“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
Reading through the epistles, one discovers that oftentimes Paul prayed to be able to declare openly the mysteries of Christ that had been hidden in times past but now is made known to us through revelation. One important thing I will like us to note is that although it was the appointed time that this mysteries were to be made known, Men like Paul also had to seek to know this mystery, and as the sought it, it was revealed to them and today we all are enjoying the fruits of this revealed knowledge.
Today, I will like to say that every Christian is to be a Seeker. We are called to seek to know the truths of the scriptures. No matter what you know today, there is still more to know. We won’t be able to come to the full and perfect knowledge of Christ if we relax from studying and searching out the truths of the bible. We won’t be able to liberate our generation from the darkness of the world, if we Christians don’t seek to get better in our calling. We are the Seeker Generation.
“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to Him be the glory and the power and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 1:6)
Two points we should note in the above scripture is that “he made kings and priests”. Now let’s check the function of kings and priest. As a king we are to seek:
“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter” (Prov. 25:2)
Brethren, we are kings, we are seekers. It is our honour. God is always concealing mysteries, ours is to seek to know. Jesus speaking he said “it is given for us to know the mysteries of the kingdom” (Luke 8:10) but we won’t know until we seek. We know if we seek, we shall find:
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (Matt. 7:7)
“For every one that asks receives, and he that seeks finds and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Matt. 7:8)
We are to seek first. We are to spend time with the word of God and every Christian material that helps us to grow in faith. We are the seeker Generation. It is our duty to seek.
Again he called us Priest. One thing the priest is known for “is to always go into the presence”. They are never tired of doing that. In-fact they are priest because of that. They are always going into the holy-place and the high-priest into the most holy-place once a year to make atonement on behalf of the people. The day the priest declares he tired of going into the holy-place, he his stripped of his position. His relevance is attached to his seeking. So likewise are we. We are the seekers for our generation. Every Christian must always strive to know. Desire to know the bible. Study, Meditate, so that out of our fullness we can be a blessing to our generation.
We would not be able to fully understand the reason for the relevance of David’s, Daniel, Paul’s relevance to their generation if we don’t understand their quest towards seeking for knowledge.
David said this:
“O God, you are my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirst for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is” (Ps. 63:1)
As if that was not enough, David said “My Soul follows hard after you… (Ps. 63:8)”. Paul and Daniel also had such minds. No wonder they were full of knowledge from above that they were very relevant to their Generation. Today, the baton is in our hands, our relevance is in our seeking. We must seek. We are the seeker Generation.
Finally, as I round-off this article, I will like to add that we should grow in the profession of our faith. What do I mean by this? As a testimony, I like to appreciate God that I haven’t been sick nor used a drug (not even a paracetamol or vitamin-c) since over 5 years or more now (I have actually lost count of the number of years) . During my undergraduate studies, I saw in the scriptures that Jesus took my sicknesses away and I have no reason to be sick again, I simply believed it and till today it’s been evident in my life. As beautiful as that sounds, it would be much more beautiful if I am able to teach and explain this revelation as simple as possible to more Christians, so that they too can walk and enjoy my “divine health” revelation. That is what I call growing in the profession of our faith. It is simply being able to explain biblical truths as simple as possible. And this can only be possible if we understand this truths well enough. Everyone who knows the truth should have a sense of responsibility to share it with others. Luke gave this as is reason for writing the book of Luke. Same goes for the books of the bible written by Paul. You are not to hoard your revelations, share them and learn and understand them more to get better in sharing them.
We should seek to get to know more of the scriptures, thereby increasing in understanding so as to be able to explain more simply our faith to others. I believe the beauty of knowledge is not just in you knowing but in being able to share this knowledge with others so that they can be blessed through it.
“I pray that the Sharing of your Faith may become effective and Powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ” (Philemon 1:6 NLT)
I call you blessed
Written by Samson Afolabi
Over-time I have discovered as a writer that my readers relate most when I explain scripture as I have applied them to my personal experiences. This approach brings more light to the bible, those stories tend to stick more to the mind, and they are always enticing to read.
