(Being a lecture presented at the 22nd Annual General Council of The Saviours Evangelical Church Nigeria INC. (TSEC) Closing Service on Sunday June 30th, 2013, at Umuihi. Ihitte/Uboma LGA, Imo State by Rt. Hon. Ben Uwajumogu, Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, on "Fruitful Service".)
I wish to start by expressing my sincere appreciation for the invitation to deliver a talk during the closing service of the 22nd General Church Council of our great church, TSEC Nig. I thank the General Superintendent, Rt. Rev. Dr. S. K. Chukwuocha, my spiritual father. The National Executive Council members and the G.C.C. Planning Committee members for the recognition and honour given to me to deliver such a lecture. When I received your letter to deliver a lecture on "Fruitful Service". I was scared initially and I was about to reject it but on a second thought, I realized that I am rendering a service as a public servant, and I asked God to multiply grace to me to deliver the lecture. I might not really speak as a Clergyman, because I am not one, for now, so that the question "Is Saul among the prophets" wouldn't be asked here today. However by the Grace of God, I will try to do justice to the topic both from the Spiritual aspect, since a reference was made from the scriptures in John 15:8 and secular perspective, since I am a public servant.
Operational Definition Of Terms:
"Fruitful Service":- Let us look at this phrase "Fruitful service" independently and find the real definitions of the words that made them up.
Fruit: According to Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, in the context of what we are looking for means - "the good results of an activity or a situation. This simply means that when an activity or a situation produces good results, it is a said to bear fruits. We usually pray or wish to enjoy the fruits of our labour, that is, the rewards for our hard work. Fruitful: This is the extreme situation of fruit. This means according to the same Oxford Dictionary, producing many useful results.
Service: The word service can be looked at from various ways or means. It has many definitions. However, no matter how you might try to define service, one unique concept about service or its definition is providing something". A system that provides something that the public needs, organized by the government, or a private company, for instance the ambulance bus or telephone service. The government aims to improve public services especially education, just like we are witnessing in this regime of His Excellency Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocna the Executive Governor of our Great State, Imo State. An organization or a company that provides something for the public or does something for the government. A business whose work involves doing something for customers, the work that such a business does. We can go on and on to, define service, but time will not permit me to go on.
Now having looked at and tried to define them independently, let us see what fruitful service is all about.
Fruitful service is all about providing something that will produce many useful good results, whether as an individual, or in government or a corporate organization or a private firm or a Clergyman, if you are not providing something that will produce many useful good results, in your environment so that there will be a manifestation, you are not fruitful. You must provide something that would be able to have a positive impact in the life of people around you. And that is what the government of Rescue Mission is all about. Rendering a service that will produce many useful results. Go round the communities in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, you will be able to testify that this administration in the last 2 years of its inception has rendered a service that can be described as a "fruitful service". The Rochas government has shown zeal to sincerely serve the Imo people. At the last year’s G.C.C. of the church, the General Superintendent in his Address commended the Rescue Agenda. We are grateful for those encouraging words from the church. The current House of Assembly is therefore in partnership, offering legislative support and encouragement to the Executive. Our resolution in the Imo State House of Assembly, to render fruitful service to Imo people has supported the government's rescue agenda with effective legislation that have helped to deliver on the following:-
• Adopted a clear position on reducing greed in government.
• Putting the needs of Imo people above all else.
• Reduced cost of governance
• Reduced security votes
• Many road projects going on in all parts of the State.
• State school calendar at all levels
• Free education
• Regular teacher's salaries and high teacher's motivation etc.
More specially, the legislature has passed over 36 bills and 75 motions. Time will not permit me to enumerate them all.
Fruitful Service; Biblical Point Of View:
Let us now search the scriptures and see what fruitful service is all
about. The book of John 15:1-8 "I am the true vine, and my father is
2. He cops off every branch that doesn't produce. And he prunes those branches
that bear fruit for even larger crops.
3. He has already tended you by pruning you back for greater strength and
usefulness by means of the commands I gave you.
4. Take care to live in me, and let me live in you. For a branch can't
when severed from the vine, nor can you be fruitful apart from me.
5.Yes, I am the vine, you are the branches, whoever lives in me and I
in him shall
produce large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do a thing.
6.If anyone separate from me, he is thrown away like a useless branch, withers
and is gathered into a pile with all the others and burnt.
7. But if you stay in me and obey my commands, you may ask any request you like
and it will be granted.
8. My true disciples produce bountiful harvests. This brings great glory to my
Father". (The Parents Resource Bible)
From the above passage, Our Lord Jesus Christ made us to know that you must be fruitful in your service, and for you to be fruitful, you must anchor on Him. You must not depend on your own ability or wisdom in any career or profession you find yourself. Why many people fail in life, is when they feel that they have arrived, either because of their wealth, knowledge or connections in every aspect of life without realizing the power of Christ in their life, you see them crashing or falling like a park of cards. May it never be your portion in Jesus Name Amen.
So we must be fruitful in any area of life we find ourselves, if one is inspired or called to render service unto God and humanity, and this should be done without grudging nor of necessity 2 Cor. 9:7" Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give not grudgingly, or of necessity for God loveth a cheerful giver: (KJV), You also have to realize that whatever fruitful service you render shall not be in vain, it must be rewarded, 1 Cor. 15:58". Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord". (KJV).
In 2 kings 4: 8-17 - here the shunemirte woman, rendered a fruitful service, she fed and accommodated Elisha and his servant Gehazi. God blessed herfor what she did. In 1 Kings 17:8-14 -here tells us about Elijah and the widow of Zerephat who fed him out of the very little she had, and from then, her story or level changed for good, the rest of her life. This is as a result of fruitful service. in Genesis 27:30 - 40. "Esau was blessed against all odds, because of the service he rendered to his father Isaac as obedience to his request. That was a fruitful service.
However I will not conclude this talk without emphasizing on the most important aspect of this topic; the question that must be asked is what will motivate or inspire fruitful service? And I wish to provide an answer to this question. In John 15:12 " I demand that you love each other as much as I loved you" (The Parents Resource Bible). Love must motivate or inspire you to render fruitful service. Jesus command that we love one another went beyond the mere statement, "love each other, He commanded us to copy his example to love as he loved. The so-called love touted in popular music, movies and romance novels comes and goes a fluke of the emotions, something you can fall into and out of. The world's kind of love can't be commanded, because it can't be controlled, it involves no commitment, only hopes. Jesus says "Love as I have loved you". Even a surface familiarity with Jesus tells us that his kind of love is unconditional, sacrificial, selfless, committed and indestructible. That kind of love makes all the difference that will yield "fruitful service". It gives you a solid foundation when a child turns rebellious or when a spouse gets sick. It is God's way - a commitment to keep loving whether it feels good or not. On that note men and brethren, I rest my case. I wish you all a fruitful service in your life in Jesus Name Amen.
Thanks and God Bless.
Rt. Hon. Chief Benjamin Uwajimogu
Imo State House Of Assembly