Today we celebrate Pentecost Day, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon 120 disciples that empowered them to fulfill their divine destiny. The result was the birth of the church in power.
Just like the disciples who followed Jesus, we may be ordinary people dealing with various social, physical, emotional, or even spiritual issues. Yet, God has predestined us to be conformed (similar in form, nature or character) to the image of Christ (Rom.8:29), by which we become His instruments for changing the world. That destiny is fulfilled by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Through the working of the Holy Spirit in us, we become more like Christ in three main areas:
1. In Character: just like Christ, Christians need to live righteous and holy lives. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses by praying for us (Rom.8:26), empowering us to overcome temptation (Luke 4:1-2), renewing our minds with God’s Word (Rom.12:2) so we can see and hate sin as Christ does, working in us to change our will and actions to please God (Phil.2:13), and giving us power to put to death the deeds of the flesh (Rom.8:13). Then we can shine the light of Christ in a world darkened by sin.
2. In Power: Christ’s life was characterized by power through the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38). The Holy Spirit also empowered the previously fearful and weak disciples to preach the gospel for many to be saved, baptized and added to the church (Acts 2:41). By the Holy Spirit’s power, they taught God’s Word to transform believers to become like Christ (Acts 11:24-26). By the same power, they healed the sick, delivered people from demonic attacks, raised the dead, and performed unusual miracles (Acts 19:11-12). Individually and as a church, we can become like Christ in power to share the gospel, teach the Word, and do good works through the Holy Spirit.
3. In Glory: while living righteous and holy lives like Christ, preaching the gospel, teaching for transformation, and doing good works, we would sometimes go through suffering. If Jesus suffered, even though He only did good, so will we also suffer as we become more like Him (John 15:18). But the Holy Spirit gives us power to endure hardships and suffering for the sake of Christ by comforting us, strengthening us, and causing all things to work together for our good (Rom.8:28). We are thereby ushered into glory that surpasses our pain and suffering (Rom. 8:18, 30). Joseph, Daniel and his friends, and our Lord Jesus were all glorified after they suffered for doing the right things that pleased God.
May God pour out His Holy Spirit afresh on us to renew, revive, and empower us to become more like Christ in character, in power, and in glory. We will fulfill our divine destiny by His power. Shalom!
The name of Jesus is the highest, greatest, most powerful name ever. It is unmatched in its ability to change lives and fulfill God’s purposes in us.
The name Jesus means Savior and denotes His mission on earth (Mt.1:21). Through His life, sacrificial death and resurrection, Jesus came to save us from sin and death, as well as the consequences of sin, including sicknesses, curses, and satanic attacks. Because Jesus accomplished His mission with humility and obedience even to the point of death on the cross, God highly exalted Him and His name above every name in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
We can experience the power of Jesus’ name:
1. In our salvation. By believing in Him and accepting Him as our Lord and personal Savior, because there is no other name by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12).
2. In our ministry. When we call on Jesus’ name we are saved, but we are also given the legal right to exercise His power and authority in our ministry. In Jesus’ name we preach the gospel, cast out demons, heal the sick, speak with new tongues, and are delivered from every danger (Mark 16:15-18). We can’t do ministry by our own power, but in the name of Jesus who saved and called us into His service. By His name signs and miracles follow our ministry. The story of the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:11-16 should caution us not to misuse the name of Jesus.
3. In prayer and spiritual warfare. When we pray for anything in Jesus’ name God does it for us (John 14:12-14, 16:23-24). When we face battles and demonic attacks, the name of Jesus is our greatest weapon, because He has already defeated the devil, and we enforce the victory He won for us (Col.2:15).
Then we experience the beauty of the name of when His power has been manifested in our situations. People who are delivered from sin, satanic oppression, curses and sicknesses in Jesus name see spiritual and physical beauty. A marriage or family torn apart experience beauty by the power of Jesus’ name when husbands, wives, parents, children are restored to each other in love, peace, forgiveness and understanding. Churches that are distressed and dormant which cry to God in Jesus’ name become peaceful, prayerful, united in love and purpose, and grow beautifully.
In this season of divine fulfillment, may you experience the power and beauty of Jesus’ name. In His name, every sickness will be healed, every stronghold will be pulled down, every barrier to your miracle will be destroyed, every door shut against you will be opened, demons, witches, and wicked spirits assigned against you will bow, be scattered and destroyed in the name above every name. You will not be ashamed for trusting in power of Jesus’ name. The Lord takes pleasure in you, He will beautify you with His salvation and glory. Shalom!
As we celebrate our mothers today, we want to learn some lessons from a mother who decided to put God first, resulting in God’s miraculous provision for her and her family, and restoration of her dead son back to life. God has always used mothers to fulfill His purposes in this world. Mothers conceive and bring forth children, nurture and nourish them to grow to become divine instruments who impact many lives as pastors, teachers, presidents, and business leaders.
