Clerics preach attitudinal changes

April 22, 2019
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Clerics yesterday preached attitudinal changes as a way of developing the country. Their Easter messages laid emphasis on putting the country first.

To the General Overseer of the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Movement (TLCCRM), Pastor Lazarus Muoka, Christians must mend their ways for the country to overcome its challenges.

Pastor Mouka spoke at the end of a Three-Day Easter Crusade entitled: “God’s covenant of peace and blessing’’ at its National Headquarters in Surulere, Lagos.

“Seeing that Jesus Christ has taken away all our sorrow, my advice to Nigerians is that they should all come to Christ according to His invitation. There are a lot of problems here and there but it is only in Him that we have freedom and solutions.

“All should give their lives to Christ and mend their ways and begin to live their life according to the will of God.

“I believe Nigeria’s problem which is man-made can be solved as we should give our life to Christ because God has a solution to the sin of Adam that brought suffering to humanity through Jesus Christ.

“So, we should embrace Christ so that all our problems will be over and in Him, we can be able to live a victorious life and overcome all the challenges in this life.

“Vices like killing, robbery and any form of wickedness, if everyone repents, the matter will be resolved but if we are trying to bank on human security, it has limitations. It fails if Christ is not there,’’ Pastor Mouka said.

Speaking on the continued detention of Leah Sharibu by the insurgents, Muoka said that it behoves on everyone, not just the government to pray for the release of Miss Sharibu.

“My advice is to everyone, not just the government; everyone including the leaders should pray that God should intervene in this matter. This issue concerns us all.

“So, everybody should pray so that the people holding Leah Sharibu will release her and she will be free and it is only God that can do it,’’ the cleric said.

Speaking on the significance of Easter, Mouka said that with the death, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He paid the ultimate price.

“Over 2000 years ago, Christ paid the price for our sins. He was killed, buried and on the third day, he rose from dead for our justification.

“That is why Christians all over the world are celebrating Easter,’’ Mouka said.

‘Christians are called to serve humanity’

A priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nigeria, Rev. Father Alfred Ugochukwu, urged Christians to exhibit service to their neighbours as exemplified by Jesus Christ.

Ugochukwu spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.

He said just as Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross for the redemption of mankind, Christians must now emulate the way of Christ and his Church.

“Just as Jesus by his passion, volunteered to give up his life so that we all can gain eternal life, it is now our responsibility to serve one another.

“The phrase is no more love your neighbour as yourself but now love your neighbour as Christ loves you,” he said.

According to Ugochukwu, the passion, suffering and death of Jesus Christ, places enormous responsibility on every Christian, who must now endeavour to live a life that is Christ-like

“Christ now calls us to service; service to brothers, sisters, friends, relatives, the Church of Christ and even to your enemies; Jesus portrayed this by his way of life and his journey to Calvary, and it is important for us to emulate him,” he said.

The priest noted that during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus who was seen as the Messiah, washed the feet of his disciples to show humility and act of service.

According to him, God resists the proud and exalts the humble, and so, Christians must keep the teachings of Christ daily in mind, and make cautious efforts to run the Christian race to the glory of God.

“Since Jesus came into the world to render services rather than to be served, we must strive to fulfil his last demand on us, which is to propagate his gospel and also render service to humanity.

“If we abide by the dictates of Jesus, then we can be rest assured that God will lift up every burden from our shoulders,” he said.

According to Catholic Calendar, Easter is heralded by Palm Sunday which signifies Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Holy Thursday which signifies the feast of the Lord’s Supper and Good Friday which signifies the Passion and death of Jesus.

Another cleric, Rev. Fr. Andrew Abhulime, urged the faithful to regard the experiences they acquired during Lent and Easter as lessons they needed to succeed during every stage of sufferings in life.

He also advised them to see such experiences as part of their roadmaps to victory in life.

He spoke at the end of the Easter Monday picnic organised by the parishioners of Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Ijegun, a suburb of Lagos.

According to him, sincere victory can only be attained through the cross, because without death by Jesus Christ on the Cross, there would not have been any victory over sins.

He said the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross and his resurrection on the third day from the dead had brought joy to those who believe in him.

“The events from Good Friday to Galilee day are a celebration of faith, confirming that Christ conquered death, rose from the grave and that he will die no more.

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ was a mystery and a unique mission of God fulfilled for the salvation of human souls.

“The plan of God cannot be obstructed if we have faith and a strong belief in him,” he said.

Rev. Abhulime noted that the significance of the light during the vigil mass was that light had overcome the darkness in the lives of God’s children.

He said that where there was light, there should be no division or chaos.

“Without the light, you cannot make success; the light is a symbol of divine encounter with Jesus.

“The light dispels the darkness of failure, disappointment, sin, and all forms of challenges. The uniqueness of the whole celebration is victory over death, success over failure,” he said.

The cleric, however, urged Christians to always renew their spiritual lives to please Jesus Christ because his death should have a positive influence on them.

For the parish priest of Parish Priest of St Andrew’s Catholic Parish, Oro, Kwara, Joseph Awoyale, elected officeholders in the country must always fulfil the promises made to the electorate.

Awoyale, in a sermon he delivered during a thanksgiving service in Oro, said it was only when elected officials fulfil their promises that they could command the respect and confidence of the people at all times.

He said there was much expectation in the areas of improved healthcare, education, housing, transportation as well as human capital development.

“When promises made in line with the aforementioned demands are fulfilled by the leaders, every other thing becomes a child’s play and simple,” he said.

The priest also urged the congregation to imbibe the act of truthfulness in their daily dealings.

“Truth is eternal, it can never be buried so also do lies have an expiry date. No matter the circumstances, the truth will always prevail,” he said.

Chief Bode Alayoku, the National President, Oro Descendants Union (ODU), urged the people of the area to imbibe unity and tolerance in moving the community forward.

“It is only in such atmosphere that the socio-economic development envisioned for the community can be achieved,” he said.

Chief Simon Olayioye, the Asanlu of Oro, praised the community leaders for their dedication and perseverance that ensured the victory at the court.

“Kudos must be given to our own son, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who is the Minister of Information and Culture, for his generosity toward this noble cause. We will forever remain proud and grateful for his magnanimity,” he said.

Also, Pastor Timothy Bakare, the Zonal Superintendent of the Christ Apostolic Church, Oke-Ibukun, Iloro Zonal Headquarters, gave the advice on Monday in Ile-Ife, Osun, urged Christians to always seek and look up to the risen Christ, instead of man, for solutions to their challenges.

He spoke during the Galilee Service at the Christ Apostolic Church, Alakowe Mountain, Ile Funfun, Alakowe area, along Ife/ Ilesa Road, Ile-Ife.

Pastor Bakare said that Christians should believe in Jesus Christ as their saviour because he resurrected from the dead on the third day after he was crucified by his persecutors.

He said those Christians who were going to churches for wonders and miracles, and not after the salvation of their souls, should stop it.

He also advised those seeking ministers of God, and not for Jesus Christ’s died for them on the cross of Calvary should have a rethink.

According to him, some Christians are asking, but not receiving, because they are looking for revivalists, not their saviour: Jesus Christ.

He admonished them that as they were celebrating the 2019 edition of Easter, they should continue to look for Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith.

The cleric advised Christians to always put their trust in the Lord, and receive the Holy Spirit which is the power of God that would be leading them aright.

According to him, all powers in heaven and on earth belong to Jesus Christ and because he is merciful and has good plans for all and sundry, they should believe in him.

Pastor Bakare advised Christians to always appreciate Jesus Christ for accepting to pay the ransom for their sins through his crucifixion.

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