THEME FOR 2013 "TOGETHER WE CAN" KEY TEXTS: GEN. 11:16 MARK 9:23
INTRODUCTION The 'spirit behind the Letter‘ This year's theme sounds more like a bold answer back to someone who has said to FGBMFI, Ghana: "You can't!"
W HAT ARE WE AIMING AT ? Our theme is neither a cliché nor a political slogan. It is a declaration of our determination to 'walk the talk' in 2013!
W HAT ARE WE AIMING AT ? 'Together we can', has deep implications for BUILDING our fellowship, our family and business lives, the Christian community and our Nation."
" BUILDING TOGETHER" Analogy from the feeling carried by the four major groups in the commissioning of a building project - the Designer, the Supplier of materials, the Builder, and the Financier. Each is proud to say: "THIS IS MY BUILDING!" Each one takes this view in the light of the MANDATE he has been given in undertaking the project.
W HAT IS OUR MANDATE ? As disciples we all have a MANDATE (a commission to do something), from the Lord, to 'multiply and replenish the earth'. The greatest mandate is the GREAT COMMISSION (Mat. 28:18-20).
T HE CHORDS OF THE MANDATE Like music that is devoid of any discord, a mandate has chords in it that makes it sweet to the ears of its hearers. Authority in the Mandate. Wisdom in the Mandate - (Prov. 11:30) Labour in the Mandate - (Mt.9:37; Lk. 10:2) Dynamism in the Mandate - "... Go therefore..." (v 19) Obedience in the Mandate - "... observe all..." (v 20) Assurance in the Mandate - "... I am with you...”(v 20) Unity of purpose in the Mandate - "... in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." (v19)
'TOGETHER WE CAN' The word "Together" directs our attention to the central issue of Unity. The unadulterated roots and principles of unity can be found nowhere else than in the nature and word of God. Unity is: Divine; Biblical; Effective; Empowering; and Victorious!
UNITY OF THE TRINITY (Mt. 3:16,17; 28:19; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:2; 3:18) "The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not a cosmic committee that meets eternally to rule over heaven and earth. The three Persons exist within one God; They comprise one divine Being - not as rooms in a house, but as notes in a chord. (Nelson - The Open Bible)
“...O UR IMAGE, ACCORDING TO O UR LIKENESS ;..." God said: "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;" (Genesis 1:26) It is therefore in accordance with that pattern that 'MAN' is made out of an unexplainable harmony of Body, Soul, and Spirit! Bible says we are "... fearfully and wonderfully made..." (Ps. 139:14)
“...O UR IMAGE, ACCORDING TO O UR LIKENESS ;...“ CONTD. It means we have been created in such a way that we can naturally harmonize, in unity, to achieve God's plan for us to represent His Son on this earth - to the glory of His name. That is why we are called ambassadors of Christ. (2 Cor. 5:20)
U NITY IN THE B ODY In tackling this theme we can draw 'water' from two of Paul's pool of 5 major teachings: 1. The church as the body of Christ, and 2. The power and influence of the Holy Spirit in the Christian's life. (Rom. 12:4-8)
U NITY IN THE B ODY (CONTD.) The main thrust of Paul’s teaching is the harmonious functioning of the body, brought about by the dedicated and specific roles played by the various parts of the body. Acts 1:8. Notice the absolute lack of the use of singular phrase. "Us, We, You (plural)..." are the dominant phrases captured in this passage
U NDERTAKING THE ‘P ROJECT ’ TOGETHER The most effective way of collectively achieving results is by speaking the same ‘language’. Not in the sense of dialect, but in the sense of thinking and conviction. This kind of real togetherness, created by the binding medium of singular intention, activates an irresistible momentum that propels the group forward – in a specific direction.
TOWER OF BABEL & DAY OF PENTECOST THE TOWER OF BABEL PROJECT (Establishment of Self- glory, instead of God's glory) (Gen. 11:1-9) : A multitude of languages - God's design to stop a collective and concerted effort dedicated to a rebellious and negative cause. A defiant attempt to avoid God's mandate to populate the earth! (Gen. 11:1-9) THE DAY OF PENTECOST PROJECT (Establishment of the Church - God's glory)(Acts 1:8; 2:1-4), one heavenly language - God's design that started a collective and concerted effort dedicated to a Divine and positive cause. A defiant act of God against the resistance of God's mandate to evangelize the earth!
NEHEMIAH & HIS 'UNDERDOG' GANG OF MILITANT BUILDERS Wedged between these two 'language-driven' events (Babel & Pentecost) is the account of another project - the rebuilding of the Holy City of Jerusalem. But if you were Nehemiah, where would you have started to rebuild the Holy City?
NEHEMIAH & HIS 'UNDERDOG' GANG OF MILITANT BUILDERS (CONTD.) Nehemiah, after a private night-time site inspection (Neh. 2:11-15), chose to start with the rebuilding of the wall. Our National President, after 'inspecting' the terrain, chose this theme for the year 2013.
NEHEMIAH & HIS 'UNDERDOG' GANG OF MILITANT BUILDERS (CONTD.) WHY? Three major points seem clear: 1. The project was achievable - the wall could be rebuilt in 52 days (6:15), as against tackling the complex systems of commerce and public life which will require long-term planning and activities. 2. The task was something in which everyone could participate - the physical labour of rebuilding the wall did not require highly technical or intellectual skills. This is where Nehemiah actually beat Sanballat & his gang; by using an 'unskilled' gang of determined men!
NEHEMIAH & HIS 'UNDERDOG' GANG OF MILITANT BUILDERS (CONTD.) DETERMINED UNDERDOGS ALWAYS SPRING SURPRISES!!! So do determined laymen like us! 3. Rebuilding the wall had both practical and symbolic value of restoring security to the city - by closing up the walls, Nehemiah was improving the safety of the citizens and at the same time serving notice that the Israelites were back!!! At the same time putting thugs and thieves out of business!!
FULL GOSPEL IS BACK!!! WE ARE SERVING NOTICE THAT FULL GOSPEL IS BACK!!! GOD'S HEARTTHROB IS: THE RESTORATION OF FELLOWSHIP WITH MAN ('CALLING MEN BACK TO GOD') BY THE USE OF HUMAN INSTRUMENTS. God did not use angels to rebuild Jerusalem's wall, he used human instruments and started by placing a burden on Nehemiah's heart! It was a reflection of the burden God had for Israel's restoration. GOD WILL NOT BURDEN YOU WITH WHAT HE IS NOT BURDENED TO DO!
CHRIST GIVES THE UNCTION! What is unction? It is the action of anointing someone with oil or ointment as a religious rite or as a symbol of investiture as a monarch. IT GIVES ONE AUTHORITY, The unction from the Holy Ghost - "...receive power..." (Acts 1:8) The unction from agreement - "...shall agree..." (Mt. 18:19) The unction from one language - "... and they all in one accord... “(Acts 2:1) The unction from determination - "... my meat is to do...to finish." (Jn.4:34) The unction from watchfulness The unction from boldness & resistance etc. etc.
G ROUP E XERCISE : What is your soul yearning to do differently in the Fellowship? What role do you desire to play well in these urgent directives from our Lord? How can you be an effective team player? Where do you fit in the 'body'? How do you hope you revive the dead parts in your body? In what ways are you going to function in response to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, just as the parts of the body function in response to the promptings of the brain?