The mother in our passage was a widow, known for their poverty in ancient times. She was not a Jew, but a Gentile from Zarephath. Yet God chose her to serve His prophet, and to receive His blessings. No matter where we come from, our social and economic status, God can bless and empower us to bless others, if we put Him first. The widow demonstrated this virtue in four ways:
1. When Elijah first asked her for water, a difficult request because of the drought, she stepped out of her suffering to serve him.
2. She received God’s Word with faith. When Elijah followed up with a more difficult request for bread, she responded that she just had a little for herself and her son to eat, after which they would die. But Elijah told her not to fear but serve him first, because God promised that they would never lack food. She believed.
3. She demonstrated her faith in God’s Word by serving Elijah first. After that she never lacked food. When we put our faith in God’s Word and show that faith through obedience, we make His command our priority, and He fulfills His promises in our lives.
4. She showed hospitality by hosting Elijah in her home. After receiving our miracles, we should make room for God, spending time with Him, caring for what He cares for, obeying, worshipping, serving Him, and putting Him first in all we do. This is important because we live in a fallen world, and our miracles do not end all our troubles. Suddenly, the widow’s son, her only hope for the future, was struck with a terminal illness and was dying. Yet because Elijah was in the house, he prayed for him. God heard his cry and raised up the dead son. When we walk in the presence of God, living for Him, and serving Him, we can commit every problem we face into His hands and He will turn things around for us.
Many times we miss God’s blessings because we do not put Him first. The devil, who does not want us to enjoy the blessed life, can make you feel like you’re making a mistake by putting God first. You could give the little time, money, energy, or resources you have to your spouse, children, or family. But when you use them to fulfill God’s responsibility to His servants and His church, God pays you back by miraculously multiplying what you gave, so you can be an even greater blessing to your family.
May all your sacrifices and investments in God’s house bring you health and healing, divine provision and protection, and restoration of life to anything that is dead in your life. May you never lack, not just because you gave to God, but because you gave to Him first. We serve the God of Elijah who is still blessing abundantly those who put Him first. Shalom!
One of the ways by which we experience divine fulfillment is through serving God. God told Pharaoh to let His people go so they could serve Him (Ex.8:1, 9:1). We are saved from the bondage of sin to serve God. Also, our Savior Jesus came into the world with a mission to serve (Matt.20:28). Christians follow His example.
In order for our service to please God, we must serve by faith in God’s Word, which sets the standards for our service, not by our personal feelings (Heb.11:6). That was how Daniel and his friends served God while in exile in Babylon.
1. We serve God in our body. Because our body is God’s temple (1Cor.6:19), we always need to present our body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God (Rom.12:1). So Daniel and his friends purposed in their hearts that they would not defile their bodies with the king’s food and wine. We also serve God by purposing in our hearts not to defile our bodies by what we eat, drink, watch, listen to, speak, touch, or engage ourselves in.
2. We serve God through prayer. Prayer is seeking God’s help and solutions for any situation we face on earth. When Daniel and his friends faced the impossible task of telling the king his dream and its interpretation, they committed it to God in prayer, and He answered them (Dan.2:17-19). Their example, and that of Anna who served God with fastings and prayers day and night (Luke 2:37), should motivate us to serve God through the prayer of faith for ourselves, spouses and children, friends and family, our church, leaders, and any difficulties we encounter.
3. We serve God through worship. When God answered their prayer, Daniel worshipped God (Dan.2:20-23). As we focus on God, we can worship Him for who He is and what He does for us (Ps.103:1-5).
As we serve God in our bodies, in prayer, and in worship, we will be tested. These tests are not to destroy us, but to bring us testimonies when we overcome.
1. Though they were tempted to eat the king’s food, they refused at a great risk, but within 10 days, they looked better than those who did (Dan.1:15, 18-20). The God we serve will always show us the way out of every temptation to defile our bodies (1Cor.10:13), and bring us out victorious.
2. Their prayer life was attacked, but Daniel did not allow the threat stop him from praying (Dan.6:5,10). Though he was thrown into a lion’s den, God delivered him (Dan.6:20-21). The God we serve through prayer, will deliver us from every demonic and satanic attack.
3. They were commanded to worship a golden image, but they refused and rather chose to obey God’s command not to worship any idol (Ex.20:3-5). As a punishment, they were thrown into fire, but God delivered them, in fulfillment of Isaiah 43:2. The fire could not burn them. When they came out the king promoted them (Dan.3:30). The God we serve will deliver us from every fire, and what our enemies planned to use to destroy us, He will turn it into our promotion.
Though COVID-19 has disrupted our lives, we should not allow it, or any other problem, threat, or attack we face, to disrupt our service to God. As we faithfully serve God through yielding our bodies to Him, prayer and worship, the God we serve will perform a miracle of healing, deliverance, provision, protection, and promotion. The God we serve will not disappoint us, He will richly reward our dedicated service. We will celebrate our miracles!
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ represents His glorification at the end of His life and ministry on earth. Glory is the height of prosperity or achievement, marked by magnificience or great beauty, something we all want to achieve in all areas of our lives. However, there are two pathways to glory.
