If Bill Gates came through these doors…

Christ Church/Iglesia de Christo

Hyde Park

Fr Derrick M. Muwina

1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14Psalm 111, Ephesians 5:15-20John 6:51-58

If Bill Gates came through those doors and sat next to you and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” what would you say? How would you react?

I know what I would say, “give me some of your money”

After all in these tough economic times we all want a breather, a couple of thousands will go a long way. Now imagine instead of Bill Gates, God showed up and sat next to you asked the same question, “What would you want me to do for you?”

What would you ask for? Think about it. What would you ask God to do for you? What would you ask for? I know what I would say: A couple of millions dollars in my bank account so I do not have to wake up in the morning to go and work, a huge house in a location of my choosing, a nice expensive leather bound car.

Would you ask the same or perhaps a few more things on top of that?

Would you ask God to erase your debts? Would you ask God to reconcile you to a friend, to heal a sick family member? I am sure we would have many requests for God to grant.

In today’s first reading, we hear how Solomon encountered God and is asked to request for anything. Very lucky man we would say. Solomon had serious challenges before him.

His father David had led Israel with peace and prosperity. Israel had become a kingdom of peace and prosperity because his father David was a good God-fearing leader. David had walked before God in righteousness and uprightness.

When he sinned against God, he did not say after all I am the king I can do anything I want, he fell on his knees and confessed. Such was a king Solomon was succeeding. Solomon was taking on large shoes as we may say and walking in those shoes was not going to be easy. This was Solomon’s first challenge.

In order for Solomon to succeed, he too needed to walk righteously before God.

In fact the book of the Kings were written specially to deliver this point; Kings who obeyed God and led an upright life reined longer and peacefully, those who did walk in God’s ways had trouble and did not survive for long.

The second challenge before Solomon was that he was not the immediate heir to the throne. David had older sons. In fact, it was Bathsheba, the mother, who engineered for Solomon to become king. She went to David and requested that Solomon should be king. Solomon knew that somehow he was not the rightful heir to the throne. Perhaps he had a sense of guilty even.

With these challenges in mind, Solomon asked for what he thought he needed most. He asked God to grant him an understanding mind to govern the people, a mind able to discern between good and evil

He did not ask for the life of his enemies, or those who would oppose his leadership, he asked for a discerning mind.

He got what he had asked for; a discerning mind. In addition, he was granted wealth and honor.

However, God said, “If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life”

Simply having a wise mind was not enough. He needed to keep God’s statutes and commandments.  We rarely talk about what God required of Solomon.

It was as though God was saying “in addition to a wise mind, I need a faithful heart.” The success of Solomon depended on walking upright before God.

His success did not depend on the size of his army or the size of his territory, but on walking in holiness with his God.

Not all the Wisdom of Solomon, all the splendor of Israel would make Solomon a good leader. Solomon’s leadership had to be anchored on the word of God.

We can ask ourselves this question ‘On whose foundation have we built our work?” Most of us want the glory but not the hard work. we want wise minds but not faithful hearts.  We want a good church but not the work that creates a good Church, we want a vibrant church but we are reluctant for godliness and fellowship.

Jesus said, seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things shall be added unto you. Not seek ye first all things and then the Kingdom of God shall follow you, but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things shall follow you.

Just as Solomon knew that without wisdom he would not be a good king, we too know that without Jesus, the bread of life, we cannot have life, we cannot have a successful Church.

At Bible study on Thursday, we concluded that if we had this true life within us we would not have most of the problems that we have with each other.

What do we need most at this time? WE need the bread of life, Jesus, let us feed on him so that we may have life and life in abundance.  We may not see Bill Gates enter our doors, but we surely have the Lord of Life with us, asking, ‘what would you have me do for you?’ Come, partake, and have life. Amen.

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