The member representing Bende South State constituency Hon. Emmanuel Ndubuisi (Ijiriji Bende) has charged Christians to be a shinning light to the world.
The lawmaker gave this charge while delivering keynote speech to mark the 26th Annual diocesan synod of Uzuakoli Diocese.
Read Full text of his keynote Address:
A KEYNOTE ADDRESS PRESENTED BY HON. NDUBUISI EMMANUEL – HON. MEMBER REPRESENTING ‘BENDE SOUTH IN ABIA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY TO THE 26TH ANNUAL DIOCESAN SYNOD OF UZUAKOLI DIOCESE DATED THIS 17TH DAY OF APRIL, 2021 AT METHODIST CHURCH, OZUITEM CIRCUIT
The Chairman of Synod –Your Lordship – Rt. Rev. O. C. Chiemeka (The Diocesan Bishop of Uzuakoli).
The Chairman of the Plenary Session
All Special invitees
Distinguished Synod Delegates
I consider it a great honour and privilege to be identified with this great Congregation of children of God in this Synod.
I feel humbled particularly, to share fellowship with spiritual children of our fathers of faith – Rev. John and Charles Wesley of blessed memories.
These men of God were greatly and mightily endowed with wisdom and anointing during their earthly Ministry and the impact they made in the world cannot be overemphasised.
This year’s Synod came at a time when we seem to have passed a great challenge of a terrible sickness which the world was battling on how to overcome or proffered a solution to – “Covid 19” , but to God be the glory that now we are apparently coasting to a logical ease.
One of our cherish hymn from Methodist hymn book said “Are we yet alive to see each others face”, I am grateful to the Lord Almighty that we all here gathered, made it to this year 2021 in Jesus name.
The theme of the year and Synod of Methodist Church Nigeria “Watch and Pray” becomes very apt to keep the church and society on its toes and caution that Christ’s Body must never sit at ease in Zion, not now, nor ever.
The text for this address is taken from Matthew 26:41
“Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Here Jesus instructed His disciples, “watch and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation”.
Brethren, this is life giving instruction to us. Just as there are many people in some parts of this country, who have been abducted by bandits, so there are Christians who have fallen into defeat because they do not pay heed to this instruction of Jesus.
The hymn written by Charlottee Elliot titled – Christian Seek not yet Repose, written in 1836. In its third stanza she said:
“Gird thy heavily armour on
Wear it ever, night and day;
Ambushed lies the evil one:
Watch and pray.”
Children of God, the only victory over SIN, the WORLD and our common enemy – the DEVIL is to watch and pray.
We should be a shining light to the world.
If a believer lives in sin, it is because he has failed to watch and pray, feeling confident and independent, he thinks he has no need of God’s grace.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF WATCH AND PRAY OR WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO WATCH AND PRAY?
To watch and pray simply means to be awake and to guard all our works, talks and thoughts so that we can see when sin is at the door, desiring to entrap us.
This can be seen or captured in God’s warning to Cain,
Gen. 4:7 “if you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it”.
This means that we must have constant connection with God; and seek Him at all time so that the power to overcome sin can be released upon us.
In Matthew 26:41, that we mentioned earlier, the bible says “watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”.
When our Lord warned us to watch and pray He saw already the need to be sober minded and watchful because Satan our chief adversary is always on the prowl, waiting for an opportunity, for a crack to slip into our lives and wreak havoc. To let down our guard against sin for even a moment gives him the open door. The access he has been waiting for.
His whole desire is to turn us away from God and from those hard-earned Christian value systems for which we are known.
Our society today is in a state of moral decadence, especially amongst the youth – who are our future generations. What are the main sources of influence, It used to be peer group, television movies and pornography. We tried restraining them and using TV devices to block certain channels.
Today it is the mobile handset, which is impossible to control. It combines pornography, online dating, and ease of communication with all manner of persons for all manner of reasons.
