Saturday, January 22, 2011

Christian Leadership For National Empowerment

Leadership For National Empowerment
The Christian’s Role in Nation Building & National Transformation
(Presented At the Trinity House Church Leaders’ Retreat, January 2011)

“A nation is built, besides other factors, by common civil values, common symbols, common sense of progress, common participation in decisions, equality before the law, mutual respect for others and tolerance, and a feeling of freedom”
–From a report by Lutheran World Federation

Que? Which Faith has Scriptural support to demonstrate these values?
Que? What is the role of the Church in bringing forth such a nation?
Que? How do individual Christians participate in the process
That is what we are now to answer

-Gen. 1.2, in the beginning there was chaos, today gross darkness covers the earth just as in Biblical times(Isa. 60.2)
-God transformed the earth, then he made a Man made like Him to take Charge (v26)-Christ is the express image of God and we His body, and thus, it is to the Church we look for godly leadership of nations. (Col. 1:15-18)
-God rules in heaven, but the earth He gave us as His proxies (Psalm 115.16).
-It is written, the kingdoms of the world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord (Rev 11.15)
-Through Abraham, the covenant of nationhood and rulership was established (Gen. 12.1-3)
-The covenant was established by Bread (Body) & Wine (blood), and a King/Priest…transferring royalty to Abraham(Gen. 14:18-20)
-And Abraham obeyed God in doing the needful, and today we have the Jewish/Arab/Christian nations, about 3 billion people

WHY DID WE LOSE DOMINION OVER THE EARTH?: (The Priest & John –A study in typology)
-Truth and mercy are no longer in our midst (Hosea.4.1)
-A lack of knowledge (Hosea 4.6)
-A love for money/syncretism (adding other things to our faith) (Hosea 4.12)
-We refuse to take charge over the allotted territory in the governmental arena, out of fear or ungodly contentment (Judges 1.28)
-And God allowed the evil to become a thorn in our national life (Judges 2.1-3)

WHAT DO WE DO NOW? (The Millionaire, his daughter and the pool –Isaac Newton at work)
-Take a stand against our Goliaths (corruption, mal-administration, syncretic worship and values)
-Explore our 4-cardinal giftings for service to nation (Genetic, Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual)
-Positioning; we need to go to where the gifts are required, as David went to confront Goliath, and Esther went to the foreign king's palace, ditto Joseph, etc
-We need to impact/influence the society proactively by corporate charitable strategies
-We need to confront bad leadership with the examples of Elijah, Samuel and Nathan
-We need to serve in active governance like Joseph, Mordecai, Esther and Daniel
-We need to respond to the community around us…let our light shine, so God may receive glory
-We need to influence public discourse with our values by conferences on governance
-We need to establish organs that confront policies inimical to our own values
-Separation of Church & state was not God’s idea…the State is Subject to the Creator.
-“He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2 Sam. 23.3b) Lets make this happen, then true peace will be evident in the nations working according to God's programmes established through His elect.

God Bless You, and God Bless Nigeria.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011



One of the four keywords that describes God’s activities in the entire Bible is the word “Grace”, the three others being Love, Covenant and Faith. Grace has been described as “Unmerited Favour” in Christian parlance, but I believe that grace is far more than that. Let’s look at Paul’s exposition on grace.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love, with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places In Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show us the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
(Eph. 2:4-9 NKJV)

In this short passage, Paul, used some phrases to describe God’s feelings and actions in applying grace for our salvation, such phrases as;
1. Rich in mercy.
2. His great love.
3. Exceeding riches.
4. His kindness.
5. Gift of God.

