GLEANINGS..."A weekly Devotional" by Gbile Akanni
- 30th March, 2015
- 23rd March, 2015
- 2nd March, 2015
TIMELY WARNING - 6
"…Moth, Rust and Thieves?"
There’s need for each of us to ask ourselves, “What am I living for? What is the real treasure that I am supposed to pursue in life at my present age, how much of that treasure have I actually got?” At an age when you are supposed to be resting, what exactly have you really got in terms of treasure that last forever?
Even if one would claim that he has laid down so much, the next question would be: where are you keeping these treasures?
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ”
Matt. 6:19-21 KJV
For anyone to understand why Jesus authoritatively declared that we lay not up for ourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, one needs to examine closely what moth is and what rust is.
In economic terms, what is moth, what is rust? In terms of agricultural devastation, what is moth, what is rust? In terms of social decadence, what is moth, what is rust? What are these agents that do corrupt every treasure that is kept on earth? There’s no treasure kept here on earth that is not subject to these agents of decay – moth and rust, and thieves that breakthrough and steal.
Thieves have become a great threat that we cannot say, we don’t know about. In order to keep ourselves from thieves we have become prisoners. Every rich man is a first class prisoner in his own house. It is prisoners that are said to be behind bars, but many people today are behind the bars of burglary proof. We are kept in prison in our own houses behind iron bars because of material treasures. If you have any good electronic equipment, you will normally keep it behind bars. Go to all the beautiful houses we have now especially in developed countries, you will see burglary bars. Someone who has a very beautiful door, very beautiful carpentry edifice will still put Iron bars behind it. Some have to open three or four gates in order to enter their bedroom.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures on the earth. Every treasure laid on earth is a treasure subject to moth, to rust and to thieves. I am not just talking of termites and wood worms; but every imaginable thing that causes decay, everything that causes reduction in value, either value of life, such as diseases and accidents or value of quantity or quality is what we call moth, rust and thieves. Everything on earth is subject to them. I do not plan to put anything here on this earth; but I cannot tell you not to put anything on earth, however, let’s get to know that anything one put on earth is subject to the moth, the rust and the thieves. This answers the question of ‘whose shall those things be which thou hast provided! Moth, Rust and Thieves!
TIMELY WARNING - 5
"Whose Shall Those Things Be?"
“But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”
Luke 12:20 KJV
God’s question to this man is what many have not been able to answer yet. Frankly speaking, there are things which even when a man put together as a heap, none of his children can carry any of them and make use of it. Which of the academic certificates or honorary doctorate award conferred on a man can his child use to get a job? Your child cannot present one of those and say, “Please, my father actually got this professorial award, but ever before he enjoyed it he died. Please confer it on me on his behalf.” It does not happen like that. Even in contemporary history, no body becomes really great only because of what his father left for him.
Many rich men spend their lives building houses; God keeps asking them, “Whose shall all these houses be?” Eventually, it will be for rats, reptiles and careless children. What you took serious care to build in your life time; careless children come into the same house and mess it up anyhow. I wished dead men were allowed to wake up and inspect their houses; they would have collapsed and died a second time.
Everything a man essentially becomes in life is what he is in himself. If your child is not intelligent, all that your intelligent has put together in this world, (give it a few years) will spoil and finished. This is because, that child does not have that intelligent in himself and he does not have what it takes to maintain it. I wish it will be clear to everyone that you cannot live your life for the next generation. I marvelled when I see the magnificent residential house of a late prominent man. When he was alive, it was a shining and sparkling house with marble. In the early 1960’s (in Nigeria), one could see light shining there all the time. Everywhere sparkled! The man never planned to die early. He hoped to live long; but one bloody afternoon, he died. He had not yet been buried when the family started fighting for his goods. Now years later, as I pass in front of that house, it is a painful sight to see grass growing on top of marble. As soon as he died, the wife parked out and none of the children could live there. I wonder what you will call such a man. And what does God call you with the way you are living now?
This question, must, need be answered: whose, shall those things be which thou hast provided? Who will possess them? Who are you sure will use them? Who has assured you that it is that same child you are labouring for that will possess them?
A calamity took place a few years ago and it gave me a serious thought about the emptiness of life. A man was travelling in his car with his wife and grown up children. Imagine a man whose children were already in their twenties. In one careless day all the children and wife perished! What do you say to that man? To start all over again? How do you comfort him? The biggest question that may confront this man remains, whose shall those things be that you have provided?
TIMELY WARNING - 4
"God Called Him A Fool!"
When God calls a man a fool, it means he is actually a fool. I wonder what God calls me. What is God’s assessment of my life? And you, what does God call you? People may call us many different names. They may call us an expert, a very shrewd businessman, a man who knows how to plan and execute. But what does God call us? It is worth looking very closely at what made God called this man a fool, because it was a certain man and it could be you or I.
