Mission

Mission: To connect every burdened soul to the Lord by the power of the Word and anointed prayers for self transformation and actualisation of divine blessings.

Vision

Vision: A transformed society of believers, basking continually in the glory of Christ Jesus.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY

Text: Ephesians 5:21-33, Ephesians 6:1-9. 1 Timothy 5:8.

A family is defined as a group of people related by blood, marriage, law, by adoption or custom.  A family is the essential building block of human society. Family is central in God's plan for mankind. God created family for the benefit of man and man has been given stewardship over it. The first family created by God was Adam and Eve.
A Christian family is a product of a Christian marriage and such a family is Christ centered. The love of Christ is binding all the members together. A man and a woman would form a union through marriage; they with their children become a family. Biblical family is comprised of one man, one woman, their offspring or adopted children. Extended family can include relatives such as parents, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunties and uncles.

A Christian family is one that lives by biblical principles and is one in which each member understands and fulfils his or her God given role. Every member has roles to play. Since a family starts with husband and wife with the love of Christ binding them together, they are responsible for holding the family together. For harmony and peaceful coexistence every member must be committed to Christ and His service and every one must be prepared to fulfil God appointed roles.

We have physical family and the spiritual family/family of God. The physical family is the most important building block to human society; it should be nurtured and protected. The spiritual family is made of all people who call upon the Lord Jesus Christ as saviour. Usually they are church members, fellowship members and the binding force is Christ and his love. God has so much interest in families and He expects family members to look after and care for one another. When God saved Noah, it was with his family members. Gen 6:18, "But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee." When God called Abraham out of Haran to move to a land God promised to show him, Abraham did not move alone but with his wife Sarah and his cousin Lot. Gen 12:4-5. The mother of Peter's wife was in Peter's house when Jesus came to heal her of fever. Matt 8:14. Therefore it is not out of place to find cousins, parents or in- laws living together under the same roof as a family. To live in peace and be in harmony is to put God first in everything and allow Christ love to be binding. To avoid conflict, everyone must be alert to his or her roles and play them well. It is necessary to highlight some of the roles of an individual in the family. 

Roles of members in the family.
Jesus Christ is the Spiritual head of the Christian family. He must be honoured and revered.
Husband/Father is the physical head and the pastor in the house. He is in charge of the family altar and it must be functioning; must provide for the need of the family; love his wife as Jesus loves the Church; treat the wife as he will treat his own body and learn to appreciate her; appreciate the fact that a wife is a helpmate and not a slave; bring everybody up in the way of the Lord; give the children good education; give them sound moral upbringing and bring them up in the fear of the Lord. Discipline of the children should not be neglected and they should be celebrated when there is need for it. Protect the children and make sure they are not abused by any party. Treat everybody with care and love. Pay the wages of maids and house-helps on time. If your parents are living with you, honour and obey them. If they are not yet in Christ win them to the Lord's side with humility and respect. Have priority, after God comes your spouse, follow by the children and others. He coordinates the activities in the family for smooth running.

Wife/Mother is a helpmate to the husband. She needs to be submissive and obedient to him; to boost the morale of the children; manages the finances and supervises the children; take care of the family food; should not be idle and should be a godly woman; make sure everybody under the roof is treated with love and equity; make the environment clean and the home conducive for all to live in. Her family must be a priority. Godly children are expected from her; must be accessible to her children; must be a role model, God fearing and seek godly counsel. Be a praying mother and be given to hospitality.

Children are to obey their parents and to honour them; run errands at home; be Christ 
ambassadors and good representatives of the family. Respect people around and be humble. Participate in church activities; be diligent in their work and be focused.  Avoid bad companies and must not allow sinners to entice them.
Other relations in the house should follow the rules and regulations as laid down by the head of the family. Respect yourself and be an asset. Avoid being abused and comport yourself in an orderly manner.  Be humble and make sure you attain spiritual maturity.

Grandparents should be good role models by all standards; be prayer intercessors; spend time wisely and be involved in kingdom activities. Never cause disharmony among family members. Do not pamper the grandchildren. Demonstrate Christ’s love; be fair to all and let heaven be your focus.

