When we looked up to God to give us the theme of each month this year, and we came up with “sacrifice” for the month of April, our minds did not contemplate the unusual and rare situation that the world has found itself as a result of COVID-19.
COVID-19 has brought helplessness, fear and lockdown. Citizens all over the world have been advised to stay indoors, avoid gatherings and wear masks like criminals if they must go out.
This period calls for extreme sacrifice from everyone including government, churches, institutions, families and citizens. While government through medical institutions seek solutions, they must also protect and provide for her citizens. Churches have been told in many places to close, but prayers must continue in earnest and brethren must strive to assist and support those in need. Citizens must obey Government and medical instructions while also providing for their families and the less fortunate.
We are alive by the mercies of God and so we must first and foremost offer to him the sacrifice of praise which is stipulated in Hebrews 13:15; “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praises to God continuously, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name”.
This period calls for charity and good works. Hebrews 13:16 also says “But to do good and to communicate, forget not, for with such sacrifice God is well
Another sacrifice that will please God is those that will stand in the gap that the land is not destroyed. In Ezekiel 22:30,God said “ And I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none”. God is looking for intercessors, prayer warriors that would sweat and groan in the place of prayers.
Finally God is looking for those who are broken, who will genuinely repent and ask for forgiveness. We are told in Psalm 51:17 “ The sacrifice of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise”.
Can we pray as in Psalm 25:16-18 and say unto God ” turn thee unto me and have mercy upon me for I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged, o bring thou me out of my distresses
18 Look upon my affliction and my pain and forgive all my sins.
May God answer all our prayers in Jesus name, Amen.
Pst Osagie Ize-Iyamu
(RCCG Pastor, Soul Winners Parish, GRA, Benin City)