Thursday, May 17, 2012

Dr. Mensa Otabil - Fruitful in Affliction

Amidst shouts of joy, the congregation welcomed the guest speaker to the Perez Dome. Before he stood on the podium to teach, the conference host Bishop Charles Agyinasare led the congregation to pray for the peace and stability for La Cote D'Iviore. He later introduced the guest speaker Dr. Mensa Otabil as his very close friend since the eighties, the general overseer of the International Central Gospel Churches, Chancellor of Central University College, a member of several boards. Dr. Mensa Otabil acknowledged the Bishop for the opportunity to minister at the Perez Dome and the congregation for the warm welcome.

Dr. Mensa Otabil

He started his sermon by asking an introductory question - "Why do we do what we do?"
There are seven steps that lead to why we do what do we do.
1.    Our Environment (What happens around us)
2.    Our Knowledge (What we know)
3.    Our Experiences (What we go through)
4.    Our Beliefs (What we accept as through)
5.    Our Values (What we treasure)
6.    Our Choices (What we decide to do)
7.    Our Actions (What we do)

Unless we change our environment, our knowledge, experiences, beliefs, values, choices and actions will be same. We sometimes see ourselves doing the wrong things knowing the right thing to do but we cannot stop. Jesus never criticized anyone's actions but instead brought us a new environment which is the kingdom of God. We are born into this world but Jesus has translated us from the kingdom of the world to the kingdom of God. In the kingdom of God, we are given a new knowledge, new experiences, new beliefs, new values, new choices and eventually we are going to change our actions. The way we see life determines the way we live life.
The main text for his sermon was from Genesis 41:49-52 (Amplified Bible)

49And Joseph gathered grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it could not be measured.
50Now to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On, bore to him.
51And Joseph called the firstborn Manasseh [making to forget], For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil and hardship and all my father's house.
52And the second he called Ephraim [to be fruitful], For [he said] God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.

Joseph had two sons
Manasseh the first born which means Deliverance
Ephraim the second born which means Fruitfulness
In the ancient Jewish culture, names were being given to children based on the circumstances of the parents.

Joseph in naming his children, set an order of how one will be blessed. God delivers us from our afflictions and then makes us fruitful.
In contrast, Jacob the father of Joseph changed the order. He established Ephraim before Manasseh.

This is the order by which Israel was to be blessed and so are we.
God will bless you by making you fruitful first. Even in the midst of the affliction, you will be fruitful and your fruitfulness will deliver you.
Let's consider the life of Joseph. (Genesis 39:3-5)
  • He was still a slave but he prospered.
  • Joseph was fruitful when he interpreted the dream of two officers.
  • Joseph had two (2) main gifts which made him fruitful.
1.    Managing households
2.    Interpreting dreams
Joseph was not any extraordinary person. He was just a house keeper but he was able to operate his gifts in progression.
1.    He served in Potiphar's house which gave him exposure.
2.    He served in the Prison which gave him character.
3.    He served in Pharaoh's house which gave him promotion to the palace.
You cannot be like everyone. You can neither solve everyone's problem but you can be fruitful with the gift God has endowed you with.

The problem with most people is that they are looking for Pharaoh's house (A better job, a better situation, better salary) before they will perform. For this reason, they do not make any attempt to be fruitful where they are.

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