Most of our household equipment and gift items come with the word.
CAUTION: FRAGILE, HANDLE WITH CARE
Often, these words are boldly written on their packets. Sometimes, the position these items should
be kept is also shown. This word of caution is very necessary from the stand point of the
manufacturer so that the item could be obtained, transported and installed in a proper condition for
maximum performance at the capacity and life span built into it and, also necessary from the stand
point of the owner and user for maximum benefit and durability.
It could be rightly said that this word of caution is also boldly inscribed on our entire existence (life)
and thus needs to be constantly read and obeyed because we were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20;
7:23) and our life is hid with God in Christ (Col. 3:3).
For every deviation from the caution that comes from the father of lights, who liberally gives us
everything (1 Cor. 4, James 1:5), there is every tendency for those gifts to be wrongly used and
misappropriated. It is needful to know that these gifts are transient and therefore need to be
responsibly used for maximum benefits before they are done with us or we are done with them (II
Tim. 6:7, Luke 16:4, Mark 10:21, Matt. 19:21).
UNWRAP THE GIFTS WITH CAUTION
- THE GIFT OF LIFE
Physical life is a gift from God (Gen. 2:7, John 10:10-11) for the grand purpose and duty to fear
God and keep His commandment and praise Him (Eccl. 12:13), because we were wonderfully and
fearfully made (Ps. 139:14).
Yet, it is like a shadow that goes away when the light is taken away.
Many people have put so much confidence in life to the detriment of their soul.
- Don’t lie to yourself
- Don’t put so much confidence in life ( 3:4-8; I Cor. 15:19)
- Life is like a shadow
- Work to redeem it to glory and honour (I Cor. 15:53-54)
THE GIFT OF HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Both are freely given to us by God so that they could be employed to the services of God and
Our God and His son, Jesus Christ deserves nothing less than the best from us for the love they have
shown us (John 3:16, 15:13-14). It is wise to employ all our beauty and all at our disposed to the
good pleasure of our God (Eccl. 12:1-down, Rev. 4:11).
- Health is transient (II Pet. 1:13-14, II Cor. 5;1-4)
- Beauty is vain (Prov. 31:30)
- They that fear God will be renewed in strength and beauty ( 103:5, Isa. 40:28-31).
THE GIFT OF POWER AND AUTHORITY
The word of God makes us to know that power belongs to God (Ps. 62:1) and that He gives it to
whomsoever He wishes (Dan. 4:31-32). It is important to know that every human being, especially,
Christians are entrusted with some degree of power and authority to exercise both on self and others
(1 Cor. 9:4-6). A good usage of power is that which seeks to honour and glorify God and not self.
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon thought that he could arrogate to himself the power he
received from god and go unscathed, but it was not so to be (Dan. 4:31).
We have heard and seen men in power and position of authority descend below the level ever
thought of or imagined.
As much as power is from God, it is transient (Prov. 27:24) and therefore needs to be carefully
sought, wisely managed and discretely discharged.
- Don’t seek power to glorify self
- Don’t grip power for oppression
- There is inclination or natural tendency for power to corrupt if it is not tampered with the fear of God.
THE GIFT OF WEALTH
WEALTH, be it acquired or inherited, it is a gift of God to its beneficiary. It is the will of God that we
acquire wealth so that we can satisfy our needs and also become instruments in the hand of God to
bless the lives of the less privileged within and outside the kingdom of Christ and also contribute to
meet the needs of the kingdom, the Church. It is absolutely necessary to transform our wealth to
become heavenly treasures for memorial before God (Acts. 10:4; Matt. 6:19).
- They that will be rich fall into temptations (I Tim. 6:9)
- The love of money (wealth) is the root of all evil (I Cor. 6:10)
- Wealth can blind one’s eyes to the needs of the soul
- You can never tell what will happen to what you painstakingly acquired and stashed ( 2:17-21)
- Wealth sometimes make themselves wings ( 23:5)
- Even men of low degree are also vanity ( 62:9)
- Be faithful and keep treasures for self in Heaven ( 16:9-12)
Many may not have known that affliction is also among the gifts that we are freely given by God
(Phil. 1:29). We are enjoined to be partakers of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power
of God (II Tim. 1:8).
Our Lord Jesus Christ told us that in the world, we shall have tribulations. He went further to assure
us that through Him we shall overcome just as He did (John 16:33). Apostle Paul later encouraged
the saints to forge ahead in the face of tribulations in order to make Heaven (Acts. 14:22).
- Don’t be disparaged by tribulation (I Pet. 4:!6, II Tim. 1:8,`12; Rom. 1:16)
- Tribulation is (transient) but for a while (II Cor. 4:17; Rom. 8:18)
- Don’t perish with tribulation (I Pet. 4:!3)
- All tribulations should be kept at shoulder level
Salvation is not obtained through merit but, rather, through God who has graciously given us His
words without charge; even as Gentiles and sinners (Acts. 28:28). It was sent to us so that the body
of sin might be destroyed to the end that we yield ourselves (body) to the righteousness of God (Rm.
- It caused God the gift of His son
- It caused Christ His life
- It caused the Apostles terrible things for our sake (I Tim. 2:10)
- It must be worked out with fear and trembling ( 2:12)
- Some have suffered shipwreck (I Tim. 1:19)
Our Heavenly Father, in whose image we were created, has never left man without knowledge of
what He demands from us and the benefits of exercising obedience towards Him.
He is supreme and has decreed human existence. It is our responsibility to obey His words and
obtain His blessings in this life and in the life to come. May we heed every words of CAUTION from
Him in every aspect of our life and attract His blessings and be truly fulfilled in Jesus Name – Amen.
UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO
SERMON PRESENTED BY BRO. ALFRED USEH (DEACON)
ON 16TH SEPTEMBER, 2018