Such exemplary words were used to explain the action of God in saving us fallen souls. Showing further that he was even more lost for words, Paul went on in Chapter three of his epistles to the Church in Ephesus to explain the principle of grace as a mystery. He wrote;

“For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles - if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.” (Eph. 3:1-7)

This powerful exposition reveals some critical principles of grace to us.
1. Grace is a gift of God.
2. Grace is given now as part of a dispensation of God.
3. Grace requires the effective working power of God

Through verses eight to twenty one, more superlative expressions of God’s heart towards us was revealed: like;
4. Unsearchable riches of Christ
5. Manifold wisdom of God.
6. Riches of His glory.
7. The love of Christ which passes knowledge.
8. To be filled with the fullness of God.
9. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above our conception
10.By His power that works in us.

In order to clearly define his exposition on grace as contrary to human effort and works but purely a gift of love and mercy from Jehovah, by the effective working of His mighty power which can do far mightier things than we can conceive, Paul effectively told us that every action of self justification through alternative, human works, theologically defined as the “Law” is an affront to the principle of a free gift of God. Israel, being addicted to the legal requirements of the Mosaic system, rejected God’s love, which He freely demonstrated in that while we were still dead through our sinful nature, He sent His son to pay the price for our sins (Rom. 5:8). This dispensation of God’s grace, which is after all a “mystery” continues to elude the Jews and all fallen men, who, though the light (or revelation) of God is in their midst, could not comprehend it (John 1:4-5).

The Apostle John wrote to the Church, this express instruction, that because the Word of God has now “tabernacled” (dwelt) (John 1:14) among us, and was the carrier of the fullness of God’s grace and His truth, we no longer need signs and seasons, feasts and sacrifices, works and religiousity, and every man made ordinance in any temple or Church, a type of which the Mosaic system demonstrated. We are to come to our inheritance, our blessing, our salvation and our worship, by receiving Him (John 1:12) for it is written “And of His fullness and grace we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ”.

The use of the title Christ as early as this in the book of John indicates that the “Anointed Saviour” was already in town. As the prophet John represented the bridge between the old and the new dispensations, and by his declaration he must decrease so Jesus may increase, this also demonstrates that when grace came, law began to decrease.

In Matthew Chapter 5: 17, Jesus alluded to the works of the law as requiring fulfillment. But even in the Church today, we have modern men who do not accept that Jesus gave the proviso that ‘until it be fulfilled”, the law stands. However, on the day of the Passover, Jesus began the process of fulfilling the law and all its ordinances, setting it aside for ever. When He declared “It is finished” (John 19:30) that ended the ceremonial principles of the Mosaic system, and ignited the dispensation of grace. From this point onwards, whomever would come to God must come by faith only through His son Jesus, that is the only work required of men (John 6:40).

When God raised Jesus up, He ordained a new priesthood (Heb. 4:14), by so doing He forever cancelled the Aaronic and Levitical orders (Heb. 7: 15-17). The word of God condemns the weakness of the Law and establishing the priesthood of grace in Christ Jesus with an oath (Heb. 7: 20-22). Jesus was arrested by the Law, tried by the Law, crucified by the Law, under the Law. But, in resurrecting, He demonstrated superiority to the Law (Heb. 8:6).

God has given us, through our faith in Christ Jesus, the blessings of a better covenant. Our attempt to be saved/blessed by all of our religious actions and activities nullifies the power of grace in our lives. Jesus already pronounced that if we seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, all that we need (not want) will be added to us. (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, that $50 you sowed, believing through that to be a millionaire, is not God adding to you but you trading with God, like the people selling at the Temple when Jesus came into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:12-13). Washing the pastor’s car or kneeling before the woman of God, is works. Trying, in your power to work for God, rather than God working through you is works.

Abraham found grace before God, Noah found grace before God, Jacob found grace before God, David found grace before God, so did the Apostles and every true believer. Having tasted His grace for your salvation, why do you revert to the Law to get your blessing? Who has bewitched you? “Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect (sanctified, blessed) by the flesh (works)?”(Gal. 3:2-3).

Brethren, this is God’s message to you if you reject God’s message of “grace for grace” (John 1:16) given by the effective working of His power, and His mercy.
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel. Which is not another, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Gal.1:6-9)

The Apostles put a seal on this debate with the letter to the Church in diaspora;
“Since we have heard that some of you who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying “you must keep the law” – to whom we gave no such commandment –it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same thing by word of mouth. For it seemed good to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well” (Acts 15:24-29).

