(Sermon preached on Mothering Sunday by Mrs Lydia Olukemi Odedeji at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos on Sunday, March 26, 2017)
Courtesy – I bring you warm greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. On behalf of the Lord Bishop of Diocese of Lagos West, the Rt. Revd. Dr. James Odedeji, Happy Mothers’ day. I want to appreciate the Venerable & Mrs. Chinedu Ekpunobi for inviting me and the honour done to us at the Lady s Chapel. The Parish Church Council, Women Executive members, Committee members and all members of St. Paul s Church, Oke Afa for a job well done on the completion of this new edifice.
This theme is no doubt an offshoot of the Diocesan theme of the Diocese of Lagos West for 2017.
Going by the intent and purpose of God in the creation story, it is certain that what God has in mind for creating a woman was to make her rise and shine and not to be stagnant, dormant and dull.
Just as sins of idolatry and disobedience led the people of Israel into captivity humiliation and ridicule, many women are not rising nor shining today because they are operating outside the will of God for their lives.
To rise is to move upwards, to stand especially after sitting, to become higher. It has to do with returning from death, to increase in quantity while to shine is to be successful at an activity, to be eminent, conspicuous and distinguished.
To shine: “To send out or reflect light”
God having created Adam in His image planted him in the garden of Eden. He had made adequate provision for all that man would need for survival. It was in a bid to assist man to be fruitful, multiply and take charge that he created a woman in Eve to be a HELPMATE assisting the man to fulfill his destiny and purpose and to get to his destination. The devil came and deceived the woman, who gave the forbidden fruit to her husband. The result was shame, nakedness, banishment, frustration.
CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMEN IN THIS END TIME DISPENSATION
Today what is prevalent among some of our women are as follows:
1. Trial marriages
2. Cohabitations without properly getting married.
3. Competition with husbands rather than complementing husbands
5. A jezebel spirit which encourages women to do evil and discourage from good deeds.
All these vices will never allow a woman to shine as they are contrary to the divine agenda and the purpose of God for creating a woman
1. Eve stopped shining the moment she misled her husband – Gen. 3.
2. Sarah was an epitome of submission worthy of emulation by all women. The fact that she was a point of reference when it comes to Godly women today is an indication that she rose above pride and shine – 1 Peter 3:1-6.
3. Ruth rose above the Moabite influence, embraced the true God of Israel who Himself is the light of the world. Though she suffered losses, her tenacity of purpose and her commitment enabled her to shine and rise to be celebrated in the lineage of Jesus Ruth 1:16, Matt. 1:5.
4. The Shunamite woman s rose above barrenness and shined because she honoured the man of God
5. The widow of Zarephath rose above famine, drought to shine in abundance because she honoured the man of God 1 Kings 17:10-16.
6. Mary rose and shine by divine favour because of her chastity as a virgin in the land Luke 1:26-34.
7. Untimely death was the portion of Saphira. Her light was dim all because she supported her husband in lying against the Holy Spirit.
Rising and shining is a divine command of God to His Church in every nation and generation.
HOW TO RISE AND SHINE AS A WOMAN
1 Get connected to the source of light John 8 vs12 that is Jesus Christ without Him we can do nothing – in His word:
Discover your identity in the Lord – Light of the world Matt. 5:14-16.
Stop conforming to the world – Rom. 12:1-2.
Be heavenly focused and conscious.
Seek first God s kingdom. Matt. 6:33
Resist the devil – John 3:20
Shun every activity of darkness
2 The Place of prayer – war room- 1 Thess. 5 vs 18 - Personal, Family & Congregational
Women prayer meeting
3 Importance of fellowship – Heb. 10:25
4 The need for wise choices: Prov. 4:4
5 Godly attitude – the mind of Christ – Phil. 2:5
• Mind of righteousness
• Mind that never gives up
• It sees abundance where other sees scarcity.
• Never relegates what God celebrates.
• Optimistic outlook.
• No matter how beautiful you are, if your personality is ugly, you are ugly.
• You need to work on who you are to be a better person – A woman of character
6 Taking care of the little things.
Little things can create a smile, can bring about tears, one word can end a fight, one hug can start a friendship, one smile can bring unity.
The department of our lives are tender and can be lifted up or pulled down without notice by little utterance, little anger, little words carelessly uttered, little sorry and kindness etc.
A little gift, thank you to little favour.
Every woman/man should read the book of Proverbs Quarterly.
It is a matter of fact that no power of darkness can overcome the light of God.
Today s women must rise above gossiping, backbiting, tribalism, nepotism, favourtism, laziness, pride, busy body, gluttoning and all other vices that limit the glory of God.
When this is done, then the promises of God as contained in Isaiah 60 shall be the portion of such women. These include among others the following:
Peace will be her governor, wellbeing will be her ruler Isa. 60:17.
God s glory is made manifest in such a woman – vs 2
Her life becomes attractive and not repulsive – vs 3
Her life becomes enviable not pitiable – vs 4
The abundance of the sea is converted to her – vs 5
She experiences divine gathering not scattering vs 7, vs 13 Open heavens and open doors become her daily experiences – vs 11
Enemies will bow – vs 14
She flows in abundance vs 16
Violence and destruction shall cease vs 18
God Himself becomes her everlasting light with everlasting blessing and testimonies vs 19-20
She shall become like Mount Zion that cannot be moved and enlargement of coast is her daily experience vs 21-22.
Psa. 19:1 – All I have seen teaches me to trust God for all that I have not seen. The plan of God for us all are good and not evil. The devil is out to steal, kill and destroy. When there are irreconcilable problems, the couple should watch it, the enemy is targeting one of them. Fathers let us be ready to forgive, accommodate and show love to our spouses, be present, take lead, don’t allow the children to make decisions when they are immature. Mothers submit, work but still create time, spaces for your children. You don’t keep your valuables with maids. Live the life you want them to live – be a model. A gentle and quiet spirit.
Factors capable of altering our shining: Disconnection from our source:- John 15:5
Poor money management
The third party negative influence
Poor character development/unwillingness to learn: Prov. 29:1, Prov. 9:8. Instruct the wise man, he will be wiser.
As a parent – Discipline is important
Love and teach the bible – Courtesy, tender hearted, respect, being human
Seek God s will – Naomi, career choices, where to live.
Lead your children to Christ early enough that God loves them.
Living in the temporal in the light of the eternal. II Cor. 4:18
Please note that:
i. Parenting is a task – Parenting is the process of physical, social, emotional and spiritual development of a child from birth till adulthood.
ii. No perfect family.
iii. Wholistic growth - (Social, Spiritual, Emotional, Physical).
iv. Divorce is not an option.
v. Life is tough whether single or married.
The place to be is in Christ – all other ground is sinking sand. The story was told of two families.
The Man/Lion - The Wife/ Tiger.
The Man/Shepherd – The Wife/Dove
I wish you many more years in the land of the living in joy, all round, fruitfulness. You will spend your days in pleasantness and years in fruitfulness. The Lord will bless you and your generations.
Song: Arise shine for your light is come.
Mrs Lydia Olukemi Odedeji
President, Diocesan Women Organisation
Diocese of Lagos West (Anglican Communion)
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