Househelp/steward should be obedient to the master and avoid eye service. Be diligent, honest and trustworthy. Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Be of good character. Show love to everyone and avoid being abused. Be in Christ and look unto Jesus for a better tomorrow.

Brethren, in the family you are likely to fall into one of the groups above. Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Strive to play your own role and assist others when there is need for such so that all can work for the good of everybody. Work as a team for the success of the family. For smooth running of a family, love, faithfulness, understanding, transparency and trust will be required in addition to the individuals playing their roles. There must not be communication gap; issues and disagreement must be resolved amicably.  Each member must learn to forgive readily. The success of a family is centered on the husband and the wife and these two must be compatible; work towards the same goal and run with the same vision.  Financial challenges must be resolved with love, openness and sincerity. There must be intimacy between the two, encourage one another, appreciate each other, readily forgive each other and have a common goal.

Above all, God must be at the centre of your family with the love of Christ binding every member together and always lift up your family in prayer. The family unit is the foundation of human society and is like a building block. To be a Christian family, it has to be solid, well nurtured, protected, firmly built on Christ and be deeply rooted in Him and held together by the love of Christ.

Prayer.
Heavenly Father, thank you so much for creating family for the benefit of mankind.
Father, grant me the grace to have a successful Christian family and to uphold a successful family life.
Grant all the members of my family the grace to live by biblical principles and to love one another as Christ loved us. Make my family a good role model of a Christian family as I seek after a good name.
In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

REDEEMING THE TIME BECAUSE THE DAYS ARE EVIL


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

CHRISTIAN HOSPITALITY

Text: Matt 25:35-40, 3 John 1:5-8 
Christian hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests, visitors or strangers in a warm and generous way. It denotes the reception and treatment of guests. It involves love, kindness, caring and sharing.
The Bible enjoins us in 1 Peter 4:9 to "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." Heb 13:2 reads "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."
Hospitality is a mark of true Christian and one should be given to it. Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour encouraged us to be hospitable by what he said in Matt 25:35-40.That when he was hungry, he was given something to eat, given something to drink when he was thirsty, invited in when he was a stranger and  when he needed clothes; looked after when he was sick and was visited when he was in prison. And that any one doing these to  the brethren is doing it for Him. He said it so that we should do such for brethren and he also made us realise that there is a reward for doing such. Beloved, be given to hospitality and practice it.
Let us consider some characters in the Bible who have shown hospitality to some people: Abraham, Lot, Lydia and the Shunamite woman.
Abraham. Gen 18:1-8.
Abraham entertained  three visitors near the tree of Mamre. While he sat at the entrance to his tent, he looked up and saw three men standing nearby.
He hurried to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He pleaded for an opportunity to be hospitable to them by encouraging them to wash their feet with water and to rest under the tree. As they consented, he hurriedly  prepared food for the visitors. While the visitors ate, he stood near them under a tree. His hospitality was rewarded with a promise of a child for Sarah and this was fulfilled. Abraham also had a revelation from God about His intention to destroy Sodom  and Gomorrah and the privilege to plead with God concerning Sodom and Gomorrah.
Lot. Gen 19:1-21.
Lot sat in the gate way of the city when he saw two angels. He got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. In verse 2 Lot said, " My Lords,""Please turn aside to your servant's  house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning." Lot insisted strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared meal for them and they ate. Lot even defended and protected them against the men of the city of Sodom who wanted to have sex with them. Lot was rewarded for being hospitable. In verse 12, "The two men said to Lot, Do you have anyone else here sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it." Lot's hospitality to these strange people earned him safety and mercy from the LORD.
The Shunamite woman. 2 Kings 4:8-17.
The woman urged Elisha to stay for a meal when he went to Shunem and whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. The woman, in agreement with her husband, made a place comfortable for Elisha to sleep whenever he passed by. Elisha was so impressed by her hospitality that he rewarded her. In 2 kings 4:14, "What can be done for her? Elisha asked, Gehazi said, She has no son and her husband is old. Elisha decreed in verse 15, "About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms." The woman became pregnant and the following year, she gave birth to a son just as Elisha decreed.
Lydia from the city of Thyatira. Acts 16:13-15.
She was hospitable to Paul. After she had listened to Paul's message, the LORD opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. Paul said, "When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home," She persuaded Paul to come and stay in her house. The Bible referred to her as a worshiper of God.
Brethren, hospitality is a mark of a true Christian and can be an avenue for expansion of the kingdom of God on earth. It should be extended to those whose office in the church is to teach the word. The Bible enjoins us in Gal 6:6 that anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.
Also hospitality should be extended to first timers in the church as this will encourage those who are yet to find a place of worship to settle into. First impression about the church and its congregation matter a lot to people coming for the first time to worship in such a place. It promotes church growth. 
Also hospitality can be extended to prisoners, widows, orphans, homeless, the lonely, the downtrodden, the poor and those in distress. Heb 13:3. For these groups you may have to look out for them because they are not or may not likely to be your guests or visitors. You are admonished to share with Lord's people who are in need. Rom 12:13. Expected of an overseer is hospitality. 1 Tim 3:2. Show hospitality and do it in a way that honours God and you shall be rewarded. Abraham, Lot and the Shunamite woman were all rewarded.
Some people may be encouraged by the hospitality shown to them and may want to serve the LORD you are serving and through that give their lives to Christ and you in return will be promoting church growth and winning souls for Christ.
Beloved, imbibe hospitality and practice it.
Prayer.
Hospitality involves love, kindness, caring and sharing. Father, endow me with these virtues and grant me the grace to be sensitive and responsive to the hospitality needs of people in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