The Grace of God is sufficient to the true believer, anchor your hopes on God’s promises (2 Peter 3:9a). Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding ().

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in Jesus name. Amen

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NIGERIA: My 100 Thoughts For Godly Nationhood

1. Much of society has forsaken the spiritual and moral principles that preserve the nation. Righteousness exalts a nation.
2. Nigerians must re-evaluate our values, re-affirm our morals and re-establish our principles.
3. “Unless a man becomes the enemy of evil, he will not even become its slave but rather its champion. God Himself will not help us to ignore evil, but to defy and defeat it.” – G.K. Chesterton
4. “No human society has ever been able to maintain both order and freedom; both cohesiveness and liberty, apart from the moral precepts of the Christian Religion applied and accepted by all classes”. – John Jay, 1st U.S. Chief Justice
5. It is futile to create or implement laws or ideas that are not founded on divine principles.
6. It is impossible for any man, no matter how good, in his power, to lead for the common good, leaders must lead in accordance with godly inspiration.
7. The best way to counter evil in our society is to strengthen all that is good and positive, without fear.
8. Only the emancipation of each individual in a nation can lead to freedom for a nation.
9. Supernatural powers are working in the Nigerian state to cause evil in communities and regions, and only a greater power can stop these, not laws or conferences or pronouncements.
10. Evil powers in the realm of darkness will continue to control society, especially the leaders of society, leading to vices and all forms of social evils. That is why unredeemed and unsanctified people cannot rule effectively.
11. Politicians and political conferences cannot counter the effects of spiritual enslavement of a people. Only God can do that.
12. Economic reforms and political reforms cannot overcome spiritual evil casting dark clouds over the land. Only God can do that.
13. Military power and law enforcement and intelligence agencies cannot secure a people under demonic oppression. Only God can do that.
14. The Holy Book reveals that evil lurks around, seeking people to devour. But we are admonished to humble ourselves to God, submit to His will and resist this evil.
15. Political conferences are fruits of ideas. The fruit will be consistent with the root from which it emanates. It is either rooted in God or the devil.
16. It is futile to fight over civil rights, women’s rights, ethnic rights etc, without accepting the root cause of every imbalance in society – Godlessness.
17. Unrighteous leaders cannot give rise to a righteous nation.
18. Unrighteous people cannot give rise to righteous leaders.
19. Separation of Religion and State was to subjugate the creation to the Creator, not to separate creation from Creator.
20. True redemption leads to character regeneration which leads to reformation of culture and traditions. This reformation is the proof of true Christian conversion. This ought to lead to Godly nationhood.
21. Upon which idea or motivation was Nigeria created? Only a Sovereign Divine Declaration can establish a nation.
22. When people are confronted by evil they instinctively call on God. Why can’t Nigeria do the same?
23. “If we will not be governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants” – William Penn, Founder of Pennsylvania State (U.S.)
24. The remarkable prosperity of the Western world is directly attributable to the prevalent Godly culture through the centuries. True faith in God makes a real and tangible difference in a nation’s life.
25. Sin, causing moral and spiritual decadence leads to social, cultural and economic woes.
26. Renewal through God brings new attitudes and values which provoke uprightness, diligence, purity and responsibility.
27. Nigerians’ 'religiousity' is actually a camouflage for spiritual emptiness. True relationship with God cannot be compared with empty religious affiliation.
28. George Washington added the pledge “So help me God” to his inaugural oath and said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible”.
29. “We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain bad laws. The problem is that the majority would rather not accept such responsibility; therefore, it generally falls to the minority to protect the majority from its own predilection to foolish acquiescence to tyranny” – G.K. Chesterton
30. Federalism should be a covenant binding differing tribes of people without each losing its identity.
31. Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us free – but our people have resolutely accepted the bondage of falsehood. Our people have sold their votes, their conscience and their integrity, to the highest bidder.
32. Nigerian political leaders are concerned with defending their spheres of influence than they are with focusing on solving problems for common good.
33. Our cultures do not truly value human life, therefore atrocities like ritual killings will never cease.
34. “The surest signs of a healthy society are open and free debates. We must be able to agree to disagree. In a true democracy protecting the rights of our adversaries is as important as protecting the rights of our advocates” – Thomas Jefferson
35. Nigeria must never depend on benevolent auto-cratism or the goodwill of self-styled messiahs, but that the law of the land is supreme, and everyone is equal under the law. And this law is inspired by God.
