Theme: The Turnaround
Text: Matt. 4:16; 1Cor. 15:19
I was to talk on something else this week but a chanced attendance in a bible study class prompted me to x-ray the above theme with all its complexity, and decided that I should look at it from my own perspective.
Def. Turnaround: What does it mean? I will try as much as is possible to stay away from the dictionary definitions of the word but to explain it from the context of how it is used in the church today.
It means when a situation is reversed from its initial position; which natural could be a negative trend, to a more favorable and acceptable position. It could result in the change of fortune, status, financial or business breakthrough, or success in an examination, or business.
This will come about as the result of adding some inputs into the original or previous composition of the situation.
The point I am making here is that believers, when asking for a turnaround from God, trust Him to make their situation become favorable from a perceived adverse trend they are facing.
The Position of the Scripture: Matt. 4:16-25; John 1:1-14;
The first text had two implications; verse 16, ‘The people which sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.’ This introduced the lesson we are dealing with here.
If I follow this up with the next text in John 1:14, the light here is pointing to Christ as the light coming to the world that was in darkness, and His coming has brought light and life into an otherwise dark world. Let’s look at from verse 4, ‘In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5. And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehend it not…9 That was the true Light, which lighted every man that cometh into the world.’ That is a turning around for the world.
The second implication; unfortunately, is where most believers are hinging all the hope of turnaround, that the Lord provided a large catch to Peter who had toiled throughout the night without and catch. And if we take the account from the book of Matthew 4: 17-20, Jesus asked them to follow Him to be Fishers of men (Soul Winners) and they followed Him.
But in Luke 5: 4-11, we saw the full account of what transpired; ‘Now when He had left speaking, he said unto Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.’ 5. And Simon answering said unto Him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless, at the word I will let down the net. 6. And when they had this done, they in-closed a great multitude of fishes, and their net broke…10… Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men…11. And when they had brought their ship to land, they forsook all, and followed Him.’ That also was a great turnaround.
Acceptable Turnaround: 1 Cor.15:10-23
While there is no one fixed standard turnaround for the believer, there is one that comes out clear that is needed by all. The turning around to accepting and walking with Jesus Christ is one turnaround every believer should crave and pray for.
Peter, despite the great turnaround he had with a net breaking catch, abandoned all and followed Christ. When we look to only our desires for what we need to meet our worldly desire and pleasure as a turnaround, then we are missing the mark.
Paul, re-echoing the call of Christ to follow Him, put it more directly in 1Cor. 15:19, ‘If in this world only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Doesn’t this look frightening to hear? That if our coming to Christ, trusting in Him, hoping in Him, loving him, and believing in Him is only for just about the things of this life; then we are of men, people, nation, creations most miserable, to be pitied, desolate etc.
What is your purposing for coming to Christ and praying for all the things you are praying for? Are you paying only for a great job, finances- and I am telling you, I need these more than anyone else- breakthrough in marriage, breaking of curses, barrenness, etc. all these the Lord will do for us if we have a turnaround in our love toward God and our neighbors, living a holy life, focus on the heaven journey. These should be the things we should hope for as we pray for a great turnaround. (Phil.4 8; 1-19).
The Sate of our world in turnaround:
We have come to a stage in our world where the love of self has become prominence over our love of God.
We are now concerned more about our personal life-style, and self worth as against the love of God and the Kingdom.
We no longer ponder on the question ‘What will it profit a man if he gains this world and lose his soul…’ Matt.16:24-27.
How often do we stand and gaze up to heaven to say, “Lord, I thank for saving my soul.”
These days it does not matter what we do to get money or position, to be known as a man and woman of Timber and Caliber, to drive exotic cars, and have handsome men and beautiful ladies at our becks and call. Let’s look at God’s mind concerning these in the following scriptures; Jer.22:17; 17:9; Isa 59:7; Psm. 106:29-46, and Prov.1:11.
We have become brazenly distorted in our reasoning that we have decided to bring the evil into the church. We have come to an era where politician come to the church to seek for prayer from ‘Pastors’ to go for an election where they shamelessly scheme, plot, connive with the all manner of characters to kill and maim fellow human beings.
They did not stop there. They come to the church with the blood of the innocents dripping in their fingers to make a thanksgiving offering wining and election; riding in the blood of their victims.
And the ‘Pastors’ gleefully indulge them this privilege and merry with them in their ‘Success.’ They are gradually taking the church into the dark abyss of God’s anger and destruction. Yet we Praise God and worship their riches.
These are things we should pray for the Lord to turnaround. We should pray against the evil that has taken over our land. Rom. 1:27-32.
(To be Contd)