in the work of administering God’s people. Thank God he listened to the sound advice given to him by his father in-law, Jethro. “You cannot do this work alone, choose men who are capable to assist…” and he listened. The men were not those to pervert Justice, but men who led with the fear of God. They were appointed to lead thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Such were men fit for use by God at that time.
They were not thinking of self, but paramount in their heart was service to God and His people.
Understandably, in Acts 6, we saw a young growing Church nearly torn apart due to consideration for food (Table). The Apostles were wiser, as they chose men full of the Holy Spirit and faith. They later prayed for them. What they did pleased the whole assembly, (Acts 6:3-6). Thank God for such men, they did not see the opportunity given to them as a means of exploitation or enriching themselves, but service unto the Lord. Of course, their appointment gave rise to the ministry of the Deacons in the Church of God.
Today, the Church of God is not lucky, as it has so many persons that are not fit for the masters’ use. There are some who see the Church as a means of enriching themselves. As a result, some became emergency contractors in order to be milking the Church dry. It is sad to note that a prominent Church leader is reputed to have said recently that should Rapture take place, not many Church members would make it. Yes, Church is at every nook and cranny, and most times with over-flowing congregations, but what is the result, when they are not been prepared for Rapture? What a pity!
The Pope seems to be worried about the ostentatious lifestyle of Priests. He, therefore, advocates that Priests should use humble cars, for according to him, some members of the congregations are poor and they need help. Indeed, some luxuries could be extended to the poor. He says: “anything you cannot use within three months, it simply means you don’t need them, give them out”. Interestingly, the Pope is not alone in this worry from the rank and file of the Priests. Yes, there are few other Church leaders, who feel that both the Priests and members of the congregation should live in such a way that the poor in their midst should never be forgotten. They should keep in view the teaching of Jesus in Matt. 25:34-36.
I think Jesus’ worry in Matt. 9:37 is genuine: “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful but the laborers are few”. People of God, St. Paul admonishes us if we must get it right: “do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”, (Rom. 12:2). Remember, God is still looking for men and women He will use in the society. It is only those who cleanse, purify, sanctify and set themselves apart from pollution and entanglements of this world that He will use for His service. Are you ready?
Therefore, determine to turn a new leaf, live holy and righteous life. God certainly will use you. Who knows, Nigeria and the world may be the better for it. Cheers!
Ven. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical
Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.
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