God set an example of diligence and work in the act of creation, Genesis 2:1-3. The text says “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done.” In creating the world He mad humans to work.
Genesis 2:5 notes that there was no man to work the ground. In verse 15, man was created and given work in the Garden of Eden. When the first couple sinned and were sent out of the Garden they still had to work.
Under the Old Law, the Jewish nation was commanded to observe the seventh, or sabbath day. The sabbath was a reward for work and a time to honor God, Exodus 20:8-11. Exodus 23:12-13 describes it as a time of refreshing. After the release from Egyptian bondage, it was to be a time of rest and remembrance of their freedom from slavery. God did not intend for us to work all of the time, but to take rest as well.
Purpose of work
Provide for our needs
Proverbs 12:11 and 14: Work of a man benefits him
Proverbs 16:26 – Our hunger is motivation
Proverbs 28:19 – “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.”
The worthy woman highly praised in Proverbs 31 is a diligent hard worker:
V.13 – works with wool and flax
V. 14-15 – works to find and prepare food for her family
V. 16 – invests in a field to make a vineyard
V. 18 – works late and has pride in her work
V. 19 – making garments for her family and to sell (v. 24)
V. 27 – she does not eat the bread of idleness
She is praised by her husband, children, the Lord, and those who see her for her faith and works
Be generous to others
Part of the reasons we work is to have something to give to those in need. The worthy woman just discussed was so generous to the needy, Proverbs 31:20. In the Old Testament, farmers were commanded to leave the edges and anything that was dropped for the poor to come gather (the gleanings).
In the New Testament, our work is tied to generosity. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:28 – not to steal, but work to give others in need. Notice, he commanded them not to take anything from anyone, but to work to provide for one’s needs, and to have something to share with the needy. He also commanded the materially rich to be rich in good works and generous – 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
We see examples of the early church in sharing what they had to help their needy brethren in Acts 4:32-37. During the Judean famine, Paul observed that even those in poverty gave generously to help their Judean brethren, 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, 11-15. They let their abundance supply what their brethren lacked.
To honor God with our possessions
There was an important principle in the Old Law: The firstfruits and tithes – Deuteronomy 26:1-19. The law commanded that the first and the best was to be offered to God. This was a great act of faith, for it is trust that God would continue to bless their harvest and herds.
The gift was to provide for those who are in need, or who are dedicated in service to the Lord’s temple. The giving action was to be done with the complete heart, and soul recognizing God as the giver of all things.
Proverbs 3:9-10: “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.”
Under the New Testament, we are not commanded to tithe (however, the principle of tithing still works for those who tithe today), but are to bring freewill offerings and to be generous with what we have been given. Previously, we noted how God wants us to be generous with what He has given us. As the offerings paid the expenses for the upkeep of the tabernacle and temple, and met the physical needs of the priests dedicated to its service, so our offerings today help us to maintain a place of worship, provide financial support for those dedicated to preaching the gospel, purchasing materials for our Bible classes, and helping our brethren in times of need.
Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God in Proverbs, the word of God (in John); He’s the Lord, and God! (Luke 4:8)
Generally speaking, a lord is someone with authority, control, or power over others; to say that someone is “lord” is to consider that person a master or ruler of some kind. In Jesus’ day the word lord was often used as a title of respect toward earthly authorities; when the leper called Jesus “Lord” in Matthew 8:2, he was showing Jesus respect as a healer and teacher (see also Matthew 8:25 and 15:25).
However, after the resurrection, the title “Lord,” as applied to Jesus, became much more than a title of honor or respect. Saying, “Jesus is Lord,” became a way of declaring Jesus’ deity. It began with Thomas’ exclamation when Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection: “Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’” (John 20:28). From then on, the apostles’ message was that Jesus is Lord, meaning “Jesus is God.”
Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost contained that theme: “Let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah” (Acts 2:36). Later, in Cornelius’s house, Peter declared that Jesus is “Lord of all” (Acts 10:36). Note how in Romans 10:9 Jesus’ lordship is linked to His resurrection: “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The statement “Jesus is Lord” means that Jesus is God. Jesus has “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). He is Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5). He is “our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 1:4). He is, in fact, the Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14).
Jesus referred to Himself as “Lord” many times (Luke 19:31; John 13:13, to mention a few). And when we compare the Old Testament with the New, we find several times when the “LORD” (Yahweh) of the Hebrew Bible is equated with the “Lord Jesus” by the apostles. For example, Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good,” and that passage is alluded to in 1 Peter 2:3, except there Jesus is the “Lord” who is good. Isaiah 8:13 says that “the LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy”; in 1 Peter 3:15 we are commanded, “In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy” (ESV).
Amazingly, the Lord Jesus left His exalted position in heaven and came to earth to save us. In His Incarnation, He showed us what true meekness looks like (see Matthew 11:29). Just before His arrest, Jesus used His power and authority to teach us humility: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). The last will be first, according to our Lord (Matthew 19:30).
