Category Archives: Christian Words of Encouragement

We are familiar with the parable of the LOST SON (The Prodigal son). The parable is about a son who requested for his own share of his father’s possession. There is the possibility that a lot of discussion had taken place between the father and his son. In any case, the father granted him his request. After which he went abroad to squander what was given him and later, he was left with nothing. His situation became unbearable.

One day, he realized that it would be better for him to go back to his loving father who would probably accept him back, at worst, as one of his servants. The whole story is about a repentant child of God. (Lk. 15:11-32 KJV)

The point I am trying to raise here is not the repentance aspect, but the giant step, which the prodigal son took which is worth emulating for every child of God.

At a point in life, we all want to have freedom away from the presence of God for one unreasonable reason or the other. Some people feel that God’s action is too slow for their liking. Another unreasonable reason is that many people today don’t like to be restricted by any divine rule from performing what is on their mind. Whatever is their intent, getting away from divine guidance will be disastrous. It amounts to inviting evil and doing things that is contrary. This is the situation the prodigal son finds himself.

In real life, what happened to the prodigal son is applicable to life experience. What happen is still rampart among the youth of this age. It takes a life experience for them to understand the process of life. Youth are more into getting their freedom from parents, from their instructor, and from working for others before being independent on their own; not knowing that outside the home or dependence from where we can gain more knowledge, life becomes more difficult.

Freedom without caution or restraint can lead to destruction. Adolescence life under their parents is more protective than to live a free life that leads to destruction. Likewise, adult life without God’s guidance leads to a debase mind that can eventually lead to destruction. Many children of God today are finding themselves in deplorable and regrettable situations that call for something to be done.

Before he began his journey back home, the Bible described three states of the Prodigal son’s disposition, let’s examine the three dispositions.

  1. He took a deep thought “ But when he came to himself…” v17
  2. He took a decision, “I will arise …” v18
  3. He acted on his decision, “And he arose” v20

 Taking a deep thought of situation “But when he came to himself”

That is, the prodigal son realized the poor state he found himself, which now has become unbearable. Where was his mind since the day he got out of the house? The Bible declared,

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” (Rm. 1:28 KJV).

Many people have gone out from the way of the Lord only to find themselves in a miserable situation. Their lives are not spirit filled. They are filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness and riotous life, at their own detriment. Not until they trace back where they have missed the mark – getting away from God, they will never come to their senses to examine themselves.

At this point, the prodigal son realized he has missed the way; he realized he needs deliverance; and he realized he needs God’s help to rescue him from his deplorable situation.

Nebuchadnezzar, in his own situation said,

“And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me…” (Dan. 4:34 KJV)

Where was his understanding? He lost it because of his pride, attributing his success to himself and leaving God out of it.

No matter how difficult your situation may be or how tough your undertaking may be, the moment you realize that you have a Father in heaven that can deliver or help you, the solution is at hand. The prodigal son realized that he has a loving father who can take him back; likewise, king Nebuchadnezzar realized that the Almighty in heaven could restore his glory. What the two have in common is, they lay at the mercy of Him who can get them out of their bad situation and both have faith in God.

Faith in God through our Lord Jesus Christ is the power for deliverance.

Taking a decision – “I will arise”

Determination to stand up and do something is a stage that proves difficult for many people. Many people have plans, they know what to do, how to do it, and where to go and to whom they should approach to get things done. However, they fail to arise, pursue, stand up and go for it. The prodigal son determined to go to his father.

The position of the father stands for solution to his problem. When you know where to get a solution, be determine to take a positive move; to go for it without any delay. Procrastination will make you lose time or never to arise or never go for it.

 Acting on a decision “And he arose”

This is the giant step and the necessary action for anyone to get out of any terrible situation.  If you realized that you are in a terrible situation and know that there is a way out, stand up to action, or else, your terrible situation will remain permanent with you.

In another scenario, if you aspire to start any undertaking. You need to take this giant step, or else, you will never take off. Many people have dreams, visions, goals and mission that have shattered, simply because they failed to arise, they failed to take any action.

Beware of the following causes of inaction and don’t allow them to disturb or become an obstacle for you to arise and take the necessary step for a better life.

  • Debase mind – not retaining God’s knowledge in your thought
  • Worldly enjoyment – barrier to coming to one’s sense
  • Laziness – spiritual and physical idleness and slothfulness
  • Procrastination –delay which can end up killing intention
  • Fear of failure – lack of faith and hope
  • Shyness – loss of identity
  • Environment – will encourage or discourage
  • Obstinacy – unyielding to counselling and self-centeredness

 

Why you need to arise

  • To get better
  • To be save
  • To get out of terrible situation
  • To get delivered from all powers that are not of God
  • To get out of stagnancy
  • To get out from slavery and comfort zone

When you arise, you are activating faith to bring your hope to reality. The only unfailing power that can help you to take any giant step is found in God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the propelling power that helps you to penetrate through any obstacle that stands in your way

Jesus said,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”    (Matt. 11:28 KJV)


Prayer bulletin for year 2018

As I always write in my yearly prayer bulletin, every January 1 marks the beginning of a new year; challenges are inevitable. Year 2018 is another year, another period, another processing and a new journey of life. Even though the year would be packed with God’s blessing as ever, it would not be without some hiccups, inevitable and unknown challenges. However, as usual, the Lord God Almighty will help us to overcome challenges and we shall receive our full package of blessings throughout the year, in Jesus name.

Year 2018 is your year of thrusting into a new higher level. The year will require a high degree of endurance and patience. Why? There will be moment of night, but it will not last, because God will thrust you out into your morning of joy. I called it thrusting because it takes less than a split second for God to change situation for the better.

The Bible stated.