36. No nation attains great heights without human and material sacrifices. Every great nation has one opportunity for greatness; when it sinks, it never rises again. Babylonian, Grecian, Roman, Ottoman, British Empires are examples.
37. EFCC and ICPC etc may arrest criminals, punish crimes, legislate control of crimes, but a dead conscience is not subject to legislation.
38. Greed is the root of all inordinate ambition, corruption and power tussles. The greedy never consider justice, equity, social stability, economic emancipation and national security. Greedy rulers destroy the land. Only the power of God can break this vice.
39. The Bible says, when the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do? Upon what foundation was the nation of Nigeria established? Regionalism, ethnicism, elitism, religious oligarchy, militarism, etc.
40. An inspired constitution is not an exercise in the politics if legalism. It is based on the core principle that the greatest good is offered to the greatest number of people in Nigeria.
41. An agenda for economic reform must begin with nationwide dialogue by all professional groupings in the Nigerian state. Let lawyers, doctors, teachers entrepreneurs etc, have their national conferences. Their deliberations should form the basis of an acceptable economic reform programme.
42. Our educational curricula must equally develop the three aspects of human life. Natural or genetically inherited endowments e.g., music, art, sports: Intellectual, or taught endowments, e.g., science, finance, government: Spiritual, or divine endowments, e.g., service to God through charity, religion and leadership. These endowments combine to make great leaders.
43. What is in a name? Everything! God identified Himself through history by His peculiar names. A name defines the nature and influences the destiny of a person or thing. A divinely inspired name carries a divine covenant, upon which promises of greatness are established. It is time to seek God’s face concerning this name given to our amalgamated nation of diverse peoples.
44. God no longer deals with people via a special blessing of only a geographical land mass. God’s blessings are also poured out on the righteous in any land. Nigerians should learn not to run hither thither seeking to avoid poverty or seek economic liberty, but to receive God’s righteousness by having faith in Jesus Christ. Then we would prosper wherever we are.
45. ‘The Constitution of the United States is the central instrument of American government and the supreme law of the land. For [over] 200 years, it has guided the evolution of governmental institutions and has provided the basis for political stability, individual freedom, economic growth and social progress.’ – (An Outline of American Government-USIA, 1989)
46. The writers of the American Constitution were divinely inspired. Thus, their output has become the world’s oldest written constitution still in existent. It derives its powers because it was a collective effort instigated by 13 independent former British colonies, or states, and envisaged a limited federal authority.
47. Nigeria’s Constitution has always been legalistic, imposed and put together by undemocratic governments. Thus it always lacks the ability to cater for the common good. Only an open, or sovereign assembly of elected representatives of the people of Nigeria can create a living and acceptable and binding covenant. It cannot be imposed by a government based on the work of a selected minority, no matter how knowledgeable.
48. The American Constitution was rooted in God, hence the management of American affairs over the past two centuries plus had been based on godliness. The British state was founded on the Bible, and it has remained for that exact reason. The Jewish state is founded on divine covenant and that is why it has not being wiped out by genocide and anti-semitism. African nations were founded on other considerations but God.
49. “…No happiness without liberty, no liberty without self-government, no self government without constitutionalism, no constitutionalism without morality—and none of these great goods without stability and order.” – Clinton Rossitor
50. “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself” – James Madison (The Federalist Papers, 1787-1788)
51. Terrorism, civil strife and bloody malaise are in themselves judgement of God against nations. The Bibles says “Son of Man, when a land sins against Me, by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out my hand against it; I will cut off its’ supply of bread, send famine on it and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.’ Says the Lord.” (Ezekiel 14:13-14) Therefore, unless righteousness returns to a land, no man, or system or policy can reverse God’s judgement.
52. God prefers the work of prayer intercessors, in the redemption of a land rather than political leaders. “…and the Lord said to him (Ezekiel) ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the forehead of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done in it.” (Ezekiel 9:4). Later God also says, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22: 30)
53. The smallest unit in a nation is the nuclear family. The family feeds the community, which feeds the towns, which feeds the cities and regions and the nation at large. If there is fundamental corruption at the family level, then the nation is doomed. The only power available to reverse foundational evil is the redeeming power of Jesus Christ. Since almost every traditional religion in Nigeria thrives on blood sacrifices, there is only one blood acceptable to God for permanent redemption – the blood of man without blemish; there is only one man who had no blemish in the history of mankind – Jesus.