Jesus is the son of GOD (John 3:16, 17:3, Matt 27:54, Mark 1:1, 5:7), He is God – one with GOD! (John 10:30), He is God and also Man; just as we are gods and men (John 10:34).
Satan knows that Jesus is His Lord (in Luke 4), yet try to tempt him because he was now in the form of a man (with hope that the son of man – Jesus will fall for his deceits and temptations, but Jesus reminded him of the scripture never to tempt his Lord, his God) – Luke 4:8. This is another proof that Jesus is God; He said it again for emphasis in Luke 4:12 (if it wasn’t true, the accuser of brethren, Satan, will not obey, and wouldn’t flee).
So, in the form of man, Jesus is the son of God (John 3:16) – His mission on earth: to save men from the captivity of the devil, and to reconnect men back to God.
Jesus is Lord (meaning Jesus is God) In Heaven, and here on earth where men and the devil dwells (Matt 4:7,10), the devil knows this!
Practically, He was sent to save man (the sinners) on earth; while on earth, he prayed to God the father, and steadily interceding on behalf of man at the right hand of the father, after his death and resurrection on earth.
God is Trinity: God the father, God the son (Jesus), and God the Holy spirit. The 3 are the same, well represented in the beginning of creation, and now!
God (Jesus and the Holy spirit) practically was in control in the days of old (God led the Israelites, before choosing Moses and others to be the physical leaders, prophets, priests and kings). Jesus also was in action in the old testament as revealed in the book of Daniel (when the 3 Hebrews boys were thrown in the furnace of fire – they became 4, Jesus was the fourth, physically revealing himself to the king in the old testament). Likewise in the old testament, The spirit of God (the Holy spirit was upon David when he was anointed as King). One way or the other, the Trinity was revealed in both the old testament and new.
The surname our father bear, as sons we bear also. Jesus is GOD and Lord over all; He’s given all powers; that at the mention of His name, every knee must bow, and every tongues confess…
Dr Olukayode Segun Adeyanju could have stayed back in the United States to practice after spending two years in Houston, Texas, when he went there to improve his expertise and be exposed to technology and surgical techniques in the field of dentistry, which he studied at the Obafemi Awolowo University and graduated in 1990. Dr. Adeyanju is a born-again Christian and evangelist with a passion for teaching people why it is important to maintain good oral care.
In an interview, he goes down memory lane, to recall how his dental practice, which is marking its 20th anniversary, survived turbulence in its early years, to get to the point where it has clinics in Victoria-Island, Ikorodu, Isolo and an exclusive clinic (DDH Deluxe) for upper class patients, all in Lagos-Nigeria.
I studied dentistry at the Obafemi Awolowo University and graduated in 1990. Then I spent one year at General Hospital, Lagos, for the housemanship. I stayed back for the national youth service. After the service ended, I was offered appointment to join the team which was supposed to establish a clinic in Epe area of Lagos. We were supposed to go there about two or three times a week. I did not go, because what I experienced during the housemanship and the service year at General Hospital left me disillusioned. So I turned down the offer. I simply did not like the setting.
What was wrong with the setting?
For a young man who graduated, burning with passion and had strong expectations in a profession that you are trying to explore, there were too many odds that didn’t make working at the hospital a promising situation. At that time, four dentists were sharing one dental chair; it was like having four drives to a car. The ideal thing for anyone who has passion for dentistry is to have a dental chair to render service to patients in need. For me, sharing one dental chair with three other colleagues was in itself demoralising. From my personal paradigm or world view, I strive for excellence. So I knew that I would not achieve excellence in service in that setting. Such things as drugs and consumables required to render dental care services were out of stock. Often hearing that we could not work because the generator was not working was simply frustrating – several dental care tools require electricity, because it is a surgical process.
So, I quit and practiced under late Dr. Frances Kuboye (Fela’s niece), whose husband owned the popular Jazz 38 night club. I worked with her briefly, and then went over to Ikoyi Dental Clinic. I also worked briefly for myself. Then I travelled to the United States after winning US Green Card Lottery in 1997.
Before I left for the U.S, I had a strong leading of the Holy Spirit (I am a born again Christian) not to relocate out of Nigeria. So I took my trip to the US as a case of going for postgraduate studies. So I did a combination of formal and informal studies. Having a green card allowed me to work. I wrote to organisations, that I had worked in Nigeria as a dentist and came to America to broaden and deepen my knowledge and expertise in the profession, and that opened doors for me. I got work in some places where I had opportunity to learn new techniques and get exposed to current technology as well as benefit from the transfer of knowledge. They paid me little money, which was just enough to cover my meagre needs, and I also diligently saved. In addition, I registered for short term courses at the University of Houston, Texas and attended several scientific conferences in the field. I spent two years and returned to Nigeria.
When did you set up the practice after your return?