“…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning” (Ps.30:5b)

Situation may be like night time, moment of darkness when all things are still; moments of struggle, hardship, lack, oppression, sickness, and affliction; moments that things do not seems to work in your favor etc. A moment like this calls for endurance and patience. No one knows how long the moment will b; but as you are putting your trust in the Lord, He will keep and uphold you until He thrust you to that higher level He has prepared you for.

Most good things emerge from nothing; likewise, the joy of the morning emerges from a night. The beginning of time was marked by darkness, the scripture stated that

“The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters Gen 1:2,

It was after this that God commanded the light to show forth. God called the light day and the darkness night and the Bible says there was evening and there was morning. Year 2018 will mark the morning of your everlasting joy.

Moment of night may come in the course of the year, count that moment as God preparing and building you for something great. The length of evening and morning was not explained in creation, only God know how long. What comes after night is the good work of God. Therefore, your moment of night cannot be determined by anyone, not even yourself, but be patient; time belongs to God.

There is always an end to a night; morning will come to reveal God’s glory. This year will mark an end to your night; it will become morning of your glory. How God does His work is His own prerogative, but we know that creation took place between evening and morning. Between your evening and morning, God is preparing you for what will be revealed in the morning; the morning of your deliverance from anything that does not give you joy

Many people will wake up on January1 into morning of their joy while others’ morning will fall anywhere during the cause of the year. My belief is this, if you believe your night is up this year, God will thrust you into your morning of joy. Whatever the situation you may be passing through that may seems to be called a night moment, God is processing your thrusting into a new level. Don’t ever think negative of that moment. As long as you believe that God is doing something in you favor, your morning of joy will be revealed.

 

Learning from Jesus’ humility and submission

The highest elevation or position to which anyone can rise on earth cannot be compared to that of Jesus. Human exaltation does not go beyond the earth surface, but that of our Lord Jesus, sitting at the right hand of God, is the greatest elevation that knowledge can think of. Jesus attained it through humility and submission to the will of God. The Bible states,

“Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation: taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.   (Phil. 2:5-8)

Jesus humbled himself before the father despite the fact that He has the power to deliver Himself during His arrest; He has the power to do all things just like the Father would do: furthermore, the Bible states that He did not equal Himself with the father; that is humility.

Also, He allowed the will of the Father to prevail over His. He demonstrated that in the Garden of Gethsemane, where he submitted to the will of the Father. The scripture states,

“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will”

At first, His flesh, His own will, wanted to avoid passing through what He was about to go through; however, He later allowed the spirit to take over His flesh. Hence, He said the second time,

“Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done” (Matt. 26:39-42)”

Here He submitted to the will of God. Humility and submission to God’s-will opens our eyes and heart to the right attitude needed when circumstance overwhelms us. Our Lord Jesus had his own night time before being thrusted to glory.

The night of Jesus started and ended in the following order 

  • His arrest
  • His trial before Pilate
  • his humiliation
  • his crucifixion
  • the darkest moment of His night, 3 days in the grave

Jesus endured everything that man can possibly do to humiliate anyone; he was hated, slapped, spitted upon, crowned with thorn, speared, and nailed to the cross in public and so on. The Bible states, “He did not talk” (Isaiah 53:7). What this means is that you do not fight for yourself; rather, continue to do what you have to do, don’t be weary at doing good even when the pain is excruciating. Hence, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them because they do not know what they do”,

When such excruciating moment arises, remember what the word of the Lord says,

“…Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you (Is. 43:1-2).

Now, the fact that you have to go through a situation does not mean you subject to unnecessary suffering; you must be divinely guided in all things. Don’t see an act of sin that brings pleasure or unrighteous provision and think it to be God’s blessing. Joseph flees fornication; even though it landed him in prison, he was suffering for righteousness and not unrighteousness. Apostle Peter warned us,

“…But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.  Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter (1Pet. 4:12-16)

Furthermore, Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:18,

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (whatever the unsuitable situation you are passing through) are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”

Brethren, in year 2018, there is the need to humble yourself before God and submit to the Spirit of God to take over your situation. There are situations you will not be able to avoid than to go through them in order to get to where God is taking you. Before Jesus paid the ransom for our soul, he suffered, crucified and died. It was after submission and obedience to the will of the Father that the thrusting took place.

The thrusting of Jesus into His morning

  • He resurrected
  • He ascended to heaven
  • He was given a name that is above all names
  • He was thrusted to the highest position ever – sitting at the right hand of God and all creation subject to Him.

Scripture attestation,

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11)

Some people may be thinking or saying that Jesus was able to endure throughout His night moment because He is the Son of God. Yes, that is true; but He put on human nature to demonstrate to us that we too can do the same. He has also empowered us to be able to bear in all situation. How about Joseph? He was a man like us. Let us learn from him.

 

The night of Joseph

As said earlier, no one can determine the length of night time of life but God. No one can move faster than God’s processing time. The night time of Joseph was approximately thirteen (13) years. To many believers nowadays, that would be too long a time to wait for God; a plan-B outside the will of God would have been in place or a shifting of reliance from God to His creation. That would be against remaining, trusting, believing and waiting patiently for the ordained morning time by the Creator.

In the case of Joseph, it seemed that the night time would never end. He was going from one trouble to another.

  • He was humiliated and disrobed of his beautiful colored tunic by his brothers
  • He was thrown into a dangerous pit
  • He was sold as a slave boy
  • He was bought as a slave boy to be a house keeper
  • A little pause of comfort – his master handed over everything in his house to Joseph to oversee .
  • Now comes the satanic implication of sexual impropriety alleged by his master’s wife
  • Implication landed Joseph in jail, a jail that resembles that of maximum prison. This is a point where many people will give up and hope dashed away. Many people may be thinking of possibly an execution or life imprisonment. This is the darkest moment of Joseph life.