SOUL WINNING

Text: Mark 16:15, Luke 19:10, Acts 1:8.

Soul winning is winning souls for the Lord Jesus Christ through witnessing, evangelism, preaching the word and by telling others about Jesus Christ. The purpose of soul winning is leading lost souls (sinners) back to Jesus through sharing the gospel with them.

Soul winning is so primary and important to God that He sent Jesus to man as flesh so as to bring us back to Him after the fall of Adam and Eve. Jesus was actually in the business of winning souls. He was the master of soul winning. He said in Lk 19:10"For the son of man came to seek and to save the lost." Soul winning is so pleasing and delightful to Jesus that he told his disciples in Mk 16:15 "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Matt 28:19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost." Before he ascended into heaven he appeared to his disciples and gave them the Great Commission; this was a personal directive and instruction for making disciples. He commanded them to be soul winners. He told his disciples to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. Therefore, Soul winning should be the primary assignment of every true born again Christian. Jesus has set for us a very good example and his disciples followed suit. So we have to be involved too. Jesus followed Zacchaeus home to bring salvation to his house. Even when people muttered and wondered why Jesus must follow a sinner home he responded Lk19:10 "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."

Be out to seek the lost and share the gospel with such soul. Soul winning is more dear to the heart of God and so pleasing to Jesus.The Great Commission is about soul winning. It is a command and to be effectively involved one needs the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in Acts1:8,  "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. "It is the power received from the Holy Spirit that will enable one to witness with boldness and a sound mind. Sound knowledge of the word is needed, therefore one has to be vast in the knowledge of the word. 2Tim 2:15. Godly wisdom is very necessary for this; as it will enable one to utter the most appropriate word on each occasion. To have love for the lost and perishing souls. 2Peter1:7. To be compassionate will be a good advantage to the soul winner. Self denial, dedication and praying without ceasing will assist a lot.

There is a need to pray to God to give one the strength, courage and the right attitude for the work. You need the grace to appreciate the value of a soul and have a strong desire for soul winning. Whatever method you use to present the gospel, you must not stray away from the biblical truth that can set the sinners free. It may be on one to one, you may identify a group of people, a tribe, a settlement, a community or select a prison yard. Where ever you choose, preach the gospel and share the testimony of your salvation.

God will give you divine grace, back you up and put the right word in your mouth, endow you with perfect health, fill you with the Holy Spirit and be with you till the end (Matt28:20). On your part you should have unconditional love for the lost, be compassionate, ask for Godly wisdom, be diligent, be disciplined, be painstaking and pray always. Always look for every opportunity to present the gospel and never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Roman1:16).