People enjoy reading stories. As such, I have always trusted the Holy Spirit to remind me of specific experiences which I can use to understand the scriptures. Once the Holy-Spirit told me, “I am always speaking to you, sometimes directly to your spirit and sometimes through the experiences around you. If you would learn to open your minds and take careful note of your experiences, you would discover my wisdom expressly shared and demonstrated to you’’
So I decided to add this to my prayers: “Dear Holy Spirit, I know you are not an illusion or a mirage, neither are you a mere belief or a thing. You are a Person, the third person of the Trinity. You are the power of the Godhead and you have been given to me to be a comforter and a partner. Help me to stay conscious of your presence and help me STAY CONNECTED to you”
Let me give you an illustration. I have noticed that when two people are in love, they have an overwhelming desire to share moments together but if they are not talking for quite some hours or – even worse a full day- , there must be a problem.
The same relationship can be seen between a Christian and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has emotions, He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30) and He loves. Many of us often forget that the Holy-spirit always wants our company, he doesn’t like to be ignored, he has been given to always be with you when you sleep, when you walk the streets, when you eat, when you drink.Every-time, every second, he wants us to talk with him, he wants our attention. He wants us to tell him our challenges, and he wants to also talk with us, he wants to give us wisdom on how to make decisions, he wants to tell us more about God’s kingdom. He wants our fellowship. He wants us to STAY CONNECTED. He doesn’t just want 10 minutes out of the 24 hours of our day. He is not an errand boy. He is our love.
If we will be diligent enough to stay connected and be careful we will learn a lot from our day to day experiences.Let me share two lessons which I learned in the past weeks. I hope it encourages our heart.
After my exams, my plan was to immediately take a vacation. I wanted to visit some nearby countries to give my brain a good break . I was so tired from studying. I planned the trip with two of my friends.
They planned the flights, the buses and the accommodations, and we shared the bill. The trip was really beautiful -peaceful flights, nice discussions, sweet meals, interesting places.It was fun! In Amsterdam, my friends had planned that all night we would keep walking around and to see places , so they didn’t bother to book a room that night. Since I didn’t plan with them, I didn’t know this,. Unfortunately, our planned night tour in city was far below expectations. We had already seen all the interesting places that day and by night-time we were all really tired.
We couldn’t leave the city because our bus was booked for the next morning according to the plan. The night wasn’t comfortable at all. We were visitors with no place to sleep. The only place available was the concrete seats at the Central Train Station. And even though we were tired and weak, the security men allowed us to only sit and not sleep. And we were like that all night! In the midst of this, the Holy Spirit said to me that this is an illustration of Christians on earth.
Christians are sojourners, we are travellers.We shouldn’t expect luxurious comfort here on earth. Our comfort comes when we remember our home, the place where we can finally be with God in body. Many Christians get distracted by seeking comfort here on earth.
“And if you call on Father, who without respect of persons judge according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear” (1 Pet. 1:17)
Paul speaking, said when we are pressed on all sides, we must keep moving. Our encouragement is that one day we will be home. Every traveller is encouraged at the thought of the word HOME. It’s always an encouragement. It always gives strength and hope. Likewise we are supposed to be encouraged as Christians. Our consolation shouldn’t be from the things here.
To continue the story, we survived the night, travelled to Belgium where we had booked a room. We were all tired resulting from a sleepless night. We just wanted to check into the room and rest before going around to see that city. Then we encountered another problem. We couldn’t check into our room. We felt like dying. Just then I remembered that a day before I travelled, I was sharing with a friend about my trip. Then he said “hey, my parents live in Belgium have their contact in-case you need a place to stay”. I never asked for their contact, in-fact I was merely sharing it with him, so we could pray together about it. I never saw the need to have their contact, because I believed all had been settled by my friends. I reluctantly collected their contact. It was when we were denied entry into the room that I remembered my friend’s parent. They were very kind and hospitable to us. We had a nice dinner together with them, with very soft and cosy beds and they even drove us again to the airport the next morning, to catch our flight.. We lost a room and got a house. We wished we had planned to stay longer with them.
