TEXT: Psalm 92:12-15 says, “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”
1Thess. 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”
Mark 16:15 says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” For any born again Christian to be spiritually alive and physically healthy or prosperous, such a believer must apply the needed spiritual therapy, treatment or remedy just as anyone wishing to be healthy physically must apply the principles; of course you must endeavour to maintain and dwell in a clean environment, take healthy fruits and engage in physical, exercises designed to make one fit physically.
1Tim. 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” This bodily exercise has only to do with physical, fitness but does not profit one in spiritual matters, and spiritual exercise called Godliness is more profitable even unto all things.
Brethren, we should understand that as it is with the physical so it is in the spiritual and therefore every believer must endeavour to engage in spiritual therapy exercises in order to stay healthy spiritually and be a role model or example of a believer to all others around him/her so they can behold the grace and presence of God in him/her that as many who want to live right can emulate them.
1Tim. 4:12-16 says, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” If you must be such an example then you must engage in all the true doctrine of the Bible and also by ensuring that you are living your life according to the will of God. You must take care of yourself spiritually and ensure nothing contrary emanates from you by staying alert and a true model.
A THE NECESSITIES AND REASONS
What are these essentials or necessities as believers that we cannot do without if we must be role models or examples of believers to all around us?
We should understand that righteousness or absolute holiness is very important in our relationship with God and all humans. Any believer claiming to be a child of God, born again and living his/her life contrary to righteousness can hardly be said to be a model.
I want you to understand firmly that righteousness is a necessity if as believers we must relate with God. God is holy and without righteousness no one can see Him. As believers in Christ Jesus maintains righteousness it portrays the evidence that we possess the spirit of God in us and this also will be the sign to all others that we are truly from Him. God is happy with the righteous and blesses them as we have seen in the scripture we read earlier in Psalm 92:12-15.
God will always be with you if you are righteous and therefore will cause you to flourish and not be cut short until you put on a celestial body even at the time of natural death.
Hebrews 1:9 says, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” A lover of righteousness attracts God’s spirit and anointing upon such believer above all others.
Hebrew 12:14 says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” If you want to be used of God and make heaven at the end of this life you must maintain holiness and righteousness. As we continue in righteousness we shall stand out as special people of God and He, God will be praised because of our lifestyles.
Matt. 5:14-16 says, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” As true Christians we should allow our lifestyles to be transparent and in so doing many would like to copy us and in the end the name of the Lord shall be glorified. And so, we must engage ourselves in righteousness, unto holiness in every area of our lives, and as we exercise ourselves thus we shall be spiritually healthy. This means that our prayers shall be result oriented, our preaching will, be soul touching and engaging in the things of God shall be praise-worthy unto God; we shall begin to shine like light and He, God will never depart from us.
1Peter 1:15-16 says, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
Believers should be holy in all manners of their ways i.e in conversations, disposition, thoughts, actions, comportment etc. this is so because God is a holy God and if you be His child you will hearken to this commandment of holiness and I assure you that God will be with you at all times.
Ephesians 1:4 says, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”. He has called all believers unto holiness and as we became holy, our lives shall bring glory to God and our lives shall be unto believers as example. When we speak the truth, when we are sincere and love one another as it should be, when we walk in charity and maintain righteousness and holiness at every given juncture, all these will attest to our status in Christianity and the Lord will be glorified because of us. Without holiness, righteousness, God cannot and will not confirm us as His children therefore, He cannot be with us.
John 8:29 says, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” When you do things that please God always He can never leave you alone, infact; His eyes shall be over you always according to the scripture in the book of 1Peter 3:10-13, 10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
Brethren, when all those who claim to be Christians begin to engage themselves into unrighteous acts they get into more problems as they begin to go from one place or the other in search of solution where actually there is no righteousness. They cannot get the needed solution because one can only give what one has. When people are seeking for miracle without righteousness, when only you find the people attending churches to obtain temporal relief without righteousness they get ensnared into more bondages. If you will keep away from evil and do good just a little prayer will solve your problems and the eyes of God shall be over you. You know that it was righteousness that earned Joseph his place in Pharaoh’s cabinet in the Bible days and if you too will maintain righteousness and holiness God will single you to be promoted in this life for it is not by struggle nor is it by many prayers or much fasting and vigil or prophecies, etc.
Nebuchadnezzar agreed to have the three Hebrew children who refused to worship images and idols thrown into a very heated furnace seven times more than ordinary but the Lord the fourth man walked in their midst and all the ropes that bound them where loosed and these Hebrew children walked with the Lord in the midst of the burning fire unhurt because of their righteousness.
No matter the odds against you as a Christian keep on practicing righteousness and God will vindicate you in the end as He is always with the righteous. That terrible persecution as it appears can never consume you because if God is with you no one can be against you nor bring harm your way.
John 15:4-5 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Beloved abide with Jesus Christ as truly born again for in Him believers can realize all their potentials. If any man achieves anything without being born again or whatever a man thinks himself to be without Christ in his life amount to nothingness, because if you die in such condition you will end up in hell fire but if you are born again and you eventually die, your life will still continue for it is written ‘What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? naked we came into this world and it is certain we are not carrying anything out of it; and so if you are wise, ensure righteousness.