1. One leads to human glory, which is vanity. Jesus describes it as a broad way that leads to a destructive end (Matt.7:13). It’s a way that seems right but the end is death (Prov.14:12).
2. The second pathway is narrow and difficult, but leads to life and God’s glory (Matt.7:14).
All who hope in the glory of God also rejoice when going through tribulations, because they are able to persevere, build godly character and receive the fulfillment of their hope of glory (Rom.5:2-5). That was the pathway Jesus chose, persevering through betrayal, beating, crucifixion, and death, and in the end, He was crowned with glory and honor (Heb.2:9). Jesus shows us the way that leads to God’s glory.
1. First is to set our hope in the glory of God (Rom.5:2), not on human glory.
2. Then look to Jesus, who, because of the joy of God’s glory set before Him, endured the cross and was glorified (Heb.12:2).
3. In following Christ’s example,
a. We put our personal reputation aside and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives (Phil.2:7).
b. We humble ourselves before God (v.😎.
c. We are obedient to God even when it hurts (v.😎.
d. We surrender to God’s will and receive strength to persevere in our trials and difficult situations (Luke 22:41-43). In the end, we are crowned with God’s glory.
Examples who chose Christ’s pathway, and were not disappointed include
1. Joseph who endured shame and pain of prison for doing what pleased God. God remembered him and brought him out to glory in Egypt.
2. Zechariah and Elizabeth were fully righteous and served God. In the end God answered their prayer for a child.
3. Job refused to curse God and die. Rather, he endured pain, but in the end God restored to him double for everything he lost.
4. Hannah gave her only son to God’s service in fulfillment of her vow, but God gave her back five more children.
5. Noah lived a righteous life even though the whole world lived in sin. He obeyed God and built an ark. God destroyed the world with flood, but remembered Noah and his family.
You may be going through tribulations and difficulties right now, but don’t give up. Keep your eyes on God’s glory that you’ll gain in the end, and receive God’s strength to persevere, build a godly character and see your your hope fulfilled in the end. God’s glory will be greater than
all the difficulties you endured along the way (Rom. 8:18).
You will never be disappointed for putting your hope in God. He will be glorified through your testimony of His healing, deliverance, protection, success, victory, and breakthrough. You will not miss your crown of glory. Shalom!
As we continue to walk in the power of the resurrection, God’s Word reminds us to live as people who are alive and seated with Christ.
Before we were saved by Christ, we were dead in our sins. We were alive physically, but spiritually dead: separated from God. Under the control and influence of the devil and the world, we lived in disobedience to God (v.1-3).
It was in this hopeless and helpless condition that God’s love, mercy and grace located us and saved us through Christ (v.4-5). So when we receive Christ, we are restored into fellowship with God, and the life-giving Spirit of God is infused into us. When we come alive in Christ, His life-giving Spirit is also infused into every area of our lives: health, marriages, careers, businesses, dreams, potentials, and ministry. Therefore, don’t let anything in you die, place it in God’s mighty hand through prayer, and He will bring life into it.
Not only are believers alive in Christ, we are also seated with Him (v.6). Knowing this empowers us to overcome every worry, anxiety or distress. Seated with Christ means that we are seated in
1. The place of rest. Christ is seated after finishing His work on the cross. So we relax and enjoy His finished work for us.
2. The place security – far above every power, principality, might and dominion (Eph.1:20-21). We no longer live under the power of sin or the devil.
3. The place of fulfillment and honor. We are seated in the highest place, so we do not fight for acceptance, prestige or fame. Rather, we are fulfilled, content and satisfied in God.
Because we are seated with Christ, we set our minds on things in heaven where Christ is seated, not on the things of this world (Col.3:1-4).
1. We worship the Lamb who died to save us, resurrected to give us life, and seated us in heaven with Himself.
2. We put heaven’s priorities into daily practice, like sharing the gospel with others so they can also believe and be saved.
3. We look at life from God’s perspective, putting our faith in His Word and desiring to please Him always.
4. Focusing on what is eternal, such as building for ourselves treasures in heaven, instead of attachment to material things.
5. We do good works by joyfully praying for others, encouraging, supporting, and serving them with love, kindness and gentleness.
May God release His life-giving Spirit into your health, womb, marriage relationships, studies, carreer, business and ministry, and bring them back to life. May you prevail over every sickness, pain, shame, failure, demonic and satanic attacks, because you’re seated with Christ above them all. You’re more than a conqueror in Christ!
The resurrection of Christ from the dead is the very foundation of Christianity (1Cor.15:12-14). It sets Christ and all who believe in Him apart from every prophet, guru, or religion.
As we celebrate this glorious day, we need to discover the power behind the resurrection and how it can impact our lives.