Out of this experience, Psalms 46:1 made more meaning to me.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1)
God had seen that we were going to be in need of a place to be, and he made adequate preparation for us. The help was suited and crafted to perfectly suit the trouble we had. It was timely. This once again made me learn to trust God. Now, I know even better “He’s got my back”. Many of us are worried about the future not knowing that God has made adequate preparation for it without Him informing us, He only wants us to cast our cares upon him.
It’s like when parents are expecting a baby, they make ready everything for the baby, the baby doesn’t have to worry about what to eat, what to wear, or how to live. It’s made ready, the baby just comes to enjoy it. We are also “God’s Baby”. Let’s learn to trust in the provisions already made by our father.
I Call You Blessed
Written by Samson Afolabi
“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Pet. 3:18)
I opened the Facebook App on my phone just to take a sneak peep as a short break from my mathematics books, then I saw my one of my very close friend wishing is Pastor’s wife happy birthday and he added “grow in grace”. This 3 words jumped at me, and I asked what does it mean to grow in grace? I had also used the phrase as a prayer for many of my friends and this time I wanted to find out what it really meant. My search led to writing this.
This phrase is contained only in Peter’s last words in his epistle in 2 pet 3:18. Now what did Peter mean by grow in grace? This was what I saw;
1. A deliberate Action
The use of the word “grow” informs us of the deliberate, intentional aspect of the statement. Every believer is responsible for their “grace level”. We have to make the choice to grow up spiritually. Yes, do the work to grow. Paul speaking in Ephesians 4:14 encourages us not to be children tossed to and fro. So it means it lies in our capacity to choose either to be children (babies) or matured men and women of faith. And how can we be matured, by learning grace. Grace speaks of the Person of Jesus. So the next time someone tells you to grow in grace, know it’s more than a prayer, it’s a charge. Luke 1:80, and Luke 2:40 points out to us that our Lord Jesus also choose to grow. He grew and increased in favour before God and Man.
Spiritual growth is not measured by how many years you’ve been in church, it is measured by how much deliberate effort you’ve put into growth. Growth doesn’t fall on people, people put in effort to grow spiritually.
2. Learning Grace to Stand
Another question to ask would be why did Peter tell this men to grow in grace? The answer is found in reading some earlier verses. You will discover that they were to grow in grace to be able to stand against people who were misinterpreting Paul’s epistles. The Message translation from 2 Peter 3: 16 -18 makes it clearer. It reads,
“Some things Paul writes are difficult to understand. Irresponsible people who don’t know what they are talking about twist them every which way. They do it to the rest of the scriptures, too, destroying themselves as they do it.
But you, friends, are well warned. Be on guard lest you lose your footing and get swept off your feet by these lawless and loose talking teachers. Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.” [2 Peter 3:16 – 18] MSG
Many People have thought that when grace is taught, we give people the ticket to sin, NO! Peter says here “Learn Grace to Stand!”
3. Expand Your Capacity
“Enlarge the site of your tent [to make room for more children]; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them; Lengthen your tent ropes and make your pegs (stakes) firm [in the ground]” Isaiah 54:2 [NLT]
To grow in grace is to increase in capacity. You will be able to do more as your capacity increases. Expand your inner capacity to do more. A 10 year old child would do more than a 2 year old child. If you want God to use you the more than you are doing now, then you have to grow, you have to enlarge your capacity. You need to train your spirit more, set yourself more to the tune of the spirit. Take away those things that distract you. Focus more on Grace (the person of Jesus). As we look steadfastly on Jesus, we are changed to the same level of grace as Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18). Let me scream it out once again, GROW IN GRACE!
How do I then grow in grace? Study the scriptures and pray especially in the holy-ghost, listen to more edifying songs, listen to preaching’s that edifying your spirit, read spiritual books, fellowship with other brethren, have a spiritual company and every-other spiritual exercise that energizes your spirit man. As a final note, let’s know that it is God’s delight that we grow just as it is delight of every father to see his children grow. He delights to give us grace as we decide to grow in grace.