Which is why cases of ritual killings in hotels, kidnapping and rape is now more rampant.
We as parents now require to be extra vigilant on the lifestyle of our ward and constantly pray for them. The same goes to our kids – who should not be overconfident. Lives have been ruined by the misuse of this hereto important device. It can be very useful in bridging knowledge gap but can create problems through unhealthy contacts and association.
That is why the Bible Speaking in Psalm 1: 1-2 :
- Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
- But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
We must be very careful and be watchful of the kind of company we keep. We are in very unusual times, it is easy to inadvertently become a victim of circumstances by careless associations. Our youths in various institutions of learning especially must take heed of these counsel, many had joined secret cult because they failed to watch out for signs of questionable and criminal mode of living by armed robbers, kidnappers, internet fraudster and prostitutes they associate with unknowingly.
I will also not fail to mention the issue of security that I alluded to earlier. We owe it a duty to be very watchful and provide timely and useful information to the Police on any suspected breaches of security in our neighborhood. Community policing works as a collaboration of that noble institution and our people in partnership. We should help them serve us better. Better still, you can always reach me directly or through your community leaders ( traditional or political). We need a secure and peaceful environment for development.
As we remain vigilant, let us continue to pray for ourselves, our community and political leaders at all levels, so that the wisdom to do the right thing and at the right time will be imparted.
THE INSTRUMENT THAT HELP US TO BE WATCHFUL
God’s Word must never depart from our hearts as we meditate on them; day and night.
We must have connections with God. We need to have relationship with Him, so that we can always go to Him for the help that we need – to find His will and find the strength to do it.
We must note that the weapon and the greatest weapon Jesus used to overcome the devil was prayer and God’s Word. There is no weapon that Satan has that can defeat the weapons God provided for us.
In Philippians 4:8, the scripture says “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lively, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things”.
Finally, In Habakkuk 2:1-3, the scripture says, “ I will stand upon my watch and set me upon the tower, and I will watch to see what he would say unto me and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the Lord answered me and said, ‘ Write the vision and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie; though it may tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry’”.
In Jeremiah 1: 11&12, God said to Jeremiah, “ what seest thou?”
What this question means is “What is your vision?”
Jeremiah said, “I see a rod of an almond tree”.
Then said the Lord unto me, “ Thou has well seen; for I will hasten my word to perform it”.
What you do not see, God is not committed to perform. There is power in vision. He said,” What seest thou?” One major problem of a good number of believers is that, they pray so much yet they see nothing. To pray without vision is like playing football without a goalpost. When you see something, nobody can discourage you about that.
Vision, according to the dictionary is the formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as real and is not present to the senses. Vision in our context, is the unfolding of the plan of God to a person, it is the discovery of the agenda for an individual and one’s placement in life.
Brethren, our placements in life are being ministers of God and leaders of our communities and the church at large. If we must be men that would be celebrated, then we must become people of vision. We can’t abandon our lives, purposes and goals to CHANCE. Vision will determine your productivity and value. As ministers/leaders we are PATHFINDERS not just for ourselves but for other ministers and the congregation at large and we also are PACESETTERS for us all and not just individually.
So when we are exemplary, in pursuing and living out our visions and the vision of the church, the congregation/ people we lead would follow suit. We must be aware, pay attention and pursue the vision as commissioned by our Lord, Jesus Christ at Matthew 26:41b, where our theme text was coined out, “ WATCH AND PRAY, LEST WE FALL INTO TEMPTATION”; the vision as laid down by the fore bearers of the Methodist church, Reverend John and Charles Wesley; and the vision as laid down for the diocese by the Bishop.
No matter what we are doing, we need to watch and pray so we can keep our hearts pure, our God has called us into this great commission to watch and pray, we must not allow anything to destroy what has been handed over to us.
May God Almighty make us good watchmen in the Name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Thank you all for choosing me. I appreciate.
Hon. Chinedum Emmanuel