54. The nation’s socio-economic and political systems consist of professional groupings. A true national debate would begin with conferences among the various grouping that make up the state called Nigeria. Their individual communiqué could be presented by their elected representatives at a national dialogue. The compound proposal of the national debate should then be sent to the National Assembly for ratification, fulfilling all constitutional provisions.
55. The nation needs human “transformers” to come out of its’ social decadence. Moses transformed a people, King David transformed a nation, Apostle Paul transformed the Church, Mahatma Gandhi transformed India, Nelson Mandela transformed South Africa. An anointed leader is needed to transform the nation.
56. The nation has acquired a new toy; “National I.D. Card”. Several Governors, legislators and others have suggested it would graduate to becoming a driver’s license, voter’s card and others. In short, you could not do anything go anywhere if do not have, or lose one. This is uncannily like the prophesied sign of the anti-christ. The “mark”, without which, no one can trade or do anything (Rev. 13:16-17).
57. Parents, schools and the educational system have demonstrated a generally low regard for physical education of children. Their natural gifts are thus underdeveloped or wasted or un-channeled. They spend their time feeding on television which is full of violence, immorality and inconsequential programmes. Little wonder we have misdirected, highly restless youths ripe for cultism, gangsterism and political violence.
58. Employers have demonstrated an obvious preference for females in junior and middle level positions in companies. Statistically, more women are employed than men for the same qualifications. Most of these positions forbid or discourage marriage or childbearing within the first two years or so. It is no wonder that abortion among professional women is on the rise.
59. Certainly, more than 50% of young people emigrating out of Nigeria are doing so with some misrepresentation of age, qualifications, financial status etc. Most of these emigrations are also completely illegal, in that the visas requested for are usually non-immigrant visas. The effect of this is that the average Nigerian going to live abroad may have started off is illegally. Yet, it is to this fraudulence that many parents encourage their children, spending an average of N500,000 for every emigrant.
60. It is impossible for even the most honest Nigerian to avoid participating in one form of corruption or the other in Nigerian public life. Getting a driver’s licence, is hardly ever by a test. Car plate numbers are procured, even by Churches, at the prevailing black market rate. Most of us don’t pay income tax, even social crusaders. Corruption has thus permeated every activity of life. Only truly godly people can resist temptations for a quick fix, when presented with temptations.
61. The nation has a dearth of true national leaders and heroes. Instead, we have television or magazine heroes. People who have become platform performers and garner media attention, but whose works in the national life lacks true depth or sacrificial benefit to the people. Heroes like Mandela, Martin Luther-King, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, start without desire for fame or privilege or rewards. Can we find true heroes like that in Nigeria? Yes, but not in the political class or among the elites.
62. Concentration of power in the centre, i.e. F. G., is only an extension on cultural tendencies. The husband is unchallenged in his home, so is the chief in his domain, the governor in his state and the president of the country. Our democracy only consists of having the opportunity to determine who may be our dictator.
63. The survival of Nigeria as a sovereign country is contingent upon God’s particular interest in the evangelical nature of our peoples. Nigerians can sell sand to an Arab, or ice to an Eskimo– a good trait required for effective evangelism.
64. Nigerians have perfected the art of cloning. We can clone any product or idea in the world. We can also clone any person we esteem highly. If we have godly heroes to clone, we would be a nation of heroes—people living under a banner of patriotic zeal.
65. When God chose to deliver a people, and to lead them in the path of righteousness, He often chose and anoints leaders first. He would chose a Leader, like Moses, a Minister, like Aaron and a Soldier, like Joshua. Until the nation has an anointed president, anointed leaders of the national assembly, anointed service chiefs and anointed judiciary heads, anointed traditional rulers, etc, it will be impossible to steer the ship of Nigeria to the promised land.
66. There is no ethnicity in Nigeria. It is just the greed of some tribal leaders. Nigerians living abroad conveniently forget their differences and work and live in co-dependence. When Garba Lawal scores a goal, you can be sure that Mr. Yekini in Lagos would scream in happiness just as Mr. Abba Gana in Adamawa.
