New Year… New Prophecies…  New Beginnings

New Year… New Prophecies… New Beginnings

At the beginning of each year, there are always prophecies in almost every congregation, given by God to the shepherd in charge. It’s always beautiful to hear the promises of God for a new year as it always serves as a source of direction as we chart our course for the year, without which we would have been full of uncertainty and apprehension. With knowledge of the prophecies for the year, we can run with them and ensure their actualization by fulfilling our side of the promises. True prophecies never contradict the scriptures and the Bible make us understand that God always confirms the words that come through His prophets, and if we believe we will be established.

So they got up early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe and trust in the Lord your God and you will be established (secure). Believe and trust in His prophets and succeed.” 2 Chronicles 20:20

Reading through the Bible, we see that God never did anything without revealing to His children ahead of time, including the birth of Jesus and the surrounding events. Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others foretold the future, as we see from scriptures:

All this happened in order to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet [Isaiah]: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel”—which, when translated, means, “God with us.” Matthew 1: 22-23:

They replied to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what has been written by the prophet [Micah]:‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not in any way least among the leaders of Judah; For from you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ Matthew 2:5-6

Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:“A voice was heard in Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children; She refused to be comforted, Because they were no more.” Matthew 2:17-18

When Jesus was born, the wise men saw a star in the east and it went ahead of them all the way to the place the child was. How did the wise men know what the star meant? So many commentaries have tried to explain this, but I believe the wise men by some means knew about prophecies concerning the Messiah in the first place, and that’s why they could identify the star. Also, in the account of Matthew, Herod asked for the place the child was to be born and sent the wise men there. The answer was also from prophecy.

Matthew 2:4-8
4 So he called together all the chief priests and scribes of the people and [anxiously] asked them where the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) was to be born.
5 They replied to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what has been written by the prophet [Micah]:
6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not in any way least among the leaders of Judah; For from you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod secretly sent for the magicians and learned from them the [exact] time the star [had first] appeared.
8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.”

God has always revealed his mind to man. It is not His style to keep his children in the dark. In this dispensation, God hasn’t changed. He still tells his children about the future. The good news is that we don’t have to wait for the beginning of the year to know about the future, or our pastor because we have the word of God, our certain and sure word of prophecy. Prophetic revelations aren’t meant to be a one-off.

So we have the prophetic word made more certain. You do well to pay [close] attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and light breaks through the gloom and the morning star arises in your hearts. 1 Peter 2:19

The Bible is all the prophecy we will ever need. It tells us everything we need to know, and every child of God has access to this revelation-it is not hidden. God has given us His Spirit to help us understand it, interpret it and appropriate it in our lives.

1 Corinthians 2:9-13
9 but just as it is written [in Scripture] Things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him, and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed].”
10 For God has unveiled them and revealed them to us through the [Holy] Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things [diligently], even [sounding and measuring] the [profound] depths of God [the divine counsels and things far beyond human understanding].
11 For what person knows the thoughts and motives of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So also no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the [Holy] Spirit who is from God, so that we may know and understand the [wonderful] things freely given to us by God.
13 We also speak of these things, not in words taught or supplied by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual thoughts with spiritual words [for those being guided by the Holy Spirit].

This prophecy doesn’t come once in a year; it comes as many times as we study the scriptures and fellowship in the Spirit. This means that every day of the new year and beyond, we can receive prophecies and see prophecies fulfilled.

In conclusion, the whole Bible, from Genesis to Revelations is our sure word of prophecy. We cannot walk in the light of what we do not know, and prophecies cannot be fulfilled if we don’t fulfill the requirements. Therefore, we must read, believe, speak and do the Word. The Bible wasn’t given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives. If we do this, we will see prophecies fulfilled because God’s Word can never fail and we will be able to say like Joshua after all is said and done, “and I know in all my heart and in all my soul that not one word of all the good words which the Lord my God has promised concerning me has failed; all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed”.

Written by Iyinoluwa Onobote

Called To Fellowship

Called To Fellowship

Imagine being qualified to attend the inner circus meeting of your state governor and the members of his cabinet? Or imagine being called to enjoy the same privileges the children of your president enjoys? Sounds good right? Yes.

Imagine the amount of privy information that will be at your fingertips, the blessings of being able to get into the office or private chambers of the governor at any time. Personally, I would like to enjoy that.

But do you know we have been given the same privilege with the Kings of Kings, the Almighty through his Son Jesus Christ? See what 1 Cor. 1:9 says:

“God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord”.

