EXCERPTS OF THE SERMON DELIVERED AT THE ANNUAL YOUTH CONVENTION TAGGED “OASIS” (EXODUS 15:27) HELD AT CCC SALVATION OF GOD PARISH (ANCONA, ITALY) ON SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2019.

Understanding the Purpose for which God has called us

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Halleluyah! Halleluyah! Halleluyah!

It baffles me to know that the elderlies shout Halleluyah in Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) louder than the youths. In most gatherings I have been, whenever a call to chant Halleluyah is raised, the well advanced in age usually take the floor. The Bible says the strength of a man is in his youth.

“The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head”. Proverbs 20:29 KJV

If we do not spend that strength while we are still youths, we might not have it when we are advanced in age. Our elderlies have spent their youth time in service to God and doing the work of God. It’s the same with exercise if you are used to it, it sticks with you. Also, with learning, if you drop it, it is no longer with you. As youths, we are to use our energy where it would be profitable. We are to give God our time in servitude to Him because once we get to the graves this will no longer be possible for us as the soil will not praise God. If the sand of the seashore praise God (CCC Hymn 378) why can we not?

Whether we are alive or dead we are fulfilling God’s will and purpose in that His words are magnified and fulfilled,

“…for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”.

Genesis 3: 19. KJV

“For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s”. Romans 14: 7-8. KJV

The reality that man goes back to dust magnifies God.

I am reminded of an adaptation of Isaiah 55: 10-11, a song titled AWIMAYEHUN (God who speaks with authority), by Gbenga Adenuga

“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Gbenga Adenuga – Awimayehun

There is a purpose for every word He speaks which ultimately must come to pass and not go back to Him void. God’s purpose for us is to be where He wants us to be at this very point in time. You must be in the right place, at the right time, for God’s purpose to be achieved or accomplished. Anything short of this right positioning would require the absolute grace of God for one to have and live a meaningful life.

To bring Genesis to Revelation, man fell in the garden of Eden losing the most important facet of mankind – his fellowship with his Creator, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”, Genesis 3: 22-24, and over time, He accomplished this restoration when Jesus Christ came to bring us back to Him.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”. John 3: 16-18 through grace, “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus”

John 3 : 16 -20

Romans 3: 21-26 and “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4: 12.

The grace of God brings everything back to normalcy, as without Christ, sacrificial worship would have continued till date.

For everyone, the knowledge of our significance and the purpose of our time/season is the most important thing in life (see Ecclesiastes 3: 1). Most of the bible characters lived their purposes and each has his or her significance. The only one who stood out and apart was Jesus Christ. He knew and lived His purpose from while He was just a young lad.

The youthful age is when it is important for us to discover and start to live out our purpose and significance in life. We are now in an age where so many changes are being experienced, for instance, new words are now growing popular each day, so also is technology, education, fashion, etc. We are living in a time/season where we are fast and above and ahead in most parts of the phases in life. As CCC youths, if we do not discover and start to live and be living God’s purpose for our lives, we would find it difficult to catch up on later because then we could be overwhelmed by the backlog of experience. In John 16: 16-24 Jesus was admonishing us all to be better prepared for such a time.

The Israelites were special people to God, but we in Celestial Church of Christ are more important and special people to God, very dear to His heart. This is because the Israelites have only the old testament while we have both the old and new testaments – the priesthood and salvation combined.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy”. 1st Peter 2: 9-10

We have the fall (old testament) then salvation and redemption even revelation (new testament). We have Jesus Christ as our Lord (see CCC Hymn 330; Hebrews 12: 24). We have all the five arms of the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God as well as the manifestation as recorded in Ephesians 4: 11 and 1st Corinthians 12: 4-11.

At the point in time when the Israelites got to Elim, they have left behind a vast and mighty nation of Egypt in devastation and destruction, where they were hitherto enslaved, without any battle cry, raised a sword nor threw any stone. God had given them deliverance by a strong and mighty hand. (Read Exodus 15) God destroyed their gods, economy and army – the three essential elements of the existence of any nation – their belief system, their economy, and their army.

Having witnessed God in His awesomeness, they throughout their journey to the promised land, have a problem or another with what God was doing. They were always returning (in their hearts) back to the land of slavery in Egypt (“To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt”. Acts 7:39).

In resemblance to them, many of us Celestials are under so much grace (LULI) and despite this generous level of grace, because we are not using the grace appropriately and effectively, largely because of our disobedience and unbelief, we seldom pray without answers as should be.

Archaeological findings all over the world, especially around Egypt and Israel, support and confirm the Bible to be true and perfect. This is to tell us that the word of God is the deal-breaker to finding and living our God-purposed life. In CCC we are blessed with The Comforter (read John 14: 15-end) and the manifestation of the Spirit of God. In fact, CCC is the well or fountain from which The Water of Life (Jesus Christ) is drawn. (see John 4: 8-15, 7: 37-39) but instead we are going after other gods whose fate is vanity as explained in Isaiah 41: 29, 44: 9-20. In Revelation 22: 1- 5, we see that the pools of water in the Exodus 15: 27 have been converted to the river of life by grace through Jesus Christ.

It is high time we turn back to build our lives on the solid rock, that is, the word of God as this is the surest foundation. Without living out God’s purpose, we are just wasting away. We all need to find our purpose and accomplish God’s desires, (read Ephesians 1: 17-21 and Matthew 11: 28). Every second we spend outside God’s purpose for our lives is a part of our life misspent, for which we would give an account.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”. Hebrews 9: 27.

In conclusion, our parents, elders, and leaders have an important task of ensuring that they remain in the gap for us as our intercessors. They are our physical and biological bridge to God. 1st Samuel 3: 1-10 and 1st Kings 14: 1-6 highlight two contrasting scenarios of two elderly men of God, both old and well advanced in age, so much so that at least one of them could not see too well because of age. Eli has lost his connections with God, so it took Samuel four trips to wake him up before he realised God was about to call Samuel to His purpose. Ahijah, on the other hand, maintained his link and connection with God such that when he was to be deceived God told him what was coming his way and what he had to say and do. Proverbs 22: 6, 20: 11 and 2nd Timothy 3: 14-17 encourage us to be well trained otherwise the possibility of missing our purpose and significance in life would be higher.

Jesus Christ is the key to our purpose in life because it is only in God that you and I would be able to find and live our purpose in life.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and life.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him and have seen him.” John 14: 6-7.

Halleluyah!

Author: Bunmi Akintunde

CCC Trinity Parish, Italy
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