In our passage, three women on their way to anoint Jesus’ body in the tomb were worried about how they were going to roll the stone away. This was because the stone was very large (v.4), sealed to the tomb, and soldiers placed there to guard it (Mt.27:66). Many times our troubles and problems look exactly like that: big, formidable, and well guarded by demons and other satanic powers, giving us fear, worry, and anxiety. But by the power of the resurrection, we can overcome them because God’s power is greater and stronger than every problem and the power behind it. I would like to share three ways by which we can discover this power:
1. *By faith in God’s Word.* Many Old Testament passages and Jesus’s own words showed that Christ would suffer and die, but will rise again (eg. Ps.16:9-10 and Mt.20:18-19). Yet the disciples didn’t remember nor believe the last part. This resulted in worrying, weeping, and mourning, even when Christ had already risen (Mk.16:10-11). Whatever God promises in His Word to do, He has the power to do it. So by faith in God’s Word, we can discover His power to heal our sicknesses, fight our battles, provide for us, protect and deliver us from evil, make a way for us, give us success, and even raise dead lives, dreams and potentials back to life. So more than ever, this is the time to feed our faith by studying and meditating on God’s Word.
2. *By the power of the Holy Spirit.* The women needed the stone removed before they could go into the tomb, but Jesus did not need that to rise from the dead and come out. The power of the Holy Spirit raised Him up and brought Him out (Rom.8:11), in spite of the large stone, the seal and the guards. He could even enter the place where the disciples were gathered without going through the door (John 20:19,26). No matter the spiritual, physical, and human barriers and limitations that have been placed in your life, womb, studies, marriage, business, or ministry, you will prevail over them through the power of the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus did. So do not grieve the Holy Spirit, but let Him fill you and release God’s power in you to overcome any power sitting on your miracle.
3. *By committing everything into God’s hands.* Just before He died, Jesus committed His spirit into God’s hands (Luke 23:46). So even though He died and was burried, His spirit was alive with God. On the third day the Holy Spirit restored life to Christ’s dead body and He resurrected. If by faith in God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit we commit everything that concerns us to the Lord in prayer, God will respond by releasing His power to meet that need. You will never be ashamed for entrusting your problem, need or battle into God’s hands (2Tim.1:12). The God who did not abandon Jesus in the grave will not leave nor forsake you in your problem.
As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, be assured that the same power that raised Him from the dead is available to you as a child of God (Eph.1:18-21). Discover the resurrection power by faith in God’s promises, the Holy Spirit, and prayer, and you will prevail. Then you will also be ushered into a glorious victory and celebration. Your day is coming because Christ is risen indeed!
As we celebrate the Triumphant Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, God’s Word reminds us of the significance of Hosanna!
The word Hosanna comes from the Hebrew word _Hoshiana_ , which means “save now” found in Psalm 118:25. It was a plea or cry for help when no one else could help, like a drowning man crying for rescue.
If there is any time to cry for help, it would be in this COVID-19 crisis, when no one has the ability to stop it. In addition to the pandemic, many are going through crises in their health, marriages and families, finances and businesses, ministries and churches, that seem to defy solutions. Only a prayer, plea or cry to God can bring the needed solutions.
In Psalm 118, the people cried to God because
1. He hears and answers prayer (v.5).
2. He is on their side, so they turned fear into faith in Him (v.6-7).
3. They trusted in God and put their confidence in Him instead of man (v.8-9). God was at center of their lives as Ps.118:8 is said to be the central verse in the Bible.
4. They were in expectation of the blessed One who was coming to deliver them (v.26).
The above reasons can help us to also cry to the Lord in this pandemic, and any difficult situation in which we find ourselves.
In the fullness of time God sent the Messiah they were expecting. When we cry for healing, deliverance, peace, prosperity, success, anointing, wisdom, etc, God gives us Jesus. He is the answer to every prayer, and in Him all God’s promises are yes and Amen!
When Jesus came, the people saw all His good works, preaching the gospel, healing the sick, delivering those under demonic and satanic oppression, and raising the dead (Acts 10:38). So as they followed Jesus to Jerusalem, their Hosanna was not a cry for help, but a joyful shout of praise and gratitude to God for sending the Messiah, the Son of David, and for all the mighty works they had seen (Luke 19:37-38).
Today, God’s Word reminds us to keep crying for Him to stop the corona virus, heal the sick, protect us and our families, especially our health workers on the frontline, intervene in our marriages, turn the wayward in our families to Himself, prosper our work and businesses, give us success in our studies and projects. As we pray with faith, trust, confidence in God, He will answer. Then our prayers will turn into joyful shouts of praise, as we experience God’s mighty works, miracles, healing, deliverance, favor, open doors, peace, and prosperity.
We are also reminded that our Lord Jesus who rode on a donkey to Jerusalem, will soon return on earth as King, riding on a horse, with the angels and the shout of trumpets. He will not come to die again but to judge those who rejected Him, and to take those who received Him, loved and served Him faithfully to our heavenly home, where we’ll praise God forever.
May your cry to Almighty God for help, healing, salvation, protection, provision, deliverance and success turn to joyful praise, adoration, and thanksgiving to God. He is on your side and His ears are open to your cry. He will bring you out of your trouble, sickness, barenness, singlehood, failure, demonic attacks, and give you a new song of victory and praise. Many will hear your testimony and praise, fear God, and put their trust in Him. Your praise will impact many lives for Christ. Hosanna in the Highest!!!
