#FIRSTBIBLELESSON: EPHESIANS 4:28
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
#SECONDBIBLELESSON: 2ND THESSALONIANS 3:8
Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you.
#GOLDENTEXT: MATTHEW 17:27
Notwithstanding, lest we should offend, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Brethren, today’s Gospel concerns labouring with one’s hands for livelihood. Whatever we do in Brotherhood is backed by the scriptures. Is it not Our Lord Jesus Christ who says, “go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up, and when thou open his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.”
This shows that they all laboured for their livelihood, and were no burden to any person. Our Lord Jesus Christ was an expert carpenter. Fishing was Peter’s profession. These, they do till today.
God has given us hands, legs, eyes, and ears. He gives us the forest and everything that we need. You should therefore labour with your hands for your food. In the earth crust is found all types of minerals: gold, silver, copper, zinc, limestone and other kinds of mineral resources. On the earth surface is found fruit trees, like oranges, pineapples, mangoes, bananas, apples, pears, avocado pears, pawpaw, grapes and other fruit bearing trees which are edible.
Our food production has not yet reached the stage of mechanization, introducing the various types of agricultural machineries, the use of chemicals, the involvement of economics in agriculture and keeping accounts.
Many of you are trained accountants but you do not find the money to count. You are Book-keepers, some are shorthand typists, others are trained in other white collar jobs. But when you go to Rome, you must do like a Roman. Why not try your hands first on the minerals, forest and other natural resources which are common in our immediate environment? Are those resources not lying untapped?
All species of snail, periwinkle, cockle oysters and shrimp provide food for man the sea. There are a lot of edible vegetables growing wild in the forest: afang, atama, editan, odusa, spinach, cabbage and others. They can be exploited for personal food and for others sake.
People complain as if money were like leaves in the bush. Can leaves in the bush not be converted into money? Are the leaves not easily convertible into money. Some say, if money were like sand. What about that? Is sand not money? If you gather sand by the road side, you can easily convert sand to cash by selling it to builders. In that case is sand not money? Can you now realise that everything is easy money.
The refuse thrown away is money because it can serve as manure. People are looking for refuse to buy to enrich their soil. When refuse is bought, that money can buy your food. Similarly, feaces passed by people can be used as manure. People are looking for refuse to buy to enrich their soil. If you can make it available in a good quantity, a farmer will buy from you to fertilize his soil. From that transaction, you can have money to buy food.
Brethren, a look at you invokes great pity. Though I preach always, the Brotherhood Pulpit carries gospels preached once in a week on Sundays. That is to say fifty two Sundays in a year. What happens to other the preachings? These are lost to all the inhabitants of the world, except to a negligible few who are here.
God has given us hands, and the Almighty God himself works with His hand. Others, from Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham and Our Lord Jesus Christ worked with their hand. What do you derive from your own theoretical book knowledge? Where do you derive your own gospel which provides that you should sit with arms folded and issue orders? Where do you derive such doctrines from?
Have you not heard Paul saying we are not chargeable to any person but wrought with labor and travail. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not constitute a burden to any person. He laboured with His hands. It is this same practical lesson that He has imparted to mankind that all hands should be on deck.
Whatever you can do, whether crop farming or piggery, or poultry or any other type of farming that you can do with your hands is good enough. Drawing water for people, cutting people’s hair, washing of clothes, are some of the jobs you can safely do for your livelihood. Tell me if these cannot fetch you money for your needs? But you are all very lazy.
To be continued