[A Message By Pastor Idowu Iluyomade at Digging for Gold Service on Tuesday, January 16, 2018]
JOHN 3:1 – “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.”
PSALM 91:8 - “Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.”
God’s original purpose for us can be found in Genesis 1:26-28, where God created man in His image and likeness; and gave man DOMINION over the creatures, and He said be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. Statistics shows that human beings give birth to children and animals give birth to their young every day. This covenant of multiplication cannot be truncated because Isaiah 9:7 says “of His kingdom there shall be no end.”
When Adam and Eve sinned, God knew they had sinned; but He still came looking for them (Genesis 3:9). Ordinarily, if you commit a fundamental error in your organization, you may be fired; how much more when someone commits a fundamental sin that has generational repercussions. Adam sinned, and should have been deleted, but God still looked for him. There are situations in the Bible that God wanted to get rid of His people. For example, He told Moses He wanted to get rid of the children of Israel, and replace them with a great Nation, but out of love He forgave them (Exodus 32:10). Out of love for mankind, God looked for Adam; and up till date God is still hunting for us in spite of our sins. Romans 5:8 says “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
After Adam sinned God came looking for him, saying “Adam, where are you?” This is what distinguishes Christianity from other religions. In other religions, men are seeking God, but in Christianity, God is looking for us because He doesn’t want us to perish. He wants us to come to the saving knowledge of Christ, and fulfil purpose (2 Peter 3:9). This is what you call Agape Love - Loving you in spite of who you are.
Adam and Eve were not lost to God, they were hiding behind the bushes, and God knew where they were. God hunted for Adam and Eve. Same way, treasures are not lost, but they are hidden for a season until they are found. Joseph was hidden in prison in Egypt; he was sent 20 years ahead before the famine in the world by God to preserve Jacob and his children a posterity in the earth. Jesus Christ was hidden in Egypt for a season at the age of 2 when His peers were killed until those that sought to kill Him had died. Also, Moses was hidden in Egypt for a season. John the Baptist was hidden, and nobody heard about him until his time of showing (Luke 1:80). I prophecy that your time of showing has come, it is your turn to shine and be celebrated in Jesus Name.
To hunt means to chase, to search for, to pursue, to seek in order to capture. When you hunt, you have a focus, when you seek, it is because you want to capture or accomplish, you don’t just walk around in the bush, you must have a plan and strategy. Likewise, God is still hunting, searching, seeking, pursuing, and chasing in order to capture or apprehend you. You hunt to capture, you search to get, and you pursue to apprehend. Everything you search for this year you will find and you will no longer labour in vain (Isaiah 65:23) in Jesus Name!
Attributes of a Good Hunter
A good hunter must have the following characteristics listed below:
· Must be focused, and have a goal.
· Must be skilled, a professional with expert knowledge.
· Must be equipped with tools.
· Must be patient, brave, determined, strategic, creative
· Must be relentless (Psalm 63:8).
· Must study the prey. For instance, it is better to fish overnight. It is good to study the habitat of the prey.
· Must be coordinated and quiet because any unnecessary moves can drive away the prey.
Psalm 78:38-39 says “But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath. For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.” Sometimes, because God knows our frailties, He loathes to punish US all the time. He understands what He’s hunting. When you hunt, you exert energy and skills. Sometimes, you dig, depending on what you are hunting for. You get dirty, you sweat, you go the extra mile, you dare to be different, e.g. when you are studying to pass an examination, you go the extra mile. You wake up early or burn night candles to win.
The Hunter’s Motivation
The treasure the hunter seeks motivates him to hunt. The object of his pursuit motivates him, and makes him go through rough times. Jesus was despised; He endured the shame and Cross so that He could save us (see Hebrews 12:2, Isaiah 53:3-9). It is the same object of pursuit that motivated some characters depicted in the parable of Jesus – Parable of the lost sheep, Parable of the lost coin, etc. (see Matthew 13:44-46, Luke 15, 3-10).
A treasure is something of value or worth. Treasures sometimes don’t obviously look like treasures. For example, Diamonds in the rough doesn’t look like a diamond but like an ordinary rough stone. Indeed, many will walk past a diamond in the rough not knowing it’s a treasure. You need to polish it to know that it is truly a stellar gem. Pearls can be found in an oyster, you can find it on a beach and kick it not knowing that there are pearls inside. Diamonds and pearls are supposed to add value. Jesus came for a treasure – You and I. The question is: what value are you adding to God?
· You add value to God when you win souls, preach, heal and cast out devils (Matthew 3:14-15)
· You add value to God by using your talents for Him e.g. singing, dancing.
· You add value to God by praising Him.
· You add value to God by using your material possession to support God’s work; e.g. Trinity Towers.
Vessels unto Honour
Are you a valuable tool in the hands of God because the Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:20-21 that in a big house there are vessels unto honour and vessels unto dishonour. You need to purge yourself so that you can be a vessel unto honour that can be used by God. Everything you pursue this year, without fail you shall accomplish it in Jesus name (1 Samuel 30:8). How can it be said that a child of God is begging for bread? Everything God will do in your life this season, He will do it for His own sake because His reputation is at stake (Isaiah 48:11).
The reason Jesus Christ came is to suffer, die and save sinners; and as a physician to heal the sick. If you are a sinner, you are a candidate for treasure hunt. You may consider yourself as nothing, but you are a gem in the eyes of God. Have you experienced Jesus Christ as Your personal LORD and Saviour, He wants you to know Him personally and do personal things for you. The first thing to do is to accept His invitation, He’s hunting for you so that you can add value to the kingdom of God. If you are willing to repent and surrender your life to Jesus Christ, then pray this prayer right now: LORD Jesus, I come to You right now, I know I am a sinner, please forgive my sins. With my mouth, I confess that Jesus, from today, I accept You as the LORD of my life; fill me with Your Holy Spirit, change my heart from a disobedient heart to a heart that will obey You. Please write my name in the Book of Life, make me brand new, and answer all my prayers speedily in Jesus Mighty Name.