Inspirational Articles > Adieu Brother!
It is in total submission to the absolute and perfect will of God that I dedicate this issue of the Millennium Echo to the loving memory of a very dear and devoted colleague, Mark Wilson, who was called to glory, recently.
Everyday I have struggled with the shock and the reality of Mark not being with us anymore. Anytime I get into work, I hear his voice everywhere and can’t seem to get him off my mind. Yet, I’m not in any position to question why God should allow that young man to be called to glory at the tender age of 40 years, leaving behind his wife and three young children. However, as I reflect on the life of that young man, I cannot but thank God for the footprints he left behind. I’m aware he did struggle with health problems, yet whenever this young man was at work, he was AT WORK; very conscientious, responsible and devoted to his duties. Above all, he was a very humble young man, who submitted to authority in a
way that was remarkable. Mark never missed deadlines and always kept on top of his work in spite of his health problems. Whenever there were opportunities for service, Mark always offered him self. It was not surprising that he was also the Treasurer to his local Church for some years before His Home call. Most afternoons during his lunch break, you’d find Mark reading his Bible as he had his packed lunch. He was an exemplary colleague who always recognised and appreciated the contributions of others. The late Mark was one of those who received my newsletters regularly and this was the email he sent to me on 03 October 2001, after receiving a couple of issues:
‘many thanks for these Elewechi. They have been a great challenge and blessing to me. I pray that God will bless you in your evangelism and that He would stir all of us up to be fellow labourers in the gospel’.
Beloved, Mark left behind footprints at his place of work, and recently some of his books have been donated to the University Library, where they would bless many generations of students. So whether dead or alive, Mark still speaks! Besides, he is resting in the bosom of His Lord, whom He served faithfully and devotedly.
A Light to the World
In Matthew 5:16, the Bible says “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”.
Many out there in the world have never read a Bible, and some do not believe in it. However, as believers we are Christ’s representatives here on earth. We are the only Bible they’d probably “read” before they can acknowledge that God is real after all. What message are we conveying to the world through our life style and devotion to our duties? Imagine attending your own funeral, what would you hear about how you lived your life here on earth? Are we touching our generation for Jesus? The Bible says we shall be known by the type of fruits we produce (Matt.7:16-19). Are we producing good fruits everyday? Are we faithful to our call?
Vanity of Vanities
We’re all familiar with the story of Solomon. The world is yet to produce any human being whose riches and life style can match that of King Solomon. Let’s see what he said, in Ecclesiastes 2:1-11: ‘I said to myself, “Come now, be merry; enjoy yourself to the full.” But I found that this, too, was futile (vanity). For it is silly to be laughing all the time; what good does it do? So, after a lot of thinking, I decided to try the road of drink, while still holding steadily to my course of seeking wisdom. Next I changed my course again and followed the path of folly, so that I could experience the only happiness most men have throughout their lives. Then I tried to find fulfilment by inaugurating a great public works program: homes, vineyards, gardens, parks and orchards for myself, and reservoirs to hold the water to irrigate my plantations. Next I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born within my household. I also bred great herds and flocks, more than any of the kings before me. I collected silver and gold as taxes from many kings and provinces. In the cultural arts, I organised men’s and women’s choirs and orchestras. And then there were many beautiful concubines. So I became greater than any of the kings in Jerusalem before me, and with it all I remained clear-eyed, so that I could evaluate all these things. Anything I wanted, I took, and did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure on hard work. This pleasure was, indeed, my only reward for all my labours. But as I looked at everything I had tried, it was so useless, a chasing of the wind, and there was nothing really worthwhile anywhere’ (Living Bible).
I’ve recently had the unenviable responsibility of sorting out my late colleague’s books and papers, after consultation with his wife. As I helplessly purred through the shelves, I found myself shaking my head, as I pondered at the futility of our worldly pursuits. Solomon himself said (in Ecclesiastes 12:12-13) ‘of making many books there will be no end. ‘The conclusion of the whole matter” is that we should “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man”.
Dear friends are we daily sowing seeds that will yield eternal harvest, or are we labouring for that meat which perishes? The things on which we expend our energies on a daily basis will determine the type of harvest we may expect to reap in eternity, or the type of welcome we’d receive when we stand before Him (see Matt.25: 31-46). Therefore, while we still have our breath, wouldn’t it make sense that we invested in God’s eternal harvest? Has He not declared that the harvest was indeed plentiful but that the labourers were few? We must not be like the rich fool (Luke 12:16-20) who filled his barn and said to his soul ‘you have much wealth laid up for many a year. Take it easy; eat, drink, enjoy yourself’. But God said to him “fool, this night your soul will be demanded of you, and what you have gotten ready, whose is it to be?”
Whilst the echoes of the Millennium continue to resound, let us lay up treasures for ourselves in heaven, where there is no moth or rust, and where thieves do not break in to steal. Of what benefit would it be to us if we pursued our earthly goals and aspirations at the expense of eternity? Can we afford to stand before God and hear ‘depart from me …?’ Like Reinhard Bonnke, our goal should be to labour so that hell can be depopulated and heaven full. May the Lord help us to be wise and to heed the Master’s injunction to ‘occupy’ until He comes. Let us ask God to stir our hearts and to fill us with passion for the lost souls for whom Jesus died. For, except the zeal of the Lord consumes us, we shall be fighting as one ‘beating the air’; in other words, wasting our time. So let us like Paul declare ‘necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel’ (1 Cor.9:16).
May the Lord depend on you. God Bless
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