Rewards for soul winners.
Your labour will not be in vain. 1 Cor 15:58.
You will be counted among the wise. Prov 11:30.
You will enjoy the presence of God till the end. Matt 28:20.
You will shine like the brightness of heavens and like stars for ever and ever. Dan 12:3.
You will glory in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ when he comes back. 1 Thess 2:19You will be rewarded according to what you have done. Rev 22:12.

Brethren, you are admonished to be among the wise by being involved in winning souls. Do not delay for tomorrow may be too late. These souls are all over, search for them and share the gospel with them.You can do it through him who gives you strength. Phil 4:13

Prayer: May the LORD of harvest grant you the grace and enable you to have victory in soul winning for Christ. In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

FULFILLING YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD

Text: Numbers 30: 1-16, Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Vow to God is a solemn promise made before God or to God. It is an earnest promise or pledge or personal commitment to perform a specified act or behave in a certain manner especially a solemn promise to live and act in accordance with the rules. It is the ultimate commitment to God. It is to make a determined decision or promise to do something. Vow is an oath and God expects us to fulfill any vow made to him. Num 30:2, "When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said." Matt 5:33 & 37, "Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' be 'No,' ;anything beyond this comes from the evil one." To fulfill is to bring to realization. That is, that which you have promised, you make to happen.

You are admonished to be a man of integrity. God does not forget vows made to him, watch what comes out of your mouth. It is better not to vow anything than to vow and not fulfill it. Breaking vow made to God is a sin and it has consequences.so never make a hasty vow. A vow to God is extremely binding and you have to keep it. However a broken vow should be taken to God in true confession so that God can forgive. Apart from making vows to God, vows can also be made to man. For example, marriage vows between husband and wife, to a friend, to a relation, to parents, to an employer or as a form of membership in to an Organisation. These vows are in form of pledges, promises or oaths. Your integrity is at stake when making vows, so before making any at all, you must understand what it is and what it involves. Never rush to make a vow. Be a man of integrity.

Num 30:2, “When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said”.
Deut 23:21 & 23, “If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty. Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth.
Ps 50:14, “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High.
Ps 66:13-14, I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you- vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble.
Ps 116:14, I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Eccl 5:4, When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.
Jnh 2:9, But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, Salvation comes from the LORD.
Matt 5:33, Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.

Brethren, you are admonished to redeem whatever vows you make and that you should not make a hasty vow. Let us consider the following characters in the Bible as to vows made and fulfillment of such.

Hannah in 1 Sam 1:11-28
Hannah was Elkanah's wife but had no child until later. She went to Shiloh to pray to God. In her deep anguish she prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly and made a vow saying in 1 Sam 1:11, "LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." The LORD remembered her and in the course of time she became pregnant and gave birth to a son whom she named Samuel, saying "Because I asked the LORD for him." She nursed Samuel until she had weaned him and went back to where she prayed unto God and said I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So I now give him to the LORD. And Samuel worshiped the LORD there. Hannah happily fulfilled her vow unto the Lord.

Jacob in Gen 28-1-22
Jacob's father Isaac instructed him to go to Paddam Aram, to the house of his mother's father Bethuel to take a wife. Jacob was prepared to go and God revealed himself to Jacob in a dream and promised to be with him, watch over him wherever he goes and bring him back to his father's land he was leaving, and will not leave him until God has done what he has promised him, Then Jacob made a vow in Gen 28:20, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear, so that I return safely to my father's household, then the LORD will be my God, and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house." God fulfilled the promise to Jacob. He went to Paddam Aram, He was blessed and God increased and enlarged him. He had wives, children, male and female servants, cattle, donkeys, sheep and goats. He accumulated a lot and he came back safely to Bethel with all the people with him. In fulfillment of his vow he built an altar in the place where God revealed himself to him when leaving Bethel and called the place El Bethel. Also, he bought a plot of land at Shechem in Canaan and set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel. Jacob did as he vowed and the stone he set up as a pillar became God's house.