I Call You Blessed!
Written by Samson Afolabi
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord (Isaiah 55:8)
Is it not interesting the way God goes about his things? In consideration of his ways, I am awed by his strength, wisdom and sense of humor. That he delivers from the lion by shutting its mouth all night (as in the case of Daniel) and He may also decide to give a man the strength to tear it in pieces (as in the case of Samson). That he wins Israel’s battles by turning soldiers into spectators and sometimes assigning a single angel to battalions of enemy forces. At one time he may decide to instruct the choir to lead the war with melodies of worship like He did during the days of Jephthah and another time he decides to fight for Israel with hailstones. The God we serve is definitely not short of ideas.
Logical Explanations often fail when God does His things. All we are left to say by faith is “It just has to be God”. He brings down tall walls through unintelligible shouts as in the case of Jericho. While many have tried to collate armories of knowledge, their vast arrays of intellectual properties and professorial endowments, yet their efforts are squelched by a virus so microscopic as not to be handled by the doctoral knowledge of the scientist. And God freely heals the blind using mud as his means. He casts out devils with just a word. He may also decide to allow the dead die well for four days and then show up to weep but yet to resurrect with words like he did for Lazarus.
He speaks to storms too. I mean real storms, just like the one you might be struggling with right now. It might be overwhelming. Storms are definitely dangerous and could drown the strongest of men. But my God, He speaks to calm them. He speaks to yours too today and I believe there shall be a great calm. He also has other ways of handling great water bodies especially when they obstruct passage into promises. There was this time he decided to part the sea and cause Israel to walk on dry land. Scripture says ‘…and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left (Exodus 14:22)’. This is so amazing for me! You just think about it. The waters would be like glass, housing a variety of beautiful sea creatures. Then, on this fateful day, he allowed Peter have his own experience of ‘the ways of God’ by a walk on water. Peter, walking, right on the storm! He walked on the boisterous waves. God might lead you to walk on stormy seas. You can dare to ask for it! It’s also included in the ‘ways of God’.
This is my Prayer, Lord, these things written, may it serve to remind your people of the kind of father you are. May it not form tales that excite our emotions but yet leave us unchanged. Change us with a taste of your glory. May your great wonders of the past stir us to seek you more. May we again walk in the limitless boundaries of the ‘ways of God’
Help us to Keep Gazing and looking at this things you have done that this will build faith in our hearts and help us to build a stronger trust in you.
“You will keep him in Perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you (Is. 26:3)”
“Trust you in the Lord for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength (Is. 26:4)”
Written by Alao Rotimi
This is a wake-up call!
Do you notice the unbalanced and unhealthy dietary teaching on wealth aimed at feeding the self-life instead of promoting kingdom agenda? What about the baseless and ridiculous gymnastics all geared to ‘’conquer our enemies”? The unscrupulous teachings on our enemies are highly pathetic! Spiritual warfare meant to clear principalities and wicked spirits away from the path of the gospel spread is now geared toward witches and wizards- the very least in the kingdom of darkness. Have you also observed the bulk of church and board meetings is on program and convention planning with no concern for the lost, not even the Muslim? Gradually church-goers are already given into believing that good people such as the kind and seemingly loving Muslims will make heaven, since we are all serving the same God? Have we not become visionless and blind? What about the much criticism between churches and pastors under the false umbrella of correcting in love. Consequently, having a congregation is now a lucrative business with every Dick and Harry bearing ridiculous titles. Churches multiply daily in geometric progression with baby Christians who were not properly breastfed aiming only to make heaven and live a luxurious life on earth with no kingdom agenda. Where did they get that from? Which apostle of Christ taught them that?