Notice the word FELLOWSHIP. To fellowship is to be in partnership, it is companionship. There is a heartthrob. The Merriam Webster Dictionary definition gives “a friendly relationship among people, a relationship of people who share interests or feelings”. Synonyms such as fraternization, mutual liking and mutual support were also given.

“Jesus said unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.    (John 20:17)”

This access to fellowship was granted at new birth. We were called to enjoy the same fellowship that Jesus enjoys with God. We were invited into the inner chambers of the Kings of Kings. But you know what, not just for a while or for some few days but FOREVER. We too can go into the chambers of the Father, speak with him and get to know of the mysteries that govern the earth. But the question, how much are we making use of this grace?

We were called to enjoy the same fellowship Jesus (God’s only son) enjoys. Jesus said

“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). In fact he said, I do nothing except my father tells me to. They are in synergy.

It is the same for us. Our spirits are continually in this fellowship. We only need to tune our minds to this continually. I must say, speaking in tongues will help us do this well. We are seated far above, in fellowship with our saviour. Jesus said;

“He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given” (Matthew 13:11)

The Holy Spirit through Paul also said;

“Now we have received, not the spirit which is of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (1 Cor. 2:12)

Notice, 1 Cor. 2:12 says our spirit has received this fellowship. Our spirits are always in this fellowship whether we are conscious of this or not, it is there.

Our spirits are one with God, when we are sleeping, eating, attending classes, in a meeting, walking on the street or whatever we might be doing, our spirits are constantly in this fellowship with the Father. And that is why God can speak to our spirits at any time. He does this either by giving us a message or in bringing counsel to us about a matter. You see that is why it is of great importance for us to be conscious of this fellowship at all times.

Be aware that you are connected with the King of Kings, and that His number is on your speed dial. Know that you can know all things and that God is always in connection with you.

Lastly, I will like to say that the unity of the church is rooted in us understanding this mystery. As Christians we are all connected and in fellowship because we are in fellowship with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. Let me use this to explain, you are reading this article right now connected to me because we are both connected to the Internet. So in some sense, being connected to the Internet has connected us both. If we understand that every Christian is one with the Father, we would understand that we are one body. We created to function together to bring His reign on earth.

I call you blessed
Samson Afolabi

Why Am I Here?

Why Am I Here?

Unveiling the Reason for a Christians Existence

The topic of this article is a question I think that quite a number of people must have asked themselves at one point or another. Why am I here? What exactly is the reason why God created me? Am I just an accident? If one has very good answers to this question it gives one a reason to live. A reason to want to get out of bed every day, it gives focus, and helps one navigate through life. I pray that as you read, may the eyes of your understanding be enlightened, and may the Holy Spirit stir up our hearts, to give us understanding in Jesus name. (Amen)

First, I like to establish that everyone has a purpose. Just like everyone has a unique identity so also everyone has a unique purpose. God didn’t create you to be lost in the crowd; He gave you different fingerprints, unique facial and body features, and different blood groups in such a way that everyone is uniquely different from every other person on earth.

Given our individual uniqueness it is easy to deduce that God gave us all a unique purpose. Yes! I mean varying reasons to be here. You were created to fill a void. The world would be incomplete without you. God saw a need, a problem on earth and created you to be a solution to that problem. Scriptures affirm my statement above. We saw a lot of men, who when they were born, the bible clearly states the reason for their birth. Yours is not an exemption, these are some examples:

Let’s start from the Old Testament;

Joseph: was born to be a leader to preserve a lot of people from dying of famine. God had been showing this to him through dreams right from childhood.

Moses was born to be a deliverer of the nation of Israel from Egypt. He also wrote the first five books of the Bible. He was the one gave the account of creation. (Ex. 3:10)Samson: Before He was born an angel appeared to his parents and told them this, “For Behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son: No razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite [dedicated] to God from birth: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). He was also born a deliverer; no wonder God gave him an unusual physical strength.

Many more examples can be found in the Old Testament, David, Solomon, Daniel, Elijah, Elisha and many more who lived during the times of the Old Testament.

In the New Testament;
John: This is the one who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said, the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, “Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, direct)!” (Matt. 3:3). He was sent to herald the coming of our saviour, Jesus Christ.

Jesus: “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1: 21)

Peter, Paul (who wrote a large part of the Bible and was very instrumental in founding many churches across our Europe of today), are a few more examples of men with their purpose from God stated in the Bible.