Enduring the darkest moment of life

Every journey of life will have its own darkest moment. In the dungeon, another cool breeze of refreshing time came for Joseph; he was made the head of the prisoners because God was with him. Don’t forget, he is still a prisoner, the refreshing he was having was limited and not beyond the prison. In the prison, he did not stop or weary at doing what he does best; his gift of interpreting dream created room for him there; however, the bottler who was his beneficiary did not remember him for another 2 years. Was it an intentional act not to remember him or it was not yet God’s time: because at the end the day, it was still this bottler that told Pharaoh about Joseph

Brethren, it gets to a certain moment in life’s journey that you find yourself at a point that you conclude that the hope of getting out of your predicament becomes bleak. The nearer you think you are getting there, the more difficult it becomes, the cloudier the atmosphere becomes; it is like the end of the road or at a crossing where you don’t know where to go.

The darkest hour of the night as defined by majority is the one just before dawn. It is a moment of doubt where you either loose hope of crossing to your morning or believing you are crossing over. This is the point in which most people give up; the last stage of the struggle, as it becomes just too much for many to handle and they reach their breaking point. It is the crucial final test, the climax of the night that tests your faith and ultimate strength.

Don’t lose hope; this is the point where your endurance and patience are mostly needed. It is no longer by your own power, but leaving everything at the mercy of God to strengthen your faith and courage to press on. It is the journey into the light, from your darkness (past) into your morning of joy (year 2018).

Borrow a leaf from the butterfly

Before a butterfly becomes what look beautiful, it has passed through a process called metamorphosis. Many of us will have to pass through this process before we can fulfill. The third of the four stages of metamorphosis before a butterfly becomes what it is, is the Pupa stage. The first two stages did not bring out the true identity and ability of a butterfly nor do they reflect the glory beauty of God seen in butterfly.

The pupa stage is likening to the night or dark moment of life; a moment of silence, where the caterpillar (2nd stage) is confined in a shell-like substance, equaling to the prison experience of Joseph. The caterpillar is motionless; however, the supernatural power of God is at work, making the caterpillar undergo a remarkable transformation. Changes take place from the crawling caterpillar to become the beautiful butterfly that will emerge. By the time it is fully formed, the glory of God is revealed on it. The butterfly is now designed with glamorous colors, it is admired by all, it becomes useful in pollination and it can fly to any limit. You are flying high in year 2018,

Your “Weeping” may endure for the night, but your joy comes in the morning. Year 2018 is the beginning of your morning, the morning of your everlasting joy. Your night is over, you are thrusting out of your pupa in flying color; the glory of God will now reveal in you. Just like Isaac, you are becoming an object of envy because, people will be jealous of the goodness of God upon your life (Gen. 26:12-14).

Note: take your night (dark) moment as significant in your life. Handover that moment for God to work supernaturally upon your life so that you can become what He has purpose you to be. At this moment, you need grace and power to endure before breaking into the morning. The Bible states,

“Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1Pet. 4:19)

When Joseph was put in the prison, it was like a caterpillar confined and silenced in the pupa. But the Bible says that the Lord was with him; he received favor of God.

“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison” (Gen. 39:21).

No one prays to experience a lingering night; however, your night may be long but it is for proper training and equipping to handle the higher responsibility ahead for you. Hence 13 years of Joseph’s night empowered him to be able to handle the administration of Egypt for many years. He became second in command to Pharaoh at the age of 30, and he lived to the age of 110 years; 13 years of night was rewarded with 80 years of God’s goodness.

 

Godly characteristics and right attitude needed for the thrusting into your joy in year 2018.

From our Lord Jesus

  • Humility (Jas. 4:10)
  • Submission to the will of God (Jas. 4:7)
  • Endurance in the night moment (Heb. 10:36)
  • Forgiving others (Col. 3:13)

Seen Joseph

  • The fear of God (Eccl. 12:13)
  • Trust in God  (Ps. 37:3)
  • Faithfulness in all things (2 Chron. 31:18b)
  • Truthfulness in all conversation (Pro. 12:19)
  • Hopeful in all circumstances (Rom. 12:10-12)
  • Humility
  • Godly wisdom (1Cor. 2:6-9)
  • Forgiving
  • Enduring in all circumstance and (2Tim. 3:10-11)
  • Patience (Lam. 3:25-26)

Whatever situation you may be passing through this year, in your night time, in your struggle, when you don’t know what to do or when you are expecting earnestly from God; you are moving closer to where you are going, you are moving closer to your breakthrough, you are about to arrive to your promise land: however, embrace the above mentioned godly characteristics. Your attitude matters at this point and it must be according to the will of God.

Putting on the right attitude

Night time of life can cause physical, spiritual, emotional and mental pain. Please when you find yourself in that situation, note the followings,

  • Beware of anger and do not allow any situation to cause you to sin – don’t have a plan-B outsides the will of God
  • Use the moment to pray, praise, and meditate on the word of God. Through these spiritual activities, God will direct you on what to do.
  • Put your trust in the Lord, this is your confidence, that He who relieved you of your previous pains will do it again.
  • Pray for grace and empowerment to bear and endure to the breaking of the morning
  • Beware of the uses of your sense organs. The sense organs are eye, ear, tongue, nose and touch. How do you guide yourself against the devil? You need to guide and control your sense organs. How? Beware and control
    • What you see
    • What you hear
    • What you taste
    • What you smell and
    • What you touch

If you are not sensitive enough to control these sense organs they can pollute your heart; the result can elongate your night or, it can shorten your days of enjoying your morning (the goodness of God).

Beware; the devil is an opportunist

The devil takes advantage of our sense organs when we use them inappropriately. During night time or morning of joy, if the sense organs are not subjected under the power of the Holy Spirit, they will attract the heart to unrighteous activities.