67. It takes a man to catalyse social revolution, but it takes an inspired generation to make it happen. Martin Luther started a revolution in the Church, its impact was greater in the following generation, ditto Martin Luther-King. Moses did not see the promised land and Jesus is not physically in the world to partake of the cataclysmic effect of His messianic His message on the human race. Anyone seeking to have his name carved on human marble in his lifetime
68. Many banks are owned by Christian entrepreneurs, and they have regular events that appear to glorify God. In fact, they are seeking God’s hand for their purpose and not to fulfill God’s purpose through their businesses. Many business upstarts owned by Christians do not get any attention by these banks, but they are ready to fund big corporations owned by secret cults.
69. I have hardly found a totally selfless leader; whether in public life or on the pulpit in Nigeria (surely there will be a few). Wannabe heroes are talking one way, but living a self indulgent lifestyle that is far removed from that of the people that they claim to fight for. Non of God’s chosen leaders lived differently from the people they led, for even Jesus did not consider it robbery to be humbled to humanity, even though He is God, even to be born in a stable and to live a simple life. Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Luther-King and all true heroes were known for the restraint in their personal lifestyles.
70. Those speaking for the poor in the nation are speaking from glass houses and iron doors with gun carrying security. But God’s anointed leaders know that the weapon of our warfare is not carnal but spiritual, and mighty through God for the pulling down of all manner of strongholds (2 Cor. 10: 4 & 5)
71. Two activities can save this nation. One permanently while the other temporarily. It is either true revival in the Christian Church or revolution in the land. The former causes permanent blessing, the latter causes temporal and flawed emancipation. If the one is not available, God will allow the other to happen.
72. Economic and political reforms have been embarked upon in this and other nations of the world. It is not a new thing in history. 2 Chronicles 34, gives an account of a godly process of national reforms; it started and ended with the word of God.
73. The greatness of a nation is defined by the individual greatness of the most number of people in the nation. To make a great nation, we have to continue allowing great people to emerge and to we should harness their achievements to inspire another generation.
74. Government’s economic policies are having the desired results; creating more wealth for the government and large corporation, but leaving the majority of the people impoverished. All foreign inspired reforms are ultimately for the benefit of the inspirer.
75. The executive branch of government, at state and national levels, have arrogated so much power to itself, that the average citizen fears government more than God. It is possible for a person to blaspheme God, and society allows it, but a word of criticism of any Nigerian public leader may lead the citizen to gaol.
76. All the playgrounds are gone; the parks are gone as well as the public meeting halls and sites for outdoor recreation. The people do not have places to unwind and nullify the stresses that daily beset them at little expense. It is no wonder there are so many health related fatalities, especially among the poor. Children are now brought up by an endless torrent of house-helps, nannies, lesson teachers, school teachers, etc. Both parents are forced out to work fulltime to pay for exorbitant private schools because of the breakdown of public education.
77. Nigerian leaders have never listened to the ordinary people that God entrust to them before formulating policies and programmes. They listen however, to the IMF, World Bank, Paris Club, G8, UNO, multinational corporations, party leaders, special advisers, diviners. Everyone but the people they are elected or appointed to serve.
78. God inspired reforms always get the cooperation of the people. Nehemiah’s reforms were eagerly accepted because it was founded on God’s words. Social critics, crusading for reforms however, fail to hook up to God, and thus lack the ability to transform society. Inspiration from God needs a believing heart to dock into and ignite action.
79. When men refuse to hearken to God’s plea for righteousness, then nature will carry out God’s judgement. The “Tsunami” and “Hurricane Katrina” are examples.
80. Young people in any nation get their inspiration from achievers in the society. When a society sets standards for achievers around wealth and its’ trappings, then it breeds covetousness, greed and violence. This is the best society can expect from the young.
81. Mao Tse Tung, the Chinese communist leader said “religion is the opium of the masses”. He hit the nail on the head, even though for derisory reasons. In Europe and America, religion is the answer to depression; in Asia, it is a substitute for social unrest; in Africa, it is the answer to poverty; in the middle-east it is all about control. For most, religion is all about bossing God around rather than doing God’s will.
82. A multicultural nation like Nigeria will always have problems in activating God’s programme. Multifarious gods and powers, festivals and sacrifices. How does a leader present God’s agenda, and expect cooperation? In the end, it is better to speak about one’s own convictions, believing God to back up His elect.