Having established that every man has a purpose, next, is how to know your purpose. God created man, so primarily He knows why He created each one of us. How then can we know? The first approach is to ASK. Yes ASK. At Paul’s conversion experience, he said

“And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:6)

Paul asked, “What would you have me do?” and God answered him and made preparations for him to be led adequately. For some people however, the case may be different, in that God might even reveal it to them without them asking. Just like in the case of Joseph, who started having dreams from childhood, which shows one important thing that God was more than willing to reveal to anyone who asks. I believe Luke 11:9 also applies here,

“And I say unto you; Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Luke 11:9)

One other way to know one’s purpose is to be careful to identify the special grace and gifts God has given to each one of us. Let me be quick to add that every man has a gift. You have a special gift that makes you different from another man next to you. If you can find out what this gift is, then you might just be laying your hands on God’s assignment for your life.

Purpose, when discovered should drive your life. Every decision you make should be based on it. The books you read, the friends you make, who you to listen to, what you study, where you go, the job you take and even other minute issues in your life should be directed by it.

In Proverbs 31, Lemuel’s mother was advising him about how to live. She was giving directions about life and even the kind of woman he should marry, why? Lemuel was to be a king. That was Lemuel’s purpose. And his mother was preparing him for that. He had to be prepared; his every day decision was based on the fact that he was to be a king. He couldn’t just live like that every other person. He was to be a King. Here, are some of the counsel his mum gave him:

“Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroys kings”

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for Princes strong drink” (Prov. 31: 3 – 4 KJV)

I recommend that everyone reads the book “Purpose driven Life by Rick Warren.”

Christians especially, are to take this more seriously, why? Because the life we live is not ours. We died in Christ. He gave us His life. Paul says this;

“I am crucified with Christ, Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)

If the life you live now is not yours, have you asked the owner of the life, how He wants His life lived? Ask Him, why did He give the life to you? Paul asked, and God told him. God shows no favour. He would also tell you. Sure, I know it is to the praise of His glory, but what specifically? For me, part of it, is writing these articles, what is yours?

Lastly, let me say that as believers, I believe we have a personal purpose (as individuals) and a corporate purpose (as the church). As for the Personal purpose, we have been talking about that, and I hope I have been able to bring you to the awareness of that. Let’s look a little into the corporate purpose. By this, I mean why is the church here? (Quick note: Read my article on who is the Church? 1 & 2)

We first must note that in the eternal purpose of God, the church (which is me and you) was part of the plan. We have something to do. We are to herald his second coming. He is to come to us, come through us, come in us, come for us and then come with us.

“And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you” (Luke 10:9)

“And he said unto them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15 – 16)

In a later place, He even says the church is “the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15)”. We are called to live like the truth (Jesus). We are to live as truths and teach the truth to our world. There is a lot of work on the body (the church) and more importantly on every part of the body. If you don’t do your part, it affects others. Today, I admonish you to find your place and relevance in the body and do whatever He has assigned and created you to do.

I call you blessed

Again, if you like to read more about this topic, you can read the book “Purpose driven life by Rick Warren”.

Written by Samson Afolabi

The Baton

The Baton

“And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us” (Hebrews 11:39-40 NKJV)

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV)

The plan of God is one whole plan, and that was settled before the foundation of the earth (Psalm 119:89 Forever, O Lord, your word is settled in heaven), but He has chosen to make them in dispensations, and at every dispensation he uses men to carry out the assignment in that dispensation. Each dispensation is a part of the whole and the players are men. Not all men, but men who align to His purpose. Criterion for alignment has always been faith, so Hebrews 11 gave us the litany of men who aligned to God’s will, they are men of faith. This men had faith in Christ though they didn’t see his days in the flesh, yet there was a signal in them that prophesied ahead of his days and that made them live the kind of life they lived.

“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow (1 Peter 1:10-12 NKJV)”

Although the beautiful stories of the acts and dealings of God in the past recorded in this very chapter are trilling, anytime I read through their exploits as presented in Heb. 11 I wonder, something confronts me immediately, the fact that “without us, they cannot be made perfect (Heb. 11:40)”. It dawned on me that God’s whole plan is not accomplished yet, there is still so much to do and experience.

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)”

I Conclude that. It is our time to take the baton, to engage the Holy Spirit to know our place in God’s agenda, to enthrone our Lord Jesus. Just as we see that Heb. 11:40 didn’t end without the introduction of Heb. 12:1. This is a wake-up call to us and there is no better time to rise than now. You are also part of the plan. There is a role you have to play. If you don’t, then it’s going to be left undone. You are here for such a time as this.

Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

I pray that God will quicken us to live a life that will cause generations behind us to find courage to walk in the path of faith in Jesus name.

You are blessed.
Written by Idowu Olasupo

We Represent

We Represent

“God is not dead, He’s alive” we say boldly today. “But where’s the proof?” The Unbeliever’s reply. As Christians, we don’t just go about showing off knowledge. But REPRESENTING the God that is alive – with INFALLIBLE proofs. This stirs up the unbelieving.