The devil can take advantage of a person in two ways,

  1. When you are passing through a night moment, rely on God to empower you to bear to the morning of your joy.  Don’t give up, don’t backslide, don’t yield to short cut and don’t go after other gods e.g. self-independence from God, reliance on man. Etc. (Ps. 146:3)
  2. When you have attained to your morning of joy, you need to pray for empowerment to maintain your blessings in the fear of God. Beware of pride, complacency, unforgiving and don’t forget your God as the one who has done it for you (Deut. 8:10-18).

In the case of Joseph, he would not allow his night moment to cause him to sin against God, therefore, he refused to fall for the devil delicacy of fornication. Also, after breaking into his morning of joy, as the administrator in Egypt, he did not revenge upon his brothers; rather, he thanked God for his night moment as a moment for preparing him for the position he found himself and as a forerunner for his brothers and the entire family of Israel (Gen. 45:3-8).

Beware; in year 2018, unforgiving can be a roadblock to your morning of joy. Our Lord Jesus, despite all that was done to Him, He said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34)”. Forgiving others opens door to your morning of joy.

Year 2018 is your year of thrusting into your morning of joy. Learn from the life’s journey of our Lord Jesus and Joseph. Embrace all those attributes that we see in their lives. Let the fear of God be your watch word this year. Through the fear of God you will be able to humble yourself and submit to the will of God. In obeying this simple advice, you will be able to guide yourself with all the attributes you need to sustain you both in your night and morning moments.

Threefold cord that enhances and guarantees your thrusting

The place of the word of God

Christianity is meant to throw light and reveal the truth in this present world of falsehood. Christianity affirms that Jesus Christ is the truth and the displayer of God’s character. To ignore and not obey the word of God is to foolishly grope around like wanderer.

A Christian should have his/her deep enjoyment in the things of God; particularly in the word of God – focusing the mind more on the scripture. In Year 2018, you need to read and listen to the word, through it you will dwell safely and you will be secure without the fear of any evil.

Look at all those who were blessed in the Bible, they have one thing in common; good relationship with God. The best way you can have good relationship with God is through obedience to His word. There is no obedience without good reward. Likewise, there is no success without obedience (Deut. 28:1-2; Ps 119: 11, 105, 165).

 

The place of the Holy Spirit

With the fear of God in mind, endure in your night moment this year.  Endurance is not attained by self-power; it is the Holy Spirit that helps our infirmity. Let the Holy Spirit be your source of strength to help you bear in every situation. Wait patiently and see what God will do in your life in year 2018.

The place of prayer

The place of prayer cannot but be mentioned in year 2018. Jesus Christ is our example. He prayed before He started His ministry; He prayed throughout the time of His ministry; and He prayed before His crucifixion. If our Lord through whom we prayed would pray without ceasing, let us imitate Him by praying along with fasting always before and after our thrusting into our joy.

Just as Joseph was thrusted from prison to the palace as second in command in Egypt, and our Lord Jesus attained an everlasting throne to rule all over creations; you are thrusting out of your night into the morning of your everlasting joy. Year 2018 will be your year of thrusting into a higher level in Jesus name.

Prayers

These prayers are for all season, they are to be prayer points for you to build upon for the whole year. They are series of prayer points that touches nearly all aspects of life. They are leads to help your find a particular area of prayer that suits your purpose.

  • Magnify the Lord for who He is
        • Praise His holy name in psalms and with praise worship every day.
        • Praising the Lord opens the window of heaven for showers of replenish and new blessings.
  • Thank the Lord for His goodness and His activities in your life to this day Thanking Him for
  • gift of life, healing, and newness of life,
  • physical, spiritual blessings and endowments
  • protection, , deliverance, safety, victories,
  • divine attractions, Promotion, provision

    Thanking the Lord attracts more blessings.

  • Acknowledge, confess your sins and repent
  • That you may receive mercy
  • That you may receive forgiveness
  • That your sin will be blotted
  • That you may have a refreshing time from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19).
  • Pray for sanctification
  • Cleansing and purification by the blood of Christ
  •  spiritual washing, purging and pruning from sin,
  • Mortifying of sin and divine transformation.
  • Pray for the manifestation of the Holy spirit throughout year 2018
  • spiritual uplifting and in-filling of the Holy Spirit
  •  spiritual guidance, spiritual lead, discernment,
  • Spiritual fruitfulness and spiritual gifts
  • Pray for newness of life in year 2018
    • Creation of a clean heart within you
    • A renew steadfast spirit within you.
    •  Grace to always be in the presence God
    • Grace to always abide in the power of the Holy Spirit
    •  Restoration of the joy of salvation,
  • Pray against mental, physical and emotional pains that may arise from any night situation
  • Chaos, disorder, emptiness,
  • sorrow, bitterness and sadness
  • oppression, depression and confusion
  • affliction, sickness and nightmare
  • Prayer against every power of limitation
  • Self-condemnation and every stronghold of the mind
  • evil tongue, evil thought, enslavement
  • spiritual and physical power that wants to incapacitate you
  • any chain of evil event against you and your family
  • every confinement  or limitation of the devil
  • Pray for Spiritual fruitfulness – enhancement to right attitude
  •  love, joy, peace, gladness and happiness
  •  kindness, goodness and longsuffering
  •  faithfulness, truthfulness and uprightness
  • giving, mercy, forgiving and obedience
  • prayer for grace and empowerment
    • to humble and submit to the will of God
    • for strength to endure every night moment that appears in year 2018
    • to suppress every pressure that tend to enforce self-will as against the will of God
    • to trust and rely on God in all situations
    • to obey the word of God
    • to yield to the voice and prompting of the Holy Spirit
    • for divine guidance in all situation
    • to be hopeful in all situations
    • to wait patiently for God’s timing
    • to overcome every challenge that comes across your way in year 2018
    • to use your sense organs rightly in all situations
    • to be sensitive in all situations
  • pray for the turning around of your night to the morning of your joy
    • that every struggle of your life terminates with year 2017
    • power and strength needed to go through whatever you have to in order to be where God had prepared for you to be in year 2018
    • every lingering problem to terminate as you enter into 2018
    • power of resurrection to transform and bring life back to everything that supposed to be alive concerning you
  • general prayer for establishment and fulfillment in 2018
  • Pray to see God’s glory manifest in your life this new year
  • Pray that the Lord will reveal His Glory to you
  • Pray for the Lord to show you His way that you will follow in the year
  • Pray not to experience any sorrow (wroth, evil judgment, death, evil information, sickness, unrest, disaster etc.) throughout the year
  • Pray against any form of implication that can bring problem to you
  • Pray for divine health and strength
  • Pray that the Lord will create in your mind an attitude that will attract His presence in your life.
  • Pray that the will of God will manifest in your life
  • Pray for uncommon extraordinary provision of God
  • Pray for God’s protection and sustenance during the course of the year
  • Pray that the Lord will give you rest roundabout.
  • Pray as follows, Father let me hide myself in thee, in the cleft of Your Son Jesus throughout the year
  • Pray that the presence of the Lord will go with you in year 2018
  • Decree and declare 
  • I will crossover and live in year 2018
  • My struggle is over and I am thrusting into my morning of joy
  • Year 2018 will mark the beginning of my living a life of an overcomer
  • In year 2018, I’m going higher, I’m unstoppable and I’m flying high to unlimited level