We are living in hopeless times because of the effects of COVID-19. Job losses, business downturns, travel bans, school shutdowns, lack of PPE for health workers, high death rates, etc. Yet, believers can still keep their hope alive in Jesus Christ.
In our passage, we find some reasons to have hope in this or any hopeless situation.
1. We are born again into a living hope in Jesus Christ. Our salvation came as a result of God’s love, mercy, and grace toward us when we were still sinners. God’s love, mercy and grace did not end at our salvation, they continue to abound in our lives. God’s mercy is renewed every morning (Lam.3:22-23), His grace is sufficient for everything we go through (2Cor.12:9), and nothing can separate us from His love (Rom.8:38-39). This should motivate every child of God keep hoping for God’s protection and divine intervention in the current pandemic.
2. Our hope is in a living Savior, who died and rose again, not in a dead person or prophet. Our God who did not abandon Jesus in the grave will not leave nor forsake us in our distress. You will rise again from that sickness, trouble, loss, failure. Your dead business, dream, marriage, hopes, will live again.
3. We have a living hope because God has kept us by His power. Lots of sicknesses, troubles, accidents, could have killed us, but through them all, God has kept us by His power. God’s ability to keep us by His power. He neither grows weary nor faints (Is.40:28). He will continue to keep, protect, and preserve us even in this crisis, because His power is greater than any virus, bacteria, or difficulty, as we keep our faith in Him.
4. Our faith and hope in Christ will be tested by fire. So whatever you May be going through is a test to see if our faith is genuine. So in these crisis, we can demonstrate our faith and hope in Christ by drawing closer to Him through prayer, study and obedience to His Word, devotion, giving, and encouraging one another in love. We may be socially distanced from people, but not from God.
5. When we pass the test, we bring glory, honor, and praise to God. We lift up Christ so that others who do not know Him can also believe in Him. In times like this, we need to share our hope in Christ with those around us who’re going through hopeless situations. Our God saves, heals, delivers, makes a way where there’s no way, and nothing is impossible with Him. As Moses lifted up the serpent (Num.21:4-9), may we lift up Christ so He will draw all our family, friends, and neighbors to Himself (John 12:32), so they can believe in Him and live (John 3:14-15).
May your living hope in Christ be your anchor in these critical times, and may you never be disappointed in that hope. You are an overcomer!
We are at war! Our families, churches, businesses, cities, nantions, indeed the whole world is under attack from a virus. COVID-19 is causing extreme devastation, economic hardships, anxiety, depression, fear,and death. In this wartime, we need two things to help us overcome: refuge and strength. Both can only be found in God (Ps.62:5-8)!
1. A refuge is a place of protection, comfort, healing, deliverance, and restoration. God wants us to consciously and intentionally make Him our refuge (Ps.91:9-11). So in this wartime, we need to draw closer to God, and put our faith and trust in Him alone. When we make God our rock, refuge and dwelling place, He will protect and deliver us from every plague, including COVID-19, and preserve us from all evil.
2. God is also our strength. He helps us in our battles by empowering us to fight the enemy. We receive His power through the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, and we shall not be moved (v.5). So this is the time to put away everything that grieves the Holy Spirit in us. When we put away hatred, bitterness, disunity, immorality, prayerlessness, apathy, etc, the church becomes God’s instrument to stop the war, and destroy the weapon of COVID-19 that the devil is using to afflict us (v.8-9), and to demonstrate His wisdom and power to the world (Eph.3:10-11).
The Holy Spirit in us arms us with weapons that are not carnal: the Word of God, prayer, the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, and praise, to pull down strongholds of unbelief, sicknesses, ungodliness, idolatry etc that weaken our nations. Through prayer, our devotion to God, and sharing the gospel, we put God in charge over our people and nations, and the war in which we find ourselves. God says when we put Him in charge, He will be exalted in the earth (v.10).
We pray for our governments, researchers, medical scientists, etc, that God will help them make the right decisions and find the cure for this virus. We pray that God will protect the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, first responders, and all those on the frontlines in this battle. We pray that the church will rise up in unity and power to show forth the glory of God. May the blood of Jesus protect us, heal, deliver, and empower us to victory as we make God our refuge and strength.
In the current stormy crisis arising from COVID-19, God has a timely message from the above passage for His children.
1. It begins with Jesus asking His disciples to go to the other side with Him (v.35). For every situation we go through there is the other side of it: sickness -> health, poverty -> riches, battle -> victory, etc.
2. Only Jesus can take us to the other side, so we need to leave the multitude and take Jesus with us (v.36). The multitude can impede, discourage, intimidate, or even stop us, but Christ with us is our guarantee that we will land on the other side. He is the Word who encourages, strengthens, comforts, and protects us in the journey. He is the Great Shepherd who provides for us, leads us on the path of righteousness and beside still waters, and restores our souls (Ps.23:1-3).