Paul said “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in DEMONSTRATION of the Spirit and OF POWER” 1 Corinthians 2:4

He wasn’t just preaching – he was manifesting the God he preached. There should be signs and wonders – following the Gospel being preached.

To whom also He shewed himself alive after his passion BY MANY INFALLIBLE PROOFS, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)

Jesus (God) proved himself alive.

And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  (Mark 16:15)

So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.  (Mark 16:19)

And they went forth, and preached every-where, the Lord working with them, and CONFIRMING THE WORD WITH SIGNS FOLLOWING. (Mark 16:20)

There should be signs and wonders – following the Gospel being preached.

As Christians we should be HUNGRY for the Supernatural. It reveals God to some people. Healing the sick, opening blind eyes, working miracles and raising the dead is supposed to be normal with us. These signs “Back up” the GOSPEL.

The scriptures say,

Also…Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (Hebrews 12:14)

Many have said this, to explain how holiness will take you to Heaven. No, that’s a misinterpretation of the verse.

As it says, Be a representative of God on earth by Following peace with ALL MEN (Not God), Loving all men because if you don’t, nobody can encounter God through you. They won’t “See the Lord”in your life

You’re a Christ Ambassador. Re-presenting Christ to the world. In words and Deeds.

Do it well.
Written by Richard Robinson Abdalla

Accepted in the Beloved

Accepted in the Beloved

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6)

Just as the story of the prodigal child, who was welcomed home not as a servant but as a son (Luke 15:11 – 32). When a man believes the gospel (about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ) i.e. become saved, His spirit is given life, because his spirit was actually dead in Adam (Gen. 2:17) and he becomes born into the family of God (Eph. 3:15). God legally becomes his father just as the devil was his father before he was born again. On this account he is linked up and rooted and joined to Christ. God becomes the vine and he the branch, he becomes one with the father, a level of spiritual oneness with God (John 15:5). He carries God’s nature, he has Jesus’s own righteousness, he is not condemned anymore, because Jesus carried all his guilt, shame and condemnation, all this happened when he accepted Jesus as lord (1 cor. 15:33). So he now deserves, all that Jesus deserves because Jesus took his place at the cross. He is accepted in God’s beloved, Jesus.

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God… (1 John 5:1)”

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!… (1 John 3:1)”

Every Christian is accepted as a son, he has a legal right to the things of God, wherever he goes he can boast of God as his father, he represents God wherever he goes (2 Cor. 5:20). He can legally demand things to be done in the name of his senior brother, Jesus Christ. He is accepted. God accepts him as much as he accepts Jesus. God loves him as much as he loves Jesus. And God can only stop accepting or loving him the day he stops accepting or loving Jesus (Matt 3:17, Rom 8:29). Every believer has a legal sit at God’s right hand (the place of all authority), he is accepted and welcomed always in the church in heaven, so he can command things to happen in the name of Jesus, and make requests because he is righteous in Christ (1 John 4:6 , Eph. 2:6 , Is. 54:17). We must learn not to walk according to our feelings but according to the fact that we are accepted.

Children normally grow bold in making requests or even accessing their parents (no matter who their parents are) because they know they are loved by their parents, they know they are accepted, so it doesn’t matter the offence they committed yesterday, they know today and always they are loved by their parents. This is because they didn’t earn their parent’s acceptance by what they did, so it can’t be lost by what they do or didn’t do, rather they earned it simply because they were born into the family. Any other stranger may not have this acceptance even if he/she continues to do right, this is because he is not born into the family. So Likewise are we before our father in Heaven.

Christians who know they are loved, accepted, chosen before the foundation of the world (i.e. before they were born physically) are always candidates for exploits in faith (Dan. 11:32). A very good example is the apostle Paul. They grow bold in coming into God’s presence (Heb. 4: 16) to make demands, so as such it is important for every Christian to know that they are “accepted in the beloved” as Paul puts it in Eph. 1:6, and also to know “why”. We are accepted in Jesus as Paul states, not in ourselves.

Brethren, let us rejoice because we are accepted before God in Jesus Christ, not because of what we did (Titus 3:5), but because of what Jesus did. Let us also rejoice because he is continuously supplying us grace that we may keep standing in the salvation which he has granted us that we may not fall from this exalted position. The knowledge of the fact that we are accepted is what we need to continuously overcome sin, live a life of dominion and do exploits in faith (works greater than what Jesus did). 1 John 5:4, Heb. 10:39.

Grow in Grace!
Written by Samson Afolabi