“The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool…”
Luke 12:16-20 KJV
It appears to me as if at the end of a man’s deep thought and consultation with himself, his conclusion and choice of action to be carried out usually determines what name he acquired for himself before God. Taking a deep thought and making consultations are not bad, but the question is: with whom are you consulting? Men who have gone ahead of us and have been successful in their pilgrim journey without making a shipwreck of it, were men whose first port of call was always God. They were men in whose hearts and on whose lips you will always find the question: “Lord what will you have me do?” They understood the danger and risk involve in thinking, deciding and executing your thoughts all by yourself. Their reasons were because God’s counsel to all His children as touching any matter, great or small is:
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV
What do we do today? Like the man in the parable, we also always think within ourselves – “And he thought within himself…” Even when we ask questions, it is ourselves that we asked: “What shall I do…” We analyzed our situations, checking what are available and what are not, what we need and what we need not, and discovered all by ourselves that our problem is “because I have no room to bestow my fruits”. At this point, there’s no way our conclusion will not be: “This is what I will do!” and the utterance from heaven, if anyone cares to find out, is nothing but:
If we were to assess that man according to his status among his colleagues, classmates or competitors, what would we have called him? We would call him a genius, an economic genius. But God called him a fool. Think about it. Let us ask ourselves again, what does God call me?!
Perhaps you have a very wonderful reputation. People introduce you as Professor so and so and then list out all your achievements and that is actually all you spent your life doing. You spend all your life in the laboratory, just to be called a Professor; but outside the laboratory your life means nothing. What does God call you, Prof? God call that man a fool. Will He say concerning you…, “Look at this fool. I lent him sixty years. He spent fifty-nine of it pursuing paper, ordinary paper qualification and, pursuing fame with men; but he has no record with Me. What a fool! I gave this man intelligence; he has never sat down one day to ask, ‘God, what do I do with the ground of my intelligence that has brought forth plentifully?’ Rather he sat down to plan to possess the tomorrow that may never be his.”
Sister, what thought is going on in your heart now? Brother, what conclusion are you about to make? You are at the critical junction of marriage. The ground of your intelligence has landed you with what men interpret as a bright future. Or maybe the ground of your beauty, prospect, background or academic achievement has brought forth many suitors clamoring all around you and there are so many marriage proposals that you are presently sorting out within yourself. What and who is guiding the conclusion that you have or are almost arriving at? Under whose counsel are you zeroing in on that brother or that sister as the right partner for your Christian journey here on earth? Who told you that that is the will of God for your life? What will God call you by the reason of that choice?
May be for you, you are concluding on calling a quit to your marriage because you think (within yourself) you have tried all you could and it doesn’t seem as if it can ever work. On what strength are you standing to conclude and are ready to implement your decision? Hope it is not because of what the ground of your life seem to have brought forth? Hope it is not what you have laid up for many years that is making you to think and conclude within yourself that you can do without this man or this woman; after all, ‘What is he or she contributing to my life’, you said.
If any of us is still in the process of thinking or that of implementing your decision, this may indeed be a timely warning. Can you suspend your thought or decision and rather begin to consult with God in case you are almost earning for yourself the status of a fool before God? Don’t mind who may be advising and encouraging you to go on. Even if that person is yourself; you will still end up as a fool before God in whose assessment our thoughts, decisions and conclusions matters so much. Much more, you will bring upon yourself a curse because:
“This is what the LORD says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.”
Jeremiah 17:5 NIV
Whatever you do after hearing these decides what name God will call you!!!
- Clergy Refresher Conference(CLEREC) 2015 -
Theme: "The Effective Minister"
Date: Monday 4th to Friday 8th May, 2015
Venue: Bethany Resort, Peace House Camp, Gboko.
NOTE: This Conference is strictly for the mainline (orthodox) denominations listed in the form. Those not belonging to the listed denominations will not be allowed to participate in the conference. Please call: 08036133629, 08037139774 for clarification if need be.
- Peace House Publications releases new books -
1. "Raising Agents of Transformation"
2. "Becoming Like Jesus" (Reprint)
Copies are available at Peace House Bookshops nationwide.
- New editions of our Journals -
"Livingseed - Vol. 19 No. 1: Sustaining A Progressive Pursuit of God"
"More than Rubbies - Vol. 13 No. 1: The Architect, The Builder and The Building"
are out. Copies available at Peace House Bookshops nationwide.
- Retreat Atmosphere -
Bethany Resort (Peace House Camp) offers you the serene Retreat ATMOSPHERE for Refreshing, Rekindling and personal Revival You can book for group as well as personal usage.