83. The name of an entity describes its’ nature and may determine its’ destiny. When a woman takes a husband, she changes her name. When God elected Abram, He changed his name: ditto Jacob and Simon Peter. Saul of Tarsus took the Roman sake of his Hebrew name, Paul. The destinies of these men changed mightily, when their names were changed. The leader is coming who will give a new and God given covenant name for this entity we call Nigeria.
84. If no one prays for Nigeria, God does nothing either. God only needs one righteous man to stand in the gap, on behalf of the nation (Ezekiel 22:30). The one who prays for the nation should not also curse it nor criticize everything wrong about it; after all, love covers a multitude of sins.
85. Many new leaders are preparing to come up to salvage Nigeria from sinking in despair in the hands of unredeemed rulers. However, many of these leaders are already miles far away from the people they seek to emancipate. My friend, Chima Ubani of the CLO paid the ultimate price, campaigning with the ordinary people and for the ordinary people. Ghandi did the same and Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were always in the midst of the people. Exilic leadership is "phantom leadership"...Moses, return home, Nigeria needs you.
86. How many leaders would rather give up their political ambitions or positions in order to be a true man of the people, like Siddhartha Gautama of India. Most would be leaders would rather serve us from the palace than from next door.
87. You can’t sacrifice and be greedy at the same time. The best leaders are those who can show evidence of more sacrifice on behalf of the people than they have benefited from the people.
87. The pulpit, used so mightily in American Churches to influence government policies and fight injustice is, in Nigeria, turned into platforms. Several pulpits have been turned into throne rooms and the shepherds have accepted worship, even as gods.
88. A herdsman leads his sheep in one of two ways; by going ahead and beckoning, or from behind, prodding from behind with a staff. The latter is more Christ-like and indicates the true shepherd.
89. Some things make logical sense to the intelligent man; like economic reform, turn-around maintenance, etc Yet, if God chose to cause earth quakes, and storms and drought and famine, what use are all the reforms?
90. God does not make sense to the ambitious. To such people, he is a hindrance rather than a help. Yet, God owns all things. Earthly wisdom, being sensuous, separates economics from God; yet, it is He who gives power to the righteous to get wealth (Deut.8:18), not economic principles. Ask the victims of the 1987, and 2008 Wall Street crashes.
91. There are policies on everything in Nigeria; from sports to health, from defence to education. But these policies are hardly ever published for public consumption; and if they are, a cursory look will show that they are not practical and are never implemented to the letter.
92. Many policies and acts of government are legacies of military ruler-ship. True democracy demand a new dispensational application of almost all government policies.
93. Political parties in Nigeria are legacies of ancient feudal wranglings. We have to look to a new and godly generation for true leadership and resource management for common good.
94. The Bible says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” The problem, for many Nigerians is, which God are we talking about? Okija? Agemo? Ogboni? Or the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
95. Nelson Mandela said to my hearing, in 1990, while receiving a honourary degree at the University of Lagos. “It is possible for a man appointed by God to lead his people, to become a thorn in their flesh, if he assumes all wisdom and knowledge” (my paraphrase). We have a few such self proclaimed messiahs in our polity today.
96. People wonder why the spread of the Church has not arrested corruption and despotism and poverty in the land. Well, God appointed His feasts, by which His people would honour and worship Him (Lev. 23). But the God appointed leader of the breakaway 10 tribes Jeroboam, chose to ordain for himself and his people, man appointed feasts (1 Kings 12:20-33). God will not honour the traditions of men in Churches, passing as God’s appointed feasts. What we have in the land is not Christian revival but men with hungry bellies and their traditions, passing as the Gospel.
97. There are many people who stand as symbols of the fight for a change in the nation. A change to what? What we need is not change but repentance and return to God.
98. Charles Wagner, renowned Christian scholar said, the average American pastor prays an average of 22 minutes a day. It is no wonder that Hurricane Katrina swept into the land unchallenged. In the same way, if our local people of God spend all their time chasing after shadows rather than God, then we cannot stop the hurricanes called, armed robbery, corruption, poverty etc.
99. If we would not let God revive the land, then we should await the revolution. No land was ever cleansed except by revival or revolution; Britain, France, U.S.S.R. Romania, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Ghana, South Africa etc. With revolution comes bloodshed. Often the blood of the despotic leaders.
100. While the politicians are celebrating October 1 as their day of freedom to control Nigeria’s resources, and May 29 as their day of freedom to control Nigeria’s government, true believers should use these days as days of prayer and repentance to God. And God is faithful, He will hear from heaven, and He will heal Nigeria