Jephthah in Judges11:1-39.
Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. The elders of Gilead appealed to him to come and lead war for them against the Ammonites and promised to make him head and commander over them and they did to him as promised. He led the war for Israel against the Ammonites. v29-31, “Then the spirit of the LORD came on him and he made a vow to the LORD. If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering." Then he went over to fight and the LORD gave him victory and Israel subdued Ammon. As he returned to his home in Mizpah, his daughter, the only child danced to the sound of timbrels to meet him at the door. On sighting her, he tore his clothes and cried and was so devastated. But he said in v35b, "I have made a vow to the LORD that I cannot break." And Jephthah did to her daughter as he vowed to God."

Going through the examples given above we see the faithfulness of God in all the cases. Our God is ever faithful. Thank God, Hannah, Jacob and Jephthah had the grace to fulfill their vows. We make vows to God when we are in distress, in anguish and afflicted. When we are desperate for attention and want God to intervene and do something concerning our case. Really, making vows help one to focus on God and help one to place God in the forefront of one's mind all the time.

Consequences of breaking vows made to God.
Breaking vows attracts condemnation and judgement. James 5:12.
One will be guilty of sin. Deut 23:21.
One will be accused of wrong doing. Num 30:15.
The advantage of fulfilling vows is that you receive more blessings from God and you become more honorable. 1 Sam 2:21.
Brethren, you are admonished to be honest and be truthful when you are making vows and also about financial matters especially in the house hold of God. 
2 Cor 8:12. Never make a hasty vow. Seek the face of the Lord before you make a vow.


Prayer.
Lord, you are ever faithful to your promises. As humans we do rush to you in times of anguish, despair and distress and make vows to you.
Grant us the grace to be able to fulfill such vows and if there are outstanding ones yet to fulfill have mercy on us and grant us the grace to fulfill them in Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, 28 April 2017

FAITHFULNESS

Psalm 33:4, Pro 3:3, Isa 55:11

To be faithful is to be reliable, steadfast, loyal, devoted, unwavering, worthy of trust, consistent with truth, uncompromising and is to be full of faith. A faithful person is someone who walks consistently with God in humble service. Someone who is true to his or her word, promises and vows. One who is loyal and steady in allegiance or affection.

Faithfulness is one of the characters of God and is an attribute of him. He is faithful in discharging every aspect of the covenant he made and to his promises and vows. It is part of God's faithfulness that made him to send Jesus Christ to us. And Jesus Christ was faithful from cradle to the cross to the one who appointed him. Even when the feature is bleak and circumstances are impossible and hopeless, one can always count on God's faithfulness. Jeremiah could say of the Lord in Lam 3:23 "Great is your faithfulness." When the Israelites were faced with the desolation of Jerusalem because of the nation's sin. Faithfulness is also a gift of the Holy Spirit and a part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If faithfulness is a character of God, and of Jesus Christ and a gift of the Holy Spirit, then it must be a characteristic of man. It is a quality God wants to reproduce in us through the salvation that comes in Christ. God expects us to be faithful in all things.

Faithfulness in using God's talents and gifts received from Him to serve others as faithful stewards of God in various forms. It is to be a hallmark of a true Christian.

God's faithfulness as supported in the Bible:
  • Ps 33:4 - "For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does."
  • Ps 86:15 - "But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness."
  • Ps 91:4b - "His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
  • 1 Cor 1:9 - "God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
  • 1 Cor 10:13b - "And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
  • 1 Thess 5:24 - "The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."
  • 2 Thess3:3 -But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one."
  • 1 Jn 1:9 - "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
  • 2 Tim 2:13-"If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself."
  • Gal 5:22-"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

We can see faithfulness being demonstrated by God the Father, God the son and faithfulness as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God demonstrated faithfulness in many places in the Bible. In Gen 12:1-3 The Lord had said to Abram, "Go from your country, your people and your father's household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse and all people on earth will be blessed through you and God fulfilled these promises." In Gen 18:10, a child was promised and God fulfilled it by blessing Abraham and Sarah with Isaac, Gen 21:1-3."

