Remembering Martyrs and 9/11 again

Late Brother Mark Ojunta - Calvary Ministries

About this time last year, I wrote an article “Recession proof love – Remembering 911” which focused on the impact on incidents as this on our hearts and difficulties in loving the unlovable.  Still finding it relevant – I have republished the thoughts in that article.  Please read on  – and also find my other related articles – as you spare some thoughts also for many other nations, peoples and families in other geographies that have been devastated by terrorism …. I also received the letter in my mail – I have republished below

Dearly Beloved Colleagues,                                                                      

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is to inform you that the burial for our late bro. Mark Ojunta who was shot by the Boko Haram on the night of August 27th, 2011 has been fixed for September 30th , 2011 by his parent. This burial will take place in his village in Abia state.

Our late brother died at the age of 36 years as a martyr on his field among the Kotokos, first martyr in CAPRO in our 36 years of existence as a ministry. All our staff in Shuwa Arab, Kotoko and Kanuri were on the list of this sect to be killed. The National office immediately evacuated our missionaries when this was known.  Bro. Mark took his family out on Friday but he went back to the field because he had convert class with some believers on Saturday. It was in the night that the sect came to where they were staying, knock at the door and he tried to escape but could not get away.

“Look, he said, I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7: 56. Jesus the Lord stood up from His throne for Stephen as he was being ushered into His presence as the first martyr. What a glorious way to be translated into the presence of the Lord. Bro. Mark died among the people whom the Lord sent to reach with the love of Christ. Wednesday of that week brother Kola Kehinde, our National Coordinator in UK spoke with him about the possibility of him coming to join the UK team. His response was, he wants to invest more years into the work among the Kotokos and hand it over to believers before he can consider leaving. What a passion and commitment! Four days later he was translated into the presence of His Master. “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? …. “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” Hallelujah!!!

“For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation he fell asleep…” Acts 13:36a. May the Lord help us all to serve God’s purpose for our lives. Please pray for Sis. Ema, his wife, Kambe (3yrs) and Akira (9mths) their children for grace and comfort of the Holy Spirit. For his father, mother and his sisters. Pray for wisdom and provision as we prepare for the burial. Blessings.

Amos Aderonmu, International Director,Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) www.capromissions.org …reaching the nations since 1975

In the times of abundant iniquity, the love of many – Jesus Christ said would grow cold. In the bid to survive even as media networks fan the fiery embers of fear for fiendish gain …as increased competitiveness for scarce resources and harsh economic climate persists – many must find themselves vulnerable to a hardening that always comes surreptitiously to the unguarded.

Matthew 24[12] And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

I ask myself – how can I make the love of God in my life that manifests in practical acts of charity for others especially those I perceive as unlovable … recession proof? I also ask myself some questions…

  1. Would I still love God if suddenly sent to the back of a lonesome desert? Or suddenly denied of a much desired breakthrough? How warm would my love be if suddenly exposed to very different cultures and peoples?
  2. When faced with opposition and strong resistance that cause me to buckle – can I still be thankful? Am I happier when I have my way and miserable and fretful when I can not?
  3. Do I (in subtle ways) take credit for the good things God is doing – forgetting to thank Him? Do I despise His chastening not thanking Him for the things I do not understand or like?

What separates children of God in the Bible, with recession proof love for God and His creation, from the others who struggle?

I discern three principal things worth noting …

  1. They trusted completely in the work of God in their life and others and in all the events impacting them…knowing that all things must work out for their good as they obeyed Him.
  2. They relied more on spiritual weapons – principally prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit, leaning always on the mercy of God.
  3. They never saw themselves in any way disadvantaged or at a loss – when events appeared contrary to their expectations – knowing God has limitless avenues to work out and fulfil destiny.

I recall a scene in a Christian film I watched of a blind man offered his eyesight but only if he accepted to serve the devil and bear his mark forever… He received sight for a few minutes and was asked to make a decision…would he rather remain blind and be saved?

If riches, enlightenment and great influence would cost me my salvation would I agree to let these go? Would I turn my back to Jesus If I risked losing all the comforts, social safety nets and wealth as a result of obeying Him completely…

A.M. Royden said “Learn to hold loosely all that is not eternal”. Jesus once met a rich man who would not follow Him.

Luke 18[23] And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. [24] And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

Jesus – the best preacher ever – the living word … could not convince this rich man. How come we have so easily convinced Him? Perhaps we have presented to him a more practical perspective.

As we remember 911…and the painful lingering memories… let us also remember what the Bible says about love…

I John 4[16] And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. [17] Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. [18] There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. [19] We love him, because he first loved us. [20] If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? [21] And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

I John 3 [10] In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

The real plan of September 11 to defeat a nation may have worked far more effectively than many would think if it has lured many out of dwelling in love…even love for the unlovable.  Lord, help me – that in these unusual times my love may be found recession proof…never waxing cold.

Amen

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Recession-proof New Year Resolutions for 2011

Are New Year Resolutions really needed or are they just another meaningless distraction or valueless piece of season’s trivia we are accustomed to living with?  I tend to think that anything that provokes us to fresh choices is a golden opportunity for improvement and divine restoration. A recession-proof resolution helped Daniel to not just survive but be relevant, influential and thrive through several regimes of Kings – though a stranger in Babylon. Others are mute and refuse to take a stand when Elijah pleaded.

Daniel 1[8]  But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: I Kings 18[21] And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

You can make a quality choice anytime but why not at this time – to go even higher with God to opt for the deeper spiritual life and rise above that which is carnal and shallow – with the help of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the word of God. What does this choice for the consecrated life imply?

  • It suggests our sensual life must be daily mortified … crucified with Christ
  • Our imagination must be sanctified and purged by the washing of the word
  • Reasoning will receive enlightenment by communion and fellowship with God
  • Our mind renewed as Christ is enthroned and our will handed over to Him.
  • To shun worldliness i.e value-systems that align with the world’s view.
  • A few issues are pertinent for the one who resolves to come up higher.

    1. The spiritual life does not mean isolation or lack of activity – but a stronger resolve to be led not by the senses and human reasoning alone, but to lean more on God for direction.  Moses did not rest in the tabernacle…instead he stepped into his destiny of leadership. It was not easy.

    2. Resistance from the enemy of our soul will surely come in many forms.  i.e.

    a.  Compelling voices that the deeper life is not practical and is not for you

    b.  Easier and shorter-cuts that promise depth on a “broader” way will be tempting

    c.  Wrong choices with generous rewards attached – not easy to turn down – are presented.

    d.  Our intellect will be supplied with arguments that contradict scripture…our senses bombarded with thoughts to corrupt our mind and resist truth.

    3. But God will keep us as only He can – if we lean and depend on Him. Trusting Him alone.

    In 2011, you can make a firm choice for God.  When Elijah challenged the people to decide against Baal, we learn that they did not say a word.  Indeed it was easier to stay on the fence like many of us do today. Perhaps so that our lives would be easier and we would not be exposed to ridicule, persecution or called a hypocrite, legalist or labelled with worse tags. Make a recession-proof Christian Resolution in 2011.

    God stood for Daniel – even in the lion’s den – as he made a firm choice. God bless you as you make a fresh resolution of consecration to Him.

    Bode Ososami (blog author) released his 3rd book (now available) in December – The Majesty of God.

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