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Matthew 28:18–20. John 9:4. Philippians 3:13-14. Acts 1:8.
Staying Relevant means to get involved, to have a bearing in an issue…whatever that issue is. And in the context of our discourse, it’s Kingdom Business. And what is Kingdom Business?
Kingdom Business is an effort made to progress the kingdom of God here on earth. That effort must necessarily be positive . And that is why it MUST be progressive. Essentially, there are three layers of engagement that constitute Kingdom Business. They are:
1, Soul winning. 2, Establishment of souls through teaching, training, praying and mentoring.3, Deployment of souls to perpetuate the kingdom. This deployment captures missions, evangelism and all ancillary or associated non preaching assignments carried out by church people in keeping with the word of God. Matthew 25.
A. How then can one STAY Relevant to Kingdom Business?
1, Acknowledge or Recognize God’s Sovereignty.
Genesis 17:1. Exodus 3:14; 6:3. Daniel 2:21; 3&4.
Nobody serves a master that is strange to him or her. Nobody sets out to obey willingly a man or woman that they do not know. Therefore, for anybody to be relevant to the business of the kingdom, such a person must know the OWNER of the kingdom. God is the Sovereign over the heaven and the earth. If anybody wishes to be ENGAGED in His business, such a person must know Him and be known of him. This was the dilemma of both Abraham and Moses when God called them to carry out their own aspects of the kingdom Business. They had not known this God, even though God knew them. God had to go the extra mile to reveal Himself to them. He is still doing the same today. You really cannot be seriously relevant in Kingdom Business when you do not know God. You must have an encounter with God. To Abraham, God said I am the Almighty.. the Creator of the universe, the omnipotent, all-knowing and everywhere present being. An all- powerful , who can do all , and, everything He has set out to do. And to demonstrate this, He affirmed to Abraham saying, by this time next year, you shall have a son, , by your supposedly barren aged wife Sarah. . It did not matter that the couple could hardly believe. At the appointed time, Sarah gave birth to her son Isaac. Still not finished with them , He told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to Him in burnt offering. Then again He showed Himself as The El Shadai God, the all sufficient One, after finding Abraham faithful.. He brought a lamb for the sacrifice. Why was God doing all these? To serve Him , you must have full confidence in His abilities to do what He says He will do.
Have you learned God to that level? You must , if you must be relevant in His business.
The case of Moses was even more dramatic because God had to do several signs and wonders to prove Himself strong, Mighty and dependable to him.
And these He did, as He also humbled King Nebuchadnezzar to make him realize that He is God who controls Seasons and Times. And can make humans to reside with animals for years by His word and command. Daniel 4.
When a man knows God as His Father, such a man becomes easy to direct, to lead and to interact with. The Bible says that the secret of the Lord belongs to those who fear Him. God also asked Himself if He will destroy Sodom without telling His servant Abraham ,? .At this point, Abraham had become a friend of God. Both Moses and Abraham got to know God without shaking. Do you ?
B ,Build an ALTAR. Luke 18:1. 1 Thessalonians 5:17. James 5:16-17. Acts 6:4.
An altar is a place of 1, Prayer, 2The Word 3, Praise 4, Thanksgiving.
At the place of the Altar, the flesh is burnt AWAY for the spirit man to easily reach out to its Owner- God. Nobody ever succeeded with God who didn’t build an ALTAR where they routinely met with Him. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob built Altars of prayers and Sacrifice. Esau, Lot and Cain didn’t build any. And we know the consequencers of their indiscretion. Whereas Jacob was described as a prince who had power with God, whereas Abraham was described as a Friend of God and whereas Issac sowed in the land and reaped in hundred fold, those who didn’t build any altar passed on without impact, Influence or notice. They died unheralded, unsung and with ignominy.
What happens at the ALTAR?
When your ALTAR is right. God gives your 1, POWER.
2, OPEN Heaven , and
3, APPROVAL in Business of the Kingdom. Matthew 3:16. Luke 4:18. Acts 1:8 Psalms 1:1-3.