You are admonished to embrace faithfulness. Prov 3:3 "Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. "God wants us to be faithful and he even said in 1Sam2:35a "I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind." Jesus encourages us to be faithful by using the parable of the bags of money in Matt 25:21 and 23 where the two of the three servants that were faithful were rewarded. He told the Pharisees in Matt 23:23 that justice, mercy and faithfulness are more important matters of the law they should have practiced and He said in Rev 2:10b "be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life."

Brethren, if Abraham, Daniel and Moses being human were faithful during their time, we should be too. Abraham did as God instructed him and it was credited to him as righteousness by God.
Gen 15:6 "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." Abraham is known as father of faith. He was faithful enough for willingly wanted to sacrifice Isaac in obedience to God's command. Gen 22:8-10.

Heb 3:5 "Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future." The LORD said of him in Num12:7b-8" he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD."

Daniel remained faithful in trying situations that might have caused him to lose faith and bend from his beliefs. In defiance to King Darius command that nobody should pray to other God except his gods, Daniel knew the penalty and still went ahead to pray to his God. Dan 6:10 "Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened towards Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before." He did not argue when he was to be thrown into the lion's den as penalty for praying. Contrary to expectation Daniel was not hurt and when the king called out to know whether he was dead or alive. Daniel answered Dan 6:21-22 "May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions .They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight." Hence the king issued a decree that in every part of his kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel and also wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth about the living God of Daniel. Daniel's case should be an inspiration to us.

Brethren it is possible to be faithful in all things .How?
  • Stay in fellowship with God. - 1 Jn 1:3.
  • Be consistently righteous. - Hos10:12.
  • Walk by faith and not by sight.-2 Cor 5:7.
  • Align yourself with people of faith and walk with wise men. – Pro 13:20.
  • Be fervent in spirit. – Rom 12:11.
  • Be disciplined. – Pro 3:11-12.
  • Be hot for God. – Rev 3:16.
  • Be not moved by evil tidings, but trust in God and fix your heart on him. – Ps 112:7.
  • Feed yourself with the word. - 2 Tim 2:15.
  • Walk in obedience to God's commands. - Deut 5:33.
Brethren, all round faithfulness is expected from you. Faithfulness to God and to man. Faithfulness in your ministry and in using the spiritual gifts given to you, in paying your tithe, offerings, vows and promises, in your relationship with others, marriage, in handling resources in your care, in your place of work and in discharging your duty.

Benefits of Faithfulness:
  • The LORD preserves the faithful. – Ps 31:23.
  • The faithful shall flourish and abound with blessings. – Pro 28:20.
  • More responsibilities shall be given to the faithful. – Matt 25:21.
  • The faithful will have favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. – Pro 3:4.
  • A crown of life will be given to those who are faithful unto death. – Rev 2:10.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, you are faithful in everything and you sent Jesus to us as an example that as human we too can be faithful. LORD, I pray that the grace to be faithful in all things and to the end grant unto me in Jesus' name. Amen.


Monday, 27 March 2017

PRIDE

Text: Isaiah 14:12-14, Jeremiah 13:15. James 4:6

Pride is the state or feeling of being proud, a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect. It is an exaggerated estimate of one's own ability or attainment. It is giving oneself the credit for something God has accomplished and taking the glory that belongs to God and keeping it to oneself - 1Cor 4:7. It is a failure to accept and perceive the reality of one's dependence on God. Pride is lack of humility and the opposite of it. Pride and arrogance go hand in hand. It gives you a sense of excessive self-esteem and superiority over others.

The scriptures reveal many things about pride. Some examples will be considered below:
  • Ps 12:3 "The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things."
  • Prov 15:25a "The LORD will destroy the house of the proud:"
  • Prov 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."
  • Prov 16:19 "Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."
  • Prov 29:23 "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."
  • Isa 2:12 "For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low."
  • Jer 13:15 "Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD has spoken."
  • Jam 4:6 "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."
  • 1 Pet 5:5 "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble."
  • 1 Jhn 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

From all indications, God detests the proud and warns against pride and it is not of Him.

There are so many things that can make man to puff up and become proud. Examples are achievements, wealth, position, success, beauty, prestige in the community, attending a prestigious school or institution, distinction of having been born into a certain family, family connections, skills acquired and great offices. A whole community or a nation can be proud over natural resources deposited in their area or land or even scientific breakthrough can lead to pride. Spiritual gifts can lead to arrogating power that belongs to God to self. Any of these can lead to man's, or a nation's downfall.