     Pray in Jesus name

    Happy New Year

Prayer bulletin for year 2018


Introduction

Grace is God’s favor expressed to sinful humankind apart from any human works or worth. This grace came through Jesus; not to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved. Through grace we received full pardon for our sin; thus, cure the disease of sin in our life: but one must believe. The Bible confirms (Jn. 3:16-17)

The word we hear from many Christians when engaging in some ungodly act is “we are under grace”; “I am not under any bondage” “we are no more under the law”. Many ministers and Christians have been and are still misconstruing the interpretation of grace. In today’s churches, grace has been turned to “doing what you like” or “freedom of right” or “freedom to sin and then repent”. This is a wrong assumption and is misleading.

The liberty we received through grace is meant for a purpose; to free us from the bondage of sin and its consequences. However, “doing what you like” or “freedom of right” without restraints will lead to entangling oneself again into a deeper sin.

The word grace stands for the unmerited favor that we received when we gave our lives to Christ. This grace frees us from sin and its power; forgives and erase the penalty of any judgment that we deserved as a sinner.

This grace bestowed unto us is given out of love that the Father has for us; thus, He sent the grace in the form of Man, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God.. The grace produces the freedom; the grace becomes our umbrella; protecting us from rain and heat of sin as long as we remain under the umbrella. Therefore, briefly put, among what grace stands for are,

  1. Separates believer unto God through Christ
  2. Sets a believer free in order to serve God continually
  3. Believer walks by means of the Holy Spirit
  4. Liberty through grace empowers a believer to live a quality life in the Lord
  5. Holy Spirit helps the believer to avoid the deeds of the flesh and its dominancy (Gal. 5:16-19)
  6. Holy Spirit helps the believer’s life in demonstration of the fruit of the spirit (Gal. 22-23).

Grace does not make Christianity a cage, neither is it a dumping ground

Christianity is a city of refuge under the canopy of our Lord Jesus Christ. There, your freedom from the devil and everlasting destruction is guaranteed. The church is a city of refuge as long as the church is under the Headship of our Lord Jesus Christ – everlasting high priest – He founded the church. He admits everybody no matter his/her deplorable state. That is grace.

Likewise, Christianity is not a dumping ground; the fact that all are called does not mean the church will retain those who refuse to change. The church is a place of learning, a place of growth and a place of reform. If a sinner refuses to reform, pollution of that church is inevitable.

Our coming to the church or confessing Jesus Christ as Lord (justification) is not the end of salvation. However, it is the beginning of our faith journey: how can you remain saved if you don’t live by faith? Coming to Christ means you are set apart from your old sinful nature to a new life in Christ.

The church is open for the entire population of the world to enter for salvation reason; as many as come to Jesus are accepted. They are accepted not in order to continue in their sinfulness but to be transformed and reformed, and win them to Christ. If it is not for reformation, then the church will be infected and polluted on the long run. Jesus Christ came into the world to save the lost; to save the lost is to reroute them to the way of the Lord.

The indifference of Ministers toward improving believers

Can a Minister be held accountable for the wrong in the church? Yes; he would be held accountable for behavior or attitude noticed unchecked. Though every man has a right to his/her own conviction (liberty), yet, this conviction cannot be in opposition to the word of God; law inclusive. God cannot hate something and you want to place your own conviction over His. You cannot please and worship God with what is against his will.

By not denouncing sin and works of the flesh in our churches, we are encouraging them and we approve of it. This is where a minister is tested. Should ministers continue to be indifferent to pollution, corruption or indecency in the church?

Pauline’s doctrine, not against the Laws of God

Apostle Paul, who was the Apostle of grace, did not encourage sin in the churches to which he wrote his epistles; his emphasis was for the Jews not to impose Judaism on gentiles before they can be allowed to become a Christian. Haven preached against legalism (man-made laws, not the law given by God) and the curses associated with breaking the Laws, he concluded by saying

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?  ” (Rom. 6:1-4).

Paul did not encourage sin in the church; rather, he is saying that we should be dead to sin. .

