*Date: Sunday, 30th September, 2018.*
*Venue: National Christian Centre, Abuja, FCT*.
*Theme: Harnessing Our Diversity For National Development- I Corinthians 12:14-27*.
*Guest minister: Pastor W.F. Kumuyi( General Superintendent, Deeper Christian Life Ministry.*
The Corinthian Church was one of the most gifted churches in the New Testament but was not the greatest of the churches. They failed to harness or utilize their diversified gifts for their collective greatness. No doubt, our nation, like the Corinthian Church, is endowed with highly resourceful citizens by the Almighty God. Selfless and committed to our national development, we could easily become the envy of many nations, but our national development has not matched our great possibilities like Corinth,
(1) *There are contentions and divisions among us* (1:10-11);
(2) *Our worldly wisdom is aimed at destroying the Nation’s deliverers*(2:6-8);
(3) *We are obsessed with strife and personality cult- I am of Paul, I am of Apollos*(3:3-4);
(4) *We are blinded by selfish ingratitude* (4:7);
(5) *We take pride in harmful dissipations* (5:6);
(6) *Crimes against our fellowmen are taking too much toll on our national life*(6:8-10);
(7) *Our families are under siege* (ch7);
(8) *We seem to be losing conscience in the nation* (8:9-12);
(9) *Selfless sacrifice for the good of others is waning* (9:19,25);
(10) *We are toeing the path of previous nations that destroyed themselves*(11:29-11);
(11) *Our lack of discernment is weakening the Church and the Nation* (11:29-30);
(12) *our reactionary individualism ( I have no need of you) may deprive us of personal and national greatness* (12:21).
We need to;
Point (1) *The Interdependence Of Diverse Potentials For National Development* – 1 Corinthians 12:14-19.
Diversity in the body, in the church, in the nation, is God-ordained. This God-ordained diversity is purposeful; it is for usefulness, progressive achievement, growth and prosperity. Yet unless each diverse member recognizes and accepts his role in the whole body, diversity will divide rather than unite; destroy rather than build up.
The human body illustrates the interrelationship of diverse potentials in nation-building. The human body is strategically complex yet unified, with unparalleled interdependence and interrelatedness. In the nation’s interdependence and harmonious coordination is our strength, wisdom, glory, peace, progress, productivity, greatness and expected position in the comity of nations.
The most important characteristic of the body is unity; emphasis on diversity results in division, envy, unhealthy acts, perpetual discontent, negative attitude, and underdevelopment. Selfishness is never satisfied and envy is never content. Interdependence, interrelationship, interconnection- in that lies the promise and the power for national development.
Point (2) *The Interconnection Of diversified (different) people for National Development*: 1 Corinthians 12:18-22.
Unqualified, rugged individualism is the bane rather than the bone of growth, progress development and glory of any nation. Disconnected, disjointed members of the body cause pain, not gain. Disconnection, aloofness, detachment are the hidden demons of darkness, dysfunction, disease, needless poverty and suffering. The philosophy of independence that promotes self-sufficiency contradicts God’s plan for each individual and for the Nation. Man’s inclination to do his own thing, his Independence’s way, done by himself, without depending on others or connecting with others of different perspectives is short-sighted and disadvantageous, to say the least.
God’s wisdom has placed diversified people of different cultures, background, talents, learning and training in the same nation to serve God and to selflessly serve each other. In God’s infinite wisdom and incomprehensive Providence He has put seemingly diverse people together to fulfil His divine will. What God has connected together let not shortsightedness reasoning disconnect.
Connection brings light, power, health, enlightenment, productive, progress, happiness, fulfilment. Any nation intent on fulfilling great, predictable destiny, must make the interconnection of their diversified populace a non- negotiable. Our national development demands that those who say “they don’t need me” and those who think, “I have no need of you”, realize their divinely ordained interconnection.
Point (3) *The Interrelationship Of Dissimilar Personalities For National Development*: 1Corinthians 12:21-27.
The members of the body dissimilar yet very much interrelated. Their functions are not interchangeable but they are interrelated. This is an apt illustration of the nation. Personalities who carry an impression of supposed inferiority and others who may wear the cloak of supposed superiority are interrelated. Each one has an important part to play in the development of our nation. Neither the reaction of private interference nor the response of proud independence is profitable or pleasing to God.
The lungs are not as visible as the legs. The internal organs are not noticeable as the external limbs in photographs. The heart and the head serve every other member of the body without competition, comparison or confusion of roles and functions. Some weak internal members are vulnerable while some strong external members are visibly sturdy. They are all different, diverse, dissimilar, yet each is necessary for our destined progress and development.
Some members like the heart, the brain, the kidneys and the lungs need care for self- preservation, others like the hair, the nails, the face and the fingers complement the well- being of the whole body. Though every well-informed person is more concerned with his heart than his hair, yet no part of the body is deliberately ignored, neglected or overlooked. In the Nation, mutual support and encouragement , sincere recognition and involvement of all well-meaning and qualified citizens are necessary to avoid wastage of lives and resources.
There is no disdain for one another, no rivalry or unhealthy competition, no false humility or fatal pride, no inferiority or vain superiority, no retaliatory indifference or reactionary independence, we can, we must and we do put the past behind us to build a great nation for the present and the coming generations.
Interdependent, interconnected, interrelated, we are on our way to national greatness: we are unstoppable. Please share this message to all Nigerians as it gets to you. Happy 58th Independence Day Celebration.