By the time you receive power , open Heaven and ministerial approval from the Sovereign God, your Father, YOUR relevance in the Kingdom Business will no longer be in dispute. Those who used to struggle with you or who refuse to give you pulpit will now do so , as the other prophets began to bow before Elisha after he got double grace from Elijah.
Yes, Paul said, the kingdom of God is of power .. It’s not mere talk . 1 Corinthians 4:20.
Signs and wonders are done through power. Even soul winning is achieved through power. It was after the Apostles received power in Acts ,1:8 that they converted souls in thousands…and also healed many who were diseased. Peter and John healed the man at the Beautiful Gate because power was available.
The Bible says the word of God is quick and Powerful: to build and to destroy, to pull down strongholds to checkmate Satan, rebellion and resistance to the fear and knowledge of God as well as to search the hearts and the intents of men .
We bring all darkness to perpetual obedience to God through power. When a BELIEVER is still wrestling with minor satanic infractions in his life, career, business and ministry, it’s all lack of POWER. Jesus says in John 6:63 that the words that I speak are spirit and life. Power separates the grain from the chaff .This is why those who CANNOT pay the price go all out to fake it or to do evil things to acquire it. But they don’t stay long before the owner of the kingdom kicks them out. Think of all the fake JESUS we used to know,? , All the fake prophets that littrered the churching space: Have they not faded away? Even so, those who engage in all manners of fakery in the church shall be exposed and judged in Jesus’name. Hebrews 4:13.
Power indeed comes with open heaven and approval as the apostles received. Timothy and Titus who were later day concerts also received power as did the 120 during the day of Pentecost. Many of us today, also have received the same power and open heaven and approval of God to do Kingdom Business. . Have you received these kingdom these Privileges to function appropriately?. These privileges make functioning in the kingdom a relatively easier task. The Bible says , I shall make a noise of righteousness, the stranger shall hear me and FADE away. And that at the name of Jesus every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Jesus is the Lord. These can only happen when you have got power that accesses the heavenly in divine approval. But it doesn’t end here,, especially when we realize that Judas Iscariot , who betrayed Jesus, also received power and cast out demons as recorded in Luke 10. So, going forward?
C, Build Character. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. 1Timothy 4:12. 2 Peter 1:5-9.Galatians 5:19-22. 2 Corinthians 4:1-2.
Sometimes, God may decide to bestow Power on US to challenge and test us. Yes, even when we have not done much or put great effort to warrant such grace upon our lives. Take the cases of Samson and Saul, the first king of Israel. These two gentlemen were lavishly anointed by God. They were expected to attain the NEXT level by building a solid Character that will make their generations unborn to effortlessly inherit grace and favor. But they squandered it through lack of rigor to build and develop their character.
Today several BELIEVERS are still doing the same. But Paul said, I discipline my body very hard to bring it under subjection . And to ensure that my body doesn’t control me. Do you do the same ? When you do not master you body to dictate its actions and choices , access to power from heaven becomes a very hard labor. King Saul experienced this when he failed God. For 24 years he labored to rule Israel under shut heaven. He did nothing thereafter with grace and favor or open heaven. There is no short cut to meeting the demands for Kingdom Business.
But what is character?
Character is who you are. It represents everything you do to sustain the gospel of our Lord Jesus . Your character is the man or woman in the MIRROR. Standing in the mirror and looking at yourself is WHO you are. You could have a reputation for kindness. You could build a reputation for going early to events including church. You could build a reputation for decent speech, peaceful home and personality and leadership. These are not your character. Your character is the sum total of: What you say? What you do when nobody is watching? The thoughts of your heart? What your sublime expectations and desires are? What God knows about you?
Paul told Timothy, be an example to the BELIEVERS in SIX areas namely:
1 Word. 2, Conduct 3, Love, 4, Spirit. 5, Faith and 6, Purity. This is who you are.
How honest, sincere and genuine are you with the WORD of God?
