Senior Pastor Georges Ntemi has proven to be a great mind on biblical teaching and interpretation. Hisgift of teaching and oratory once again illuminated the faces of the congregation at Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l on Sunday with a sermon steeped in the consequences of disobeying God’s Word.
On the day, the congregation went to church after being treated to dulcetious music from the Voice of Cherubim Choir on Thanksgiving eve, so church members were in high spirits to receive the Word of God from the senior pastor.
Titling his sermon, “Problems with Provisions,” the man of God grounded his sermon in Deut. 6: 3-12, a chapter in which the Lord tells the Israelites to obey his commandments and teach their children so that they would be the beneficiaries of his blessings; it also reminded them that there is only ONE God who must be obeyed as decreed in the first Commandment.
Preaching the sermon with impassioned zeal, Pastor Ntemi saw the injunction the Lord gave the Israelites on their way to the Promised Land as still a relevant fixture in the lives of Christians today and said, “Don’t just sit down at home and watch basketball or football on your television sets. Love the Lord your God with your heart and soul. Tie the commandments as symbols on your hands; bind them on your foreheads; write them down on your door frames and gates so that you can remember them all the time.”
He was particularly not enthused with the obstinacy of people, who find it difficult to obey God’s Word but want to be beneficiaries of his promises. “There are some when it comes time for them to come to church, they will call the pastor and give all sorts of excuses. Be careful not to forget to place your Lord thy God first in all things. God’s provisions come with problems. The bigger the problem, the greater the provisions and the promises. The Bible is all about promises,” said Pastor Ntemi.
He spoke of iconoclasts who are all too keen to destroy the good reputation of others, warning, “Your love will be measured by the problems you solve, and your life will be measured by the problems you create. There are some who destroy good . . . and great things because their minds are filled with nothing but negative and bad thoughts.”
He lamented about people who call themselves Christians but are always dramatizing by building mountains out of molehills and turning foibles into big problems and wondered why some portray him as arrogant when all he is trying to do is to exhibit his true calling as a consul of God and be good toward others. He noted: “Encourage one another. Don’t discourage those who do good.”
Turning to the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, Pastor Ntemi said that before the exodus, the Lord told Moses that he had to lead his people out of Egypt to the Promised Land in fulfillment of the covenant he, Jehovah, had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Lord, then, showed Moses a couple of miracles, by turning his staff into a serpent and by having Moses put his hand into a bag he was carrying and when he brought it out, the hand was infected with leprosy and when he put it back in the bag, the hand healed to convince him that God, Jehovah would be with him all the way through.
To the Israelites, when they got to the Red Sea and Pharaoh and his soldiers were advancing on them to capture them and return them into slavery, the Lord made Moses thrust his staff into the Red Sea, and the greatest miracle of all occurred as the Sea parted to allow the Israelites to cross to safety, but the obdurate Egyptians in pursuit drowned like bedraggled fowls.
Furthermore, the man of God cited Heb. 8 and reiterated that everything in the Holy Book is a promise. “Salvation is a promise so you must accept Christ as your savior to be saved. Redemption is a promise . . . . Each problem that you solve is a blessing. Face the problem and solve it; don’t cool it down. The longer you take to solve the problem, the longer the blessings will take. Face the problem and destroy it,” said Pastor Ntemi.
The man of God seemingly chose the exodus of the Israelites to ground his sermon, because in it, there is the promise, the problem and the proviso. Jehovah God promised them a return to the land of their forebears, but the promise came with the problem of Pharaoh’s resistance and the crossing of the Red Sea and the provision that there is only ONE true God who is the only one they must worship.
Pastor Ntemi noted that God helped Moses to overcome the problem but because of their disobedience, they couldn’t fulfill the provision, so a journey that was supposed to take 11 days by God’s grace, took them 40 years.
“After they had crossed the Red sea, instead of asking where the Promised Land that was right ahead of them was, they rather complained of thirst to Moses, so God took them to Marah, but the water there was bitter, so God asked Moses to dip wood into it, and it became drinkable.,” said Pastor Ntemi.
Distractions dogged the belief of the Israelites in God, so in spite of all the wonders and miracles Moses performed with God’s guidance, they were still adamant until they were taken into a desert where a near starvation resulted in a nostalgia and a yearning for their slave days in Egypt. “In the desert, they grumbled against Moses and Aaron . . . so God gave them food of the angels and made manna fall from heaven for them to eat.” Pastor Ntemi recanted the scriptures as told in Exodus 15 and 16 to accentuate the need to make God the perennial focus in our lives.
The behavior of the Israelites in the desert with the nostalgia for Egypt made Pastor Ntemi analogize their ingratitude and disobedience to the story of an abused and molested wife who when she is rescued from her callous husband keeps returning because of his sweet but insincere apologies to the wife.
In a spirited fashion, Pastor Ntemi placed symbolism on the peoples occupying the Promised Land before the Israelites arrived there and drove them out so that the Israelites would not be influenced by their worshipping of graven images, other gods. “The Canaanites are fond of pleasing other people, but you are here to please God, not man. God should be the ultimate focus of your life. The blood of Christ was shed for you, not man’s blood.
“The Hittites are the sons of terror. They can terrify you and quench your spirit to worship God. Beware of them . . . . The Ammorites only talk and do nothing. Don’t glorify man; glorify Jehovah. The Perizzites are lazy. Don’t be lazy because when God created man, he told him to work. The Hevites are the inheritors, but your inheritance is the kingdom of God . . . ” said Senior Pastor Ntemi with profundity.
Samuel O. Doku