By Samuel O. Doku, Washington, DC). God has a purpose for every one’s life, but a life style devoid of right acts and full of hedonism and philandering could stop the Lord’s plan for you, intimated Senior Pastor Georges W. Ntemi in his sermon yesterday. He prefaced his sermon on Nehemiah and his rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem and the Samson and Delilah story. His topic was knowing and living your purpose in life.
Black History month and black America’s prominent role in building a country that has risen to an apogee as the greatest nation, with the best democracy on the face of the globe, compelled the founder of Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l to remind the congregation of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the New World in the fin de siècle of the 1400s.
The theme of building, consequently, weaves excellently into the fabric of the Judeo-Christian values shared by Jews and Blacks. According to the consul of God, while Nehemiah was in slavery in Babylon serving King Artaxerxes, he felt disoriented because the wall of Jerusalem had been tumbled down and partly burnt by fire.
Nehemiah 2: 4 says, “The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven and answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” Artaxerxes duly gave Nehemiah the permission to return to Judah to rebuild the wall and even provided him with help to facilitate the return to his ancestral homeland.
While Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall, he had distractions and antagonism from Sanballat, a Horomite and Tobiah, an Ammonite, because they were conscious of the fact that a successful rebuilding of the wall would be synonymous with a resurrection of the Israelites from exile. Sanballat schemed to invite Nehemiah to a secret meeting to have him killed, but Nehemiah refused to attend the meeting.
Later, when the wall was almost finished, Sanballat and Tobiah hired a false prophet, Shemaiah to tell Nehemiah to stop building the wall but to no avail.
Senior Pastor Ntemi explained the symbolic meaning of Horomite and Ammonite, “Horomite means two caves or blocked and Ammonite means limited. Sanballat tried fruitlessly to block Nehemiah from building the wall while Tobiah tried to limit him. In your attempts to live God’s purpose in your life, there will be the Sanballats and Tobiahs, but they are nobodies, so they can’t succeed. If you keep your focus and stay the course, you would succeed.”
The consul of God saw Nehemiah’s insatiable desire to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall as an important element in the way God greatly rewards and replenishes those who are altruistic and selfless enough to help others achieve their purpose in life. “Life is about what you do to make someone life’s better. If you do the opposite, you are doomed. Selflessness leads you to God. What you sow, you will reap,” noted the apostle of God.
Senior Pastor Ntemi observed that the Lord always has more for those who fight to save the lives of others. He mentioned the story of Elisha, who when Elijah was about to die, prayed to God to allow him to see the angels in the chariot coming to carry Elijah to heaven. Elisha was always thinking about Elijah, his mentor, and the need to be with him to provide protection for him during his last days. 2 Kings 2.
Nehemiah knew his purpose, and he stayed the course; on the other hand, Samson knew his purpose, but he went astray due to his life style. “Samson was born to play a specific role. He was a Nazarene separated from the rest to glorify God. He knew his purpose, but he refused to live his purpose. He disobeyed his parents, married wrongly, and spent his life doing all the wrong things contrary to God’s word,” said Pastor Ntemi.
The senior pastor stated that in “Samson’s blindness, he prayed to God to return his strength and power to him one more time so that he would die with the Philistines. The Lord answered his prayer, and he killed more Philistines in that singular moment than he did when he was alive, and Samson ruled for 20 years,” Judges 16.
He observed that greatness is not accomplished through selfishness. “The day you discover your purpose, your life will change forever. Remember that the king of kings, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of hosts is the one directing your life,” said the apostle of God.
Senior Pastor Ntemi outlined two important purposes in our lives: the day one is born and the day one realizes one’s purpose in life. “Some don’t know the role they’ve to play; therefore, they live a meaningless life, a life without mercy. Others like Samson know their purpose but refuse to live it. Like Nehemiah, adopt the attitude that always says, ‘How can I be happy when others are suffering?’ How can I be happy when my brother is unemployed? How can I be happy when my sister is having problems to feed her children as a single mom?
“It is sad if your life is not where it’s supposed to be. It is sad if your brother’s life is not where it’s supposed to be. It’s sad when your sister’s life is not where it’s supposed to be. Say ‘No’ to any situation that’s preventing you from realizing your purpose in life. The Lord will release someone into your life to change your destiny,” said the consul of God.
The senior pastor also advised congregation members with parents in Africa not to whine and wail like children when their parents ask to remit money to them, because after getting the money, the parents would bless them, and sending the money to Africa could lead to their getting pay raises because of their kindness.
“Be selfless and God will reward you abundantly, for life is greater than living day to day. Trust the Lord because with him, all things are possible. God gave you your purpose; don’t allow anyone to restrain your vision. The fact is that being good leads to success. Even, when you complain about something and it’s your job, do it anyway. As an employee, I worked hard but was never complimented, but I never stopped working hard. Always focus on Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith,” concluded the apostle of God.