How do you conduct your daily affairs as a pilgrim on earth — though a citizen of heaven? For instance, payment of taxes, obedience to traffic rules and respect for the poor and those who cannot react, respond or retaliate?
How do you love, including your enemies? Yes, it doesn’t matter whether they receive your gospel, oppose you or even wish you dead. Stephen and Jesus both prayed God to forgive those who were killing them.
What kind of spirit are you applying to do God’s work? We must depend on the Holy Spirit for kingdom Business. We must also not lie against the Spirit of God to impress people or our followers. Our spirit must be fervent always, earger to hear from God and to obey Him. Jesus hot anointed with Holy Ghost and power and He went about doing good, healing them that were diseased. He got the right spirit.
How do we express our faith? Do we live daily in the consciousness of the faith we share in Christ Jesus? Many don’t apply their faith in other areas apart from the fact that they are saved by grace through Jesus on the cross. Many also apply their faith for greed and covetousness like Gehazi and Annanias and Sapphira.
They all died foolishly. Our faith is not for greedy lucre but for selfless Sacrifice to God and humanity. Those who say they can’t lack as children of God are not preaching the COMPLETE Gospel. The fact that we can grow out of lack graciously doesn’t mean that BELIEVERS CANNOT lack. So, as a child of God, you must not use your faith for advantage over those you are leading, your church or your congregation.. In Acts 20::32-35, Paul confessed that he never coveted anything from the Ephesian brethren.
In 1Samuel 12:1-5, Prophet Samuel also showed a pattern of integrity in kingdom business that is rare till today, a man divorced from greed and covetousness. He challenged Israel to accuse him of what evil he has done against them . And to prove to Israel that he knew what he was doing, he called rain and thunder to come down from heaven during DRY season . God honored him. His faith was without greed or covetousness.
Then how pure are you? Purity is holiness and cleanliness of inner intentions of what to do or say? How do you relate with your sisters, brothers and family members? Purity demands that you present your self as a Sacrifice pure and holy before the LORD,. That the marriage bed remain undefiled. That you remain a vessel unto honor in the house of your God. This is what called Ministerial Integrity. Paul summarizes it thus :
2 Corinthians 2:17:,” For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ”
He adds in 2 Corinthians 4:1-2;
“Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God’ .
D, FOUR Considerations as Guide .
1 Keep ETERNITY in view.
Jesus can come without notice — except what is given in the Bible already. Don’t live without this awareness. Paul told Timothy that he should first save himself. He also said that he buffets his body because he does not want to be a cast away– after preaching to others.
2, The value principle.
What is the value of what you are doing currently to the kingdom Business.
Don’t waste your precious time doing what has no value to God’s kingdom. The value principle demands that your efforts should benefit God’s people and His kingdom. When you hide your mouth to say evil things about God’s servants, when you pay thousands to listen to silly jokes about the church, when you dress to provoke men’s Insanity, when you deny the church your tithes and quality offerings, when you instigate rebellion against the leadership of your local Church — are you adding value to the Kingdom Business?
3 The faithfulness principle.
. The faithfulness principle demands that you ask yourself if what you are currently doing can pass through God’s faithfulness crucibles. Paul told the Corinthians that it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2. The faithfulness principle challenges a believer to show honesty, transparency, accountability and integrity in all they do or say. Work hard at it.
4 , Urgency of Time principle.
Jesus says in John 9:4;’ I must do the work of Him who sent me for time comes when no man can work”.
You must be keenly aware that you do not have all eternity to do kingdom Business. Death . Sickness. Weakness of body or Collapse of strength are elements that challenge us to be TIMELY in the Kingdom Business. The Bible says that the Master’s assignment required haste. Don’t delay in your assignment. God bless. Happy Sunday.
This message was presented at a Reunion Fellowship weekend.
We will continue with part 2 of last week’s Conversation next.
Pastor Okoro can be reached