At the 20th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service of the Diocese of Lagos West, the Primate of All Nigeria, the Most Revd Dr. Nicholas Okoh charged the congregation to abide in Christ so that the Lord Jesus Christ would continue to be their refuge. He defined refuge as the shelter from difficulty and strength as ability to resist attack or stress and this ability is from the Lord.
The Primate highlighted situations that necessitated the refuge of God. For instance, when you labour with all your efforts and all you get from it is blackmail, attacks and ridicule. He continued by saying we need refuge from end time heretical teachings, arrows of the wicked targeted at destroying the Christians, afflictions of economy uncertainties, health challenges, demonic and diabolical persecutions, afflictions of Boko Haram and herdsmen menace.
Archbishop Okoh warned the people to avoid seeking false solutions as this might expose them to attack from the enemies because they would no more be under the refuge of God. He added that the congregation should not allow anyone to use them as a ransom. He further stressed that the moment one visits wrong places for help, one is no more under the refuge of God.
The Metropolitan highlighted various achievements of Lagos West such as: no negative publicity, expansion of Gospel frontiers, maintaining of Christian commitment, change of leadership without any rancour, increased social concern by providing schools and hospitals, maintaining Anglicanism and contributions of money, materials and ideas to the growth of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
The Primate then challenged everyone by asking “What next after 20 years?” He reiterated that the entire Diocese must beware of false teachers and maintain missionary drive because Christianity is a movement and not a monument. So Lagos West must constantly follow Christ. He also charged the Diocese to avoid exposing their nakedness to the public when they go to law court to settle dispute. He encouraged the Diocesan Bishop and his magistrate to remain focused to the community.
Finally, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh said the Refuge we need is the presence of God in our lives and we should avoid seeking fake refuge. “Lagos West, if you abide in Christ, God will continue to be your refuge. But if you go out, there are avengers of blood who will slay you. Therefore abide in Christ always”.
Revd Oluwole Ibikunle
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