Besides righteousness, it is also important for believers to devote themselves to God in regular communion, worship, praises and prayers. Take time to pray to God, take time to sing praises to God; and worship and reverence Him and these done, you will remain spiritually healthy, alert and strong.
A prayerfully minded Christian is a terror to the kingdom of darkness and all those evil spirits, personalities and demons cannot challenge them successfully.
Rev. 4:11 says, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” When we as Christians truly born again engage in worshipping God, singing praises to Him and are very prayerful as I have said earlier the Lord will be with us and even service us in all areas of our life.
This man in the Bible was used as an example of what we can achieve as prayer warriors in our own life time. James 5:17-18 says, “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” Elijah was a man like you and I and because of the God’s presence in his life he was able through prayers to ask the rain to cease for three and a half years and after these years he again prayed and it rained again over Israel.
I want you to understand that when God is with you, you will command and heaven will give attention to you; and when you bind and loose, the heaven will equally give attention.
On the other hand, another essential that is important to a Christian’s development is evangelism. Evangelism is a Christian’s strength and defence. Evangelism purifies and sanctifies a Christian who is all out to preach to others around him or her as to win their souls to Christ.
Whenever you preach to win souls, you are equally preaching to your own self; and it is at this juncture that it becomes your strength, it purifies and sanctifies you and also become your defense. And so, no believer in Christ Jesus should avoid evangelism if he/she wants to grow and you want the presence of God in your life and His blessings. Believers should not go into what they preach against, they should be conscious of heaven and rapture.
Let all Christians engage in all these spiritual exercise and as we go on doing them we shall at the end of this life be in heaven in Jesus name.
B OUR RESPONSE
Seeing that spiritual exercises of righteousness, prayers, songs of praises, worship and evangelism make for healthy Christian living and our eventual congregation in heaven, every one of us who wishes to be so healthy must engage in these exercises.
That means you must begin from now to practice righteousness, be fervent in prayers to God, sing songs of praises and worship God as we have seen in 1Tim 4:8-16 says, “8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” As we abide in these exercises we shall be spiritually strong, alert and the presence of God shall be with us and never depart.
We must endeavour to maintain righteousness inside and outside, in season and out of season, in secret and in the open anywhere we go in order to be fit spiritually and attract God’s presence with us.
We must pray without ceasing in order to have fellowship with God in worship, praises and thanksgiving because this is the purpose for which man was created according to Rev. 4:11 we read earlier.
Luke 18:1 says, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Because of the role it has to play in your relationship with God we have been so commanded hence it would be difficult for believers to be carnal Christians.
Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”. You are enjoined to engage in these spiritual exercises for spiritual wellbeing and when done in accordance with the will of God you will be spiritually healthy. You will be an overcomer in all things and God will for the upteempth time never depart from you.
Ephesians 6:10-18 says,“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”. When you engage in all these spiritual exercises it shall be extremely difficult for you to be spiritually weak but be strong and God’s presence will always be with you and cause you to grow from grace to grace. Preaching should be to believers as breathe is to human beings i.e you must never go without preaching to somebody at all times; for as you do so you are preaching to yourself, purifying, putting on defensive mechanism and strengthening yourself.
1Cor. 9:16-18 says, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.” Infact, every Chosen member who wants to fulfill the three-fold vision of the church including the ten billions souls mandate should regard not preaching the gospel to anyone as a curse.
Therefore, let us engage in these things and as we do, we have the assurance of the father in heaven that we shall be strong spiritually and abide in His grace and most importantly when the trumpet is sounded at rapture we shall all make heaven at last in Jesus name.
Remember, we are commanded to preach and if anyone is not preaching, he/she is doing himself/herself a great harm and in the process disobeying God as recorded in 2Tim. 4:1-2 says,
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
Mark 16:15 says, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Here is your commission to reach out to all from the Lord by preaching the gospel.
In conclusion, for all those who are not yet born again, those who are backsliders, they should repent of their sins and give their lives to Jesus Christ. Let them confess and forsake their sins as recorded in Proverbs 28:13 says, “13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” And God Almighty will cause them to obtain mercy and as they go on to practice righteousness, pray, worship the Lord, God will be with them.
Let them also get the understanding that a sinner is not a Christian, and a Christian is not a sinner according to 1John 3:8-9 8 says, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” Any man/woman born again does not continue in sin.
What is sin? Anything you do that does not give God glory is sin according to 1John 5:17(a) “All unrighteousness is sin”
1Cor. 6:9-10 says, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” You must not continue in these evils because if you do and die in them you will not make heaven, rather go to hell and be damned forever. What a terrible loss that will be.
1John 5:18 says, “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”
Get involved into all the needed spiritual exercises and the devil, his fallen angels, evil spirits, demons and human agents cannot continue to torment and harass you at will anymore in Jesus name.
Matt. 6:33 says, “33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Make a bold decision to become a child of the kingdom of God today and begin to enjoy all the kingdom benefits; as you do that the Lord will cause you to grow, be strong, be protected and healthy spiritually in Jesus name. Amen.