I registered Divine Dental Home (DDH) in 2001. It was a herculean task setting up a private practice, in terms of finance. The cost of renting space for the clinic was quite high. Again, getting the required equipment was a huge problem. But I was lucky to some extent because I brought equipment from when I was returning from USA. Really it was difficult getting other equipments in Nigeria, and creating the right ambience in the clinic. Moreover, various problems in the polity were also affecting the process in a way.
How were you able to cope given that most Nigerians do not readily seek dental care?
I would say that I had enjoyed a lot of grace in the United States. I had management training on how to run a dental practice. I was told, ‘You are to be a businessman practicing dentistry. You are not a dentist trying to be a businessman.’ So, I studied marketing, human resources management, accounting and finance, budgeting and public relations. The knowledge and experience I gained in America really helped me a lot. So, I am not a typical dentist, I had a lot of American flavour in my mix when I started, which gave me an edge. Whoever came across me, I would make you so comfortable that you’d want to come back to my clinic, and also stay with me.
In fact, I started my practice when the Sun Newspaper had just been birthed. I was privileged to be connected with Mr. Femi Adesina, who gave me opportunity to write a column in the news paper, to educate Nigerians about oral care. I was one of the pioneer columnists. The column became hugely successful. I used to get calls all over Nigeria from readers who needed advice on dental problems. The column helped to create awareness about the need for oral care.
Did the column really make impact?
Of course it did! A great deal! You see, at that time people had a fear of seeking dental care. The tone of the column and the easy-to-digest way information was given out made people begin to take greater interest in oral care beyond just brushing their teeth. For me, writing that column was a way of making positive impact on the health-seeking community in Nigeria. I remember that I got patients who had special dental problems, coming all the way to Lagos from Abuja, Kano, and Calabar. When they came, they did not mind that my clinic was small at the time. They were more interested in my expertise, warm disposition and ability to solve their problems. That is why I feel that having spent 20 years in practice in Nigeria and built a pedigree, I believe that I should revive the column and start talking again to Nigerians.
How were you able to weather the storms of running a dental practice in Nigeria?
It is said that if any venture will survive, it is in the first five years. At the beginning 20 years ago, the rent for our small clinic in Victoria Island was N250,000 per annum. The landlord increased the rent every year, and now it runs into millions. After the first year, we couldn’t sustain the rent. I pleaded for a little time to pay and met a brick wall. Eventually, I went to a finance house, which was a subsidiary of Wema Bank, I took a loan of N1 million. I didn’t know anybody there; I had grace and just walked into the place and introduced myself and discussed my problem. I used my father’s house as a collateral for the loan. I was supposed to pay in 18 months. When the 18 months passed, I could not fully pay back the loan. The bank threatened to sell the house. Miraculously, I got help from the managing director of mortgage bank who was my patient. He bought over the loan because we had a collateral. That gave us two to three years of struggle to find our feet. Essentially, we operated on deficit for five to six years.
In the heat of that, the landlord slammed another huge increase in our rent. Each time I thought I had survived, the rent would go up again. (Chuckling) This happened every year for the first five years. By the sixth year, I was like a car with five flat tyres (including the spare tyre) and very little fuel in the tank.
Were you able to sleep during those years?
(Laughs for long) That time was very turbulent and quite challenging. It was just the grace of God that sustained us. It got to a point where we almost close to deciding to relocate to the mainland, like Surulere or other place. That was also when we had divine intervention. Somebody just took interest in the clinic and decided to invest some money into the practice. He said that he had observed that I was striving to exhibit excellence in my practice. He said he wanted to support the clinic so that we could have peace of mind to serve the public with some ease. That investment was a very soft loan from an angel. People in the equity finance business refer to that kind of person as an “angel investor.” That investment enabled us to expand from one room to three rooms in the same complex where we have been for 20 years. About that time too, God opened a door for me at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Healthcare. The company was trying to re-launch Macleans toothpaste, which had been off the shelf. They were looking for a dentist with reputation, name recognition and expertise. God just fitted me into the profile they needed. They approached me to anchor a public awareness programme on Radio Nigeria FM. The money they paid me greatly helped to stabilise the clinic. Today, we have clinics in Ikorodu and Isolo. And to mark our 20th anniversary, we have just set up an exclusive clinic for our upper class patients who need a bit of privacy, to access dental services and oral care. The exclusive clinic is located in the same complex where we have been for the past 20 years.
I remain committed to educating the public on the benefits of accessing regular oral care. A lot of systemic problems that could prove fatal can be prevented early through proper oral care. That is we keep advising that Nigerians should see a dentist regularly. Don’t wait till you have pain in your mouth or teeth. Visit dentist regularly, don’t go to quacks.
Credit: Sun News Online 📰
• Inspiring – Engr Paul Udogwu, Lagos 🇳🇬
• Very inspiring article – Precious Kingsley, Delta 🇳🇬
• Chaiii!!!! Very inspiring. Anything wey good go first pass through fire oooo. I can only imagine what he went through Running a business on deficit for 5 to 6years – Anthony Udogwu, Lagos 🇳🇬