Chaos! The Ekklesia (The Church) no longer knows who she is, what her mission is and the available tools to accomplish her mission hence Paul’s prayer in Eph. 1:17-19. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Father of Glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of His glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe…”’ Job 38:31-33 and Eph. 6:12 tells us who is responsible for this-principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and wicked spirit all living in the heavenly places. ‘’Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? Do you know the ordinance of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? Job 38:31-33. They are the ones who have created a veil of covering over God’s people like they did to man through Eve. “…the face of the covering cast over all people and the veil that is spread over the nations” Isa. 25:7. They are against God’s counsel over the earth, they have been in existence before Adam, and thus they understand our frame as men.
The solution is found in Jesus; the Word. In Luke 24:46-49, He told His disciples to ‘’…tarry in the city of Jerusalem until…’’ they are empowered by the Holy Ghost. The early Church waited for the initial outpour, the latter Church too must wait for the final outpour in prayers and fasting. James 5:7 puts it well ‘’ Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruits of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain” The messiahs who will reverse this order will come from Zion “ Then saviours shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau and the Kingdom shall be the LORD’s’’ Obadiah 21. What are we to pray for while waiting? Is it personal needs and desires? Nope! Matt. 6:9-13 with emphasis on verse 10 has the answer it is “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven”’ This was what brought the former rain (the first outpour of the spirit) and this is what will bring the latter rain (the last outpour of the spirit) that will usher in Christ coming. You see, if you expect a royal visit, you must prepare your house. If you want aircraft landing, we must prepare the airport. If we want Christ to come, then we must harvest the earth by the latter rain.
What do you think will happen if two or three churches come together to pray by the spirit’s leading for their community? Can you imagine a church service with no program or agenda but completely under the spirit’s control in waiting? It is such heavy prayers by the spirit’s help (not gymnastics) that will bring revelation or vision back and put the Church on the pedestal to contend and conquer the Islamic opposition to the gospel; the Islamic State ISIS, the Al-Queda, Boko Haram etc. With a revelation of who we are as God’s government, why we exist (To show His manifold wisdom Eph. 3:10) and the resources available at our disposal (‘’…has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness…’’2Pet 1:3). If we cannot spread the gospel and if the gospel is not spread, we should not talk of Christ second coming and if we cannot talk of Christ second coming, we should anticipate greater depth of darkness, gross iniquity, and worse degradation of our environment and economy such that it will be practically impossible to live or even shine as light!
‘’But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” 2Cor. 2:14. God is already raising soldiers, recruiting babes and suckling whose heart desire is to see His kingdom manifest on earth. God is recruiting His last day’s battle axe. This article is a proposal letter from Him to you (reading this) to come join His army! You still have a choice; To remain in the prison of ’church’ and religion, die and go to heaven with regrets OR to come out and face the giants that has harassed the faith of our fathers with a daring confidence that can only be birthed by waiting for the last outpour of the Spirit.
Wake up oh sleeping Soldier! Know you not that you are the arm and strength of Yahweh? Why allow yourself to be chained by religion when the field is full? Isa.52:1-2.Only foolish sons sleep in harvest and such are destined to inherit shame. Prov. 10:5. There are medals to be won by daring the princes at work in ISIS, in the entertainment sector, in our economy and in every sector of human endeavour, militating against the knowledge of God. Do you know that the glory of God has already filled the earth as waters filled the sea? Isa. 6:3 it is just that the princes of darkness has covered or hidden this knowledge from men.2 Cor. 4:3-4, 10:4-6. And God had vowed to reveal this ‘’ The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, (no longer hidden, AMEN.) and all flesh shall see it together FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HAS SPOKEN” Isa.40:5. But how will God do this? If He comes down Himself, He would be violating His law ‘’The heavens, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth hath He given to the children of men” Psa.115:16. He shows us how in Jer.51:20-24 ‘’You are my battle axe and weapons of war…. Says the LORD’’ Enough of talking and saying the grace, it is time to face the real culprit, make war from the position of victory. Refuse to be caged by religion or denomination, it’s time to let Jesus come and reign as the King that He is
He is already at the door but waiting for the Church; the Bride to say ‘’COME’’. I join the Spirit to say ‘’COME, LORD JESUS!’’ Rev.22:17, 20. What about you?
We Say Come!
Written by Otutu Sunday