Let us consider some characters who exhibited pride in the Bible and what became of them.

Nabal – 1 Sam 25:1-38
Nabal a Calebite, the husband of Abigail, was a very wealthy man. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep which he used to shear in Carmel. One of the days that he was shearing sheep, David sent pleasantries to him and humbly and politely requested that Nabal be favourable towards his men and himself by sending whatever he could find for them since it was a festive time. But Nabal proudly and arrogantly responded to the ten young men David sent. 1 Sam 25:10 -11 "Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?" One of Nabal's servants who witnessed this scene reported to Abigail that Nabal hurled insults at David's men despite the fact that David's men had been good to them. Abigail tried to broker peace and appease David with gifts politely. David accepted the gifts and Abigail returned home in peace. About ten days later the LORD struck or smote him and he died. 

King Nebuchadnezzar - Daniel 4:1-37; 5:20-21
He had a dream which Daniel interpreted as follows: The king had become great and strong and his greatness had grown and dominion extended to distant parts of the earth. But the Lord had decreed that he would live among wild animals and eat grass until he acknowledges the sovereignty of the Most High, renounce his sins by doing what is right and being kind to the oppressed. This dream was fulfilled for the charge against him was that he became arrogant and was hardened with pride due to his achievements. As he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon he said Dan 4:30 "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty? "Before he could finish this statement a voice came from heaven "O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee." Your royal authority has been taken from you." He arrogated the greatness of Babylon to himself. He was driven away from people and ate grass like ox as his dream was interpreted.
Dan 5:20-21 "But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride he was deposed from his royal throne and striped of his glory. And he was driven from the sons of men and his heart was made like the beasts and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will."

The Pharisee -Lk 18:9-14
The parable of the Pharisee and the Tax collector as told by Jesus.
The Pharisee exalted himself when he went to the temple to pray. He stood by himself and prayed "God, I thank you that I am not like other people-robbers, evil doers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get." Because of his acclaimed self-righteousness and spiritual pride he went home unjustified. Jesus said "For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

Uzziah king of Judah – 2 Chron 26:1-23
Uzziah son of Jekoliah and Amaziah became king of Judah at age of sixteen after the death of his father Amaziah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, sought God and was in the fear of God. As long as he sought God, God gave him success. He acquired wealth and became politically and militarily powerful. He went to war with some nations and God gave him victory. He achieved a lot and his fame spread far and wide. Unfortunately, he became proud to his destruction. 2 Chron 26:16 "But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. "He arrogated the assignment of the priests to himself and when the priests confronted him, he became angry and raged at them in the LORD's temple. Instantly leprosy broke out on his forehead and the priests hurried him out of the temple of the LORD and banned him from the temple. He was removed from the palace and replaced by his son. He died a leper and his son Jotham succeeded him as king. His achievements, fame and power led to his pride and downfall.

Lucifer – Isa 14:12-14
Lucifer was an exceedingly beautiful angel in heaven. He became so impressed with his own 
beauty, position and wisdom that he desired for himself the honour and glory that belonged
to God. These statements were credited to him. Isa 14:13-14 "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." For these reasons Lucifer was banished from heaven and cast out and stripped of his authority. His pride and desire to be like God led to his downfall and destruction.

Pride provokes God's displeasure, and leads to destruction but unfortunately it is not easy to see or identify pride in oneself but very easy to see or identify in others. Pride shuts God out of one's life since it is not of God but of the devil. It causes one to have low ability and worth of others and to treat others with contempt. It leads to ruin and downfall.

Evidence of pride in one can be in any of these forms.
When you:
  • hardly consider other people's opinion.
  • desire to be served.
  • feel too confident in what you have and know.
  • find it difficult to apologise or accept fault.
  • find it difficult to share your spiritual and physical needs with others or seek help. 
  • have "I" mentality and statements like "If not for me.” "I did it."
  • want everything to be revolving around you.

If you exhibit any of these traits, watch out.