Message To Nigerian Patriots: Welcome 2011

Dear Patriots,

Thanks for keeping the candle of nationhood burning through 2010. In 2011, we begin the task of resetting our vision and national values.

'New Vision - New Values - New Thinking - New Actions'

That is the marathon we must embark and endure, and 2011, a year full of symbolic numbers provides a great impetus to begin with fresh gusto.

The INEC Registration exercise begins in a few days. Lets not only endeavour to be the first to register in our respective wards, but to drag along every individual 18 and above, in our homes, and community.

As for the seasonal state of insecurity, especially the recent bomb blasts targeted at gatherings of innocent citizens, they are designed by those who predict accurately, that they will fail at the ballot box, and at destroying the new nation that will be built by an increasingly patriotic generation.

We are tired of being afraid, we shall lay a foundation for the next 50 years by electing to be part of the democratic process, and we shall overcome.

A few desperate, evil persons may have their violent say today, but the innocent patriotic majority will have their way in the end. Our collective destiny should not ever be in the care of a few, while we passively hope they rule in righteousness. Power corrupts, and we should take back the real power, and entrust them in our commonwealth, by supporting every democratic practice, and participating constitutionally, until they be entrenched in our psyche.

Be vigilant, be prepared, but stand your ground, phantoms don't build structures, people do. And we are the "Great Expectation" of our beloved nation. Those who fail to stand now, may forever lose their places in the history of nationhood. Its not time to be erudite, but time for bruising of fingers and blistering of palms - the earth over this nation is recording our actions, and a day of reward, or judgement is coming.

God bless you, and GOD BLESS NIGERIA

George H Ashiru