Spiritual Reinforcement, by Elder Adebayo Ola
The theme for this month is Structural Reinforcement. In considering structural reinforcement we are familiar with concrete structures, however to strengthen the structure, steel rods and wires are usually meshed together to add strength. That is why it is commonly called reinforced concrete structure. This is why we use it to build pillars and columns of a building
While preparing this short exhortation, I reflected on this church history given by the Pastor. I also reflected on the challenges in building/rebuilding this church. EFA in a short space of time (8 years), has grown both physically and numerically. All glory and honour be unto our Lord Jesus Christ.
At the beginning of the year, the lord said, this is our year of new beginning. Putting the year theme and this month together, I title this message Turning point/spiritual reinforcement. This year a lot of new things has been instituted, for instance, the inauguration of Elders forum, Workers appreciation night, where workers were given award for excelling in their areas, and several other programs, indeed the Lord has been good to us.
As elders, we have been invited to build a tabernacle. In building structures especially at the corners care is taking to ensure that structures are strengthened. In the book of Exodus 26. God gave instruction on how to build the tabernacle, in moving the church to a new level it require care- As in the boards of the tabernacle ,there must be some real reinforcement ,that is why the Lord specify use of Acacia wood to strengthen the frames. This was the materials available then to strengthen structures.
In the book of Ezekiel 47,1-12,this passage brings into view
Rivers rising in the sanctuary
Broadening on its way; on its banks trees bearing fruit every season; and leaf unfading. I believe that to be a foreshadowing of what we have in the book of the “Acts of the Apostle”. The trees are men and women planted by God (we members planted in EFA) drawing their life from the river of God. How that river broke out in the sanctuary in the days of the Acts!!
Men planted by God on the banks of river. The trees sustained by heavenly life, carrying on a heavenly testimony that is spiritual people men and women whose life and resource and everything was the spirit of God for it was the spirit who broke out in the sanctuary on the day of Pentecost.
Gods’ testimony down the whole course of the rivers requires spiritual people drawing upon spiritual resources. For us to move this assembly of Gods people to the next level our spiritual life must be reinforced. Our spiritual life must be strengthened. In order to move forward, we must get to a new spiritual position, i.e increase our spiritual measures. By strengthened our spiritual measures. By strengthening our spiritual lives we will be able to overcome challenges of the future- because there will always be challenges to overcome in order to move forward.
Pastor told us of challenges the church has to overcome over the years- I will not repeat them. These are also reflected in the history of Christianity as shown in the bible. We are lucky at this point that elders forum has been constituted in this church (what does the bible expect of us?) the constitution of elders forum is biblical when we get home, we may wish to read Acts 15 vs 22—church in Jerusalem, Acts 20 vs 17—at Ephesus and Titus 1 vs 5..Crete
All the churches James established –James 5 vs 14 “Is any among you sick? Let him call the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord”
Churches in Pontius, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithyria that Peter wrote 1 Peter 5 vs 1
All churches Paul founded on his missionary journey Acts 14, 23 what does the bible expect of us? (1) we must exhibit spiritual leadership , Jesus Christ is the ultimate example spiritual leadership is servant leadership Jesus Christ himself taught us- Matthew 20,28, Lk 10 1-17. Jesus did not lead by giving orders or by supervising. Jesus led by being a servant and serving alongside his followers.
Spiritual leadership entails humbling yourself and doing the tasks no one else wants to do e.g in Jesus time the act of washing feet was to be assigned to the least of servants, however at the last supper, Jesus humbled himself and washed the disciples feet. John 13 12-17.
Spiritual leadership— What does it take?
Humility- spirit of humility and service, will cause people to follow you because they want to not because they have to. Genuine humility and spiritual leadership is attractive- 1 Cor 11-1
Integrity- People do not want to follow a person they do not respect. Eph 6, 6-8, serve whole heartedly.
Honesty- spiritual leadership demands honesty, people are repulsed by a person they cannot trust to tell the truth Pro 16, 13 teaches us Kings take pleasure in honest lips, they value a man who speaks the truth”.
Benefits of spiritual Leadership
Jesus began His ministry with 12 disciples, once he finished training them to be servant leaders, He set them loose on the world, the evidence is the millions of millions of people who call themselves Christians followers of Christ. We need to look at our role in evangelism.
For us to occupy this spiritual leadership position as our church moves forward we need to pray:
- For wisdom James 1 vs 5
- Ask God to change our heart and to develop the character qualities require for spiritual leadership. 1 Cor 3, 4-7 , Gal 5, 22-23
- Rely on the power of God to give us strength we need to exhibit spiritual leadership. Phillip 4, 13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Spiritual Reinforcement, by Elder Adebayo Ola was preached on 23rd November, 2014 at the Elders’ Service