Brethren, pride is not of God but of the devil. Avoid it. Ask God to reveal your weakness to you and pray about it.

Prayer
Dear Father, I humbly request that you reveal my weaknesses to me especially any one that has to do with pride and grant me the grace to totally come off it.
In Jesus's name I pray.
Amen.




Friday, 3 March 2017

ANOINTING

Text: Luke 4:18-19; Acts 10:38

Anointing is God's presence through the Holy Spirit on a person. It is God on flesh in one's life doing those things only God can do. It is the power of God at work in one’s life and situation. It is a seal of ownership of God on the one set apart. Jesus Christ is referred to as the "Anointed One”, The chosen One. Acts 10:38 "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him". Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19 as it was written in the book of prophet Esaias “The Spirit of The Lord is upon me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord”.

Anointing can be by smearing or rubbing with oil to consecrate for office or religious purpose. It can be for blessing, protection, empowerment, healing, sanctification and for setting apart. God anoints and ministers of God and spiritual elders can anoint with oil in the name of God the Father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit. It is the power of God in the oil that produces effect. Inanimate objects such as tabernacles, church buildings, altar of God, instruments, vessels, food, materials, dresses and handkerchief can be anointed.

Jesus Christ was anointed by God with the Holy spirit as a prophet, priest and king and empowered to spread the good news. After the anointing he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil for God was with him and protection guaranteed. Psalm 105:15 "Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm".

Let us consider some people that were anointed in the Bible.

Anointing for healing
James 5:14"Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord".
Jesus disciples went out Mark 6:13"And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them".

Anointing of Kings
Saul anointed king
1 Samuel 9:15 "Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel. About this time tomorrow. I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over my people Israel, he will deliver them from the hand of the Philistines". 1 Samuel 10:1 "Then Samuel took a flask of Olive oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance.” So, Saul was anointed king and set apart for special purpose.

David anointed king
After the LORD has rejected Saul as king over Israel He asked Samuel to prepare to fill his horn with oil and go to where he would be sent. The LORD sent him to Jesse's house and there David the youngest son of Jesse was anointed. 1 Samuel 16:13 "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward." 2 Samuel 5:3 "So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron and King David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD and they anointed David king over Israel".

Solomon anointed king
1 kings 1:39 "And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save King Solomon".

Anointing as priest/ minister/ pastor for Sanctification
Aaron anointed
Leviticus 8:12
Moreover the LORD spoke to Moses in Exodus 30:30 "And thou shall anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office". Leviticus 8:12 "And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron's head, and anointed him, to sanctify him".

Anointing of inanimate objects for sanctification
The LORD spoke to Moses to anoint the tabernacle and all that is therein, and shall hallow it, and all the vessels thereof: and it shall be holy - Exodus 40:9. And Moses did as the LORD commanded, Leviticus 8:10.

Apart from individual anointing, and anointing of inanimate objects like tabernacles, Church buildings and objects in the building , dresses and handkerchiefs ,there could be corporate anointing. This happens when many believers are in the same place and there is a singleness of purpose between them, and they are in unison and in perfect agreement. When they act corporately as one, great power will be released. Corporate anointing is so powerful especially when they are praising and praying and all in one accord, the spirit of God moves. Acts 2:1-4 on the day of Pentecost. "And when the day of Pentecost fully come , they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance".
You are admonished not to forsake the gathering of the saints, for you could receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit in such a gathering.

Effects of anointing
1. Anointing empowers one to do exploits, to witness ,to evangelize and to minister. Isaiah 61:1
2. God delivers and spares the anointed. Psalm 105:15
3. The spirit of the  Lord is on the anointed.1 Samuel 16:13
4. Divine protection is assured. 1 Samuel 24:6
5. Mercy is shown. 2 Samuel 22:51
6. God saves the anointed with his saving strength. Psalm 20:6
7. Healing is received. James 5:14
8. Evil yokes are broken. Isaiah 10:27
9. Anointing motivates you to do good and what is right. Hebrew 1:9
10. It is a seal of God on one.

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, anointing is a seal of your ownership, anoint me and set me apart for your use and motivate me to do good and what is right always. In Jesus's name I pray.