Bible Reading: Romans 6:1-14
I believe that every story has implications.
Can you imagine a single guy who has had his eyes on a girl for a while, and then he decides he wants to propose to her. He decides he doesn’t want to do it in a small way. He plans it big. Not only does he fly her to Dubai where he plans the proposal, he pays for all her siblings and close friends to fly over. He works out getting everybody to the topmost floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. As he walks in with her, and she sees all her friends and family, she almost passes out in shock. Everyone is treated to such an amazing dinner and a very beautiful evening, with Sycamore Worship also brought in to sing some God-glorifying songs that the girl really likes. Finally, he gets down on one knee. She hardly allows him to pull out the ring and ask any question before she starts screaming ‘Yes, I will!!!! I will marry you o!!!! I will!!!! Forever!!!!’
Fast track a week and they’re back in Nigeria and after Church, guy is trying to wait for her so they can leave together. She says no, she wants to spend the afternoon with Bro Abel. She just feels like hanging out with him. Dubai brother is quite unhappy about that and she snaps out saying ‘shebi the engagement ring is on my hand nah, why are you afraid?’
Brother Dubai allows it to pass.
Meanwhile, Brother Dubai has just gotten the photographs from the professional photographer who flew over to Dubai to cover the event. She warns him sternly not to upload them on social media or anywhere. He doesn’t quite get.
‘Ah ahn, is it by picture?’ she snaps. ‘There are many people who upload pictures and aren’t committed kankan. Shebi you gave me a ring and you trust that I am committed to you.’
Emir of Dubai decides to keep his pictures to himself.
One of the accompanying friends calls Bro Dubai to ask him whether all is well. Engaged sister tells all her Dubai-excursion friends not to mention about any engagement. Brother confronts her about this and she says that for ‘personal reasons’ she wants to keep it coded. She believes that commitment is a thing of the heart and she doesn’t need to start being loud about it or telling anybody about it. She is naturally a quiet person.
The other day though, she had a flat tyre in the rain. She called Sheik of Dubai to come and help. Is he no longer committed to her? He drove an hour in traffic, changed the tyre for her as he got drenched in the rain (he told her not to worry to come down while he took the rain beats for her)… She drove off. An hour later, he was worried about whether she was home safely, since he hadn’t heard from her. He texted her to tell her of how much he loves her and how glad he is to weather the storm for his girl and such other Dubai lines. She replies ‘I stopped to see Bro Abel to tidy a proposal we’re working on. Would be home soon. 10ks’
Every story has implications.
Saying ‘Yes’ implies saying many other ‘nos’. Jumping into a car driving northward implies I cannot be going Southward.
Believing the Gospel has implications. It is not enough to collect Jesus’ blood-earned love-soaked ring, and lock it up in a drawer of our heart. The implications go way beyond a ‘Yes’ that I said at an altar call- it is a yes that I say to His every call that alters my life forever.
In our reading today, Paul reminds the Romans that the Gospel brought us into a new life. We died with Christ and were raised together with Him into the newness of life. Believing the gospel means there is a way we live. We must be able to point to an ‘old life’ and then a ‘new life’. It is not business as usual with the privilege of knowing I can call him whenever I have a flat tyre. No, it is a change of where I even drive to.
This is not a statement of our love to Him being perfect (that’s a journey that we’re on though, not a wildcard excuse for every wrong), but I believe our heart to him must be loyal. Mistakes and shortcomings must not be based on an ‘I don’t care’ or ‘it doesn’t matter’.
We can’t come back from His Dubai-paid trip where we said ‘Yes’ and spend all the time hanging out with Ilesha and Ekiti brothers and claim we’re the quiet type so we don’t talk about our faith. Mba! We must walk in our confession. We must live our confession.
I meet Christians who tell me they’re too busy to read their Bibles. Or to pray. Or they find the Bible boring. What does that even mean?! When you sat in the Burj Khalifa eating chicken you could never dream of, it wasn’t boring, but now, after collecting the ring, you’re now so conscious of your preferences?
Believing the gospel is not a performance, but I’m amazed at how people think they can just raise up their hands at an altar call and not raise their lives up to the implications; raise their hands up in worship, but keep lowering their lives in sin. It doesn’t work.
People who believe the gospel have a way they behave. We must embrace the implications of believing. We are unashamed. We are unapologetic. We tune our lives to the frequency of His Lordship. And we make that our pursuit.
Please get the point- you may not be there now. You may not even feel that way. But don’t justify shortcomings. Stop arguing that you know why you don’t want the pictures from Dubai uploaded or that you’re the quiet type about things like your faith. Stop justifying what is wrong. Live in a desperate pursuit to correct it.