Apostle Paul was telling the Galatians,

“but if while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are sinners, is Christ therefore a Minister of sin? Certainly not.”(Gal. 2:17).

The only way we can live for God is to be dead to sin. The determination to stop living in sin should be our first priority when we give our lives to Christ. A little tolerance of sin has a tremendous impact or influence on any church that tolerates it

Apostle Paul said.

 “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” (1Cor 5:6)

One question that kept surging is this; is Christianity progressing, stagnant or retrogressing today? Why is this question? Unchallenged sin, moral decadence, worldly acts and unholy behavior in the churches can contaminate the whole Christianity.

Jesus’ supreme and final payment for our ransom, His death on the cross frees us that believe on Him from the curse of the Law and slavery to sin. Therefore, we are not to live in sin anymore but to leave sin and grow toward spiritual maturity and perfection. We cannot live in sin and expect grace to abound.

 

Why do we need God’s grace?

Grace is an empowerment

The grace which gives us our liberty empowers us to live in the spirit; the action not to live in sin becomes natural and involuntary. This is the lesson of reality which we need to teach new and old unregenerate believers.

Freedom in Christ centers on love; likewise, the whole law centers on love for God and others.

Show me your love for God, it reflects in your love for others. Likewise, show me your love for others, it will reflect in your obedience to the word of God which is inclusive of the laws.

Apostle Paul said,

Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! …  Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Gal. 3:21-25)

Judging by these quotes of Apostle Paul, he never advocated for Christian liberty without some restraints. If not, he wouldn’t be talking about sin, things done in flesh, worldliness or things that breaks the relationship between us and God.

Paul was talking against rules, ceremonial laws or doctrine made after the manner of men that prevent the admittance of converts into Christian fold.

Is the Bible divided? Grace does not make one part of the Bible of no effect. The law is a guide, not a cage; and does not take away our right in the Lord. Apostle Paul warns because he knew that people would turn this liberty to license to follow their selfish sinful ways.

Most preaching that we hear today stops salvation at justification. It is preaching about grace without caution for misuse of the liberty it offers.

 

When can we experience God’s grace

Does Grace ends at justification?

NO.

We are saved so that we can have a lifestyle that is characterized by good work. What God did was out of His mercy and kindness that He located and reaches out to save us. The Bible declares

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) (Eph. 2:4-5).

Living under grace should be an attitude of appreciation which should encourage and empower us to remain under that grace, submitting to the Almighty God for the mighty work of our salvation.

True, no one comes to God by himself or through religiosity; God’s love provides this free gift to mankind. If we receive or claim this grace, then what should we do? Or what should be the message from the ministers of God to believers? In another way; one of the advantages of grace is seen in God demonstrating His love and righteousness by overlooking those sins that we have “previously” committed because of our faith in Jesus. Do we go again to continue in that sin or waywardness? At least, there must show an element of breaking away from that sin if not total denunciation.

There is always that claim by many believers that man is weak to obey the law because of our sinful nature. If our sinful nature is the problem that we cannot obey the law, then it is necessary to subject that nature under the grace which will empower us to mortify that sinful nature.

After justification, the intention of the devil is to make us disobey God’s commandment. The Lord Jesus knew this and that it was difficult to obey God’s law completely; He understands what attraction of temptation is, and He knows man’s predicament concerning this because He has experienced it. However, He has also empowered us through grace to overcome the devil.

For one to enjoy this grace to the fullest; a Christian no longer lives according to the flesh or under the control of their sinful human nature. Instead, with the spirit living in believers, empowering them, they will live to please God. Holy Spirit helps us in our area of weakness. Living under grace is for a believer’s life to be lead by the Holy Spirit. Walking each moment by faith in God’s word under the spiritual control assures absolute victory over the desire of our sinful nature.

In the liberty that believers proclaim in today’s churches, Apostle Paul cautions that we should not put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way (Rm. 14:3). What does this implies? Shall we be in liberty and do those things that are unrighteous, unholy, ungodly, untrue, or those things which are offensive to others in the church? But after justification, there is the need to grow spiritually continually. That is grace at work.

Apostle Paul said in 2Cor. 5:17,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

A believer’s life should change because through justification he/she has started the process of a new being, transformed into the likeness of Christ. That believer is no more living for him/her self (all past conceited life), but he/she lives for Christ. A believer still living for him/her self after justification has received the grace of God without understanding what it is.

Apostle Paul said in 2Cor. 6:2,

“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation”

Many believers believed that all that is needed for grace to abound is to confess Jesus. Although, Paul did not encourage isolation from unbeliever, unregenerate believer or an erred believer; however, he did discourage compromising with there sinful values and practices..

Many prosperity preachers have made many weak and unknowledgeable believers to stumble because of their indifference and ignoring the spiritual situation of some of these believers. Apostle Paul says,

“But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak” (1Cor. 8:9).

 If we are saved by grace (Justification); then we should live by grace (Sanctification), that we may enjoy undeserved blessing from our loving Father. The ongoing process whereby the Holy Spirit works in believers, making their lives holy, separated from their old ways and to God in order to be more like Him.

 

How can we experience God’s grace?

Sanctification through saving grace is not accomplished or progressive without renewal of the mind; accomplished through the word of God. The mind plays a key role; if it submits to the word of God, it puts off the old man and puts on the new man (Jesus). As believers, we need empowerment of the Holy Spirit; the propeller and the divine driving force that pilots our way of righteousness.

Very often, Paul preaches grace then comes back to present a way to keep up (sanctification) with that grace. For example, after he had talked about grace through faith and the mystery of his gospel; then he mentioned the evil that may result in not keeping the teaching of Christ.

“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;  who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Eph. 4:17-19).