3. In our life journeys, we would encounter storms on the way (v.37), caused by the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2). His purpose is to destroy us or prevent us from getting to the other side. Like the experienced fishermen who journeyed with Jesus, we sometimes go through storms that are beyond our experience and strength, putting us in extreme fear. But we can overcome that fear because Christ is with us (Ps.23:4).
4. Instead of fear, worry and anxiety, we can cry to our Savior who walks with us, and He will arise and rebuke the storm (38-39). He alone has power over every sickness, demon, or storm. When He speaks, they obey Him.
5. But Jesus also rebuked the disciples for allowing fear to displace their faith. If we know God’s Word and have faith in it, we can speak to any mountain, demon, or storm with the same power and authority of Jesus, and they will obey us (Mark 11:23). You and I carry spiritual authority to speak God’s Word over every storm. By God’s Word in our mouths, we can uproot anything the devil has planted, pull down strongholds, bind the strongman, destroy and cast down, and then build and plant what is good and pleasing to God (Jer.1:9-10, Luke 10:19, Matt.15:13, 2 Cor.10:3-5). So speak to your storm, sickness, poverty, mountain, demons by faith in God’s Word and in the power of the Holy Spirit, and they will obey you. Not because of you, but because of the power in God’s Word!
6. God’s Word will work in your situation, so you will fear God instead of your storms (v.41). Those who see your deliverance will also fear God and put their trust in Him (Ps.40:3).
While we take the necessary precautions in this difficult season, let us engage the corona virus with God’s Word. The blood of Jesus has spoken for us, so we can boldly speak against it. May the blood cover us all and protect us. May God raise a standard against the virus to stop it. May God preserve us and our families from all evil, in our going out and our coming in, now and forevermore, Amen. Shalom!
It’s too costly to stop loving God. The promises of God are yeh and Amen! I Cor. 2:9, Rom. 8:28 both texts has a caveat, “ those who love God.” But the truth is that we cannot claim to love God when we don’t love our neighbors. I John 4: 7-8.
We must also persist in good works. Jesus rebuked his disciples for troubling the woman who poured the costly fragrant of alabaster oil on his heard. He commended the woman for doing a good work for him (Jesus). The woman did an act that was Divinely orchestrated. Jesus knew exactly the significance of the pouring of the oil, but his disciples who were with him didn’t. It’s not all our good works would be understood or appreciated by men. But a book is being kept for the day of remembrance.
Our theme for this year is “our year of maximum Impact.” The context of maximum impact is about how we as individuals and church allows the Holy Spirit to impact us. The power that raised Jesus from the grave is able to impact us to do the impossible. We need to be sensitive to the nudging of the Holy Spirit
In the book of Esther chapter 1- we saw how God divinely orchestrated Esther to become a Queen. If we look back, we can all see how far we have come and our current status as divinely ordered. It is definitely to serve God’s purposes.
Esther 2- Esther was crowned a Queen and Mordecai discovers a plot by 2 Eunuchs to assassinate the King Ahasuerus. A book was opened to record mordecai’s good work.
In chapter 3 Haman Agagite was promoted and plans to annihilate the Jews. But when Mordecai knew about the plot, he went to ask for Esther, the Queen’s help to save his people. Esther explains in honesty why she couldn’t help. But Mordecai cautioned Esther. Chapter 4:13-14. Who knows if we are all brought to WOLBC for a time like this. Make your impact be felt. Help someone who is down to get up. We must endeavor not to fail God.
When your time comes for your book of good works to be opened, the king cannot sleep until your you receive your rewards. Esther 6:1-12.
We must always remember that Satan and it’s agents knows that we ( God’s children) are winners. Esther 6:13-14.
Finally, we ought to stay our grounds after our books of blessings are opened. Don’t leave where you found your blessings. Esther 6:12
May the Holy Spirit help us to love genuinely and do good works. Amen!
God’s vision for us this year is that He will empower us through faith, hope, and love to make maximum impact. Apostle Paul commended the Thessalonians for their work produced by faith, their labor motivated by love, and their endurance inspired by hope in Christ (1Thess.1:3). Faith, hope and are key elements in our ability to impact many lives, but the greatest is love (1Cor.13:13).
Love is the greatest because without being motivated by love, all our talk, gifts of prophecy, knowledge and faith, and all our giving, will come to nothing (1Cor.13:1-3).
In our passage, a Roman soldier (centurion) was motivated by love for God’s Word, God’s people, and God’s church to build a synagogue for Jews where they could gather to study God’s Word, pray and worship God (Luke 7:5).
When we’re motivated by love, we can build a house for God where people can come and pray, worship and study God’s Word to know Christ, grow in Him, and be transformed by His power. This is how we can impact more lives in our community. We build God’s house through prayer, love, unity, giving, and building each other with our gifts, encouragement, good counsel, praying for and serving others selflessly. Because Christ is building His church, we can either become His divine instruments to build a strong church, or agents of the devil to attack the church. Bible says we should not give the devil that chance (Eph.4:27).