Paul advised on what to do and what not to do. We need to be careful about what we think, read, watch, say or do. One of Paul’s emphases is for believer to walk in the spirit and be imitator of God’s action. Why this caution if our liberty is to do what we like as claimed by some? Shall we continue to say “walk accordingly” without also saying the repercussion of not doing so? Let the people know what is good and what is bad; what is acceptable and what is not.

For example, as good as electricity is, it gives light, it generates power, it makes possible for mass production and many other benefits.; however, consumers need to know also that they cannot touch life wire or touch a melting wire. Ignorance is not an excuse to disobey the word of God or not knowing what grace stands for. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of the Almighty God.

Avoid distractions as you grow in grace

Believers should watch their steps and path to avoid contact with undesirable influences – cultism, fetish evil association, homosexuals, indecency and immoral practices. These and more are found inside and outside of the church. There are so many flamboyances in the world today and if a believer attempts to be imitator of those things, he/she will be playing around devil’s traps and territory.

Truth, nothing but the truth

Teaching the truth and living the truth is what retains heavenly believers and not lies or mingling of the word of God with philosophy. Fortunately and unfortunately, Technology controls life in this end time; and the devil is taking advantage of mass media, brainstorming and brain washing the masses with ideologies that opposes the will of God; thus, winning over the mind of man.

Continual growth should characterize the walk with Christ; this is the assignment of the ministers to believers. Moreover, believers must be aware of those combining worldly philosophies with the gospel.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).

As believers, our interest is not simply to be saved but that we should advance to maturity in Christ. This should always be the message of grace and not prosperity craving as many claimed grace to be. Every believer needs to seek the ongoing power that is the day-to-day experience of being in Christ.

One who is under grace is more than exercising faith or believe; but also do works that can be seen as things done in union with or in the will of God. We are sanctified through saving grace.

Antidote for Keeping under grace and not endangering our liberty

The scripture says

Put on the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:10-13)

The fact that we do not earn grace also applies we cannot keep under grace without being strong in the Lord. Believers must stay under the canopy of the armor of God so that they do not fallout of the grace. Being under grace does not prevent us from temptation or danger unless we guard ourselves with the armor of God; this is what makes grace abound in our lives. Therefore, let us guide ourselves; how?

  1. Do not fallout of your love for Christ – grace
  2. Be faithful in all situation
  3. Do not compromise with the things of this world or satan enjoyment that entices one to sin
  4. Do not allow yourself to be induced into corruption
  5. examine your stand with Lord every moment – growing spiritually
  6. You are not just a church goer, but you should hold fast to the truth and faithfully worship the Lord.

 

Steps to maintain God’s grace

Our fellowship with the father must be sound

If we are in grace and we continue in our old sinful practices, we have no fellowship with God. Have we then been washed clean of our sin by the precious blood of Jesus? God cannot compromise His holiness to accommodate sin and worldly lust. Though we live in the world but we are not of the world. The scripture admonishes us not to let sin reign in our mortal body that we should obey it in its lusts (Rom. 6:12-14).

We are pardoned; and not to go back again into what we have been pardoned

We need to be on guard against sinful tendencies. Though occasional sin cannot be avoided; however, it is an abuse of the grace we received if we continue in a consistent lifestyle of sin; active rebellion against the law of God; habitual sinful conduct; and ungodly attitude.

How can we live as Christians without being conscious of the sin/s that causes our separation from God in the first place? When talking of grace, every believer must not be ignorant of the law because it helps to reveal sin; but grace empowers us to stay away from it. Though, awareness of the law does not make us justified but faith in Christ.

Let us quit blaming law for disobeying the law

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phi. 4:13).  God’s purpose for the law is for love. The law is a guide to effecting this love. It is the failures of man to give love a chance that resulted to sin. Should we blame the law for revealing sin in our lives or we should be grateful that the law made us to be aware of it.

Apostle Paul says, “Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law”. If by the law is the knowledge of sin, then with grace abounding, let’s keep ourselves away from sin.

Our salvation must be genuine                                                                        

Let us strive and work to obtain a genuine salvation, let us have this in mind that our salvation is not a one time event, it is more than an instantaneous experience; it is a journey of life time. It is the long process of becoming more and more like Jesus. This is what we know as sanctification; the process by which we are free from the power of sin; this continuing process of salvation will eventually be completed in our glorification when we are saved from the presence of sin before the Almighty God.

Old things not found in the will of God must pass away

One of the ways by which grace may abound is for present-day believers to refuse to return to the attraction of this world and the pleasure of sin. They must be in subjection to God; allowing the Holy Spirit to empower them to serve God.  Grace was given to men and women of old who trusted in the Lord; likewise, grace is presently and permanently and forever available to all who believe in Christ.

We must not be ignorant of truth and sin

We need to be vigilant in the course of Christ, because of wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15). Teaching or preaching of grace can be dangerous when perverted carnally. Some ministers promises spiritual growth but do not satisfy the hunger of God’s people for the truth. It is the truth that we gained from the word of our Lord Jesus Christ that sets us free and gives us our liberty.

Jesus said,

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn.8:31-32)

There is moral laxity in our churches today: In order to abound and enjoy the grace given by God, Our ministers and leaders should be ambitious to teach the word of Christ than being filled with their personal ego

Be a disciple; an example representing Jesus Christ.

The name of Jesus is blasphemed among unbelievers everyday because of the ungodly and dubious attitude of both ministers and their members. As redeemed believers, we should not compromise our faith and new life with evil or any ungodly attitude. As Christians, we need to understand grace and our liberty.

The Lord Jesus said,

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing… “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (Jn. 15:5-8).

Jesus said,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”      (Jn. 8:34-36)

If we play our own part faithfully by staying away from those things that separated us from Him in the first place, God is faithful to fulfill His own promises toward us; we shall be free indeed; and He will bless us with the benefits of grace.

 

Benefits of Grace

So far, my point is this; let us avoid manipulating and distorting the message of grace and the liberty it offers; we should not misconstrue it for selfish and damnable motives.

The message of grace is far beyond the worldly acclaimed prosperity liberty; to do what you like or accumulation of wealth and riches under the guise of running a church for Christ. However, grace enhances a life of personal holiness and quality of life; validating our faith in Christ as genuine; helping us to overcome former lust and ignorance, and not conforming to world’s order. Here are some benefits we derive from grace,

God’s grace speaks of a Christian’s legal and family position “in Christ”. In order to enjoy the benefits of that grace and the liberty in it, we need to keep that position by abiding in Him and obeying Him. Grace is a blessing that spring forth from the knowledge of God and Jesus.

Through grace believers are justifiedwe identified with Christ and received the following unmerited favors

  • Jesus tastes death for every one
  • We obtained mercy
  • We received forgiveness of our previous sin/s
  • We received full pardon for our sin
  • Removal of sin penalty
  • God’s righteous demand is satisfied through Christ’s death
  • Imputation of Christ’s righteousness in believer’s life – transfer Jesus’ righteousness to those who believe in Him
  • Believers (former sinners) declared righteous
  • We are savedThrough grace believers are deliveredwe received miraculous deliverance in the following ways
  • Redemptive power of Christ on believer’s behalf
  • Liberty obtained
  • Freedom from sin
  • Freedom from the power of sin
  • Freedom from the bondage of sin
  • Liberation from the dominion of darkness
  • We are protected from the power of the devil
  • On account of Jesus’ death, He over thrones the damages caused by sin on man from the position of enmity to friendship with God
  • Cured from the disease and curse of sin
  • Through the blood of the covenant shed by Jesus, we are sanctified (Heb. 10:29)

Through grace believers received empowerment for sanctification by Holy Spiritto do those things which were impossible while we were in sin. We received,

  • Empowerment for regeneration
  • Empowerment for sanctification – grace establishes truth and does not allow one to be tossed around by strange doctrine (Heb. 13:9)
  • Enablement to obey the word of God
  • Empowerment to empty oneself to follow and to do the will of God
  • Enables us to present ourselves as an instrument of righteousness
  • Empowerment to live for Christ
  • Empowerment to become increasingly Christ like (2Cor. 3:18)
  • Empowerment to resist sin and its power
  • Empowerment to fulfill the law without being under the law
  • It empowers us, turning our weakness to strength
  • Enablement to walk worthy of the Lord; fruitful and increasing in the knowledge of God – loving God and others
  • Grace is the empowering presence of God, enabling us to be who H e created us to be, and to do what he has called us to do – James Ryle
  • We stay undefiled and did not fall short of God’s grace
  • Empowers us to endure in suffering; then perfects, establishes and settles us after we have endured
  • Empowerment through the word of God to avoid the corrupting influences of the world system

Through grace believers are restored – grace restores in us the desire and the power that God gives us to do His will; thus,

  • Restoration of a believer to a proper relationship with God
  • Through grace, God provides an advocate – Jesus
  • We have peace with God
  • We have access to God
  • The love of God is poured out into our heart by the Holy Spirit
  • We have the right and privilege to approach God with praise and request
  • Restoration of spiritual, physical and financial blessings on believers
  • We find help in time of need
  • It humbles us and then, exalts us (1Pet. 5:5)
  • Empowers believers to enjoy divine provisions and promises of God
  • Humanity is preserved – saving grace is available for the entire humanity (Jn. 3:16)

Through grace believers have hope

  • Hope of glorification before God
  • Hope of making heaven
  • Hope for eternal life
  • We rejoice in hope of the glory of God
  • We rejoice in tribulation which produces character and hope

Grace offers the opportunity to work toward perfection

 We are not perfect instantly but through necessity of sanctification, we get to that perfection. Point to note, Jesus had perfected us; however, we are not there yet; thus the reason for sanctification – doing our own part in the will of God. 

Benefits of Grace have become our entitlement given to man by God on the account of Jesus redemptive death on our behalf. Nobody can take it away from us; however, individual can reject it or throw it away. Are you in grace; are you in the will of God?

 Joshua said,

“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth…, and if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Jos. 24:14-15)

The choice is yours.

 

Conclusion

The works of grace cannot be contained in a book; neither can one preacher give an account of the benefits it offers. But the bottom line is this; briefly put, grace offers us

  1. pardon and acquittal from the penalty of our previous sin/s
  2. liberation from the power of sin and its consequences
  3. declaration of believers as righteous
  4. a second chance
  5. a reunion with our Maker
  6. Beginning of a good relationship with God.
  7. preserving and preparing of believers to be with Christ in God’s kingdom

This I know that a well knowledgeable man of God who is spiritually sound, who is not after worldly gains should teach; also, this is the lesson that every believer needs to know and should know if what he/she professes is real.

Finally, Grace empowers us to experience a second chance

Situation with the church and society today is despicable. There is moral degeneration in our churches and society. Today’s modern civilized cities are like Sodom and Gomorrah; full of so many immoral and unethical behavior. The word ideology and technology has been abused; it is now being manipulated, misused and turned into a form of idolatry. Technology that is supposed to enhance humanity has turned to be instrument of unrighteousness; a form of idolatry. In order to understand grace and the liberty it offers, we must not be ignorant of these anomalies.

 If by grace we are saved; God is the provider of this grace through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through this given grace, believers are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live in a way that pleases God. (Rm. 3:21-23). God provided a second chancefor us so that we can build a godly character and have a good relationship with Him.

In order to experience His grace, let us remain under that grace, stay away from sin so that our second chance can become a reality; and for one more time, we may have a meaningful relationship with God again for eternity.

By Lawrence Abitogun






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