When we build God’s house, we may not feel the benefit immediately, except for the personal fulfilment that we’ve done something for God. But like the centurion, a time may come someone dear to us like a parent, child, friend, or something like a marriage, business, relationship has an urgent need that no one but God can meet. That is when our labor of love will speak for us. Jesus who sees your heart and sits at God’s right hand praying for you (Rom.8:34), will tell the Father you deserve that miracle of healing, deliverance, victory, success, money or something you urgently need. Then He will speak into your situation or send His angels to bring your answer. The sick and dying body, cell or organ, dream, hope, marriage, child, spouse will live again by the power of God’s Word.
If everything we do is motivated by love, not only will we be healed and delivered, God will give us new opportunities and open new doors that no man can shut, so we can make maximum impact, as He did for the church of brotherly love (Philadelphia – Rev. 3:7-8).
May God release His love in your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit to motivate you to build His church. May God speak to every sickness, trial, struggle, pain, need, and deliver you from its power. May He usher you into a new season of healing, victory and success and make your testimony and impact great. Blessings!
The story is told of a farmer who found an egg of an eagle and placed it among chicken eggs under a mother hen and were hatched together. Because the eagle grew with the chicken it didn’t realize that it was different.
Many times because we don’t know who we are and the God we serve, we live without hope, feel neglected, abandoned or forgotten by God (Isaiah 40:27). But if we know our God, we’ll realize that no matter what we go through, He who made Christ to die for us will never get tired of loving, us, caring for us, protecting us, strengthening and empowering us.
In such difficult times, depending on our own strength will lead us into fatigue, failure, depression, anxiety, and feelings of worthlessness.
The turnaround comes when we begin to wait on God by
1. Spending time with Him in worship, devotion and prayer to know Him more and hear from Him.
2. Looking for what He wants and serving Him and others.
3. Taking His instructions seriously and acting on them.
4. Believing in Him that nothing can prevent Him from turning your situation around and fulfilling His perfect plan for your life.
As we wait on God, He revives us and renews our strength, so we rise above our circumstances. We begin to soar, not like chicken that cannot fly high, but like an eagle which flies high above the earthly situations, problems, confusion, battles, and struggles.
Like eagles, we soar high
1. Spiritually: move from being religious to becoming devoted followers of Christ, sharing the gospel with others and winning souls for God, walking in righteousness, loving and caring for others, dominating over the forces of darkness, and overcoming satanic attacks.
2. Physically: walking in healing and good health, having a sound mind, soaring above pain and frustration, and being whole in every part of our body.
3. Socially: flourishing marriages, children, families, relationships and divine favor that connects us with destiny helpers.
3. Financially: prospering in our businesses, projects, work, with new opportunities daily to prosper financially.
As we wait on God, we shall never get tired of praying, praising and worshipping God, studying and obeying God’s Word, loving and caring for others, living righteous and holy lives, and impacting many people around us.
After waiting in fasting and prayers for 21 days, may we all experience a mighty revival and renewal that will empower us to soar high above the plans of the enemy, into endless victory, success, growth, health and healing, joy, peace, love and unity, for maximum impact in 2020. Blessings!
Daniel 11:32b says that “the people who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits. An exploit is a bold or daring feat, action, achievement, accomplishment, or victory. In our Year of Maximum Impact, God wants us to do great exploits, and by knowing God better this year, we shall be strengthened to do them.
We need to be strong because fear, anxiety, intimidation, can paralyze us, taking away our strength to do exploits.
In our passage, we see a giant named Goliath who put fear in the army of Israel in 3 main ways:
1. His person (v.4). Goliath was taller than anyone who ever lived (9ft 6ins). Sometimes the situations and problems we encounter look bigger than the ordinary, putting fear in us.
2. His armor/weapons (v.5-7). Goliath was fully protected and well armed. Sometimes sicknesses and issues we face look so formidable that we don’t see any way by which to overcome them.
3. His words (v.8-11). Many times words we hear from doctors, teachers, supervisors and other people around us are so threatening that it puts fear in us, paralyzing us from taking action.
But David knew his God through longing to be in His presence (Ps.63:1), worshipping, praising Him, and meditating on His Word. So when
David saw Goliath, his knowledge of God empowered him to counter his threats.
1. His person: he was small compared to Goliath, but Goliath was even smaller compared to the God of Israel (v.42, 46).
2. His armor/weapons: he did not carry human weapons like Goliath did, but spiritual weapons that are mighty through God to destroy every enemy (v.45). He was also protected by God Himself, so no weapon formed against him would prosper (Is.54:17).
3. His words: David countered Goliath’s words with a testimony of God delivering him from a lion and a bear (v.37). By that testimony he overcame Goliath (Rev.12:11).
Even his brother Eliab tried to discourage him from fighting because he was not fit to do so (v.28), but because David knew his God and what He could do through him, he was able to convince king Saul that he could kill Goliath.
David selected 5 smooth stones, which represent 5 spiritual weapons every Christian has:
1. The name of Jesus at which every knee must bow (Phil.2:9-10), including Goliath’s knees.
2. The blood of Jesus by which we overcome every power (Rev.12:11).
3. The Word of God which is our spiritual sword (Eph.6:17).
4. Prayer, by which we enforce heaven’s decisions and victories on earth (Mat.6:10).
5. Praise, the weapon by which we execute vengeance, bind kings with chains and execute judgment on our enemies (Ps.149:5-9).
These weapons used individually or in combination can bring down any giant we face: sicknesses, demonic and witchcraft attacks, failures, disgrace, or lack. David threw one stone, but it was enough to bring down Goliath because God pushed it through Goliath’s armor into his head. Ours is to use the weapons against what we face, God will perform the killing, deliverance, and healing.
As we fast and pray, take up your spiritual weapons and fight against the sicknesses, problems, issues and demons you face, and you’ll overcome them by God’s power. May your victory, achievements, healing, success and breakthrough impact your life, health, marriage, children, business, career, studies, finances, ministry, the church, the nation and the world. You are destined to make maximum impact in 2020! Blessings!!
Today is Covenant Sunday and as we renew our covenant relationship with God and each other, God wants us to remember that the foundation for our covenant is love. Without love, God couldn’t have called us into a covenant with Him, and we also cannot have a successful covenant relationship with one another.
God defines what true love is because God is love. Without knowing God’s love, we cannot truly understand what love is.
1. God took the initiative to love us, when we were sinners, His enemies, and did not love Him, by sending Jesus to suffer and die to save us (1John 4:9-10; Rom.5:6-10). To love like God, we must take the initiative to love everyone, not just good people or those who love us.
2. Jesus paid the price by giving His life for us (John 10:11). He was betrayed, spat upon, beaten, and crucified to death, but because He loves us He endured all to save, heal, deliver, break our curses, and give us life. Love comes with a price to pay.
3. God’s love does not fail, but remains forever (Jer.31:3), and so is His covenant of love (Isaiah 54:10; Rom.8:38-39). Our love with God and each other must be unfailing (1Cor.13:8).
As followers of Christ, He commands us to build our covenant relationship with one another on the same kind of love God has for us (John 15:12; 1John 4:11), in order to impact others.
1. Love binds us in perfect unity (Col.3:14).
2. Unity bring down the Holy Spirit, who releases great power and grace to be of one mind and one soul, love and care for one another (Acts 2:1-4; 4:32-37).
3. Unity will empower us to achieve the impossible (Gen.11:1,6).
4. Loving each other will prove that we are Christ’s disciples and let others know God’s love through us (John 13:35; 1John 4:12). In Rom.12:9-21, Paul lists behaviors and actions that demonstrate Christian love for God and for others.
May our covenant-keeping God fulfill every word, promise, prophecy that He has given to you as His covenant children, and may He empower us to build a covenant of love with each other so that we can make maximum impact this year. Blessings!
We thank God Almighty for bringing us through 10 years as a church. It’s been by His grace and faithfulness, so we give God all the glory and praise. This year God is giving us a 2020 vision, so we will know why he saved us and brought us together as a church. God’s clear vision for us is that 2020 is Our Year of Maximum Impact. Maximum means the greatest or highest degree attainable, and impact means a strong effect or influence on someone or something. So this year, by God’s power, we shall influence the highest possible number of people with the gospel of Christ, baptize them, and disciple them to grow and make other disciples. We shall accomplish this vision as follows:
By fulfilling the Divine Commission (Matt.28:18-20). This year, God wants us to focus on growing as Christ’s disciples, and helping others become disciples. A disciple is a learner, so we follow Jesus and learn from Him to become like Him, and help others do the same. It begins with sharing our faith in Christ as we go about our normal duties, baptize those who believe, and teach everyone obedience to Christ’s commands.
Because of Divine Establishment (Gen.12-2-3). As we focus on being and making disciples, God says He will establish us as individuals, families, and as a church. God promises to bless us, make us great, bless those who bless us and curse those who curse us, so that through us all the families of the earth will be blessed.
By Divine Empowerment (Zech.4:6; Acts 1:8). We cannot make maximum impact by our own strength, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. So God will pour His Spirit afresh on us to empower us to be His witnesses, from people close to us to those in other parts of the world. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee of God’s presence with us always. As we see in the life of Joseph, we shall by the power of the Holy Spirit,
Dream and have a clear vision of what God can do in and through us (Joel 2:28).
Love others who hate us, especially because of our dreams (Gen.37:5-9, 16).
Praise God even in difficult situations (Gen.37:26-27). Praise (Judah) will bring you up from the pit.
Prosper by divine favor wherever we are and work (Gen.39:2-3).
Overcome temptations by showing us the way out (Gen.39:8-9)
Be comforted when we suffer unjustly (Gen.39:20-21).
Be empowered with gifts to impact many people (Gen.40:12; 41:25). By his gift of dream interpretation, he saved his family, the nation of Egypt, and the whole world from famine (Gen.41:56-57).
May God bless you, fight every battle for you, establish you, make you great, and empower you through the Holy Spirit to make maximum impact on the highest possible number of people this year for His glory. Shalom!